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5 Key Steps to Create a Winning Pitch Deck for Women-owned Businesses

There is a gender gap regarding venture capital (VC) funding. As female (co-)founders, how can you win the pitch and get the fund to scale up your business? The first thing you can do is make sure you create a winning pitch deck.

Why do so many founders, regardless of gender, try hard to create a winning pitch deck to get VC funding for their businesses? What happened to bootstrapping and profiting first?

Well, the thing is, it’s not just about the money.

Closing the deal with VCs also gives you access to professional guidance on business strategy, operations and marketing, building your network, connecting with more investors and VC firms, and connecting with customers. That’s why if you want to scale up fast, VC funding can be a good leverage.

However, it’s still quite challenging for female founders to shake hands with VC investors. Funding for female (co-)founders in 2021-2022 has raised up to more than four thousand deals, but almost half of them are from angel investors or the seed stage. Securing the second round is yet another bump in the road.

Knowing the challenge, let’s level up our pitching game. Check out how you can create a winning pitch deck for female founders below.

What makes a strong pitch deck?

Investors get the first impression of your business through your pitch deck, that’s why you can’t afford to have a half-hearted presentation. As a rule of thumb to create a winning pitch deck, your presentation should:

Be concise and straightforward

A VC firm can get hundreds of startups and companies pitching to them every year, so ain’t no investors got time for a 150-slide-long presentation. To create a winning pitch deck, make sure it’s concise and doesn’t blabber.

Convey related facts through data and numbers

Do your due diligence. Research, analyze, rinse, and repeat, so you really understand your business, market, and forecast. This knowledge will lead you to be confident and convincing when presenting your business.

Portray the emotional, human side

Unless your business is targeting robots and you’re pitching to a bunch of decision-making machines, your pitch deck should have a touch of the emotional, human side. Introduce the people in your business — yourself as a female founder and your management team — and build real connections with the investors. This is especially important because the management team plays the most crucial role in whether or not the business will succeed.

And when presenting your data and numbers, do it in an engaging way with the power of storytelling. How do you do that, though? Try the following sequence to create a winning pitch deck.

What is the best pitch deck sequence?

There’s nothing worse than a vague, jagged presentation when you pitch your business model to VC investors. It creates an awful first impression — “This founder doesn’t know her stuff. They haven’t done enough research. I don’t understand what they’re trying to pitch” — And other bad inner comments.

Conversely, a great sequence keeps your presentation flowing nicely and naturally, as well as allows the investors to understand and relate to your stories.

To create a winning pitch deck for female founders or women-owned businesses, follow this sequence:

1. Start with the topic

This should be on the first and/or second slides of your deck, so you can get straight to the point right after saying hi and introducing your team members. Remember to also emphasize your role as a female founder and why it matters.

2. Discuss what the VC investors already know

This is where you bring up existing data and reports — general data, things that many people already know, what the investors want and the brief they gave you (if any), and such.

Keep this part within two slides so you don’t bore them.

3. Bring up new things they don’t know yet

This is where you present your research and findings. Show the investors the problem you’ve found in the market, within your target audience, and back it up with rational data. Again, don’t go over two slides.

4. Introduce your idea/business model

And here’s where your business comes to save the day. Connect the dots between points two and three, present how your business model can solve the problem in the market, and show the investors how your company as a women-owned business matters in this context.

You also need to elaborate on:

  • The short- and long-term strategies and goals
  • The role of each management team member in these strategies and goals
  • What support you need from the VCs
  • How their support helps you reach your goals

This is an important part where you’re “selling” your business. It’s okay to elaborate a little, but let’s not go over five slides.

5. Summarize the key points

To finish your pitch, create one slide that contains around five important points of your whole presentation. Let them sink in, and add a closing statement that convinces the VC investors why your business model works in the long run.

And that’s how you create a winning pitch deck for women-owned businesses

It’s not enough to just create a winning pitch deck, though. Your pitch deck is only the beginning. Keep improving your public speaking and presentation skills so you can nail that presentation and seal the deal.

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