Elevator Pitch Contest (written by Tiisetso Murray, Winner of Elevator Pitch Contest)

South Africa Summer 2013 Blog

Written by: Elli Suzuki

July 1, 2013

I found the elevator pitch concept to be rather daunting initially; conveying an idea in a minute or less probably much harder than giving a lecture on it. I started writing my pitch on the morning of the competition and struggled to keep the drafts within time. Removing a few lines was not enough, and entire paragraphs were either scrapped or condensed to a single a sentence. However, the result was not compelling as the facts were simply stated. The solution seemed to be that the detail was not important and rather spending time on why the idea was needed in the world and how it would work and generate revenue was more important.


In the first round I gave what I felt was a reasonable pitch but having listened to what my competitors were pitching I abandoned my notes and went for something completely different. The aim behind my second pitch was not to deal with the hole that the idea would fill but rather how it would change the users’ lives in ways they would never have been able to predict and once they tried the app they would not be able to replicate the effect without it. This time feedback was given from the amazing panel of judges and that directly inspired my third pitch. In general my style of pitch, not unlike an advert, was liked and what was needed was to connect more closely to each person, deal with future inadequacies and speak more about revenue in order to motivate investment. I made a completely new pitch and tested it with my teammates who supported it. The pitch attempted to put the judges in the world of someone in the near future who was reflecting on the app after having used it for a month. In this future reflection I tackled the key points. It was different and felt like I was taking a risk and maybe because of that it was incredibly fun to present.


I really enjoyed the competition and the challenge of the elevator pitch. It was a great and perhaps sneaky way of the AITI program to both teach pitching and have the teams hone their respective ideas. I eagerly look forward to the coming weeks filled with more activities and challenges.