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.
This week, Lucie Allaire from Guiltless To Go, an app that lets users find healthy local restaurant meals and grocery options, explains her strategy that resulted in a $25,000 investment from investor and Netflix co-founder Marc Randolph.
Watch Lucie’s Pitch
How did you prepare for the show?
I prepared for my pitch by reviewing and evaluating all Season 9 episodes. I took notes on what the investors thought was a good vs. lousy pitch, what was missing in a pitch if it wasn’t accepted, what the entrepreneurs did right, and what they did wrong. Then, I used that information to craft my perfect pitch, entailing all the elements of what I think the investors wanted to hear, and timed it out perfectly to fall within 57-60 seconds. Then, I practiced it repeatedly in different situations in front of other people to ensure I had it memorized perfectly. I knew that when nerves take over, one can quickly freeze, forget, and sabotage one’s pitch. I wanted to be sure that wouldn’t happen to me.
Next, I documented every question in Season 9 that the investors in the boardroom asked, and I crafted my answers to all of them. I wanted to ensure I would be ready for any question that came at me with a well-thought-out answer. Then, I made notecards and practiced my responses.
Finally, I ensured I had all the marketing materials for my display table. Foam boards printed, table cloth, PC monitors displaying the app, and To Go Box props symbolizing our on-demand platform.
Related: How to Create a Winning Elevator Pitch — The Founders of Smoodi and Their Giant Dancing Pineapple Explain How.
Did it go as you expected?
I thought I would nail my pitch and get in the boardroom, but after reviewing past episodes, I wasn’t sure if I would be offered a deal since we are still pre-revenue. I thought I would get some app validation but would be told I was “too early.” That almost happened until the very end. Marc Randolph changed his mind and offered me a small check at my same valuation. Even though it was much less than what I was asking, I was thrilled to do a deal with him as he was my first-choice investor, and I believe with his experience, he’ll bring a lot of value. However, everything is subject to due diligence, so fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly until the deal is final.
Why do you think they opened the doors?
I think the investors opened the doors and gave me the green light to enter the boardroom because I nailed my pitch.
Given Marc Randolph’s background as former CEO and Co-Founder of Netflix, I knew he would be the investor who would understand our on-demand model the most. Netflix provides on-demand streaming services, while we’ll provide healthy on-demand food services. Different companies but similar in that we’re both digital platforms offering customer experiences. Marc understands the power of technology and the multiple behind a company that can find Product Market Fit. If all goes well, it could be a home run for any of our investors, and I believe with the right strategic investors behind us, there will be a good possibility we can achieve this.
How did the negotiations go? Would you do anything differently?
Considering one minute I thought I was going to be passed on, and the next Marc offered me a deal, I don’t think I would have done a thing differently. In hindsight, I could have tried to negotiate a higher investment amount from Marc, but since he kept the investment offer at my valuation, I was quite pleased with the outcome.
What do you plan to do with your investment?
This investment will extend our runway and be put towards future app development and marketing. After the episode goes live, we plan to start our first official round of raising capital in October.
Related: Watch All Episodes of Elevator Pitch Streaming Free
What did it mean to you personally to get in the doors and walk out with a win?
Personally, it was a huge accomplishment for me and the company. This is the first time I’m building a company where I need to raise capital, and it has proved that I am capable. Until now, my partner and I decided to bootstrap our company to build our MVP, and it was a fantastic validation from someone like Marc to be our potential first check-in.
What is your advice for anyone thinking of applying to be on a future episode?
Go for it. Prepare, practice, and visualize yourself winning a deal. It starts with believing you can do it.