On-Demand Course for Founders

Don’t Hate Your Deck

Turn your fundraising deck from Meh to Wow in three weeks!
Trusted by venture funds, accelerators, foundations, consulates, and universities around the globe

It's about time we got intentional with our decks


Learn how to craft a narrative that (genuinely) captivates investors


Learn how to build a fundraising deck that blends information with story


Weave everything into a killer deck that will fuel your company's growth

When investors say “you’re too early-stage,” they mean “I have no idea what you do”.

Did you ever feel like investors told you one thing, but you felt it was a polite way of saying something else?
The goal of a deck is to get a first meeting, not to get an investment. Sometimes I get to slide 7 or 8 and I still don’t know what the company does. That isn't good for their chances of getting a meeting.
Abby Lyall
Tribeca Venture Partners
I spend minutes reviewing a deck before diving in deeper. If I can't understand what your company does in five minutes or if your deck buries information in poorly designed formatting, I'll move on and rarely follow-up for a meeting
Nolan English
At dlab we look at over 1,000 deals some years, nearly every one of them comes over the transom with a deck. The majority are formulaic, boring, uninspiring crap. It's a sales exercise. Ya gotta put your sales hat on. GET SOME HELP if you don't know what you're doing!
Shawn Broderick
It's not just what you say, but how you say it. Clear and concise messaging is critical for companies at all stages, and understanding who your audience is and tailoring the message to them is essential.
Sarah Applebaum
Pangaea Ventures
Your deck is often your first opportunity to make an impression and it is shocking how many decks don’t take the care needed to tell a compelling story.
David Brown
Impellent Ventures
My intake team at Aperture VC reviews thousands of decks a year. A shockingly high percentage never get past this stage because it’s not clear what the startup does.
Garnet Heraman
Aperture VC
As a private equity entrepreneur, there is no shortage of brand decks that come through our doors for consideration. What is most astonishing to me is the blend of unintelligible information, the inability to drive a concrete and condensed message forward and frankly, mis-information. You have roughly a minute or less to grab the attention of most investing firms.
Melissa Facchina
Siddhi Capital
The Hate Your Deck™️ Method

Transform “No” into
“Tell Me More”

Learn how to make investors love your deck by building a slide outline step-by-step with our course (which you can then design or have our design team finish).
Crack the code to deck storytelling
Outline a flow that is investor-friendly
Spice it up with bragging done right
Where do I sign up?

Deck building & beyond

Course & Community

Join an exclusive group of founders who are fundraising, build strong connections, and dry run your deck before sending to investors.

Special workshops

Get a private invite to our exclusive masterminds with high profile investors on positioning, fundraising campaigns, working with illustrators, and negotiating with investors.

Weekly office hours

Get Mike's personalized feedback on your fundraising deck and reframe your go-to-market and pricing strategy to make it investor-friendly.

Over 300+ founders turned course graduates across 6 continents

Highlight intentional
Don’t Hate Your Deck Course

Invest in your deck, and
they'll invest in you.

Access to the course, community, and asynchronous feedback from Mike
12-month access to course content
Signature fundraising deck template
Special workshops with investors
Regular office hours with Mike
Virtual networking events
Exercise templates
Get a private invite to our exclusive workshops and Circle community so that you can always stay ahead of the fundraising game.
Same as Essential, but add office hours with Hate Your Deck
One-on-one consultation with Mike, or
Two hours with the Hate Your Deck team:
Get personalized, no holds-barred, teardown of your fundraising deck from the most professional deck builders in the biz.
Learn from the course, refine with office hours, and use a Hate Your Deck designer to build your deck
Everything from Premium & a Hate Your Deck designer builds your deck
Deck: You read that right! A $10,000 deck in a $3,500 package.
Brand: We use your existing brand colors and font 
Template: Use the layout to build more slides in the future
Output: In whatever form you want
*Limited availability based on designer available*

With 4.8 out of 5 feedback scores from 300+ graduates, sometimes it's best to let them do the talking.

Meet the founder

Hello from Buffalo, New York!


My name is Mike Lightman. I’m the founder of Hate Your Deck and the person behind this course. I’m a startup ecosystem expert, fundraise storyteller and investor with over 15 years of experience, specializing with deep tech companies.

Over the years, I've worked with hundreds of brilliant founders with terrible decks. Together, we uncovered their unique market differentiation (often not what they originally had in mind) and helped them capture the interest of investors through effective storytelling.

I also designed global entrepreneurial education for the World Bank, led bootcamps and accelerator programs, and launched a $50M venture fund in NY & Singapore. I'm confident enough to know how to change your perspective and ultimately, your investors' perspective.

There are so many reasons why your business can fail. From a poor business model to a global pandemic. Let's make sure it doesn't fail because of the most redundant reason, bad storytelling.


For startups Seed through Series A

Traditional Tech
Do you provide a marketplace or a SaaS solution, with the capability to navigate through any coding challenge, except for the intricacies involved in decoding investor feedback?
Deep Tech
Do you have 3 letters after your name but struggle to explain bio, material science, or how your carbon capture technology works?
CPG (Consumer Product Goods)
Do you have a great product that has a cult following, but investors keep asking, 'How are youdifferent?' or 'When will you have 1,500 retail locations?’
What you’ll learn

A practical framework for
building a deck that speaks to investors

Create a deck that not only communicates the idea, but also makes investors want to get involved.
How investors think
Why investors hate your deck (and how to fix it)
Must-include deck content (not what you think)
How many slides are in a great fundraising deck
Bad storytelling mistakes every founder makes
The deck outline investors would enjoy reading
How to tell your story
Finding the best story to tell investors
The #1 formula for blending facts with story
How to make your pitch work in any context
Steps to translating your value into a price
The way to generate curiosity in your deck
How to brag
Building trust & credibility from slide one
What stats & success stories impress investors
How to design a team slide that stands out
Legit ways to show off when you have nothing
Decoding investor feedback about your deck
Bonus Toolkit

...And you won’t leave empty handed

Get access to additional tools and battle-tested templates, and apply what you learn
directly to your work.
The ultimate fundraising deck template
Nah… just kidding. But once you see it, you won’t believe how smooth the process can be.
Guest lectures from experts
Join live sessions and recordings with all the people who show you how to do it right the first time.
Feedback from the Hate Your Deck crew
Nobody expects you to build a perfect deck on your first try. We are here to help you refine.
A sales deck, a landing page, thought leadership, your strategy document, and more.

This course is for you if…

You're a self-made founder who understands the value of storytelling in fundraising decks.
You’re solving a complex problem, but are unable to explain it well enough.
Your industry is deep tech, climate tech, or any other that takes more than a second to get.
Your deck gets thrown out by investors despite being the perfect fit.
You have a DIY approach to your baby deck, you just need some step-by-step direction.
You've tried premium deck building agencies and weren't impressed (to put it nicely).
You want to add storytelling to your founder toolbox, long after you finish the course.
You want to get your story better and feel confident in the solution your company creates.
You’re in need of a practical framework that’s been validated. Ain’t nobody got time for gut.
Geez, you just want to improve your fundraising deck, fast. Ain’t nobody got time for fluff.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will my accelerator / incubator / venture fund / program pay for this?
Possibly! We work with all sorts of programs and would love to work with yours. If you or your program are interested in working together, please email info@hateyourdeck.com.
Do you offer referral discounts?
Yes. Bring a fellow founder to the course and you get $250 and they get $250 off. And, if you get the accelerator or startup program you're in to offer the course to its portfolio, you'll get angel wings and the course for free. Drop us an email here about your referral and we'll take it from there.
Do you offer a money-back guarantee?
Yes. If you’re not happy with the course after giving it an honest try, just email info@hateyourdeck.com before the 30th day following your purchase. Maybe we're biased, but when you have your first aha moment, a couple of minutes into the course, you will realize that investing in your company by taking this course is 10X worth it.
If I join the Essential plan, can I upgrade later to the Premium plan?
Yes. You just have to pay the difference between the Essential and Premium plans at the time of upgrade (prices may change in the future).
What will I be able to do at the end of this course?
Short-term, you'll be able to create a fundraising deck that tells a story investors will love. Specifically, you'll be able to articulate the problem and solution in a way that speaks right to investors (not above or below), outline a deck that's fun to read (yes, fun!), and as importantly, brag about your success. Long-term, you'll understand how investors think, know what storytelling mistakes to avoid at all costs, explain what you do effortlessly in any context, and ultimately, build value for investors. If you're lucky, you'll even have the foundation for your next marketing campaign and landing page rebuild!
How is this course different?
It's all about the method and format. As for method, the course gives you a battle-tested, step-by-step framework for building a fundraising deck that stands out, which Mike's team follows whenever they work with founders. In terms of format, the core learning is divided into bite-sized videos that cut to the chase for our busy attention spans. Ain't nobody
How does this course work?
As soon as you complete enrollment, you'll have access to the entire course. You could then binge watch all core video lessons or follow the recommendation that divides the course into weeks. You'll also notice that there are challenges (fancy word for homework) that will push you to flesh out your fundraising deck using the templates provided.
Does this course apply to my specific industry?
Yes, as long as you need a fundraising deck. This course is designed to teach you how to tell your company's story so that it resonates with how investors think. Whether you’re a deep tech innovator or an old-fashioned Whiskey distillery. An investor's brain remains a human rain, and our job is to make your idea stick.