Pitch Decking

As a mentor at 500 Startups and connector at VegasTech I get a lot of founders asking me how to get in or pitch to these incubators and funds. Before I can make any introductions or referrals, I need to play armchair VC myself. My reputation is on the line for any connection I make, so I need to see the deck first.

500Startups and VegasTechFund

The most common follow up question is, “Do you have any links or resources on how to build a good deck?” After making it clear that they should go ask google instead of me, I throw my own 2 cents into the ring:

Dear passionate entrepreneur,

You might want to start out with something like this:

  1. Logo & tagline
  2. _______ really sucks for _______ [industry, # of people, # of businesses]
  3. We are solving it this way: _______
  4. We are growing! _______ See?
  5. Oh, and yes, we are the best team to build it because _______
  6. We want you in to help us grow with connections to x, and/or money for y
  7. Thank you, we’d love to connect at [url, email, phone]


  • No one cares about all the details, unless they ask you for all the details. If they ask you for all the details, that is a good thing. Have them ready to send back, but don’t put all that crap in your deck.
  • Don’t look crappy, or people will think you’re crappy. But, don’t make it look exponentially better than your product, or people will think you’re better at creating slides than building a company.
  • Confidence is awesome, but lying sucks.