How Does It Feel to Make a Million-Dollar Deal?

The third episode of season six features all minority-owned businesses in the cannabis, clothing and esports industries.

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3 min read


Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch invites ambitious entrepreneurs to step into the Entrepreneur Elevator, and then gives them just 60 seconds to pique the interest of a group of judges. It’s a high-pressure, fast-paced environment in which startup founders need to race against the clock while maintaining their composure to make a clear, deliberate pitch that covers at least three essential components:

  1. Defining the company
  2. Making the request
  3. Specifying what the investment money will be used for

The investors watch the pitch via a video livestream while the elevator ascends to the boardroom floor. Once the 60 seconds are up, the judges vote on whether to open the doors or send the founder back down and pass on investing.

Peter Goldberg, founder of PLG Ventures, opens this episode of Elevator Pitch by introducing our four investors: serial entrepreneur Kim Perell; Abyah Wynn, managing partner of Twenty65 Fund; Marlon Nichols, managing partner of Mac Venture Capital; and Ross O’Brien, managing partner of Entrepreneur Select. Each of the four judges are working from their homes or offices, watching the pitches over livestream. Goldberg then explains one fortunate quirk of this particular episode, which is that it features only minority-owned businesses. 

Related: Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch Season 5 Episode 12: ‘You’re Going to Get Told ‘No’ 10,000 Times’

After that, we jump right into the first pitch, coming from Peichen Chang and his business, T-Check. The pitch starts out strong, as Chang lists off the company’s purpose (creating instruments to determine how potent cannabis products like infusions or flours are) and sales figures (around $2.5 million to date). However, the pitch ends early, leaving 10 seconds of dead air. Will the awkward silence be enough to scare investors away, or will they see the potential of the company? More importantly, will anyone bite on Chang’s $3 million ask?

Next comes Marcus Howard, the CEO of Metarena, which is focused on the esports and gaming industries. O’Brien says, “I thought the pitch was okay — I found it a little bit confusing, I’m not quite sure what the business does … I’m more excited about the entrepreneur than the business itself.” But will that excitement be enough to open the elevator doors? Or, will the investors be scared away by a $500,000 investment ask without knowing the company valuation?

Third up is Sonia Smith-Kang, the founder of Mixed Up Clothing. Her multicultural approach to children’s clothing and the company’s story leave the judges calling the pitch a masterclass, but will they be sold on the premise of the business itself to hear more?

Click play to find all the answers and see more great pitches.



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