Business Pitch Deck Guidelines

Semi-finalists will be invited to email their full business pitch decks to the Rhode Island Business Competition.

Creating a business pitch deck is an involved process that requires a lot of time. We strongly suggest that applicants work on their full business pitch deck in advance of completing their application, and then use information from their pitch deck to complete their application. This makes the application easier to complete.

The pitch deck is similar to a business plan, but it is much more concise. For both, it is important for the reader/investor/judge to understand you story. Always lead with why you wanted to start this business and then address the important parts which are listed below.

Some other tips:

  • Don’t have too much text. You want the attention focused on you, but they can’t do that if they are reading all that text!
  • Keep it simple. Don’t have more than one concept/idea on a slide.
  • Use images that enhance your story. Pictures and photos need to resonate with the audience so get feedback from others to see what their reactions are.
  • Reminder – you are telling a story so make sure the slides are in the correct order and keep the story moving.
  • Have a strong close and make it memorable!

Mark your business pitch deck "Confidential." See the section on Protection of Intellectual Property.

The Necessary Slides You Need:

  1. Problem/Opportunity – Explain the problem/pain you are trying to solve. What unique opportunity are you aware of?
  2. Market – How many people have this pain or want this opportunity? Is there a current solution that could be improved upon?
  3. Solution – What is your solution? Why is it unique? What is your defensible position in the market? In other words, what is your value proposition?
  4. Business Model – How will you sell it? You need to include your pricing (one time purchase, subscription, etc.); target market; and how will you sell it (what is your Go to Market strategy?). You may need to use two slides for this section.
  5. Competition – Who else is in the market? Explain why you are better. You should probably create a 2 x 2 matrix so your audience can quickly understand your business vs the competition.
  6. The Team – Why are you the best people to start this company? What makes you uniquely qualified? Address why your team is strong enough to make this business successful.
  7. Timeline – What have you done to date? What are the milestones? How much time and money do you need to get there? Make sure the dates are realistic and attainable. Consider the SMART goal model (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timebound). Consider showing a timeline using a Gantt chart or something similar.
  8. Financial Projections – show at least four years of projections and include revenue, gross margin, expenses, and EBITDA. Highlight breakeven point. You may need two slides for this section.
  9. Terms – What will you use the money for? How will you use the in-kind services?