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Intro to the YC seed deck template: Not a template slide
Demo Day for our Winter 2018 batch is a week from today. We’re largely focused on preparing companies for their on-stage presentations, but are
also working with them on slightly longer decks to use in follow-up conversations with investors.
I’ve written about pitching before, and realized that what we were missing was a clear template for how founders should lay out their stories through
slides. The deck below is a template for how I think companies should build seed decks. While the main target for this template is a company raising
its seed round, the deck is not all that different from best practices for a Series A deck - which we’ll release next.
The key point to remember here is that founders should strive for clarity and concision. This is not the right place to write a treatise on your market or
world philosophy. The simple truth is that there isn’t very much meaningful detail to explore for most seed stage companies. When founders pretend
that there is, their stories get muddled, and the investors get lost.
Focus on narrative. The rest is commentary.[1]
__
[1] This deck is intentionally simple in design. Kevin Hale wrote a great piece about how to design decks well. https://blog.ycombinator.com/how-to-
design-a-better-pitch-deck/
Thanks to Jared Friedman for suggesting that we put this together, and for reviewing it.
Seed deck template, Inc.
A template that tells you how to build a seed deck
Founders build bad seed decks
● This wastes a huge amount of time
● Bad seed decks mean they don’t raise the money they need
● No money means companies are forced to survive on revenue
3
Our template solves this problem
● It’s fast to use
● Simple to explain
● Improves lives and cleans teeth
4
All the companies are using us
- 50% growth per
month. Every month.
- 100% retention
5
Money raised thanks to our decks
- US$s, not C$s
- 95% better than
fundraises without
our decks
6
Our decks work because of science
● Time to create a deck is 90% less
● Edward Tufte approved
● We pick better color schemes
● Have you heard of the power of paper?
7
We make money on every deck
● 5% of all capital raised + 1% royalty on business revenue
● That’s $6m in revenue last year alone
● Free to produce new decks, because we don’t do any work, it’s a google slide
template
8
Future growth
● There are 1000 slide decks made in SF every day
● That’s the first market, but it’s slowed because of how hard decks are to build
● We’re going to make decks bigger, better, and easier, which means more
decks
9
Team
CTO with
lots of
experience
CEO who
knows how
to pitch
VP eng
who
does not
sleep
10
What we need
● $1.5m
● This is for engineers and marketing
● With this money, we’ll hit all the milestones for our next round within 2 days
● Thanks
11

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Y-Combinator seed pitch deck template PP

  • 1. Intro to the YC seed deck template: Not a template slide Demo Day for our Winter 2018 batch is a week from today. We’re largely focused on preparing companies for their on-stage presentations, but are also working with them on slightly longer decks to use in follow-up conversations with investors. I’ve written about pitching before, and realized that what we were missing was a clear template for how founders should lay out their stories through slides. The deck below is a template for how I think companies should build seed decks. While the main target for this template is a company raising its seed round, the deck is not all that different from best practices for a Series A deck - which we’ll release next. The key point to remember here is that founders should strive for clarity and concision. This is not the right place to write a treatise on your market or world philosophy. The simple truth is that there isn’t very much meaningful detail to explore for most seed stage companies. When founders pretend that there is, their stories get muddled, and the investors get lost. Focus on narrative. The rest is commentary.[1] __ [1] This deck is intentionally simple in design. Kevin Hale wrote a great piece about how to design decks well. https://blog.ycombinator.com/how-to- design-a-better-pitch-deck/ Thanks to Jared Friedman for suggesting that we put this together, and for reviewing it.
  • 2. Seed deck template, Inc. A template that tells you how to build a seed deck
  • 3. Founders build bad seed decks ● This wastes a huge amount of time ● Bad seed decks mean they don’t raise the money they need ● No money means companies are forced to survive on revenue 3
  • 4. Our template solves this problem ● It’s fast to use ● Simple to explain ● Improves lives and cleans teeth 4
  • 5. All the companies are using us - 50% growth per month. Every month. - 100% retention 5
  • 6. Money raised thanks to our decks - US$s, not C$s - 95% better than fundraises without our decks 6
  • 7. Our decks work because of science ● Time to create a deck is 90% less ● Edward Tufte approved ● We pick better color schemes ● Have you heard of the power of paper? 7
  • 8. We make money on every deck ● 5% of all capital raised + 1% royalty on business revenue ● That’s $6m in revenue last year alone ● Free to produce new decks, because we don’t do any work, it’s a google slide template 8
  • 9. Future growth ● There are 1000 slide decks made in SF every day ● That’s the first market, but it’s slowed because of how hard decks are to build ● We’re going to make decks bigger, better, and easier, which means more decks 9
  • 10. Team CTO with lots of experience CEO who knows how to pitch VP eng who does not sleep 10
  • 11. What we need ● $1.5m ● This is for engineers and marketing ● With this money, we’ll hit all the milestones for our next round within 2 days ● Thanks 11

Editor's Notes

  1. This is the title page. It has the name of your company, and a one line description of what you do. This is the only place in the deck where you can only have 1 slide for what you need to show. Any of the other slides in this deck should be treated as a first slide of a set. If you can keep the set to n=1, that’s ideal, but if you need more, that’s ok. You probably don’t want any set here where n > 3. This is a seed deck, remember.
  2. This is where you clearly state the problem. Particulars of how this problem impacts real world people/businesses are valuable.
  3. This is the solution. You want to explain what you do very clearly, in as few words as possible. Describe the concrete benefits you provide
  4. Show off your traction (if you have it). Make the numbers clear and meaningful. It’s unlikely your curve will be this smooth. That’s ok. Add some context next to the chart if you’ve got some great stats you want to add.
  5. Got more metrics? Awesome! Add them! Trick slide! Revenue would be better here, but this is ok.
  6. Tell the investor what makes you so special, what makes this work, what your insights are. This might take more than one slide.
  7. Business model is important. You probably don’t know all the details yet, but you should know a lot of them. Lay it out. If you need more space to dig into something complicated, add slides.
  8. What’s the market here? Is it going to be big? Will you make it big? How much money are you going to make off this thing? Convince the investor that they’re going to make lots of money with you
  9. Team! So important at seed. Talk about what makes your team particularly well suited to the problem. This should be about founders. Nobody cares about your advisors.
  10. Tell the investor how much money you need, and what it gets you. If you can lay out where you’ll be inside of a year, which should make you Series A ready, that’s powerful. It does *not* include your valuation, cap, or other fundraising terms.