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Write Your Winning Elevator Pitch

The Innovation Quest Elevator Pitch Competition (IQ E-Pitch) is Wednesday, April 11, 2018! This page has been prepared to help you successfully present yourself and your idea for this competition. Our goal is for you to understand exactly what is expected, what will happen during the competition, and how your pitch will be evaluated.

An elevator pitch is a short, prepared speech introducing several key components of your idea. We have prepared some materials and links in this slide deck for your reference (Learn more about how to pitch).  In this competition, those ideas are broken down using what is called a 6 P’s approach (Learn more about the 6 P's).

Briefly, you should address the pain your idea addresses, the premise of the solution, the people on your team, the proof that this works (or could work), and the purpose or profit potential of the idea.

The length of the pitch should be between 90 and 120 seconds. In addition to time and the 6 P’s you will also be evaluated on the overall quality of your presentation.

The exact rubric that the judges will use to evaluate you is available here.

The simplest way to write an elevator pitch is to address each P in turn. Begin by writing a sentence or two about the pain you are addressing, then the problem, and so on. Once finished, read it aloud and time it. Does it make sense? Is it easy to understand? If someone were asking me for money in this way would I be interested enough to stick around and learn more?

Once you’ve done that, a good next step is to evaluate your elevator pitch using the 9 C’s (Learn more about the 9 C's). Ask yourself, and ask your friends after they hear it, is it clear? Is it concise? Compelling, credible, and so on. Now that you have an elevator pitch that is the proper length and addresses the 5 P’s it’s time to start working on your presentation.

Practice makes perfect. Rehearse it until you know it by heart. You can, and probably should, have visual aids, but those aids probably shouldn’t be index cards with your presentation written out word for word. Use visual aids to enhance your message, not to deliver it. Prototypes make excellent visual aids, as do poster boards. Poster boards could contain market data, pictures of the product or service in use, or even technical drawings.

This is a pitch competition, and the primary thing influencing the judges’ evaluation of you will be your pitch. However, after you finish your pitch, you may be asked one or more questions. This does not mean that you missed anything in your presentation. It is merely a sign of interest from the judges, and probably indicates that you did a good job. Answer any question directly and to the best of your ability.

An elevator pitch is the beginning of a conversation, and a question is just a continuation of that conversation. Finally, have fun! You will be meeting new people, exchanging ideas, and possibly laying the groundwork for an exciting new future. We look forward to seeing you at IQ E-Pitch!