Tips to make 1-minute startup investor presentation or elevator pitch

An entrepreneur should never muddle with his/her start up pitch while having a conversation with the potential investors. Sometimes you have 30 minutes to make your point, sometimes 60 minutes but there may be time when all you have is 1 minute. It could be in the traditional elevator or networking event/ seminar or even a casual party. If you cannot make an effective pitch in those 60 seconds, you have probably lost an opportunity of lifetime.

It may appear to be a terrifying task to make a startup investor presentation within a very short span of time but it is not all art – there can be little bit of science in it. If prepared well and practiced to perfection it can open new doors of opportunity. Let us look at different aspects of a killer elevator pitch.

  • Duration – Obviously, it should be 1 minute but can range anywhere from 30 seconds to 60 seconds depending on the height of your building and speed of your elevator !!
  • Number of Words – 150 to 225 words are optimum. Cramming too many words may result in information overload for the listener.
  • Energy Level – The idea should be presented in a simple but passionate manner which would convey the fact that there is some power in your project and you’re confident with it.
  • Call to Action – A great pitch without any call to action would be useless. It should end with a call to action like request for a detailed presentation or meeting or introduction to someone who might be interested.
  • Content – some experts recommend using a template to make a pitch. It may sound too rehearsed and boring. Rather I would suggest that you bring your creativity to present it in the best possible way but make sure not to miss the key points. Key points to be covered are:
    • Problem / Solution / Benefit – focus on the most important problems, for whom you are solving, what is your solution and how customers benefit.
    • Competitive Advantage – Who are your key competitors and how you differentiate. Again focus should be on the biggest competitor and biggest differentiators due to paucity of time.
    • Market Size – How big is the market?
    • Team – Investors bet on the driver more than the bus. So tell them how your team is best suited to execute this.
    • Traction – What have you achieved so far? Focus on the biggest / most impressive achievement.

The content does not have to be delivered in a specific order, rather you need to choose what is it that will make the big impression.

So the key to success is prepare well and practice till you become perfect.


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