Executive Summary vs Pitch Deck

December 27th, 2022

As you begin to approach investors, there will be several documents you must hand in. Most notably, the Executive Summary and the Pitch Deck. Many people, however, are confused about these two documents and how they differ.

Let’s first look at these two documents separately before comparing and contrasting what they have in common (and what they don’t).

The Executive Summary

The Executive Summary

An executive summary is a relatively short document that describes your business efficiently and effectively. Consider it a condensed version of your pitch deck that will serve as the first bit of info any potential investor receives about your company. That makes it crucial to get it right, as first impressions matter.

What to include in your Executive Summary:

This must include all critical aspects of your business, such as its business model, products or services, objectives, and marketing plan.

  • Objective

Include how you plan to expand your business, whether offering a new service, expanding globally, or investing in new technology or staff.

  • Target Audience

You must make it clear that you understand who your product or service is for. Then, explain why and how you plan to ensure these people know about your service.

  • Products and Services

Explain what you do and the technology used for your product.

  • Marketing Strategy

This is crucial and goes hand in hand with the target audience aspect. Potential investors want to see how you plan to get the word out about your product to the right people.

Marketing Strategy

  • Competitive Analysis

Paint a clear picture of the landscape of your chosen product. Has anyone else got something similar? How is yours better or different?

  • Funding and Budget

How much money do you need? How exactly do you plan to allocate this money to grow the company and start making your investors money?

  • Employees

How many do you have? Do you have any current hiring plans, and if so, why?

  • Implementing the Plan

Go over exactly how you will implement your business plan.

What should you avoid in your Executive Summary?

What should you avoid in your Executive Summary?

  1. Don’t make it too long; it should be an absolute maximum of 2 pages long.
  2. Avoid too many lists or subheadings. An executive summary should read like a story and be pleasant to read.
  3. Don't use vague comparisons or language. Instead, focus on the hard facts and figures; this should be enough to prove you are a valuable company.

The Pitch Deck

The Pitch Deck

The pitch deck should be a much larger document that serves as a complete overview of your business and plans. This can be around ten pages long and should be much more detailed than your executive summary.

What to Include in your Pitch Deck?

There are ten key things that all pitch decks should include.

  1. The Problem: What will your product fix?
  2. The Solution: How is it going to fix it?
  3. Product Features: Show what aspect of your product will help fix it.
  4. The Market: Introduce the area of business your product fits into, the critical characteristics of your target company, and recognize how this links to your product.
  5. Competition and Potential Risk: Reference who else in the business world has a similar product; it is essential to clarify precisely how and why yours is the better option for investors and consumers.
  6. Revenue and Business Model: Show them your revenue statistics and how you plan to develop this and the business.
  7. Traction: Show a proven record of growth and success.
  8. Projections: Where do you expect to be in five years?
  9. Team: Show who is helping you on this journey and the value they bring.
  10. Funding: Tell investors how much money you need, why, and how you will use it. Show them that investing in your business is a good idea!

“It’s essential to pitch from the angle of what’s in it for the investor rather than what’s in it for you. Do your research and understand what each investor wants. Then tailor your pitch as much as possible to show why you’re a good fit for them.”

Jonny Seaman, Investor Partnerships Manager, SeedLegals

What should you avoid in your pitch deck?

What should you avoid in your pitch deck

  1. Don’t include too much text. You should focus on the quality of your info rather than the quantity.
  2. No clip art or cheesy stock photos. No investor will be impressed by your ability to choose random images that you believe fit with your deck. Just leave it out.
  3. No boring graphs or charts. Ensure you only include relevant, impressive graphs that you believe to be crucial.

The difference between a pitch deck and an executive summary

The difference between a pitch deck and an executive summary

The main difference between the two documents is their length. Executive summaries are just that, a summary. Their purpose is to introduce your company to investors and give them just enough to be interested in reading your full-length deck.

An executive summary is a written version of your elevator pitch.

Despite how similar they are, it is crucial that you have both ready to go and that they are completed to a high standard. Many high level investors will only look at your deck if they first receive an executive summary that excites them. 


We hope this article has helped you better understand pitch decks and executive summaries and how exactly they differ. For more startup business and investment content, check out our blog. In addition, we have several informative articles to help you secure that funding quickly.

This is where Angels Partner steps in, helping investors in their search for ambitious and likely to succeed startups.

Our selection process is rigorous and the matchmaking is affinity based to ensure each meeting is qualified and of economic interest to both parties.


About the author

Yohann Merran

Yohann has a successful track record in founding startups as well as senior management experience at top software companies. He is a mentor with a passion to inspire, educate and support individuals in their quest for increased performance, confidence and

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