Improve Your Startup Funding Success With a Great Pitch Deck

Pitching is a cut-throat task.

The odds of receiving funds from a Tier 1 VC is 0.07%, and the odds of a funded company succeeding is 8%. That puts your startup at a 0.05% total odds of success.

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Characteristics of a Good Pitch Deck

According to Mike Vernal of Sequoia Capital, “If you can’t tell the story in five minutes then you’re either overthinking it or haven’t simplified it enough.” Make the most of the few minutes you get with investors with a stellar pitch deck.

From Y Combinator to Sequoia Capital — all look for startup pitch decks characterised by:

  • A story investors can understand in seconds
  • Innovative ideas and clear thinking
  • Deeper pain points and tantalising solutions
  • High market demand and spectacular traction rate
  • Competitive analysis and go-to-market strategy

Marc Andreesen of Andreesen Horowitz says,

“A good pitch can walk you through the ‘idea maze’ of how they got from their original concept to a commercial idea that will actually work. There is only a short window of time to present to an investment committee, so the story has to be very succinct, logical and compelling.”

Characteristics of a Bad Pitch Deck

The current growth in venture capital signals a recharge of the economy and stability.

  • The idea is not well explained
  • The solution targets a small market and ordinary technology
  • The founder is not capable of defending their position
  • The product is a “me too” copycat

Think of it this way, if you’re seeking $1 million in funding and have ten slides in your pitch deck, then each deck is worth $100K; for $2 million, $200K and so on.

What Other Qualities Do VCs Look for in Founders?

VCs want to maximise their chances of a better return on their investments by looking for solutions that can cater to a huge target market, unique products that differentiate from the solutions of competitors, and most importantly, at the founders themselves. Especially at the beginning of the startup journey, when entrepreneurs may not have all the quantitative metrics, investors look at qualitative metrics.


Globally recognised technology thought leader David Shrier says,

“This concept of stick-to-it-ness, of resilience in the face of adversity, is sometimes called ‘grit.’ Every business I’ve ever seen has gone through something that I call the shadow of the valley. At some point in the business life cycle, it runs into adversity. Perhaps many times. And entrepreneurs who stay with the problem, who work and push and strive to find solutions, are the ones who succeed.”

VCs are looking to figure out whether a startup founder has that grit or not. He says, “All the intelligence, all the integrity in the world won’t help if you can’t stay the course.”


Learn how to develop an effective pitch deck (and everything else about funding your startup) from the same mentors who helped spin out startups like Quethera, VocalIQ and Darktrace.

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