Well, here it is, in all of its glory: the final pitch deck template for raising seed stage capital.
This past month we posted several blog posts that help address a common question which we frequently receive from entrepreneurs about how to create startup pitch decks for this crucial financial milestone.
For context (if this is the first post in the series you’re reading), a few years ago, we launched a pitch deck template for seed-stage founders looking to raise capital. It was well-received, so we just went ahead and updated to fit the modern flow of pitches today in order to provide the best advice for founders looking to pitch not only us, but the broader seed investor community.
There seem to be several templates like this which already exist. But the feedback we received was that those decks (a) are somewhat generic and not built specifically for seed-stage startups, which often require more art than science during the pitch, and (b) lack storytelling components and design and layout sensibility.
So, we hope this deck resource can address these concerns for you. We also aimed to take these one step further by adding our own VC commentary by providing individual blog posts for each slide in the deck. Here’s a breakdown of each of the slides if you’d like to read the commentary:
- What do you do?
- Is it working?
- Why does it matter? (Market)
- Can you be best in the world? (Product, growth, and financial metrics)
- Where are you going?
- What do you want? (The Ask)
This deck template is designed for a discussion-based pitch. It’s super short – just a handful of slides to convey the basic, critical details up front. However, it includes a “kitchen sink” of resources in the appendix.
The shortness of the pitch can be incredibly helpful one-on-one. When you’re speaking to an investor, you can say, “I have a few slides that might help introduce the company, but we can keep it pretty conversational and dive into specific questions once you get the gist.”
It fits the format, but it also allows you to demonstrate mastery over the details of your business by pulling up a slide from the appendix if/when the discussion requires it. Does the VC have a detailed question about the product roadmap? No problem, just turn to page 16 in the appendix. Did the discussion evolve into an exploration of your go-to-market strategy? Perfect — easily pull up page 6 in the appendix as a backdrop to the conversation.
Also, you don’t need to sweat the order of the details in the appendix to weave the pieces together like a high-school essay. The first few slides are neatly and logically ordered, while the appendix serves as backup.
As Rob Go points out, this approach puts you on more equal footing with an investor: “It’s less of a ‘pitch to me’ kind of interaction and more of a discussion, which is really good in building early trust and rapport.”
The appendix becomes a flexible go-to resource to augment a genuine dialog with the investor. This approach allows for a natural discussion to unfold, while still clearly demonstrating that you’ve come fully prepared and have a strong handle on your business. In a one-on-one setting, this format is going to have much more of an impact than the more rote “flipbook” of slide after slide.
Although we hope this helps entrepreneurs generally, we recognize that some of the audience reading might eventually meet with someone at NextView. To that end, we wanted to share at least a little context, which is simply this: Stay true to your own style and comfort level. Don’t feel the need to directly utilize either or both of these templates — they’re merely suggested guides for those at the beginning of the deck creation process, not prescriptions on how things have to be done. Every startup is unique, and so are the best ways to present them.
Without further ado, we encourage you to download the template and share with anyone that might benefit. Best of luck telling your startup’s story and delivering a successful pitch.