Written By Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation


What is one thing you should absolutely include in a pitch deck? 

To help you prepare a pitch deck for your startup, we asked CEOs and founders this question for their best advice. From videos to financial projections backed by data, there are several tips that may help you develop a compelling pitch deck to woo investors and drive sales.

Here are eight things to include in a pitch deck:

  • Video of Your Business Story
  • The Solution
  • Competition
  • The Team Behind The Brand
  • Resource Lists
  • Your Industry Differentiators
  • Executive Summary
  • Financial Projections Backed by Data

Video of Your Business Story

We wanted our pitch deck to represent us as an established business with revenues, profits, losses, and unit economics. So we put together a robust investor deck outlining what our company is, its strengths, and its product-market fit. Then we asked ourselves, “How do we create a splash with this deck,” “How do we get attention?” The most common questions from our customers and our vendors were, “How did you do it,” “How did you launch your company in such a short period of time?” So, we produced an 8-part video series on how we launched, from the idea, pivoting, launching, getting our first order within three weeks, and then scaling it from $0 to $20 million in ARR in just 8 months. These videos helped put our name out there, and they also showed our company culture and how hard our team works together. This series, combined with our product-market fit, our solid unit economics, and the fact that we were already profitable, helped us attract investors.

Shaunak Amin, SnackMagic

The Solution

The solution slide I wouldn’t miss; it is one of the most critical elements of a pitch deck. It comes right after stating the problems faced by the targeted market. You also show how great your products and services are, easily persuading investors. The best way to do this is always through a narrative approach. Provide excellent relatable stories of how customers use your products and services to change their lives. Support the statement with visuals and descriptions of products and services, including photographs, screenshots, and even videos of physical demonstration. Having a nice solution slide is always very essential in making a successful pitch deck. It strengthens persuasive power towards investors, and with as little information as possible, you would have done the most to promote your products and services.

Harriet Chan, CocoFinder


Including notes on the competition is an important part of the pitch deck. No professional operates in a vacuum. Even if you devise an innovative and skillful solution, your success depends largely on what other solutions are readily available to consumers. Many entrepreneurs fall so in love with their vision that they fail to acknowledge the realities of the open market. Considering the competition shows your audience that you have done your due diligence and research and have confirmed that your offerings are robust and novel enough to merit attention and investment. Beyond existing competition, you should also project future possible competition and list the measures you would take to remain relevant and retain your edge.

Michael Alexis, TeamBuilding

The Team Behind The Brand

Entrepreneurs should include a slide describing the team behind the brand. Investors aren’t just investing in an idea; they want to get to know the founder and other key employees. Explain what makes your team of professionals capable of delivering success.

Cesar Cruz, Sebastian Cruz Couture

Resource Lists 

Should you reference current market or other research data in your pitch deck, be sure to provide a resource list as a link or in a separate document. When you make it easy for investors to do their due diligence and check your work, you reduce barriers to winning their “YES.”  For example, if you are pitching the development of a new mobile application and your sales projections reference this year’s mobile phone and application sales data, including the source from which you’ve acquired the numbers helps support your pitch. Backing up your claim on an additional resources document ensures your presentation stays clean and uncluttered while bolstering your credibility and avoiding an embarrassing omission that could cost you a deal.

Tommy Chang, Homelister

Your Industry Differentiator

Always include your industry differentiator or unique selling proposition for a convincing pitch deck. Investors want to know what makes your idea unlike other products currently on the market; maybe your product is more sustainable than other brands, or perhaps your marketing in a new way. Your pitch deck should reflect your USP and why your mission is worth the investment. Convey to the investor why this opportunity is different.

Amrita Saigal, Kudos

Executive Summary

An executive summary is a great way to start off your pitch deck. It’s typically a few paragraphs that summarize the main points of your deck and can be used as a “ Cliff Notes ” version of your pitch. Additionally, an executive summary can be helpful for your audience because it sets the tone for your entire presentation.

Adil Advani, MyPrep

Financial Projections Backed by Data

The most obvious thing to include in a pitch deck is financial projections of your startup with data to back up those expectations. You are asking people to invest in you and your business. The one thing they want to know is whether it will make their money. A financial projection sheet with evidence assures them it would likely achieve goals.

Bruce Tasios, Tasios OrthodonticsTerkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights. Sign up at terkel.io to answer questions and get published.

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