Using the “Elevator Pitch” to Raise Capital and to Grow Revenue

Every entrepreneur has heard they need to have an “elevator pitch”. So what is that? What does that really mean? Most entrepreneurs want to drone on for 30 minutes talking about their business opportunities almost in the hopes that a VC or group of investors will say…..”OK, OK…I give. I’ll invest if you will just shut up!”.

News Flash….that is not how it works. It is almost comical how so many entrepreneurs network with investors. They are like a faucet. They turn it on and it pours out. Boom They think to themselves, “I’m Done…whoo, glad that is over with” and then sit there like a lap dog with their tongue hanging out…”so whadya think…huh…huh…huh? Wanna invest, huh…huh…huh?”

The only time an entrepreneur should do a core dump like that is when they are in one of those beauty contests where they parade in front of mike to give a fast pitch to a sea of faces whom they have no idea who is really an investor and even more tragic, have no way of following up with any of those “potential investors”. These community do-good events serve only one purpose…to be memorable so when you meet that potential investor another time, it will ring a bell and they have a positive emotional response. The odds of an investor rushing up to you after hearing 60 seconds of your heart and soul are so low as to be non-existent.

So first step in mastering your Elevator Pitch is to know there are two types.


1. The kind you deliver when you have 1-3 minutes to deliver a fast pitch. We’ll call this the Fast Pitch Version When we coach clients on developing this skill we focus on three key elements to include.

a. Relatable intro that leap frogs and puts your listener into your world, usually in a form of a rhetorical question.


b. Bold statement of what your business accomplishes that shocks or challenges the listeners beliefs so they want to reach out to you to find more or to disagree with your statement.

c. How to reach you, name, company name, website….repeat the website.


2. The kind that is actually more like verbal tennis. We’ll call this the Volley Version. It is delivered one on one or one on a few in a networking setting or when calling a potential investor and is strategically planned to cause predictable reactions and uncover if the person you are talking with is a potential investor, customer, joint venture partner, or someone just good to know or forget.

The Volley Elevator Pitch is the one that will net you more investors and more customers than the Fast Pitch Version that people most often focus on. The Volley version is supposed to be a 30-60 second sound bite. It is the sizzle. So when an entrepreneur is at a cocktail party or in an elevator, they can give a nugget about their opportunity so if the person they are talking to is an investor, they will respond in any of the following ways:

“Wow, that is really interesting, I’d like to learn more. I may be able to help you with capital and resources. Here’s my card, call my office and set up an appointment.” OR

“Hey, I was just reading about that stuff…you’ve figured it out. Are you looking for money to grow your business? Why don’t you meet me and some of my friends for lunch on Tuesday so we can learn more.” OR

“Hmmm…. Got a few minutes? Let’s get a refresh and step over here to this table where it is a little quieter and we can talk more.” OR


“Very interesting. Are you raising money? I’m part of the Network of Business Angels and Investors….NBAI. We hold regular events where companies pitch to our investor group. I’d like to nominate you to the screening committee. Here’s my card, send me your executive summary so I can pass it along.” OR

“You know I’m in that field. I may know someone that would want to carry that or buy that…. Let’s talk more.”


What you don’t want to hear…..


“Oh I forgot something…let me get off at the next floor so I can wait for another elevator.”


“Oh, sorry… I see someone I haven’t seen in years I need to go talk to….right now!”

“Oh, look….they just refreshed the fried chicken gizzard tray….love these things….talk to you later.”


Raising investor capital is an art, with a little science mixed in. Mastering the elevator pitch is a critical component. An entrepreneur should be able to do the Volley version at the neighborhood BarBQ, at the kids soccer game, at the chamber meeting, and the investor meet up. The reality is that most entrepreneurs think their friends and family can’t invest but in reality they don’t have any idea what their financial situation is and most importantly they don’t know who their friend or family knows that might be an investor. Informing them through a upbeat interactive conversation specific to your business opportunity is the easiest, least threatening way to figure out if that person opposite you can play in a role in moving your business to the next level.

Author Info: Karen Y. Rands


Karen Rands is the Founder of Kugarand Holdings, an advisory firm for both entrepreneurs and angel investors. Entrepreneurs gain valuable insight and resources, and a strategic advantage in the marketplace through the LAUNCHfn Access to Capital System ( ). Early stage venture capital & angel investors gain access to qualified deal flow and an opportunity to learn, collaborate and prosper with other investors in the Network of Business Angels & Investors (NBAI). Academically trained as an economist and a master of business, Karen shares insights gained through the real life application of business principals relative to building a business, attracting capital, bringing innovation to market, and creating wealth. Sign up to get free reports, tips for attracting capital and announcements about opportunities to meet with investors at Follow Karen on Twitter at Karen_Rands


© Kugarand Holdings 2010


Article Source:




Article Source:





Share this: