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School of Music

SAVVY Musician in Action

Elevator Pitch

As part of the competitive SAVVY scholarship application process, applicants are required to submit an "elevator pitch" video (one-minute maximum) that:

Proposes a new, innovative arts-based initiative/business/venture with the potential to generate income and impact.

What is an elevator pitch?

The term "elevator pitch" is the idea that you are on an elevator with an important person who can help you succeed (funder, presenter, manager, partner, fan, etc); with their undivided attention for one minute, what do you say?

What should I pitch?

Your concept doesn't have to be "business-y." We are wide open here, looking for any kind of interesting, viable, meaningful idea related to the arts.

The best concepts are often related to your interests, so consider pitching something you might actually want to pursue in the future. Or go in the opposite direction and suggest something wacky that stretches the limits of what is possible on planet Earth. We seek not only interesting concepts, but also creative people. The window of possibility is wide open.

Proposed businesses may be for-profit or non-profit, and can relate to education, entertainment, technology, merchandising, social entrepreneurship, or any other sector. Feel free to suggest nontraditional ventures! In fact, we encourage it. Possibilities include (but are not limited to):

  • Community engagement
  • Corporate events
  • Educational initiatives
  • Ensembles/bands
  • Arts intersections (where the arts meet healthcare, business, social justice, etc.)
  • Performance venues
  • Presenting organizations
  • Private teaching schools
  • Products
  • Social impact
  • Summer camps
  • Website/software/apps
  • Workshops

Please note: already existing businesses are not allowed. At SAVVY, teams focus on new concepts, though they may be peripherally related to pre-existing endeavors.

What makes a great elevator pitch?

Some good links describing elevator pitches are here and here and here. Do a YouTube search for "elevator pitch" to watch a huge variety of approaches and qualities.

For our purpose, the best pitch includes:

  • Your name (and background if applicable)
  • The name of your proposed concept
  • A concise, clear description of what it is
  • The problem you are trying to solve
  • What makes your concept different
  • Why people will care

... And all of this in just 60-seconds. Good luck!

What else should I know about the video?

In the SAVVY scholarship application, there is space to leave a YouTube link to your video. Here are some tips.

  • Your YouTube video can be private (accessible only with a link) or public access - that's up to you. All we need is the web address.
  • Both low- and high-production value videos are welcome. You can just shoot footage from your iPhone or create a sophisticated commercial for your concept. We are not judging based on production value.
  • That said, this is a competitive process, so put your best foot forward!