Executive summary

Suggested time: 120 min.

A good summary can grab someone’s attention so they might read further.

An executive summary is a one or two-page document that summarises the key information in your pitch deck. Potential investors don’t have time to read every long-winded business plan they’re given and want to know what your product or service does and what makes it worth their time or money.

Find the Executive Summary template in Resources.


Pen or pencils

Desktop publishing software

Executive summary template

Follow these steps


Step 1: Describe

Describe the problem you have identified for your users.


Step 2: Explain

Write a description of your product or service. Explain how it solves the problem identified. What is unique and exciting about it?


Step 3: Highlight

Highlight the returns for the investor in terms of costs and/or benefits across one of more of the following: financial, social and environmental.


Step 4: Specify

Specify what technology you are using in your prototype and the method you will use to make it scalable and ready for the end-user.


Step 5: Tell

Tell the investor what you want from them, eg. money, space in their labs to refine your prototype, or Government to change legislation.


Step 6: Introduce

Briefly introduce your team and why you’re uniquely qualified to succeed with your idea.


Step 7: Clarity

Keep the language simple and non-technical. Use images and include user feedback if you have it.


Step 8: Urgency

Leave the reader with a sense of urgency. Why is the time now for your idea to succeed?


Step 9: Concise

Use bullet points and concise language.


Step 10: Branding

Create a brand for your company, with a logo and design elements that show the investor you know how to capture your target market’s attention.

Talk it out with your fellow designers