Sept. 7, 2023

The Solution Slide: Winning Hearts, Minds, and Wallets

The Solution Slide: Winning Hearts, Minds, and Wallets

This is part six of "The Ultimate Pitch Deck Guide for Startups," a fundraising guide made in partnership with DECKO, a leading pitch deck development company that’s helped ~180 startups raise over $100M from investors.


Your Solution slide is the turning point of your deck that moves the story from a rhetorical/academic overview of your market to an actionable deep dive into your business and what makes it special.

Your Solution slide focuses on the high-level benefits your product provides to potential customers. These benefits should be measurable, tangible, and easy to explain.

In this chapter of “The Ultimate Pitch Deck Guide for Startups,” we’re going to jump headfirst into the Solution slide and how it lines up the back half of your pitch deck.

Now, let’s dive in:

Differentiating from the "How It Works" Slide

One common mistake Founders make with their Solution slide is assuming that showing investors how their product works is the equivalent of showing investors how their product benefits their potential customers. We will discuss your “How It Works” slide (one of the most important slides in any pitch deck) in our next chapter. For now, let's clarify that your Solution slide is less of a description of your product and more of a case for the benefits of your company.

Building on What We Learned in Chapter 4: The Problem Slide

In Chapter 4, we learned that Problems need to be quantified based on the metrics that matter to your potential customers. We also understood that some industries are entirely plagued by barriers to entry, making it hard for a better, more obvious solution to take hold of the market.

A Problem slide isn’t always necessary in every pitch deck, as some companies provide solutions that create entirely new markets or capitalize on existing market opportunities that may have been overlooked.

Think of your Problem slide as posing a question for your market, while your Solution slide provides the answer. In other words, you should solve every problem you posed in your Problem Statement with a component of your Solution. 

Before You Start: Identify What You Are "Solutioning" For

Before you dive into crafting your Solution slide, it's crucial to identify what you are “solutioning (solving a problem)” for:

  • Does your company solve a specific problem for potential customers that can be quantified?
  • Do you democratize access to a resource that has been previously unavailable to most consumers?
  • Are you capitalizing on a market opportunity that has been previously overlooked?
  • Or is it something else?

This is where your Problem statement and Solution play into each other. To get a better understanding of how to identify who you are “solutioning” for and how to educate investors about them, refer to Chapter 4 and Chapter 5 of this guide.

Take a look at the sample slides in the next section of this chapter. You’ll notice that each Problem has a direct Solution for both Stakeholders. This will show investors you have a keen understanding of what is ailing your customers and have built a solution that solves their problems.

Once you know who you are “solutioning” for, you can customize your Solution slide content to fit your goals.

Showcase the Benefits for Every Stakeholder

Regardless of your business model, your Solution should benefit multiple stakeholders. For example:

  • If you are building a marketplace, you are solving a problem for both Buyers and Sellers.
  • If you are developing a SaaS, you are addressing the specific needs of B2B customers and their employees.
  • If you are running a shop on a busy street, you are capitalizing on untapped foot traffic.

List out who the parties are and what the key benefits are for each of these parties. Quantify the benefits in the same way you have quantified the Problem for potential customers.

For instance, consider our example from Chapter 4, where Vehicle Owners were losing $100 per year on Car Insurance policies that were not right for them. A strong solution slide would show how much money this new Car Insurance marketplace can save Vehicle Owners every year.

In this example, we see that the Car Insurance platform saves Vehicle Owners an average of $150/year on Car Insurance. From an investor perspective, it now becomes obvious why potential customers will flock to this platform, ultimately driving value for an investment.

Provide no more than three bullet points on why your Solution works for potential customers. Is it something about your tech? Do you have a different model that existing companies don’t use?

If you are solving for multiple stakeholders (like in Marketplaces that support buyers and sellers or Enterprise Software that supports both end users and administrators), you can expand your Solution into multiple slides to make it more digestible for investors.


Decko Problem Slide Pitch Deck


Decko Solution Slide Pitch Deck

Focus on Your Bottom Line

Remember, to investors, the most important stakeholder is you. Your Solution needs to not only benefit potential customers but do so in a way that can become profitable for your business.

Does your Solution allow potential customers to save money? Great! Ensure that means you are making up the savings in either customer volume or a business model innovation that allows you to capitalize on those savings.

Take, for instance, Honey, a company that excels at this. Honey is a Google Chrome plugin that automatically finds coupons for whatever website you are shopping on.

Whenever you make a purchase with a coupon from Honey, they receive a commission from the website you bought from. It’s a win for potential customers because they save time and money, a win for brands because they increase sell-through on their sites, and a win for Honey because they get to collect a commission. It’s no wonder they sold for $4 Billion to PayPal (source).

As you craft your Solution slide, this bottom line focus does not have to be so overt. Instead, the content you choose to include in your benefits for Stakeholders should nod to how you will monetize these benefits. 

Take another look at this example Solution slide. XYZ Insurance showcases the benefits of their platform for Vehicle Owners and Insurance Companies, two key Stakeholders they are building for. The benefits XYZ Insurance chooses to mention all play a role in retention, sell-through, customer acquisition, and more. It now becomes clear that these are more than just features – these are key components of the company’s strategy to capture their market.  

Investors care about why your target customers will flock to your company. Focusing your Solution on the benefits your company provides to potential customers will keep investors hooked and eager to learn more about how your product/model works.

Next chapter, we talk about how to craft your “How it Works” slides to build investor excitement.