Every Startup Pitch Deck Should Answer these questions

Pitching is both art and science, but having a pitch deck that demonstrates traction over time is mission critical.

One of the unfortunate things that comes with being an early-stage entrepreneur is constantly keeping your pitch materials up to date, whether you are potentially seeking venture capital funding now or in the future.

Whether investors reach out to you or vice versa, there are certain questions that are almost always asked. Investors usually end up focusing on the three very specific items.
To maximize your company’s chances of pitching your startup successfully and securing venture capital, here are the 3 questions that every pitch deck should answer:

  1. Does it look like your customer base is growing?

If it does not look like your customer base is growing, you are dead in the water. That may be an obvious point, but it is hard to communicate customer traction to prospective investors. Investors have limited time, and you need to graphically depict that you are growing in as few word as possible, using a solid visual representation.

  1. Do your customers like your product?

Both B2C and B2B businesses — you need to be able to demonstrate that your product is getting “stickier” somehow, and the usage patterns of your customers are getting more favorable. Depict traction in terms of your customers purchase from us each month.

The reason you need to demonstrate that your product is sticky is simple: acquiring new customers is MUCH more expensive than getting existing customers to pay for your product again. Not only that, but happy customers are also your best salespeople — if you are able to successfully demonstrate that your existing customer base is happy, that in and of itself is a low-cost sales channel. Often you may get asked for that, and you should update the data on this as frequently as possible.

  1. Does it look like your business/product can actually scale?

Remember that venture investors are not interested in ordinary returns — that is why they are in venture capital and not in the S&P 500. If you are not able to demonstrate a clear path to $100M within five years, your company is not a good candidate for venture capital. You could be constantly get asked about scalability, and truthfully, there is no great answer for any company — all you can do is take your best shot.

Your writers are essentially doing demand generation, and that is what you want to communicate to potential venture investors should they come knocking at the right time.

Similarly, your business likely has a “magic” lever that will allow you to reach that 100M in revenue point (a big maybe, I realize) if you keep investing in a certain product, or channel. Once you figure out what the lever is, you need to figure out a way to communicate that.

It never hurts to keep your materials up to date.

Pathfinders regularly mingle with startups and find new updated pitch of respective industries. Please join us if you want such pitch evolving from our meets.


Suresh Shah, Pathfinders Enterprise

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