Startups and scaling organizations create investor decks as a visual aid to highlight their growing business and attract supporters. These presentations are usually shared as slides alongside the spokesperson’s pitch for support.

The team at 29 Design Studio has worked alongside these growing challenges to build effective pitch decks, winning hearts, minds, pitch competitions, and investment deals. Here’s what you can expect from our team and a starting list of data you can put together to set us off on the right foot.

Winning Hearts, Minds, Pitch Competitions, and Investment Deals

Rarely do we create a deck as brief as Guy Kawasaki’s, but we do subscribe to his “simple is best” theory. As you prepare the content for your pitch deck, you must have a solid understanding of who will use the product or service you’re developing and how they’ll employ it. 

  • This message should be concise and streamlined, sharing the problem you solve or the opportunity you provide in one to two sentences.
  • Dive into what makes your product or service unique and explain how it differs from the competition. 
  • Look for impactful statements and colorful ways of sharing your story. 

As our Art Director, Alice Hallahan says, “You can’t always assume you’ll be able to present your desk in person so it’s important that it conveys your message even when you can’t.”

Sharing Your Startup Journey and Presenting the Road Ahead

A deck will also share your business model and, usually, information about key members of your team and stakeholders. Investors will be interested in your plans for growth and scalability as well as the financial projections and key metrics of your startup. They’ll also want to hear about the road forward and how you’ll bring your product or service to market.

Finally, investors will be interested in the current status of your startup and a timeline of your accomplishments to date. If you have real-life examples, these can be shared as case studies and analogies in your presentation. You may also have an appendix, an extra slide with additional information that supports your storyline but isn’t crucial to the storytelling.

Knowing Your Pitch Deck’s Audience

With those basics in hand, your deck designer can pull the key messages to inspire visuals that appeal to your audience. Just those aspects alone will provide a solid foundation that can be customized based on who will receive your pitch. 

One deck won’t suit every audience, though. Be sure to establish a clear understanding of who you are pitching to. Pitch competitions, like Grow-NY, 43North, or the New York Business Plan Competition, often have strict time limitations and specific content requirements. Whereas investors won’t necessarily tell you beforehand what they want you to share.

Designing a Pitch Deck That Speaks For You

Putting together a pitch deck is miles different than your average PowerPoint presentation. The role of a designer is to take all of your content and translate it into visuals that echo the spoken word with the same intensity. The images reinforce and support the message, making the deck easy to understand.

Alice likens the visuals in a deck to an infographic style of storytelling. “There’s no room for fluff in the imagery and we can help with the flow of the deck, too, ensuring the story you’re telling the audience comes across clearly whether you walk an investor through it or it is simply shared as a document.”

Creating Pitch-Winning Decks

29 Design Studio has worked with a number of startups to create many winning pitch decks, including award-winning examples for businesses such as Combplex, Leep Foods, Ascribe Bioscience, Agri-Trak, and RealEats Meals.For more information on preparing to build your investor or competition deck or to schedule a consultation, please contact Maureen Ballatori at or 315-332-1717.