Elevator Pitch Competition



About the Elevator Pitch Competition (EPC)


The Annual MIT GSW Elevator Pitch Training and Competition gives innovators from around the globe the opportunity to hone their presentation skills, build confidence and present their ideas in 60 seconds or less to the entire GSW audience for the opportunity to win cash prizes.


An elevator pitch is a brief overview of an idea for a product, service, or project that can be delivered in the space of an elevator ride (say, thirty seconds or 100-150 words). The goal is to interest your target enough in your idea that he or she wants to meet with you again. Potential investors often judge the quality of an idea and team on the basis of its elevator pitch, using them to quickly weed out bad ideas.


The essential elements include:


  • An introduction – Who are you?
  • Hook – What is the problem / opportunity?
  • Solution – What are you doing about it?
  • Value proposition – How does this create value for the target?
  • Call to action – Can we meet again?

The MIT GSW EPC is a three day event with “How to Pitch” training on Day 1, Preliminary Competition on Day 2 and the Final Competition on Day 3 with invited judges.


Here’s some inspiration from previous GSW’s:





  • Entrants can sign up to pitch competitively following the EPC Training. Entrants can also sign up using the Sign-up Form at EPC Registration (near Registration).
  • Entrance into the Preliminary Round will be limited to the first 50 people who sign up.  One idea per person only, sign-ups will be conducted on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  • Entrants will be called at random to deliver their pitch on the day of the competition.  If you miss your assigned slot, you may not be permitted to present.  Please make sure you attend the full time slot for the event.
  • Pitches are limited to 60 seconds and contestants will be promptly cut off.
  • No props or visual aids of any kind are allowed during the presentation.
  • Decisions of the judges are final and may not be appealed.
  • After the Preliminary Round on Day 2, 10 finalists will be chosen and announced for the Final Competition on Day 3.  From our Final Competition, our judges will choose one Overall Winner and two Runner-Up’s, with an Audience Favorite chosen by all attendees!


  • All registered attendees of the MIT GSW are eligible to enter and both teams and individuals are welcome to participate, though we find that individual pitches are most successful.
  • A pitch may only be entered once and the subject of the pitch must be your own work or that of your team. Any entrants discovered to be pitching others’ ideas without appropriate consent will be immediately disqualified.
  • Individuals or teams must not have accepted any outside funding for the idea being presented.
  • Companies may present if they have accepted no funding and have not commercialized the product/service being pitched.
  • The entrant must be present on the day of the event to participate and at the Awards Ceremony in order to win.
  • Contestants are expected to behave respectfully to all other contestants, sponsors, judges, volunteers, and audience members.  Any behavior that is found to violate MIT GSW’s ethical and behavioral standards will result in automatic disqualification.
  • Decisions of the MIT GSW Team are final.


First Place $2,000
Second Place $1,000
Third Place $500
Audience Favorite $250

*Amounts subject to change. Note that prize payments are treated as income by MIT and the IRS, regardless of whether the payment is made to an individual or a company. Non-U.S. citizens are taxed on their prize money up front at a rate of 30%, which is withheld from their prize checks.


Judging Criteria

Pitches will be evaluated on four, equally-weighted categories:

1. Presentation

  • Body Language/Charisma, Clarity, Articulation, Passion

2. Opportunity

  • Market Identification, Size and Attractiveness, Target Customer Identification

3. Solution

  • Value Proposition, Differentiation, Financial Viability/Profitability

4. The Big Question

  • Would you get another meeting?