Blog > Reviews

Pitch deck for startups - 7 templates compared

Posted by Stéphane Nasser | May 02, 2020

Card image cap

It's really hard to find a good template to build your startup pitch deck.

Most of what you find online - both free and paid - sucks. Either the slides are ugly, or the deck is poorly structured, or both.

Having been there myself, I scouted the Internets to find the absolute best templates I could get my hands on. I can confidently say - the following are the best pitch deck templates you can find online. If you think I missed one, kindly let me know and I'll review it.

Money can be tight at the start, so I made sure to pick both free and paid templates.

One last thing: a good template doesn't make a good pitch deck. It's just a starting point. After you are done picking your template, check out my playbook on building a good pitch deck. It's full of real-life advice and practical tips to help you make the most of your template!

Table of contents


Methodology - What is a good pitch deck template?

What makes a good pitch deck template? I am no designer, but I have reviewed well over 800 pitch decks over the past few years. In a very subjective way, this is what I looked at:

Design

  • "Look & feel"
  • Colors: Usually a bright background with 1 major color. Sometimes a palette.
  • Fonts: Something modern
  • Additional items included (icons, pictures, device mockups, etc.)

Layout

  • Is this a generic "presentation" layout or a typical "startup" deck template
  • Are there slides for all the typical categories: Team, Product, Market, etc.
  • How many slides are there in total? How many for each category?

As with all the content on this website, they follow my policy regarding affiliation and impartiality (tl,dr: you can trust me).


1. StephNass' own template - Free

StephNass' own template

Since it's my blog, I put my own template first :)

For this template, I started from my own pitch deck then shamelessly looted all the best ideas I found flicking through dozens of decks. Now be aware: this is a work in progress. I spent a little bit of time every week to refine it.

Leave comments in the doc to suggest improvements, I'll implement them quickly!

 


 


 


2. "ProjectX" by Graphicbulb - Free

"ProjectX" by GraphicBulb

GraphicBulb is a website that offers free templates on Google Slides, Powerpoint and Keynote, and also paid ones (called Premium templates) via Envato Market.

Starting with the downsides, this ProjectX template only has 16 slides. Half of them have little value for tech startups, but the ones about Team, Tablet mockup, Laptop mockup, and Data Layout are really neat.

What I like most about the ProjectX template is its "clean" aspect: white background, black text, and a touch of green to catch the eye. Add to that a modern font, and you have a strong basis to build your amazing startup pitch deck.

 


3. "TransportApp" by SlidesGo - Free

"TransportApp" by SlidesGo

Like GraphicBulb, SlidesGo gathers hundreds of free templates in one place. As such, quality varies a lot from one template to another. This TransportApp deck specifically caught my eyes because of its black background. It can be the right choice if you are looking for a dark theme or a premium/luxury feel.

When it comes to the slides themselves, it's a bit deceptive. You do have 32 slides to pick from, but many of them are either repetitive or completely useless. The Pricing, Market Size, and Target slides are not too bad, but that's pretty much it. If you go with this template, set aside some time to create more slides on your own.

 


 


 


4. "Peetch" by Slidor - Free

"Peetch" by Slidor 

Slidor is a design agency that creates custom Powerpoint presentations. They had the brilliant idea to release a free template for startups that cannot afford their services but still need a robust pitch deck. Kudos to that.

This is probably the best free template out there. 42 slides of awesomeness with all the classics: market, competitors, roadmap, value prop, customer profile, etc. There is even a "Product" slide for Apple watch apps. Coming from a design agency, it obviously looks great, with the light gray background and modern font that gives out the "startupy" touch.

Download it, you'll thank me later.

 


 


 


5. "Seed Deck" by Nextview - Free

"Seed Deck" by Nextview

Nextview is a VC fund that invests in the “Everyday Economy”, i.e. the "digital redesign of broad categories of everyday living, thanks to cutting edge technologies and innovative business models."

I copy-pasted that last sentence from their website, so I am not sure what it means. What I am sure of, however, is that in September 2019, Nextview released a fantastic pitch deck template for seed-stage startups.

This template really stands out from the rest. First, the design is bold, with a cartoon-ish feel and bright shades of yellow and blue. But what is even better is the content: each slide is really crafted to add value to your storytelling, and includes advice about how to fill it. Some of those slides are truly original. For instance, the slide on Market size breaks with the usual "3 circles" that you see all the time since Airbnb, and I think it's for the better.

 


 


 


6. "Pitch Deck" by Base Templates - 39€

"Pitch Deck" by Base Templates

This one is a beauty! No two ways around it, I just love it.

This "Pitch Deck" by Base Template has clearly been designed by people who have spent time studying startup pitch decks. The 100+ slides (!) follow a robust structure (Market, Traction, Team, etc). Every need you may have is covered, including 300+ icons, 5 country maps, and even device mockups to insert screenshots of your app or website in an elegant way.

The design is definitely modern with crispy colors, clean white background, and round fonts. 4 shades of color are available: blue, green, orange, red. As a former consultant, I appreciate the fact that they included both action titles and main titles. In case you need to pitch in front of a large audience, each slide has a "presentation version" with less text and bigger fonts. Brilliant!

The icing on the cake: this template works with Powerpoint, Google Slide, and Keynote. At 39€ and with a 14-day "no questions asked" return policy, you have no reason not to try BaseTemplates.

 


 


 


7. Slidebean - from $8/mo.

Slidebean

Slidebean is modern presentation software that offers a new approach to making slides.

I won't do a full review, but here is how Slidebean differs from good ol' Powerpoint:

  • Slidebean is 100% web-based. Everything happens in your browser. You have nothing to install.
  • Outline and design are uncoupled! When you create a new slide, you add the content first (i.e. text, images, etc.), then you design the slide in a separate window. Counterintuitive at first, but much more efficient in the long-run.
  • When it comes to designing slides, it's a "block builder" à la Squarespace. You cannot screw it up. And if you mess up somehow, click the "Arrange with AI" button to fix it.
  • Color palettes are connected to each element of your presentation by default. This is great for color consistency and a timesaver if you ever need to update your colors.

Slidebean is a pleasure to use - much more so than Powerpoint. It's easy, fun, and time-efficient. So should you use it?

Well, it depends. As always when "less is more", you won't have full control over your slides. No advanced features, combo shortcuts, or power user techniques. Are you willing to trade off freedom for convenience? If you are an iPhone user, then you already have the answer.

Seriously though. Unless you are a former Microsoftee or a former consultant (or - God forbid! - both), Slidebean is probably a better option for you. Just be aware that convenience comes at a price: $8 a month for the Starter version which includes 15 templates, or $19 a month for the Premium version with 120+ templates.

Templates! Let's talk about them.

I have explored the "startup" templates included with both Starter and Premium versions. On the one hand, the designs are colorful and pixel perfect. On the other hand, I was not impressed by the layout. They are too basic and lack some "must-have" slides. True, you can easily create the layouts you want, so it's not a deal-breaker. But I had higher expectations considering how high the bar is on all other aspects.

Apart from that, you'll be pleased to know that Slidebean comes loaded with high-quality icons, images, and GIFs so you don't need to waste your time browsing  Unsplash and Nounproject.

One last thing: if you want to give Slidebean a try, you can do it for free, but a paid subscription is needed to export your presentations to ppt.

 


 


 


Conclusion - This is the best pitch deck template for startups

 

If you have no money to invest in a deck, just use Peetch by Slidor. It's a great basis to start from. You can easily get inspiration from the other decks presented here and recreate your favorite slides.

If you are willing to shell out a few bucks, the choice is between Slidebean and Base Templates. I would suggest you take SlideBean for a spin with the free trial. See for yourself if it's a good fit, or if you're more comfortable in a typical Powerpoint/Google Slides/Keynote environment with Base Template. They are both robust options anyways, so you'll be fine.

One more thing don't forget to check out my playbook on how to build great pitch decks to maximize the impact of your new template!

2,000+ tech founders are subscribed

Don't miss out on the latest content - only once a month!

Thank you for subscribing. You're in!

Please try again

You might also enjoy

Card image cap

Playbooks

How to build a startup pitch deck

This playbook is my home-made, battle-tested process to prepare the structure, content, and design of a typical early-stage startup pitch deck. These 2 hours of prep work will save you 10x more time down the road, I promise.

Posted by Stéphane Nasser | Jun 03, 2020

Card image cap

Reviews

Startup financial models - 12 templates compared for SaaS

Need a financial model for your startup? Fear not. I have extensively compared the top 12 templates, free and paid, so you don't have to do it.

Posted by Stéphane Nasser | Apr 20, 2020