In my Startup PR courses on Skillshare and Udemy, I advocate using the Founder Institute’s recipe for the perfect one-sentence startup pitch (see video above), as pitching and messaging are usually issues for entrepreneurs or startup employees who may be more focused on product development, user acquisition, or a boat load of other tasks.
I’ve read some great startup pitches and some not-so-lovely pitches as well. It’s always a pleasure to work with startups eager to craft better pitches.
In January, I taught an online Skillshare class called “Getting Press on a Tight Budget.” After taking the course, students were asked to create press kits for their startups, making sure to include — at the very least — a one-sentence startup pitch and an email pitch written to me, a tech journalist. Below you’ll find some of the best pitches submitted, and in case you’re curious, you can find all of the projects on the class page.
Let’s start with one-sentence pitches, the elevator pitch of email. Here are a few that stood out from the crowd:
- Web Academy of Music is a video-based online music school that offers private lessons through video exchange to help busy people learn an instrument.
- Meet Your Makers is developing a series of weekly markets and an accompanying website to help small creative businesses who engage in sustainable practices to gain main-stream exposure and increase direct sales.
- UrbanSake.com offers a full service sake appreciation program that will help anyone discover and more fully enjoy Japanese sake using unique and fun in person and online sake tasting seminars.
- Mewe is the first comparison site that helps purpose driven travelers find, book & rate their perfect voluntourism package and also enables them to crowdfund their selected cause.
These pitches are crisp and easy-to-understand — way better than the usual mumbo jumbo that reaches my inbox. And, I must say, Mewe accompanied its pitch with a delightful product video that showcased the team is serious and has a brilliant product idea. Furthermore, I’d recommend checking out UrbanSake’s email pitch, as founder Timothy Sullivan really understands the art of the personalized pitch.
Check out the wrap-up and feedback session for my Skillshare class, which features the best one-sentence pitches and email pitches with in-depth reasoning behind their awesomeness.
When it comes to choosing the best email pitches from the course, I’d say UrbanSake and Mewe did a great job.
There were, however, two email pitches that caught my eye, and for two separate reasons:
- Leaves of Trees, an all-natural skin care company, submitted an email pitch, that while a bit jargon-y at times, was well-targeted towards a writer who cared a lot about all-natural products (me). Though I don’t cover skin care, I appreciated the detail put into explaining just how special the process was. Furthermore, this email included beautiful product pictures, including a lip balm close-up, which amazingly, I’ve been looking for a new brand of all-natural lip balm. It’s like they knew!
- “Just BE Cause” is a “book anthology that features Ah-ha moments that inspire the next generation of change makers,” written by social entrepreneur Syreeta Gates. I was charmed by Syreeta’s pitch, because she showed true passion, included endorsements from recognizable leaders in education and entrepreneurship, and seemed to have a purpose behind her work. She made a few missteps, which I pointed out in the comments of her project. But, otherwise, I would read the book in a heartbeat.
Last, but not least, I can’t forget the most thorough press kit submitted — the Skillshare press kit, submitted by Skillshare’s awesome community manager, Danya Cheskis-Gold. Of course, I couldn’t choose Skillshare as the top project submitter in a Skillshare class! But, I wanted to give a shout-out, since this kit has everything a journalist could need: FAQs, class examples, logos, team bios, photos, videos, screenshots, demos, press clips, thought-leadership articles. It’s quite amazing and is a perfect example for the startup that wants to go all out on its press kit!
If you’re still craving press kits and email pitches, head on over to the Projects tab on my Skillshare class for all the pitches you could care for. Hours of fun and learning, guaranteed. Cheers!