Pitch comments-Cori

As promised, the pitches have been extremely interesting and worthwhile.  In my mind, however, no self respecting EVA has enough information in these 12 short minutes to make an educated, quality decision regarding investment of any dollars. I’m sorely lacking in any business knowledge and I find that the credibility of the pitches is really hard to decipher. In trying to analyze the most promising pitch, many areas stand in the way (whether they should or not) such as likeability of the presenter, choice of presentation style, technological jargon overload, lack of critical evidence, etc., etc. Ingenia has definitely crossed all the t’s and dotted the i’s as far as the key components of the pitch analysis is concerned but for some reason I end up with a somewhat shaky sense of believing in Ingenia as a profitable investment possibility.  I think that this company’s spokesperson demonstrates passion but does not necessarily have a realistic & compelling argument regarding investments of huge capital in E-learning in Vietnam.  Much more proven data is required.  The Recombo company has proven success in terms of dollars, timeline, business expansion and flexibility in the IT industry.  The company has faced and overcome business crises but appears to be goal oriented and most importantly, people oriented, in order to succeed and achieve its goal of being a 100 million dollar business. So I guess I’m finding the Recombo pitch to be the most credible and compelling of the two.  Hmm, interesting stuff.

September 10, 2008   3 Comments

How about some inspiration?

Here’s where some of the hottest new technology plays are being unveiled today …

The TechCrunch50 event in San Francisco.

This is the pitch pool on steroids!

September 10, 2008   2 Comments

Ken’s Impressions of the Pitch Pool

I also have a decided lack of business and financial knowledge (my Dad still does my taxes, but he’s also an accountant).  I’m going to do my best to comment on the Recombo and Ingenia pitches.

I found that the representative from Recombo had a more fluid and confident delivery than the representative from Ingenia.  The use of a slide presentation to accompany both presentations was helpful but I did feel that the representative from Ingenia focused too much on reading much of the slide presentation as she continued along through her presentation.

The representative from Recombo did a good job of referring to the slide presentation without having to read it word for word.  I have been to too many workshops as an educator where the presenter has simply read a PowerPoint presentation to the group.  The slide presentation was used as a reference point instead of forming the basis for the whole presentation.   The explanations given were quite clear as as I found myself beginning to understand what they were actually marketing.

The representative from Ingenia did offer services which I felt were more relevant to my area of interest, that being education.  Their target market was also very interesting because I never would have thought of Vietnam as an obvious market to move into.  It was obvious that the presenter had personally researched the market directly by traveling to the country.  I would think though that any potential investors would want to have more information before investing the amount of money being discussed in the presentation.

It certainly appeared that both companies had done their homework, particularly in terms of what niche they wanted to fill.  Recombo and Ingenia both had partnerships already in place which would probably help with investor confidence.  Ingenia gave a much better breakdown of what they were looking for from investors and how that investment would be utilized.

Overall, I was impressed with the quality of the pitches.  This is the first time I’ve ever viewed a pitch before (apart from the vacuum salesman I couldn’t get out of my house once) and I found it very interesting.  Hopefully as the course goes along I’ll gain more insight into them.

Cheers,

Ken

September 10, 2008   No Comments

Rookie Analysis

Here’s my tally of Recombo vs. Ingenia with respect to the criteria that we were asked to keep in mind as rookie analysts.

Management Team – each pitcher claims to have assembled an excellent team, but I wonder what pitch wouldn’t include this claim? I for one would need to dig a little deeper into the particulars of this aspect before investing, or recommending investment.

Business Model – both ventures appeared to be based in sound business models. But again, this is an initial perception based on little information and for every assurance that was offered another question came to mind.

Product – both products came across as competitive; Recombo’s as it is cutting edge and Ingenia’s as it is targeted at a market that currently shows little competition.

Market Readiness – ready.

Innovative – it would seem, from what I could understand, that Recombo’s cutting edge “solution” software is definitely innovative. Ingenia’s product is less innovative if viewed within its home market, but could be considered innovative in the target market where product of this type, we are told, has little representation.

Exit strategy – Recombo is not firm in this regard with a willingness to accept growth or consider options for buy out at the right price. Either scenario could work well for an investor. Ingenia’s take on this seems to be to simply grow their company. I get the feeling that if the Vietnam venture is a success the strategy would be repeated, but it’s only a feeling.

From what I could gather Recombo is a company that continues to experience growth. I must admit, I had to visit their website to determine what it is that they actually offer, but really the bottom line is that they continue to grow and evolve to meet the demands of the market place and from an investment perspective isn’t this what we’re looking for? Igenia on the other hand looks to be higher risk as they are attempting to access unfamiliar markets with no proven track record in these markets and in order to attract my investment dollar to such a high risk opportunity the promise of reward would need to be considerable.

Conclusion, my money is on Recombo and I’m hoping for a buy out!

September 10, 2008   1 Comment

Group Presentations – Emerging Market Analysis

David ( or anyone else), where can I find the guidelines to this project? I would like to get a head start.

September 10, 2008   1 Comment

Impressions on the Entrepreneur Pitches

I have tried to look at Ingenia and Recombo with my venture capitalist hat firmly on. I have quickly realized what Elsbach’s paper has also suggested. It can be quite difficult to cut through the pitchers’ creativity and to not be carried away by their enthusiasm.  Making these kinds of decisions can be very weighty, and perhaps somewhat subjective.

Initially, a few things have struck me about the Ingenia and Recombo pitches.

Both pitches seemed to indicate they had a strong core team. By the nature of the business I think it was important for Ingenia to make mention (as Ramona did) of the credentials of their team, and the fact that they had a pool of external consultants to draw from. Ingenia did note that “infrastructure was something to think about in Vietnam”.  What was not so clear to me from their pitch was specifically what thinking they had done on this. Perhaps more info on this would have been useful?

Ingenia also seemed to be facing a fair bit of competition in the local market. Ingenia was very open and candid (too much so?) about their competition. Targeting the SE Asian market seemed to be their way of helping to address that. Ingenia was also open about being new to the Vietnamese market. Their plan seemed to include leveraging some existing contacts, which increased my level of confidence. Again, as a venture capitalist, I am not sure that would give them enough of an edge?

I wasn’t sure about what the existing market share might be for Ingenia and how much this new market might figure in their future plans, or really what their future plans were. Recombo addressed this issue more directly.  They did not seem to have one fixed exit strategy, but I was pleased that they articulated some possible scenarios.

From Recombo’s second pitch I really felt that they have identified their market, share, and size. The pitch was very clear about their product, services, what the benefits are to their customer and why they will pay-up.  As a VC I found the description of their  relationship with the lighthouse customer reinforced my confidence here. The pitch demonstrates a good handle on the business problems going forward. The incentives idea also seemed to me to show some creative forsight in planning their business model.  In moving through their transition year, I got the impression that Recombo are capable of absorbing lessons, adapting, and moving forward.

September 10, 2008   3 Comments

Rocombo and Ingenia

First, let me point out that if there is a business minded bone in my body, I haven’t found it yet. I feel like I am out of my element. After watching all the clips, I felt that I must have been missing something… The interview-style pitch did not appear to me like the pitcher wanted anything from me. So I decided to try my roockie hand at only 2 of the examples, that of Rocombo 2004 and Ingenia.

I feel that as an EVA, I would be better equipped if I knew more about the technical aspect of Brad Macphee’s discourse. Nevertheless, I was able to critically analyze some aspects of his pitch.

For one, I found him to be extremely credible. Although he faltered in his speech several times, something that may give the impression that the presenter lacks confidence, he made up for this with his obvious expertise. Like the artist pitcher, he seems consumed by the excitement of his project and less interested in trivial details. In his presentation, he introduced what appeared to be a stellar management team. He established the readiness of the market for his product with concrete examples, being careful to diversify his examples in such a way that several business contexts were included. Where it becomes difficult to for me to decide whether or not I would view his project as being bleeding edge is where lies my own lack of knowledge on the subject. However, Macphee does express the fact that his company is dealing with an extremely competitive market without really enunciating how his project would outshine anything that is already out there.

In the case of Ingenia, it was easier for me to relate because I am in the e-learning business (secondary school online and F2F teacher) and understand somewhat better, both product and market.

Ramona Materi gives me the impression that she is completely devoted to her cause as opposed to being concerned with how she will appear to viewers. Her entire body is engaged in getting the message across. She discretely refers to her notes, yet her delivery is seemless and she appears self-assured. Her company’s affiliations to prominent governmental institutions inspire confidence. Again, Materi stresses her company is challenged by very stiff competition, but she fails to bring out to the forefront what might separate her company from the rest. Something I was looking for in her pitch was a more detailed account Vietnam’s growing economy and concrete reasoning as to why the Vietnamese population is an ideal fermenting ground for Ingenia’s project. I think that including data on the later would have made market readiness more sturdy. In all, Ingenia appeared to have solid foundations, leardership and goals.

September 10, 2008   No Comments

E-learning as a recession hedge? Could this be part of a pitch?

Came across an interesting little theory about E-learning companies and consumer behaviour during a recession.  Have a look, its fast….. What do you think?  Do you agree?

September 10, 2008   7 Comments

Winning Pitch

Hi,

Here are my thoughts on the pith pool examples: Recombo, Ingenia, UBC Office of Learning Technology and UBC IT Services.

In terms of both presentation style and content, the pitch of Ingenia outshines them all. Ms Ramona Materi talks to the audience in a very clear and succinct manner. Her manner of speech reflects her enthusiasm and passion into this venture. Her presentation easily captures the attention of listeners. Without going much into the validity and quality of their venture visions, CEO seems credible, the management team seems to be in order, the business model seems feasible and convincing, the product seems competitive and market ready, they have an edge, their destination is clear, and investment return is clearly presented. With this excellent pitch, I would think that Ingenia would at least piqué the interest of investors.

With respect to Recombo, I felt that they are already a highly accomplished venture which does not need any more of my investment. Both the UBC Office of Learning Technology and UBC IT Services seem to be telling me that they are so contented and confident with their funding that they are not at all interested in getting any of my support. They put me on the receiving end of support rather than as a partner or sponsor.

Alex

September 10, 2008   No Comments

Module 2 Business Bootcamp – other internet resources

I’ve worked with students in this program (Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET)  They are involved in some really amazing ventures.  There may be similar programs offered at other institutions. What I noted about many of the students was how involved they were with the community, and how they “give back”  -reminiscient of the The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid article (Prahalad & Hart)

 http://cbet.uwaterloo.ca/

From the website:

Why Was the Centre Created?

The Centre for Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (CBET) was created to support, build on, and expand the entrepreneurial initiatives at the University Waterloo. The university’s reputation for encouraging and spinning off successful entrepreneurial ventures is unmatched in Canada.

What does CBET do?

We offer the Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) program. The 12-month program is designed for entrepreneurially-oriented people who need the business skills to move ideas from concept to successful commercialization.

In addition, we work with UW undergraduate student groups, such as UW DECA, SBSA, Impact, UW ACE, and CUTC to support their initiatives.

Our Outreach programs are designed for executives of companies, both large and small, who want to create or enhance a culture of innovation within their company.

Finally, we have a strong group of faculty who do research on entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship.

September 10, 2008   No Comments

Attaching a file?

I wanted to send Nancy a link to the PDF for the how to “How to Pirch a Brilliant Idea” article but I’m not sure how to do this on a blog. Can anyone help?

Thanks,

Melissa

September 10, 2008   3 Comments

Brilliant ideas anyone?

WRT: the article posted on the ‘Art of Pitch’ section of Module 2: How to pitch a brilliant idea.. I have just spent the las 30 minutes trying to access it with no result. I have full access to UCB Library via this link:

https://rsvpn.ubc.ca/http/www.library.ubc.ca/

Made many queries using Academic Search Complete… always get “no result found’… what’s my problem?

Thanks,

Nancy

September 10, 2008   5 Comments

Doug’s Introduction

Playing Thunderbird bass

Hi Everyone

As you might speculate…my passion is playing music…particularly rock music. Music is a big part of my personal life. I also play drums and guitar and hope to be a “Lenny Kravitz-like” musician some day…i.e. play all the instruments in a recording.

I’m happily married for 21 years and live on a farm by Highridge Alberta. My wife and I run a part-time horse stable business. Our “real” job is teachers at The Alberta Distance Learning Centre (http://www.adlc.ca)

For the past 15+ years I’ve taught in a distributed learning environment, starting at the Saskatchewan Government Correspondence School (http://www.education.gov.sk.ca/TSL)  then migrating to ADLC about 6 years ago. Within the 6 years in Alberta, I’ve taken two leaves of absences from teaching and have managed course development at The Open School BC, in Victoria BC. (http://www.pss.gov.bc.ca/osbc/)

In 2004 I earned a MEd from the University of Saskatchewan, in the Educational Technology program. With the years of DL teaching and KSA’s from the MEd in ETEC, I’m very stoked about this course. An entrepreneur approach to DL has been mulling around in my head for a few years so hoping I can come out of this course with a solid business plan.

Cheers

September 10, 2008   4 Comments

Need help finding venture pitches

A few days ago I quickly watched a couple pitches and have since forgot where they were. Recombo & others.

Thanks in advance for your help. I’ve looked everywhere, I think.

Dave

September 10, 2008   4 Comments