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Friday, 30 May 2008

At the World Summit for Social Entrepeneurs I came across what seems to be another venture capitalist mantra... the "60 Second' pitch. Investors seem to love these pithy reductions.

The first rule I kept being told about was to narrow my ideas down to a single slice of functionality. Just one slice. If you can't do this apparently VCs get antsy.

The second rule is reduce everything down to a one minute overview. If your idea is more complex, forget about it.

All sounds to me like major ADD. I'm sure it's a outcome of interacting with too many people with rambling undefined theses, and no real ideas hidden underneath it all, but sometimes to simplify to this degree can be to lose the idea altogether; or worse - pitch something conceptually different simply because you had to reduce the number of words.

Simplifying even further than the 60 Second Pitch brings you to the 'Elevator Pitch'. This essentially comes from the notion of having to pitch your idea to some bigwig in a chance elevator meeting, during the time that it takes to get to their floor. Apparently this works out at about 30 seconds or 150 words to get the key message across. Not sure how someone worked it out, but apparently VCs love the short and sweet approach so I guess it's worth looking at if you're trying to raise investment. I recently came across some good guidelines for how you should create and focus your elevator pitch at thesearchengineland blog
  1. What is the core idea and what problem does it solve?
  2. Has it been done before (is there competition?) and is there a viable market for your core idea?
  3. Why are you best suited to solve the problem and what is your business model?
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