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How to create a successful pitch deck, according to a VC and entrepreneur

Lea-Sophie CramerLea-Sophie Cramer.

Bruno Schlenker

  • Lea-Sophie Cramer is a German entrepreneur who founded the startup Amorelie.
  • She’s also a venture-capital investor and investment advisor to companies like KKR.
  • Cramer shares the key things that founders need to consider when building a pitch deck.

This is an edited, translated version of an article that originally appeared on January 9, 2023.

Lea-Sophie Cramer founded Amorelie, a leading e-commerce company that sells sex toys.

She’s now one of Germany’s most active angel investors, investing in a wide variety of startups through her venture-capital firm, Pink Capital. Alongside this, she advises companies like the global investment firm KKR on identifying new investments.

Cramer has dealt with a huge number of pitch decks in her time as an entrepreneur and VC.

She has shared on LinkedIn her top tips for creating a successful pitch deck.

1. ‘Tell us your story’

A pitch deck is about telling a good story — it needs a “wow moment and a sense of suspense,” Cramer wrote in the LinkedIn post. 

She said she took inspiration from the entrepreneur and best-selling author Simon Sinek, who, in his TED Talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” detailed how the questions “what?” “how?” and “why?” were crucial when talking about a product or a company.

Cramer said she looked for pitch decks to answer the following questions:

  • Why this market and why this idea right now?
  • How am I going to do this differently from others?
  • What exactly am I doing and who are we?

2. ‘Less is more’

Cramer wrote that it was better to be concise than wordy.

She identified the vital points to cover as “team, topic, timing, market.” She added that founders could also mention valuation and funding needs in their chats with prospective investors.

3. ‘Know your numbers’

Cramer recognizes that most numbers at the pitching stage are projections, but she said it’s still important to know these well and include them in your deck.

“The investors want to see how you think, calculate, how ambitious your goals are, and how realistic your assumptions for marketing costs are,” she wrote.

4. ‘Slides show who you are’

Pitch decks need to be tailored to the product and style of each startup.

“If you want to build a brand, your pitch deck needs to highlight that brand. If you want to build a tool, you need a pitch deck that shows mock-ups of the product,” Cramer wrote.

5. ‘Looks matter’

It’s not just the content but also the presentation of your deck that counts, Cramer added.

For those who aren’t confident doing this themselves, Cramer recommended using Pitch, which offers templates where you can build and work with others in the cloud on your presentation. She also suggested Beautiful.AI, which has a similar offering.

For those wanting to get help from professionals, she recommended UnicornPitch, a design and content service.

6. ‘Control the distribution’

“Sending it via DocSend is even better than a PDF,” Cramer wrote.

It allows senders much more control over who reads their pitch deck — and who can forward it. It also makes it possible to see any pitches that investors took more time with, which can help you to learn and improve subsequent pitches.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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