Unlocking Knowledge, Empowering Minds

Pitch Pool Marking Rubric:

Royal Roads Open Courseware Initiative

I’m going to try to be even more succinct with my 2nd pitch analysis:


Not Within Expectations

Minimally Meets Expectations

Fully Meets Expectations

Exceeds Expectations

CEO Credibility – Does this person exude capability and convey confidence that they will achieve success against all obstacles? Confident


Management Team – Have they assembled a stellar team along with the other human and material resources required for success unknown
Business Model – Is this feasible? – have they done their homework? – are their arguments and information accurate and compelling? Very feasible

Allows prospective students and staff a realistic opportunity to make informed decisions

Competitive Products – What is a realistic market size, market share and selling price that these products or services can capture in a very competitive world? Since the service is free then competition is minimal.
Market Readiness – How long and difficult is their critical path to success? Assuming that they have the technical ability already
Technical Innovation – Do they have an edge, and can they keep it? Following in MIT’s footsteps
Exit Strategy – Do they really know what success looks like – is their destination clear Increased number of students and courses
Overall Investment Status – Am I going to risk my investment capital on this proposition? The negative arguments that she brings forth are dealt with.


Mary Burgess appears confident and committed about implementing an open courseware initiative at Royal Roads University. She is effective in explaining the benefits as well as dealing with the counter-arguments. I think that the pitch would have been more effective if Mary was on camera more often. Whenever she did her ‘walk and talk’ it held my attention more because the visual was more engaging and the quality of the audio was better than the voiceover audio. I felt that the pitch was a bit repetitive at times both in content of the argument as well as the content of the visuals being presented. As a minor criticism I would not have used the last video clip with Mary holding the baby. I know it’s cute but if this is a real pitch then it would seem out of place. In her closing remarks she could have made some reference to future students in which case having a baby in her arms would have made more sense. I love the idea of open courseware and I would enthusiastically support this endeavor.


MIT Open Courseware summary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbQ-FeoEvTI&feature=PlayList&p=279CA243FCDCF6C0&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=1

M.I.T.’s site: http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/web/home/home/index.htm


1 James Richardson { 09.19.09 at 12:06 pm }

I like the rubric approach to your analysis. I agree about the POV steady cam shots being more powerful than the voice overs. The slides selected showcased the natural beauty of RRU but none of the community of learning aspects which I found weak since distance learners would not benefit from the physical environs.

2 Annette Smith { 09.19.09 at 2:21 pm }

I would not agree that because the price is free there will be no competition. MIT is a leader in the field of open courseware and would be a competitor to anyone entering the ring. RRU’s best bet is to market itself as a niche-filler and to do a great deal of research as to which areas MIT is not serving. The pitch did not cover this at all.

3 Michel Lacoursiere { 09.19.09 at 5:40 pm }

Great summary Ed, I think you met your goal to be succinct, very clear and to the point.

I too agree that the pitch was a bit repetitive Mary seemed to have been driving home the main points of her pitch by coming back to them but it came across as repetitious. In a way it seemed like she was running out of good things to say and fell back on her main points. I also agree that parts of the pitch seemed out of place, especially the baby clip.

Great, clear review.

4 Ernest Pao { 09.19.09 at 10:38 pm }

Hi Ed,

I like your straight forward, easy to understand table format rubric. Too bad WordPress doesn’t allow more control of formatting for tables.

As for your pitch analysis, I pretty much suggested the same thing as well though I must agree with Annette that even though it is free, there would still be competition. From what Burgess was suggesting, the goal of the free opencourseware is really to attract students and faculty, in particular, paying students. There are many other post-secondaries offering the same thing for the same reasons, thus competition could be stiff. Would you agree?


5 Jay Dixon { 09.20.09 at 8:24 am }

Great idea with the rubric. It gives us a a succinct snapshot. I felt the same about your point about the transitions between slides and video. She may have had more impact with soley a video presentation.

6 Ed Stuerle { 09.20.09 at 3:02 pm }

Thanks for your comments. I’d like to explain my statement about a lack of competition. I was referring to the author’s point about open courseware being altruistic in nature. Given this premise I assumed that competition is not a big factor since they are not competing for a piece of a financial pie. Of course if the reason for offering free access to courses is to have students ‘try before you buy’ then I would agree that they are in stiff competition with the likes of MIT etc.

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