An elevator pitch is a short description of a company’s products, goals, and mission that can be delivered to someone during a brief elevator ride. Venture capital firm General Catalyst took the idea literally and decided to create a room specifically dedicated to pitching ideas in an elevator.
The house where the Palo Alto, California company is based has only a basement, main level, and second floor, which means that elevator rides are short and companies have to pitch their business ideas fast. It is generally recommended that an elevator pitch last only about 30 seconds. The firm has used the room for elevator pitches from startups and also as a conference room for meetings, which sometimes last for hours.
General Catalyst’s elevator pitch room is set up with a table and chairs. There is even a sign posted outside the elevator so that owners of startups coming to pitch their ideas will understand the reason for the furniture in the elevator.
The company’s employees say they enjoy working in a house, rather than an impersonal office building like the ones housing many other venture capital firms. They have a hands-on approach and try not to take themselves too seriously. They believe the elevator pitch room is a good example of that company philosophy.
General Catalyst is the venture capital firm that provided funding for such well-known companies as AirBNB and Snapchat. The company is known for actively working with companies they fund and helping them build their teams and create their strategic plans.