What is an Elevator Pitch Competition?
An elevator pitch is named because sometimes your most important pitch is not the formal business plan presentation you make to investors, but the short, opportunistic pitches you share in an elevator ride, a cab, or when you bump into someone at a reception. Your pitch is an overview of an idea for a product, service, or project. The name reflects the fact that an elevator pitch should be possible to deliver in the time span of an elevator ride. While a typical elevator pitch is at least 1 minute, a reception pitch will likely be a bit longer, and be more interactive.
The term is typically used in the context of an entrepreneur pitching an idea to a venture capitalist or angel investor to receive funding. Venture capitalists often judge the quality of an idea and team on the basis of the quality of its elevator pitch, and will ask entrepreneurs for their elevator pitches to weed out bad ideas and weak teams. If interested, the venture capitalist will exchange contact information and ask for more information or give the team an opportunity for a longer, more formal presentation. In addition to entrepreneurs, a variety of other individuals, such as project managers, salespeople, policy-makers, and job seekers use an elevator pitch to get their point across quickly.