Grand in Sixty: Pitch Your Business Idea for a Chance to Win $1000

The DeVoe Division of Business at Indiana Wesleyan University will be hosting our annual Grand in Sixty event in person this year on April 4, 7-9 p.m.

7 - 9 p.m.
Student Center Commons
Tuesday, April 4


An Elevator Pitch is a quick overview of your business idea that you should be able to deliver powerfully and concisely to a potential investor in your business. The idea of an elevator pitch comes from imagining a scenario where you are riding the same elevator as a potential investor or strategic partner, and you have just 60 seconds or less to pique their interest in your business concept.

There are 2 awards: the Judges' Choice and the Audience Choice.

  • The first impression is critical in capturing the attention of a potential investor or customer.
  • The elevator pitch should provide enough information to pique the interest of potential investors and strategic partners. It should provide a clear picture of your business venture, the problem you solve for your customers, and briefly how the business will work. It should be delivered effectively and succinctly.
Kent WilliamsEmcee: Kent Williams, DeVoe Endowed Faculty, Professor of Business


After you pitch your idea in 60 seconds (a timer will be displayed), the judges will have 2 minutes to ask follow-up questions immediately following the pitch. Remember to pitch to your audience because they will vote on their favorite pitch, too!

Jen Bennett

Jen Bennett, EdD

Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication

Evan King

Evan King

Health Insurance Agent, Special Olympics Coach and Community Investor


Iris Brunner

Senior Director of Marketing and Development, Radiant Health

Bobby Browder

Bobby Browder

Financial Advisor, Edward Jones

Rob Keisling

Rob Keisling

External Affairs Manager, Indiana Michigan Power


The judges will evaluate each team based on the following factors:

  • Clarity: A clear understanding of the business concept was present. The problem and solution offered by the concept are understood.
  • Originality: The business appears to offer an original idea or a novel twist on an existing concept.
  • Profitability: Enough detail was provided to demonstrate how the business will generate revenue and become profitable.
  • Interest: As potential investors, judges would be interested in scheduling a follow-up meeting in order to learn more about the opportunity. The best pitches are those that an investor would want to schedule a follow-up meeting for further discussion because they believe this company represents a strong investment opportunity. Remember you’re just providing a “teaser” to the audience with the purpose of having them ask "tell me more about your company.”


  • The competition is open to any entrepreneur or potential entrepreneur. All presenters must be current IWU students.
  • The business you pitch can be at any stage of development from a concept you’ve just thought of to something you’ve been working on for years.
  • Franchises, multi-level marketing, or other non-original concepts are not permitted.
  • Each presenter will be given a maximum of 60 seconds to present their elevator pitch to the audience and a panel of judges.
  • Both the audience and the judges will score each contestant.
  • No setup time is allowed; if you choose to feature a prototype or other props be sure to have them ready to go before your time begins.
  • Index cards or other notes are NOT permitted for the Elevator Pitch Competition, as you would not expect to have the benefit of these notes in a real-life situation.
  • If your startup is led by a team, only one team member will give the pitch. While team members may not all be IWU students, the presenter must be a current student. The 60-second Elevator Pitch will be uninterrupted.
  • After each pitch, the judges will have a maximum of 2 minutes to ask any questions. The judges will deliberate during a brief networking time.
  • Pitches containing foul or obscene language, adult themes, illegal or unethical content or other content deemed objectionable by the judges will be disqualified and the presenter will be asked to leave the stage immediately.


The best pitches should communicate as much of the following as possible and relevant:

  • Pitch a business, not a product or invention.
  • Develop the business model around an innovative concept.
  • Clearly explain the product/service.
  • Describe the customer problem that is solved.
  • Note what differentiates your company from existing competitors.
  • Describe the market for this product/service and how you will reach it.
  • Note the current stage of development of your idea.
  • Describe your business's potential to become profitable.
  • Indicate an understanding of the resources needed to launch the business.
  • Indicate clients and name a few big names to spark interest


Avoid these mistakes in your presentation:

  • No energy or passion
  • Too much technical language
  • Focusing on the technology rather than the customer need and solution
  • Failure to explain the problem you are trying to solve
  • Not balancing the discussion of problem, idea, market, and profitability
  • Listing too many names of clients or partners.