A generic flow for a startup pitch

The story flow below sets out the structure for a generic startup pitch to an investor, and I used generic templates that are available in the SlideMagic template store to suggest relevant slide layouts. The opening of the presentation will vary significantly depending on what sort of startup you are. Towards the back though, startup pitches tend to look very similar (team, financials, pipeline, etc.)


cover page

The cover page is the first page of your presentation. Resist the temptation to find that all encompassing visual that tells the entire story. Instead, create something that looks inviting and professional, and put the right factual information on it: what it is about, date, who is presenting, etc.



This is the page you can hand over to your lawyers to add confidentiality clauses and other legal disclaimers. You can use this template of a 2 column text page which looks better than the usual 1 column layout that spans across a very wide page.


in a nutshell

The introduction page of your presentation, which is especially important for decks which you send out before the actual in-person meeting. The objective here is not to cram the entire story in one page (the "summary"), but rather provide the basic info about what it is you, why it is special, what investment you want. In addition, it should create sufficient interest for people to be willing to turn the page. This can usually be done in 3-5 short bullet points.


Tracker page

A simple page-filling slide to indicate that you are entering a new section. It can be one colour, or you can use an image.


Set up

Something has not changed for a long time... You could visualise this with a page-filling image, maybe with 3 short text boxes to give your story a context. Example, if you were to pitch mobile phones in the mid 1990s, you could put a simple picture of a phone booth.


this creates an inefficiency

This situation which everyone takes for granted creates some sort of an inefficiency or shortcoming. Notice how this slide that talks about the problem, already sets up the visualisation of the solution where both bubbles are joined in a Venn. Or you could re-use this slide and color the top right bubble with a bright color later on.

This use of the same slide concept saves time, the audience will remember the first slide, and quickly moves on to the next stage in your story.


Something is changing

This is the transition to the opportunity. A new technology, a new trend, a new development opens up the possibility of breaking the old status quo.


An opportunity opens up

The change that was introduced on the previous slide creates an opportunity that is usually pretty obvious to an audience: the dream of self driving cars in 2017, the dream of video on demand in 1995...


Don't cheer too early

But with most technologies, there is something that prevents this obvious end game from happening. Batteries are too heavy, bandwidth is not sufficient, etc. etc.


Tracker page

Moving on to the next section which talks about the solution


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