I'm starting to raise for a bitcoin startup, and our pitch deck is embarrassing. I tried to do it myself, but I am not a designer. I'm looking for a startup pitch deck designer - any advice on where I can get our deck spruced up while keeping the costs under $500?
I heard of a startup that recently launched called http://sketchdeck.com that has become pretty popular for fundraising decks.
Happy to do a dry run of your pitch with you in a call.
www.Iglu.in.th is a western run development shop in Thailand that has European quality at outsourced prices. I've used them and was very happy with the results.
First, focus on what you want your message to be. Who is the intended target of the pitch deck? Brainstorm on the message you want to convey: what's the "pain point" you're solving, what's the market opportunity, number of customers you have, amount of capital you're seeking to raise, why investors should invest with you (your "special sauce").
Once you have all this information, then you can approach various consultants/shops and see what their pricing/track record/etc. is. But looking for a consultant before you know exactly what you want will just waste a lot of your time.
The basic answer is no. Any designer you hire for $500 will just give your deck a cosmetic lift – but this is trivial. A great designer will re-think the communication of your idea, traction, market size, etc – both a the pitch level, and at the per-slide or talking point level.
Design is communication – visual, verbal, conceptual, emotional – great pitches deliver on all these areas and are also dead simple. You're really paying for the thinking, not pixels. And great thinking is expensive.
Happy to get on a call and tell you more.
Do you have a logo and/or brand identity or is that something you might need help with as well? For pitch deck design, I've heard great things about http://investorpitches.com, but suspect they may not be able to stay within your budget. Whenever I need to find a great designer at a reasonable price, I hit http://dribbble.com and http://behance.net. You can also check out to http://elto.com and maybe even pickcrew.com - these last two resources might have a referral if they can't connect you with someone with expertise directly. I also have a designer on staff that could work with you, depending on the complexity of the design work you're after; we partner with a number of startups, mapping out the MVP and providing branding, marketing and strategic clarity.
If you'd like me to take a look at your deck for flow of content and/or strategic clarity, I'm happy to get on a call.
Great question. I have had a ton of clients/partners who are early stage startups encounter this exact problem. A pitch deck can be relevant not only for the round of funding you are targeting (which is usually its primary purpose) but even for things like business development and recruiting potential co-founders/mentors/board members/employees. Properly deployed, a pitch deck can be the Swiss Army knife of marketing documents for an entrepreneur.
At that price point and since your deck will likely be changing somewhat frequently given how early you are in the process, I would definitely find someone who specializes in build pitch decks specifically (versus your traditional design studio taking it on as a side project.) I would also recommend, to the extent possible, working with a company that can be available to support multiple iterations as you add/edit content over time.
I send most of my startup partners to a Chicago-based shop http://www.quick2launch.com/ for their initial pitch deck needs. I've seen them produce dozens of high-quality decks at a super affordable/responsive rate (not to mention they have some great online tools to manage your marketing materials moving forward.) Check them out - highly recommended for quality work production and savings.
Happy to hop on a call to discuss any other details/tips!
Sometimes the most well designed "deck" is actually not a deck at all -- especially if you want to turn the meeting from a presentation into a conversation. (You do, BTW.) We recently had multiple audience members from a pitch come up after to thank us for NOT have a deck.
Edward Tufte makes some salient points about this in his seminars, noting the authoritarian nature of PowerPoint and suggesting (perhaps counterintuitively) to let people see your materials in advance such that the actual meeting can be more of a dialog, more "interactive" in the traditional sense.
See also this essay, which is easily worth $7... http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/powerpoint
Disclaimer: sadly I do not receive kickback for misquoting Tufte or shilling his wares. If I did, I'd be rich (and earning money in a very unusual way).
P.S. $500 should get you at most 5 or 7 hours of time from a talented visual designer, which in most cases isn't enough to do great work. YMMV.
Pitch decks can be tough. Especially when you're focused more on the content but the design requires its own attention. In my personal business, I can come up with the content but the design was always of a road block. I have found Fiverr.com to be very useful, albeit you'll need to really dig into the service providers, but it can be very well worth it for the short-term and for a quick turnaround. The newest thing that I have been using is Canva.com. It's very simple and easy to use and its free, unless you use their premium images and even then its very cost-effective.
As a start-up myself, stretching every penny is key to surviving the first few years. I'd be happy to share other cost savings lessons that I have learned in my entrepreneur journey if you need help with anything else.
Most co-founders are not designers, and most new businesses do not need to have a full-time designer on staff. Design in itself will not help you successfully raise funds -- hard data will.
Investors see thousands of pitches annually, so they are so quick to spot a promising startup. I know that this startup is your "baby", but your startup is just another commodity to an investor. Commodity stands out by price (ROI), not by a shiny package (pitch deck design). Having seen hundreds of pitches and read even more, I can tell from my own experience that majority of startup founders fail to succinctly articulate that is the value proposition for their clients, what is their sustainable competitive advantage and how much money investors can expect to make. These are my entry level services: http://www.anagard.com/services/InvestorPitchImprovement.html
If you are completely confident with data, and if just want to convey the value visually, then a graphic designer can help you, as said by people on this thread.
Somewhat off topic: Design is important, but it's not a solution to everything. The best example is Jawbone fitness tracker: beautiful design and app, raised 6 times more money than its competitor FitBit, but captured only 19% of market share at the peak. Today, Jawbone is fending off creditors, and FitBit is planning IPO. Execution matters. If you are curios to learn more, I wrote a case study: http://wp.me/pj2e9-db