Community Weekly - Lots of elevator pitches, sign up for Pitch Lab July 19th
Sign-up for Pitch Lab
Join Pitch Lab next Tuesday, July 19th at 4pm ET. Contact me if you want to pitch your full deck or elevator pitch.
A week of elevator pitches.
I spent the week in Montreal running our first in-person Pitch Lab, being a pitch mentor at Startupfest and listening to hundreds of elevator pitches. It was a great opportunity to work on condensing a story into one minute (or less).
The #1 problem with elevator pitches: the curse of knowledge.
Founders have a very hard time knowing what they can leave out of an elevator pitch. Most people end up cramming in way too much because they know so much. Remember, an elevator pitch can never tell your complete story. Hit your key points and make an impression.
5 elevator pitch tips:
Be specific. If you open with a story, make it specific. Eg “my grandfather had a stroke” or “Adnan just arrived in the country and can’t find an apartment.” You can then build a bigger, more general picture. Avoid abstractions like “businesses” and “people” or starting your pitch with your market size.
Keep analogies relevant. “We’re the AirBnB of garage space” is good. “We’re disrupting space rental like YouTube disrupted video” is bad.
Say where your tech came from. If you are a science-based product, always say where the innovation came from, e.g. a university lab, internal research, pilot project etc. Your story needs this credibility.
Avoid taglines. Saying “we are building the future of smart sensors” is vague and forces you to waste time explaining what that means. “We’ve already piloted our smart building sensors in 10 commercial buildings” says what you do, who you sell to and what you’ve achieved.
Know when to shut up! A lot of elevator pitches I heard started with a great 30-second pitch, followed by breathlessly cramming everything and the kitchen sink in the last 30 seconds. Aim for impact, not completeness.