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Ways to raise funds other than using pitch decks

Published: Nov 21, 2022

10 alternative ideas for smart fundraising

How to raise capital without a Pitch Deck? Is it a good idea trying to raise money for your startup without using one of these famous tools?

Pitch decks have become the most popular way to raise capital for startup businesses. Most wouldn't even think of trying to raise money or having a serious negotiation without a deck that they are really confident in.You might get away without a traditional business plan, but typically not a deck.

The first and most important thing to keep in mind is that the pitch deck should be the main tool in your strategy to raise capital. After all, without capital you won't be able to build your company and you won't be able to provide value to your potential customers.

Having said that, you shouldn't be putting all of your eggs in one basket. It is perfectly valid for you to use other methods to secure funding for your business that are enjoyable to read or play with.

So, could you still make it without a deck? What types of funding may work without one?

Types Of Fundraising

Pitching to potential investors without a deck is generally not recommended, as it can be difficult to convey all the important information about your business without one. Nevertheless, there are possibilities to raise capital without a pitch deck, such as through personal connections, online crowdfunding platforms, or by winning business plan competitions. You can also use your website to promote your business and create a media kit. If you do it well, investors can show some interest in reading your ad or visit your website.

There are several ways to raise and bring in money for a startup venture. These are some of the most common:

Venture Capital Firms

Venture Capital firms are often mentioned when people talk about startup fundraising. There are a lot of places where startup capital comes from, but not always. VCs will want a pitch deck to show off their company's product or service. Even if you know your partner very well, or you are getting solicited interest from potential clients, they will want to see your deck anyway. The company has systems and controls in place to protect its users and its data. If you want to be successful, you'll need some cards and supporting documentation.

Strategic Corporate Investors

These investors have become common in the startup ecosystems. They can be a great partner for startups if they are skilled in managing and growing businesses. If you're looking for a company that can help you succeed in your business, this could show up as a good alternative. They can provide many resources and help during the development stage, as well as for distribution. This is proving to be an important way to efficiently grow, avoid missing out, keep innovating, and get in on new technology early, while planting low-risk seeds for future attractive acquisitions.

Startup Accelerators

Many highly successful startup accelerators are giving prominence to startups that have had great success in previous programs. These accelerators provide some much-needed seed money, but they also have other benefits. The best way to get started in your business is to have a set of groundwork in place that will help you gain traction in a new way. Anyway, you must know that they will want a more advanced pitch deck than what is basic to be accepted.


There are many types of loans and debt financing available that may never require a pitch deck. This can be a range of loans from personal loans to small business loans, and larger credit lines for startups. Once you have revenues, you may want to get in touch with a lender to get a loan to help you pay your bills. This can help in case you want to avoid the need for a pitch deck, but in exchange you may have to complete a loan application and submit any supporting documents required.


Crowdfunding is an interesting way to get sponsors of your project, there are several crowdfunding platforms you can get help from. For example Kickstarter, does not require a deck or regulatory filings. Though you'll still need to create top-notch materials, including profile pages, PR, explainer videos, follow-up and marketing messages, and more. You are probably doing more work than a pitch deck.

Friends & Family

This way could be a good idea and easier for you to face in future fundraising campaigns, so feel free to practice with friends and family, but start well and as organized as possible to keep it professional. Moreover, if you do a good job selling the idea and sharing it passionately, your friends and family are most likely willing to become your first supporters. If you don't want to create a pitch deck, then this is probably one of the easiest ways to raise capital for your startup.

Business Plan Competitions

A good business plan and a good pitch deck may be not so different after all. If you are quite sure you can survive without a slide deck, then maybe there is a traditional business plan competition that you can enter for the chance at successful fundraise. There are many potential grants that you can apply for that would help you get money for your business, without having to give up equity or take on crippling debt.

Individual Investors

Just like with friends and family, building amazing relationships with individual investors is probably one of the easiest ways to get funding without investing in creating an outstanding pitch deck. Although this will require some money, it is still an investment. You need to make connections and build out your network in order to achieve your goals. You have to build and develop trusting relationships over time. These people may be amateur investors or individual angel investors. The majority of their investment may come down to how much they believe in you as a person.

Cofounders with Capital

One option is to find co-founders to help you get started. Not just friends with the founders for a company, but also the money that they can bring into the venture. When a founding team includes a mix of well-rounded skill sets and shared passion, this creates a powerful and cohesive group. Though it's possible to have a founding team without any outside money, there's still a good chance that some members of the team will need to raise some capital in order to get started. If someone is interested in starting a company, they may want to consider hiring a capital backer to get started.

Customers and 'Angels'

If you have a great product and want to make money from it, the best way to do it is to start selling it to your customers. Every sale proves your concept and business vision to customers.

If your business is profitable, you likely don't need a deck, especially when raising from individual angel investors. Instead, you can provide key financials in a list format: mission statement, revenue, gross margins, operating margins, MRR or ARR, PE ratio, expected 12-month growth.

When you take this path, and build a successful business, it will be easy to attract inbound investment offers, and to streamline future forms of fundraising.

Last words

So, as we've seen, funding a startup without a strong deck of slides can be rare, but still possible. Whether or not you create a pitch deck, as an entrepreneur, you know you must get to know the fundraising art like a pro.

So, you can do it, this is simply a matter of managing the need of fundraising without having a lot of time, resources, expertise, connections or money. There are ways to streamline your own very version of pitch creation. If you decide to create a pitch deck presentation, here you can find the minimum slides you must include.

Tell us if you succeed, comment and share.

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