What’s the best way to communicate your roadmap to investors? I love seeing a milestones slide at the end of a pitch deck.
It does three important things:
- Shows the roadmap at a glance, including how far you’ve already come
- Frames your “ask”
- Starts the conversation with your audience
You can grab my template here for free. Just make a copy from the File menu and assign a new theme or use View>Master to customize the one I’ve provided.
Constructing the Milestones Slide
The important thing is to show what you’ve already accomplished plus what you’re working on next. I find that two columns is easiest for people to understand. I’ve also seen it done as a stack, like this slide from Buffer:
Both formats work, but I find two columns easier to understand. I also prefer checkmarks to indicate which items the company has already completed. The Buffer slide took me too long to understand simply because of the way it’s formatted.
Column One: Milestones you’ve accomplished
For the first column, pick the few main items that you’ve already achieved. These typically include traction, product, and fundraising. You want to show investors that you’re a natural born hustler and that you’re already making the magic happen. Now they feel more comfortable giving you their money. Here are some examples:
- 10,000 registered users with 3,000 weekly actives
- $10,000 monthly recurring revenue (MRR)
- Signed first two enterprise customers
- Completed mock-up and pricing validation with 50 potential customers
- Released minimum viable product (MVP) to first 1,000 users
- Raised $50k from friends and family
- Completed Venture Hive accelerator and received $25k
You should include anything that shows how awesome you are, but try to keep the list to five items or less so that people can understand it at a glance.
Column Two: Milestones you’re working on
For the second column, state your “ask.” This is usually how much money you’re raising; whether it’s equity, convertible note, or SAFE; and how much you already have committed from investors (“Raising $250k as equity with $150k committed). Your ask could be something different depending on who you’re presenting to, like a strategic partnership, etc.
One of the most common mistakes I see in pitch decks is forgetting the “ask.” I get to the last slide and I still don’t know what you want. Always ask for what you want by putting it in writing on the last slide. Your audience will thank you.
Next list the main items that you’ll accomplish with the money you’re raising. This is your promise to investors: “If you give us this money then we will hit these milestones.” So make sure you can do it.
Plan for multiple conversations with people before they put any money in. For best results, report new progress every time. Investors want to see momentum in order to feel comfortable putting money into your company.
So make sure you’re always moving the ball down the field.
Starting the conversation
You’ve just delivered the best pitch of your life. You get to this last slide, the investor looks at both columns and quickly understands where you’re coming from, where you’re going, and what you need to get there.
She immediately starts asking questions. This is what you want!
Putting this milestones slide last in your pitch deck usually starts a conversation focused on whatever’s most important to you.
Remember to adjust your deck based on feedback and you’ll get better and better at pitching over time.
You can grab my milestones slide template here.
Good luck, and let me know how it goes! Here’s a quick video walkthrough on YouTube: