Executive Summary vs Pitch Deck

Last updated: October 18, 2022

Angel investors and venture capitalists invest a lot of money into startups. In fact, angel investors and venture capitalists invested billions in 2022. If you want to get a piece of the pie you have to create a pitch deck and executive summary that hooks investors. The good news is that AngelMatch is here to help.

We're going to take you through what a pitch deck is. We'll also cover executive summaries and how they impact an investor pitch. Read on to learn more below.

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    What is a Pitch Deck?

    A pitch deck is a visual presentation that helps potential investors learn about startups. Startup founders use pitch decks to get interest from investors. It's for this reason that pitch decks are eye-catching, short, and to the point. Pitch decks are also known as pitch books or Confidential Information Memorandums.

    It's also important to note that pitch decks have set lengths and flashy attributes. They're image-heavy to catch the eyes of investors and they're typically less than 20 slides. While it's important to present the idea to investors, it's best to avoid boring them with a 40-slide PowerPoint presentation.

    When creating pitch decks, most people follow a template and use Google Slides or PowerPoint. It's also important to note that creativity is key with pitch decks. The ultimate goal is to gain interest, so flashy slides that are short and concise make for the best pitch decks.

    What's Included in a Pitch Deck? 

    Pitch decks need to contain a lot of information about your startup. The goal is to attract investors, so it's important to answer most of their questions and show them what they need to know about your startup. For most startups, there are 11 things that need to be present within a pitch deck.

    We list these 11 elements below.

    • Vision and value proposition 

    • The problem your startup will solve 

    • A solution to the problem

    • Features of the product or service

    • How your product or service fits into the market

    • The competitive nature of the industry

    • Revenue and models that display how the startup operates

    • Traction

    • Projections about the short-term future and long-term future

    • A brief introduction of the team, founders, and staff

    • The amount of funding the startup is requesting

    For a pitch deck to be successful, it needs to include these 11 elements. Without them, angel investors are unable to evaluate the startup quickly and efficiently. With thousands of potential startups sending pitch decks, it's important to nail the first impression.

    Always make sure you keep your company goals and visions in mind. While adapting is good, you want investors who are interested in your exact ideas.

    How Long is a Pitch Deck? 

    The average pitch deck is between 14 and 16 slides. Pitch decks are short because they're designed to function as a hook. Some pitch decks are even shorter (10 slides) but there are situations that call for longer, 20-slide pitch decks. Overall, the length of a pitch deck varies depending on the startup.

    What's the Best Place to Create a Pitch Deck?

    The best place to build a pitch deck is in Google slides. PowerPoint is also a great workspace but it's not as flexible as Google Slides. Google Slides provides you with integration with the Google Cloud. Ultimately, you can connect your email, Google Meets profile, and more to your presentation. Doing so makes it easy to send pitch decks to more investors.

    Are There Templates for Pitch Decks?

    Yes, there are templates for pitch decks. AngelMatch is a venture capital database and angel investor database with more than 90,000 investors. To help you connect with investors, AngelMatch includes several pitch deck templates.

    What is an Executive Summary?

    An executive summary is a small part of a startup's business plan. Similar to a pitch deck, executive summaries are short and attempt to hook readers. The goal of an executive summary is to hook readers to get them to read the larger document. Executive summaries are used for many things in business and, like a pitch deck, are useful for connecting with investors.

    Executive summaries also need to be easy to read for the target audience. Some degree of jargon is okay but these documents need to be short and easy to read to be effective. These summaries are written and typed, so there are no slides involved. Therefore, executive summaries are not presentations like pitch decks.

    What's Included in an Executive Summary?

    Executive summaries contain a lot of information in only a few pages of text. Startup founders are free to include what they like but there are some elements that we recommend including. 

    We list these elements below.

    • The executive summary needs to be between 5% and 10% of the length of the business plan or final report

    • Jargon is okay to use but the terminology has to be reader-friendly for the target audience

    • Short paragraphs that are concise

    • A short summary (intro)

    • The executive summary should be written with a similar structure as the larger report

    • Don't include material that's not present in the business plan

    • Come up with recommendations

    • Provide problems and solutions

    • It needs to be good enough to be useful without the main report

    These are the elements that most people want to see in an executive summary. Depending on the startup, some of this information will change or vary. While not as creative as pitch decks, feel free to be creative with your executive summary approach.

    How Long is an Executive Summary?

    Executive summaries for startups should be around two pages in length. Two pages is often enough to summarize the information present within the business plan. A two-page executive summary is also long enough to show investors everything they need to know before reading the full report. For longer business plans, executive summaries will be longer.

    Keep in mind that executive summaries will vary depending on the company. In some cases, an executive summary will be longer than two pages and that's okay. 

    What's the Best Way to Write an Executive Summary? 

    The best way to write an executive summary is to use the Google workspace. So, make sure you use Google Docs to write the summary. We recommend using Google's workspace because it's connected to their email system, meeting system, and calendar. Being connected to all of these applications makes it easy to send executive summaries.

    When writing the summary, use details from your business plan but summarize them well. Ultimately, you want it to be a short and quick introduction of your business plan.

    Connect with Investors Today

    Pitch decks and executive summaries help you connect with investors. These tools hook angel investors and venture capitalists to help startup founders raise capital. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to come up with the perfect pitch deck or executive summary. Fortunately, AngelMatch has you covered with pitch deck templates and tips for creating pitch decks.

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