Assignment 3 Submission – Mahara

Hello Cohort:

For your consideration – Mahara.

Regards, Marc


1 Gillian Gunderson { 11.26.08 at 5:27 pm }

Hello, Mark,

Your pitch is logically organized and incredibly comprehensive. I liked the combination of text, visuals, and video. However, I did find myself having to speed read (and not always being succesful!) on some of the slides.

I have no experience with financing so I’m curious about one thing. Would it be common for the directors to be paid back on their investment before the investors?

The great strength of your presentation seems to be the thorough research you conducted in a variety of areas. It was really interesting to hear about the environmental conditions (political, etc.) that exist in Europe that would allow your product to be successful.


2 Joe Dobson { 11.27.08 at 10:22 am }

Hi Marc,

You’ve put together a comprehensive pitch with a fairly developed plan attached to it. The narrative you provide is great and you walk through the rationale and strategy in a clear and concise manner.

I’d suggest that there were far too many slides and that the pitch would be strengthened by scaling these back both in terms of the number of slides as well as the amount of information/level of detail on each one. Like Gilliam, I found my attention divided between trying to grasp the points in the slides while listening.

The degree of knowledge you have about the subject matter and aspects that you discuss in terms of focus in the European context make for a compelling pitch. As an EVA, I’m interested in learning more.


3 Joey Dabell { 11.28.08 at 10:06 am }

Sounds like you’ve got a great project idea. I liked that you included an executive summary. For me the summary was missing a description of the problem that is being addressed and a short description of how you plan to approach the project. The pitch was extremely thorough. You provided good details of the financials. I found the pitch a bit hard to follow because I couldn’t read the slides. Perhaps reducing the text to a few key points that support your audio would improve on this aspect. You are obviously very knowledgeable about what you were pitching and that came across clearly in your presentation. I am impressed by the potential of your project.

4 Marc Kampschuur { 11.28.08 at 7:37 pm }

Thank you for the comments this far.

Gillian – the directors are also employees and need to eat. In this case are receiving a salary but not receiving a return or repayment on their investment. The startups and management buyouts I’ve seen in other companies (software, mining, manufacturing), involve the shareholders who work in the company receiving a salary.

Gillian, Joe & Joey: the narration/slide issue was challenging, I wanted to avoid simply repeating what was on the slide and originally wanted a dialogue (but working between 11am and 3am made that difficult) thus tried to create a form of dialogue with the slides. Was worried that may have too much detail but also provided the opportunity to pause the presentation to read slides if necessary.

Presentation came in at 19MB and have 20MB webspace thus that was the largest size could manage. Good input though, sometimes less is more.

Regards, Marc

5 D.B. { 11.29.08 at 1:42 pm }

Summary: While the EVA Pitch for Mahara is *information-dense* filled with facts, institutional and policy requirements, astute market analysis, Mahara is a viable project worth further investment after due diligence has been performed.

Market Focus: National and trans-national educational arenas. Mahara is a component that can be deployed as part of a regional or local educational infrastructure project.

Type of Offering: Infrastructure requiring mature and potentially high-speed IT infrastructure. Not suitable for regions without this capability.

Buyer: Institutional/National based buyers are the target. Costs incurred are for the further development and implementation of Mahara in specific installations.

Global Markets: While Mahara’s target is presently the EU, its 9-language support could conceivably be improved to support other languages/scripts. This specific venture’s market is the establishment of a UK office specifically.

Development of the Market: Market has been assessed as already mandated to be in existence as a consequence of European Union’s “Lisbon Declaration”. Would only be able to be implemented where infrastructure exists or will be implemented. Open Source origins of project indicate that Mahara could be customised for local situations with local input.

Learning Tech competitors: limited direct competition with existing software products and implementations.

EVA Conclusions: Notwithstanding the too rich data presentation of the Mahara team, this is a project worthy of further investment. Further discussions with the Mahara group are recommended.

EVA hat removed. Well done presentation Marc! In this case, I would, as per the slide/presentation comments of others, choose to focus on a few specific subsets in narration and even less text on the slides.

So much information after a while can hinder the desired results, in this case, getting more funding for the project.

Let Mahara sell itself. Provide more examples of its ease, its productivity features and focus less in the presentation on the material that can be covered by a print summary.

6 Kenneth Heales { 11.29.08 at 5:12 pm }

Hi Marc,
This looks like a really interesting product. I agree with others here that the speed at which the slides moved made it a little challenging to digest all of the information. I found that I spent most of my time focusing on what you said rather than reading the slides as your speech was far easier to follow.
I was a little unclear as to how the product itself was structured but I did find it very interesting as I agree that e-portfolios are an area of growth in today’s world. The financial component of your pitch gave a very good overview of cost and benefit. Overall, I think this product would hold a lot of interest for people of many different backgrounds.
All the best,

7 nancy castonguay { 11.29.08 at 10:26 pm }

Hi Mark. This was, without a doubt, an excellent presentation. The only thing I would change is that I found that there so much detail at times that it actually took away from the central idea. In all, this is definitely something we could have benefited from in ETEC 531! Well done!

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