The Elevator Pitch


Design Notebooks

Let’s take a few minutes to review your Design Notebooks from last week.

The Elevator Pitch

What’s an “elevator pitch”?

According to Wikipedia, an elevator pitch is:

A short summary used…

to quickly… (approximately 30 seconds to 2 minutes)

and simply… (as succinctly, as possible)

define a process, product, service, organization, or event and it’s value proposition.

The value proposition is how your project will solve your users’ problem and what the value of that solution is.

For example, if your project is to create an app that gamifies saving energy in homes in underserved communities, your value proposition might be:

“to save X% on your energy bills – money which can go toward savings, food, clothing, healthcare, or rent – all while reducing the community’s carbon footprint.”

You might also do the math and show exactly how much food or clothing could be purchased with the savings – sort of like a verbal infographic.

Here’s the formula:

State the problem, state the solution, state the reward.


Start by stating the problem your project will be solving. Try to create a hook that will link the problem to something your pitch audience is already familiar with like “You know how some neighborhoods just don’t have any grocery stores with fresh produce? Some call them food deserts.”


After stating the problem your project will address, state your solution, and how it’s different from other solutions that might be out there. For example; “Well, our app helps combat food deserts by identifying profitable drop points for local farmers in underserved communities”.


Finally, state the specific reward users will receive for using your solution. It could be monetary, social, time, etc, for example; “That way, farmers are finding new profitable markets and people who didn’t have access to fresh produce now do – they can even use their SNAP cards so they don’t have to pay out-of-pocket.”


Trenton Challenges

  • With your team, review your notes on the issues and concerns presented by the Trenton Community representatives in class today
  • Create a new slide in your Design Notebooks, title it “Community Issue” and identify the issue your team finds most compelling
  • Create a second slide in your Design Notebook and title it “Elevator Pitch”
  • Together, write out your team’s elevator pitch for a solution concept based on the community issue your team chose
  • Your team should work together on this, but each of you should create your own copies of the slides and put them in your individual Design Notebooks

Knight News Challenge Entries

  • Review how the Knight News Challenge Platform works
  • Review the projects entered so far in the Knight News Challenge
  • Create a new slide in your Design Notebook and title it “Challenge Entries”
  • Pick one or two entries that appeal to you most.
  • Write a brief description of each, with a link to each entry url
  • Come to class ready to discuss the entries already in the Challenge

Personal Data for Good

  • Read Exploring Personal Data for Public Good Research
  • Create a new slide in your Design Notebooks
  • Who are the three key stakeholder groups for personal health data applications discussed in the article?
  • What are the stakeholder interests that must line up for personal health data research to be successful?

Submitting Your Work

This week’s homework assignment is due next week before class. When you’ve completed them, post a comment on this page (The Elevator Pitch), including a link to your Design Notebook.

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