Vinay Kevadiya February 20th, 2024

Pitch Deck Checklist: What Investors Look for Before Funding

Being an entrepreneur can be challenging, and crafting a pitch deck that grabs investors' attention is often the hardest part. But the first goal is not to receive millions – it's just getting them to say, "Let's chat again."

Your pitch deck is your secret weapon. It's not just dull slides; it's a story that grabs investors' attention and leaves them wanting more.

Sure, funding might be slowing down (it dipped 19% in Q1 2022), but it still hit a massive $143.9 billion across tons of deals – the fourth-biggest quarter ever!

So, how do you stand out?

What exactly do investors look for in a pitch deck?

We'll break it down for you. This article will cover the basics of a pitch deck, plus some tips and tricks to help you create one that shines.

2023 Investor Outlook

"Green is the New Gold" is a big trend. Investors aren't just looking at profits anymore. 

They're really interested in how companies care for the environment, treat people, and manage themselves, often called ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) strategies. 

Charles Bark, the boss of HiNounou, said it best: "We are looking for investors with deep expertise and a demonstrable track record of prioritizing ESG factors in their portfolio companies." 

So, it's crucial to show off your green projects, how you help the community, and that you do business correctly.

Also, with more people working from home, being good with technology is more important than ever. 

Companies need to showcase their online tools, demonstrate their efficiency, and explain how they secure their digital space.

Additionally, Investors are on the lookout for startups that:

  • Have a straightforward way to make money.
  • Offer something unique and have a solid plan to grow.
  • Present a well-thought-out pitch, paying special attention to the team, the market potential, and the financial details.
  • Show they're on the right track with things like happy customer stories and a good grasp of who they're selling to.
  • Can give investors a good return on their money.

Let’s head straight to our pitch deck checklist.

Pitch Deck Checklist: 8 Things Investors Look for Before Funding

We now know what investors want. But how do you show them your company is the right choice? 

The key is an excellent pitch deck presentation that stands out and proves your company is a good investment. 

Let's go through some steps to make a pitch deck that meets those high investor standards.

The Problem

Every good story needs some drama to keep things interesting. That drama makes people want to know what happens next, and the problem statement brings this drama to your pitch. 

It's where you discuss the main problem your product or service will solve. You need to be clear, relatable, and focused on the biggest issue. 

Mention how bad things could get if this problem isn't fixed. This indicates that you care about your customers and creates an urgency to find a solution in investors' minds quickly.

The Solution

Right after talking about the problem, dive into the solution. You don't want to keep investors guessing—show them how you fix the issue you just described. 

Make sure your solution directly solves the problems you mentioned earlier. If it doesn't, it might seem like you have a solution searching for a problem.

Many business owners find it challenging to explain their solution simply because they are too familiar with their product or service.

It might be tempting to discuss every little detail but try to resist that. Instead, highlight the parts of your solution that get people excited.

Show Off Your Product Features

This is your chance to shine! Highlight the features that make your product unique and tackle the problem you promised to solve. Think of it like showing off the coolest parts of a house you're selling. 

Investors love to know their money is safe. Explain why it's tough for competitors to copy your solution. 

This is your "secret weapon" that gives you a long-term edge. Remember, keep it simple and avoid tech jargon.

Be passionate about your product, but don't overhype it. Too much hype can raise red flags for investors. Be optimistic, but support your claims with facts and evidence.

Market Research

In this section, start by painting a clear picture of your ideal customer. 

What are their struggles? What motivates them? Describe their demographics, needs, and desires.  

This will be your "Total Addressable Market" (TAM) – a big pool of potential customers. Next, explain why this TAM is already large or has the potential to grow significantly.

Be realistic with your investors; not everyone in your TAM will be reachable. So, consider your resources and capabilities and calculate your "Serviceable Addressable Market" (SAM) – the realistic portion of the TAM you can serve. This will indicate the market opportunity. 

Revenue Roadmap

Investors love a good business plan, especially one that makes money. Your revenue and operating models are key here. They are your roadmap to turning your vision into a profitable reality.

Don't worry if you're still fine-tuning things – early-stage companies often rely on estimates. Just be ready to share your best guess for sales, pricing, and profitability and explain your logic. Transparency is key.

Show your plan for generating revenue and operating efficiently. This tells investors you're not just dreaming; you're prepared to turn your vision into a cash machine. Remember, revenue is their language, and a clear roadmap speaks volumes.

Show Traction

Investors want more than just a good idea. They need to see your product or service actually connecting with customers. This is where "traction" comes in.

Build a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). It's like a test version with just enough features to get honest feedback from early adopters. These early users are more forgiving, open to giving feedback, and can understand your vision from a basic product. 

So, skip the napkin sketches and build something tangible. Traction shows investors you're serious, understand your customers, and have an idea that's taking flight. That's a pitch they will remember.


This is your chance to win over investors and convince them your venture is worth their support. But forget just throwing raw numbers around. They care more about understanding how you got there.

While raw projections might seem impressive, investors focus on the logic behind them. Treat them like educated guesses you've tested rigorously. 

Explain your assumptions clearly – why did you choose these numbers? This shows you understand the drivers of your business and haven't just pulled figures out of thin air.

Remember, it's about the story you tell with your numbers. Explain the logic, test your assumptions, and show how everything connects to your path to profitability. 

That's how you earn investor trust and turn your financial forecast into a compelling narrative.

A Strong Team

Forget fancy plans; investors bet on people, not just ideas. That's why your team is key, as venture capitalist Sam Bernards reveals: "It's the team that means everything," he says. In fact, a whopping 80% of their decisions hinge on who you are!

So, what kind of team are they looking for? 

Passionate hustlers. 

VCs want to see you go all-in, not wait for funding before taking action. If you can bootstrap and show grit, that proves you'll tackle any future challenge.

Intelligent founders know this. They build strategic teams that become valuable assets, attracting investors and propelling their business forward. 

So, focus on building a dream team, and you'll be well on your way to winning over investors and achieving your entrepreneurial goals.

Summing it Up

Forget boring templates; your pitch deck is your chance to tell a story. You have to capture your company's spirit, show why you're unique, and leave investors wanting to be part of your journey.

VCs see a lot of pitches, so yours needs to stand out. You can do that by adding personality, being creative, and making it memorable. But remember, facts matter. Have data and insights ready to answer their questions.

Need help creating a perfect pitch deck? AI pitch deck generators like Upmetrics can help you get the job done before you know it with AI-powered features.

What are you waiting for? Start preparing your pitch deck.

featured image by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Vinay Kevadiya

Vinay Kevadiya is the founder and CEO of Upmetrics, the #1 business planning software. His ultimate goal with Upmetrics is to revolutionize how entrepreneurs create, manage, and execute their business plans.

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