Thursday, November 15, 2012

Your startup needs a pitch deck

If your startup has left the idea stage and you are in the process of realizing your business idea, you need a pitch deck. You are not in the process of raising funds at the moment, you say?  It does not matter, a pitch deck is the most  important communications tool (besides your 30 second pitch) you have, explaining why your company should exist in the first place.

The pitch deck is your communications platform before you have a website or maybe even a name. It is your marketing material before you have marketing material. You use it to attract co-founders, for early sales pitches and ultimately to raise funding for your startup.

As you can tell, a pitch deck is many different things at different time periods and is a constantly evolving document. It may start out as a 3-5 page presentation in the beginning, and later when you are actually raising money, eventually grow to 3-4 times the size.

Pitch decks are always short, to the point and should not be confused for business plans. They do not dwell on detailed functionality of your wonderful invention but focuses on explaining the core.

You may ask yourself, how do I create this wonderful thing called a pitch deck? Well, a good first step would be to read this great post by Ryan Spoon and check out his presentation. You can also for inspiration check out the early versions of and Square pitch decks.

When you have developed your 30 second pitch and your pitch deck, try and use it on as many people as possible. Your chance of success will increase if you talk to people, network and get feedback on your idea and plan instead of trying to invent everything on your own.

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