Positioning your Pitch Deck

Ryan Nash
Ryan Nash , COO , Gust INC
22 May 2024

This write-up was originally sent to subscribers as a part of our Mission Control weekly insights, a series where we share wisdom and quick breakdowns on topics from our entrepreneur support network.

A standing aspect of the Mission Control program is monthly pitch practices- where we give our founders a chance to practice their pitch and get feedback from three to five investors each session. Read on for the key insights from that feedback to help you refine your pitch!

Crafting a pitch deck for your startup is about more than just hitting the expected key notes. While the essentials—team, market, competition, financials, etc.—form the backbone of your pitch, it’s how you tell your story that makes all the difference. Your deck and your pitch should be structured to build excitement and belief. That means highlighting unique advantages and anticipating questions and objections without getting bogged down in unnecessary details.


The Details

Most investors know the basics. What they seek are the details that set you apart. Spend less time on the obvious and more on what truly needs explaining. This is your chance to shine a light on your startup’s unique value proposition and how it positions you differently in the market. If your problem is well known, don’t waste 3-4 minutes pretending you’re convincing the investors the problem exists; get to why and how you’re the solution.

You have a limited window to make an impact. Showcase your strengths early in your deck. Whether it’s your team’s expertise, an innovative technology, or a unique business model, make sure these elements are front and center. This strategy not only keeps your core strengths in the forefront, but it also preempts and addresses the underlying skepticism often echoed in the silent question, ‘But why you?’ after each conventional slide.

Anticipate your audience’s questions based on your startup’s market and domain. Your pitch should proactively tackle the biggest existential objections and clearly answer how your strategy overcomes them. There will always be a few points of disbelief in investors’ minds. Address them head on rather than trying to bury them. If you don’t have a good answer yourself, you’ve got work to do on your strategy!

How Mission Control Helps

The core strengths and potential objections are unique to each startup. It’s helpful to pitch to investors and experts before there’s money on the line. Every month, Mission Control founders have a chance to practice their pitch in front of a panel of seasoned investors and get in-depth feedback.

We’ve guided founders through various crucial aspects of their pitches: assisting one in emphasizing their core business and showcasing their team’s industry expertise, aiding another in identifying and addressing potential objections within a dynamic, regulation-shifting industry, and helping yet another to pivot their pitch towards instilling belief in their key innovation—instead of over-elaborating on a straightforward market opportunity. Here’s a brief summary of some takeaways from a recent Pitch Practice from Gust’s founder, David S Rose… humorously from the back of an NYC taxi which could possibly be a place you pitch!

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This article is intended for informational purposes only, and doesn't constitute tax, accounting, or legal advice. Everyone's situation is different! For advice in light of your unique circumstances, consult a tax advisor, accountant, or lawyer.