Venture Pitch – Tesla Motors

Hi all,

My pitch and executive summary can be viewed at the following address:

Good luck to us all!



1 nancy castonguay { 11.24.08 at 12:53 am }

Thanks, I know I am going to need it… 🙂

2 Michael Awmack { 11.24.08 at 9:03 pm }

Great presentation using Voicethread; it was well laid out, but it was difficult to determine what the educational angle was. It’s definitely a pitch worth reviewing on its own merits, but perhaps the pitch would resonate more if it was presented to a sustainable technologies group of investors.

3 Bruce Spencer { 11.25.08 at 6:53 am }

Great idea! Good presentation. A little too long perhaps? I particularly liked the software you used for his presentation. Well developed business plan. Did you have an actual dollar amount in mind? A great job overall.

4 Cheryl Milner { 11.25.08 at 1:05 pm }

Hi Jim,

Excellent Presentation. Your technique in drawing us in by discussing climate change works well with your intended goal of offering electric cars. Your argument that today’s economic crunch and that the automotive Big 3 struggle leads us to a wholesale shift towards electric cars might be too much to ask, even during the winds of “change” that Obama has ushered in.

American’s are a proud people and they will not give up their combustion engines and complementary oil companies that easily, notwithstanding the writing on the wall.

Ralph Nader spoke on the CBC’s Sunday edition and thought now might be the time to take over one of the Big 3 with the kind of technology your company is offering. Mitt Romney in today’s editorial in the Post would like the Big 3 to go bankrupt in order to create a new “path to fundamental restructuring” of the industry. The article goes on to add the new R & D is needed for such necessities as fuel economy technologies, new energy sources, materials science etc.

But I digress … it’s such an interesting subject!

I was wondering if any of the members of your management team have experience in the automotive business? That will be critical to raise your profile and give your company more street cred.

I was happy to hear that some of your discussions with “large car manufacturers” are going well, but timing is everything and the fundamental necessity of people keeping their jobs and pensions is what is currently at stake, therefore it may be difficult to get sr. mgmt. attention at this time.

You made good use of various media in your production.

At this time, under our current economic cloud, I wouldn’t make a recommendation for funding your project.

Your business case is strong and compelling, and the fact that there are secured sales is helpful. Ultimately though the infrastructure needed to renew batteries seemed to be missing from your presentation. This is a huge issue and your car will also require an energy source. Some statistics on how much energy produced per windmill might flesh out the argument a bit more. I would continue conversations with auto manufacturers. The entry level price is probably comparable to other high velocity cars, what is that demographic saying to you?

The concept of a totally green, sexy machine will definitely be attractive in the future but I don’t believe it is in the offing.

Best of luck.

5 Jim Tattrie { 11.25.08 at 2:03 pm }

Just quick response to a point that Michael raised as to where the “education angle” is to be found in my pitch.

Yes, you are right my pitch is a business pitch not involving eduction directly. As I read the assignment, “provide a compelling pitch that champions the future of a real-world venture”, it was not a requirement to pitch an education business. I could definitely be wrong in my take on this, but I hope not. Although this course is addressing the venture aspects of learning technologies, I felt that this assignment’s focus was on the development of the all important business pitch, whether it be education related or not.

I hope that this clarifies my intentions and places my pitch in the appropriate light for evaluation. Sorry for the confusion.


6 Gillian Gunderson { 11.26.08 at 1:06 pm }

Hi, Jim,

I enjoyed your use of VoiceThread for your pitch. You had a nice balance of text, video, and visuals to make your purpose clear and to attract my attention – both key aspects of a pitch. Your executive summary was easy to read and understand.

Due to my linear nature, I did find that it took some time to get through the actual pitch. I wasn’t really clear on the best order in which to view the components.


7 Crystal Pullman { 11.26.08 at 2:32 pm }

Hi Jim,

I was glad to see someone use another form for their presentation! (Vs. pdf with embedded link to youtube video/ppt presentation) Nice presentation and job well done!

I just have a few technical comments of things that I noticed on my computer, and some may be specific since I’m on a laptop (laptop speakers, etc.).

I liked the layout of the ‘pitch page’, or executive summary, although I found it a bit awkward to look at and read through, but I think that’s the way Voicethread does it (? I haven’t used VT myself). I agree with Gillian that it (executive summary) was easy to read, well laid out, and easy to understand.

The next section was very moving, particularly the audio that you chose to accompany the visual components. (You may want to make some editing changes though – unprecidented –> unprecedented). The pictures looked really nice, but pixilated on me.

Unfortunately when I got to your actual pitch (after the images + sound bytes), the audio of you speaking was too quiet. Though I have my speakers on full volume, I can hardly hear you. The later sound bytes of your audio overlaid on clips of the Tesla logo or the roadster are better for volume level.

I wasn’t actually planning on making this that long, sorry! I hope this is helpful though.

8 Jim Tattrie { 11.26.08 at 4:17 pm }

Yes Crystal, I agree with your comments regarding the technical aspects of my presentation. I am still in the experimentation stage with Voicethread and in the process of discovering its strengths and limitations.

The volume issue is one that I struggled with. The microphone I had to work with was obviously not up to the task (the one attached to my web cam).

I am no techno wizard (contrary to the assumptions often made of those in this program) and I’ll just have to chalk these difficulties up to experience.

Thanks for your feedback,


9 Mary Burgess { 11.26.08 at 9:02 pm }

Hi Jim

I also liked your format – especially the beginning was very good at getting my attention. I didn’t have volume problems so found your voice over easy to hear. I also liked the technology, but like others was a bit confused – they could really use some alt tags over the buttons so you know what you should click and when!


10 Alex { 11.27.08 at 10:00 pm }

Hi Jim

It could be my technical problem, but I faced some difficulties going over your presentation. The audio quality was not very good, but, somehow, I managed listening to most of your presentation. Perhaps and my computer are not compatible. I like the way you put your materials together, though there are lots of points that I disagree on.

I have, for quite sometime, been working in the field of automotive industries – the engineering and business side. The research and development of automobiles is multi-national and multi-company based. From what I know, with respect to electric automobiles, batteries and IC technology are key. Also, the design of cars must be aerodynamically sound and the body mass must be reduced without compromising safety. According to my belief, in this modern age, an auto-industry venture fails if it tries to build up an autonomy. A successful automobile venture is typically an international enterprise and is skillful at international cooperation.

Please try making another proposition concentrating on a certain aspect or on the promotion of electric cars.


11 Marc Kampschuur { 11.29.08 at 12:54 am }


I like the tool(s) you used to present and were a good fit with the technological advanced nature of your product. Also like mix of voice, text, image, diagram – is engaging.

Am skeptical about the product offering – the US produces the majority of electricity from coal ~50%, then 20% natural gas, 19% nuclear… 7% hydro (also not without environmental costs) and other renewable sources maybe 3% after heavy subsidization. Hence dont see a reduction of emissions.

Also, I dont see too many 0-60 in 4 sec cars on the road or 2 door no trunk cars but do see a lot of Civics, Mazda 3, Tercels, Golfs… Think Toyota and Honda already beat Tesla to low/mid market levels.

The investors in place have a successful track record, so much so that if they spend millions on this and get nothing back they wont miss a meal because of it.

Hence feel the focus on environmentalism and successful investors may be misplaced here. I missed how much money is needed, how much return is offered, and payback period but am not inclined to invest. Do like how you linked the pitch to current market conditions which suggests the company is in touch with reality.


12 Laura Macleod { 11.29.08 at 10:10 am }


A very nicely crafted pitch with a compelling underlying driver. (no pun intended!) What I particularly liked was the focus on the customer who could pay first, and then using that as the ‘beta testing ground’. Your ability to leverage that experience when moving into the much larger and – presumably – more lucrative midsize vehicle market would be invaluable. I also liked the way the pitch was up-to-the minute and considered the current market crisis.

One note: I found the pitch very ‘male’ in its orientation. Red, convertible, fast cars, etc etc. The mom in me kept wondering about safety (do we really need new cars that go way over the speed limit?) If you are pitching to a mixed audience of men and women, it would be important to keep that in mind.


13 Alan Kilistoff { 11.29.08 at 2:31 pm }

Hi Jim:

Where can I get one of these cars! Great pitch, I agree with Laura, about the male thing, but hey, I liked it. Voicethread looks to have potential and worked very well with your presentation, a good mix to keep interest up, but not overdone.

14 Drew Murphy { 11.30.08 at 12:50 am }

Well, Jim you’ve crafted an intriguing sequence of ideas here. Your images at the beginning showing the depletion of oil, drives home a vital concept behind your car and sets the stage to persuade the viewer of the importance of your idea. This is a global problem and your company is setting to change the global landscape. To achieve this end, I think you need to talk about the your target markets and the strategic placement of your products in marketplace. The concept of your car is almost non debatable….. we need fuel efficient and environmentally safer cars. As a result, your pitch is a bit obvious. But that’s also because its a good idea too!! So in the end, you pitch is effective in its execution but could be refined in its specifics.

15 Kenneth Heales { 11.30.08 at 12:53 pm }

Hi Jim,
I have to say, the guy in me said, “Cool!” when I saw your presentation. Pretty neat product. Your opening was a good way to lead into the benefits of this vehicle. As others have said, the practicality of this type of vehicle leaves me wondering just how much of a market there is for this type of vehicle. Is there a plan to produce more family friendly vehicles (both in configuration and price)?
Voicethread seems like an intriguing platform. I was a little unsure how to navigate through it because sometimes there was audio and sometimes there wasn’t. As others have mentioned the audio could have been a little better but I understand that not every thing works out as we plan in a situation like this.
All the best,

16 Michael Peterson { 11.30.08 at 9:32 pm }


Thanks for your pitch! My favorite part of your presentation was your intention to license the technology to other manufacturers – an inspired approach. I couldn’t decide if emissions reduction or e-car promotion was a bigger motivation for you. The sustainability analyst in me wanted to know what the relative emissions were from a high-end gas-burning vehicle and an e-car charged on electricity from North America’s vast network of coal-fired power-plants.

I found my pitch to be an eye-opening big learning experience, and I get the sense that you are coming away from yours much stronger as well. Good luck with project!

17 Deepika Sharma { 11.30.08 at 11:43 pm }

Hi Jim,

I was unable to watch your video and rest of the prez despite several tries. I saw the geginning and after that it goes into a loop…I feel bad because the first few slides on environment were engaging.

I do realise that this may not be the case, but my thoughts were also that this was meant to be an education technology venture pitch. However, your clarification, above, holds water.

Nonetheless, the technology failure at my end and the Educational Venture Analyst in me will just have to contend with “no comments” on your pitch. I hope you understand 🙂 thsi is nothing to do with your pitch, it is my constarint at the moment.



18 Deepika Sharma { 11.30.08 at 11:44 pm }

oops! that was “beginning” !

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