Pitch Pool EVA responses

So far I’ve watched three of the pitch’s and something that resonated about the RECOMBO 2005 and the UBC IT Services was the idea that we need to “Play well with others”. RECOMBO actually uses that phrase, and Mr. Dodd’s idea of a framework that draws people and having an e-strategy that is an enablement-strategy are excellent.

While being in business RECOMBO is looking for what a win looks like for their customer, it is not just about making money, but about helping their client. UBC’s IT department uses “partners” that work in the different faculties and help determine how IT can help them best, and how the faculty can help shape IT.

While RECOMBO is a business and UBC IT is not looking for financial gain, they both have a very service oriented philosophy. We’re not here for ourselves, but to help you succeed. As an Educational venture analyst I believe this is a critically important philosophy for business in the current marketplace.

With a move towards open source software or community source software permeating the internet and a larger community expectation of philanthropic contributions from large companies, I believe that shared success needs to be a guiding principle for companies to succeed vs make money at all cost tactics.

RECOMBO’s Brad MacPhee seemed confident about the success of the company. Moving to double the work force of a company is a large undertaking and would require a capable managment team. From my little experience with business models, the “lighthouse” client struck me as a critical asset to the feasibility of their model. The market sounds vast and their ability to grow rapidly based on their lighthouse’s clients talks to the even greater potential for growth. It seems that their transition from an engineering provider to a solutions provider has been a key reason for their success. This is a technical innovation that greatly increases the market size. Their exit strategy wasn’t clearly defined but it sounded like the IPO was a worthwhile step between being acquired by a larger middleware provider like IBM and staying as a private company. As an EVA I would put this company on my shortlist to invest with.

UBC IT’s use of the flexible framework and consultative town-hall strategy, and partners within the faculties have obviously drawn the clientele towards e-learning (or as David mentioned their pitch video, we can drop the e and just call it learning) in a successful and inclusive way. UBC has a track record of developing successful commercial products from research (WebCT for example) and now prefers to focus on community sourced software and partnerships. While not something that is going to make money immediately for the university from a free product, it will likely make the university programs more competitive and bring learning more efficiently and effectively to people at a distance. As an EVA I would support this kind of project in my university.

Cheers!

Jarrod

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