Jose Cayasso Helps Founders Master Their Pitches

Even founders need help getting off the ground

Jose Cayasso never imagined he’d run his own tech company. Still, when he found a pain point in the startup community, he created a solution for it.

Cayasso is a co-founder and the CEO of Slidebean, developer of a pitch deck design platform for startups and small businesses.

Slidebean founder Jose Cayasso leaning on an old Sony reel to reel tape recorder

Slidebean

Cayasso launched Slidebean in 2014 alongside two other co-founders. He's in charge of overseeing the company's roadmap, strategy, and growth marketing efforts. Since its inception seven years ago, Slidebean has grown to offer more than help with PowerPoint creation. The company developed a pitch deck builder with more than a hundred presentation templates powered by artificial intelligence. Slidebean also offers financial templates for companies to run financial models, helps companies connect with the right investors, and offers pitch deck design services. 

"Today, Slidebean helps founders pitch investors. I lived through that experience of coming into this startup world as an outsider, as a foreigner," Cayasso told Lifewire. "Our goal is to bridge that gap for new entrepreneurs."

Quick Facts

  • Name: Jose Cayasso 
  • Age: 33
  • From: New York City 
  • Random delight: He studied film in college, specifically digital animation. "Over the last decade, I turned my back on what I was passionate about and now ended up landing back on it."
  • Key quote or motto: "Enjoy the moment. You have to accept what life throws at you and just enjoy it."

Entrepreneurship Was a Surprise

Cayasso has a background in 3D animation and is passionate about using technology for storytelling. He stumbled into entrepreneurship by accident after coming up with a mobile game concept back in 2011. 

The iOS game was called Pota-Toss, and since the game was only in the ideation stage, Cayasso only had 3D images and designs. Cayasso worked hard to raise capital by launching a Kickstarter campaign, pitching to hundreds of investors, and participating in the New York-based accelerator, DreamIt Ventures. During this time, he found a pain point in the startup creation process that led him to his next venture.

"Today, Slidebean helps founders pitch investors."

"After going through DreamIT Ventures, I kind of opened my eyes to the struggles of other CEOs and saw how many of them struggled with their decks as I did," Cayasso said. "This helped me recognize how much more there was to learn about startups and fundraising and gave me the idea to create the 'fix' for startup pitch decks. We saw the opportunity to create this suite of tools to help startups every step of the way and launched Slidebean in 2014."

Teaching is essential for Cayasso, so beyond offering tools, Slidebean also runs a YouTube channel that boasts an audience of more than 335,000 subscribers. The company publishes content focused on startup tips, personal experiences, and insights into how tech industry leaders grow. 

Focusing on Video Content

Slidebean has a diverse team of 35 employees working across New York and San Jose, and the company is looking to grow its sales and product teams. Being a minority CEO, Cayasso said he doesn’t believe his skin color has stifled his company’s growth, and even if it might have, it’s something he doesn’t dwell on. Cayasso is more focused on creating an inclusive, safe, and comfortable workspace. Slidebean even has an office dog named Toñita on the team. 

Slidebean co-founder Jose Cayasso resting in front of a mountain in the background

Slidebean

The most rewarding moment in Cayasso's entrepreneurial career has been growing Slidebean's YouTube presence. Over the next year, Cayasso said he's curious to reach out to startup hubs outside of the US to connect with them and create YouTube content. He's traveling to some places to make short documentaries about them to feature on Slidebean's YouTube channel. Cayasso hopes fresh video content will power Slidebean's growth.

"My background is in 3D animation, which translates well into film, tech, storytelling, design, and animation. I'm a hands-on creator. I've worked directly with over 1,000 Slidebean customers, assisting with their pitch deck writing and design," Cayasso said. "I was late to the YouTube game, but we still managed to find an audience that actively watches, and engages with, our content consistently." 

While Slidebean is mainly powered by its revenue, it has raised a little over $900,000 in venture capital. Despite some challenges, Cayasso takes everything in the startup growth process one step at a time.

"I like to break problems into smaller problems and focus on solving [them] one by one," he said. Think of it as a math equation."

Was this page helpful?