Podcasting Meets the Elevator Pitch
By Katherine Heires

(Business 2.0) – Getting face time with venture capitalists--even 60 seconds for an elevator pitch--can be tough. But with a few blog-savvy, iPod-toting VCs, it's now easier to bend their ears remotely. Five months ago Fred Wilson, a managing partner at New York's Union Square Ventures, began using his A VC blog (avc.blogs.com) as a place to hear business plans; entrepreneurs talk up their ideas and submit the pitches as MP3s. Much like podcasts, the MP3s can be downloaded to Wilson's iPod, so he can listen to them anytime. "This is an ideal way to screen opportunities," he says. Though anyone can find the pitches with some digging through Wilson's blog, he says he isn't concerned: "Is there really anything proprietary in an elevator pitch?" So far he has received 12 pitches via podcast and has scheduled a meeting with a Web-based video-sharing company called Cozmo Media. The best part for Wilson? He can listen to the pitches while riding his bicycle to work.

Other VCs have also started taking audio pitches, including David Hornik, a partner at August Capital in Menlo Park, Calif., who says entrepreneurs are often more comfortable talking about their businesses than writing about them. Rick Segal of Toronto's J.L. Albright Venture Partners says he's also received 12 pitches, though unlike Wilson, he doesn't make them public. "The entrepreneur gets the pitch out quickly, and the VC can focus on listening," Segal says. And, if you're lucky, on handing out money.