Jun 29, 2022
Keane Angle
Louise Saludo

The UPLIFT Pro-bono Program From STORY Pitch Decks

Women founders: do you run a socially or environmentally focused startup? Here's your opportunity to get a Silicon Valley-quality pitch deck for free.

Women founders: do you run a socially or environmentally focused startup? If so, here’s your opportunity to get a Silicon Valley-quality investor pitch deck for FREE.

NOTICE: Applications for UPLIFT 2022 are now closed. Seed you in 2023!

White dudes. White dudes everywhere.

In the world of venture capital and startups, two things are certain for founders:

  1. Odds are, the founders need another cup of coffee and quite possibly a stiff drink
  2. Odds are, the founders are a bunch of white dudes

At STORY, we’ve completed pitch decks for nearly 100 different startups and 26% of those were either women-led or had at least one woman on the founding team.

That number is super close to the industry average in 2020 where 28% of startups had at least one woman on the founding team.

But, let’s look at a few critical US stats:

  • In 2021, just 2% of all US venture capital investment went to all-female startups - the lowest rate since 2013 (yes, it’s trending down)
  • Also in 2021, 15.6% of US VC investment went to startups with at least one female co-founder
  • When looking at women of color in the US, the number drops even further to 0.9% of all funding (2020 data)
  • That metric gets even more ridiculous when compared to the fact that the average two-year startup failure rate for women of color-led US ventures is 27% – almost half the industry average of 40%

Around the world, the story that the data tells gets even more aggravating:

  • On average, male-led startups globally raised 1.5x more debt financing and 2.1x more equity financing per deal compared to female-led startups
  • Lastly, women-led startups globally generated 2x more revenue for every dollar of debt raised compared to male-led teams – meaning that women are twice as capital efficient as men

Venture capital funds pride themselves on their data-driven decision-making skills.

But, when you look at the data, there is evidence that points to the fact conclusion that women-led startups are actually a better bet when compared to the average startup around the world.

Okay, what about gender diversity at those venture capital firms?

It’s hard to find a less diverse industry than this one.

Like, really hard.

After checking the Bureau of Labor and Statistics 2021 data, we found just seven jobs out of 600+ that were less gender diverse than how VC funds were distributed last year:

Right above Electricians was Plumbers with 2.1% being women.

That’s right, Plumbers are more gender-diverse than how funds are distributed in the startup and VC world.

While we’re a small team, STORY is a majority-women team and we want to do our part to raise awareness about the gender gap and help to tip the scales.

Heck, even if we weren’t majority women, we’d still be taking some action because the facts are absolutely ridiculous and it's the right thing to do.

Starting today, STORY will be offering a 10% discount on all services to startups with at least one female founder and a 15% discount to startups with an all-female founding team.

We didn’t want to stop there – it would be pretty lame if we did.

That’s why we’re launching UPLIFT, a pro-bono pitch deck program aimed at helping socially and environmentally-focused startups with female founders get a world-class pitch deck.

About UPLIFT from Story Pitch Decks

In the coming weeks, we’ll be awarding one startup a totally complimentary pitch deck including content creation, research, strategy, writing, and design.

Here are the criteria your startup needs to meet:

  • Your founding team is majority women
  • Your mission is socially or environmentally-focused
  • Your company is raising a Pre-seed, Seed, or Series-A round
  • The language your pitch deck will be written in is English
  • Your company is financially under-resourced
  • You’ve got a healthy work culture and ways of working

If your startup or a startup you know fits the above criteria, we invite you to apply to UPLIFT from STORY.

Here are a few more details:

  • The application deadline is August 1st, 2022 at 11:59PM EST
  • Selection of this year’s recipient is at the sole discretion of STORY Pitch Decks
  • Recipients will be contacted first via email to accept and will then be announced on our blog at and our social media accounts on August 15th 2022
  • The actual pitch deck project will take place the weeks of August 22nd and August 29th 2022 and be completed by September 1st 2022

Next year, we’ll aim to increase these efforts, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?

Not eligible but still want to help out? Share this page on social media and send it to a few founders who you think might be interested.

How to apply: Submit an application before August 1st, 2022 11:59pm EST [APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED]

Click here to apply to UPLIFT from STORY

We look forward to working with you!

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