Thursday, April 9, 2009

'Mumbai Mentoring Session-Part II' - '6 by 15- An in depth guide to getting the Elevator Pitch right'

Download The Elevator Pitch Format, by clicking here.

Once you've downloaded The Elevator Pitch Form, here's some useful tips to ensure your submitted form matches panelist expectations.


In this segment, begin by including a clear and concise description of your product/service. Also include how your product/service fits into your potential consumers' need. What sets your product apart from competition?

What is the one distinguishing factor that sets it apart from other businesses? Answers to these questions should help refine your business proposal.

With respect to the target audience, make sure your business is well-targeted and well-defined. Include a sharp description of your target consumer to the extent that the venture capitalist can visualize who you're talking about.

Answers should be presented in an attention grabbing tone.


Define your target audience not just in terms of geographical location but also a clear description of the market space your business will occupy, preferably citing leading examples/names. Ensure the challenges your business will face are outlined, and more importantly include how they will be overcome. Your market should be accurately defined, down to its narrowest most relevant description. In this segment ensure the information entered is original and relevant.


A detailed description of your sales strategy and distribution model should be included in your submitted form. How will your product reach the consumer and how will you sustain delivery are critical questions. Distribution is an oft neglected part in any business proposal and it's important to determine whether you will reach out to your consumer or vice versa. This helps ascertain the economics of what businesses are possible, and what businesses aren't. In case of a digital portal, do include how customers will be attracted to your portal.

A marketing strategy that helps differentiate your offering from others is also critical to a good business proposal. Make sure you include a sharp, unconventional marketing approach that'll help set your business apart.


A category B idea with a category A team easily shines over a category A idea from a category B team. It's important for the team to have the right educational background, domain expertise and share synergy. A well-founded team helps add to the business venture, and especially stands steed in turbulent, stressful times. It is after all, not just a matter of coincidence that the greatest businesses in the world come from strong, nurtured partnerships. Strong partnerships help balance opinions and build stronger ideas. Just like a good marriage partnership, the right chemistry is essential!


In the Financial segment it is critical to include three years financial projections. It's important to pick the right numbers so your business isn't OVER FUNDED or UNDER FUNDED. Both are potential problems. Determine where your revenue is coming from, and where your costs are being incurred. When submitting financial data, be frugal, recheck facts and remember CASH is king. If you're worried about how to calculate your projections, consider the first rung of investors- the 3Fs- your friends, family and fools. And, base your calculations on how you manage your first rung of investors.

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