My elevator pitch can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nob5EQ3mXbE and the venture pitch at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWp6KX7OWtk
Doug Smith, Jim, Julie S and 4 others are discussing. Toggle Comments
I’m just starting my reviews and your venture captured my interest. It looks like you are proposing a solution that is similar to something we have in the business world called ‘busines intelligence’. I think that you’ve explained your concept very well and have demonstrated the credentials of your team are what is needed to be successful. The pricing model looks reasonable for starting up but I’m wondering if you thought about future upgrades or enhancement potential? I’m also wondering if there is any possibility of partnering with any of the vendors that you identified as competitors e.g. the LMS vendors?
Also, from a risk perspective, I’m wondering if there are any concerns that you need to consider with respect to privacy regulations with respect to any of the data that you will be integrating?
Overall I found your pitch thorough and convincing.
Thanks for the pitch! It is very clear what your intended market and venture will achieve. I appreciated your voiceover in that it helped to make a connection with the pitch-er, but perhaps more visual on the screen to match the quality of the narrative could help engage the viewer.
I had a look at your pitches and I must admit that your proposal would solve many problems that exist in schools. I think your elevator pitch is clear and I only had to watch it once to know your idea. My only concern would be from school systems who might say “we already use a SMS and an LMS. Switching to your system would take even more time and effort than we correctly do trying to make our systems talk to each other.” Also, I am aware of plugs that are offered by SMS and LMS companies so that SMS and LMS can talk to each other. This provides the greatest flexibility for school systems because they can choose the SMS they like the best and the LMS they like the best. How would your product be flexible?
Sorry – meant to say “plug-ins” not plugs 🙂
[For some reason, the ‘edit’ button on comments is not available on this blog. So I can’t go back and change it myself…]
Loving the concept! This seems like serious money and such a system would work well with our system. The pitch is clear and to the point and workable. This LMS would be a good investment as it is only a matter of time before education systems globally are revolutionized through learning technologies and online learning. Making one’s name early in the market is always crucial and I hope you will follow up on this initiative.
Your elevator pitch was very clear, you explained your product well and you placed yourself in a position where you appeared very confident and knowledgeable about the market. From a perspective of an EVA that doesn’t know much about all the features of different LMS & SMS products, I would have liked to have seen at least one example of what these “best features are” that you are referring to in the elevator pitch. Overall Great job. 🙂
I think that your EP is very intriguing and engaging, and I’m keen to learn more. It seems like a really original idea! Like Ashley, I’m wondering if you could maybe provide the tiniest bit more detail about what the ‘best features’ are (and I say tiniest bit of detail because I felt that your EP had a really good level of information). I’m also wondering what the gap is between SMS and LMS that you speak of early on (true confession: have never used an SMS), and whether you could suggest what the benefits would be for end users?
I’ve chosen your presentation to do a detailed review.
I think you really have something strong here and the credentials of your team give me the confidence that your company would be able to succeed. However, I would want to see some issues addressed before I would invest.
I think the pitch to replace two systems with one new and improved system is a hard sell. The preferred, cheaper method, in my experience is to have interfaces built between the systems and/or to build a data warehouse that pulls data from the source and develops unified views of information, typically accessible through a web browser.
This is not to say your new system isn’t a good idea but I wouldn’t see companies that have already invested in two systems as being in the market for a third even if it is much better; at least not without a very convincing argument.
However, it sounds like you have a market of 70% of schools who have not invested in an SMS. I don’t recall seeing an associated statistic for the LMS. So I think there may be a market you just need to focus in to the right one.
Note on presentation format: I think there is a generally accepted rule out there against reading PowerPoint slides to your audience. You could add some compelling images and make your points much stronger. The benefits section is a good example. I needed more convincing about the value to the customer. Maybe you could make a mock-up of an illustration of a unified view of information that the student, teacher or administrator would value.
Good luck with your venture!
Hi again Keisha,
I wanted to delve deeper into your Venture Pitch and provide some feedback in the form of a brief EVA analysis. As a potential investor, I am looking in your venture pitch for a variety of information:
I was very much impressed with the clarity of both your voice and the organization of your ideas in your video venture pitch. I was beginning to wonder if there was any information about the CEO or other management team people but you did include that near the end of your venture pitch video. It gives me more confidence to know that you are a teacher and a software developer, and that you have experience. I would also like to be made aware of the people in the management team who have business backgrounds and who could lead the financial and business administration aspects of a growing company.
Is it a good product that will be in demand?
You spent a fair amount of time in your venture pitch describing exactly what your product is, the problems it solves, the features, and the advantages to teachers and students and administrators. However, I do have some difficulty envisioning how this database/Admin/LMS hybrid would have Facebook like look and feel. I can see the LMS system doing that okay, but not really the admin part of it. Perhaps an area that you could improve would be to elaborate on your Facebook-like affordances that differentiate your product from the many other similar products in the market.
How big is the potential client base?
In terms of your potential market, I think you are wise to initially target institutions that currently manage this information manually. Your potential client base is vast given that your system could be translated into many languages. However, I would assume that most educational organizations already use digital student and learning management systems. In order for these organizations to even consider switching away from their current product, you will need to demonstrate that your product is a vast improvement, cheaper, easier to maintain, and has no cost or effort to switch over to. That is a fairly tall order. If you can do it, then I think you might have a successful product.
Can the product compete successfully on the market?
It looks like you have examined a variety of other products on the market and one in particular intrigues me: that is the Sycamore product. I had a look at the Sycamore product on their web site and you are right it does sound very similar. In fact, on November 1, 2011, Sycamore announced that they were adding an LMS to their SMS (http://www.prlog.org/11712976-sycamore-education-adds-learning-management-system-to-their-comprehensive-online-school-administration.html). You do mention that your product will have a facebook look and feel but I am still wondering if that would work with the school administration aspect. Also, there are already Facebook type social learning networks available for free to teachers and schools such as Edmodo. I also did a little search online and I found some other similar products that you might want to look at such as eduswift (http://www.eduswift.com/), Caloris Planitia Technologies E-School Management System (http://www.calorisplanitia.com/e-school-management-system.aspx), SharePoint LMS (http://www.sharepointlms.com/), and there were a number of others… I hope that you understand that the point I am making is that your product would need to be paradigm shifting in order to grab clients and potential customers away from these other products that already seem to be effectively in use in many institutions.
Are you honest about challenges?
I was glad to see you openly discuss the challenges to your product near the end of your Venture Pitch video. I agree with all of the challenges you mention but I think that competition is a huge factor in your pitch as well as institutions that already are using software to manage these data. Your product would have to offer a significant difference in cost, ease of use, scalability, support, and capacity that would motivate educational institutions to change from what they are currently using.
Until I can get a better sense of how this product is radically different from the many other products that do the same or similar functions in the market, I would characterize this as an investment risk and the venture in need of further refinement. I do see potential in your idea but I think perhaps a greater focus on specific markets or organizations might help with competition and marketing; or focus on creating a product that is fundamentally different and infinitely more usable or friendly that is currently in the market.
The elevator pitch for School Manager grabbed my attention and struck me as a product that could be poised to offer a new venture into an existing market. After viewing the venture pitch, I now have a better understanding and appreciation of the venture, along with some concerns.
School Manager, as a product, appears to be very comprehensive and I believe it is worthwhile to merge the realms of a LMS and a SIS. From an administrative perspective this would seem to make sense. However, I’m a bit concerned about the level of adoption that teachers will take. It is vitally important that teachers and students embrace this product. There is some comfort in knowing that the developers recognize the need for familiarity with the end users.
I would have liked to hear more about the initial market where the product will first be sold. I am unfamiliar with the Caribbean in terms of education and sales, and this makes it difficult for me to appropriately gauge the potential for success. Furthermore, while I have confidence in the developers of School Manager, I am wary of the branding that may occur from a made in the Caribbean product. Consumer prejudice, while not supported or rationalized, is nevertheless a reality that I have to consider.
I believe that with some appropriate marketing and branding, School Manager has the potential for success. The financials are very modest, making this a somewhat low-risk, low-reward venture. Combined with my lack of knowledge of the Caribbean market, I cannot approve investment into your venture at this time. I wish you success, and hope that we can speak again when you are looking to expand into Canada or the USA.
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