the elevator pitch modified from: 2006 kirstie chadwick director
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The Elevator PitchModified from: 2006 Kirstie ChadwickDirector
What is an Elevator Pitch Anyway? A short, simple description of your company or business idea that your grandmother could understand by the time you ride up three floors in a typical elevator.
Very Important PointYou are NOT pitching a great idea, team or product (especially in an elevator!!)
Remember, an elevator pitch is not a sales pitch
You ARE pitching what your business will do for investors and for customers
SO, pitch how your business will solve a tangible problem that exists TODAY!!
ExampleWRONG:We are the smartest telecom guys in the world and we are gonna install high bandwidth wireless telecom infrastructure in really tall downtown buildings in big cities all over the world
BETTER:We enable you to use your cell phone anywhere inside every building in all major U.S. metropolitan areas
Elevator Pitch Must HavesHook: statement/question that immediately piques interest of recipient
Passion: if you are not excited about your business, no one else will be either
Request: Ask recipient for permission to call, a referral to others, or feedback
Short: assume you have less than a minute, and sometimes only time for a few sentences
Elements of the PitchThe Hook: pain point or heart grabberBrief description of product/serviceBrief market descriptionBrief description of competitionHow you are different from other solutionsHow you will make money
The HookThe hook should simply ID the pain you solveWe make Napster legalHave you ever had your cell phone fail inside a building?Imagine a rubber coating that conducts electricity.We will change the way people invest their money
Tag lines can be used as a form of a hookGE brings good things to lightNY Times All the news that is fit to printUCF Venture Lab Where education is a venture
The Product PitchKISS Keep It Simple, StupidKill the geek speak (e.g., limit technical talk)Focus on customer benefits, not technical benefitsTell a story that paints a personal picture for your audience
The KISS of the Devil Too Much InformationWRONG:Our technology is the first integrated and automatic book scanner that will scan and digitize bound documents at a speed of 1,200 PPM at a fraction of the cost of existing solutions based on a disruptive digital imaging technology initially developed at Bell Labs and protected by 12 patents.
BETTER:We capture the future of knowledge by seamlessly digitizing physical libraries at a very low cost.
Geek Speak Is BoringWRONG:We provide non-penetrable intrusion detection for digital voice, fax and wireless communication devices with our 2048-bit Hellman encryption algorithm that is combined with the latest 168-bit Hellman DES.
BETTER:We allow you to communicate safely on a broad range of digital devices.
Customer Benefits, Not Technical BenefitsSeamless integrationScalable, adaptableSecure networkingImproves network performance
SO WHAT???Increase your revenuesIncrease your efficiencyReduces your riskCut your costs by 30%Technical BenefitsBusiness Benefits
The Market Pitch Tie to a Burning Need!!ID the problem or need you solve in 1-2 sentencesWe allow any cell phone to work anywhere inside buildings that utilize our wireless network solution.Reference a brand-name customer that is using your product (or that has expressed interest)The FAA has determined that we are the only security system that is able to rapidly move people through security check points while exceeding their security needsQuantify your market size with numbers that are from a trusted 3rd party sourceAccording to the American Hospital Association, there are 4,000 hospitals in the U.S. that need the ability to visualize MRI images in 3D
Know Thy Competition & Acknowledge ItMicrosoftYou
Neutralize Your CompetitionPitch 1-2 Unique Differentiators that paint a pictureWe use the same insulin compound provided in Mercks drugs, but we allow children to take an oral dose instead of a shot
There are many flavors of PDA keyboards, but ours is the only one that folds into the PDA device when it is not in use
While there are many wireless router boxes on the market, ours is able to send signals through cement and steel walls
So, How Will You Make Money?(Optional depends on time and uniqueness of business)Simple description of your business modelRecurring revenue models are idealWe will install the wireless network in a building at no charge, and then charge a usage fee for all calls that we carry
We provide free access to our medical information website for consumers, and charge advertisers for each exposure
Our portable fuel cells will be installed in laptops, and we will receive a royalty from Dell for each installation
Why Invest in You? (Optional depends on time and uniqueness of business)Fact investors invest in people, not productsOur founders have over 20 years of combined experience in the telecom industry
Our board includes two top executives in the restaurant franchise industry
Our technical staff has a combined portfolio of over 30 medical device patents
We just recruited John Smith to run our sales team. You may recall that John took Google from $3 million to $100 million in sales in two years.
Will You Help Me?Always end with a request:Could I follow up with you at a more convenient time to present our company in more depth?
Given your background, I would greatly appreciate your feedback. What do you think of our business model?
I know you have a lot of contacts in the energy utility business. Who would you recommend for us to ask to join our board?
Could I have your card? I would like my CTO to follow up with you on your technical questions.
Top 3 Elevator Pitch MistakesFocus on selling a cool product/idea instead of on the viability of the business
Take too long to get to the pain/problem that you are solving
Dont engage the recipient via questions that request them to engage with you
Elevator Pitch: An ExampleHave you ever had your cell phone fail inside a building?We provide a communications network that enables any cell phone to work anywhere inside all types buildings, while ensuring your communications are secure.The FCC has determined that over 60% of the 5 million commercial buildings in the U.S. inhibit wireless or cell phone communications from within. The percentage is even higher in international marketsWhile there are many vendors that provide internal wireless networks, we are the only vendor that enables communications to penetrate steel and other high density construction materials, which significantly reduces the cost of installationWe will install the wireless network in a building at no charge, and then charge a usage fee for all calls that we carry on our networksOur founders have over 25 years of design experience in communications systems, and Bob Marriott has recently agreed to join our Board of Directors.It is my understanding that you invest in young communications companies. Can I follow up with you next week to discuss our business in depth?
Just because you think your product will solve world hunger doesnt mean that other folks believe that it will. Cool technology or innovative ideas will not guarantee that your idea will be accepted by the masses out there.
Paradigm shifts are rare and often occur over generations of product life cycles. The first PC came out in the early 1980s, yet the majority of the US population didnt buy a PC until the Internet boom in the late 1990s.
First mover advantage is not always a good thing in a missionary market. Apple lost the operating system market to Windows Napster almost closed down and now iPod is dominating the online/digital music domain. Threats from the big 5 recording giants may create yet another generation in this volatile industry. Online gaming is beginning to overshadow game boxes.
Overcoming cultural barriers is a HUGE risk if you are changing how things are done. 1st generation of eBooks failed because of the limited reading experience Cell phones have been around for 25 years.