Judge this elevator speech

April 1, 2008
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Results are in for Purdue Universityâ??s second annual Elevator Pitch Competition, and a transcript of the winning pitch for the graduate-level division is below.

Bob Caswell spit this out in less than two minutes, less time than the ride to the top of Chase Tower but seemingly longer than it takes some old elevators to move to the next floor.

The point of elevator speeches is to get people interested in a business pitch in a short amount of time.

Does this one work?

â??iPrivacyManager (iPM) is an intelligent Internet application that allows online users the ability to manage how their personal information is shared on social networking sites like MySpace or Facebook.

â??Itâ??s based on patented technology and gives you a simple but powerful approach for controlling what (of your personal information online) can be seen by whom, when, and under what conditions.

â??This includes easy tools for managing subsets of friends or acquaintances, their conditions of access, specific rules, and those sorts of things. It is designed so that it can work and be customizable for any social network.

â??This is a really hot topic right now. There has been growing concern since a MySpace case involving a teenager who committed suicide after being stalked online. Just in the last couple months, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Business Week, etc., have all covered this issue and all come to the same conclusion. We simply need more privacy controls online.

â??Over one billion registered accounts exist from just the top 100 social networking sites (and there are thousands of sites). Also, all sites in the top 100 either have no privacy options whatsoever or limited, rudimentary settings.

â??We have already secured $50,000 of funding and have a working prototype of the product. We are looking to raise another $500,000. You can find more details on our website: www.iprivacymanager.com.â??
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  • Norm, transcripts like this don't portray the passion that Bob would've used to deliver the E.Speech. If I was his scriptwriter and that the audience was made up of venture capitalists only, I would have had him start with paragraph 4 and 5 to outline the problem, tweaking them so that rather than it being a statement it would be an engaging question. Then paragraph 2 in a kind of here's a solution format, followed by paragraphs 1 and 3, Well here's what we've developed so far... Then I'd tweak paragraph 6 so that rather than a humble request for money, it's more like, We've found that there's a lot of interest in addressing this issue and with initial financial support we've built a prototype. We are looking for investers who, like us, can see the social and commercial opportunity iPM creates.
  • Thanks, Mark, for the feedback. The issue I'd have with starting with paragraphs 4 & 5 is the question of context. I'm more a fan of saying exactly what I'm doing in the first sentence even... and THEN backing it up.

    In a real elevator ride, though, I realize I'd have to say something first to break the ice. But if I bring up info on MySpace teen suicides plus market size before the person even knows why it's relevant, then by the time I get to explaining what it is I actually do... I'm forcing them to back track and have a oh, now I see what your talking about moment.

    But I definitely like your way of asking for money, nicely worded.
  • Bob. Tried to continue the conversation, but the site is not letting me. If you'd like to talk more email me at mark@thelast3feet.com.au
    Mark

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