W3: Pitch Critique


Exploring real-world elevator pitches, and practicing EVA role-playing, in the 522 Pitch Pool.


Your job here is to critically analyse elevator pitches based on the pitch criteria introduced in “Deconstructing a Pitch” section of the course materials. Nobody is suggesting that any of these pitches are good or great – you’ll need to figure that out.  For example, pitches coming from crowdfunding platforms are often just commercials (passionate expressions of the benefits of a product/service without any focus on the venture or its viability) because these platforms attract ‘unsophisticated’ investors who buy dreams.  But we want EVAs to be sophisticated.  Is the CEO is front-and-centre, and fully credible? How is this innovation distinctively superior to its competition?  How will it reach its market?  What is the ask (if there’s no ask, this can’t be a pitch)?  Buy the venture, not the dream.


  1. Rate & Review:  Browse through some of the Pitch Pool posts. Most of the elevator pitches there are real, recent ventures, but some are fictitious ventures from past 522 students.  Based on whatever sounds interesting to you, select at least two (2) of these pitches to Review. We recommend that you watch each selected pitch at least twice.  One time, take notes as needed to help you remember what was said. Another time, just listen and try to judge the enthusiasm, passion, sincerity and completeness of the message. Then compose a professional analysis (a Rating plus a Review) that aims to be decisive about whether further consideration of the venture is merited.  First, Rate each pitch using the star system, according to the EVA criteria and Participation Guidelines.  Then add your Review, directly under the Pitch itself, using the Comment field. Begin your review with a decision statement such as, “YES, I would invest in this venture” or “NO, I would not invest in this venture”, and then back up this decision with your analysis.  By all means Rate & Review more than two if it helps you find a great pitch…
  2. Source a New Elevator Pitch: Go forth into the great digital world to discover an impressive new elevator pitch for our Pitch Pool.  For example, it is usually easy to find ventures related to learning and technology on crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and strategic investment sites such as AngelList. The most important part of this activity is to remember that an elevator pitch promotes the venture (it is for investors) rather than the product or service created by the venture (at which point it is just a commercial).
  3. Author:  If you find one that is compelling or illustrative of elevator pitch fundamentals, post using the “Pitch Pool” category, making sure first that it isn’t already posted there. Post the actual pitch on its own, like the others, then go back to add your Review separately, if you have one, so that all Reviews can be independently curated. Don’t worry if you can’t find a new elevator pitch that is good enough to post; simply go on to step 3 if not.
  4. Curate:  As close to the end of week 3 as possible, go back to any pitches you’ve reviewed and if there is more than one Review present, Recommend the single most helpful, insightful and valuable Review. 


All Reviews and Recommendations should be posted by the end of week 3.  In order for your own review to be recommended to, it would be best to post it a few days ahead of the deadline if possible.