8 startup founders share their best tips for creating a pitch deck – Business Insider

Part of launching a startup is pitching your business idea to potential investors. This usually requires networking, research, and creating strong messaging around the product or service.
To do this, many startups put together a pitch deck, which is then sent out to executives, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and others in the hopes it will convince them to invest.
Insider asked eight founders who started companies such as a vegan skincare brand, a tire business, a food-tech company, and more about the pitch decks they made that helped them raise millions.

Their advice varied from using statistics to show how a business fills a gap in a specific market to editing slides to appeal to different audiences to focusing on a design that reflects the company’s values. While the founders had different approaches, each pitch deck was successful in getting investors’ attention.
Connie Lo and Laura Burget decided to launch their own skincare line, Three Ships Beauty, after they grew frustrated with high prices and confusing labeling on skincare products.
Lo and Burget knew they needed funding, so they started pitching to possible investors. Their goal was to raise 550,000 Canadian dollars, or around $430,160, but in just two weeks they ended up raising 1.4 million Canadian dollars, or around $1.077 million.
When creating their pitch deck to show potential investors, Lo and Burget focused on keeping the slides succinct with minimal text and a simplistic design. “We needed to have more conversation happening on the call and less information being shared via the deck,” Lo said.
The founders also included slides with “before and after” images and reviews to show the results from using their products and share customer feedback.
Read more: The pitch deck the 28-year-old cofounders of a vegan skincare brand used to raise $1 million in 2 weeks
In 2019, Mitch Orkis and Hunter Morris cofounded the LA-based sexual wellness brand Cake. They launched their company with the intention of appealing to Gen Zers by creating a one-stop destination for fun sex by making everything from condoms and lubricant to sex toys.
The duo sought out funding from investors on two occasions and raised $1.435 million and $4 million, respectively.
Orkis said the company’s pitch deck that successfully got them funding explains how Cake connects with a younger audience, unlike other competing brands, through its packaging and online marketing. “This generation is the most sexually fluid and open than ever before,” Orkis said. “There’s a giant cultural shift happening, and the current brands are missing it, and it’s going to cost them.”
Read more: The pitch deck that helped a sexual-wellness startup raise $5.4 million

The Smart Tire Company was launched in 2020 by cofounders Earl Cole and Brian Yennie. The business makes airless, high-performance tires from a material called shape-memory alloys.
During their first round of funding, Cole and Yennie raised $1.3 million. Now they’re attempting to raise an additional $3.7 million for the launch of a bicycle tire, which is their first commercial product.
To get investors on board, the pair is using a revised version of the pitch deck that originally helped them acquire financing. Cole said the deck was successful the first time because it poses familiar problems and elicits emotional responses from those viewing it. “Practically everyone can relate to everyday problems with tires,” he said. “We keep it simple here while educating with some key numbers, like 50 billion pounds of waste and 200 million flats per year.”
Read more: The pitch deck I used to raise $1.3 million in initial funding for my tire company — that we’re still using a year later for a second round
After Riley brought in two additional cofounders, the trio worked together to secure $2.6 million in seed funding.
The 15-slide pitch deck they used to appeal to investors includes a clear definition of the concept of the company. “It’s an important definition to include as soon as possible in the deck. You don’t want investors still trying to figure out what you do and what you offer five slides in,” Riley said.
While putting together a pitch-deck presentation, Riley said it’s important to be able to explain the business model, the values of the team, and the direction the company is headed in. “This energizes, engages confidence, and sets intent,” she said.
Read more: The 15-slide pitch deck a family-care startup used to secure $2.6 million in funding

Yao said she amended the memo several times until she was happy with the final product. “Changing the memo is key to the fundraising process,” Yao said. “The first couple of weeks involve talking to investors, learning from those conversations, and learning what to emphasize in the memo. I think I probably edited the memo every day for the first two weeks to make it more succinct.”
Read more: The memo a 23-year-old used instead of a pitch deck to raise $4.5 million for her startup
The breakfast snack company, Belgian Boys, was founded by Greg Galel and his wife, Anouck Gotlib, in 2014.
In 2021, over the course of nine months, the couple had beaten their original goal of raising $6 million in funding by an additional $1 million.
To attract investors, Galel and Gitlib created a Belgian Boys pitch deck that shows the light-hearted packaging designs and feel-good message of the company. “From using premium ingredients to the light-hearted packaging, Belgium Boys aims to be a feel-good brand. We’re not a better-for-you brand. We’re a happy brand,” Gotlib said.

Read more:
The pitch deck breakfast-food startup Belgian Boys used to raise $7 million in 9 months

While living in Southeast Asia, Fengru Lin found it challenging to find dairy ingredients that didn’t come from cows that were pumped with antibiotics and hormones. Then, in 2018, Lin met her business partner, and the duo built the cell-based milk company, TurtleTree.
Between the preseed and seed rounds, Lin raised $9.4 million. In 2021, the company’s series A funding round was led by Verso Capital and raised an additional $30 million.
Lin said the key to creating the pitch deck they showed investors was editing it depending on their audience. “If we’re talking to investors who are very educated about the food-tech space, we add more details around the technical areas, or if we’re talking to investors who care more about sustainability and the UN’s goals, we talk a little more about those,” she said.
To track the companies’ progress, Lin also included a milestone slide that shows the competitions they’ve won, the talented employees that have been hired, and how TurtleTree is growing in scale by launching a factory.
Read more: Read the 12-page pitch deck I used to raise $30 million for my food-tech startup 
Emma Butler was inspired by her mother — who has fibromyalgia pain and limited dexterity — to create the adaptive-intimate-apparel business, marketplace, and community forum, Liberare.
To successfully reach her $1 million preseed goal, Butler sent her pitch deck to hundreds of venture-capital firms and early-stage sponsors.
When making the deck, Butler was cognizant of avoiding lingo that could be confusing to investors. She created two versions, one with more text and a detailed appendix, and one that was more easily consumable. “I was worried that if I sent the whole deck, which I did a lot, that investors wouldn’t even open it because of confusing jargon,” Butler said.
“I also knew that people aren’t going to read a big chunk of text, so playing around with these slides was important, and a lot of the design and text is in such a way that someone who doesn’t know me or my story can digest this easily,” she said.
Read more: The pitch deck a 24-year-old entrepreneur used to secure $1 million for her intimate-apparel startup

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