If you’re seeking funding from an investor, you’ll need a great-looking investor deck. It’s not necessary to hire someone to put one together: use this as your guide.

If you’ve decided to go the investment route for your startup, you will be pitching to several groups of venture capitalists or angel investors, and it’s important to have a professional looking presentation on your business.

While you certainly will need some PowerPoint skills, you don’t need fancy animations or lots of images. What you do need are some standard details customary for all investor decks (see this one as a great example).

Cover

On the cover page of your presentation, you should have your company logo and name, and perhaps the group you are pitching to (make sure to change this for each presentation or you might offend the investors!).

Mission

What’s the objective of your company? You may already have a mission statement, so putting this on the next page should be fairly simple. If it’s lengthy, cut it down to the basic concept. For example:

We strive to bridge the gap between print publications and the burgeoning mobile market.

It should quickly explain what you want to do with your startup, but not go into detail on how.

Summary

Here you can explain a bit more about how your business operates. Keep in mind that you will be talking from the slides, so there’s no need to type everything out word for word. Focus on the high level pitch: how can you explain what you do in a single sentence:

We will do for the media industry what Kindle did for the publishing world.

Use familiar analogies so investors can envision what it is you do with minimal explanation.

Team

In this part of your investor deck, provide short bios of your founders or key management, along with professional headshots. Focus on bulleted highlights: what makes each person qualified to run this business? What’s impressive about their backgrounds?

Problem

Now we get to the core of what your investors care about. What is the problem you are trying to solve? What itch are consumers or your target audience trying to scratch? Why is that a significant issue? Provide any statistics you can to further your case.

Magazines and newspapers are on the decline. Advertisers would rather put their money into interactive and measurable ad resources.

Solution

Now is your chance to shine. How can you solve that problem? Boil it down into the simplest explanation on the slide, and expound from there.

We take existing content and makes it audio and mobile.

Advertisers get audio spots within content. Trackable. Affordable. Measurable.

Be prepared to answer questions on this slide. After all, you can only say so much on a slide, and if investors are curious about your startup, they will want to know how you will go about achieving that solution.

Technology

For software and mobile startups, you can answer many of those questions with a technology slide. Be careful: sometimes tech explanations can be more in-depth and complicated than necessary. Simplify it -- through illustrations if possible -- so that anyone, tech savvy or otherwise, can understand what you do.

Marketing

How will you market your business? Show that you’ve done your research into what channels work best to reach your market, and calculate those costs into the financing expenses.

Sales

If you have sales currently, discuss where they’re coming from and how much they are. List any sales in the pipeline and solid business contacts. If you haven’t launched yet, analyze your industry and the potential and forecast what you expect your first year of sales to be.

Competition

Your investors want to know that you are aware of the players in the market. List your top competitors and their strengths, weaknesses and how you play into those areas of vulnerability.

Financing

List any funding you have already received, including what round, amount and date. Also list what you are currently asking for in terms of cash injection.

Milestones

Here you’ll talk about the funding you’re seeking and how you’ll spend it over the next few quarters. Include dates for when you plan to hire more employees, invest in assets and incur other expenses.

Also include success points you expect in each quarter:

12 months:

  • 2+ major N. American nationwide publications as clients
  • $100,000/month revenue

Conclusion

This slide isn’t necessary, but you can revamp your Summary slide or provide some aspirational comment about your company.

Tips to Remember

  • Keep it simple. You can always expand on a point beyond the slide.
  • Make your slides clean looking, without unnecessary distractions.
  • Come prepared with research and data, and be ready to answer questions.
  • Be ready to knock on many doors until you find the right investor.