George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Calling all entrepreneurs: Learn how to sell your business ideas

December 5, 2017   /   by Nanci Hellmich

Learning to make an elevator speech for your business idea

Students can learn to fine-tune their elevator speeches for their entrepreneurial ideas at a seminar on Friday, December 8 from noon to 1 p.m. in room 4801 of the Engineering Building.

It’s one thing to have a brilliant business idea. It’s another to sell it to potential investors.

The Laboratory for IT Entrepreneurship (LITE) is offering George Mason University students the opportunity to fine-tune their elevator speeches for their entrepreneurial ideas.

Bob Smith, director of the Mason Small Business Development Center, will explain how to sell your business idea in a clear, concise way at a seminar on Friday, December 8 from noon to 1 p.m. in room 4801 of the Engineering Building, Fairfax Campus. He’ll discuss the key elements of a pitch, and he’ll outline the five things institutional investors look for in a startup.

The seminar will be especially helpful to students who are thinking about commercializing their inventions, starting their own businesses, or entering competitions, including the annual Deans’ Business Competition and the Mason Summer Entrepreneurship Accelerator program, he says.

“Pitching is storytelling. If you get the plot wrong or fail to understand your audience then you fail,” says Smith, who is an entrepreneur-in-residence at Mason, successful business founder, as well as a venture and angel investor. He’s an expert on how an elevator pitch truly defines a business.

Smith suggests pretending you are stepping in an elevator with investors who you’ve been trying to see for weeks, he says. They ask you a question about your business idea. Could you make them interested in investing before the elevator ride ends?

If not, this seminar is for you, he says.

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