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The Elevator Pitch - notes on pitching your business

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The Elevator Pitch:
Some Quick Thoughts and Tips

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The Goal Of The Elevator Pitch Is:
To Get Another Meeting
Tips:
- Land the hook so that you grab their attention right awa...

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Thoughts on the “hook”
The hook should get them immediately engaged in your pitch.
So ask yourself... how do I get the per...

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The startup elevator pitch
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The Elevator Pitch - notes on pitching your business

  1. 1. The Elevator Pitch: Some Quick Thoughts and Tips
  2. 2. The Goal Of The Elevator Pitch Is: To Get Another Meeting Tips: - Land the hook so that you grab their attention right away and have them leaning in to learn more. - Make it credible - both (a) you/the team, and (b) the problem that you are solving. - Remember: Pitching yourself is important as often the idea changes over time. Make sure you project the passion for what you are doing. - Keep it short. As few words as possible. - Keep it clear. Should be understood by a layman. - Don’t get into the details. - Mention at least one progress item. Investors get excited by progress. - Eg., we launched a pilot, we have 2 beta customers, etc. - Customize the pitch to your audience. - Be prepared to adapt. (e.g., bar pitch, escalator pitch, walking pitch, interrupted pitch, etc.) - End with an ask (e.g., if you don’t ask for the second meeting, you might not get one)
  3. 3. Thoughts on the “hook” The hook should get them immediately engaged in your pitch. So ask yourself... how do I get the person to listen more intently right away? Work on different versions and try to get them leaning in early. Make it conversational and make it interesting. – Example: Tell a personal story – Example: Offer a non-obvious POV or fact Using analogies can help. Example: “We are Uber for X” or “Kayak for Y” or “Waze for Z” (a) this is a shortcut for communicating a lot of quickly and (b) creates a positive association with other successful companies
  4. 4. Team Credibility Does your pitch transmit the following: • Are you authentic? What is your motivation? • Do you understand the problem? Do you have a unique insight into the market and/or problem you are solving? • Are you committed? • Can you make things happen and get shit done? – Again, investors get excited by progress…so can you highlight that you can get things done? (sometimes this can be from a prior life and not the current startup) • Example, “before this…I led a team at X and we accomplished Y and walked through Z wall to get it done”
  5. 5. Thoughts on Positioning/Content • Put yourself in their shoes. – What are they likely thinking? – What are their main doubts? • The big risks that you see in your business are probably the big doubts they have in investing or learning more. How can you address those doubts/risks proactively and get them interested?
  6. 6. Positioning/Content Classify your business/solution: Is your solution obvious or non-obvious? - Obvious: Not 10 times better/different than other products in market. - Example: A new restaurant, a new water bottle, a new clothing line - Non-obvious: Either the solution is really different than other approaches or you have a vision for the future about a market or consumer behavior that is different than how the world is today - Example: Self-driving cars, bitcoin, airbnb, greek yogurt is going to be huge
  7. 7. Positioning/Content Is your solution easy to execute or hard to execute? - Easy to execute: Nothing is ever easy to execute. But in some cases, a team doesn’t need highly specific technical talent to execute the business. (e.g., SpaceX requires rocket scientists) - Hard to execute: Requires functional or operational excellence to deliver the solution.
  8. 8. Thoughts on the “hook” The elevator pitch should try to address the likely areas of doubt/risk proactively: OBVIOUS SOLUTION/PRODUCT NON-OBVIOUS SOLUTION/PRODUCT EASY TO EXECUTEHARD TO EXECUTE Why won’t you easily be copied? How can you get unfair market share? Can this team really pull it off? Could this really happen? Will customers do that? Mainstream? Can this team really pull it off? Could this really happen? Will customers do that? Mainstream? Won’t this be easily copied?
  9. 9. Elevator Pitch Don’ts • Don’t forget the hook at the beginning!!!! • Don’t assume people know anything about you. • Don’t let the pitch sound too canned • Don’t come across as a salesperson. Come across as a problem solver. • Don’t be anxious. Be confident. (helps with practice!) • Don’t spend too much time on the problem if the problem is obvious. Use that time on your solution. – Related: Don’t be too general with your value proposition. Try to be specific on why your offering is unique. • Don’t use unnecessary terminology. Avoid industry jargon, slang and acronyms. – Related: Don’t overwhelm the person with numbers or technical details. • Don’t run long on your pitch! Keep it short.

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