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Pepperdine | Graziadio Business School

Fast Pitch Competition Tips

Tips for an Effective Fast Pitch:

  1. Use your ninety seconds wisely:

    FREE (the clock doesn’t start yet) – Tell the audience your name, the name of your product/business and what it is: “My name is Larry. I’m launching a non-profit called ‘The Early X Foundation’ – an organization that speeds up and multiples the impact of the commercialization of intellectual property.” (the clock starts now)

    15 seconds – Tell an interesting story or ask a question to help the audience “feel the pain.”  What is the problem (i.e., pain in the marketplace) your business will solve for its customers?

    30 seconds – Describe your innovative solution to the above problem.  How will your business idea relieve the customer’s pain?  How is it unique?  What is your innovation? What is your hypothesis about how/why it will work?

    15 seconds – Explain your “value proposition.”  Why is your business concept better than previous solutions?  What are your benefits?  Why should customers buy your service or product instead of others.

    15 seconds – Make a connection to the SEER macro values of “environmental stewardship” or “corporate social responsibility.” At this point, it could be as simple as, “We will donate 50% of our free cash to the Pepperdine Entrepreneurship Program.”

    15 seconds – Tell the audience how much money you are seeking and how (specifically) you will use it. Then ask them to do something – e.g., to consider reading your complete business plan as a potential investor. 

  2. Memorize the pitch – don't read and don't use notes.
  3. Avoid technical language, terms, or jargon that the listener won't understand.
  4. Use analogies. For example, if you are conveying an idea to provide national certification for lab technicians, say, "It's like a CPA for lab techs."
  5. Express your excitement and passion for your innovation. How will this idea change lives or the market? Why is it important that you start this business?
  6. Avoid unsupported generalities and huge numbers that will cause the listener to question your credibility. Be believable and substantiate your claims with facts based on research.
  7. You may not use props!