How To Pitch Your Groundup in 30 Seconds


“Time and tide wait for no man”. With time being such a precious commodity, you may often find yourself in situations where you only have little time to share about your groundup and the work that your team does. Sometimes, the moments are fleeting, for example when you are given a minute to introduce yourself in a Zoom breakout room. We may think that these conversations happen on the fly, but with good preparation work, you can explain the gist of your work, capture the attention of the listener and turn the moment into an opportunity.

Here is some groundwork you can do beforehand, to effectively pitch your groundup in 30 seconds. Beginning with the end in mind, here is the ideal template:

My groundup, [groundup name], is working on [product/service/programme/project description] to help [beneficiary] [solve a problem]. [Value proposition]. [Call to action].

With that, let’s get down to the details.


1. Who are you?

Start by introducing yourself. A good tip is to keep it to a minimum! When we are passionate, we tend to over-share about ourselves. It could be due to nervousness or a feel-good factor in our brain that compels us to do so. However, reining it in and keeping it short would allow you more time to cover the work of your groundup in the remaining seconds.


2. What does your groundup do?

This sounds simple and straightforward but do look out for two potential blind spots.

The first is when the groundup founder gets really excited and launches into listing a whole suite of projects and initiatives – some key and some not-so key ones. This tends to confuse the listener instead of painting a clearer picture. In a situation where time is limited, less is more – focus on one or two main things that you want to share about and move on.

The second, on the flipside, is over-generalising. If you have a range of things that you do, an approach that is often used is to figure out the common thread that runs through each of them, and to articulate the general threads instead. Sounds logical, but you might end up with a sentence that says everything and nothing at the same time. American author Dan Heath explains how that happens in this video. In this case, remember to stick to using concrete language. Try saying it out and if it doesn’t sound natural or immediately understandable, try again.


3. Who is your groundup helping?

We encourage you to be specific with this! For example, explain that your initiative is looking to help “isolated seniors” or “seniors with dementia” instead of just saying “seniors”. This helps to provide a second dimension, so that your listener can immediately pinpoint why these people need help. Scoping your beneficiary will help you to deliver a more effective pitch and set you up nicely for the next part.


4. What problem are you solving?

Now that you’ve given the listener a hint on the potential beneficiary with the previous point, it’s time to dive right into the problem that you’re looking to solve! This is usually articulated in the form of “Jobs to Be Done” which is commonly a pain point that your beneficiary is facing. “Jobs to Be Done” can be categorised into functional, social and emotional ones, and is usually something that emerges from a robust needs assessment.


5. What’s your value proposition?

Or in other words, what’s your magic sauce? Knowing and articulating what value you bring to your beneficiary will be the key component to your pitch. This is the part where you explain both the ‘how’ and the ‘why’. When people buy the ‘why’ as Simon Sinek shares in his Golden Circle concept, and the ‘how’ clearly solves the problem you’ve stated in the previous point, everything else falls into place. Look for non-verbal cues to see if your value proposition hits home – a lighting up of the eyes or nodding of the head tend to be good signs.


6. What’s the next step?

This is where your call to action comes into play. In your 30-second pitch, you may have piqued the interest of the listener, but what you’ve shared is rarely sufficient for them to make a decision on the spot. Instead of asking them to take a giant leap by volunteering for or donating to your cause, offer small, palatable steps such as visiting your website or following your social media accounts. Be mindful that this is your first time meeting the other party, so provide a call to action that is accessible and appropriate. This increases your chances of cultivating a relationship with the person instead of a hit-or-miss scenario.

So, putting all this together, you should now be able to prepare your own unique template along these lines:

My groundup, [groundup name], is working on [product/service/programme/project description] to help [beneficiary] [solve a problem]. [Value proposition]. [Call to action].

As a groundup founder, you’ll never know when the next opportunity to share about your groundup will come. The 30-second pitch expands your repertoire beyond the traditional long-form introduction, so that you can effectively communicate your groundup’s work and still do it justice in situations where time is limited.



About the author:

Kai is Social Strategist at Groundup Central, bringing fresh perspectives to the table and leaving ego at the door. Say the word dog, he'll be all over the floor.