The Perfect Pitch Deck

A clear and concise pitch deck will not only help you attract investors, it will also serve to clarify your thoughts, plans and aspirations pertaining to your business.

It helps to follow a format that investors are used to seeing.  In my opinion, the gold standard is the format sometimes referred to as "the Sequoia Capital pitch deck".   Here are the essential elements:

The following business plan format, within 15–20 slides, is all that’s needed.

Company purpose - Define the company/business in a single declarative sentence.

Problem - Describe the pain of the customer (or the customer’s customer). - Outline how the customer addresses the issue today.

Solution - Demonstrate your company’s value proposition to make the customer’s life better. - Show where your product physically sits. - Provide use cases.

Why now - Set up the historical evolution of your category. - Define recent trends that make your solution possible.

Market size - Identify/profile the customer you cater to. - Calculate the TAM (top down), SAM (bottoms up), and SOM.

Competition - List competitors - List competitive advantages

Product - Product line-up (form factor, functionality, features, architecture, intellectual property). - Development roadmap

Business model - Revenue model - Pricing - Average account size and/or lifetime value - Sales and distribution model - Customer/pipeline list

Team - Founders and management - Board of Directors/Board of Advisors

Financials - P&L - Balance sheet - Cash flow - Cap table - The deal