Elevator pitches are short summaries of why a person should invest in or buy from your firm. The term can also refer to a brief summary of why a person should give you a job. Since you tagged this question with “entrepreneurs” I will focus on the former aspect of elevator pitches.
Entrepreneurs typically need investment capital and they always need to be able to sell their product. For these reasons, it is often necessary for them to go out and solicit capital or customers. When entrepreneurs do this, they are typically dealing with people who do not have a lot of time and who may not be very interested in what the entrepreneur’s business. This is where the elevator pitch comes in.
The term comes from the idea that this pitch should be short enough to be delivered while riding up a few floors in an elevator. The point is that the pitch must be short and impressive. It needs to catch the attention of the person to whom it is being delivered. It may not make the sale, but it will ideally at least give the entrepreneur a chance for a longer meeting.
An elevator pitch, then, is a brief sales pitch for why a person should buy from you or should invest in your firm.