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Sketch → Refine → Design → Deploy

A compelling narrative and a captivating deck go hand-in-hand when it comes to startup success. Use the following frameworks to create your deck in a day.

1. Sketch

Every great deck tells a story. Duplicate this page into your Notion.

Then, using the rough headlines and visualization columns below, sketch out the key ‘plot points’ of your startup.

Think of it as a written elevator pitch, with headlines designed to captivate, inform, and engage.

Story Sketch

NamePromptCanvaAirbnbInspirationExamplesRough HeadlinesVisualization

Your driving vision & mission for the future.

The Next Generation of Publishing

You can live anywhere and belong everywhere.

Reimagining ___. The future of ___. ___ 3.0. The global ___.

What are the barriers to your vision/mission?

The professional design process is complex, costly, and cumbersome.

Young people want to travel the world, and value affordable, authentic experiences that chain hotels can’t provide.

HUGE statistic: market size, potential user base, etc.

🔮
Why Now

Why is now the perfect time to solve this problem?

Traditional publishing software (Adobe, Paint) was designed for the desktop. Canva is the Cloud Publishing solution built for the Web, Tablet and Mobile.

The recession created an excess home inventory. Costs are rising and individuals are looking for sources of supplemental income. Young travellers are open to unique, affordable accommodation options.

Inflection. Trends. Weak Solutions. New Technology.

🧠
Solution

How do you resolve the problem in a unique way?

Canva shrinks the design process, with one click access to tools, images, online collaboration, and easy printing. It democratizes design.

A trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique spaces around the world.

Technology. Process. Approach. Expertise.

📦
Product

What sets your solution apart? What are the unique benefits?

Canva is a drag-and-drop graphic design software that helps users create presentations, social media graphics, and more with endless layouts, images, photo filters, and fonts.

Airbnb is the easiest way for people to showcase their distinctive spaces to an audience of millions: whether the available space is a castle for a night, a sailboat for a week, or an apartment for a month.

Product-Market fit. Features. Specifications. Price.

📈
Traction

What progress have you made to prove your solution/product is working?

We’re doubling down on the technology of our first profitable company, Fusion Books, which helps 10% of schools in Australia design their yearbooks.

AirBnB has 2500 listings and close to 10,000 registered users.

Rapid Growth. Stickiness. Users. Waitlist.

Why is this a HUGE opportunity?

Canva is so simple to use, its market includes consumers, small businesses, contractors, and pros: far bigger than the existing desktop publishing industry.

From airbeds and couches, Airbnb will expand to Vacation Rentals, corporate travel, and international markets to become the trusted global network of P2P rentals.

TAM + Growing CAGR. What BIG market milestones are on the horizon, what steps will you take to capture them, and how does achieving each step create a foundation for the next?

🤼
Competition

Why can’t your competition realize this opportunity like you can?

Canva gives users complete creative freedom rather than restrictive templates (Moo, Vista Print, Word) and doesn’t require a ton of time, money, or expertise (Adobe, Freelance Designers).

Airbnb is capitalizing on previously unavailable accommodation inventory. In contrast to hotels, travellers can find unique accommodations that fit their budget with friendly locals as a hosts.

Moats. Blue Ocean Opportunities.

💫
Team

What makes you uniquely qualified to realize this opportunity?

We’ve been together for 4 years together building a profitable business in the same space.

Two RISD grads and a Harvard CS grad, the cofounders have the exceptional design and technical skills to make their vision a reality.

Serial entrepreneurs in ___. Team of world-class ___. Previous success in similar spaces.

🚚
GTM

What secret sauce do you have to attract attention, convert + retain users, etc.?

Our first design elements (Facebook events, Website Banners, Newsletters, Twitter Backgrounds, and marketing materials) encourage collaboration among friends and colleagues and organically spread Canva across the web.

We built a successful playbook in SF: focused on events, partnerships (Kayak) and cross-listings (Craigslist) — we will land and expand using this model to 200 more cities in the next 5 years.

Pipeline of customers. Marketing + distribution channels. Markets for expansion.

📁
Business Model

How does your product/service generate revenue?

Unlike SaaS competitors, Canva only charges micropayments for photos, fonts, and printing.

AirBnB charges 7-10% of the traveler’s payment and 3% of what the seller receives; despite this, it’s still cheaper for guests and profitable for hosts.

Subscription. Commission. Rev Share. Advertising.

💵
Fundraise + Financials

How are you going to deploy investor money to achieve your goals?

Raising a $1.5M note at an $8M valuation to develop the Canva platform, generate 1 million images, launch the web and tablet for iOS and Android, and attract 3 million users.

Raising $600K Seed at a $2.4M valuation to expand from air beds and shared spaces to a variety of properties: homes, apartments, tents and boats.

% for Team, Product, Marketing. Milestones with this Funding. 5 Year Projections.

📣
CTA + Purpose

Besides making money, why do you do what you do?

Design the way it should be. Online, collaborative and remarkably simple.

Go where you want. Stay where you want. Experience a city like the locals do.

We believe___. We exist to ___. Let’s build ___. Join us to ____.

🍫
Take a break before refining your story!

2. Refine

Your company is unique, and your pitch should be too. Take the Story Sketch you just completed and use it to begin forming your deck.

Edit the table below with the goal of turning quantity into quality. Remove weak slides, add slides when necessary, and shuffle elements to achieve narrative flow.

Once your sketch reads like a short story selling your startup, you’re on your way.

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Story Sketch

NameRough HeadlinesVisualization
🔮
Why Now
🧠
Solution
📦
Product
📈
Traction
🤼
Competition
💫
Team
🚚
GTM
📁
Business Model
💵
Fundraise + Financials
📣
CTA + Purpose

3. Design

  1. Go to our Figma template.
  2. Review best in class slide examples for inspiration then pick the templates that best articulate your headlines.
  3. Drop in your headlines, refine the writing, wireframe your visualizations.
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Need more inspiration? Check out our archive of 1000+ pitch decks…

Deck Library

4. Deploy

Share your draft with fellow founders, investors, or friends.

See where your story sticks & where it stalls.

Here’s an email template to use

Subject: Mind reviewing my latest pitch deck?

Hi ____,

I just redesigned the__________ pitch deck, and I was hoping that you could take a minute to check it out. This is still an early draft, so please don’t pull any punches with your critique!

If it helps, here are a few questions you might want to think about when looking through it.

- What is the core problem we’re trying to solve?

- What’s our solution?

- What makes this solution better than what currently exists?

If you just want to give a general review of the deck, that’s okay too. Nothing is too small, so anything that catches your eye is worth mentioning.

Thanks so much!

[your name]

Congratulations, you’re done ✔️ A unicorn is born 🦄