There’s nothing quite as exciting — or terrifying! — as starting your own business. With so many unknowns ahead of you, one area that is worth your focus and attention is your elevator pitch as an entrepreneur. This short, yet effective speech should be the most stellar speech that you can give to promote your company, your expertise, and your purpose within your industry.
The best way to visualize it is to picture your No. 1 dream mentor or investor who you admire. If you were stuck in an elevator with them and only had a hot second to get them on board with your company, what would you say? Though everyone will approach their entrepreneur-themed elevator speech differently, most include the following:
- Your name.
- A brief history of your background. Don’t go overboard here! You want to keep it light while positioning yourself as a leader.
- Your company and what they do, make or offer. Again, it’s better to air on the brief side than to give too many details.
- How your brand is different. To break through the noise, you need to stand out — and this sentence is where you do it. Consider using data and/or accolades here.
- Your goal with the conversation. Not all elevator pitches serve the same purpose: sometimes you’re hoping to bring on a new hire, and other times you’re attracting an investor or client. Regardless, the pitch should end with the proposed next steps.
This outline is a solid way to begin brainstorming your entrepreneurial elevator speech. Consider practicing in front of the mirror or with a friend or partner to brush up on your skills.
5 Elevator pitch examples for entrepreneurs
From ones that get to the point ASAP to ones that expand on the details and grab your attention, there are many ways to phrase your speech.
Here, some examples to supercharge your creativity:
1. To ignite interest
“Hi, my name is [NAME] and my company develops and designs personalized online sales funnels [what your company does]. That means two things: one, online customers enjoy a flawless user experience tailored to their needs and interests, and two: our clients get automated solutions that dramatically boost sales [unique business proposition]. We helped our last client increase online revenue by 120 percent month-over-month [hard numbers behind your results]. Does your company have any experience with e-commerce automation? [engaging question]”
Why it works: This ignites interest because it presents the hard facts and then follows them up with numbers that move the needle. It can be an exciting way to gain a new client.
2. To gain customers
“I’m Megan Moran, and I am the owner and wardrobe stylist at The Style Foundry. We are a full-service wardrobe styling business that helps you take the stress out of getting dressed through our styling services. A typical customer cycle starts with a Closet Cleanse, where I clean out your closet, tell you what to keep and get rid of, take pictures of all of the yeses and then upload them to an app/website where I mix and match them into over 100 different outfits from what you already own. From there, I am able to really see what’s missing and what you need. We can tackle that by personal shopping, which is done in-person at your favorite stores or ones I suggest; virtual shopping, which is done online (I send you my finds, you buy what you like, and then when all of the items arrive at your house, I come in for a fitting); or through our mobile boutique, which we can pull up in your driveway and fill it with our pieces that best fit your style and shopping list. It’s the best of online and boutique shopping.”
Why it works: If you’re someone who needs this particular service, this elevator pitch is equal parts convincing and captivating. You have all of the info — and your interest is sparked.
3. To attract investors
“Has this ever happened to you? You’re rushing to get the kids out the door in the morning so you can get them to school on time and not be late for an important meeting — and then you realize that you can’t find your car keys. This happens all the time to me. In fact, did you know that the average suburban professional misplaces their keys more than five times per month? That’s more than 600 million times per year! Using bluetooth technology, I’ve created a low cost key fob that helps people find their keys and other lost items in record time, making it easier to get out the door on busy mornings. We’ve got a working prototype and now we’re looking to raise funds to go into large-scale production. We’ve got some new team members on board with extensive manufacturing experience and supply chain expertise, so we’re hoping to get to market in the next six months.”
Why it works: The only thing missing is the name introduction — but with this landslide of info, it’s easy to see why investors would want to learn more. Not only is this elevator pitch transparent in terms of where the company is right now, but it has an air of confidence, too.
4. The to-the-point
“Hi, I’m [NAME], the founder of Merchant Machine. We make it easy to say ‘thank you’ at work. Merchant Machine helps small businesses quickly and easily save money on their credit card processing costs by comparing the leading options in the market. It’s completely free to the end user, there are no obligations and takes just one minute to do. Can we set up a time to chat tomorrow?”
Why it works: There’s no frills here — but you have enough information to consider setting up a meeting. This approach is more effective via email or Linkedin.
5. The one that worked IRL
“Hi, I’m [NAME]. I got your email address from [NAME]. My co-founders and I founded Grasshopper and Engine Yard, in which Amazon, Benchmark, and NEA invested. Our new company, Chargify, is a simple recurring billing management tool. We’re looking for angel capital to fill in some gaps. Maybe you’re interested in such an investment?”
Why it works: This is a real example from a real company. This one led to other interests and helped them meet their goals. It’s effective because all of the information is straightforward and encouraging, without taking up too much time in someone’s inbox.