One reason that so many startups flock to SXSW is that it’s a great opportunity to meet potential investors. Now, well-known VC firm Union Square Ventures, SoundCloud and The Next Web are offering a chance to give a pitch with a difference.

Union Square Ventures VC Albert Wenger is asking startups to pitch to him in an unusual way during SXSW this year. He wants entrepreneurs to take the term ‘elevator pitch’ literally and will select 20 companies to pitch to him in elevators located around the event. They’ll then have the length of time it takes the elevator to reach the top floor to complete their pitch.

Wenger will be using the mobile app from one of the firm’s recent investments, SoundCloud, to record the pitches. He’ll then check-in using the recently launched Foursquare integration and share them via the services’s website and Twitter. You’ll get a first chance to listen to the pitches right here on The Next Web over the next few days,

How to apply:

The first 20 companies to register their interest will be contacted by a member of the Union Square team and must be available to meet Albert tomorrow (Sunday 13 March 2011) between 2pm-6pm in Austin.

If you’d like to apply to pitch, email us with brief details about your startup and your contact details to elevators@thenextweb.com.

If can’t meet Albert, you can still take part

If you’re unable to meet Albert Wenger in person, you can still pitch your startup. Just install SoundCloud’s iPhone or Android app (both free), record your pitch (taking no more than the time the elevator takes to get to the top floor), check-in at your current location using the Foursquare integration and add a photo to prove that you really were in an elevator. You then need to mark your recording as ‘private’ and share it with the following email address from the app: pitch@soundsbysouthwest.com.

Selected pitches will gain exposure on The Next Web as well as listened to by the team at Union Square Ventures. You’ll be informed if yours gets chosen.