Last week I was talking to an entrepreneur at Venture Atlanta and I asked the casual question “What does your startup do?” With that simple question I received a three minute response that was confusing and forced me to ask simple, clarifying questions in an attempt to get a basic understanding of the business.
Entrepreneurs should craft a 100 word response, much like an elevator pitch, so that everyone in the company can provide a consistent answer to the question “what does your startup do?” Here are some items to keep in mind:
- Different audiences, like ones that are more technical, do want more information, but let them ask for it after you’ve provided the one minute answer to the question
- Specifically include if you offer a product or service as well as the most common buyers and industries
- Provide a memorable hook or anecdote, if possible
- Incorporate social proof into the message (e.g. we have 100 paying customers)
The next time you hear the question “What does your startup do?” I hope you provide a concise, memorable answer that sticks with the listener.
What else? What other tips do you have when explaining what a startup does?