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A well-crafted pitch deck is a crucial tool for startups seeking investment, which can make or break the deal.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for creating the perfect pitch deck, many successful startups have relied on proven formulas to create winning investor presentations. In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the most popular pitch deck formulas espoused by top investors and startups like Airbnb, Sequoia, and Y-Combinator, and explore how you can adapt these strategies to create a winning pitch deck for your own startup.

Popular pitch deck formulas

Arguably the most popular pitch deck formula of all-time is the famous Airbnb pitch deck used to raise seed funding in 2008.

The Airbnb deck (along with the Dropbox deck) was the foundation for the Sequoia Capital pitch deck formula; you’ll notice the two recipes suggest very similar slides.

Finally, accelerator programs like Y-Combinator and 500Startups developed their own pitch deck formulas with recommended slides for seed-stage startups graduating from their programs:

The perfect pitch deck recipe: comparison infographic

What slides should a successful pitch deck include?

As you can see in the pitch deck formula comparison infographic above, there are minor differences between each recipe. However, some slides (highlighted green) are present in all recipes. The core slides that top investors agree every pitch deck should include are as follows:

  • Problem slide: introduce the problem you startup solves
  • Solution slide: describe how you solve this problem
  • Advantage slide: explain why your solution is the best
  • Business Model slide: describe how your startup earns money
  • Team slide: introduce your team’s unique experience & expertise
  • Traction slide: showcase your achievements & growth to-date
  • Ask slide: share your funding ask and use of funds

While the above pages are a “must” for any compelling pitch deck, you will likely want to include some of the other suggested slides to round out your pitch, such as:

  • GTM slide: go-to-market and growth strategy
  • Market slide: market size and growth analysis
  • Validation slide: customer validation & target customer segments

Read more about what slides to include in your pitch deck here.

Need help creating your pitch deck?

Creating a compelling pitch deck will help your startup secure funding from investors! To make your life easier, you may be interested in the Silicon Pitch Deck Template, built specifically to help startups raising funding. Easily create a professional-grade investor presentation for your startup — check it out here.

Silicon Pitch Deck: based on 100+ winning startups |