Each week we sit down (virtually) with a group of BRITE portfolio company founders. During this BRITE Happy Hour we learn about their weekly accomplishments and get advice from a different expert. Last week, we had the pleasure of speaking with Courtney Gras. Courtney serves as the Launchpad Director at Techstars. She connects students on 24 partner campuses around the world to resources and funding, in an effort to help their startups succeed.
Some background on Techstars: they’ve assisted 2200+ companies since their foundation in 2007 and they boast an 89% company success rate. This success is do in part to the commitment and expertise of Techstars’ team, made up of individuals like Courtney. It’s for this reason we asked Courtney to share her advice on pitching. We’re happy to share those pointers with you.
The Elevator Pitch
Your elevator pitch is often times the first impression you’ll give to people about you and your company. It’s a 60 to 90 second introduction that is your first impression when you talk to other entrepreneurs and potential clients or investors. Because there are no second chances at first impressions, this means your elevator pitch is quite important. In spite of this importance, there is a simple way to break down an elevator pitch:
- what problem do you solve?
- who do you solve it for?
- what makes you different?
- what’s your solution?
If you follow these four points, you can make an elevator pitch that speaks to the work of your company. One thing Courtney made clear is that putting your pitch together is the “easy” part. You really need to practice your pitch over and over; not until you’ve memorized it but until you know your pitch by heart. Courtney’s background in engineering didn’t make her a good public speaker, but she said practicing her pitches hundreds of times did.
Next week we’ll talk about Courtney’s tips on building a quality pitchdeck. A pitchdeck is a necessary tool to not only share your story but to earn the trust of potential investors and customers. We’re excited to share the tried and true method that Techstars uses every day!