A great elevator startup pitch, usually 60 seconds (although can be as short as 30 seconds), is your time to compel the audience into wanting to know more about your startup. It is one minute in which your actions, words, and tone determine if all eyes in the audience will be on you or be on their mobile phones. It is not about convincing, it is not about describing your startup, it is about storytelling – a first, second, and third act that leaves everyone in the audience engaged.
The First Act:
- Who the heck are you? –As the presenter, take the first few seconds to tell the audience who you are. Investors invest in the team, and not the product alone. Is there a certain accolade or startup that you were part of that they should know about?
- What is your startup? – Briefly tell the audience the name of the startup, the number of members on the team, and your mission.
The Second Act:
- What does your startup do? – After letting your audience in on your mission, this should be a piece of cake.
- Where? – Is this location based or does it work on a specific platform or device?
The Final Act:
- The Cliff-hanger: Leave the audience salivating for more.
- What makes you unique? – Is it due to your awesome team? Is it the product? (Examples: incredible growth, added value, potential user base in “x” time)
- What do you want? – You came to pitch, now what do you want (funding)?
Right vs. Wrong!
Here are a few examples of what you should and shouldn’t do:
Wrong: We have created an analytics tool (no benefit or uniqueness)
Right: We have created an analytics tool that helps increase conversion rates (benefit, and unique)
Wrong: And that is our story (no cliff-hanger)
Right: We’d love to get to know all of you, and show you more of us (call to action that hints at more)
Wrong: We are BigStartup, currently a team of 6.
Right: We are BigSrartup, 6 people that have various backgrounds in ….(the investor invests in people)
A few tips from the industry leaders:
Don’t put your PR ahead of your product. Too often, there’s the idea that you can just message your way into a solution. But your product and user experience needs to be in a good place before you start thinking of how to talk about it.- Katherine Barna, Head of PR at Tumblr
If presenting is acting, then you need a good story to tell. Think about how movies and books draw you in, make the experience personal, and keep you engaged over several hours.Todd Medema, COO ofAutoRef.comand winner of several pitch competitions, includingAlphaLab’s Elevator Pitch competition
Feature image: Chad Kainz