Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch is the show where contestants get into an elevator and have just 60 seconds to pitch their business to our board of investors. In this ongoing article series, we’re celebrating the entrepreneurs who walked out with a win and sharing their tips for pitching success.

Michelle Razavi and Nikki Elliot, co-founders of superfood dessert cashew butter brand Elavi, break down their success in securing a $100,000 investment from marketing guru Kim Perell on Elevator Pitch.

Watch Michelle and Nikki’s winning pitch

How did you prepare for the show?

We watched a ton of past episodes to prepare, observing what made strong elevator pitches, what the investors liked/didn’t like, potential questions we could get asked, and doing our own research on the investors. We had a whole Slack channel devoted to sharing our notes from our research and favorite episodes we had seen! We worked on our pitch well in advance, asked our advisors for feedback, and practiced non-stop — often while packing up orders or driving home from the office. Our goal was to make sure that it was cemented into our brains so if the nerves of being on camera set in, we could still deliver a strong pitch. We even recorded ourselves pitching on camera side-by-side staring at a wall (as if we were in the elevator) to see how we looked and to make sure our body language was choreographed with our lines.

Related: Watch All Episodes of Elevator Pitch Streaming Free

What did you think was going to happen? What was different from your expectations?

With the exciting business milestones we recently hit and our high energy, we were pretty confident we would get invited into the boardroom. We had never done anything like this before, but we had a ton of fun being in front of crowds as fitness instructors so we knew that no matter what we were going to make some unforgettable memories!

What we didn’t expect was how long the day would be. We flew in from LA the night before and had to arrive camera-ready at 6:30 am the day of our filming so we were pretty exhausted from the jet lag and were one of the last companies to pitch. It ended up being a 12-hour day when we left and despite being totally exhausted, we were energized by how well it went!

Related: How to Create a Winning Elevator Pitch for Your App

Why do you think they opened the doors?

We think the investors loved our energy and passion for ELAVI and were impressed by our confidence in our traction and growth. We timed our pitch perfectly in the 60 seconds and were able to communicate what the investors needed to hear to be intrigued to learn more (our story, mission, metrics, and investment ask).

How did the negotiations go? Would you do anything differently?

It all happened so fast it felt like a blur, but it was really fun to see the investors talk over each other and share their interest in investing in us. We wanted Kim as an investor because she has the business expertise, believes in us, honored our valuation cap, and is also our target consumer as a busy mom who values healthy products. It was also important to us to have an influential female investor on our cap table as there aren’t that many women investors and we want more diversity in our investor pool.

What do you plan to do with your investment?

We’re planning on allocating Kim’s investment towards building our team and supporting two big upcoming launches including a new product line and selling into one of the largest U.S. retailers, Costco, in early 2024.

What did it mean to you personally to get in the doors and walk out with a win?

It meant the world to us — it will likely be very evident when you watch our episode and see the genuine excitement and joy between us when they announced our pitch was accepted (sorry to your eardrums!) Women get less than 2% of venture capital and this economic climate is extremely brutal to fundraise in. It is defeating when you’re pouring your heart and soul into building your business and achieving incredible milestones, but have circumstances out of your control impacting investment decisions. To get a win like this validates our hard work and energizes us to keep going and show that women-owned businesses are just as worthy of success and growth.

What is your advice for anyone thinking of applying to be on a future episode?

Do your research, practice a ton, and have fun! It’s such an incredible opportunity for an emerging brand and we went into it with the mindset of having fun and it paid off.

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