Thursday, January 10, 2008

Elevator Pitch

Imagine bumping into the CEO or a VC who will fund your next project in an elevator. It takes 30 secs from the elevator to go from the floor you get in to the floor on which you get out. So are you prepared? Do you have your pitch pat down, so that you can if not convince but get the attention of the VC / CEO to your idea? During the managerial communication class we had a tutorial where each student had to make an elevator pitch on a particular situation which was revealed to you just 45 secs before you are due to present and this reminded me of a very smart thing. When I was returning from Amsterdam to Cologne a few months back, in the train, I met this “desi” guy who just came up to us and started talking about how he was a research student at univ X and as a part time he provided other services like courier, arrange for events etc for other desis That’s one interesting thing I observed while in Europe. In India you wouldn’t bother talking to a stranger but there, every brown skinned person is a desi (whether from sri lanka or India or Pakistan ) and you will smile at / greet other desis.. ok I digress…
So this person gives me his card, and on the back side of the card he has a list of the services he provides. This is smart I say. After a month if I were to look at his card, I might not remember where I met him, and who the heck does this card belong to but when I turn it around immediately the context is clear. I don’t remember where I read this or who told me but this was suggested as a very good method for entrepreuners looking for funding. Take your business card and on the back write a short description of your product, main features etc. So the next time you bump into a VC or someone important who can help you in your venture, you give them your card and later they have a way to remember you and your idea later. It didn’t strike me in the train but later when I was planning for my elevator pitch, the application of the idea was blaringly apparent. Nice idea I’ed say, though you would have to be prepared for the chance encounters… but that’s what entrepreneurship is all about isn’t it?

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