Writing the Perfect Pitch Deck: How to secure funding from investors | Caya | Skillshare

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Writing the Perfect Pitch Deck: How to secure funding from investors

teacher avatar Caya, Slidebean CEO

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Intro: Demystifying Pitch Decks


    • 2.

      When a pitch deck applies


    • 3.

      Types of Pitch Decks


    • 4.

      The Three Arc Structure


    • 5.

      Pitch Deck Examples: Learning from Airbnb


    • 6.

      Distilling the structure


    • 7.

      The list of slides


    • 8.

      The Intro Section


    • 9.

      Optional Intros


    • 10.

      The Status Quo Section


    • 11.

      The Product Section


    • 12.

      Feature/Benefits Slide


    • 13.

      Audience/Use Case Slide


    • 14.

      Business Model Slide


    • 15.

      Milestone & Roadmap Slide


    • 16.

      The Market Section


    • 17.

      Go-To-Market Slide


    • 18.

      Market Size Slide


    • 19.

      The Why Us Section


    • 20.

      The Ask Section


    • 21.

      Final Notes


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About This Class

This course is taught by Caya, the CEO of a venture-backed startup called Slidebean

Slidebean helps companies get off the ground, from finding investors to figuring out how much money they need to raise, to of course, designing their decks. 

This class will cover the ideal pitch deck structure thoroughly. Using examples of real-world successful pitch decks, you'll be able to tell your company story to your investors and raise money to fund your ideas. 

Links and resources:

VIRAL Framework by Village Capital -> https://www.mainetechnology.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/VIRAL-Assessment-for-Entrepreneurs.pdf

How to estimate market size? (TAM or Total Addressable Market) -> https://youtu.be/M_RMTC2YmXY

Financial Model Tutorials -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ye7VeofnBfc&list=PLnhdsL4kFmVZC_4UHFQh5pqwK9ozgqNBb&ab_channel=Slidebean

Slidebean Pitch Deck Videos:

-The Perfect Pitch Deck Structure - > https://youtu.be/Ri0Pe1Y6lwM
-How to Make a Killer Startup Pitch Deck? -> https://youtu.be/VapOhmvC8jk
-The Best PITCH DECK GUIDE to Impress your INVESTORS -> https://youtu.be/iu8d2Kd8e4o

Talk to Caya -> https://slidebean.com/expert-network

Slidebean Pitch Deck Templates -> https://slidebean.com/pitch-deck-template


- Our SkillShare community gets 30% off Slidebean plans with code ► SLBYTCOMMUNITY
Redeem at https://slidebean.com/

Meet Your Teacher

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Slidebean CEO


CEO of @Slidebean. Accidental Youtuber. Spreadsheet Artist. Frequent flyer miles hoarder. r/EternityClub.

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Level: Intermediate

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1. Intro: Demystifying Pitch Decks: Hey there and welcome to our course on pitch decks. If you have no idea who I am, I'll be brief. My name is KaiA and I'm the CEO of a venture-backed startup called slicing, which helps companies get off the ground from finding investors to figuring out how much money they need to raise. Two, of course, designing their pitch decks. Hundreds of thousands of deaths have been made with them are software, thousands of them with some involvement from myself or from our team. So I have seen thousands of these things as CEO's and founders approach creating their pitch decks that inevitably come across some myths like the number of slides that are allowed to use or whether or not to include in a slide for advisors. And let me tell you right now, that's all crap. And a pitch deck is a summary of your company's story. Nothing more, nothing less. If your company's story is long and it takes you 25 slides to cover it. Great if you can do it with 10 slides without leaving anything out. Even better if it's tick is this blend of storytelling, building up excitement with business and numbers. And they very rational, cold decision. Will this company make me investor money? So in this course, we're going to dive into each slide in the deck, look at examples and tear down to pitch decks of the stuff that came before us and that raised them their initial funding. But before we get into any of that, I think we must understand the types of companies out there and the types of rounds and investors out there. And when a pitch deck really applies. 2. When a pitch deck applies: Companies come in all shapes and sizes, but only a handful of them are truly venture fundable. You may hear talking to startup press about this and that company raising millions of dollars. But for the most part, these are fast growth, massively scalable companies. And that is why they can, and they must raise capital to expand. And there's really no terminology to tell them apart, but I like to use the term startups versus the term small businesses. And yes, if we are strict about their definitions, all startups begin as small businesses. But the difference I want to make here, it relates to their scale and are there potential? So let's draw a line here. Let's draw line and paint that picture. Small businesses, say a developer or a UI designer got tired of their day jobs. They've built a name and a portfolio for themselves and they decided they want to start their own agency. To me, this is the definition of this category of small business. This is by all means a tech company. But to scale, they will need to hire more and more designers and developers. Their margins, their company's profit after covering expenses will always be limited because they're essentially selling human hours. Can they reach a significant scale? Of course, they can build an agency with a 1000 engineers, but that is along. Sure, it doesn't happen that often. The examples here are, and the McKinsey's and the eyes of the world. There are massive consulting companies that still sell primarily services, man hours. And again, those are exceptions in their scale and they raise venture capital, unlikely and definitely not at the idea or early revenue stage. Those companies are usually formed by two or three partners who bring in some capital of their own to get started. And one of those partners might even be an executive co-founder while the others bring their expertise and the work. And then the executive co-founder brings the capitals. That is not an investor that you find with a pitch deck. It's probably a relationship that you've already built and they trust you to get embed. Would you quit literally for this business? And there's nothing wrong with being a small business type of company. The US economy was built on these small businesses. The majority of companies fall within this category. Just know that you should not waste time watching this course unless you are this other type of company. Detect started. This is the company that you read about on TechCrunch, a company that has found a transformative market opportunity and uses technology to solve it in a highly scalable way. Uber is not a car or taxi company, doesn't need to hire drivers. It operates worldwide and can open AND operation in a city with three employees because they are essentially a marketplace. They're connecting drivers to riders. Same with Airbnb for example. They don't need to buy homes or rooms like a hotel. They just connect the players in this economy. Speaking about social media, when Facebook acquired Instagram in 2013, the acquisition was $1 billion and the company had 250 million users or so. And third seen employees because softer is infinitely scalable and you don't need a massive staff to support it. That is the concept that I like to classify as a tech startup. Once again, technically, the development shop is a tech startup, but I'm not using that dictionary definition today. The story of how these companies fund their operation is very, very different. These are companies reaching for the moon, so they wouldn't need to raise capital every couple of years. Assuming of course, that they're doing well. For example, on a SaaS software as a service company, it's expected that the founders build a prototype and sell it to a few customers before even considering outside capital on a social media platform, fast user growth is expected before raising significant investor money. Look at the Facebook story, assuming that you saw the movie, Peter Thiel only invested in the Facebook after it was a hit on Harvard. Other industries like health care and hardware required capital earlier because they are very capital intensive Just to get started. So for the most part, these companies will operate loss for years because everyone is betting on that big play. Think Amazon who didn't earn a profit for decades, but today, it completely dominates the e-commerce industry and AWS and streaming, same with Tesla, SpaceX. The only way early investors were getting their money back. If this company became a giant, a transformative technology, for the most part, the funding story of a tech startup looks something like this. You go from founder's money to friends and family, seed funding, Series a, series B, series bunch of letters, and finally, an IPO or an exit. So the founder's money is, comes of course, from the founding team. Ideally, they should be able to bring some capital to the business, maybe a few thousand dollars as a cash investment, or at least the possibility of working for this company for a few months without making a salary. Friends and family capital often includes fool the scapula, friends, schools, and family. If you're considering capital for your startup, then you have to start there. It's actually a red flag for many investors. If you haven't been able to raise any friends and family capitalist, it means that either nobody you trust believes in your idea or that you have a small network of people which eventually will be a disadvantage in the future. So if your pre-revenue or maybe even at an idea stage, the chances of raising money from strangers are slim to say the least. So this is very much a mid step. You should be able to raise $5,000 thousand, at least with this group of people, it's totally fair if that is 10, $5 thousand checks, then for seed round is C. That is the first money that you'll read about in the news. A CD-ROM can range from $300 thousand up to $2 million. It's really a broad spectrum of money. Common denominator is the company stage into software category and ideal seed company has a product in the market and is in process, in the process of testing a profitable business model that translates to making revenue maybe 10, $20 thousand a month and seeing growth of 20 percent month over month or more. And hardware space. Again, it's a bit different. The best reference I can give you on this is the viral framework which was made by village CAPM. We can just Google it. I'll make sure I link it below. It goes without saying funding only happens if the company does well, it's like grabbing branches. A C round is supposed to provide enough capital to last until your next fundable milestone, in this case, series a. So the seed round must present a case for the product, the team, and what they're doing with the money. But most importantly, it must have a solid thesis on how the company is going to get to that next branch to series a funding. The further down the rabbit hole we go, the bigger the rounds of funding get. And of course, the more complex the pitch deck gets. In a nutshell, a seed stage deck probably talks about a very successful experiment with the team has done and what plans they have for the product and to expand on those customer acquisition channels. A series B deck is totally different. This is probably a company that's already selling tens of millions of dollars per year. So the Series B decks that we've made in spite being had been a deep dive into the economics metrics for customer acquisition, retention. Repeat, use it to demonstrate that the company has the capacity to deploy massive amounts of capital efficiently and start touching on how the company plans to eventually exit or be acquired. So in the next chapter, I'm going to get into the types of pitch things that we'll be dealing with and how you should approach their creation in different ways. 3. Types of Pitch Decks: So the term pitch that is brought up, I've seen it used to refer to a sales deck. You can even use it to refer to a movie pitch. And as you've probably noticed, our expertise is an investor pitch deck. So there's still quite a few types of investor deck that can be, that can be used or in which decks can be classified, mainly the demo day deck, the e-mail deck, and the meeting deck. So let's go back to that tech company timeline for funding. If we zoomed out around the pre-seed area, we find a few other steps for the fundraising process is it's around this area that you find, for example, government grants, maybe small pitch competitions, and even startup accelerators who often culminate with what they call a Demo Day. So first, the Demo Day pitch, That's the first type of pitch that the Demo Day or startup competition pitch and the conditions for this, for these slides, for this picnic are quite peculiar. You have the founder presenting so the slides don't need to be self-explanatory there rather supporting illustrating what the person is saying. You have a time limit, usually three to five minutes. So maybe here the rule and the number of slides isn't complete crap. You're presenting in front of a large audience, which means that you should, for example, refrain from sharing any confidential information. And there are some regulations in the US on what you can't and you can't tell non accredited investors. So you should be careful in what you put on that debt. So deaminase are quite popular events, usually covered by the press. But what you have to understand here is that for the most part, they are a show or a facade. So a lot of the advice of the read and pitch decks applies to that very particular type of event. But companies don't get funded on Demosthenes. As a result, investors aren't waiting outside the door to write checks for most investor deals happen like this. I'll tell you the breakdown. You find an investor, usually one that invests in your industry and in your space, then you'll find a contact to make an intro. And that e-mail intro would look something like this. Hey, the person that you know, I hope everything is going well. Insert personal note about your relationship with that person. Then the ask any chance you could introduce me to insert investor name so you want to make their life easier. So you want to include a blurb to the investor inside that same email. It will look something like this. Hey, Investor, than two or three lines about what you do and your traction. I'm working on this company called slight beam. We help startups with their pitch decks. We've been growing over 200% year on year and we're getting ready to raise our next round of funding. And then the reason why they should care. Maybe I noticed that you invested in super beer, which is in the same space and we're big fans of him. And I send you my pitch deck and that's the key right there. Can I send you my pitch deck? A little side note here. Most deals happen because you get introduced to investors. Cold emailing investors is actually very much a last resort. So step three is that if you get accepted, that email gets accepted, you get to send your email deck. And that's the second type of deck that we'll talk about today. That deck is the deck that gets you a meeting. Step four, if you get a meeting, then maybe you'll need to bring a meeting deck, and that would be the third deck that we'll talk about. So let's start with the e-mail deck. With that context, we can infer some characteristics about this e-mail deck. It needs to be self-explanatory because it'll be consumed by the investor on their own. It will also be the first impression that an investor will get about your company. So it needs to look scholar. It's only being sent to hand-picked investors, so you can reveal more of your secret sauce in it. It's designed to get you a meeting so you didn't have to tell everything about the company just enough to create attention, curiosity, and get called into the next stage of the process. So here's a little extra insight with the basic tool we built. The sender can track views on their pitch like so we know, we know in which slides investors spend the most amount of time. And we're gonna get to that later in this course. The piece of information that you need right now is that investors will spend three to four minutes looking at your deck. You can't assume that you'll change people's behaviors. So if your deck can't be consumed in three or four minutes, chances are investors will skip through some of the content. So the contents of an e-mail that need to be consumable within that timeframe. The email doc is also used in other contexts. For example, when applying to an accelerator or when submitting your deck to a competition. Same idea, it needs to be self-explanatory story of your company. Finally, the Meeting Deck. If the e-mail deck gets you a meeting, you'll need a meeting deck. To me, this is really an evolution of that email depth. It's essentially the same thing with a little bit extra detail. Usual investor meeting goes something like this. You have like five minutes to settle in and do some small talk. 15 minutes for you to go through the slides and through your company's story using the deck and then 30 minutes for discussion and that's questions follow-ups. And so as you can see, you're turning a four minute self read into a 15 minute narrated deck. Now, it may be a bit unrealistic to build and maintain three separate decks, especially with the insane schedules and amount of work that we have to deal with. And that's what most companies resorted to making something closer to an e-mail deck and using small variations of that for everything. I think it's a fair approach and I know it because we've done it. So still, I think it's critical that you understand the difference between these two. Avoid common mistakes like taking the same e-mail deck to a meeting because you're expected to bring something else or using a Demo Day which is non self-explanatory to send via e-mail or sending a meeting deck over e-mail, which may be too much content and overcome. Great. So now that we understand the use cases, let's look into the structure of a pitch deck. 4. The Three Arc Structure: In this chapter, I'm going to give you the ideal structure of a pitch deck which slides to include and in what order and rules are made to be broken. But I believe this structure is truly the ideal one. Me combine their own expertise for this outline, our analysis of hundreds of decks. Successful companies like Airbnb and Uber, and finally, a variable of storytelling. And let me start with that because as irrelevant, as unrelated as it may seem, storytelling makes or breaks a deck who doesn't love a good story. A story of how this team used their widths to overcome difficulties. Or a story of how everything stacked up against them and they won by the skin of their teeth. I learned the stuff in film school and it kinda ruined movies for me a little bit because most stories, most films actually follow a three-act structure that looks like this. During act 1, the setup, we introduced the characters and the status quo. We're presented with a universe that we can believe in and we can invest in, as long as it's realistic and consistent with their own experience. And then comes plot point 1 around a third of the movie in, and this is a point in the film where the story takes an unexpected turn and the plot gets its direction changed. In the social network, for example, it's when this coating viral platform genius that we've been introduced to gets presented with Harvard, connect this idea by the Winkle bosses and decides to steal the idea. The first plot point also opens a range of possibilities of where the story could go. As viewers, we are at the mercy of the script and often have no idea where the conflict will go. As the plot changes, direction, states start getting higher. We care about these characters and we build excitement. And it's all builds to the climax of the story, which comes right after the second bullet point. The Social Network. Again, the second plot point is Eduardo freezing the Facebook account. It's another unexpected turn in the story. Instead of opening possibilities of where the story could go, it narrows them down. And this is followed by the story's climax, the confrontation between Mark and Eduardo into Facebook office. Try placing your pitch deck story in this art, we start with an introduction to status quo. What's going on? How does the world operate today? What are the flaws? Your solution slide becomes that first platformed, you're pivoting the direction of the story of the current status quo and possibility suddenly opened up and are endless. Now you start narrowing down, the product takes shape, stakes get higher. We understand the hero of the story, your product. The second plot point and the climax could vary depending on your business. Maybe it's in your tractions, nice because you tapped into an incredible distribution channel. Maybe the plot twist revolves around competitors and how they're foolishly overlooking something that your team knows. Maybe it's about your team, your background, and your experience, which is unmanageable. It's a climax when the viewer is most vulnerable. It's after that climax that you get to ask for money. 5. Pitch Deck Examples: Learning from Airbnb: Let's look at some famous pitch decks were going to tear these away time and time again during this course. But let's start with an actual pitch. I'm going to pitch you Airbnb. Airbnb was a Y Combinator company and somebody had the widths to photograph drying Chomsky's pitch back in 2008 or 2009, there were not a great photographer, so our team took these slides and redesign them into a proper pitch deck. So I'm going to use those slides for this. Let me pitch you Airbnb in 20082009. And it was kind of it. And I am the fake CEO of Airbnb and we let you book rooms with locals rather than hotels. Most travelers care about pricing, maybe not you investors, but the rest of us. The cost is one of the main concerns when we're planning a trip. And hotels make up for a big chunk of that. Often the highest part of the cost of the trip. But hotels have their own set of problems. They disconnected from the city experience there, this bubble that doesn't necessarily enrich your experience. But if you wanted to rent a room from a local, which could be cheaper, There's really no way to do it. Until now. We have built a web platform, a marketplace where people can rent out their space to travelers. It lets them monetize their couch, unused bedroom in their apartment and make money. It's also a fantastic way to save money when traveling, of course, and to share the culture of the city which you're usually not exposed to in a hotel. And are people willing to share rooms or couches with strangers? Well, there are over 630 thousand users on CouchSurfing which are already sharing their spaces, oftentimes for free, just this part of the experience, this experience of welcoming tourists in their homes. We found over 70000 short-term listings and Craigslist last week. And even though the concept is not particularly well-known, people are already doing it. So about 1.9 billion trips are booked worldwide each year. And it's estimated that 532 million of them are budget trips that are not booked travel agencies. So we're targeting 2% of that market for the next two years. Or product is super simple. You can just search by city, review the listings and what other users have said about them, and book it all within five-minutes, the owner defines the pricing and our business model is simple as well. We just take a 10 percent commission from the transaction's basically the numbers we've seen with an average rate of $70 and night and an average state of three nights. We expect that we can generate over $200 million in revenue over the next three years. And we are on our way there. We are targeting monthly events like October Fest, you're a cup and Marty grammar. Young people travel and are more open to trying out this new alternative. We're also working on partnerships with kayak and orbits most of our customers so far have come from a little experiment tack bought that we built every time a customer lists or rental or a page, we take a screenshot and republish it on Craigslist. This listing, of course, points back to our website, which is much more efficient than the actual prejudice alternative, which requires a manual conversation between the owner and the renter. And that's where we stand out. Looking through Airbnb is online and seamless with minimal interaction required, just like I would tell, but much more affordable. And we are the first to market with this model. The hosts are obviously incentivized to monetize unused spaces in their homes and their apartments, and they only need to list the rooms once availability is automatically managed by our own platform. Both guests and hosts have a profile where ratings about their experiences are collected and they are visible to each other before the booking is confirmed. So I'm sure there were more slides here, but those are all the slides that made it to the Internet. Airbnb ended up raising $600 thousand with this pitch, they end, well, look what are they are now, there is no jargon here. This is a 0 bullshit story of a company identifying a business opportunity, proposing a solution to it, using existing products to validate it and reinforcing what they understand about the market that other companies haven't. Now that you've seen pitch deck nirvana, that's extract the structure out of that pitch deck. 6. Distilling the structure: Okay, so the airbnb pitched like has the following slides. You have cover problem solution, market validation, market size, product, business model, go to market, competition and advantages. Well, they were not part of the original photoshoot. We found that the other slides on this deck were present, testimonials, team and financials. So remember, a pitch deck is a summary of a company's story. We are using slides to give arguments on why this company is awesome. And we can simplify this into these questions. What's the status quo? This is answered by the problem and the solution slides. What is the product and how does it make money? This is represented by the product. The business model sides. How is the market responding to it, and how big can this company get? This is answered by the go-to-market slot and the market size. And why is this company going to be great? This is where we get into competitors, competitive advantages and team. We can talk a lot about slides, slide order and story, and we will, but in the end, this is what your pitch deck needs to answer. Those are the questions that you picked thing needs to address. What opportunity have you discovered in the market? What have you built to tackle it? How does it work and who is it for? And how much are you growing? And how much will you continue to grow? And why are you and your team, the team to change that status quo? That's it. It's of course, easier said than done. Absolutely. Still, you've discovered that a lot of people just get lost in the technicalities, the market size with the business model, the projections when what you're doing should simply focus on answering that set of questions and don't forget answering them by telling an exciting story. So let's combine that three-act structure with these questions. First, the setup, this is the intro, the cover and the status quo questions. What's happening? Your solutions light becomes that plug point. We're changing the direction of the story. Now there's rising action. This is your product section. We're meeting the hero. Now once again, we get into the market, how the market is reacting, and how big the market is. The stakes are really, really high now then the crisis, your competitors and how you plan to beat them. The climax of the story, It's your team, your competitive advantages or your ingenious rollout plan that are going to be the resolution to this conflict that we unearth it. And that's when you get to ask for money. 7. The list of slides: Alright, so we have a story now, it's time to get the list of slides. So we have our sections for the pitch deck, we had an intro, status quo, product market, why us? And finally, the ask, now let's look at the slides that could fill each one of these sections for the intro in here, for the most part we'll just have, are covered. Occasionally, we can include a teaser slide about the team or about the traction that the company has. But we'll get to that later. For the status quo, for the most part, you're going to have our problem and solution slides here. Usually it's live, it's called problem because identifies something that doesn't quite work well in the world and that you can solve with your solution. However, there are companies like BuzzFeed, for example, or most mobile games that aren't really solving anything, they're just jumping on a business opportunity that they've discovered. Now let's talk about the product section. There's some elasticity here depending on how complex your product is or how much time you need to reserve for the other sections, the slides mostly used in this section are the product slide with, of course a product samples, a features, benefits slide, a tech infrastructure slide, and a target audience slide, as well as a business model and milestones slides. So a word of warning, Those are a lot of slides about the product and you usually don't want to include all of them, so we have to pick which ones are more relevant to make your point, remember that original question, you have to answer what you've built to tackle the problem. How does it work, and who was it for? Next? It's the market section. We usually have slides on traction on go to market, meaning how are you attracting customers? We have potential outcomes for the company and of course the market size. Then coming up on the Why Us section, we have competitors here, competitive advantages. The y nows lot and sometimes a press or user testimonials slides. The team slide isn't one that closes this section. And last but not least, we have the ask after you have sold as The Dream, let's just get to the gist of it. How much money do you need and what are you going to do with it? This section usually contains a financial and slide as well as a fundraising slide. Now by all means, each one of these slides can be made up of multiple slides about the same topic. You don't have to squeeze every single product screenshot into one slide. If you're traction is incredible, you can use more than one slide to talk about it. Just never, ever forget to stay within that three to four minute limit because that's how much time investors will spend on your deck regardless of how many slides you have. So in this table, I've analyzed five pitch decks from famous companies like Airbnb, buffer over BuzzFeed and Intercom to understand which of these slides they decided to include in their seed stage decks. Every single slide in those texts can be categorized as one of the slides we talked about. Uber, for example, used four or five slots to talk about product and multiple slides talking about roll-up strategy, market opportunity. Intercom on the other side kept it to a very short, straight to ten slides so they don't have traction. Go to market or financial slides, maybe other versions of the deck do because they all seems pretty critical to me. You'll also notice that they positioned these slides and different structures in the Airbnb example we saw Brian moved a lot of the market content, like market validation before talking about the product itself, if I had to guess, he wanted to tackle the elephant in the room early on. Will people sleep in other people's couches? And that's fine. Rules are made to be broken. But again, don't forget story, Don't forget time, but that's it. Those are quite literally all the slides you could possibly include in a pitch deck in an order that, to me, makes a ton of sense. It tells a fantastic story. It follows a three story arc. It's organic and it's easy to follow. So in the next few chapters, we're going to be analyzing and looking at examples for every single one of those slides. My biggest recommendation as you approach writing this is one, well, of course, use light beam and then two, if you choose not to use our platform, that's fine. Just make sure that you start with the content. Don't touch PowerPoint work in a Word document. Just write out the content one page per slide. You'll remove the distraction of the design and focus on the content first, like in this course, we are going to talk about design, but that comes later towards the end of the course that's focused on content. And there's few chapters. 8. The Intro Section: So let's talk about the intro section and whole chapter just for this covers like isn't that important? Well, it is the first glimpse that investors will get at what you do if you think about it, it should be studying by all means it is the first impression that they'll get and even though they're only going to spend a few seconds here. So what's very critical here and what founders struggle a lot with is the tagline. So the cover slide should have a five or seven word description of what you do, should be simple, self-explanatory and so short that you read it without even trying. And this guideline is not a marketing tagline. It's a very brief description of what your company does. Let me give you Slack as an example, slacks marketing tagline is where work happens, which is clean, short into the point, doesn't explain what they do. Everybody knows what Slack is these days and everybody uses either slack of Microsoft Teams. So we all know what this communication tool can do for us in the context of a business. But imagine an earlier Slack trying to build a pitch deck via Google. What's Locke's, it'll tell you, slag is a messaging app for businesses that connects people to the information they need by bringing people together to work as one unified team. Slack transforms the way organizations communicate. That's of course, too long and too boring. And it has a bunch of marketing jargon like bringing people together and transform the way organizations communicate. Pitch decks are no bullshit documents. What's the node bullshit version of what's lack does maybe something like replacing e-mail for startup teams, maybe something like simple messaging for businesses, perhaps even efficient communication for businesses. That's just what they do, no jargon, just what they do. Let's go with another example, maybe ourselves. So it's like being started as a presentation software company. And now of course we do a bunch of other things for starters, but back in the day it took us a lot of effort to come up with our tagline. I tested many and I was telling people all over the place when we were building just to test how they would react. So this type of thing needs to be casual enough so that if somebody asks you what your company does, you can answer the question without sounding like a broken record or like you're pitching them. So hey, kinda what does your company do? Well, we're a web-based presentation builder that transforms. Now, after much trial and error, we finally landed on presentations that design themselves. The answer to the question could be, well, we haven't platform that designs your presentations for you. Don't underestimate how hard this is to solve. You can tell how you're doing by looking at people's expressions. When you tell them if they're confused, you are probably cold. If they ask a follow-up question, you're kind of getting there. 9. Optional Intros: So let's talk about optional interests. There are a couple of cases where some additional slides can be considered part of the intro. Some people, for example, like to put in an executive summary slide, which I personally hate. It's honestly spilling the beans rants about DICOM, and also it's cramming a bunch of content into a single slide. And I honestly have never seen a good reason to use an executive summary. But one slide that I have found very useful is attraction teaser. And what I mean by this is included an actual short, concise traction slide that validates your company and that gets people excited about what's to come. Remember, they're coming in without knowing the context of your business. They aren't really sure what you do yet or how much money you make. The information you put here needs to be universally understood without context. They don't even know what your business model is. So for example, when we raised our 2016 round, we used our monthly revenue chart, which was pretty insane back then. And at a first glance, this already looks like a promising company just because it has great metrics. Now, do not use magnetic metrics here, sign-ups, downloads, installs, these are all irrelevant. Monthly, not cumulative revenue. Monthly revenue matters, monthly active users matter, and the story matters more than numbers have showed the last few months of traction to give context on how fast KPI has grown. Bar charts also work great for this. If you don't have a metric worth bragging about, then there's no need for this line, but also, think hard and whether you should actually be raising money now if you don't have that metric, another slide occasionally used as part of the entries that team slide. I'm not a particular fan of this approach because I think it breaks the story a little bit. Also, an early teams like really matters when you have this rockstar team made up of serial entrepreneurs with some exits under their belt. That's honestly never been the case for me yet. So I never felt it was worth talking about the team so early in the deck. Alright, so now that we're through the cover, Let's move on to the status quo section. 10. The Status Quo Section : Let's get into contexts now, this is probably the first real contents slide in your pitch deck. Investors expect this slide if you look at the examples that we've referenced, all of them started their story with a problem slash opportunity slides. So this slide describes what problems you've identified in the market. What have you discovered that other companies haven't? Why hasn't this problem been solved? Why? Because this is what triggers great companies. Most great companies solve global problems were solved. Taxes, Slack, solve excess, emails and meetings, Dropbox, salt sinking files across devices. There's a bit of an aha moment if you get this slide right, it happens to me sometimes when I founded pitches me and they point this annoyance, this inefficient process, this problem that they experienced regularly, that IOS of experience that's just standing right in front of me. That is so obvious and yet I haven't seen it. So this is like an make your whole pitch fall apart that early it happens when you come up with a questionable statement that the investor can't get behind. If they disagree with you about this premise, then you might lose them right here. For example, I come across a fair share of social neatest items that begin their problem slide by saying, current social media platforms are boring. That's an opinion, not a fact. You don't want to get into an argument at this point. So back when it's light beam was just the presentation product and early version of our deck said, most PowerPoint slides suck, which is still think is true, but it wasn't strong enough to get this universal agreement with investors. Somebody who might be a designer or rather, somebody might not have noticed how bad PowerPoint slides actually suck. Some people might just love PowerPoint for some reason. So we eventually had to switch that first line. Two, people waste hours on PowerPoints and the average PowerPoint work session is four hours. This is something more people can get behind and there's a fact fear with an actual source. So I like to keep problems slides to three or four statements that describe the problem. If you look at the example is we're using for this course, you'll see that most of them follow a very similar approach, three or four statements. Uber is pitch deck. For example, you have two problems, lies, one for the customer and one taxi drivers and the whole medallion system. And that's perfectly valid as well. So like I said, some companies aren't necessarily solving a problem, but rather tackling a business opportunity that has arisen. Examples here on mobile games, for example, which certainly don't solve a problem. They just tackle this opportunity of everybody having a mobile phone. The same advice for some social networks. You can write all you want about what's wrong with current social media. But until you prove that you can build something that steals time away from the reds that take talks, the Instagram's of the world, your problem or your business opportunities statements have very little relevance. Out of the examples I mentioned, BuzzFeed doesn't have a problem or a business opportunity slide for that matter, it's really an exception. So once again, keep in mind short and None debatable statements validated by facts, not my opinion. Okay, let's talk about the solution slide. Think of the solution slide as a mirror to the problems like remember, this is the plot twist in this story. This is where you break the status quo. And I love know Airbnb is example of the solution slide has the actual, the same three statements almost precisely reversed. Great solution slides are also short and concise. They don't involve technology or features. It's not time to talk about the product yet. We're just presenting our thesis. What if instead of doing things This way, we do things with this other whole new approach. Dare I say this light is easier to solve than the problem slide, as long as your problem statements are solid. Now, an important point here is you should focus on talking about what your product is and what it will be in the near months, not into future years. You might have a long-term ambitious vision of what your company and your product and become. But it's important to be realistic about what's going to happen soon, what your product already is, and ensure that premise is a solid business case. Remember, this is a pixel to raise money to fund your journey to the next fundable milestone, which should happen in the course of 18, 24 months. So while that long-term vision is important, talking about things that can happen in that time frame can be a dangerous distraction. So let's look at the intercom example and see if we can improve or reformulates the problems. Solution combination. This is their current problem slide. This is the problem slide that they used. In my opinion, it's a little long. There's a decent chance somebody reading it will focus only on this bold text and skip were just quickly skim through the rest of the content. Intercom was founded in 2011, so it's important to take that into consideration when they refer to problems that they solve. So building meaningful relationships with customers is hard impossible for SaaS providers. And then there's a clarification that meaningful relationship means profitable customers and organic growth. Okay. Next statement says, building relationships requires customer discovery and customer research, customer communication and relationship management. That's actually a pretty solid statement. Then the current tools available are complex, ineffective, not built for SaaS. There's no one tool for customer relationship management. Okay, I think that we're getting there. Last, even email fails, generating targeted email lists takes a lot of work. You know, campaigns have terrible engagement because e-mails are out of context. So the problem statement for Intercom is, it's actually incredible. It's there they need that these companies have or had before they existed. I just think that this slide could have been solved better. So mine would look something like this problem. Engaging Sass customers is a broken process. That's just the heading statement1. Customer success requires a discovery, research, communication, and relationship management statement to email onboarding campaigns struggled to engage customers. Most emails are being sent out of context. Truly contextual EMOs require intense development work and integration. And finally, there's no one tool for customer relationship management. Every piece of the process is handled by separate or custom-built solutions. As you can see, it's overall the same message, but I've tried to summarize it a bit. I also used the subheading option to start with a statement that conceptualizes everything that I'm going to talk about in this slide. It refers to the SaaS. So I'm clearing that out from the heading. Now let's look at the solution. This is the original. To me. I think this gets too much into Features again, let's try to answer those original problem statements. So my solution is actually this whole different approach with a diagram that connects all of these things together. So essentially what Intercom does become this all in one platform. We don't need to describe it. We are using that visual to answer that parts. And then we're pointing to those core four integrations that directly connect with our original problem statements without getting into too many details about what they are that's going to come later. Let me give you another example. I picked the I built for recurring and platform that we're working on building. So let's, let me pitch it to you using the problem and the solution slides. Look what I did here. I once again use the heading for an initial statements. Sas ops are not available. So the average SMB uses pointy too. Soft stools, spends $200 thousand a year in SAS effect statement with a source. I didn't include it because it was a competitor, but it doesn't seem ludicrous anyway. There's no real-time centralized oversight of the stack leading to duplicate and orphaned subscriptions. Now if our pitching this, I would add to some of my own experience and comments on SMB executives usually busy growing their business. And you often learn about these people get platforms months after they had been built. When you actually look at the P&L or the books, which are usually delayed a couple of months. So last, current, SaaS solutions are focused on businesses with over a 100. And please, we're not saying that there aren't any platforms available to solve this. It's just that they're focused on bigger companies. And then there's another problem slide which adds some more context with some extra statements and facts. Now, for the solution, we're tackling those statements with answers. It's enough to know what we're doing, what we're looking to build, but not necessarily how it works and how it's going to look. And that's okay. So in the end with these slides are meant to do is pique your attention, spark your investors curiosity. How does it look like? How does it work? Tune into the next slide. In your case, tune into the next chapter. 11. The Product Section : So now we're talking about the product and we founders, we love to talk about the product, but we kind of need to restrain ourselves here, Here's some approaches to doing this. First, you can do screenshots, you might do to four slides with large screenshots of your interface. And don't just put the screenshots there. Get them inside a laptop or a nice iPhone mock-up. And there's a platform called places that lets you do that automatically. And you can finish this slide off with a bit of text or a note above the feature that you're referring to that you're showing on the slide. Another approach is a demo. That could be a video demo, which would make sense, but it might not guarantee that investors will see it. Don't forget our mantra. Investors will spend three or four minutes on your deck and they might not be willing to hit that Play button knowing that a demo will take probably a minute or two, in my opinion, that that should be readable as a presentation and getting video in there could break that if you're making it Meeting Deck, it's perfectly fine to leave a slight blank that says demo and just exit the presentation and go and demo the product yourself. Another option 3 would be a how does it work diagram and that's an excellent option to showcase how something works. In one or two slides, you can make a shortlist that gives the reader a step-by-step process on how the platform works. And this would have been useful on the Uber deck, for example, where they could have broken down the steps to getting and write something like open up and request rides app uses GPS to find the nearest driver writes a destination rate. Your experience, of course, oversimplifying the steps, but that is the idea. Take the highlights and use them to explain something complex. In our example for recurring step-by-step approach would be something like this. Step one, forward an invoice or connect the accounting system. Step 2, a dashboard is generated with default expense categories. Step three, Get Smart Insights about your stack. Step four, requests this gowns or canceled directly from the dashboard. I've already made a mix of approach 1 and approach three for those lies, but I feel that message gets across. Now these slides are probably not going to be too different from your marketing landing pages. You can probably get some inspiration. They are even 12. Feature/Benefits Slide: Another slide commonly included in this section is a feature slash benefits slide, which is meant to lay out some core functionality about the product or the service. I'd like to keep this to five or six benefits tops. And notice that I keep using the word benefit instead of the word feature. A feature would be slightly and as fully responsive. A benefit would be you can edit your presentations anywhere, even on your phone or on the go. You see how by removing the jargon and adding your real life use scenario, the statement suddenly becomes more impactful and more relatable. In our example is Uber was really the only deck that included a proper features slash benefits slide. If you choose to add it, makes sure that you keep it simple and pretty also don't abuse the number of slides if you end up using this line, makes sure that the whole section, the whole product section doesn't take over much time in your deck. In the end, when the investors care about the product, they care more about the numbers. 13. Audience/Use Case Slide: Now for the audience or use cases slide, you'll see that this line is not included in any of the decks and we analyzed, but I think it's an absolutely critical slide, especially if you're a seed or series a company. The idea with this slide is proving that you understand who the product is for. So many companies don't know the answer to this question, and this is a typical deal breaker. There are two ways to approach it. First, talking about audience, think of the concept of a user persona, imagining who your customer is. I'll tell you hours. I would guess that you are in the process of starting a company or maybe you haven't already. You're probably mail and you're late 20s or 30s, probably from a business or marketing background, maybe a developer, but less likely, definitely watch YouTube. You're on Twitter and don't You should we, and you follow Elon Musk four years ago, I would have been pretty sure that you are based in North America, but these days you might be based in India or maybe Southeast Asia, the UK, Germany, Australia, maybe Nigeria. If I were to find a stock photo to represent our user persona, it would be something like this. So how was that? They wanted this as we understand archetypical customer, we understand who we speak to and who we sell to. And that is an incredibly important milestone for accompany means that you can target your growth efforts better. It means that you can choose which channels to use for advertising. It means knowing whose opinion counts more for your product road-map decisions. You can use this line to brag with something similar, profiling this user persona. Another approach here is talking about use cases. If your product is somewhat complex, perhaps, say a B-to-B technology for enterprise, it can be really hard to get a grip on what you do. So showing a use case is a great way to approach it. A good use case lays out specific examples of how a company could improve a particular process or optimize a particular metric. A great use case takes on a real case example of one of your customers and lays out some metrics and a short story of how the product was used to close the deal and to improve that metric. 14. Business Model Slide: Now on the business model, this is one of the easiest slides to solve, and one of the slides that many entrepreneurs just get wrong. It's simple. How do you make money? Let's say your product is a subscription. You don't need to lay on every single plan and its ins and outs. In my experience, those are going to change regularly as you experiment with different combinations, just tell us it's a subscription and it costs this much with or without trial. Done. Is it a product or a service? Tell us what the price is, maybe the average order size and give us an idea of margins. This 830% or 60 percent margin product that applies to e-commerce as well. Is it a marketplace? What percentage do you charge for transaction and percent. Okay, that's it. Done. Keep it simple. This slide is not about projections. It's not about how much money you could make if you get a million customers. It's about how you make money. Some companies use a mix of different business models, but there's no need to lay out the full scope of things here. Try to limit this to two, maybe three sources of revenue and don't get into too many details about the ins and outs. What do you want to do is offer something that's simple and clear and answer fundamental questions in the meeting that this pitch deck might get you. 15. Milestone & Roadmap Slide: Last but not least, for the product section, we have the milestones and road-map slide. And I think this led functions as a great bridge between the product, what it is, how much it costs, and what's coming, which is the numbers and the traction, the market sector. Me and ideal roadmap slide goes over some of the major highlights in your product evolution and your company history. And then it talks about what you intend the product to become over the next few months in this recurring product, I mentioned, while the current product is a tracking dashboard for SaaS subscriptions, the long-term vision is to have recurring unifies subscriptions in a single billing system which would allow companies to subscribe with recurring using a single credit card, any single billing date, rather than putting their card across every single platform. It's an ambitious goal and definitely not where the product is today, but absolutely we planned it to go. So the roadmaps line is perfect not only to talk about that vision, but also to offer a perspective on when that could happen. A very important, we are not making financial projections yet. This is the product sections when we're talking about product division, not numbers yet, don't get revenue projections mixed up in here for hardware or medical companies that are not likely to generate any revenue until an extensive and years long and expensive R&D process, then this roadmap slide is really critical. And with that, we are done with the product section. In the next chapter, we're going to explore the market section, showcasing a bragging about your numbers and more importantly, proving that the extra money will add fuel to this rocket ship. 16. The Market Section: Remember this section should answer how much you're growing and will you continue to grow? We talked about it earlier on. Not all companies can raise money. Not all companies should raise venture capital. It's only the highly scalable, fast growing startups that should approach investor money. Suppose you're having trouble proving your fast growth. Are you having trouble showing that there's a $1 million market opportunity in that case. This section is for you, but if you continue to have trouble solving these lines, maybe you want to take a step back and consider if this is the right time to find an investor or to raise money for your business, or even if this is the right business to raise money for. Okay, so the traction slide, this is a slide about numbers. Think of a number as a photo and think of a chart as a story, as a film, saying that you've made a million dollars in revenue. Sounds cool, but what we really want to know is your journey, getting there. How much of that revenue came in the last month? How much was that compared to the previous month and the one before, what breakthroughs did you make that completely changed that the inclination of that chart. There's no faking attractions like it is what it is. And that's why it's so important. Remember, we're in the market section. Subtraction here should also be discussed in the context of what sales, marketing or growth campaigns are truly bringing results. For example, attractions type for a company like ours would definitely touching revenue. But that story on revenue curve is absolutely connected to a content marketing milestones. Our first SEO, google ranking breakthroughs and a recent success on YouTube. Traction is by all means an intro to the next slide, which is the go to market slides. And this pair of slides is essentially saying that this is how much money we're making and this is how we are doing it. And in the end, raising money is all about showing that you understand your growth, where it's coming from and of course, how it's going to accelerate with the capital that you're raising. Once you have covered the numbers, you can also highlight stuff like customers, maybe large recognizable companies that have become your customers and be ready to talk about how you brought them in with a special focus on making it clear, you can get more companies like them to convert to your customers. And before we go to the next slide, a word of caution. Don't use vanity metrics. What's vanity metric? You ask when they meet sign-ups or downloads time on platform, total messages posted. Those are vanity metrics. It has no context and it's just a large number. Then you can brag about investors know what they can smell it and they can smell the bullshit on it. Numbers that do matter. Our monthly active users for example, or sessions per user per month, or time per user per month, or percentage of users that become active or paid customers. The KPIs for each company are different. So this slide is also an opportunity to show that you understand which metrics matter to your business. 17. Go-To-Market Slide: Now it's getting to the go-to market slide. How will this money that you are about to raise accelerate the growth of your company? And we can answer this question by covering these parts. What have you done to get here? What are you doing that shows promise and what are you going to do next? Remember, rounds of capital usually fund 18 to 24 months worth of operations. So what we're looking for here is a growth plan, a marketing plan on how you're going to get your company to the next fundable milestone. The most common mistake I see on go-to-market slides is like a focus. I can't count the number of go-to-market slides. Say, hey, we're gonna do social media and SEO and influencer marketing. That's what everybody's doing. It doesn't make you special. On the contrary, it makes you generic. It says that you will be spreading yourself too thin, spending money on crowded marketing channels are channels that don't yield short-term results unless you're an expert on them. A great Go to Market slide talks about two, maybe three very clear, very specific channels that you're using to grow your customer base and that you will continue to use in the future. So to answer those three questions, what have you done to get here? What are you doing that shows promise? And what are you going to do next? For question one, talked about current sales and marketing channels. How are you getting your customers? Is it sales? Is that ads? Are they finding you or are you cold, calling them? Cold, emailing them? Is it word of mouth? Show that you know what your best source of new business currently is. For question 2, ideally, you're going to have a key marketing channel that's already driving most of your revenue. And then hopefully already worked on autopilot. And then a second channel that's already showing promise. That's a fantastic musician to be in. The second channel shows that you and your team are creative and productive enough to constantly look for new distribution methods. And it's also proved that there will be places to deploy the additional money that you're raising. And then of course, for question 3, you'll need to talk about what you're going to do next. How much money is going to each of these channels? Who are you hiring to run them? How does your team looked like in six months and then in 12 months, to which milestone do you grow? Remember, your round of funding should get your company to the next fundable milestone, using software as a service. As an example, you're expected to have the money to last at least until a series a, assuming that you're raising a seed round. Watson series a for a SaaS company, it's $2 billion in annual Margaret period. Investors won't even give you a meeting if you haven't reached $2 million in annual rubbery. So make sure that your go to market gives you enough fuel to get there. 18. Market Size Slide: Last but not least, in this section, we have the market size slide. And the question this slide answers is, how big does this company get? In the previous slide, we already talked about how big this company is getting over the next year or so, but now it's time to answer how big this is company get Ever total. The concept of that is tab or Total Addressable Market, but it's a bit four into many of us. And what this TAM, mean? Well, again, it's about how big this company gets, how much revenue would it make if it had all of its target customers? That is tan. So going back to that SAS example, your market is not the SAS markets. That's a $200 billion market these days. But it doesn't matter how big the SAS market is saying that you own 1% of the market is just terrible, terrible, terrible rookie mistake. Your time is also not the size of the problem for healthcare startups, for example, it's not the amount of money wasted on x or y process or medication. You are not earning that money. Your company is not worth that. Solving the problem and charging a fee for it. So you approach calculating TAM by estimating how many people or how many companies would pay for your product using our new product recurring, again, a SAS expense dashboard. Who does it target companies. What kind of companies? Any company know, small businesses, even more specific companies with ten to 100 and please, okay, So any company with that size know, maybe it's companies in particular country or region. Maybe it's companies with a certain amount of revenue. It's also companies that mostly employed people on desktops and that are likely to have a bunch of software subscriptions for them. Now that's more specific. Okay, so how big does this company get? Well, we expect the average annual subscription price for the tool to be around $600 times the number of companies. That gives us TAM, total addressable market to previous slides become absolutely critical here. First, of course, the business model. You have to understand how much money you will be making from each one of your customers. And second, the target audience slide. If you're not really sure about what your customer is, then this TAM number can become astronomically high and that's usually bad news. So you have to really be sure about what your pricing is and who your customers are. So this slide is all about showing your work, showing how you came to these conclusions. The data sources, the filters of the types of companies that you can target, the types of customers that you can target, show the math behind your ten startups are exciting to investors if they're TAM, is at least in a hundreds of millions of dollars. Again, it's not about inflating the numbers. It's about this self-assessment. Is my company potential significant enough to get venture capital investors excited? Not all companies can grow that big and that's okay. Just know which type of company you are and which investor you can target. One of the managing partners of Dream Adventures, Steve bars is a regular guest in or channel, YouTube channel and the different tasks that video explaining this, I have linked in the description of this episode for you to review in the following chapters, we will be getting to the climax of this pitch story. How are you better and how are you going to beat everybody else in this market? 19. The Why Us Section: Let's talk about sealing the deal. If you have an investor's attention all the way through here, it's now a matter of proving yourself, your ideas, your unique insights into the market and your experience. So starting with the competitive landscape slide, most companies will have competitors coming out with a competitor slide that says that you have no competition at all. Usually represents a red flag. I was on the phone with this company of their day and they were speaking about how there's nobody else doing what they do. And by this weird coincidence, I knew accompany that directly competed with them. It had been a profitable company for awhile and hadn't raised a lot of investor cash. So it was easy to miss or to dismiss on CrunchBase. But it exists that and it was growing and I knew about it. If this happens with one of your investors, you can pretty much give up on that lead. There's nothing worse than showing that you did. Research out of the pitch decks that we referenced. Uber is probably a good example of an exception to this world when they came to market, there was nobody literally nobody doing what they were looking to do. Their competitors were taxi cab companies, but of course, this was a completely different thing and that is a rare exception for the rest of us. Chances are we will be coming into a market where there are a few competitors out there and we believe we have the capacity to steal a piece of their market away. Now, when you talk about competitors, more than comparing features, more than comparing what your pricing is. It's about showing that there's something that you understand about the market that they don't seem to get yet. And that's what makes great companies unique insights that you discovered that these established competitors haven't figured out yet. So to me, there are three approaches to building a competitor slide. First, going with a business 101 chart. That's this basic to access chart where you have, you know, two variables, one horizontal, one vertical. It could be maybe cheap versus expensive or integrated versus not integrated, automated versus manual. And this light in a pixel was by all means coined by Steve Jobs when he first introduced the iPhone. There's one little detail though. This was a live presentation. It was a Demo Day pitch deck, if you will. And I overall theme of these slides work best when somebody is standing in front of them. They're not as self-explanatory as other approaches. So I've stopped recommending them using them for email decks specific. Now, the second approach here is a simple feature chart. And I think these work great for tools where competitors are rather similar to each other. So if you wanted to start a unknown project management product, you would definitely need a chart comparing you to Asana and to click up into Monday and to Trello. Because all of those are pretty similar to each other. And those key features that one platform has and not the other are the features that give you that competitive edge. A third approach is to do as simple competitors summary. And what I mean by this is listing 34 competitors on the slide, along with a small commentary about them. I also often list maybe the number of employees or the amount of money that they have raised, which you can easily find them CrunchBase pen on LinkedIn, that it helps bring some perspective about how the market looks and how excited other investors were about your competitors. In many ways, it could validate that there's a very much alive market opportunity with so many companies try and concrete. And if you're going with this third approach, it's likely that you'll need the next slides to elaborate a bit more on what makes you different and unique. And that is the competitive advantages slide. So we often call this slide the secret sauce as well. It's this bragging slide for sure where you show that you're the best positions company to kill those competitors. Take a look at Airbnb slide as a reference. So they highlighted that they were first to market first market advantage. They highlighted their profile system, the list1 system, which weren't available on Craigslist for CouchSurfing at the time. These were not direct competitors, but they weren't the market doing something similar. Now, this secret sauce slide can be used to talk about patents or maybe unique factors in your technology, unique players in your supply chain overall, anything that makes you unique. And last, in this section, we have seen another slide that I see founders struggle with a lot. I have this thesis that the founding team on a startup needs to have the skills to get the company to a million dollars in revenue without external help. Now if you're building an app, then to get to a million dollars in revenue, you need marketing, development to x and business and operation skills. If you're building a B2B SaaS platform targeting enterprise, they need products, business development, and sales. If you're building an end-user hardware company, then you need TAC, which is both software and hardware he'd experienced with manufacturing at scale. You didn't marketing, and you'd Operations and Logistics Experience. I can't count the amount of texts that I've seen where the current team doesn't have the necessary skills to reach scale. You don't raise money to recruit people. That's part of the challenge. You form a team with little to no money. And this proves that there's a group of madman like you willing to quit their day jobs to pursue this, even if capital and salaries are inserted, showing that you were able to form this early team and they didn't understand these skills that are needed. An absolute question mark investors expect to clear out with this slide. So the face is in the slide, need to represent those basic set of skills. And ideally those skills should be contained within you and your co-founders. But if one of those skills say your CMO Chief Marketing Officer is not a co-founder. He or she should still be on this slide. It's not about your advisors unless your investors know who the advisor is. I0 there, a celebrity or the investor is connected to them on LinkedIn, then it would not waste any space on advisors. Advisors, they're great, they're useful, but chances are they'll be spending what, one or two hours a month working with you. This company is going to be built by its core team, the founders, and that is the people that we care about in this slide. At this point, your investors should be sold. Don't have decided that they want to invest or not, but they have definitely decided if this, they feel excited about this business, that climax of this three-act story should have happened by now. Maybe it's in your secret sauce light. Maybe it's your team slide. Maybe the peak of the story happened in your traction or your insanely creative go to market strategy, but the deed should be done by now. So find your strongest argument and build your deck around that climates. And now that we're done with the exciting part, it's time to ask for money. So in the next chapter, we will talk about the asset section, what to do, how to solve it, and how not to mess up what you have achieved so far. 20. The Ask Section: Now for the asset section, you'll notice that many of the decks that we used as examples don't include an asset section, and they probably did have one. And the company has just decided to leave it out of the version of the main available online, which is totally fair. But the Outlook section is made up of two slides mainly. So let's start with financials. So the financials slide is very straightforward if you've been operating, we want to see the last financial year of data and then for every 13 or five years worth of projections for your company, What's going to happen next? So we want a simple table with your SG&A, your cost of goods sold, your Capex and revenue with a final profit margin and percentage number. That's it. Simple, one would say, yes, simple if you've done your homework on financial modeling, it's not just random numbers of the top of your head. If you get a meeting with your pitch deck, investors will want to dive deep into the assumptions that drove those numbers and you will need to show your math. So showing your work means that you ran a spreadsheet with your projections for Teams, salaries, platforms, expenses, and revenue based on these go-to-market plans and what do you expect to pay to acquire customers. So those campaigns that you talked about on the go-to-market, it's like need to be modeled into the spreadsheet so that as you add more budget, revenue grows, ideally using historical performance as a reference. And if this sounds like a mess, It's because it is a bit of a mess, but by no means impossible to graphs. I learned how to do financial modeling while running slight being on the go. So I'm pretty sure you can as well. So we could spend another hour, probably morning talking about spreadsheets. And trust me, I love to talk about spreadsheets, but that's not really the scope of this course. Lucky for you, we have published a bunch of financial modelling tutorials on YouTube, which you'll be able to watch for free because they were huge and we also have free and paid financial model templates that you can download it. All those links are in the description of this chapter for an e-mail deck with investors want to ensure with this slide is that you are aligned in your expectations for the company in you in year five ze, plan to make a million dollars in revenue. You probably too small for venture capital if you expect to make $1 billion than probably something's wrong with your math, no company can grow that fast. Okay, so final slide, people. Finally, the fundraising slide should cover how much money you're raising. And to be super clear about what the next fundable milestone is, the one we've talked about. So a seed round is supposed to last until the series a closing around. It takes about six months. So this round should be enough for you to get too serious a status plus an extra six months or so to close the new round of funding, you'll see a lot of decks that talk about, Hey, this round funds 18 months worth of operation. That's not necessarily a bad slide, as long as the math behind that number responds to a fundable milestone. It's not about time, it's about metrics. And also, I like to include a pie chart on this slide, which is a simple distribution of the use of funds and you can use categories for your expenses like growth are indeed operations. Our financial model template actually solve this part for you. So you just need to get the number, put it in there. Please. Don't use salaries as a category. They're not a category. Developer's salaries should be part of the R and D budget, marketing team salaries to be part of the growth budget, your salary as CEO should probably a part of the operating expenses. And so if you have any commitments for many investors to invest, it's expected that you include some of the terms here and of course, how much of the round is actually committed. If you haven't secured any funding yet, then I would really leave terms out so that you can have some room to discuss and to negotiate. The first check you get is going to be the hardest, you'll see. But after that, filling the rest of the round is going to get easier. And with that, we are done with the content of the deck. So in the next chapter, I'm just gonna go over a few tips and the design. And then I'm going to show you a couple of decks that I've built using everything that I know and everything that I've just taught you. 21. Final Notes : Alright, so here are some final thoughts on the content and the design stuff to keep in mind as you begin writing. First for the context. For each slide, do your absolute best to stay below a 100 words are on 500 characters. Any slide above that will look overcrowded and trust me, people don't read them. Don't be afraid to allow your audience to breathe by separating your sections with a clean slide is your status quo section is maybe five slides. Don't be afraid to add a breather slide to begin the new section. It's, maybe it's called solution and just give some space between this section, someone came up with the rule that you should limit the number of slides. Again, forget it. 30 clean slides are way better than 10 overcrowded slides. What you should learn to limit is the time you spend on the deck or somebody has to spend to read the deck, not the number of slides. Still less is more and don't fill in each decorate the slide if an image is necessary to make the point, go ahead and add it. If not, words are just fine. Now some tips for design. If you must use images, please don't use stock photos like these. The solution to this is called Unsplash, and it's perfect. Millions of royalty-free images that don't look like stock photo. You can also illustrate the slides with icons. We use a platform called the Noun Project, which also has millions of icons. What's great is you can download the document any size you want without a background and in any color you want, so you can make that match your presentation theme. Speaking of theme and color palettes, they make a lot of difference if your brand has a brand book, stick to it. Most brand books these days even include a replacement to black because black is such a harsh color for a deck. And most brands these days used this dark gray tone that blends a lot better at with any of the other colors. If you don't have a brand book to follow, use Adobe Color lets you browse millions of color palettes and pick the field of the debt before you even start making it. And once again, stick to it. Never pick random colors from the color wheel. Or even worse, those god awful default colors on your presentation building in regards to Funds, understand what funds are used for, for body text, you can use serif or sans-serif or slab fonts. Please don't use delivery. It's the default funds for most Microsoft Office versions. And it reads, I didn't bother to change the default font. Don't make any text smaller than 16 because that's too small for presentation. Another random tip, track your slides, send your presentation using a link so that you can remove, access, update your slides, and most importantly, track of your investors are actually reading through the whole deck. One detail to keep an eye on is the time per slide. If you have a slide that takes 30 seconds to read, but investors are spending ten seconds on it. You need to change the slide just like an AB test, that website AB test and measure the performance of your deck. And that's a shameless plug time. Our platform lets you do this as well as recommends the right funds and the right color palettes. And you can magically grab your branding from your website. I'm going to include a link with three free month on our platform if you're not a member already. So you can put all this in practice. And if you want a more passive approach, you can also book our team to help with the design of the slides about the content. We can help with that as well. But after this course, I believe that you should be amazing. Lee prepared to do this very well on your own. So to wrap it up, I am going to walk you through one of our current slide deck so you can see how I approach making these lines. I'm going to cover two decks. First, the deck for a platform that we're building called recurring, which were pitching as a standalone product and matches much better at what a traditional deck looks like. And then I'm going to make sure if the actual slide being thoughtful, which is a much more complex deck, which had me kind of break many of the rules that I talked about here. So let me show you these are the slides that we made for this product called recurring and we're about to release. Notice that on the cover here we have just the logo and take control of your SAS expenses in just a little bit of an intro on the brand. Okay, so I'm starting with the teams light here. And the reason why I started with teams like these, because Recurring is really a branch of an established company which is quite B. And by showing the team first were bragging that this company is already established, that we have a team that we pay for and then we're profitable. So and again, we're sort of establishing what we are already. So it's like being, we know startups to help seed stage companies, raise capital from investors. We have over $2 million, over $2.5 million in annual run rate as of January 2021. And we'd have been growing 40 percent year on year profitably. Okay. So the problem sounds, are not available to small businesses. So the average SMB uses 42 SaaS tools and spends over $200 thousand a year, and this is continuing to grow. There's no real time centralized oversight of the software stack, which leads to duplicate an orphaned tools and current sounds on solutions aren't focused on businesses with over a 100 employees. If you're not familiar with the concept of SAS, ofs, by the way, it's mainly this centralized tool dashboard set of services to control access and remove and include people in your sense tools. So on average, there are 3.6 duplicate apps per company to 0.6 orphaned subscriptions per company. $200 thousand worth of annual spend for small businesses and on average, around 17 SaaS tools per employee. And this again just continues to grow as more companies adopt SaaS platforms. Once their solution, the first one, it's a real-time expense SAS Dashboard. You can learn which tools are being actually used by your team. You can identify services with duplicate functionality and those get, you can cancel them with a single click from the platform. And then you can get recommendations from expense optimization or just finding popular alternatives. And other companies like yours are using. And, and how does this work? Super simple. You just connect to your QuickBooks or your 0 counts, or you can auto forward your receipts from your email. Our algorithm will automatically parse them and classify all these expenses. And you'll get a fully functional dashboard with access to all your expenses, with the ability again, to cancel them, to optimize those expenses. So who's our target customer? It started with ten to a 100 employees that don't have an IT department in these companies, the SaaS expenses are usually managed by the CEO or by the CEO or maybe an operations manager. Okay, so now let's talk about business model. The business model is super, super simple. We have a $0 basic service for small companies with under threshold of expenses. And we intend to include a recommendation engine. So as we recommend tools to customers, we have the opportunity to offer sponsor tools in that spirit, in that place. But the main business model is going to be our 49 to a 149 subscription, just the normal SAS depending on the company size. Now, the real potential for this product for us is what comes later, which is, we're calling it a 2 solution, which is smart building. So the idea here is that we can unify all of your SaaS subscriptions into a single payment. So with this, you'll be able to have, for example, user management. You can quickly exclude or include users as you hire or you have to let go of employees so that you'd have to manually go and remove them for each SAS platform. For companies like us, that is a real problem these days. We also have advanced spend optimization was weak because we can do annual plan brokerage. We can negotiate better options and even credit options. So we call these options subscribe with recurring. So the idea here is we can have a centralized subscription management system where you can upgrade and downgrade and manage all your users from a single dashboard. Again, this is not available today for companies, our size. So what's our rollout plan? We started developing this in late 2020. We have basic invoice tracking and categorization. The first beta was live by April 2021 with multi-currency support and our basic alert system, QuickBooks and 0 integrations came in Q2 and Q3. We're going to be solely focused on beta testing as we opened the data to the public. And then we expect to launch in Q4, 2020 one. Now on the go-to-market plans. Now, this is our secret sauce here. So if you want to think of the climate of this deck, it probably comes here. So why? Because our monthly brand reach as slightly in is around 35000 symptoms. That's around 1 million organic views through YouTube channel and over 350 thousand visits to a website. All of this organic. So we are really, really good at content marketing and we're uniquely positioned with an established brand to beat any of the other competitors simply because we just come with a stronger arm to adopt these customers. As for the market, there are 875 thousand firms in the US with one to a 100 employees, specifically focused on professional information, scientific and technical services. So essentially office desk jobs. So that means that we're looking at a market opportunity of around $430 million just in the US, assuming our average of $500 annual report company. As we expand the worldwide, we have the unique advantage of not relying on any bank integration. So we can essentially work on any country if, if people are using the QuickBooks, the zeros, or the email forwarding integrations. So we intend to target countries like the UK and India, some other countries in Southeast Asia where we already have a very, very strong presence with our currents like being brand as for the competitors. And we sort of classify competitors into two large groups. We have enterprise companies that target enterprise, which are not direct competitors, but they simply exist and they provide this SAS OB solution for companies that size. But companies trying to do the same thing for companies with a 100 or a 100 employees, we only have Coulomb SAS card is Lori and subsequently semester pronounce bickering some better name. So looking at the competitors in the under a 100 employee space, those three companies are all rather new. They're using similar approaches to integrate with their tools. But our unique advantages there are that we're, we're entering this fragmented market where none of these companies are really established. The role of either knew they raised some initial seed funding, but we are coming with a much stronger marketing and brand recognition. And it's of course, being run by this experienced team that already run a successful SAS platform. And we're fidgety people on the team as of today. So the team behind this is the same team behind slightly in all three of us, we bootstrapped the company early on. We raised our initial round of funding, forced by IV 2014. We have operated profitably since 2018, and now we're sort of taking in this new venture of this new product that we figured that we could sell to our audience. Now on financial projections, we are being aggressive about expansion because we really understand this market. We've done it before. We understand how fast that product and grow. We understand how much money is needed. And more importantly, we already have the established user base to position this product. So as we approach racing were raising an $8 million Series a round. This is just an example. We're not raising right now, but I'm just using a number 4 for say, for example, sake. So we're supposedly raising an $8 million Series a round to focus aggressively on the expansion of recurring and dislike being hub, we have 25 percent of the men committed fake. But just as good example to have a good approach in a slide. And more importantly, we're expecting and $50 million annual run rate by the end of 2023. Remember, it's about milestones, not about time. And this is revenue, just, sorry, this is expense distribution on a pie chart to the end and that is the recording deck. Okay. So let me walk you guys through the current site being deck. We're at pitch that company. So of course, solving our own pitch deck is this bigger challenge. We are not really raising money at the moment. So this is not a deck that is intended to be sent to investors really. I rarely send it as some investor. Maybe we get another conversation as we're getting to know each other. When the idea here is I'd like to connect with investors early on, even before we are raising money. So we can have that Rolodex ready for when we are actually raising money. So I, I, many of them reach out to us today, discover around, and I just take those calls and sometimes I send the pitch stick as a follow-up to the call. So the challenge with slightly with the way the company is structured today is that the company does a lot of things. He does a lot of things for the same audience, but it does a lot of things and it's divided into separate branches. So the way, the way we approached building this deck was separating those branches into problem solution combinations. It's by all means, breaking the rules, breaking the rules that I've just talked about. But I think it's a good example of kinda solving in more complex company that link. So let me walk you through the slides quickly. So we have an intro slide being we help startups succeed. And they have a history on the company. As a company started as he presentation platform, trying to replace PowerPoint evolved into a pitch deck platform for startups. And now it's more of a fundraising platform for startups and an all encompassing hub. So bragging a little bit with trucks. And this is an intro, intro traction slide just showing how the company has grown over the past few quarters. It's 43 percent year-on-year growth and 25 percent profit margin. We've been operating profitably. So that's another one thing that I wanted to brag about early on. Okay, so problem, first-time entrepreneurs have a hard time navigating the complex ecosystem of starting a business. Only Selectric of companies have access to the advice and guidance that experienced entrepreneurs or startup accelerators can provide. And yet, 6.5 million businesses will be established in 2020 or work was actually updated, sorry. And 500 thousand plus of them will seek angel or venture capital to fund their early stages. So that is really our target or the target for the initials vibing product, these 500 thousand plus companies that will try to raise angel capital. Okay, So solution, an integrated platform to assist small business owners that starts with slight being blue as a fundraising up for startups. It's like being Agency, which is a consulting for pitch, the consulting services for startups, study media, which is multi-channel business context, kinda like our content, content marketing arm. And then finally recurring sas hops platform that we just talked about. So again, I'm dividing each one of these in their own section, talking first about slight being hub. Here's a bit of a history on the product roadmap. So that is considered as a roadmap slide and kinda like the historical milestones. And notice how I'm getting into future releases over the next few months. It says after four years of focusing exclusively on the Presentation Builder, the company began developing satellite products to complement the pitch deck builder. And we have to understand these additional needs that customers have. So here's the builder with a demo, which I've advised against sometimes. But again, I'm not sending this deck as the first experience to our investors, usually after I've already having conversation with them. So rules don't necessarily apply here. And a little note on the side on the number of active customers there. Here's another one of the services that we provide as part of this hub, which is the financial modelling, you have around 2 thousand downloads per month. And this template, which sort of makes it a reference for a lot of these companies. And then finally, a bit of a roadmap again as how we are planning and developing this centralized hub. This is a very bad screenshot of the hub. By the way, it's just our own internal sort of workflow of how the flow is going to have the hubs going to work. But that's really under development right now, the kind of the evolution of the product. So I didn't have it here. Again, another reason why I don't usually send this deck. Basic business models slide with our different plans and how we're evolving from that into a current like all encompassing $29 a month plan as we kinda centralize all of these products into this hub. $1.5 million. And I don't run rate specific to the SaaS branch. And a bit of traction. So 42 NPS score, which is just fantastic NPS score, okay, It just talking a bit about the competitive landscape. Notice how in early stages of the company our competitors were, if our points to Google Slides, the keynotes of the world. And now they're most of these fundraising or, or toolkits for startups, F6 as in Guston life plans, I'm comparing any of the features there. Okay. So moving then into agency. Here's the story with that agencies that we began considering consulting services after irrelevant number of our SaaS customers started requesting additional services, manual services from us. And for the longest time we sort of pointed them deeper into the SaaS product before realizing that what they really wanted was like a consulting, like more hand-holding approach. So we always envisioned agency to operate as a sort of separate branch, obviously under the same brand, but a separate brand so that we would not be distracted from the SAS offering, which is of course the most profitable one. Still we came up with this hybrid system where part of the work is done by freelancers on a sort of like a white label approach. And part of it is done internally. So we manage, we do it internally because we still manage customer contact and we do the bulk of the work externally so that we can scale more quickly and we don't have to employ all of these designers. So we have spenders, slide redesign surveys. We have the pitch deck writing surveys, which starts at 1800. Financial modelling, cost financial modelling, and the average margin, beverage gross margin for most of these projects around 55 percent, which I think is pretty good for IT consulting. It's of course not as big as the SAS offering. So Q12, anything one that was 216 K in revenue, we're projecting to close this year with over a million dollars in revenue just for the agency branch, 210% year on year growth compared to the previous year. Here's have been in traction for the agency grants specifically. And then we move into the media, which is again the other branch, the other departments. So media sort of derives from our success on YouTube, are producing content. And we have a few experiments here in the process, as we, as we sort of accept that we are good at producing content and well, how far can that go? So media itself, just the combination of YouTube and some of the sponsored videos that we have in some of the other stuff that we're doing on a media is going to close 2021 with over $250 thousand in revenue, which doesn't sound like much in the broad context of the company. But it makes it like a self-sustaining business. It is a self-sustaining business. The study of media branch, it produces marketing content for slight beam. We make money from the customers that come from media. But needing itself is self-sustainable, which is a pretty magical combination. So some stuff in media traction, over a million monthly or getting views here and 50 thousand monthly or getting website visits and or five hundred, ten hundred newsletter subscribers. And then we move to recreate. I'm going to skip through the slides and recurring because it's pretty much the same slides then we already went through in the previous deck node is how I, since I used light being an I imported them, but they all sort of adopt it, the branding of this existing deck. So again, it's just skipping through all of those and going to KPIs and financial. So again, as I'm sort of wrapped up, by the way I approached this is for each one of these product branches, I talked about the problem solution combination of what they saw and a bit of the history of what they're solving, and a bit of the traction and the product and a bit of attraction. So it's like a self-sustained, self-contained DECT for each one of those categories. And notice how I separated each one of them with these breathers slides that I talked about. So sodomy has been growing profits and so it doesn't 18, adding some metrics here on the quarterly revenue, current business distribution and revenue distribution. And then moving into kinda like the average or the general competitive advantages for the company, which is of course our content margin to reach. That's by far our secret sauce. So you know how he converts organic video views and site traffic into what, over 45000 leads per month, which allows us to position these new products. And this, again, this hub offering and the recurring offering that is truly the slight been secret sauce. Again, going back to team members, 32 members, five in the US, 27 in Costa Rica. Founders and no fundraising sites because we're not fundraising. So I hope that gives you a good idea and a good perspective of how yes, breaking the rules is valid. I honestly don't know how long it took me to go through this that probably more than four minutes for sure. But remember, I'm pitching it to you rather than letting you read it on your own. But in general, uh, kinda like the last message I'm leaving you with, with this with this course is look at references. That's super important. Hopefully the references that we included are useful. We're gonna include download links in the description of this last chapter. So you can see you can download those decks for your reference. You can also pick them up and use them as a starting template. On the slide and platforms, if you want to use the say that BuzzFeed deck and just replace the content that's going to be available on our platform as well. Again, don't forget to experiment. Show your deck to people even if it's not, potential investors put your deck in front of people, figuring out how they react, ask them questions and understand if they understood this business idea, this business proposition. Don't forget the three questions. Your pitch that needs to answer. Make sure that those will recover it when you, when you're done, kind of take a step back, look at the slides and figure out if those questions were answered. I hope that this course was useful. We would love and appreciate if you share it around, if you leave us a good review. If you have any questions, shoot me a tweet. I'm going to put my Twitter handle over here of this useful and good luck with your pitch decks.