Five elevator pitch tips from the CN Tower contest winner

Preparing a pitch to investors is not an easy exercise — especially when you have to sum up what your company does in just a few sentences. So how can you paint a great picture of your value proposition in less than a minute? Here is a quick strategy that I found to be helpful:

1. Do your homework
Know your audience and tailor your pitch accordingly. Research the investors you are pitching to, take a look at their investment portfolio and understand what they’re looking for and emphasize these points in your pitch.

2. Structure your Pitch
If your business model is similar to an already established company or a company that is gaining a lot of attention, don’t be afraid to mention that. For example “Mejuri is the of the fine jewelry industry.” This automatically simplifies your pitch as it sums up your business model in a few words.

  • Start with stating a problem that your company solves.
  • Explain how your company solves that problem.
  • List your core competencies and competitive advantages.
  • Then, transition into explaining where you currently are in your plan. 
  • Conclude with what your next steps are (my rationale around that is even if you don’t land a deal, someone might be able to help you achieve your next steps).

3. Keep it simple
Use simple words that flow easily. I think this is important because it allows you to remember your pitch, and it makes it easier to grab peoples’ attention.

4. Practice, Practice, Practice
Once you are comfortable with your pitch – practice, practice, practice! Pitch to your friends, your team members, or even to yourself. Even though I know my company inside-out and I’m passionate about presenting it, I find that practice is very important to help me stay focused on my pitch while I’m in the act of giving one (especially when you have 58 seconds to summarize everything, you need to have your words flow easily and quickly).

5. Relax and go
Before you pitch, take a deep breath and demonstrate your passion! Every entrepreneur I know is in love with their company – show that passion and enthusiasm when you pitch your idea.

Noura Sakkijha is the co-founder of Mejuri, a Toronto-based startup that uses crowdsourcing to allow jewellery designers to take their designs to market and jewelry lovers to influence which designs get manufactured. Menjuri won the Elevator World Tour at the CN Tower earlier this year.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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