The pitch deck provides a concise summary of all relevant information an investor, for example, needs for an initial assessment. The pitch deck has largely replaced the business plan, certainly as far as initial contact is concerned. The advantages are obvious – investors and partners can get an overview much more quickly, they have something in their hands they can show their colleagues, and at the same time they can see whether the team is able to communicate the project in a clear and understandable way.

This makes the pitch deck the ‘entry ticket’ for discussions – there is no second chance for a first impression. We don’t want to prescribe a specific structure, but for us a pitch deck should not be more than 15 slides and include the following content:

  • The team: show us who you are, who is doing what and why you’re working together.
  • The status quo of the user or “the problem” and its solution today – if there is one.
  • The new solution: is there an existing solution. Show us your innovation.
  • Your development: you’ve had a brilliant idea? You’re working on a problem you’ve experienced in your profession? Show us how far you’ve got and where are right now.
  • The market: are you working on a solution for which there is only a single customer globally? Think scalability.
  • The business model: customers and solutions exist? Then explain to us how you can earn money with your business idea.
  • Numbers: where can the journey take you in the coming years?
  • Capital requirements and timeline: how much capital do you need? Where should the money come from? What exactly do you intend to do with it and when? By when does financing need to be in place?

These are the most important points we need for an initial investigation. Often it is possible to add further content that is relevant to the specific startup – for example, a patent portfolio, references or certain statistics.

With your pitch deck, always keep in mind whether it should serve as the basis for a presentation or whether it should be a “stand-alone” brochure. For presentations: pictures, graphics, statistics, but no long sentences! Be sure to use a legible font size to make it easy on the eyes. If you want to send someone a pitch deck for analysis, it can have more text.

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