How to Structure Your Pitch Deck for Angel Investors


Startup investing is a high-stakes, highly competitive business. Angel investors and venture capitalists are constantly on the lookout for the next tiny startup that could strike it big. As savvy investors, however, they’re also attuned to potential issues and red flags that could dissuade them from funding your company.

The good news is that you can stand out from the crowd and make an excellent first impression by building a great pitch deck. But do you know how to create a pitch deck in the first place?

Your pitch deck is one of the most important elements when you prepare a pitch for angel investors. In this startup pitch deck guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know.

How do you make a pitch deck for an investor?

Your first question might be: “What is a pitch deck?” In the field of angel investing, a pitch deck is a short yet informative presentation that lays out the basic details of your company. This includes your startup’s leadership team, mission, industry, products and services, high-level financials, growth strategy, and fundraising needs.

You can think of a pitch deck like a business card for your startup, soliciting interest in your company. Pitch decks provide all the high-level relevant information that potential investors need to know during the angel investment stage.

Importantly, the goal of a pitch deck is not to help you raise money—at least directly. Rather, a high-quality pitch deck will help get you to the next step: a seat at the meeting room table, where you’ll discuss funding with angel investors.

What should be in an investor pitch deck?

The role of the pitch deck is to quickly and concisely give potential investors an overview of your business. It should explain why they should fund your startup. However, there’s more to mastering the art of the investor pitch deck.

Although every startup is different, there’s a “language” that angel investors have come to expect from founder pitch decks. Your slides should contain various pitch deck building blocks that investors are looking for.

For one, most startup thought leaders recommend including a maximum of 10 to 20 slides. This allows investors to peruse it in just a few minutes. If your pitch deck is too short, you risk omitting crucial information. If it’s too long, you risk losing the investor’s attention. Including visually appealing images, graphs, and charts will also help sustain an investors’ interest throughout the presentation.

Instead of following a “one-size-fits-all” template, your pitch deck should be customized. Create different slides tailored to specific audiences. This enables you to easily swap your slides in and out to fit individual investors.

With all that said, what should you include in your startup pitch deck? Below are the essentials for how to create a pitch deck.

    1. Pitch deck cover: The start of your pitch deck should set the tone for what’s to come. A pitch deck cover should include your business name, logo, and contact information. It should also include a tagline and/or visual that effectively communicates your mission.
    2. Value proposition: Your value proposition is a short, high-level, one-sentence summary of the value that your company provides to customers. For example, saying that your startup is “Uber for X” (i.e. providing on-demand services from a mobile app) is a common value proposition.
    3. Business problem: Your business problem is the issue or gap in the market that your startup aims to solve. In the rest of the pitch deck, you will explain how your company is uniquely able to address this problem.
    4. Market opportunity: Even with a legitimate business problem, you need to prove that there is significant demand for the problem to be resolved. This slide should discuss your startup’s total addressable market (TAM), i.e. the potential revenue opportunity for your products and services.
    5. Solution: This slide showcases the products and services that your startup offers. In particular, discuss how customers can use these products to address the business problem.
    6. Business model: In this slide, explain how your company plans to make money from your products and services. It could be subscription fees, one-time purchases, advertisements, etc. 
    7. Financials: Although you don’t need to include a full tax form, your pitch deck should incorporate the crucial financial models for your startup. This may include your cash flow statement, income statement, and sales and growth projections.
    8. Competitors: Every business has its rivals, and a careful understanding of the market landscape is critical. This slide should discuss your closest competitors and why customers will patronize your business instead of theirs.
    9. Leadership: This slide is the place to mention key startup personnel such as founders, co-founders, and executives like the CEO, CTO, and COO. Mentioning your credentials and previous experience helps reassure potential investors that you have the skills to back up your business vision.
    10. Fundraising: Last but not least, your pitch deck should conclude with  the amount of funds your startup is seeking. You should also discuss how you plan to use these funds (e.g. hiring new employees or developing a new product).

How do you pitch an angel investor?

Sending out your startup pitch deck is the first stage in pitching an angel investor. Typically, your deck should be attached to a brief message (e.g. through email, LinkedIn, or the investor’s website) that succinctly presents your case without directly asking for funding.

If your pitch deck is well-written enough to generate interest, the next step is for investors to reach out to you for a one-on-one meeting. This meeting should further build on the themes outlined in your deck. This includes the business problem, the market opportunity, your business solution and products, your financial models, etc. Put forth a concise and winning argument for investing in your startup, and be sure to leave time at the end for Q&A.

Presenting to VCs and angel investors is its own skill, and you may need to go through many presentations and meetings before you get a nibble of interest. Once an investor wants to move forward, the next step is to go through the due diligence process. During this stage, investors may assess your company in terms of factors such as:

  • The competency of the management team.
  • The quality of your products and intellectual property.
  • The long-term potential and market opportunities for your startup.
  • The underlying assumptions of your company’s financial models.
  • The risks and competitors that your startup faces.
  • The possible exit strategies for your startup.
Share With Your Network

Looking for startup advice, connections, and insights?

Tap into a global network that enables you to answer questions, build relationships, and gain the perspective you need to move faster.
Peer mentorship with fellow tech founders
Pitch practice with Tier 1 VCs
Accelerator grade discounts