Posts Tagged ‘Elevator Pitch’

My latest Pitch

February 8, 2011

Here’s my latest startup pitch (kindly recorded by Lucy Hewlitt of techfluff.tv) – its only 2:40 seconds long. My elevator pitch has got alot better over the last year and a half.

I talk about what our service does, how we are different and how our service has been received. Lucy also asks me how we are funded.

After pitching our service 100’s of times its got much better but there’s always room for improvement 😉

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Pitching 2.0+ : A clear, concise & complete message

July 8, 2009

It’s not as easy as you think getting your pitch/message down to a few very clear and concise words. I’m pitching our website monitoring startup again. This Pitch is part of a national Pitch competition. Click the links to see my last pitches: Understanding Pitching and Learning to Pitch. We’ve been short listed based on our application form. All the hard work we’ve been putting into our Website messaging is really starting to come through. Our message must be improving.

ChurchillChurchill. Good with words.

Like a marketing strapline a pitch needs to be boiled down to a very few key words. It says what your company does and what you stand for. This message is then developed into longer pitches to include more and more detail as required. 3 second, 30 second, 3 minute pitches, etc. Its a bit like a pyramid of descriptions with the shortest and simplest pitch at the top. This structure brings consistency and clarity. Ultimately the culture of a startup is formed around the principle messages and values formed by the founders. In this way employees, customers and investors understand what your company stands for.

How we get on today at The Pitch competition is important but its not critical. Its the journey that’s the useful part. Improving, testing and refining our message is the reason to pitch. Although the £50,000 worth of prizes would be nice. This practice is preparing us and our message for potential customers. After all The Pitch panel will not be buying our product, customers will. Keep pitching – practice makes perfect 😉

Elevator Pitch 2.0: Are you Listening & Learning?

May 15, 2009

I took part in another pitch competition this week and didn’t win, yet again.  However I learnt alot more than the previous pitch. The first pitch was to a camera in a booth. Unfortunately I received no feedback from the judges. How can I improve if I don’t get feedback! This weeks two minute Nott Tuesday pitch competition was to a live panel (Mike Butcher The Editor, Doug Ashby The Entrepreneur and Duncan James The Lawyer). They gave me some excellent feedback during a three minute Q&A to learn from.

Nott Tuesday Pitch Q&A Photo

Aware Monitoring looking more  like Rappers (photo by Nick Walker)

Here’s a link to all Nick Walkers’s event photographs. The pitchers at the event were (in presenting order):

  1. Simon Oxley and I from Aware Monitoring with our Website monitoring and Web infrastructure monitoring service. Click here for our pitch slide deck on Slideshare.
  2. Darren Ramowski from golfshake.com, who’s a really nice bloke,  gave a very relaxed pitch about his great golf website. The judges loved Golfshake and its international potential. Time for Darren to learn how to go Global now!
  3. Next up was Kamran Hussein from Buyers4Cars with an innovative startup that allows car buyers rather than sellers to advertise their vehicles.
  4. Tadhg Kelly from Simple Lifeforms have just released their first social game and I’m sure they will go very big with this game or one of the next games they’ve line-up.
  5. Last, but no means least was Nik Le Page who pitched an idea on online profile management. Nik won an extra award because he was a last minute and enthusiastic entrant.

I’d like to have come first in both pitch contests, who wouldn’t. However there is probably more to gain from not winning. Sore looser you may think. But learning often means putting yourself in a difficult situation where you will be challenged and probably won’t succeed. We have to go out of our comfort zones to learn. It’s the hard lessons that often have the most impact.

Pitching is a vital skill for any startup. As founders we need the ability to effectively pitch to everyone: investors; journalists; customers; partners; co-workers; etc. Therefore we’ve got to work hard on our pitching skills. For more tips on pitching listen to Tim Berry (Angel/Entrepreneur) and his seasoned advice.

All situations in life can be learnt from whether we win or loose a business pitch, customer deal, sports competition or our new product is a failure. Only by listening and learning from the challenges we can improve. The business coach Brad Sugars said something that stuck in my mind – “work on yourself as much as you work on your business.”

Growing as an individual is about Lifelong Learning“the pursuit of knowledge is not confined to childhood or the classroom, but takes place throughout life and in a range of situations”. So what have I learnt from my Pitch 2.0 feedback? I’ve understood the importance of being relaxed, spending more time on what the product is, our forward strategy and the investor greed inducement.  Until the next pitch! Which is going to be real soon with a National Pitch competition. I’m a sucker for punishment 😉

7 steps to the perfect Elevator pitch

March 19, 2009

We all need to quickly and concisely express our startup, company or job description when meeting new people. This week I got roped into giving an elevator pitch to a panel of judges :0. Although, as luck would have it two (Alex Tew of Million Dollar Homepage fame and Micheal Acton-Smith) of the three judges could be potential customers 🙂 You’ve heard the expression ‘elevator pitch’ but what is the perfect pitch in just 30-60 Seconds?

A perfect Speedy Pitch (Not to get the job)
from Spud in Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting

The Wikipedia definition for elevator pitches recommends a 30 seconds pitch with between 100-150 words. In a short video this guy suggests a succinct, easy to understand, greed inducing and irrefutable pitch. Startup Nation has 205 word example written pitch. Based on the example structure the 7 steps to the perfect pitch is:

  1. Customer pain situation
  2. What your product/service does for the buyer
  3. Gap in the market (Niche)
  4. How are you going to market product
  5. Investment ask for and return
  6. Your credibility
  7. Your past relevant successes

My final Elevator Pitch went something like this:

“I’m Nick Barker and my company is Aware Monitoring. The global recession will dramatically increase leisure and business website traffic. This growth will push websites to their limits and cause capacity, performance and availability problems.

Our service helps prevent website downtime/slowdowns and the associated loss of revenues. The market currently has low cost basic products or expensive complex enterprise products. Our service focuses on a niche market using in-bound, word of mouth marketing with a ‘freemium’ model. The service is charged monthly.

We’ve been running and selling monitoring products for more than 10 years now. I’m the CEO with 20 years Tech experience and an MBA. My CTO co-founder has 15 years software Tech experience. In my last job I grew a monitoring startup into a global multi million $ service and we see the same high-growth potential for Aware Monitoring

(Word count: 140 & 60Sec pitch time – But will they buy it?)

Note: There is no Investment ask for and indication of return.

In the end my live pitch was not perfect as I kept looking at my notes. Oh, well until the next elevator ride. Here is a link to a video of 5 Elevator Pitches in a Texas Elevator as part of SXSW 2009 (tech festival).

Good luck with your pitch! 🙂