2338 Skill Seminar with Accenture: The Art of powerful, VC-proven Startup Pitch Decks
Mag.Mag. Alexander Pinter
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
10/03/22 to 10/03/22
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Subject(s) Master Programs
Day Date Time Room
Friday 11/25/22 09:00 AM - 08:30 PM TC.4.12

Being the CEO of a startup is a hard, very challenging and complex job. You’re constantly running the numbers and basically work day and night to make progress and to push things forward.

Only 1% of startups attract funding. Figures that venture capitalists toss around don’t look much different – starting up a new company is a tough racket. Of 10 startups funded, only three or four fail completely. Another three or four return the original investment, and one or two produce substantial returns. Obviously, knowing how to pitch angel investors and venture capitalists is key.

According to Naval Ravikant (AngelList), pitching works best, if startups have at least one of the following: Traction, showing growth in users or customers, social proof through known committed investors or advisors, a beautiful product and – last but not least – a killer team, with deep domain experience, technical skills, startup experiences or best of all, previous exits.

This skill seminar is all about pitching your project to investors and potential business partners. Various structural approaches to pitch decks, their key success factors as well as the dos and don’ts of pitching to top investors will be discussed in class.

Learning outcomes

Good pitches share certain characteristics that you can borrow, emulate, or ignore depending on whom you're pitching to and what you're looking for. Students will learn how to hit the emotional level that will really make a pitch fly. You’ll understand what potentially motivates venture capitalists to invest and become sensitive regarding what they are looking for in a founder with real life examples.

To win over hard-to-impress tech investors, you’ve to finally realize that traction, social proof and execution are the main difference makers. In early stages, it might be more about the founding team and the market potential. Anyway, it’s all about communicating “momentum” through metrics and great stories (+ examples). There is also no one-solution-fits-all for investor pitches.

According to Dave McClure (500 Startups), entrepreneurs should think problems first, then solutions. That helps to establish emotional context with each person listening. As a general rule of thumb, the more time you spend speaking, the less time they spend listening. This means organizing your messaging and information (+ slides) by priority.

Attendance requirements

If registered, full-day attendance is mandatory. Students who either come late to class or miss parts of the seminar without any relevant explanation in advance will be flagged as "no-show" in the CEMS database.

Teaching/learning method(s)

This seminar utilizes a combination of interactive lectures, in-class discussions as well as case studies. Working in small groups will be stressed throughout the whole day, so you will be able to demonstrate effective problem-solving and creative-thinking skills in selected case studies and real startup contexts.

It's a very dynamic, practical, and hands-on type of course where you are given the opportunity to both practice what they've learned throughout the lecture (part 1) - and even practice what you haven't yet learned (part 2). Hence, a great attitude, creativity, and a sense of thinking different (out-of-the-box) are required for personal success in this skill seminar.

Best (industry) practices as well as one of the lecturer’s own pitch decks and fun stories will be shared in order to fully understand the importance of pitching the right message to the right investor - especially when going for the most prominent venture capital firms in Silicon Valley like Sequoia Capital, Y Combinator, GV, Index Ventures, Greylock or Accel.


● Contribution to in-class discussions (40%), so please be proactive.

● Comprehensive project pitch (40%). Students will form groups, prepare parts of a project pitch (case study) and then present their findings to the entire class (group presentation). There will be a gamification element coming with it - details to be shared in-class.

● Creative, special assignment in-class (20%)

Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists

In general, there are no prerequisite requirements to attend the skill seminar, but students can go through some optional readings pre-class (not mandatory).

Availability of lecturer(s)

You can directly reach out to the lecturer, Alexander Pinter ( In addition, if requested, he will be available immediately before or after regular class. The CEMS Office (Building D1, Room 3.010, Welthandelsplatz 1,1020 Wien) provides administrative support for this skill seminar as well, - Jana Vadura.


Only CEMS MIM students are eligible to enroll in this seminar (minimum 10, maximum 20 students). All relevant course material will be distributed in class. Please note that full class participation is required for course accreditation.

Last edited: 2022-10-18