Comparison of Ingenia and UBC

I have decided to compare and comment on two very different pitches: Ramona’s from Ingenia and Ted’s from UBC.


Ramonacame across and a capable and confident speaker. The pitch was well-paced and easy to listen to and follow. Her credentials are high and she seems to have a strong team working with her. I found it interesting that due to the competitive Canadian and US markets and a decrease in spending, Ingenia has shifted their focus oversees to Vietnam. I do see that there is a need in Vietnam (and other countries in South East Asia) for e-learning programs, and I believe the market there is ready, I just wasn’t convinced from this pitch that Ingenia was the one to do it. Although they have already partnered with Vietnamese software firm, they admitted to not having much experience in Vietnam. Their goal, however, is clear: they want to establish themselves as a major learning services provider in Vietnam.


I was wondering who would be creating the curriculum for these courses as I believe that there are many cultural differences that must be considered when developing courses for another country. As an EVA I am intrigued by their idea, but I would definitely need to know more information about exactly how they are going to carry out this plan. I wanted to know more about the company and what they are doing in Canada so I found their website and noticed that they have since acquired many more Canadian clients.

I also noticed this update:

August 2009– Ingenia is pleased and proud to be involved with the 2010 Winter Olympics. The City of Vancouver has awarded Ingenia with a contract to design and develop classroom training for over 200 protocol officers.




Ted Dodds is clearly an intrapreneur who has been continually asking the question: “Where is the better business in this?”  Ted is extremely capable and he displayed confidence in what UBC has already accomplished and the level of success they hope to achieve in the future.  I was very engaged throughout the interview.

There is clearly a huge amount of support for the continuously developed e-learning strategy. The five Vice Presidents, faculty members of UBC, and members of the community work together to evolve and give voice to this strategy. This has been done through various methods such as an annual town hall meeting, conferences, meetings and monthly newsletters.

 This model is obviously feasible and has already shown a high level of success. There continues to be a demand for e-learning from the community and the innovators or “partners” are working within the various faculties in order to assist and develop the most up-to-date resources available.


Looking towards the future, Open Source software and a Community Source system connected with other universities are being discussed. Their destination is clear, with the objective being to making the best decisions for the faculties and the University, while continuing to raise the bar. I think many Universities could learn from what UBC has achieved so far in e-learning. As an EVA I would definitely support this kind of project at my University.

September 14, 2009   2 Comments

Late Introduction from Greg…

Greg, lads and friends on holiday on Hornby Island Hi,    My name is Greg Lewis – sorry about the late “introduction/post” but I didn’t quite get the instructions until today – my bad!

This is my 7th MET course and from what I have read and seen, it looks interesting and this motivates/energizes me which is great.  I teach at  Ballenas Secondary School in Parksville on Vancouver Island, BC – home of the sandy beach and a holiday destination.  I teach History 12 and am half time in the library – a wonderful assignment that I very much appreciate.

The two “blondies” near myself – man in white shirt with “Vikes” hat – boo UBC! Just kidding 😉 – are Nolan (orange) and Mason(Nemo skimboard) and they keep me moving constantly!

Looking forward to this course and the different focus it offers.  I am on “Stalin’s Five Year Plan” and take two to three courses a year so I am getting closer.



September 14, 2009   No Comments

Recombo’s Pitch

Initial Response to Recombo

My initial response to the Recombo pitch was positive. I found Brad McPhee to be knowledgeable, confident, personable and realistic. He appears to have a good grasp of his market niche and knowledge of the other players. I don’t personally know how innovative his product is but it certainly seems to be in demand and able to fill several needs. As I heard recently on “Dragon’s Den”, his product is not a “one sku wonder”! He was focused on a clear goal, being a “100 million dollar” company, yet admitted that if the price was right he might sell before hitting that mark. I felt that he was able to see ahead yet still be flexible.

In terms of market readiness, Recombo is already in the market and has reasonable plans for expansion. I do worry a bit about the rate of growth (he talked about needing to double his work force in 10 months). Through personal experience I know that extremely rapid growth can sometimes be problematic for a company. However, his calm, matter-of-fact manner put me at ease.

Would I risk my investment capital? Yes, I think I would.

September 14, 2009   No Comments

UBC IT Service

UBC IT Services

Ted Dodds Chief Information Officer


Ted Dodds is an articulate, credible speaker who seems to have a clear vision where the UBC IT Services e-learning strategy is headed.  The e-strategy framework is an excellent idea.  It is inclusive and flexible plan, designed to reach out to early adopters of technology and faculty communities, avoiding centralization.  The management team seems very strong.  The team building process is inclusive where “thought leaders” and early adopters are invited to participate in the process from the early development stage, contributing to the over all vision.  This inclusive and empowering strategy may have helped establish strong links to the university community, and there is a nice balance of leadership and community participation.  The plan also has a built-in strategy for dealing with mavericks and innovator whose talents are used to further support the efforts of the university by providing input to the direction of the program, as well as, providing links to university faculty—playing critical role of liaison between IT and faculty.  Moreover, the e-learning venture may also have some commercial potential and may find open-source applications that go beyond the campus.


In theory, the “inclusive” community based e-learning strategy should be effective; however, the “inclusive” design has the potential to disrupt the focus of the venture by trying to meet the needs of too many.  Moreover, there maybe times when a greater top-down strategy may be needed to make change possible. In addition, the potential for open-source application beyond the campus seems problematic, and there seems to be limited commercial or inter-university potential.

Was the pitch effective? The pitch is very effective, and I am convinced that the venture is worthy of investment.  Most appealing is the inclusive e-strategy framework; it seems like an ideal model for a university setting: flexible and dynamic.

September 14, 2009   1 Comment

Ingenia pitch

Ingenia-training Pitch


One of the strengths of the pitch is company president, Ramona Materi.  She is a very convincing speaker who seemingly has excellent credentials.  The company has a small highly skilled management team.  Given the weak domestic market, and stiff international competition this may be an advantage.  Ingenia seems to have a clear vision and is aware that survival may be determined by how well it positions itself in the international market place.  The company has identified potential in the Vietnamese market and has developed a strategy to tap into that market.  The company is aware that needs to establish business relationships with multinational companies—such as Shell—operating within Vietnam, and that the Vietnamese, as a whole, highly value education. Ingenia has also recognized that the Vietnamese market is essentially free of competition.


The pitch also has a number of weaknesses.  Ingenia doesn’t seem to have a competitive product or technical innovation to set the company apart from its competitors.  Moreover, the domestic market is very weak and, if for some reason, the company were to be excluded from the Vietnamese market, it may experience financial difficulties.  It also seems that the company does not have a great deal of confidence in it ability to enforce contractual obligations entered into with the Vietnamese Government, and for that reason, stresses that it will seek business relationships with multinational corporations who can be held responsible to their legally binding agreements.  On the surface, this may add weight to Ingenia’s pitch; however, one of the key advantages alluded to in the pitch is that the company is the company is positioning itself to take advantage of an untapped market—“off the beaten track”—but its relationships are with internationally based companies, and the target market is not really all that insular.

Was the pitch effective?   The pitch was effective enough to get my attention; however, I am not convinced Ingenia has identified a secure enough target market, and for this reason I would not be interested in investing in the venture.

September 14, 2009   No Comments

Assignment # 1

I hope my question makes sense here …

I was wondering when is the good time to start working on Assignment # 1 , is it now? after module 2? after module 3? Will the assignment reflect on the material/discussions/acitivites of modules 2 & 3?

I did a quick search for the term “environmental analysis” in our blog but didn’t find references within the content of the modules mentioned above. This is why i got confused 🙁



September 14, 2009   3 Comments

wrong link in Module 4???

I’ve been reading ahead in prep for our group presentation and I think I came upon an incorrect link in Mod. 4. The text that houses this link is:

“Review a “web 0.0″ article claiming there is no possible business model in web 2.0″

When you click on the link it takes you to CrowdTrust’s homepage.

September 14, 2009   2 Comments

Team 8

hi team 8,

I believe we have all connected on email thus far.  If anybody is not finding us in group 8, please feel free to email me at

kind regards,

jen wong

September 14, 2009   No Comments

Royal Roads University Open Courseware Initiative


A pitch is presented to make the case for Royal Roads University to establish an Open Courseware initiative.


Referring to the successful open courseware initiative at MIT, the pitcher presents some compelling arguments in favour of her venture. She suggests that providing open access to courses will help with student and faculty recruitment and the marketing of Royal Roads’ high-quality programming thereby enhancing the university’s reputation. Additional benefits of using open courseware are also mentioned including increased global access and contributions being made to the building of a learning society. The pitcher also sets up and proceeds to knock down what could be the two greatest arguments against the open courseware initiative: a possible decrease in tuition paid by those who are content to learn for free and the chance that others could steal content and profit by resale. According to the pitcher, academic credit is not given to students who don’t pay tuition and course content is subject to copyright laws.

Interestingly, only seven minutes were used to pitch the idea and, as an EVA, I felt the pitcher left me hanging with too many unanswered questions. For example, the pitch provides no information regarding how the plans will be carried out, so an EVA is left wondering what types of resources are necessary to start and maintain the venture. Since the initiative has already been implemented at MIT, it would  help to have highlighted what kind of return was seen on their investment. Lastly, while the pitcher promotes Royal Roads as a place of innovation, specifics regarding the qualifications personnel that will potentially run the venture were missing from the pitch.

Overall, I would not be willing to risk my investment capital on this proposition mostly because I think MIT already has the stronghold on this market. No offense to Royal Roads, but MIT is a well-known and prestigious institute. If people simply want to use Open Courseware for learning, they’ll turn to MIT first. After all, it is free. While I acknowledge that Royal Roads might be rewarded with a modest increase in student recruitment through this venture, I think there might be other ways to promote and market a university if they wish to increase the number of paying students.

September 14, 2009   2 Comments



Ingenia is a consulting service based in Vancouver, which offers “E-learning strategy development and instructional design of classroom and online courses”. Ramona Materi, president of Ingenia pitches a plan to establish her company a major learning services provider in Vietnam.


In her pitch, Ramona mentions several potential challenges to her company. First she states that although her team is based in Vancouver, there is no home market for her venture plans. However, she claims that conditions are favourable for targeting the country of Vietnam because there are presently few e-learning players in the market place, the country’s population is relatively young, and there has been recent global investment from other countries. Ramona is also realistic about her North American competitors stating competition is strong, yet appears confident that some prior experiences in Vietnam and the timeliness of her opportunity gives her company somewhat of a competitive edge.

Ingenia claims to be an industry leader in E-learning comprised of a highly qualified core team. Many members of the team hold masters degrees or higher. Ramona proclaims herself as a “guru” in the field and supports her claim by highlighting her involvement in several international speaking arrangements. The need to host their data on a low-bandwidth server based in Vancouver is mentioned along with the obvious need for quality language translation resources. Although it is unclear whether these resources have been secured, it seems reasonable to assume Ramona will be able to do so.

Though I would need to further investigate the potential E-learning markets in Vietnam, Ramona appears to have done her homework and presents a fairly compelling case. I would to have heard more data and statistics regarding the potential market size. I need to know more information about access to the required technology as well as literacy rates, living conditions, education levels etc.

As an educational venture analyst, I have a few concerns about Ramona’s pitch. First, I would like to know more about the competitors in this market. Ramona mentions that a public/private Japanese consortium is already active in E-learning in Vietnam, but to what extent are they involved? One could reasonably assume that the Japanese consortium would have more experience and background in the Vietnamese market. This doesn’t mean there is not room for Ingenia in Vietnam’s e-learning market; however, the potential for the competition to limit large-scale clientele and revenue certainly exists in the long run.

Secondly, as an EVA, I question Ingenia’s plans to charge its investors $40,000 to fund market development trips to Vietnam for two people, four times in 15 months. If the company truly wishes to establish a presence in Vietnam before the competition does, why limit yourself to business trips for only two people. While I acknowledge times have changed and the beauty of Ingenia’s services is that they can technically be offered from a distance, I would have like to have heard plans to relocate some staff to Vietnam. The plans to only travel there made me question the level of commitment toward the venture. I could be wrong, but since I’m the one deciding to hand over $100, 000 I think I’m entitled to an opinion here.

September 14, 2009   4 Comments