The crew here at TechCrunch has done a lot of writing about making amazing pitch decks over the years, and I figured it was time that I put together a collection of all of it in one handy spot.
A lot of these articles are part of TechCrunch+ — TechCrunch’s premium subscription product. I’ve marked them below so you know which ones you need a subscription to read. Perhaps I’m just a teensy bit biased over here, but I’d say it’s definitely worth subscribing to get access to all of this content. (And we’re having a Labor Day sale at the moment!)
On top of all of the pitching info, with a TechCrunch+ subscription, you get access to a ton of in-depth analysis that’ll help you find investors, build a better company, and be a more successful founder.
Should you / can you raise money?
Should you self-fund first? Starting bootstrapped (i.e., self-funded) then raising money much later is an option, as Natasha Mascarenhas explores. (TC+)
Are you VC-investable? You need to understand how venture capital works — where their money comes from, and, especially, whether your company has a great enough potential to be interesting to venture capital. (TC+)
Before you start pitching
What’s their thesis – Before you get started on your pitch deck, you need to know what an investor’s investment thesis is and how that affects how they choose to invest (or not) in an opportunity like yours. (TC+)
You may need more than one deck – Remember that you need your pitch deck to work on three different levels: before, during, and after your pitch. (TC+)
What order do your slides need to go in? It’s also helpful to think about the order of slides in your pitch deck.
Effective pitch meetings – Foundersuite’s Nathan Beckord wrote a great guide to a 7-step method for running effective pitch meetings. (TC+)
Avoid the most common mistakes – Jose Cayasso collected the 5 pitch deck slides that most founders get wrong. (TC+)
Get the deets right – Danny Crichton reminds us that you really need to get the details right in your pitch deck. (TC+)
Make a mark – Danny also covered how to create a pitch deck that can’t be ignored. (TC+)
Consider making a teaser trailer – Flint Capital’s Andrew Gershfield argues that it’s a good idea to put together a teaser trailer to catch your investors’ imagination! (TC+)
Individual slides, broken down
Some of the slides are trickier than others; I made an annotated template that a few hundred startups have used to raise money successfully, but it turns out that even with a good template, there are pitfalls and things that can go wrong. Here are a few articles we wrote to help you crack some of the more challenging parts of the pitch.
Your pitch deck needs an operating plan – Here’s why — and how to make one. (TC+)
Without a clear ask, your pitch is useless – Investors need to know that you know what you’re doing. The “ask” slide is one of the best places to show that you know you have a clear plan. (TC+)
Get rid of your “exit” slide – You don’t know the future, and guessing limits your options. (TC+)
Use appendices wisely – If it doesn’t fit with the main “flow” of your story, but you may rely on it in the Q&A, stick it at the end of the deck. (TC+)
During the pitch process
Be prepared for due diligence – It turns out that most early-stage VC investments fall apart at the due diligence stage. Here’s why that happens, and what investors are looking for. (TC+)
Pro tips for pitching – Matt Burns interviewed Emergence Capital’s Lotti Siniscalco at TechCrunch’s Early Stage event and selected a collection of incredible pro tips to help you on your way. (TC+)
Hook them early on – Darrell Etherington interviewed Jordan Nof of Tusk Venture Partners and Michelle Davey from Wheel in an unmissable article reminding you to craft your pitch deck around “that one thing that can really hook an investor.” (TC+)
Only your CEO should be out pitching – Who should be running your pitch process? Not your salespeople or your marketing team. Only your (co-)founders are in the right position to talk to investors!
Overcoming your fear – Masha Bucher is the founder and general partner of Day One Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm. They cover 9 techniques that’ll help you overcome your fear of fundraising (TC+)
Pitch deck teardowns
If you’ve been looking around on the web, you’ll have figured out that it’s exceedingly rare to find recent samples of pitch decks that were successfully used to raise money. That’s what I’m trying to change with the TechCrunch pitch deck teardowns.
It’s a series that’s been running for a while, with pitch decks for companies of all different sizes and stages of fundraising. These teardowns include three things I love, three things I’d improve, a bunch of general observations about the deck, and the full deck for you to take a closer look at.
And a full list of the pitch deck teardowns to date:
Dutch’s Series A deck that raised $20M, published May 12
BoxedUp’s seed deck that raised $2.3M, published May 19
Lumigo’s Series A deck that raised $29M, published May 26
Encore’s seed deck that raised $3M, published June 2
Lunchbox’s Series B deck that raised $50M, published June 9
Ergeon’s Series B deck that raised $40M, published June 16
WayRay’s Series E deck that raised $80M, published June 23
Wilco’s seed deck that raised $7M, published June 30
Enduring Planet’s seed deck that raised $2M, published July 7
Forethought’s Series C deck that raised $65M, published July 14
Arkive’s seed deck that raised $9.7M, published July 21
Alto Pharmacy’s Series E deck that raised $200M, published July 28
Glambook’s seed deck that raised $2.5M, published August 4
Five Flute’s pre-seed deck that raised $1.2M, published August 11
Mi Terro’s seed deck that raised $1.5M, published August 18
SIMBA Chain’s Series A deck that raised $25M, published August 25
Is there something missing? Is there an aspect of fundraising you’ve always wanted to know more about? Ask! I’m easy enough to reach on Twitter (DMs are open!) or throw some words in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.