Institute for Entrepreneurship

The JCU Elevator Pitch Competition

An Elevator Pitch is a quick way of putting across the fundamental elements of a project, a business idea, a social cause or even one's professional qualifications and capturing the other person's attention to prompt him/her to action. The JCU Elevator Pitch Competition is a vehicle to help students develop this specific skill and test it in a competitive environment. In our contest, the pitch takes the form of a one-minute, no visuals presentation. Intimidating as it might seem, the Elevator Pitch is an opportunity for students to become better speakers, and consolidate one of John Cabot graduates' watermark characteristic: poise and an ability to interact with the outside world in a professional manner. The competition is embedded in several courses as part of the overall assessment, to guarantee appropriate training.

Participants can choose among these three categories:
Business: you aim to persuade investors to support your business idea financially.
Personal: the candidate's answer to the interviewer's question "Why should I hire you?".
Social Innovation and Advocacy: this may be a social startup (i.e. a business idea that incorporates social impact), a pitch for a social or charitable cause with a strong call to action (eg. donate, join, change habits, promote, etc.) or even promoting one of the JCU student clubs. 

The winners in each of the three categories will receive a certificate and prize of either a €100 Amazon voucher or a donation of €100 in their name to a charity of choice.

To submit your pitch

To submit your pitch, fill out the Elevator Pitch Competition Form. Dates for workshops, deadlines for submission and other relevant information provided in the Form. 

Meet some of our past winners

Gaia Cervini

Gaia Cervini

"I struggle with speaking in public, even though I have a lot to say. Never did I think I could actually win the competition. This experience has taught me how limiting fear can be and has made me more confident about myself."


Abby McCutchen

"Because it is so short, only one minute without visual aids, the pitch really helped me identify the core values of my business idea. I believe that it helped me not only define the product, but also our target market." - Read Abby's full Interview


Gina Semensi

"The Elevator Pitch is a great way to practice your public speaking skills, skills that you will use interviewing for jobs, or simply interacting with people in the business world." - Watch Gina's full Interview


Lucio D'Alessandro

"I think it was a great opportunity because not only did I gain confidence, but it also helped me understand how to be persuasive. Plus, I learned it is not really about how good your idea really is, success is based on the way you present it to others" - Read Lucio's full Interview

A look inside JCU's Elevator Pitch Competition

"As an exercise in creative rhetoric, this is a natural fit for Literature and Creative Writing students." Prof. Shannon Russell, Associate Professor of English