Pitching to Investors – A checklist

In part of the series on Pitching to Investors, we will share our views on an effective framework for pitching. Despite widely available resources on pitching, we find that founders somehow always end up confused.

Pitching to Investors

In part 1, we discussed your primary objective of a pitch, what materials can be used to pitch along with a general framework on pitching.

Today, we will share a generic structure of a good pitch. This is nothing fancy or unique, but observations from numerous pitch decks we have had the privilege to look at.

What is a good pitch structure?

The Pitch

  • Mention the company name, logo
  • Name(s) of the presenter(s)
  • Contact information


  • The deck
    • You can borrow the elevator pitch from here
  • The narrative
    • What is your business?
    • What is your unique value proposition?
    • What is your target market?
    • What was your initial hypothesis?
    • How have you validated your hypothesis so far?


  • The deck
    • What problem are you solving?
    • Why does the problem exist?
    • What is the opportunity?
  • The narrative
    • Ensure this is a real problem
    • Demonstrate your knowledge about the problem
    • Identify a specific problem and elaborate


  • The deck
    • What is your solution?
    • Whom are you offering it to?
    • How are you solving the problem?
  • The narrative
    • Emphasis on direct benefits that your solution provides
    • Address the problems that you identified earlier
    • Your objective is to ‘Get heads nodding’

Unique Tech or IP

  • The deck
    • What is the technology in your offering?
    • Do you have any IP protections or applications pending?
  • The narrative
    • Focus on your technology being a differentiation
    • Avoid jargon, keep it simple
    • Make it make sense – everyone in the room should understand irrespective of their knowledge or background
    • Do not deep dive – keep it for the next meeting


  • The deck
    • 3 or 4 key persons in the company
    • Relevant credentials and experience
  • The narrative
    • Why is this team the one they should invest in?
    • You just highlighted the problem and probably a complex solution – how do you give them the comfort that your team is the best placed

Market Size

  • The deck
    • How large is the market?
    • How fast is it growing?
    • Any unique trends?
  • The narrative
    • Explain the market dynamics, can you be top 3?
    • What market can be addressed immediately


  • The deck
    • Revenue or User traction
  • The narrative
    • Mention interest parties, beta testers, first customers
    • How would you define success? How can you reach there?
    • Why you?


  • The deck
    • Who are your competitors?
    • How are they better?
    • How are you better?
    • Have a small table showing key differences
  • The narrative
    • No matter what – do not say you do not have competition – you will lose credibility
    • Demonstrate a clear advantage that you have
    • How can you be a market leader?
    • Bonus – if you have key insights into the business models of competitors

Go To Market

  • The deck
    • Customer acquisition strategy
    • How will you get your customers?
  • The narrative
    • Prioritize Short term over long term here
    • How can you grow in the coming 12-24 months?

Business model

  • The deck
    • How are you making money?
    • When will you reach breakeven?
  • The narrative
    • How is it going to work?
    • Go why and how behind the business


  • The deck
    • Simple operating plan that takes you from this round to next
    • What will you achieve?
    • What defines success?
  • The narrative
    • No plans work, but planning is everything

Fund raise plan

  • The deck
    • How much do you need to raise?
    • Fund utilization heads
  • The narrative
    • Explain the mechanics behind the fund raise
    • Why raise that money? Why now?
    • Where will this money take you?

Summary slide

  • The deck
    • Reiterate your one sentence pitch
    • What can you achieve in the next 24-36 months?
  • The narrative
    • Why?
    • Why you?
    • Why now?
    • Make the ask – you want to raise funds

Closing comments

In the next post, we will share how to take the next meeting, a product demo (if any), FAQs, handling investor questions, and final comments!

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