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What are the Steps to Creating an Impressive Elevator Pitch?

Mastering the Quick Business Summary: Its Necessity and the Need for Various Lengths

Picture this: you’re in an elevator with a potential investor or a prospective client. You have a fleeting moment to grab their attention and leave a lasting impact. What do you say?

This is where the quick business summary, or elevator pitch, proves its worth. In this piece, we’ll delve into what an elevator pitch is, its importance, and how it can be a boon for startup businesses.

Why Do You Need an Elevator Pitch?

In essence, as a new business founder, you’ll often find yourself explaining your business concept to various people.

These instances can range from casual, like a conversation with a friend or at a party, to crucial business scenarios, such as when seeking funding, applying for a loan, or assembling your team.

The traditional elevator pitch lasts 15 seconds and succinctly describes: what your business does, who your customer is, and why they need your product.

An elevator pitch acts as a potent tool for startups to briefly communicate their value proposition, highlight their unique aspects, and pave the way for growth.

photo Unsplash/disruptivo

Defining an Elevator Pitch

An elevator pitch is a short, persuasive speech that entrepreneurs employ to pique interest in their startup business. It’s a compact summary that effectively conveys the core of the business, its vision, and the problem it addresses.

The term “elevator pitch” stems from the concept that it should be deliverable within the span of an elevator ride, typically lasting just a few seconds to a minute.

What Should Be the Length of Your Elevator Pitch?

Essential 15-Second Elevator Pitch:

You need at least a 15-second elevator pitch. This is a 2-3 sentence description that clearly outlines what your business does, who your customer is, and why they need your business.

This proves useful as the initial thing you tell almost anyone who inquires about your business.

For many founders, distilling this business model description into a few sentences can be challenging – but it doesn’t have to be, as long as you succinctly answer these three key questions:

  1. What does the business do?
  2. Who is the customer?
  3. Why do they need it? 

60-Second Detailed Elevator Pitch:

Sometimes you know you have more time to elaborate, and perhaps you have a listener who you know is interested enough to learn more details. This is your 60-90 second pitch.

It’s your 15-second pitch, with a few more intriguing details.

The 5-Minute Comprehensive Pitch:

Sometimes you have an investor, or a loan officer, or perhaps a potential team member who really needs to deeply understand your business and your vision for it.

You know they have enough time available to really hear you and learn more about your new business.

You’ll need to guide them through a high-level overview, and then delve into some of the important details such as:

  1. The problem the business addresses
  2. Why you are the right person to run the business
  3. How your financial model will function
  4. The innovations your business will introduce over competitors
  5. Your marketing strategy
  6. …and so on, etc.

Why an Elevator Pitch is Crucial for Startup Businesses

A well-crafted elevator pitch is crucial for startup businesses for several reasons. Firstly, it enables entrepreneurs to clearly and briefly communicate their business idea, product, or service to potential investors and stakeholders.

Within a limited timeframe, an elevator pitch allows startups to grab attention, spark curiosity, and create an opportunity for further discussion.

Elements of a Successful Elevator Pitch

A successful elevator pitch for startup businesses typically comprises the following elements:

  • An engaging opening that captures attention
  • A clear explanation of the problem the startup solves – and what the VALUE OF THE SOLUTION IS to the listener
  • A description of the unique solution or value proposition
  • A demonstration of market potential and target audience
  • A brief overview of the business model and revenue strategy
  • A strong call to action, such as requesting a meeting or seeking funding

Developing Your Elevator Pitch

When developing your elevator pitch, consider the following tips:

  1. Understand your target audience and tailor your pitch to their needs and interests.
  2. Clearly define your value proposition and what sets your startup apart from competitors.
  3. Keep the pitch concise and easy to understand, avoiding technical jargon.
  4. Practice delivering your pitch until it feels natural and confident.
  5. Seek feedback from mentors, colleagues, or potential customers to refine your pitch.

Why an Elevator Pitch is a Must-Have

An elevator pitch is a vital tool for startup businesses because:

  • It helps entrepreneurs articulate their business idea and attract attention in a concise manner.
  • It allows for efficient communication of the startup’s unique value proposition.
  • It creates opportunities for networking, partnerships, and funding by capturing the interest of potential investors, customers, and partners.
  • It serves as a foundation for other business communication, such as presentations, sales pitches, and marketing materials.
  • It helps entrepreneurs build confidence and clarity in explaining their startup’s mission, vision, and goals.
  • It enables startups to stand out from the competition by showcasing their unique qualities and value.


In the dynamic world of startup businesses, an elevator pitch is a vital tool for grabbing attention, creating opportunities, and conveying the essence of your business. By crafting a compelling and concise elevator pitch, tailored to your target audience, you can leave a lasting impression and pave the way to success.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What should be the duration of an elevator pitch for startups?

An elevator pitch for startups should ideally be brief, lasting around 15 seconds to a minute. This duration ensures that you can effectively convey your message without losing the listener’s attention.

As mentioned above, there can be several length pitches, depending on who your listener is.

2. Can I use the same elevator pitch for different audiences?

While the core elements of your elevator pitch remain the same, it is essential to tailor it to different audiences. Consider the specific needs, interests, and pain points of each group you are targeting to make your pitch more relevant and impactful.

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