15 Best Elevator Pitch Examples for Business

Elevator Pitch Examples from Successful Startups - image shows two people talking in a white table, one is using a tablet, the other one has a cup of coffee

What is an elevator pitch?

An elevator pitch is a brief overview of your business idea or product. It gets its name because it should be short enough to deliver in the time it takes to ride an elevator - around 30 seconds to 1 minute.

The goal of an elevator pitch is to quickly explain your concept and get the listener interested in learning more. If done well, they may ask you follow-up questions or request your full pitch presentation.

An elevator pitch is different from a full pitch deck. A pitch deck is a longer presentation, usually around 10-20 slides. It goes into much more detail on your business plan, target market, financial projections, and other key topics.

The elevator pitch just hits the high points to grab someone's attention. The pitch deck is the full sales pitch you'd give to potential investors if they want to explore partnering or funding your idea after hearing the elevator pitch.

I've compiled this list of 15 effective elevator pitch examples because being able to clearly and concisely explain your business is really important. Study these examples to learn how to distill your concept into a crisp 30-60-second overview that sells.

Tips for writing an effective elevator pitch

Let me start by pitching my (totally fictional) presentation tool called Slidebean.

-Do you ever need to make slide presentations?
‍(I'll assume you said yes).
-How long does it usually take you? ‍
(Insert any answer here, it's probably going to be hours).
-We discovered that the reason why it takes so long is that all presentation platforms give you a white canvas: you need to figure out the content of the deck while figuring out how it's going to look. It's just very inefficient- and if you're not a designer, slides might not look too good.
So we created Slidebean, a tool where all you need to do is add the content, and the design of the slides gets generated automatically. Over 10 million slides have been created with our platform, and startups have raised over $350 million dollars with presentations made using Slidebean. Do you need to make a presentation quickly in the near future?

You can see how I start with an engaging question that frames the common problems businesses face with bad websites and overpriced design. The listener immediately relates to that struggle.

It then explains my convenient solution for creating effective and beautiful presentations, while building credibility by name-dropping successful client projects.

The closing question (CTA) prompts my listener to express interest in discussing further.

How to organize your elevator pitch

A great elevator pitch grabs attention, sparks interest, and sets you up to pitch the full idea. Here is how to organize your pitch:

Hook them with a question

You'll grab someone's attention much better if you start with a thought-provoking question instead of just stating facts. Ask something that gets them curious about the problem you're solving.

Make them feel the pain

Don't just describe the issue your business addresses - help the listener actually experience the frustration or struggle caused by that problem. When they empathize with the pain, they'll appreciate your solution.

Less is More

There's no need to cram in every single detail about your product's features or your big long-term vision. Just quickly cover the core problem and how your initial solution resolves it.

Skip the Fancy Words

Using simple language anyone can understand is way better than impressing with industry jargon. Ditch the buzzwords and just explain your idea plainly.

Mention a Spark  

If you can slip in a hint of early traction - a notable customer, promising test results, or competitor interest - it builds credibility. Just don't overdo the humble brag.

Templates for effective elevator pitches

Having a basic structure to follow makes crafting your elevator pitch much easier. A good template guides you on what details to include and how to organize them in a logical flow. It provides a proven framework you can then adapt for your specific business.

You can use these templates to eliminate the guesswork and make explaining your concept as simple as filling in the blanks. Just plug in an engaging hook, a concise overview of the problem, your stellar solution, and a hint of traction.

Let's look at several templates successful startups have used as models for their pitch.

Startup Entrepreneur Pitch Template:

"Hi, I'm [Your Name], founder of [Your Startup]. We're [briefly explain your unique solution or product] for [industry]. In just [mention a timeframe], we've [share a remarkable achievement]. Our vision is to [describe your long-term goal]. With a passionate team, we're poised to [impact or disrupt]. Let's connect to discuss how we're innovating [industry]."

Sales Pitch Template:

"Hello, I'm [Your Name] from [Your Company]. We provide [Your Product/Service], solving [specific problem] for [target clients]. Using [unique approach], clients typically experience [quantifiable benefit]. Let's chat about how [Your Product/Service] could elevate [Prospect's Company]."

Job Seeker Pitch Template:

"Hello, I'm [Your Name], a [Your Profession] with [X] years in [expertise]. I've [highlight accomplishments/projects], and I excel at [emphasize a key skill]. I'm eager to bring this to [Company Name]. Can we explore how I fit into your team?"

Networking Event Pitch Template:

"Hi, I'm [Your Name], specialized in [Your Expertise]. I've [mention an achievement]. I'm here to connect with fellow [industry] enthusiasts. Let's exchange insights on [specific topic] or potential collaborations."

Nonprofit Fundraising Pitch Template:

"Hi, I'm [Your Name], dedicated to [Your Cause] with [Nonprofit Name]. We've impacted [mention achievement] through [specific program]. To continue, we seek support from like-minded individuals. Your contribution can help us [tangible outcome]. Interested in joining our mission?"

Use these templates as a guide to build you own elevator pitch.

15 Elevator pitch examples from real startups

You've seen the templates, now let's look at some real-world examples. Imagine how the founders of these famous startups could have pitched their billion-dollar ideas in just a few sentences. Check these out:

SpaceX Elevator Pitch

Do you know how crazy expensive it is to launch stuff into space? Well, SpaceX builds affordable rockets and spacecraft to make space exploration and travel possible for everyone - not just governments. We've already won major NASA contracts, and with more backing, we can make Mars the next frontier.

SpaceX elevator pitch example for business

Airbnb Elevator Pitch

Tired of expensive hotels and lame vacation rentals? With Airbnb, you can affordably book unique homes and spaces from local hosts for your next trip. We're like the eBay of accommodations - our community already has over 2 million listings worldwide. Let's turn your extra space into profit!

Uber Elevator Pitch

Getting across town is such a hassle - cabs are expensive and public transit is slow. Uber is an app that lets anyone instantly hail an affordable ride from nearby drivers with the tap of a button. We already have thousands of cars on the road in San Francisco and growing rapidly.

Snapchat Elevator Pitch

You know all those awkward pics and messages you don't want to leave a permanent record? Snapchat is an app that makes them self-destruct after viewing so you can share casual moments without worrying. It's quickly becoming huge on college campuses.

Stripe Elevator Pitch

Payments on the internet still require tedious merchant accounts and credit card gateways. Stripe allows developers to integrate buy buttons into any website or app, making transactions dead simple. We have a beautifully easy API and are growing 20% monthly.

Stripe elevator pitch example for business
Facebook Elevator Pitch

There ought to be a more effortless way for people to connect and keep up online, right? Facebook is a modern social network that lets you share life updates, photos, events and more in one space. It's already one of the most popular sites on campus.

Spotify Elevator Pitch

Sick of paying for entire albums when you only want a few songs? Spotify is an app that provides unlimited streaming access to millions of songs for just $10/month. No more stealing music - it's an affordable legal alternative to piracy that's better than radio.

Spotify elevator pitch example for business
Pinterest Elevator Pitch

Gathering inspiration from random websites is such a hassle. Pinterest is a tool for collecting all your favorite home decor, fashion, recipes, and other ideas in one beautifully organized place. It makes it easy to "pin" things from all over and browse trend boards created by others.

DoorDash Elevator Pitch

Craving food from your favorite restaurant but don't feel like leaving the house? DoorDash delivers meals from thousands of top eateries straight to your door with the tap of an app. Order delicious dinners from the best local places without the hassle of driving there.  

Zenefits Elevator Pitch

Handling payroll and benefits for your small team is an expensive nightmare, right? Zenefits is free, easy-to-use cloud software that automates those HR processes so you can focus on your actual business. We're already simplifying benefits for over 10,000 companies.  

Zoom Elevator Pitch

Traveling to meetings is such a waste of time and money. Zoom provides affordable, reliable video conferencing so remote teams can meet face-to-face no matter where they are located. Our superior quality and features are already winning over companies like Uber and Stanford.

Robinhood Elevator Pitch

Why are stock trade commissions still so high at traditional brokers? Robinhood is a no-fee investing app that allows anyone to buy and sell stocks, ETFs, and options for free. We're making the markets more accessible to a new generation of investors.

Robinhood elevator pitch example for business
Palantir Elevator Pitch

Data is everywhere but transforming it into meaningful insights is brutally difficult. Palantir specializes in modeling massive datasets to help government agencies and companies make smarter decisions. We're already working with anti-terror and fraud detection operations.

Slack Elevator Pitch

Workplace communication is a mess - there are random email threads, meetings, file sharing chaos. Slack is a messaging platform that streamlines everything in one place so teams can collaborate seamlessly. We've already replaced email at companies like Airbnb and Ticketmaster.

Slack elevator pitch example for business
Dropbox Elevator Pitch

Tired of emailing files to yourself to access them from different computers and devices? Dropbox is a service that creates a shared folder accessible from anywhere - your desktop, laptop, phone, and the web. Any files you save to it are automatically synced and backed up in the cloud. We already have millions of users at companies like Hewlett-Packard and Cisco who love working across all their devices. It's a simpler way to access everything you need from anywhere.

Elevator Pitch Essentials

An elevator pitch is a very concise 20-30-second speech that quickly explains your product or company. The goal is to convince the listener about the value of what you offer. It aims to make a great first impression and spark enough interest for further conversation.

The biggest challenge is capturing the listener's attention immediately in such a short window of time. Here are some additional pointers:

Avoiding Jargon and Fluff

Make you use clear, straightforward language to communicate your message effectively and avoid complex industry jargon. Choose simple everyday words anyone can understand to explain the key benefits and value propositions of your product without using confusing technical terms.  

Here's an example of an elevator pitch lost in confusing jargon:

“Our cloud-based, multi-tenant SaaS solution leverages AI and machine learning to provide a holistic, best-of-breed workflow optimization platform. It integrates robust data pipelines and customizable analytics dashboards, empowering enterprises to drive synergies and leverage economies of scale for unparalleled operational efficacy. We disrupt legacy paradigms with our cutting-edge tech stack and innovative go-to-market strategies.”

This pitch is terrible because it uses way too many buzzwords and technical terms that are vague and alienating.

Here's the same pitch in simple, straightforward language:

“We offer software that uses artificial intelligence to streamline business processes and operations. The program analyzes your data to identify inefficiencies, then provides recommendations and tracking tools to improve productivity across your company. Our user-friendly interface requires little training, ensuring fast implementation and rapid results for our customers.”

You can agree that this second elevator pitch is more effective because it explains the key benefits and solutions in plain language anyone can understand.

Start with a Question

Opening with a thought-provoking question is a great way to immediately engage your audience.

For example, Steve Jobs famously opened a pitch to John Sculley with "Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life?"

Instead of just describing your product or service, focus on the listener's problems and needs. Clearly articulate how what you offer can directly help and provide value to them.

Provide Proof of Results  

If you can, highlight any achievements, satisfied customers, or other proof that provides credibility. Mentioning any major brands or companies you're already associated with builds trust.

Add Emotional Benefit Statement

In addition to practical benefits, tap into the emotional reasons for what you do. Explaining the deeper "why" behind your work in an enthusiastic way resonates.

Include a Call to Action (CTA)

Be sure to provide clear next steps and ways for the listener to follow up. For example, offering a product demo meeting or requesting their contact info.  

Here is an example CTA for an elevator pitch:

“To see exactly how our platform can streamline your operations and drive growth, I'd be happy to walk through a demo and pricing options at your convenience.”

Make it natural and conversational

While being concise, maintain a conversational and natural presentation tone. Allow for some back-and-forth interaction instead of just rigidly following a script.

Here's an example:

You: Hi, I'm Chris, the founder of SnapShot. Have you ever missed capturing a great moment because you fumbled with your phone's camera app?

Listener: Oh yeah, all the time! It's the worst.

You: Right? That frustration is exactly why I created SnapShot. It's an app that allows you to just double-tap your phone's power button to instantly take a picture - no unlocking or loading the camera required.

Listener: Wow, that's clever! So it works with your phone's native camera?

You: Yep, totally seamless integration. We partnered with Android and iOS to enable those double-tap shortcuts right into the operating systems. Actually, let me show you how it works...

[You demo the SnapShot app and its quick capture ability]

Listener: That's amazing! I'd use that every day. How do I get it?

You: Great, I'm glad you can see the value! SnapShot is available now for $2.99 on the App Store and Google Play. Or if you just share your email, I can send over some promo codes to try it for free?

Notice how the natural dialogue and interactive demo help make the pitch feel like a real conversation rather than a rehearsed speech.

Nailing your elevator pitch takes practice, but mastering this skill pays big dividends. Use the examples and tips here as a guide, but put in the work to make your pitch authentic and compelling. An amazing idea deserves an amazing pitch - make yours one to remember!

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