For Startups
June 19th, 2015

How to Create A Great Pitch Deck

By Julie Menter

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about what a good pitch deck looks like from the startups applying to the Innovation Fund. Here are a few of our favorite resources, amongst the great many you can find online.

A basic pitch deck should follow Guy Kawasaki’s 10/20/30 rule – this ensure you include all the important elements of a pitch, without being overwhelming. If you’re looking for details on what should go on each page, one of our favorite posts about pitch decks is Pascal Finette’s What Every Entrepreneur Should Learn About Pitching.

That’s it, look no further.

If you already have a deck and need some inspiration to take it to the next level, the links below can help you fine tune your pitch (this is by no means a requirement for the Innovation Fund):

  • Nextview ventures has put together a fairly exhaustive slide deck template, tailored specifically to seed-stage ventures. It’s a great resource, especially if you are not a powerpoint wizard.
  • If you’re looking for ideas on how to tell a story during your pitch, Jason Shen has identified 11 different pitch archetypes and outlined which kinds of startups should use which story outline.
  • We find the best practices above can apply to nonprofits as well as mission-driven for-profits. That said, Adele Waugaman’s tips on developing nonprofit pitch decks can be helpful as well.

Each investor is different so what do we care most about? When you boil it down, at New Media Ventures, we care most about the following 3 things:

  1. Just enough information. A pitch deck should contain only the essentials. We have limited time to review each deck and would rather be intrigued than overwhelmed.
  2. Clearly explain what you do, how you do it, and who you do it for. Sounds basic enough, right? This is where we often see entrepreneurs fail. As a founder, you know more about your company than anyone else does, so it can be easy to think you’re being clear when you’re not. User stories can be a great tool for explain what you do: “Meet Maria… Maria is… Maria has this problem… With our solution, she will be able to…”. It’s simple and easy to understand.
  3. Tailored to us. While you definitely shouldn’t create a deck from scratch for each potential investor or grant-maker, it should be clear how your work aligns with your audience’s goals. For example, startups pitching New Media Ventures should clearly articulate how their work creates progressive change.

Good luck with your pitch deck! We’re looking forward to seeing it in your Innovation Fund application (deadline: June 28 2015) or whenever our paths cross.