Guide to Create a Prefect Elevator Pitch for Startups

So you have your business idea, you have your business plan, and now you are trying to get the interest of potential investors, potential clients, or other key people who are in a position to help your business grow. How do you entice these people to see your vision and help bring it to fruition? One way is by creating a simple but effective elevator pitch for startups.

What Is An Elevator Pitch?

An elevator pitch is a verbal pitch that is intended to get your audience to want to hear more, kind of like a trailer to a movie. The “elevator pitch” got its name due to the idea that the time it takes to give your pitch should be about the same time it takes to ride an elevator.

30 Second Elevator Pitch For Startups

In other words, it should be short and sweet, ideally no more than 30 seconds. It should also be such where the other person can interact, rather than simply memorizing and regurgitating a rehearsed script verbatim. So, what are some key components that your short and sweet elevator pitch for startups should include? While there are no hard and fast rules, here is our take on the key components to an effective elevator pitch for startups.

We, among many authors, venture capitalists, and startup founders, have created different versions of pitching presentations and consider the following elements for a successful pitching presentation:

What to Include in an Elevator Pitch for Startups

Consider Your Audience

This is the one component on this list that should occur before you give your elevator pitch for startups. Before giving your pitch, you should consider your audience so that you can tailor your pitch accordingly.

A potential investor will be interested in your company’s growth potential and what the return on their investment could be, whereas a potential client will not care about your company’s growth potential but rather how the product or service you offer can benefit them. Ideally, you would know about the firm they represent so that you can tailor your pitch to their needs.

Introduce Your Self

When you start your pitch, you will want to introduce yourself, the name of your company, and your position in the company. This should only take a few seconds.

Highlight your benefits

After your introduction, you should briefly explain who benefits from your business (i.e., your target market) and how it helps them. If you have a mission statement and a vision statement, then pulling from these statements may be an easy way to explain your mission.

Know Your Target Audience

When giving your pitch, this is where knowing your audience before you start is most beneficial. You will want to explain to the person why you believe that they specifically would benefit from your company, whether they are a potential investor, potential client, or another party of interest. You should know enough about the person you are speaking with so that your reason is more than just you trying to get funded or trying to get a sale.

Call to Action 

This is the section where you ask them for what you want next. Now is not the time to try and obtain the funding from the potential investor or close the sale from the potential client. Rather, a more realistic request would be for a meeting with either of these prospects to go into more detail about your business, again keeping your audience in mind.

This is probably the most uncomfortable part of the pitch because you are putting yourself in a position where the person you are speaking to can say “No,” and no matter how good your pitch is, you will probably hear this sometimes.


Regardless of the response you get, be kind. If you are turned down, thank the person for their time. If the person is interested, then be prepared to either schedule an appointment or offer to exchange business cards or contact information to follow up.

In short, your elevator pitch for startups should be just long enough to include your name and company, who benefits from your products or services, what you see in your prospect, and what you are requesting from them, as well as giving them the chance to respond and giving your conclusion.

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Joseph Ferriolo

Director at Wise Business Plans®
Joseph Ferriolo is the Director of Wise Business Plans. He has overseen over 15,000 written business plans during his tenure, raising over $1BN in funding and providing 30K+ consulting hours for startup companies.

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