The elevator pitch is one of the most important items in an entrepreneur's tool kit. Melissa Krinzman, managing director of Venture Architects, a Business Plan Challenge judge and a University of Miami Launch Pad senior fellow, has led workshops on perfecting your elevator pitch. According to Krinzman, these are must-have components of a tight elevator pitch:
* An explanation of the problem you are solving for customers
* Product description
* Proof that your product rocks
* Description of your team's relevant experience.
* Then, end with a call to action, such as, "We are starting meetings with investors next week and would love to show you our demo."
* Show your passion!
* Hook the audience fast. Be clear and succinct from the first sentence.
* Practice your pitch a lot, with the goal of sounding natural and relaxed.
* Tailor the pitch to the audience.
The top six finalists in the Community and FIU tracks of the 14th annual Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge were asked to give their elevator pitches under the bright lights of Miami Herald and FIU studios. All of them are now competing in the Challenge's People's Pick competition. Watch their videos here.
For many of them, it was their first attempt at a pitch. Based on the tips from Melissa and Susan above, how did they do? How could they improve?
Support these emerging South Florida businesses and vote early and often through April 30! The winners of each track will be honored in the May 7 edition of Business Monday.
Tomorrow, I'll share more tips on elevator pitches aimed specifically at hooking investors.