Brad G. Philbrick & Company

A Pitch Deck To Get VC Attention

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If your dreams, ambitions, and goals are to start a new business or establish a new nonprofit organization, you are not alone!

The December 17, 2013 issue of Inc. published a survey by Minda Zetlin; sixty-three percent of today’s Americans in their twenties want to start a business. Additionally, NorthOne, a small business banking service, states that there are over 582 million entrepreneurs globally and over 31 million entrepreneurs in America.

A startup organization or business faces a vast amount of uncertainty. Venture capitalists, grant funders, and crowdfunding sites all know the anticipation of a new venture. However, a novel endeavor needs more information. Therefore, startups need the flexibility to test and further examine their business model. This led to the creation of pitch decks.

Pitch decks are the accepted format to tell your story in a visual, compelling, and concise manner.

Entrepreneurs began using presentation software such as PowerPoint. Now, writers’ acclaim Canva for crafting visually appealing slides, showing big ideas, compelling data, and dramatic visuals to catch the attention of potential funders, the pitch deck.

Pitch decks’ original function was to make “a pitch” to venture capitalists or other would-be funders to provide financial backing to your innovative idea. However, pitch decks do not end there; someone can use these concise, visual tools:

  • As a recruiting tool when seeking new team members
  • As an onboarding tool for the latest team members
  • Human Resources can announce current benefits and programs.
  • Leadership presents new products or services to the entire company or organization.
  • Meeting with your attorney to discuss patents, incorporating your business, and a host of possible legal matters.
  • To announce expansion plans or changes in corporate structure


Pitch Decks are quickly revised, modified, customized, additions added, or slides readily deleted. Therefore, creating two pitch decks, a presentation, or a reading deck is often wise. A presentation deck is just that, a presentation version for one to tell their vision at a meeting or on stage at an event. A reading deck offers greater detail, more data, and thus a more extended presentation for someone to read and study without you needing to be present.

Crafting a pitch deck is valuable to every team member of an organization, especially if you are embarking on a new startup. The pitch deck propels everyone to break down the business into components and to explain the features concisely, clearly, and in a compelling narrative. It is essential to know that receiving feedback and guidance on their novel product or service is more valuable than getting funding. New endeavors also find that a good presentation of their idea is the pathfinder to obtaining financing.

There is an oft-said cliché, “If you want advice for your startup, ask for money. If you want money, ask for advice. To succeed, you will need both.”

A compelling pitch deck is concise; it usually only needs ten to twelve pages, maximum. It is paramount if you desire to share your innovative, lifesaving, increased productivity, amazingly cost efficient, consumer appealing product or service to market. So that you can “wow” your funder a superb and dazzling pitch decks needs to include:

  • An overview of your new venture; succinctly describes a challenge you see and how you will remedy it.
  • The opportunity you see in your industry and how your product or service will align with and improve it.
  • You are solving a problem and why the problem is a significant concern.
  • Present your solution, how you will successfully address the problem, and wow your investors!
  • Traction presents evidence to show that your idea is a successful one.
  • Who is your market? How many customers do you have, what is your potential revenue, and what is your current demand?
  • Everyone has a competitor; who’s yours? What do your competitors do, and how will you differ?
  • What is your business model? How are you going to make money? Is your product less expensive, faster, more efficient, improved quality, or an improved way to serve an already market demand?
  • Your team! You have a team with the expertise, experience, accomplishments, and education to ensure a winning product. Describe the various roles of your team in a way that will impress your funder.
  • How will you use the funds awarded to you and your new venture? How will you use the money, and what goals and milestones will the new business accomplish with the money spent?

There is no better way to state the aims of your new venture, whether a business or a nonprofit. A powerful pitch deck will be compelling, clear, and straightforward, and easy for an investor to act on with the information you provide.

Keep in mind that a pitch deck is a sales tool. Your pitch deck is your channel to instill excitement, gain buy-in, and generate desire in the funder to engage with you and your company further. Sales professionals will tell you that a sale is often not made on the first sale; on average, it takes five visits to make the sales. So, it is with a pitch deck; it is not to obtain funding immediately — it is getting an invitation to another meeting.

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Brad G. Philbrick
Brad G. Philbrick

A grant proposal writer of biotechnology and healthcare

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