DavidV’s Venture Pitch

Yep, you read it right.  DavidV is part of the Venture Forum.

My real-life company CrowdTrust Technologies is in the process of launching a real-life product called “Gleanr” that I humbly believe will be the best learning technology ever invented(!). The marketing launch is December 7, but I’m keen to provide the world-class EVA’s of ETEC522 a very special sneak peek.

Gleanr (tagline “Sow what you know”) in educational terms is a next-generation hybrid of eportfolios and personal learning environments.   In web terms it is hyper-personalization, an emergence of “personal networking” that converges social networking, vertical search engines, and personal clouds (Twitter meets Google Reader meets Evernote meets LinkedIn).

I welcome your response to my elevator pitch (Gleanr Pitch).  Anyone who wants to review the full, confidential prospectus should email me directly.

Finally, I’m hoping that everyone will try Gleanr out sometime over the holidays.  Here’s an interim How To (Gleanr How To) until we get the onboarding/orientation materials into the product.   I will convey special charter membership and privileges to any ETEC522 students who provide me with good critical feedback.


November 29, 2009   10 Comments

Participation expectations

By now, everyone has had a chance to introduce her/himself to the ETEC 522 class. You may also have made a few posts or comments based upon the module materials for week 2.

So, we thought this would be a good time to insert a reminder about our expectations for overall participation in the course through your thoughtful posts and constructive commentary.

The rubric for course participation outlines the criteria we use for evaluating online participation.

Our expectation is that you will post at least once per week as well as offer comments on posts made by other students or the course instructors.

We believe the evaluation rubric for participation is clear. Please let us know if it needs further clarification or refinement.


September 18, 2009   No Comments

Welcome to our humble little Bootcamp…

For many of you, the concepts within Module 2 this week may be the most unfamiliar in the whole course.  The world of start-ups and venture capitalist seems a long way from the classroom.   However, every new venture has to start somewhere, and this critical phase of constructing a viable business framework around a great new idea is as essential as training before running a marathon.   Academics tend to believe otherwise – they come up with original ideas all the time and expect that the idea itself is all that matters.  It’s analogous to the conceit of a man who believes his contribution to creating a baby is all that matters.   The vast majority of ideas never become born as ventures because the gestation phase is so tough.

When we first launched 522 we included a module where we taught students how to read and analyse corporate financials.  While that skill is essential to every true entrepreneur (and educational venture analyst), it was too much for 522.  This isn’t a “business” course.  We decided instead to concentrate on the “pitch” because it is the purest, most concentrated, most accessible, and most social form of any venture.  It’s all in the story.  Just remember that you’ve got to be clear-minded and humble about your abilities to evaluate venture pitches.  If there isn’t something incredible or very hard to understand in any pitch, then it almost certainly isn’t breaking new ground.   Try to imagine what the pitches for applications like Twitter or Facebook might have sounded like before everyone knew what they were.  This module is aimed to help you start tuning your venture instincts.

Dive in and have fun!

September 14, 2009   No Comments

Module teams – anyone missing?

Here are the teams for Modules 4-11.

We looked at the special requests posts/comments in the blog, as well as those that came to the two Davids via email. Everyone who requested a preference got their first choice. The teams are now set.


Module 04: Noah Burdett, Tony Di Palma, Barbara Mair, Ed Stuerle, Erik Van Dusen, Cari Wilson (6)

Module 05: Ammar Al-Attiyat, Iris Chan, Amy Frank, Cindy Leach, Leonard Pelletier, Lorne Upton (6)

Module 06: Barry Carter, Byron Kask, Elizabeth Hood, Greg Lewis, Annette Smith, Eveline Yu (6)

Module 07: Kathleen Cavanagh, Cathy Jung, Mervyn LaBrash, Robert Powell, Erica Toombs (5)

Module 08: Ian Doktor, Sean McMinn, Ernest Pao, Jennie Wong (4)

Module 09: Jay Dixon, Sharon Hann, Jeffrey Laird, Omar Ramroop, Adam Rattray (5)

Module 10: Marjorie Del Mundo, Stuart Edgar, Ashley Jones, Beverley Knutson-Shaw (4)

Module 11: Michel Lacoursiere, Dawinder Mann, Mark Reed, James Richardson, Cecilia Tagliapietra (5)

Additional instructions will be coming along shortly via email to connect you with your team members.

You may wish to get acquainted with your topic and team members in the interim before kickoff on October 5.

When your group convenes to achieve its focus and activities for the class, we suggest that you each take on a specific role on the team (whether these roles are exposed to the full class or not) that you can then use as a framework for the self-evaluation that we’re expecting — outlined in the grading rubric and course requirements for Assignment 2.


September 11, 2009   No Comments

Welcome also

And hello from your other instructor – David Vogt.  You can reach me at david DOT vogt AT ubc DOT ca.  Please use a convention like that if you wish to reveal your email, because the WordPress platform we`ve chosen for the course is a public blog and you`ll need to be more aware of your postings than you might otherwise in an online course.

DavidV hiking the East Coast Trail in NFLD this summer.

DavidV on NFLD's East Coast Trail last June.

Yes, you`ve got two Davids as instructors:  DavidP and DavidV.  Rather than create two sections of the course, we prefer to bring everyone together as a means of crowdsourcing the great collective wisdom this group represents.   This makes a big group, which is why making your introductions and building a presence for yourself through good posting is important.  DavidP will be marking the group and participation assignments (Assignments 2 & 4) and I`ll be marking the essay assignments (Assignments 1 & 3), but we`ll both be involved throughout the course.

Your big job this week is to make your introduction, review how the course works, and ask any questions.

Also, please look at the Emerging Market modules (M4-M11) right away – if there any topics that are of special interest for you please let me know by the end of this week before we automatically assign people to their groups.

Please enjoy the course – we`re looking forward to your contributions!


September 8, 2009   5 Comments