Application Tips – The Elevator Pitch

We’re about to be in the throes of reviewing applications for Lightning Lab XX, so we’re motivated to help you submit the most powerful applications you can.

When applying for Lightning Lab, one of the first questions is “Describe your business in 140 characters or less”. This is basically your elevator pitch where the idea is to capture someone’s attention in just a few seconds. Same thing applies to your Lightning Lab XX application – you have to nail your 140 character description because this will be our first impression on what you do, and once that sets in, it’s pretty hard to recover from it.


So here’s a quick tutorial on how to write a 140 character description. Start with this basic formula:

For {customer segment}, with {problem x} we offer {solution y}.

This is a really rough formula which you’re not required to use but it does give you a good starting point. The key here is to be specific, we want to know what you specifically sell or do. The best way to highlight this is would be to give us some examples.

Here are some 140 character descriptions from some previous Lightning Lab companies. These aren’t perfect and this was before they went through the program, so you’re getting the raw, unedited version. But they’re pretty good and we get a clear picture of what they do in only a few short words:

  • CoachSeek is an online marketplace connecting sports players with private sports coaches. Athletes can compare, book & review coaches.
  • Preno is web-based hotel management tool, that provides an integrated offering for small to medium accommodation providers.
  • PocketPhysio is a web-based tool that helps physio’s create best practice video rehabilitation programs that patients can actually follow.

So spend some time crafting your elevator pitch and test it out on people. Listen to their feedback, iterate on the questions you get asked, and test again. Keep testing until you land on something where people know immediately what you do. You don’t just need it for your Lightning Lab XX application but you’ll need it to describe your business in the long-run.

Good luck! The application deadline for Lightning Lab XX is Dec 18th. Apply now!

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