Greg’s 30ish sec pitch…


Here is my pitch for my company which will market a serious simulation (not a “game”:).  Hope it makes you want to learn more…and buy the product of course!

Serious Simulations pitch (elevator version)

As per David’s advice, if you are wanting to see the “full pitch”, please visit my very much in progress blog at:




1 Amy Frank { 11.30.09 at 8:00 pm }

Hi Greg,

Great pitch. I love the intro music. It took me by surprise. I think the length and images were very effective. I definitely wanted to hear more. The concept is fabulous (I would have loved simulations of history in school); however, I wonder if the term “game” will scare investers. After all the discussions in the Serious Games module, I got the sense that most people were discouraged by the term “game” and prefered simulation.

Regardless, I personally like the idea and think you are on to something!


2 Ashley Jones { 12.01.09 at 4:43 pm }

Great elevator pitch! I definitely think there is potential here, and social studies is the perfect subject. I would love to learn more!

3 Jeff Laird { 12.01.09 at 8:25 pm }

I have to say, I go the other way on the elevator intro; I really like the presentation and it does intrigue me but I would have liked to a little bit more about the product being offered in the elevator pitch (I got simulations, online, students – but what is the product?)

I guess if you’ve got me asking those questions — then the pitch worked. I’m intrigued.

4 Sharon Hann { 12.02.09 at 7:30 am }

I think it’s a great idea – but of course I was one of the crew hosting serious games! Simulations offer a whole new world of discovery and I think the market will move in this direction. So as an investor my question has to be – is this the right time to move? Lead or follow? So my hesitation is less about your pitch than about timing the market. I like your concept and do think it has a lot of merit, I hope to see the full version in stores and classrooms sooner than later! 🙂 Sharon

5 Byron Kask { 12.03.09 at 10:21 am }


I think that you are correct that there will be a market for serious simulations. I’ve decided to give your pitch the full review using the Cube as a guideline.

Market Focus:

Obviously K-12, but in this example Grade 11. The downside to this is that you’ve cut your market down to one grade/class. The upside is that you have a product that is genuinely useful as a teacher, and captivating to students.

Types of offerings:

The game itself would be prepackaged content, but your online servers would be a service. I’m glad you’re concerned about security and the protection of student identity.

Who is the Buyer:

I imagine that individual teachers would be the early adopters, but if it’s successful, then perhaps even whole districts. One of my concerns with the company is the marketing using pay-per-click. I don’t think that students will be buyers, but rather teachers. I’m sure that if you contacted school districts directly, they could pass on a demo version to the teachers. This would take time, but not cost you anything.

Global Markets:

This particular product is largely Canadian. I think that you could probably sell it in the UK as well, and if it became popular enough, in all English speaking countries.

Development of a Market:

By going flash-based, the game should run on most computer systems, regardless of OS. I think that this is very important if you’re going to sell to districts that use Mac or Linux as a main platform instead of Windows.

Competing with other forms…:

This product would complement the existing curriculum, and therefor works with existing learning systems.

My thought as a potential investor:

I like the fact that your product can be seen as completely curriculum-based. This would ease the largest barrier to your markets. I think that once you make these inroads, any followup products would be an easy sell, especially if you created subscription-based licensing. The biggest issue that I see with your pitch is your very narrow market. I think that if you can attract them, you’ll possess a must-have app. Because of this, I’d look for ways to drop your initial costs. It might make sense to outsource the development of the game to a studio that is already producing this type of offering. The main reasons for this is that you’ll avoid the scope-creep that can happen as you see additional potential, and also, you”re not re-inventing the wheel, as it were. Overall, I think that you’ve got a solid idea, but I’m concerned about making money on such a small market.

6 Cathy Jung { 12.03.09 at 4:26 pm }


Your line in your elevator pitch on “where history comes to life” is a good hook. The audio was catchy in your elevator pitch, but I found I missed not having audio in your full pitch. I would have preferred to hear your voice narrative rather than have to read the slides.

I think your intended audience is limited as the simulation looks at Dieppe Raid in WWII so would only be marketable in Canada. I also whether this is core topic in social studies provincial wide and nation wide, as this would impact the market. Although the cost to purchase to the teacher or school is low, I wonder in this time of budgetary constraints if the teacher/school would be willing to spend this money when textbooks already exist for use on teaching about the Dieppe Raid? Also, the success of this simulation would also necessitate that schools have access to computers for social studies classes, again something I am not sure of.

I found your elevator pitch intriguing, which made me watch you full pitch…however upon viewing it I am not sure that as an investor I am convinced this would be viable long term.


7 Michel Lacoursiere { 12.03.09 at 9:24 pm }

Hi Greg, your pitch and PowerPoint were effective and will informed which made the overall proposal very convincing.

As a potential investor what caught my attention the most was where you were coming from as a teacher and your first hand experiences backed by secondary sources in your presentation. You were clear that from your experience there is a market for these serious games and that research backs their use as an educational tool.

One point that would concern me would be the concept of “buy-in” I did some research for a city looking to use simulations for their firefighters. It is very surprising how some trainees and students critique something like a simulation. Although all learners appreciate the depth, realism and engaging aspects of simulations all of this can essentially shut down if the learner gets stuck on any inconsistencies. The common example in my fire rescue research were trainees getting caught up on the wrong coloured uniforms, incorrect insignias or the way fire behaves in simulations. I would guess that although these young men and women who have grown up in a gaming generation they may not “buy-in” to an educational simulation if it can’t live up to the simulations they are use to seeing on game consoles. With that said, a well designed simple simulation can be just as effective as the most complex with highest resolution, fastest action, etc.

Your inclusion of a budget is a huge plus as well as it gets down to the heart of what any investor would be looking for. Your pitch is very much that and as I read it I appreciated the options you were giving me as a potential investor.

Great work Greg, glad to review your well thought-out project.


8 Bev { 12.04.09 at 3:07 pm }

Hi Greg: Your venture offers a great idea- You have targeted a group- young men- that definitely needs targeting. If done carefully- this could provide a real hook for them to become engaged in some great learning opportunities. I think you have a great product with lots of potential- what seems to me to be the most critical component for the success of this project are the teachers. I don’t think sending them a copy and providing on-line support is enough to get them on-side. I have 20 or 30 discs in various places around that I have never opened- no matter how interesting they look. I would be more inclined to pay attention to a new product if I had the chance to use it, and discuss it with other users. I would present workshops at multiple conferences through-out Canada especially annual teacher’s
conferences and Social Studies specialists conferences. Alberta has an association for Social Studies teachers that also hosts a yearly conference- I imagine all provinces have something similar- In a one hour session you could provide a lot of information about your game- and have time to discuss the critical thinking components as well. Most teachers are working hard to keep their heads above water- but if you make it really easy for them to get the information you will have a better buy in.

Your financial information was helpful. I appreciate your comments about not being able to find the information you need-

Great job Greg. I would really like to learn more about game creation and how to get kids to build their own games.

9 Ian Doktor { 12.04.09 at 7:54 pm }

Hey Greg,

I went through your elevator pitch and was quite intriguied so I studied the entire pitch im more detail. You’ve definitely identified a useful niche in the educational market. If you can actually hook students on a serious game like this the learning possibilities are quite extraordinary. Since teens already spend so much time in front of computers we might as well try and get them to do something useful at the same time.

The one thing that really impressed me about your presentation isn’t even so much the actual product (since I’m assuming its actually fictisious right?) but how in financially in depth you went. You definitely explained how your start up would function financially and presented a sound business plan.

The fact that you can draw on your years of experience as a social studies teacher definitely lends weight to the proposal and would be one of the main selling points for me. If you didn’t have that much direct experience with the end users (aka students and teachers) I would have much less confidence in your product and your pitch.

All in all, great job!

Even though the product sounds viable, before I’d invest I would want to see some concrete sales numbers. If it works as well as you’ve said, then that wouldn’t be too much of a problem, but I’d only put my money in after the fact. That being said, for 49% of the company I’d definitely agree to put in some money if there was already a guaranteed revenue stream.

10 Greg Lewis { 12.04.09 at 9:14 pm }

To all that provided comments to my “pitches”:

Thank- you – collectively, you were honest which I appreciate. It’s funny how one reads others’ comments and immediately you go, “Yeah, absolutely – why didn’t I see that at the time?”
I’m happy that the idea has merit and there is a market and need. I purposely marketed it for Canada due to my “expertise” and the fact that the Dieppe raid is a) a very “universal” event in any province at the Gr. 11/12 level for Social Studies and b) it is from WWII which has seen some amazing sales in terms of games/simulations.
A great idea on marketing it via SS conferences and presenting directly to Districts/School Boards – makes total sense.
The Flash platform is economical and decent; full on simulations are half a million minimum with all the bells and whistles. My thought was that the kids would want to play rather than “study” 🙂 and that would be a major buy in for them.
Honestly – could I sell enough units to make Year 2 and 3 simulations? Hmmm…money is tight and that is quite a few licenses to sell, so…
Again, thanks for the feedback. Financial part was a major amount of time but I’m glad I did it based on your comments.

11 Jeff Laird { 12.05.09 at 11:29 am }

I’m back for a more indepth review.

I think the pitch element comparing success of boys and girls at the start was a wonderful hook to get investors interested.

I really like the concept but am concerned from the market perspective that you are narrowing your market too much and that there exists a large number of products out there that provide a broader scope of material than you are offering.

You mention that the potential high school market across Canada is 165 million dollars in total resource spending however, one of the selling features of your simulation is that it is target to the BC social studies 11 curriculum. Here you have eliminated a vast amount of that 165 million by chopping all provinces that don’t follow these specific curriculum goals for socials 11 and eliminated all other courses – I think that you will find the amount of money spent by socials 11 teacher in BC is significantly less that your initial market.

As for competition, I really like that you are proposing a web-based platform since you remove some of the tech challenges for schools and also allow students to engage at home . However, you are also competing against products that have significantly larger development budgets. In addition to the Making History Canada you mentioned, students have shown me which seems to compete directly with your product and opens markets for all Canada, US, and Europe since it allows you to take the role of any country involved in the war and test out how decisions would affect to outcome. WWII is also the most popular historical period to be used in a video game timeline – while a lot of these wouldn’t be applicable in a teaching venue, will students fell the market saturation?

Then again, perhaps the popularity of these simulations suggests that the market supports simulations around this time period?

You have done a great job outlining a budget. However, it seems a little low compared to the development of other high-quality simulations and I’m not sure that the market you are targeting is robust enough to support the cost. As we mentioned in our Serious Games unit, the K-12 market is very challenging to enter because it has high demands (kids are used to the quality of commercial product), narrow markets (limited based on curriculum requirements), and shallow pockets (although your price seems very reasonable). You don’t mention how many other provinces include the Dieppe raid in their curriculum but there are only 197 highschools in BC ( meaning you are going to need an incredibly high adoption rate in order to break even.

As an EVA, based on the high cost, limited market I am going to have to say no to investing in this venture.

12 Liz Hood { 12.05.09 at 1:12 pm }

Great elevator pitch! Loved the background music (and it was copyright compliant!). Social studies is a great venue for your serious simulations! I want to know more.

13 Bev { 12.05.09 at 4:40 pm }

Hi Greg:

I am back for a more in-depth review
I think that this concept is great- creating interactive games to teach social studies concepts- that being said

– I think your focus on finding something that will excite,motivate, and teach the high-school boy crowd is a really important one- although I wouldn’t dismiss the girls either. Girls will get just as excited about this if it is intelligent and challenging- not just blowing things up. More and more indicators are raising red-flags about the status of boys and education.
-I do think your concept is excellent.
-I think individual teachers are the ones who would be buying this game. As mentioned in my previous post I would market this though workshops- conventions etc. It needs to be in their hands or it will never get used.
-Your target market is relatively small for the large investment you require to get this project off the ground. I suspect you are right in believing this topic is somewhere in the curriculum’s across the country- but that is still a small market. Is the objective of this concept meant to lead students to an understanding of Canadian sovereignty? If it is, that does limit it to a Canadian market. If the topic was a bit broader it might appeal to more of the allied countries as well- but that might miss the point.
-It would be very difficult to export this product as it stands- although it could provide a model for other countries wishing to do the same thing.
– In terms of competition, it doesn’t appear that there is anything out there like this. Teachers are using textbooks and movies to deliver this content. This is a far more motivating way to deliver these concepts.

I think you have a great idea- but I think you have a very limited market for the costs involved- meaning my return would not be that great. If I was to invest in this project I would want to see the product appeal to a greater market .

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