Imagine a situation: it is your typical day and you enter the office building. In the elevator, you accidentally find yourself face-to-face with the investor you want to attract for your startup. What would you say?
That might sound too good to be true but such situations happen all the time. I know a lucky startup, founder of which was drinking coffee in a very popular coffee chain and an investor heard him discussing his next moves over the phone. After he finished the phone call, the investor just asked: “What do you do?”. He sparked the investor’s interest with his well crafted elevator pitch. They finished the coffee together and after few weeks he had 250k EUR in his pocket. What’s the funniest thing - it was a first-time business angel, so it was like a double luck. You never know, right?
But what is this mysterious elevator pitch?
“Elevator pitch” or “elevator speech” is a laconic but compelling introduction that can be communicated in the amount of time it takes someone to ride an elevator, usually around 30 seconds. It can serve you for fundraising purposes, personal introduction or landing a prospective client.
A good news is that you don’t need to learn by heart a novel but just a few sentences of interesting information about your company that can spark investors interest, so you have a chance to present more information later on, either during longer conversation or as a meeting follow-up. As you probably attend many startup conferences, networking events etc. - you need to be prepared. It might sound like a challenge to demonstrate clear value when faced with a time crunch, but below you will find tips on how to prepare elevator pitch with relevant information that will help you land investment. We also prepared an elevator pitch template for startups.
So let's prepare startup elevator pitch from scratch!
In the case of an elevator pitch, the introduction is just one sentence where you present yourself,your name, your startup and position at the company.
Briefly explain the problem that your customers are facing and the way you solve this problem. Try to highlight the benefits of your idea.
Underline how your solution can outperform the competition.
Mention the market size and explain why now is the best moment to enter the market. Show that there is a big market opportunity you want to seize.
Explain how your startup makes money.
Here you need to show the most important milestones you have achieved so far. It can be key growth metrics, product development, market validation, strategic clients or partnerships.
Share with investor the information, which resources your startup needs to achieve next milestones. Explain those steps to make the request reasonable.
So basically, your final elevator pitch should look like this:
My name is [your name] and I am [your position] at [your startup name] that [what service/product you provide]. We help [define your customers] to solve [define the problem they experience] by providing a better [present your solution] that offers [outline your solution key benefits] to accomplish [define your customer’s goal]. Unlike [name main competitors], we [outline key differentiators]. This is a [quantify market size ] EURO/USD opportunity in [region or country] alone and now is the best time for [your goal] because [explain why now is the best time]. We make money by [revenue streams]. We have already achieved [milestone 1], [milestone 2], [milestone 3]. We currently need [resource 1], [resource 2], [resource 3] to achieve [milestone 4],[milestone 5].
And that is it! This is the basic elevator pitch template for your startup. Bare in mind that practice makes perfect. Recite your pitch to someone close who can be objective and ask for constructive feedback. What may seem clear in your mind might come across as convoluted to an outside observer. Once you’ve gotten feedback and improved your pitch even further, record yourself saying it. Listen to your tone — make sure it’s friendly and that you don’t swallow the words to finish in time.
Looking for investors? Download PERFECT PITCH E-BOOK and learn how to prepare Investor Deck, Elevator Pitch & Competition Pitch that will get your startup funded!
How To Create A Pitch Deck That Will Get Your Startup Funded (by Ewa Chronowska, Partner, Next Road Ventures)
Types Of Startup Funding Rounds (by Marcin Laczynski, Partner, Next Road Ventures)
VC Tips For Successful Startup Fundraising (by Magdalena Balcerzak, Manager, Vestbee)