What’s an Elevator Pitch?


Let’s imagine you’re stuck in an elevator. And in that elevator happens to be that one investor/dream mentor/ideal business partner that could change everything for you and your startup. You have seconds to tell that person what your idea is and leave such a powerful impression that they will take the time to know more. The clock is ticking. What do you say? That’s your elevator pitch.

So intimidating a challenge, that it’s almost proverbial. Yet every sales person, marketer, business person must learn to do it. Especially if you’re a startup enthusiast or entrepreneur.

Come May 2nd, Friday evening, the Startup Weekend Bengaluru Maker Edition will begin with the elevator pitch. Participants will pitch their ideas in a battle royale to coaches and other attendees. Anyone intending to pitch will have 60 seconds or less to pitch. It will be just you and the microphone. No presentations or props are needed for this day. You may or may not be able to pitch multiple ideas. Therefore, prioritize and pitch what you feel is your best idea.

Teams will be formed around the best ideas. And from there, if you’re idea is chosen, you will work with your team members to build your product/prototype into reality. You may even find an investor.

So what do you say in an elevator pitch? Let’s start by what you shouldn’t be saying:
‘Hi, I’m V.V.K and my product idea is fun and exciting.’ That’s precious seconds lost with no information on what your idea is actually about. The clock is ticking down. We have compiled here, a list of what you should be doing for the Startup Weekend pitches*:

a. Explain what you do as succinctly as possible. Start your pitch by describing what your startup idea is about. Focus on the problem it tries to solve.

b. Remember the 5 W’s:

  • What is your idea?
  • For example, begin your answer with “My idea is insurance…”

  • What does your idea do?
  • For example, begin your answer with “We provide…”

  • Who does it cater for i.e. who is your primary audience?
  • For example, begin your answer with “For small and mid-sized healthcare providers…”

  • Why is your idea important?
  • For example, include in your answer “so that they can,” “who can no longer afford,” or “who are tired of.”

  • What support do you need from the attendees?
  • For example, “I need a marketing person…” or “I need help with manufacturing…”

    c. Option W’s:

  • What environment does your idea work in?
  • For example, “My product performs best in Siberia”

  • What is the USP of your idea?
  • For example, begin your answer with “As opposed to” or “Unlike.”

    d. Be enthusiastic and positive. If you are not, no one else will be!
    Even if your idea isn’t selected but you’ve formed a team around the idea, you’re welcome to work on it over the weekend. Please tell the event Organizer, as this may be an issue regarding your teams’ eligibility for prizes.
    We wish you luck in preparing. May the best ideas win!

    Register now!


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