This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com - #StartingABusiness
3 min read
Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch invites ambitious entrepreneurs to step into the Entrepreneur Elevator, then gives them just 60 seconds to pique the interest of a group of judges. It’s a high-pressure, fast-paced environment in which startup founders need to race against the clock while maintaining their composure to make a clear, deliberate pitch that covers at least three essential components:
- Defining the company
- Making the request
- Specifying what the investment money will be used for
The investors watch the pitch via a video livestream while the elevator ascends to the boardroom floor. Once the 60 seconds are up, the judges vote on whether to open the doors or send the founder back down and pass on investing.
The fifth season of Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch offers a dynamic change in the show’s format. Before, our four judges needed unanimous agreement to make an offer to the pitching entrepreneurs — including three out of four “yes” votes just to open the elevator doors. Now, it only takes one investor to open the doors and one judge to make an offer. The panel of four can then choose whether they want to collaborate or compete against one another.
This episode starts with a study in contrast. While the first entrepreneur in the episode nails her pitch, leading two judges to vote to open the elevator doors — and a third to use his wild card, allowing him to make an offer even without voting to open the doors — the second stumbles in her prepared speech and panics. Even as the judges urge her to keep going, to recover, the founder can’t seem to shake her nerves and spends the second half of her allotted 60 seconds in nervous silence.
But will our first entrepreneur be able to capitalize on her strong start and find a deal that suits her needs? Will our second get another chance to show off her business and her product?
After those two, the panel of judges offer a series of tips for your next pitch, starting with this: Don’t just get lost in the numbers, but remember your potential investors are people. Tell them your story with a human element they can’t get from a spreadsheet.
For more pitches and wisdom, watch the full episode.