How to Start a Startup with a Good Elevator Pitch


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The format of a good elevator pitch depends on its presentation context. By the definition, an "elevator pitch" is a 3-5 minute digest of the business plan's executive summary. This is often used as a teaser to awaken the interest of potential funders, customers, or strategic partners to your startup project.

A potential investor is interested in few basic things. Does the startup business offer attractive growth and profit potential? Is the management team committed and capable of achieving planned results? The elevator pitch should focus on these key questions.

What

This summarizes in as few words as possible the essence of the business. What do you offer, what customer need does it satisfy and why is it better than the competition? How big is the market and what makes your company special? Forget technical details, focus on the “big picture”, be enthusiastic but don’t turn it into a sales pitch. What the investor wants to know is the size of the opportunity, the marketability of the product or service, why it is needed and whether or not you will make sales and earn a profit. The essence of even the largest company can be captured in a few short sentences.

Why

You need to be able to explain the unmet need that will be satisfied by your product or service. Most businesses don’t have the luxury of building a “field of dreams”. In real life, you may build it and they still may not come. Your elevator pitch should indicate that you have identified an unmet need or an underserved market you can satisfy by starting or expanding your business. Why is there is a real market demand and why you think you can satisfy that demand better than anyone else?

Who

The management description plays an important role in establishing credibility. Investors want to know who is going to be running the startup business and whether or not they have a successful track record. You want to communicate the message that management is capable and has the skills and commitment to execute the plan and achieve projected results. A previous success story that demonstrates experience in managing a business is ideal. Absent previous experience, other personal strengths, leadership and organizational strengths can be brought out. The goal is to build confidence. The background description must be concise, factual, results-oriented and free of irrelevant information.

When

To be meaningful, business objectives must be specific, time referenced and measurable. Explaining the “when” demonstrates in your elevator pitch that your idea has been thought trough and you have a plan to achieve your objectives. When do you plan to launch the startup? Where are you going to get your customers and when do you expect to make your first sale? When are you going to get any needed employees? How much money do you need to get started, where do you hope to get it and when do you expect to get the funding?

P.S. When signing up with our software application, you may want to select the "Elevator Pitch" template

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