Cari Wilson’s Venture Pitch (sort of!)

Hi everyone!

I chose to enter the UBC Global Minds Challenge, rather than creating a venture pitch. I have, however, created a short “elevator pitch” to share with all of you, so you know what I’ve done!

Cari’s Elevator Pitch

November 24, 2009   9 Comments

Group 4’s Social Technology Ning is Launched!

Hi everyone!

Group 4’s site on “Social Technologies” is now open! You can find it at: . You will need to create a Ning account for yourself, if you are not already a member of Ning. Luckily, it’s free!

The Social Technologies Bandwagon!

The Social Technologies Bandwagon!

Please participate in the discussions, take a survey or two and explore the links. Most of the sections have RSS buttons, so you can pull in the feeds from the site. Probably the best one to use is the “Latest Activity” feed (

Enjoy being a part of our social learning network!

Anthony, Barbara, Cari, Ed, Erik and Noah

October 4, 2009   1 Comment

Timez Attack Cubed

Times Attack Screen Capture
Times Attack Screen Capture

CUBE Analysis for Timez Attack


Timez Attack ( is an educational or “meaningful” game designed to help children learn their times tables. It has an engaging and intuitive interface and players learn without realizing they are doing so.

Face 1 – Market Focus

            This product is really aimed at the K-12 sector and more specifically the K-7 portion of that sector. Having said that, it could easily be used in a remedial program in a high school setting.

Face 2 – Type of Offering

            This is definitely a content type of offering. It is a pre-packaged “meaningful game” that can be used as either a stand alone or a school district wide application.

Face 3 – The Buyer

            This product really has several different types of buyers. An individual could buy a stand-alone copy for home use (as I did when my son was having a hard time learning his times table!). A district could purchase the software for installation on all its computers or a school could purchase it for the same application. It also might be possible for a clearing house such as EBSCO to buy this software and then be able to offer volume discounts to educational buyers that are members of its consortium.

Face 4 – Global Market

            While there are a variety of buyers for this product I feel there are numerous markets for it, also. The first potential market is “wired Anglophone countries”. The product is American and all the language is American English. However, because there is a limited amount of actual language and the game is quite intuitive (even my 5 year old daughter was able to figure out what to do) I can see European and Asian countries as being other potential markets. Because it is a game with a need for a fairly good monitor and game card, it is somewhat limited to developed countries. Having said that, the home page advertises that their product is used in 200 countries. The product is available in English and Spanish at this point and I would imagine that, given a large enough demand, it could be translated to other languages fairly easily.

Face 5 – Development of the Market

            Educational or meaningful gaming is on the rise and students who have high quality graphic games at home are not easily impressed with poorly designed games. I would think that the market supports a game like this only in relatively developed and wealthy countries and communities. While the game itself is not too expensive, you need a good computer to play it. This particular game was developed by an educator, giving him some “cred” in the market. His product is fun to play and unique and as such is, in my opinion, well positioned in the North American market place at the very least.

Face 6 – Educational Integration

            Timez Attack is a game that would works well in a school setting, as extra reinforcement and practice for students who are learning the concepts taught. It would also work well in a home school setting. I do not think you would want to use it to replace the teacher, nor do I think the designer would desire such an outcome.

Although we were not asked if we would invest in this company, I am certainly a satisfied customer and would invest if I had the opportunity!

September 22, 2009   6 Comments

Materi and Ingenia

Ingenia Training

As a CEO, I found Ramona Materi personable and she seemed to know her market. However,  I didn’t find her very charismatic or interesting to listen to. I did enjoy having the power point to refer to as she spoke. She talks about Ingenia’s core team and it seems that they are capable, well-trained people. The fact that Ingenia contracts work out can be a plus and a minus. Contracting means you can hire people only when you need them but on the other hand, you have to rely on their availability.

Materi seems to have done her home work and have an understanding of   the market. Ingenia is attempting to enter an area of the world that is growing and that can be quite exciting but also risky. However, the CEO states that they will be targeting multinationals and Asian banks in an attempt to limit the risks. I would have liked to know more about what makes them stand out from their competition – what is their competitive edge?

Materi never talks about an exit strategy. She does have a goal – to enter the market in Vietnam – but she does not mention plans beyond that.

While I find that Materi’s pitch had some positive aspects, as an EVA I was not convinced that the positive outweighed the negative or unknown. I did not feel inspired to let go of my money and would not likely invest in this company.

September 19, 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

Hello from Cari

Hello everyone!

My name is Cari Wilson and I teach two classes of Grade 7 in West Vancouver. I am very fortunate to teach in a one-to-one laptop setting and have done so for the last 4 years. I teach LA, SS French and Visual Art and we use the laptops for all of them! I am taking my last two MET courses this term – this one and 590. I’ve never take two at the same time before, so I’m a little nervous about fitting everything in!

I recently made the very challenging decision not to go into administration. Instead, I’m going to focus on doing Pro-D workshops and maybe some consulting. So, I’m really looking forward to learning some more about business and elearning! I must admit that I’m not totally sure what to expect!

The photo is a picture of my two kids in front of the “dinosaur museum” in Drumheller, Alberta. The kids and I went on a three week road trip this summer and the museum was one of our favourite stops. We also loved Yellowstone Park and Lake Superior. I took all the pictures, so I have no photos of me.

I’m looking forward to meeting all of you!


The Royal Tyrrell Museum

September 9, 2009   No Comments