Earlier this month we launched Elevator Pitches, a site for startup CEOs and founders to upload a 60-second video explaining what their companies do and how they make money. As I explained in the launch post, the idea is to create a repository of startup pitches where viewers can offer their critiques and vote the best ones up and the worst ones down.
The initial response was very encouraging. We got 50,000 pageviews in the first three days. But we soon realized that we had launched too early because the process for getting new videos on the site was just too cumbersome. It was all e-mail cut-and-paste, essentially, and we were overwhelmed. New videos didn't immediately go up, and traffic trickled down.
Lesson learned: Don't launch an audience-submitted video site without making it super easy for the audience to submit videos. Duh.
Well, that problem is now fixed. The process is pretty simple. Upload your video pitch to YouTube, tag it "tcpitch," and then submit the video URL here. It will enter a moderation queue and we'll be able to approve them and get them up much faster. Approved videos will also be automatically inserted into each submitting company's CrunchBase profile (so create a profile there too if you don't have one already).
We are still moderating each submission to filter out spam and inappropriate content. But more importantly, at this early stage each video counts—and helps to set the tone for the overall site. What we are looking for is a verbal pitch. No screencasts, no slideware. Just the entrepreneur looking the audience in the eye and making his or her case verbally. Props are allowed, but only if used creatively. More guidelines for submission are here.
Below are some examples of the highest rated pitches on the site right now, from SmugMug, mEGo, and WrapMail You'll notice the last one does not have BeFunky's signature Cartoonizing effect. That turned out to be another holdup and people had mixed feelings about it. I haven't completely given up on it. But for now the videos will go up as submitted, and we may end up stylizing them down the road.
We're planning more improvements to the site in the near future, based on reader requests, including search and RSS feeds for the latest submissions.
So send us your pitches. We're ready for you.