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Here's What It's Like to Be on 'Elevator Pitch'

Here's what one entrepreneur would do differently if he had a second chance on our weekly pitch show.


Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch invites ambitious entrepreneurs to step into the Entrepreneur Elevator, 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:

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  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.

The fifth season of Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch offers a dynamic change in the show's format. Before, our four judges needed unanimous agreement to make an offer to the pitching entrepreneurs ⁠— including three out of four "yes" votes just to open the elevator doors. Now, it only takes one investor to open the doors and one judge to make an offer. The panel of four can then choose whether they want to collaborate or compete against one another.

Episode 9 featured Kevin Ullman, the founder of Nomad Trunks, who was kind enough to detail his experience on the show below. 

Entrepreneur: Please give us the elevator pitch of what your company is.

So Nomad Trunks is a Veteran owned and operated swim trunks brand. Not just any swim trunks, the best swim trunks! haha. My trunks are extremely stretchy and silky-soft! But I plan to not just limit myself to swim trunks. I will be expanding to other style trunks soon! 

Im a fan of the shorter style briefs, swim and gym shorts. So while in Afghanistan I had the idea of creating a brand that has all that and also gives me a way to do more for my fellow brother and sister Veterans. With part of the proceeds I donate to charity or I personally go help do charity work. I do what I can being a small brand but I have big hopes to do big things when it comes to giving back to those who I have served with and have sacrificed so much!

Why did you choose to start this business?

I'm a fan of shorter-style trunks and a lot of those in the military say, "Sky's out, thighs out baby!" So, I just decided to make moves on creating my own brand!

How was your experience in the elevator during Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch?

It was exciting but nerve racking all at the same time. Watching the show, I thought, "That's easy." Wrong!

Related: Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch Season 5 Episode 9: 'Don't Stop, Come On Dude!'

Were you more or less nervous than you expected?

I was fine until I walked up and pressed the button for the elevator. All these emotions hit me at once, like I started to second guess myself but once in there and taking a deep breath I regained focus.

Any surprises?

So that focus I regained, yeah that all went out the window when the timer pops up in the camera lens. I wasn't expecting that at all and it threw my mental game off completely!

If you could do it over again, what would you change?

I'm not one to want to change many things. I feel it all falls into place as it should. I think the show and the people behind it are amazing and the experience I was given (even though my pitch was totally botched), I'm very thankful for it all.

What did you learn from this experience that you will bring to your next pitch meeting?

I learned that when you think you're ready, life has its way of letting you know you're not. Which in return allows you to step back, take it all in and see where you need to focus on so that you strengthen your weak points. What I will bring to my next pitch meeting is more experience and knowledge ... oh, and practicing whatever it may be in front of a big timer!


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