12 Startup Pitch Deck Examples [+ Template]
A great startup pitch deck is an integral part of launching a business. This deck is presented to prospective investors to convince them to invest and help you grow your startup. The trick to having the best pitch deck possible is to include enough information to explain your goals and methodology without losing your audience’s interest.
Pitch decks are usually in PowerPoint, Apple Keynote, or Google Slides to make them easier to present to potential investors. However, the deck can also have an alternative format like a Word document or even a video. For inspiration, let’s go through some successful startup pitch deck examples and discuss what they got right.
Pitch Deck Basics
There are some overarching characteristics that make for a great pitch deck. While we’ll go through what a deck typically includes and some relevant business pitch examples, you can pick and choose certain elements as long as your startup pitch deck has the following basic qualities:
- Design-forward: Customers expect a better experience with your product and that’s achieved through better UX and graphic design. Show your team’s design chops with thoughtful deck design and mock-ups.
- Comprehensive: Be prepared to answer any questions from potential investors. Your slides should cover enough so if they check back for reminders after the presentation, they’ll find the most important information.
- Engaging: A startup pitch deck inevitably includes some boring elements. Your job is to keep it exciting and break up information-heavy slides with features like illustrations and block quotes.
- Straightforward: It’s easy to get caught up with sharing every detail, but it’s more important that your potential investors understand your pitch. For more complicated slides and ideas, pare down your pitch to make it easier to understand.
1. Problem Slide
Your pitch deck should open with a key problem — this is the whole justification for your business and why consumers will find it valuable. A common structure for this slide is to bullet pain points and create a story your potential investors can relate to.
The problem slide is the basis for your presentation. Creating a relatable story makes for an engaging presentation that’s easy to follow and understand.
Why it works: Although it’s not the most visually engaging, Uber’s business pitch example clearly explains how Uber solves key issues with traditional cabs. Uber’s deck is broken down into multiple slides to deliver all the necessary information without overwhelming the audience.
2. Solution slide
After presenting the problem, you should follow up directly with a solution. An effective solution slide structure covers current industry solutions and identifies the gaps your startup fills.
This slide has a general overview of any proprietary technology, covers basic product features, and includes relevant interface mock-ups to show investors what your product will do for consumers.
Why it works: Intercom’s solution slide is simple but effective. While some extra design could elevate this slide, the bullet points are easy to understand and effectively explain Intercom’s unique selling proposition (USP) in the SaaS market.
3. Market validation slide
Market validation is especially important to investors because it shows proof that there are people who will purchase your product. This slide should include any relevant statistics for current sales if your startup has launched or competitors’ sales if it hasn’t.
Don’t forget to cover basic information about your target market, their purchasing power, and their habits in your industry. This slide is especially important if your prospective investors aren’t familiar with your product or industry.
Why it works: At 37 pages, LinkedIn’s pitch deck is longer than we’d recommend. But what it lacks in brevity it makes up for with powerful market validation using clear data from top competitors. It also breaks down barriers to growth and revenue for these competitors and shows how LinkedIn would improve their models.
4. Market size slide
Market size goes hand in hand with market validation. Once you’ve confirmed your target market has enough purchasing power, you need to justify your product’s longevity.
Focus on continued sales. The two most common elements to ensure your startup brings in long-term revenue are:
- A very large market
- A business model built for continuous purchases (e.g., subscription models)
Why it works: Facebook is the poster child for successful startups. Its market size slides effectively communicate how Facebook’s initial launches succeeded and justify further growth. The slides with market statistics about college students also explain clearly how Facebook will create revenue.
5. Product slide
The product slide is your chance to nail your pitch and sell your vision to investors. This slide should center your value proposition. A popular strategy for this section is to pose a few questions about your industry and show how your product is the answer. Take the time to craft this slide carefully, polishing it up from the copy to design details.
Why it works: Dropbox’s product slides are effective because they show how Dropbox truly innovates over other file sharing services. They justify why now is the time to launch and why consumers will choose Dropbox over competitors.
6. Business model slide
The business model slide covers how the startup will run and launch its product for sustainable growth. This section can compare your startup to other businesses or use internal data if the product has launched.
Why it works: While some of these slides can look busy, Moz’s business model was ahead of its time by calling out why organic marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) have untapped potential. This deck does a good job of explaining the business model to investors who might not be SEO savvy.
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7. Market adoption slide
It’s important to show some proof that your target market has interest in purchasing your product, especially if there are other competitors in the market. This is a lot easier if your product has already launched because you can include sales data.
If your startup is pre-launch, showing potential market adoption can be tricky. In this case, you can use social proof from similar competitors. If you do this, it’s also important to note how your product differs from these competitors, especially if you can resolve a customer’s complaint.
If possible, include case studies in the market adoption slide. These show proof that you can use investments to increase the reach of your startup.
Why it works: Buffer’s market adoption slides show social proof through key statistics outlining Buffer’s success so far. With an extremely high profit margin and growth rate for their user base, Buffer shows off why their product will offer a larger ROI for potential investors.
8. Competition slide
Many investors look at your competition to help contextualize your startup. If an investor has little or no experience in your vertical, showing competitors they’re familiar with gives them real examples of success.
This slide should cover the following topics related to your competition:
- Revenue data
- What competitors do well
- What competitors don’t do well
- How your startup bridges product gaps
Why it works: Mint’s competitor slides are effective because they show current competitors along with future projections for these competitors. This slide effectively shows how Mint creates more value for customers over time and uses competitors as inspiration in their defensive strategy.
9. Team slide
A team slide helps investors get to know the minds behind your startup. Include information about founders, leadership, and top existing investors to show why your team is qualified to launch this startup.
Any evidence of past successes with your leadership, consultants, or investors is important to include, as it shows new investors that you have relevant experience to launch your startup. If there’s any relevant history about your startup, such as a higher ROI than expected for a former investor, be sure to include this in your pitch deck.
Why it works: While Contently’s team slide has a lot of information, it’s all relevant to potential investors. In addition to founders and investors, Contently includes top employees, proprietary technology, advisors, and the amount they’ve raised so far. This, along with their financial model slide, show potential investors that Contently will make good use of their investment and even make them some profit.
10. Press slide
The press section of your startup pitch deck is a great opportunity to show off any buzz and get your investors excited about your business. Focus on positive reviews or attention related to your product. Stay away from negative press unless you can show you’ve changed those negative opinions.
Make sure to keep these slides focused and succinct. It’s easy to get caught up in showing off product buzz, but press slides should always demonstrate potential for a more widespread product adoption.
Why it works: Snapchat was in a unique position at the time this deck was created, as its press slide has strong social proof. Snapchat calls out popular users, including press and media sources, that are already using the app. The wide variety of users, including household names like MTV, shows how Snapchat is a well-known social media platform.
11. Testimonial slide
Testimonials give investors insight into what existing customers really think about your product. Testimonials can also shed light on the public perception of your product, especially compared to competitors.
Seventy-two percent of consumers only take action after reading positive reviews. You can use this logic with your potential investors, too.
Positive testimonials show that your customers have brand loyalty and that users are satisfied with the product and customer service. This section of the startup pitch deck is only possible for startups that have launched their product.
Why it works: Not every pitch deck includes testimonials, especially if the startup hasn’t launched, but it makes sense to include feedback for Airbnb. Showcasing new users makes this slide simple yet effective. It could also benefit from including average Airbnb ratings for stronger evidence of positive reception.
12. Financial model slide
The financial model slide shows how your product creates revenue. For example, if your product is a subscription-based service, has premium features, or other horizontal integration, you’ll explain that model on these slides.
Potential investors should walk away from your presentation knowing exactly how your startup creates revenue and understand any plans to ensure a steady stream of income.
Why it works: Shopify offers a great pitch deck example of when breaking some pitch norms can work in your favor. Although it’s nearly 30 slides, the entire deck is informative and engaging. The financial model slides work well because they show how Shopify and its past investors turned a profit. Not only do they explain their current financial model, but Shopify also covers their plans for future growth to reassure investors they’ll make a profit, too.
What should you avoid putting in a startup pitch deck?
The best pitch deck is completely tailored to your startup. While there’s no hard-and-fast rule about what you shouldn’t include, make sure everything you’re presenting is relevant to potential investors.
How do I present my startup pitch deck to investors?
It’s almost always better to present a pitch deck live to investors. Designate one member of your leadership team, ideally a founder, to present your deck to investors.
Following a script can come across as disingenuous, but using notes is OK, so get lots of practice in before you present to investors.
What should a startup pitch deck include?
A typical startup pitch deck template includes the following slides:
- Market validation
- Market size
- Business model
- Market adoption
- Financial model
However, every pitch deck is different, so your final pitch might skip some of these topics or use multiple slides to expand on certain sections.
Built to scale with HubSpot for Startups
It takes some time to put together a startup pitch deck that works, but once you’ve nailed your presentation, you can reuse it for multiple pitches with just a few tweaks to update any data or statistics.
HubSpot for Startups helps you track marketing and sales data to make this process easier. New investors can rest easy knowing you’ve got the support of HubSpot’s powerful CRM at your fingertips.