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The Power of Pitch Decks - How to get investors' attention

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Written by Flying Saucer Studio

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How a solid pitch deck encourages investors to buy in to your startup

Before you get their money, you have to get their attention.

Whether you’re looking to get a book published, a movie made, or the funds to bring your startup to the next level, attention is more important than money. Mastering the art of the pitch is key to grabbing that attention, and of course, it’s essential to you securing the money you need to get your startup off the ground.

What is a pitch deck?

A pitch deck is a short slide presentation that outlines your project’s vision and added value for investors. At its best, a solid deck will open an investor’s mind and get them excited about your idea. At its worst, a weak deck will make your startup look unfocused and scattered. As such, a solid pitch deck is worth every minute and dollar you sew into it because it’s capable of great returns.

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So what’s the first step in converting investor interest into investor cash flow? Follow in a master’s footsteps.

In that spirit, we’ve found five great pitch decks from companies that have been there, done that, and made an impact on our world. Pull out a pen and paper and start taking notes, because this is your pitch deck masterclass.

1. Airbnb

Airbnb has transformed the way we travel, opening the market to a new, cheaper and more authentic way to travel.

Where Airbnb’s pitch deck really shines is in their first slide: their hook. They break down their company’s vision into a simple, easy-to-digest value proposition that’s easy for investors to understand. Because let’s face it: If potential investors can’t understand the premise of your startup, they’ll never understand how you intend to capture market shares and make money.

Takeaway: Focus on a catchy, simple hook

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2. Square

Chances are if you’ve been to a trendy new cafe, pop up shop, or mobile merchant, you’ve dealt with the Square payment method. This company allows merchants to tap their way into business in both brick and mortar stores, and online, via a simple dongle.

In their deck, Square didn’t wait until the end of their pitch to talk about their team. Instead, they bumped them up to the third slide, almost right after the hook. They understood their strengths and knew better than to rest on a template that would put one of their greatest assets at the end of their pitch — a moment when an investor’s attention can start wandering.

Takeaway: Rules are meant to be broken — order your pitch deck to focus on your strengths, not to follow a template

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3. LinkedIn

LinkedIn entered an already busy marketplace with their pitch deck. At first glance, they seemed to be selling the same social network everyone else was. But with their pitch deck, LinkedIn stresses how different they are from their competition: web 1.0 versus web 2.0.

They use this analogy to frame themselves as the future, and their competition as holdovers from the past.

Takeaway: Clearly differentiate yourself from the competition

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4. Mint

Mint partners with banks to help people keep control of their spending without having to hold on to shoe boxes full of receipts. While this pitch deck was never actually used and was created purely for a competition, it still has a lotto offer for those looking to learn.

This deck doesn’t sidestep or minimize possible bumps along the way. Instead, it focuses on the solutions Mint put in place to tackle the most prominent problems their target market faces.

Investors know your company will face challenges. Acknowledge the prominent problems and offer your solutions up front, that way you’ll mollify their concerns. Ignore them completely and you’ll be advertizing your lack of preparation.

Takeaway: Be transparent about possible problems but focus on your solutions

5. BuzzFeed

If you’re on the internet, you know what Buzzfeed is. Maybe you loathe it, maybe you love it, but despite their polarizing practices, BuzzFeed has raised over $240 million dollars to fund their growth.

BuzzFeed has a particularly long pitch deck, but its impressive numbers and social proof easily warrant the 21 pages the company used to convince Angels that investing in BuzzFeed was a safe bet.

Takeaway: Show them the numbers (or potential numbers)

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More on pitch decks

There’s a lot to be learned from these very successful pitch decks. Each of them has caught investor’s eyes, brought in money, and catapulted each company to the next level.

But if you find yourself still unsure and in need of inspiration, check out the 10 golden rules for creating a killer pitch deck.


Article written by the Team — Flying Saucer Studio

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