Elevator Pitch

It’s been great to get feedback on the ideas that I’ve posted. It’s also spurred on a new idea – a site where users can pitch their dotcom start-up idea in the style of a 2-minute elevator pitch, gather feedback, perfect their pitch and raise its profile to potential investors.

The homepage would feature a single pitch and encourage visitors to submit their thumbs up/down rating. Once 200 votes have been cast, the next approved idea in the queue will get posted onto the homepage. A leaderboard lists all previously submitted ideas, akin to TechCrunch’s CrunchBase directory.

A user who has their own idea, could perhaps have a choice between completing a template that requests details on the idea, or filling in a blank canvas with text, images and video that communicates the concept in a 2-minute attention span.

Here’s a sketched mock-up:

Elevator Pitch

There isn’t anything else like it; the only site that has a resemblance is the now doomed yourelevatorpitch.com, which ran from March ’05 and closed down for ‘refurbishment’ in November ’06. However, during this period it touts that it published 100 pitches, gathered 14,000 ratings and even picked up an award.

Future iterations could allow entrepreneurs to seek microfunding from users, or recruit team members to join the start-up. The site could benefit from user profiling, commenting and more granular user voting. Another idea would be to allow journalists, industry experts and VCs to cast their ‘supervote’, which would give educated feedback to the idea submitter.

Thoughts?

 Tags: Business, Ideas   Published: 26th December '07


16 Archived Wordpress Comments

RobV

Cool idea, the problem is that there is no way of protecting ideas, so any developer or investor could just read the idea, interpret it and profit from it, leaving nothing for the inventor. :( However, quite a cool take on it would be if you could pitch an idea on the board, and have a mechanism of accepting investment cash for your idea. Say, if you said I’ll make ‘this’ website when I receive £2000 capital, then people could buy into you and own a bit of the project too. I suppose it’s a bit like http://www.sellaband.com/

Keith

Hi Rob. Thanks for posting your comment.

I agree this is a significant fallacy of the concept and a good reason why some entrepreneurs would shun away from posting their idea to the public.

I guess there is a trade-off between protecting your idea and getting the feedback and promotion you desire. It would be upto the entrepreneur to decide if they are happy to forgo some protection in return for the benefits of being part of the site.

A potential workaround could be that entrepreneurs could chose to post their idea in a ‘public’ or ‘private’ mode. If they select the latter, the idea will only be revealed to users that have completed a NDA.

However, I’m not actually convinced this would be a show-stopping problem for the site. Many people would agree that execution is key, not just the idea alone. First-mover advantage doesn’t guarantee success.

Thanks for the Sellaband.com link. I did touch upon the idea of microfunding at the end of my post; and this idea is similar. An entrepreneur can attach their seed capital requirements to their idea and users can invest into the idea in return for equity or as a donation. If the entrepreneur reaches their goal, they get the lump sum.

Jim

Kieff, nice to catch up with Mander.com
Like the idea… it would be like dragon’s den in your own livingroom. Only you’d get to be Debbie Meaden.

Like the interations at the end – only why would a VC / experts go on to give their supervote? They would need a reason… to promoter their services to other users I suppose??

I think that being the actual intermeadiary between entrepreneaur and equity investor would be a legal cobweb… you would need to think about FSA rules on financial promotion, to make sure it would,t need authourised status….
but anyway, no harm in simply putting people in touch.

I agree that the IPR concern wouldn’t be a show-stoper for a lot (maybe most)ideas.

Go get ‘um. (But the future is still flour)

Keith

Oh boy, am I missing Debbie. Until she returns to our screens, you can see her mug shot on deborahmeaden.com.

You’re right – there isn’t a significant motivator for VCs and other experts to chip in with their vote. Kudos and self-promotion is about it. Similarly, I’m not sure what I could get out of it apart from a bit of advertising revenue if it takes off. Can you think of any way in which they could benefit more?

I didn’t consider the regulations pertaining to this. I figured that the site would be a platform that facilitated transactions rather than brokering them. User X wants to invest into business Y and sends them $$$ to them through the site (so that the amount is tracked). Would this still constitute in some red tape? What if the sum was a donation rather than an investment with expected returns?

I’m going to look into the cost of getting this prototyped. Want to help microfinance it?

Rob

The benefit for VC’s is a decent contact for web development, also another Iron in the fire for not much cash investment. BTW, there’s an excellent market in (authorised) selling of email addresses to ‘third parties’. E.g. Insurance companies pay around 10k for 100k addys. All you have to get is publicity (this site would be an excellent platform for PR), and then you get people signing up leaving their details for contact.

If we get a tighter strategy together I’d help brand/design/build at no cost if you want to oversee the project Keith. I cant publicly put my name to anything due to contract limitations atm. I also have another project on the go, so can’t promise fast turnaround if you do want to go ahead.
R

Keith

True, there could be an opportunity to up-sell relevant services to budding entrepreneurs (business loans, patent lawyers).

Please do get in touch with me Rob, and reveal your identity ;)

Nicholas Fehlberg

i like the concept, sounds like these guys might already doing something similar: http://www.ideablob.com/

Nicholas Fehlberg

i like the concept, sounds like these guys might already doing something similar: http://www.ideablob.com/

Nicholas Fehlberg

i like the concept, sounds like these guys might already doing something similar: http://www.ideablob.com/

Keith Mander

Well spotted Nick – it's pretty darn similar, but I think there could still be some room to package it in a unique way. Happy new year to you ;)

Keith Mander

Well spotted Nick – it's pretty darn similar, but I think there could still be some room to package it in a unique way. Happy new year to you ;)

Nicholas Fehlberg

Thanks Keith – this is our year, my friend! I'm sure I'll be reading about you in Time magazine one day.

Nicholas Fehlberg

Thanks Keith – this is our year, my friend! I'm sure I'll be reading about you in Time magazine one day.

Keith

A prototype has now been created and should be unveiled to the public sometime in March.

Keith Mander

A preview can be viewed at: http://www.keithmander.com/elevatorpitch/

Feedback welcomed :)

Vince Delmonte

This topic is quite hot on the Internet at the moment. What do you pay attention to when choosing what to write about?