Can You Make The Perfect Pitch?

Long Island University and Virtual Enterprises International announce The Perfect Pitch, a video submission competition that challenges VEI students to make a convincing and engaging “Elevator Pitch” in 60 seconds or less.

If you are already registered for the competition, which means you would’ve received an email confirmation, the deadline to submit is December 3.

Why an Elevator Pitch? What is It?

I’m the CEO of a large investment firm known in every corner of the world. I’ve been on the cover of Forbes, Time, Business Insider, Inc. and have feature stories nearly every week in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. My firm is responsible for funding hundreds of businesses in every imaginable sector.

You have a great idea you know will transform the world, but you lack the resources to turn that idea into reality. You work on the 50th floor of an office building in New York City and on one seemingly average morning, you’re thinking through how to get investors for your genius idea when I happen to step onto the same elevator. You recognize me immediately. You know I hold the key to providing you the necessary resources to build your dreams. Your palms are sweaty, your throat is dry, but this may be the only time you ever see me in real life, so you need to pitch your idea in an interesting enough way to raise my eyebrows and concise enough to finish before our elevator ride.

You don’t have much time. The clock is ticking away.

So…what do you say?

If you’re prepared, you’re going to make what’s known in the business world as an “Elevator Pitch,” which is a brief presentation about one’s business, product, or service. It’s called an Elevator Pitch because it should be shorter than an average elevator ride (roughly 60 seconds). It must be attention-grabbing, persuasive, interesting, and succinct. A compelling elevator pitch should answer the following questions:

  • What exactly is your company’s product or service?
  • Who is your primary customer group and what important problem do you solve for them?
  • Why will they choose you and not another competitor or alternative solution?
  • What makes you or your team uniquely qualified to get the job done?
  • What is the projected return on investment for investors?

Best of all, Elevator Pitches aren’t just limited to selling business ideas; they can be an extremely useful method to present oneself professionally during interviews and job networking situations.


The Perfect Pitch Competition is open to high school juniors and seniors enrolled in Virtual Enterprise classes. Students enrolled in Virtual Enterprises classes will pitch their VE business; Entrepreneurship students will pitch their own business venture.

Submitting the Video (new process as of 11/22/13)

Due to upload restrictions with our Vimeo competition account, the submission process has been slightly altered.

1. Upload your students’ videos to Vimeo or YouTube.


Video Title: Student Name – The Perfect Pitch 2013
Description: Student Name, VE Firm name, School, City, and State.


2. Fill out this form with the link to the video included (using Student Information I emailed previously).


Judging Criteria

Pitches will be judged by the Deans of Business and distinguished Business faculty from LIU Brooklyn and LIU Post, each of whom have leadership experience in business. To determine the winners, the judges will select the most compelling pitches – the ones that make them want to hear more about the venture. That means what you say is important, but so is how you say it. Participants will be assessed on the clarity and effectiveness of the presentation as well as the poise of the presenter.


1st Prize – iPad Mini
2nd Prize – $100 Amazon Gift Card
3rd – 5th Prize – $50 Amazon Gift Card

Each participant will receive a gift from LIU for entering the competition.


About Long Island University

Long Island University (LIU) is one of America’s largest and most comprehensive private universities with locations and programs spanning the New York metropolitan area, overseas and online. World-class faculty, small classes and résumé-building, hands-on learning experiences are the hallmarks of an LIU education. The University offers nearly 500 academic programs and educates over 24,000 students in degree-credit and continuing education programs in Brooklyn, Brookville (LIU Post), Brentwood, Riverhead, and Rockland and Westchester (LIU Hudson). Its international unit, LIU Global, provides a wide range of study abroad options at overseas centers in China and Costa Rica, and through programs in Australia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and, beginning in 2015, Europe. The accomplishments of more than 191,000 living alumni are a testament to the success of LIU’s mission of “Access and Excellence.” The institution also provides enrichment for students and neighboring communities, including the excitement of NCAA Division I and II athletics, internationally acclaimed arts programming at Tilles Center for the Performing Arts and the nationally-renowned George Polk Awards in journalism.

About VEI

(Image source: New York Times, Associated Press)