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  • Deb Kim 1:35 pm on November 28, 2011
    3 votes

    Tags: collaboration, , , , , ,   

    Hi all, Here’s the link to my elevator pitch: http://debbykimubcmet.wordpress.com/etec-522/elevator-pitch-math-impossible/ Click the link below for my venture pitch on Math Impossible: http://debbykimubcmet.wordpress.com/etec-522/venture-pitch-math-impossible/ Deb  

    Continue reading Math Impossible Posted in: Week 13: Venture Forum
    • Jim 7:11 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Deb,

      I really liked your elevator pitch… I am not sure where you found that video of the guy turning off the laser beams but it was perfect for your “mission, I mean Math impossible” theme. I suppose the main question that I still have as an investor is how is your product distinct from the thousands of free mathematics resources for teachers and students already online? Math resources are probably one of the best covered areas on the Web in terms of free resources. Before I hand you $1 million, I would need to get a sense, right away from your elevator pitch, of how and why your service/product would be unique and worth paying for.

      • Deb Kim 12:26 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Jim,

        Thank you for the feedback. I found this cool powerpoint template from http://www.presentermedia.com. I did venture analysis on his company for A1.
        There is a reason I didn’t give a lot of details of Math Impossible in the elevator pitch. It was to grab audience’s attention and to make them more curious about what the venture would be. I thought it’d be too much information releasing if I gave too many details in the elevator pitch.

        As a math teacher, I’ve been trying to use math resources available online, but I haven’t found really good one that provides a question bank. My venture will focus more on to a question bank and a question generator so that teachers can have free access to it whenever they need questions for exams/tests/quizzes/handouts. Exam banks that are currently available out there cost too much money and it’s a little shame to tell you that most of the secondary schools that I’ve been working don’t have enough resources. Eventually teachers just had to share each other’s resources and it’s very limited. So, I don’t agree with you that “math resources are probably one of the best covered areas on the Web in terms of free resources”.


    • Everton Walker 7:47 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      First, I must say good job since we are not experts yet. I like the math concept especially when one considers that many students are not learning the concepts the traditional ways. Obviously, you are going to have competition from other sources, but as time goes by you will be able fix whatever problems surfaced.


      • Deb Kim 12:30 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Everton,

        Thank you for the feedback. New venture always has competition from other ventures, so we always have to come up with better ideas.
        My venture has a unique point system so that teachers and students can use accumulated points to purchase questions and school materials. I didn’t give many details in the elevator pitch to increase curiosity from people and make them want to watch the actual venture pitch.


    • Julie S 8:12 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Great elevator pitch Deb! I think having a really upbeat and engaging elevator pitch is critical for your venture – especially if what Jim says is true. You really need to grab the attention and hold it with the longer venture pitch to get those dollars.

      • Deb Kim 12:36 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Julie,

        Thank you for the feedback. My purpose for not giving a lot of details in the elevator pitch was to grab people’s attention so that they would get more curious and want to watch the venture pitch to discover what Math Impossible is all about. I guess it had a reverse effect instead. I’ll add more information that can grab the audience’s attention next time.

        Thank you!


    • schiong 12:31 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Deb,

      Lovely presentation.
      I was very interested with your project because I know many students are struggling with MATH. I have seen several MATH tutorials online. I believe Khan Academy started with Math tutorials as well.

      I agree that learning Math is possible. Falling in-love might require some work.
      I tried to view your venture pitch. But, I could not access it.
      I am curious how you are going to go about your project and which Math topics would you be covering like Calculus, Trigonometry, etc …

      I am also curious how your product would improve the learner’s internal mental process.
      Another thing is, is it easy to navigate and does it suggests the next suitable tutorial ?
      Most of the math tutorials out there would require the learner to know exactly what he is looking for. Not all learners know exactly where to begin and how to move forward.


      • Deb Kim 12:49 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Stephen,

        Can you still not access my venture pitch?
        Let me know. If you still can’t, I’ll send you another link. You have to view it with Window Media Player.

        I’ll briefly answer your questions. Math Impossible is an online resource program focusing specifically on building a question bank for teachers and students. It’ll cover all the math topics from K-12. As a math teacher, I found out that most of the math resources available online were not of big help, especially when it comes to creating a quiz/test/handout. Resources that are available at school (either in DVD or paper) are not enough for many teachers so we end up making our own and share. My venture idea came from there. If we could share resources that we have not just within school but also in cyberspace, we would be able to create a gigantic question bank.
        For students, there are not many extra question workbook that students can work on other than textbooks. So, students can use Math Impossible to do extra exercise questions and collect points to purchase school items online.

        I haven’t thought about giving an online tutorial session in Math Impossible, but it’s a great idea if we can provide a tutorial session. That way, the learner can determinie where to begin.

        It’s my venture idea and your feedback is always appreciated as it’s in the imaginative stage at the moment.
        Thank you, Stephen!


    • bcourey 5:13 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Great pitches Deb..I too really enjoyed the animation – it really did fit well with your topic. Your elevator pitch didn’t give me many details about your venture, but your longer pitch gave me all the information I needed! This is a great idea to have the collaborative nature of the application – for teachers and students. I was really intriqued by your points system and wonder how that will be tracked and monitored – could it get very complicated? I would love to know the “decent price” point that you mentioned to know if school boards or parents, students, and teachers would find it affordable. Great work!

      • Deb Kim 12:58 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Brenda,

        Thank you for the feedback.
        As for the point system, I haven’t really thought in details. However, since teachers would be evaluating others’ questions and give peer review on them (including the level of difficulty, the topic covered, etc.), it wouldn’t be so complicated. So simply said, each question would be worth a point or two. There would also be employed analysts who would work on the point system.

        As for the “decent price”, I heard that 30% of an Apple app goes to Apple and 70% goes to the creator. So, I believe if it’s $0.99 (or make it free) for the Math Impossible app, it’d be decent for them.


    • Allie 5:18 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Deb,
      Good job! I echo a lot of what previous people have said… your pitch is fun and genuinely engaging, which is at least half the battle. And like Jim and Stephen, I’m wondering about how it competes with ample competition, and exactly how it works. What platform will it use? and is it a question bank – or does it do something more. I think Stephen makes a great point when he suggests that existing math instruction strategies and products might not really be doing the job as well as they could. How does Math Possible build on their weaknesses – to indeed make math possible?
      I don’t know if you checked out School of One which we featured in social analytics week. It’s a cool program used in NY schools to teach math – it uses learner analytics to design highly individualized routes through the math curriculum to build on learners’ existing strengths.
      p.s. disclaimer 1: this is all from your elev pitch; i haven’t yet read your venture pitch
      disclaimer 2: i haven’t touched math since grade 11 when I might have squeezed out a B in the subject. Not my forte.

      • Deb Kim 3:44 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Allie,

        Thank you for the feedback. Yes, Math Impossible will take place in online space where math teachers can collaborate to build a question bank. For students, it will be an exercise bank. So, it has two different question banks, one to support teachers creating questions for quizzes/tests/exams, and the other one to support student learning and improving their mathematical problem solving skills.

        I grew up in Korea and you probably know that most Korean students are strong at Math. I remember purchasing a lot of extra workbooks, at least 3 or 4 each year I took Math. There are lots of resources available from various publishing companies in Korea that I not only relied on the textbook but also relied on those workbooks that I purchased to work on my weak areas in Math. Here in Vancouver, there are a few educational book stores that sell math workbooks and some schools use them instead of textbooks. However, they are very expensive (usually $30 or more), and the number of questions in the workbook is limited. Once students understand the concepts of a certain topic, it’s important for him/her to try as many similar questions as possible until he/she gets familiar with it. This means that the student needs some free resources to access. My venture idea came from there.
        It’ll be available both online, like Moodle (LMS), and the app.
        Thank you for your questions, Allie. I hope I answered them all. 🙂


    • Juliana 9:06 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Deb,

      Here is my detailed analysis of your venture.

      I really enjoyed your elevator and your venture pitch. I thought your elevator pitch was especially catchy, innovative and it made me want to learn more. In addition, your venture was deceptively simple and as this is an open source idea, I think there is a good potential to have a following.

      Pain Point and Solution: I think you did a great job outlining the pain point and how your venture would provide the appropriate solution. I thought it was very innovative in how you would take advantage of social media to not only increase interaction but work to create your question back.

      Differentiation: You did a great job outlining the differentiation of your product in that it does have a points system and that it does take advantage of social media. In addition, using the points system to encourage the building of your database was a very good idea. I was thinking that instead of using their points to buy rulers and erasers, if you had it set up so that students could use their accumulated points to buy other apps or iTune downloads, you would probably increase usage and interaction.

      Marketing: I was wondering why you were targeting the Lower Mainland area only. I thought this would be a good program to take nationally and internationally. In addition, as you are dealing with numbers, language won’t be a huge issue unless you are dealing with word problems. I do agree that students from different countries may have difficulties when doing discussions, but numbers have a universal language to them and it can be easy for people to follow how a solution is derived.

      Championship: Nothing was mentioned on this. I would have liked to know more about who would be creating the system and who was carrying out this venture.

      Competition: You did cover this and you mentioned that there were not a lot of resources for Maths.

      The Ask and the Return: Nothing was really mentioned

      Excellent job!


      • Deb Kim 10:32 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Juliana,

        It’s always good to “see” you in cyberspace. 🙂
        Thank you for your through feedback.

        As for marketing, I wanted to start with the Lower Mainland to see how my customers would respond to my venture and then expand the area. However, you pointed out well that it wouldn’t be a problem taking Math Impossible internationally as it’s dealing mostly with numbers. I didn’t put in my venture pitch, but I was thinking of taking this globally as teachers all over the world could have access to Math Impossible to build a question bank in different languages. As Math Impossible will be a management system that consists of a question bank, creating a question bank according to a specific language wouldn’t be a problem. Once again, I have to emphasize that this is only my venture “idea”. I didn’t pitch an existing venture, so you and other coursemates’ opinions/feedback are always appreciated.

        For the Championship part, if you are asking who would be “maintaining” the system, it’d be math teachers who join Math Impossible. As for creating the system, it’ll be starting with a group of Math teachers (probably my friends and colleagues) who like my venture idea and wish to support.

        Have a wonderful Christmas. It’s been nice working with you, especially for A2. 🙂


    • carmen 10:52 am on December 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Great job on the pitches, Deb. As others have mentioned, your pitches are very engaging and the 3D guy certainly grabbed my attention! To be honest, I was a bit disappointed to see the price tag of these templates. ..

      Great concept of creating question bank that we can all share. With the idea of “social eBooks” maybe teachers can collaborate to improve on the teaching materials to make math “possible”. 🙂

      I do believe there is a market for your venture idea as I feel the same problem we have in Vancouver. Though there are lots of free worksheets online, they are not tailored to the BC curriculum, and it could take a long time before a teacher can find something at the right level and topic. You might want to look at Koofers.com.. This venture is also about sharing and rating questions and lecture notes.

      Thanks for the interesting pitches!

      • Deb Kim 5:44 pm on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Carmen,

        Thank you for your feedback.
        I hope there is a market for my venture idea in Vancouver. As you said, a lot of free math resources online are not based on the BC curriculum. Therefore, it’s an exigent matter that BC teachers collaborate to share resources which are tailored to the BC curriculum.

        Thanks for the link to the website. I haven’t heard of Koofers.com yet, so it’ll help me come up with more ideas.


    • David Berljawsky 8:08 am on December 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Deb,

      Great hook and great presentation. I though that it was well researched and entertaining at the same time which is a very difficult thing to do. The animations were excellent and straight to the point. The added to the presentation, instead of just acting as eye candy. Fantastic.

      The elevator pitch was great, made me want to hear more about the project right away. To me this is a great indicator that you had a great presentation. As a math and technology teacher I can see that you are passionate about the porject and the potential that it has. This was obvious in your project.


      • Deb Kim 6:02 pm on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi David,

        Thank you for your feedback.
        It’s my venture idea so far, but I hope to see it happen in the near future. It’ll be a great resource and the opportunity for many math teachers, not just in BC but also in other areas.


    • themusicwoman 8:08 pm on December 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Dear Deb,
      Love the mission impossible, er, math impossible theme for elevator pitch. It was catchy and made me want to know more which was then laid out very nicely in your venture pitch. Will agree with some of the comments made previously (cost of templates, yikes, lol) and I think you found a product that is certainly worth looking into. Thanks!

      • Deb Kim 6:10 pm on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Michelle,

        I know! PresenterMedia has great templates (both animated and regular) but it costs a lot. So what I’m doing is that, since I’ve paid for a year already, I’ve been saving almost every single clipart, template, and image to my external hard drive. I’m planning to do that for the next couple of months until my 1 year contract with them is over. Then, I can use them whenever I want.


  • ccheung 12:23 am on November 28, 2011
    2 votes

    Hi all, Here’s my one-minute pitch, and my venture pitch. Thank you for your patience. Comments are welcome!   carmen

    Continue reading Hi all, Here’s my one-minute pitch, and… Posted in: Week 13: Venture Forum
    • Julie S 10:54 am on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Carmen,

      I viewed your elevator pitch but I don’t see any reference to your venture pitch. There’s an email address at the end of your pitch. Do I need to email you for access to the full venture pitch?

    • Kristopher 11:36 am on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Carmen,

      Great energy in your pitch! I quite enjoyed the music and the humour (especially “Cool. I passed.”). I found that it took quite a while to get to what the venture is, and that once the explanation started it was almost complete. Perhaps you could spend a little more time describing the solution?



      • carmen 11:08 am on December 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for you comments, Kristopher. I was focusing more on the problem partly because I wanted to get people’s attention on a problem that I think would get me really excited if there is a solution for it. On hind sight, you are right on that I probably should explain my solution more clearly in the pitch!

    • Everton Walker 7:58 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      I must commend you for your effort. The energy is really palpable and I love the funny side. I actually wanted some more out of the explanation too as I am always interested in LMS. I definitely think one day I will invest in an LMS as there is no doubt that this is where the future of teaching and learning is headed. I hope you will make such an investment in the future too.


      • carmen 11:08 am on December 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for your comments, Everton. With the development of social networking, cloud computing and analytic tools, I think the functionalities of LMS will be developing quickly in the near future. Fueled by the enthusiasm in DIY and the unstable economy, lots of people want to do something “on the side”, and teaching what one is interested in online seems to a good option. I definitely an increasing need for online LMS as it offers flexibility. 🙂

    • Doug Smith 7:07 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      I think your pitch is catchy and the topic is intriguing. As well, you bring out enthusiasm and make me interested in finding out more about the venture. I would have liked to hear more about the market that you are entering – it felt like the pitch was more geared to a buyer than an investor. I think this is a really hard balance to achieve though, especially in one minute.


      • carmen 11:09 am on December 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for your comments, Doug. This activity really made me realize one minute is very little time! I thought of the venture idea and kept exploring on how good it could be and the possibilities of creating such a tool… afterwards I read the assignment criteria and quickly realized that I have to pitch it to an investor. If I get the time to redo this venture pitch, I would definitely expand on that.

    • Angela Novoa 9:37 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Carmen, I loved your elevator pitch. The combination of text and music allows possible consumers to focus on the problem and the solution that this product offer. In your elevator pitch you provided detailed information about the market gap, the solution, the reason why someone would purchase the product, and the competency of the venture’s leaders. As Doug mentioned, it seemed that the pitch was more directed to a buyer than an investor. I would suggest you to provide more information about how much money is required to run the venture, and how much and how soon will an investor gain returns.



      • carmen 11:09 am on December 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for your comments, Angela. This is a great question and I have to admit that I need to do more research on the amount of money and time needed to invest on the product before it can become reality. To lower the cost, I might explore the option of creating “third party” solutions for an open source LMS like Moodle.

    • Julie S 10:47 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Carmen,

      I agree with the others here that your elevator was really engaging and I thought it was really important that you focussed on the number 58% because it illustrated the problem simply and effectively than if you would have used say 78%. What I was looking for more clarity on in the venture pitch was what your product differentiator was. I think I understood it to be that you were going to develop a semantic anlaysis tool and combine it to get the comprehensive view of the student but I wasn’t really sure. The concept seems to make a lot of sense though.

      • carmen 11:13 am on December 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Yes, Julie. The goal of my venture is use analytic tools as a solution to analyze students’ performance in different areas over time. Looking at the numbers at a report card tells us very little about the students. People working with the student would have an idea of his/her progress. However, in a school, it’s not possible to know student(unless in a private elementary/high school); 58% (or 78%) could mean improvement for a failing student, but could be disappointing for others.
        This venture is providing a solution to help administrators and teachers learn about each student’s progress in more details, as it provides a record of how the student has been progressing (in the positive or negative direction) in the past. More importantly, these records are for students to reflect on their overall performance in different aspects, and set personal goals.
        I thought having such a tool could provide more data for reflection, versus relying on memory and how stakeholders “felt” the student performed.

        Thanks for your comments!

    • David William Price 10:56 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Elevator pitch assessment

      Carmen – PROspectiveLMS

      First Impression: no face, no voice, music over slides, way too fast to read, focuses on a very low percentage number but that number has nothing to do with the product or service, market, etc. too much text in a tiny strip at the bottom, hard to follow along quickly, don’t hit proposed solution until 55s out of 60 and goes over time limit

      CEO Credibility: The CEO does not appear at all – no voice, no image or appearance. I have nothing to judge CEO credibility on. I might take a negative inference based on the fact the CEO is unwilling to appear and be heard.

      Management Team: No team is mentioned, so I have no way to judge. I might take a negative inference based on the fact the CEO is unwilling to talk about the team.

      Venture Concept: Apparently something to do with adding analytics to an LMS good idea about analytics but doesn’t really explain who uses it (are teachers and students supposed to change behavior based on the graphs? How do they know what to do). No discussion of how social analytics work or track record.

      Opportunity Space: No discussion of the intended market or pricing or revenue.

      Market Readiness: No discussion of what systems may currently be used by intended market or what the switching or implementing costs would be of this system.

      Competitive Edge: No indication of how analytics make this solution different. Khan Academy has a video about integrating an analytics backend with graphing based on a question by question basis. Their video shows how it works and it may be offered for free, so this idea is out there.

      Exit Strategy: No indication of their target market, its size, or how they will capture it.

      Overall Investment Status: I don’t see the CEO or the team, I don’t know who the targeted market is. I don’t know the intended pricing. I don’t know how this will be marketed. I consider this high risk and would not pursue.

      • carmen 11:14 am on December 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for your comments, David. You have laid out very clearly what is missing in my pitch, and made me reflect on my approach to this project. I was too absorbed in finding a solution to the problem that I want to solve and the possibilities of making it happen, rather than on selling the venture idea to potential investors. A lot of time was spent on convincing myself that this will actually work.

        If I have the time to redo this pitch, I will elaborate on what it can do for teacher and administrators and how they can use the tool. I will definitely review these comments and our class notes to make it a better pitch.

    • Jay 2:02 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Carmen,

      As Julie pointed out I found that you focusing on the number 58 throughout pitch was an effective method of emphasizing your point. I think the pitch could have been stronger had you moved into your idea for fixing the problem a little bit quicker. More focus on your solution rather than the problem.

      The problem-solution was clearly identified in the venture pitch. While it may not have been evident in the elevator pitch, after reading your venture pitch I was able to understand that PROspective would be a tool used in helping educators and students understand areas that could be improved upon. The three cases also provided examples of the tool in use.

      Before I would consider investing in this venture I would like to know a bit more about the market and the competitors. In particular I would need to know what sets you apart from the competitors. Do you offer something they do not?

      One more concern I would have is how much time is required for teachers to submit data to be analyzed. I wasn’t clear in this (but perhaps I missed something). Evaluations are time consuming for teachers and the pitch argues that this will allow teachers to plan more effectively. I would want to know how data is input since this could become very time consuming for teachers to ensure continuous feedback.

      Upon satisfying responses to the inquiries above I would likely consider investment into this venture.

      Thanks for the interesting project.

      • carmen 11:18 am on December 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for your feedback, Jay. This venture aims to analyze students’ academic, collaboration, critical thinking skill and work habit, using three analyic tools. It’s competitors only offers a single tool (ex. SNAPP provides information on student interactions, Signals identifies at risk students mainly by their grades). Combining these tools can provide a more complete picture of how each student is doing.

        How much time is needed for the tool to provide data is a great question. So far as I have not experience SNAPP myself, I am assuming that something similar will be able to provide data at the end of every day/ week when the system take in the data collected and do a calculation? The ability of this type of program to provide timely data can greatly affect it’s potential use… I’ll need to look into this in more detail.

        Thanks for the great questions. 🙂

    • ashleyross 2:40 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Carmen,

      I too really enjoyed the combination of humour and percentages in your EP which led me to explore your VP. I think it’s important to provide students with more feedback throughout the year so that they have a better chance of knowing what and how to improve. I also think it’s a great idea to break up the student’s performance on soft skills and agree that it’s a great way for students to see their strengths and weaknesses. PROspective also seems to provide students with opportunities to set attainable goals for themselves and see immediate feedback, which I think would motivate them to improve in all areas.

      Overall, I think you’ve done a great job. You seem to have a very strong team for the development of this product. The only constructive criticism I have for you, is that I would have liked to have read a little more about the marketing side of PROspective, in particular the market readiness. For instance, is it something that you are in the process of developing and how long do you think it will take for you to have it ready for users?

      Again, great job!

      • carmen 11:18 am on December 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Ashley,

        Thanks a lot for your comments. You are right on about the what PROspective has to offer, and have asked some very good questions.

        Right now similar technologies (like SNAPP and Signal presented during the week of learning analytics presentation) is already in use, so it’s not impossible to develop such an LMS and to combine what they allow us to do. I truly believe that learning analytics will be more widely used in the future.

  • kstooshnov 11:57 pm on November 27, 2011
    1 votes

    Tags: Ben Crystal, Mary Hartman, ,   

    Like the Elizabethan impresario Philip Henslowe (performed by Geoffrey Rush in 1998’s Shakespeare in Love) was wont to say: “It will all work out in the end… It’s a mystery”, bringing the Virtual Globe 3.0 project to the ETEC 522 was a thrilling, somewhat dramatic, event – so much fun, I had to upload the project […]

    Continue reading The Virtual Globe 3.0 Posted in: Week 13: Venture Forum
    • jenaca 1:54 am on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Kyle,
      Wow! You really caught my attention and had me engaged during the entire pitch! I think it’s great that you included a catchy start and included so many different videos. However I am confused about your pitch and am not exactly sure what your product is? I was also a little thrown off from the music and because some of the words were very small I had a hard time understanding what you were pitching.

      • kstooshnov 1:19 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Great feedback, Jenaca,

        Happy to hear that I caught your attention, and now I’ve got to make clear what it is I am pitching. Good news with this class blog is that I can upload an updated version of the elevator pitch, with less text, more messages that get to point of selling the virtual place I want to design, and also turn down the background music a few notches – this last feature came as a surprise to me, as it is built in with the “Make a Trailer” feature of iMovie ’11, but I am sure that the volume can be adjusted.

        Thanks for you input,

    • jarvise 10:19 am on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      The elevator pitch doesn’t really give an idea about the market or money to be made by the product. It gives an idea of what the product is and who is making it, but I’m not sure whether there is any money to be made here (or if there is a demand).


      • kstooshnov 1:48 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Good point, Emily,

        I seem to be marketing myself more than the program I want to design, and have not aimed at any specific investors: just the video game/web & app designers who are looking to expand their resources to include educational content. While I am still a bit in the dark as to where the money will come from, the Associate Dean of Arts & Social Sciences at a local university assures me that there is education money out there, The main reason I am taking this course is to find out for myself from where the money will come.

        As for selling “Shakespeare”, perhaps one of the most recognizable names in literature, there have been roughly four centuries of interest, and definite peaks and troughs within the field of education. My main point of the pitch, which I will continue to tinker with until I can make my message more clear, is that with the right digital tools and ingenuity for the way students engage with Shakespeare, the demand will come from the younger audiences to experience the plays as performance, rather than works of confusing text. Please continue to comment as my pitch evolves, and hopefully addresses yours and others’ concerns.

        Thank you,

    • Deb Giesbrecht 5:12 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Interesting elevator pitch Kyle – loved the dramatic pictures and music – very creative! I did have to go into the Venture Pitch to see what you were selling. Virtual players is an interesting concept and one that may assist in classroom education. You developed some really great graphics with accompanied music. Once I saw a virtual exhibit which included some famous chairs – you could sit down in Marie Antoinette’s chair and look out the window and see exactly what she would have seen back then. Your venture concept made me think of that.

      • kstooshnov 1:27 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks Deb,

        It is really exciting to see where virtual and augmented can take learners, including Marie Antoinette’s chair or amongst the groundlings at the Globe Theatre. I’m really surprised that no one has yet marketed a virtual Globe outside of Second Life. One German company, Welt der Wunder, seems to be moving in the right direction with their augmented theatre, seen in this YouTube clip but I am more interested in promoting the plays, rather than just the building itself.

        Thank you for the feedback,

    • Angela Novoa 5:45 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Kyle,

      I enjoyed your elevator and venture pitch. Certainly your venture has a market gap and the product is innovative. The dramatic tone of both pitches makes the product more attractive. I missed more detailed information about the competency of the venture’s leaders, their competitors, the amount of money required for investing in this project, the way in which the venture will receive incomes, and the time-lapse expected to receive them.



      • kstooshnov 1:37 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hello Angela,

        One of the reasons that detailed information (about leaders, competitors and returns on investment) is missing from the pitches is, quite frankly, they were not there. Globe 3.0 is truly a start-up business, and while someone with more financial savvy could make predictions about where this venture will go, I am testing the waters with these pitches, and pleased to see a few positive reaction. While most reslies seem to like the style of presentation, I also understand that both are lacking the convincing content to sell my idea. I appreciate everyone for posting thoughtful comments, and I am currently working on updates for the pitches, which I will post presently.

        Thanks for sharing,

    • mcquaid 11:31 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi, Kyle.
      The production values of your pitch were great. It was entertaining, so I was hooked. I was shocked to notice at the end that it (unfortunately) was 30% longer than the maximum length allowed, though. Too bad… I liked the music, images, fonts, clips… they fit nicely together. Perhaps if you took out of some of the textless clips (that sometimes seemed unrelated), you could have been closer to sixty seconds.
      I was curious as to why – for an online Shakespearean venture – you chose the styles of things you did. The B-movie / alien / cold war vibe, I think, detracts from viewers understanding what you’re pitching. Some of your voiceless scenes didn’t, I think, suit the real essence of what you were trying to say. They came across more suited to the style of clip you created.
      In the end, I was emotionally won over. I was entertained. Unfortunately, I felt a little confused / misled, though, and didn’t have enough to make an informed decision on what I might or might not invest in.



      • kstooshnov 1:48 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Woo hoo, emotionally won over, you say?

        Thank you for the feedback, and I was really happy when I found out that iMovie ’11 had trailer templates, and while it would have been tempting to pitch the project as a romantic comedy or James Bond movie, I like that “film noir” had thrilling music as well as enough text to get the message across. Thanks to yours and other comments, I have retooled the teaser trailer – but am still not able to get it down to a minute – and provided a clearer message for potential investors. Hope that the link to this blog entry makes it clear that they can find out more facts after being entertained and won over as well.

        All the best,

    • Deb Kim 1:40 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Kyle,

      You caught my attention as well. You did a great job on both the elevator and venture pitch. I especially loved your “teaser trailor” version of the elevator pitch.
      One thing I wasn’t quite sure is what your venture is exactly about. However, I was able to figure it out after watching your venture pitch twice and reading the coursemates’ comments. It’s a very interesting venture to me even though Shakespear is not the topic in my area of teaching. You did a good job on adding graphics, images, news clips, and videos to the venture pitch.

      How is your product unique? How is it different from your competitors?


      • kstooshnov 2:15 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks Deb, glad you asked!

        Most of the Internet presentation of Shakespeare’s plays have either been through YouTube or SecondLife, and generally not the same as watching the play performed live. The clip that I included of Ben Crystal reciting the opening chorus of Henry V (both in Received Pronunciation and the Original Pronunciation) gives the Virtual Globe 3.0 the advantage of getting the words right. The whole project should seem like a Panoramic Ball Cam had been sent back in time to capture the performances (as well as the audience reactions) at the old Globe Theatre of Shakespeare’s London during one of his plays. Difficult? yes. Expensive? very! Possible? let’s see if any investors are interested.

        I appreciate your thoughts on this project,

    • hall 4:27 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      Your pitch was quite appealing and exciting. It captured my attention from the beginning to the end. The sound track and sequencing of ideas were good. Virtual player is good venture that could attract many users. I think it will bring flexibilities and interest to the teaching and learning of literature or English. However, I think your pitch lacked some key elements such as market target group, investment returns and competitors.

    • andrea 7:54 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hello Kyle,
      These were interesting pieces to watch, in part because you’ve woven together so many visual resources. Your elevator pitch piqued my curiosity, but left me a bit confused about your venture. I agree with Stephen’s comments on some of the scenes; I thought a shorter version would have served just as well.

      Your venture pitch was a small theatrical work (or should I call it ‘play’?). If I were investing in a venture like this, I would want to know that you had the dramatic chops to pull it off – and also preview your presentation and theatrical style – and you’ve given us a window into that. The clips from CNN succinctly illustrated the continuing relevance of Shakespeare, and the clip of Mary Hartman of Bard on the Beach really drove home the idea that Shakespeare should be fun, and that youth are generating new language just as Shakespeare and his contemporaries were. Ms. Hartman was very engaging and convincing, obviously brings a wealth of experience to the venture, and she inspired a lot of confidence in this would-be investor.

      It wasn’t until about 6 minutes in that I understood what your venture is, and providing that context earlier would have helped me to more fully appreciate some of the ‘support’ you presented for your viewpoint. I appreciate the artful presentation of your pitch, and you have convinced me of your passion for Shakespeare, but I wasn’t sure how you were actually going to pass that along or foster that with students. Are the students the virtual players, or are they the audience? What technologies and media would be involved – for example, is it mostly audio, or video, or text-based?

      This is a really interesting and engaging concept, and I’d be interested to see this it in action.


    • khenry 6:16 am on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hello Kyle,

      As others have already mentioned, your pitch was very engaging. The music was very dramatic and reflected your dramatic content; I like this concept of using the theme of your product within your pitch, even though I am not sure if from a business perspective it would impress ‘the suits’ :-).

      However, I also agree that I did not get an idea of your problem and solution (exact product) or what I as an investor would be investing in or if I want to invest for that matter. Perhaps using some text with blitz of such information would be useful and/or a shot clip of you highlighting the key elements, in keeping with your dramatic theme of course.

      I got more of an idea of your product from your venture pitch and was very interested, particularly with the visuals at the end looking at the potential of global online creation and immersion with persons across the globe. Therefore, it is essential that you define your target group because you could have so many. It could even go commercial and a potentially great social network activity. Also, I did not really get an idea of how the product will actually work: how users would access your product, your market, market share, key players and experience, competence to deliver and sustain/innovate your product and how I as an investor could make money.
      I hope you do continue on this. Would love to see the final version and your launch 😉


    • murray12 8:44 am on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hey Kyle,

      I must say that I saw a great deal of potential in the visual and theatrical elements of of your pitch. I enjoyed the initial narrative you began with the site of the original Globe theatre on Gmaps and then traveling to Vancouver. From this point on I felt you could’ve built on Shakespeare’s worldly appeal and today’s technology to state the benefit from your product. But, I’m afraid, like others, I was unsure what the product was and how I could be involved.
      I like your above comment about the web providing an organic environment for changing posts and content and I would very much like to see a later version that truly details what your product is about.


  • Kristopher 11:56 pm on November 27, 2011
    5 votes

    Hello all! Here is my elevator pitch. And here is the entire venture proposition! Kristopher    

    Continue reading Hello all! Here is my elevator pitch. An… Posted in: Week 13: Venture Forum
    • jarvise 10:19 am on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Clear pitch. I got an idea of what the product is, and the fact that there is a demand for it. No financial stats were provided. However, it was clear that the idea was a solicitation. When I read through your proposal, it was more evident that this was being marketed to schools and teachers. I would be hesitant to invest, as I question whether a school or board would make this enough of a priority to invest in it in today’s cash-strapped market. I like how you have developed this – it may work as a free online sharing space. I question how much buying power teachers have.


      • Kristopher 11:25 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Emily!

        Thank you for the feedback. I think you identify very valid concerns with the venture. It is something that I would like to provide free of charge, but have had a hard time wrapping my head around not making money on a new venture.



    • Angela Novoa 1:47 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Kristopher,

      I really enjoyed your Elevator and Venture Pitch. Your Venture Pitch seems strategic for investment. It offers an innovative product that meets a real concern for educators. Today, being interconnected and sharing learning experiences around common ideals is a relevant issue to address. I think that you have a target and a market for your product. Your Venture Pitch provides information about the benefits that the product offers and how it is different from other ventures. It clearly shows the competency level of the venture’s leaders and provides an overview of competitors. However, it is not clear how and where buyers will be reached (marketing), how much money is required for investing on the project, and how much or how soon the investor will be recompensed. As an EVA, I would suggest to provide more information about these issues in order to decide whether investing on the product or not. Overall, you have provided an innovative venture and I think that you will capture a large number of clients.


      • Kristopher 11:27 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Angela,

        I had a real hard time identifying how much money is required (specifically how to come up with a number); it reminded me a little of Dragon’s Den where someone presents a pitch and then asks for a certain amount of money invested for the exchange of a share of the company– I just wasn’t sure how to crunch those numbers. The result is that it is lacking from my pitch, which serves to weaken the entire pitch.

        I am glad that you liked the idea; it was good fun to think it through and try and find an untapped niche. Thanks for the thoughts!


        • jarvise 11:58 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Hi Kristopher,

          I totally agree with having no idea about financial aspects. I did a lot of research in this area, and ended up just doing a quick estimate of what I might need. Doing the projections, though, is tough too. I saw a presentation online where they had a graph showing the growth curves for different types of ventures. I couldn’t for the life of me find that information in all my searching, and the graph in the presentation was blurry so I couldn’t get the reference info on it. I found that aspect of this assignment particularly difficult, and to be honest, I am suspect of the financials I see in other people’s presentations. My spidey sense is attuned to this issue now. It seems that you can get general ideas of growth from similar businesses in the industry you’re targeting, but there is a lot of speculation. As a math teacher, I find it all a little hokey. (but I don’t have a business background – maybe there’s an appropriate technique out there…)


    • mcquaid 11:57 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi, Kris.
      I liked your logo and overall presentation – some quality work there! It was apparent you put some thought and time into the graphics, including your mock-ups of what the program would look like on devices. My only technical criticisms about the pitch are:
      – how the timing of your audio introduction and your pop-up name don’t match
      – the slow pan animation blocks the view by times
      – sometimes the speech may be a bit hurried

      As much as it was well done, slick, and had some great ideas, I couldn’t help but wonder if the same task / job could not be done with other existing (and possibly free programs). What sets this apart from setting up a group on Facebook or Ning? Does it afford anything Moodle wouldn’t? Maybe I just didn’t cull enough information as a viewer, but, after a couple of views, I wondered if the venture was that different from existing things.

      Still, all-in-all – a very good, professional pitch!



      • Kristopher 6:50 am on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for the feedback Stephen! I decided that because I was doing a mock venture that I should try and make it seem as real as possible, that’s why I spent a little time throwing together the images. I struggled with the audio quite a bit and never was quite happy (I had no idea that reading a script aloud, that the script would have to be so short!).

        I have been thinking over your thoughts on other tools doing the same function. I see where you are coming from because I have felt the same about the other ventures that I have read about. I think the uniqueness comes in how you match it to the audience and honestly, how you sell it.

        Thanks for the thoughts,


    • Deb Kim 1:55 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Kristopher,

      I love your venture idea. While watching and reading about your venture, I came up with an idea that we can collaborate to create a venture together because your venture idea connects to mine. 🙂
      I also value collaboration very importantly. As global learning has been emphasized since education pays its attention to the 21st century learning, why not collaborate globally through network?
      Just like others, I liked your logo and presentation. I especially liked your elevator pitch as it grabs the audience’s attention and has all the important information on Think, Act… connect.

      I also liked the use of geographic web browsing to display organizations by categories.
      You mentioned the annual fee for TAC and I wonder how you’d convince people to purchase your product. I mean, what are some unique features of your product that are different from your competitors?



      • Kristopher 6:58 am on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Deb,

        I am a firm believer that collaboration is the key. The annual fee was a bit of a second thought as I was still very much stuck in the mindset that I needed to make money for the venture to have value; I know that is a fallacy, but it still stuck that I wanted to add something in. In the end, I decided that a collaborative space for an annual fee was a nice way of doing so, but ultimately, that is nothing more than a host server.

        Thanks for the thoughts,


    • andrea 8:16 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Kristopher,

      Great concept, and a very polished presentation! Your concept has heart (if that makes sense), and I think everyone can relate to the ideas you present about the value of connecting people and creating a network for local and international citizenship.

      You really covered a lot of content in your elevator pitch, and from it I got an excellent picture of your venture. However, I’m kind of a *slow processor* so I needed to listen to it a few times before it really sunk in. I’d like to add to Stephen’s comments about the possibility of doing this same thing with existing tools. Your venture brings together the affordances of a number of tools, but I guess the challenge is making it so convenient or effective that it couldn’t be replicated simply by pulling together the tools independently, and adding value through the unique combination or functionality?

      By the way, I thought your venture pitch was really well-written — great flow and had a very straightforward yet business-like tone. 🙂


      • Kristopher 7:00 am on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hey Andrea,

        I struggled with making it sound sincere while still hitting the professional note, but upon listening to it again a couple days later, it sounded wordy and a little confusing– it wasn’t you:) Thanks for the feedback on both pitches!


    • verenanz 11:03 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Kris!
      I love and really apprecaite your idea- as a human. Thank you.

      I couldn’t watch your pitch (China) so I read your about your idea. I thought your writing was clear and engaging. I knew exactly what you were selling. Very well done.
      I was just at a Free Virtual Conference last week though, on this very topic…they key word being free….I think the App idea is great, but educators are great networkers….I think you alluded to the point that it would not just be for educators though…
      Anyway, here is the website on the virtual conference.

      I really appreciated your idea!

      • Kristopher 7:02 am on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Verena,

        I find what you mention here to always be a struggle with teachers specifically: teachers a go-getters, when there is something they need, they seek or create; at the same time, they are overloaded and very busy people. It is tough to create a venture that will speak to the teacher and show value in that it lightens their load, without constraining them or requiring hours and hours to get functional. That was one of the concepts behind my venture.

        Thanks for the link! It’s impressive how these things come together and even more so that they can be free. All the best in your travels!


    • murray12 9:08 am on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hello Kristopher,

      I very much enjoyed reading through your pitch. Your product sounds like a very positive addition to helping to improve the world. I found your writing clearly stated what you’re offering educators, but as an investor I might have some reservations. As someone mentioned before, as an investor I might be worried whether schools would really make the product a priority in their budget. Also, as an educator I may want to be involved in your product, but, as you mention, an already full workload tends to bog teachers down. Perhaps explaining to teachers how your product meets particular PLOs could increase interest (just a thought). Otherwise, a great product for the world, but the lack of facts, figures, and financial strategy might turn me away as an investor.

    • khenry 6:23 am on December 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hello Kristopher,
      Well done on your pitch. I also echo comments by McQuaid and Jarvise. However, in terms of attracting investors you could think of targeting investment from NGOs or Government agencies that align themselves with Millennium Development goals, http://www.beta.undp.org/undp/en/home/mdgoverview.html. Your venture rests strongly here. They could be great partners and also carry their own network of persons.
      If you wanted to go commercial, then you could think of connecting teachers who develop learning/other ventures within your aims and objectives and market them within TAC. Subscription fees apply and other potential earnings are introduced.


    • Deb Giesbrecht 4:57 pm on December 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Kristopher – great elevator pitch – loved the graphics and voice over was very clear and concise. Very intrapreneurial concept. I also really like your acronym. You were very calm, cool and collected. You certainly have a very noteworthy cause. Your market is expansive– globally (literally), and you have identified a significant gap in the market and have come up with a very plausible, feasible and doable solution – made me want to learn more. Your venture appears well thought out and researched – certainly something that I would look further into investing. You have identified a few key strengths and demonstrated a concise and clear plan. Excellent job!

  • khenry 11:39 pm on November 27, 2011
    5 votes

    Hello all, Chat bout is a mobile and internet language learning app that delivers specified instruction to speakers of two languages, the main objective being to transpose between dual languages that exist within a country. In Jamaica the focus will be how to transpose between Standard English and Patois (the native language of Jamaica), the […]

    Continue reading Chat bout – a mobile language learning app Posted in: Week 13: Venture Forum
    • Juliana 11:32 am on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Kerry-Ann,

      I am afraid I had some issues opening up your venture pitch. Can you please email it to me at sjc.met@gmail.com?


      • kstooshnov 1:25 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Kerry-Ann

        Me too, but it is more to do with my old-fashioned laptop (only came out in 2006!) not being able to read .docx files. I will be able to download it off the school’s computer when I go there on Tuesday.

        Looking forward to reading more about chat bout,

      • khenry 8:35 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hey Juliana and Kyle,
        Juliana I sent you an email with a new (97-2003) format. I also changed the version in my post to reflect this new format. Hopes this helps. If you still have problems please let me know.


    • Kristopher 11:48 am on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Kerry-Ann,

      Very interesting venture! I have always found it so interesting how different forms of English develop into their own, without considering the repercussions of being outside of the mainstream. To improve on your pitch, I would have liked to have seen some mock-ups of how you imagine the product looking/feeling. It would be helpful to envision people using the product.



      • khenry 2:16 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for your comments Kristopher. This is indeed valuable and I did try to get screen shots for a few examples but they proved problematic. Perhaps in lieu of that, apart from the email contact, I could also have provided a link to view examples since the shots were not apparent. However, given the knowledge of context of the app, I played on the confidence that targeted investors and partners would have enough cultural knowledge and would have been piqued enough to request a meeting or further info.


    • Jim 5:17 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Kerry-Ann!
      I learned something from your elevator pitch! I was not aware of the difficulties that some Jamaicans have learning standard English… I think your idea is great. In the elevator pitch, which I thought was very well produced, sometimes there is not enough time to read everything on the screen. But, then I thought, instead of lengthening the video why not cut out some of the information in the elevator pitch? The info about the CEOs is great but perhaps better for the longer Venture Pitch? I think if you briefly describe how it would work, how it would help (which you do) and how it would be a valuable investment, then I think you are good.

      • khenry 2:34 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Jim,
        Thanks for your comments.
        I agree with you and did think of that when I ran it but here was my philosophy: I watched quite a few pitches and thought, ‘if i’ve never heard of you/your credibility why would I even give you a second thought’. So I gambled that the pitch would have been engaging enough and that all information would have there so if they wanted they could go back and perhaps freeze frame if they really, really, needed to (had to keep it in one minute). Does that seem plausible? I debated with it for a long time. I went over it a few times after viewing your comments and I will try another option.


    • Everton Walker 8:06 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      Loving the chat bout concept. I am ready to invest as our students are failing to make the distinction between the two languages. I think like seriously, we need to come up with more innovative ideas to combat this problem as it is prevalent at the tertiary level too.


      • khenry 2:35 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks Everton. So true. It’s something I have been thinking about for a while now and it is something that needs to be addressed in a new way indeed.


    • Allie 5:23 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hey Kerry-Ann!
      Awesome. What a terrific concept, narrowly defined and eminently doable. I’m wondering who might be buying the app? school boards? schools? national level? individuals? Like Jim, I had a little problem reading all of the text; I think he’s right that maybe some of the info could also be reserved for the VP?
      cheers, A

      • khenry 2:39 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Allie,
        Thanks for your comments. You can scroll up too see my comments to Jim (rather than repeat here). I did also include in the VP. Thanks.

        That’s the great think about the App. It will be accessed and purchased by both individuals and schools. It has the potential to be a national initiative indeed. Thanks.


    • Tamara Wong 8:33 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I really like the Chat bout concept! Like Jim I had no clue that some Jamaicans had difficulties learning standard English. Your elevator pitch was enticing and made me want to learn more but as others said there is a little too much information and not enough time to read it in your video. It could be eliminated from your elevator pitch and put into your venture pitch. In your venture pitch I really appreciated how you explained your reasons for using cell phones and the various plans you created for your app. It seems as if you thought of everything in making this accessible to your market, including partnering with cell phone companies to help with texting costs. I think your usage of text messages is brilliant, it has the potential to provide students with authentic materials every day. Your approach lends itself to constructivism. After I finished reading your venture pitch I realized that you could expand this market from Jamaicans to all English users with some changes! Your market size would grow exponentially and from an ESL teacher perspective would provide an opportunity for students to use English everyday! I love you concept and would like to know more about it!

      • khenry 2:43 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Tamara,
        Thanks for your comments. I agree with the wordiness of the CEO slide, the philosophy of which I shared in my reply to Jim above, please scroll up. I would like to hear what you think about it.

        I did think of the expanded market indeed. Thanks for adding the theoretical and contextual concepts and applications.


    • carmen 12:08 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Great job on the pitches, Kerry-Ann!

      Interesting idea to go into the non-smart phone market to target at risk groups, where improving their education can improve their quality of life . Going mobile allows learners to review short lessons on the go. It sounds like you will have to first convince a mobile provider to be your partner. I wonder if there are similar existing business partnership models that we could refer to.

      • khenry 2:49 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Carmen,
        Thanks for your comments.
        The 60/40 share revenue split is part of my ‘pulling factor’ for the mobile partners. While there hasn’t been anything of the nature of what I am proposing, they have engaged in partnerships in which they typically use a 65/35 share revenue scheme. However, I have and will continue to search to see if I find anything reflective of the desired partnership.


    • verenanz 10:31 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Kerry-Ann!
      Well done – I couldn’t see the Elevator Pitch as I am in China…but your analysis was very well done. I question what makes it different form any ohter translating App…but it seems to be its educational focus on “strict” language? Good job.

      • khenry 4:50 am on December 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thank you Verena. Great job yourself! Good luck with your venture. Hope it is going well.

        Thank you for your question. The app is different from a translating app. A translating app says the meaning in one language to another. This app indeed looks at strict language but also identifies common mistakes and corrective mechanisms through understanding the difference between uses and contexts within the two languages.

        Does this provide further clarity?


    • Juliana 6:49 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Kerry-Ann,

      I had a look at your venture pitch and I thought it was pretty thorough. I also liked the fact that you chose a medium that would work well in Jamaica and the Caribbean. I thought that was a great idea. So many times software or ventures have been created without thinking about the audience. In addition, you also have some numbers to back up your venture too. I also like the fact that you were looking to fit all the different phones out there. That is my biggest pet peeve with having a BlackBerry. Everyone goes on and on about how apps are the greatest thing in the world, but there is nothing really made for BlackBerry. It looks like you have thought of this and are making efforts to make sure that your venture will fit the different mobile phones out there.


      • khenry 4:54 am on December 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Juliana,
        Thank you for your comments. Interoperability is indeed an essential consideration in the venture. I also have a BlackBerry and I feel the same as you :-). There are also users who do not have smartphones who are even more out of the loop in accessing such products and services.


    • Allie 5:21 pm on December 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      After reading your venture pitch, I remain convinced that Chat Bout is an original and wonderful idea. if it can effectively improve language performance in English, I’m certain that many people will want to use it – and that many schools and government and corporate training programs will also want it for students (in the case of schools) and professional development. Your figures on mobile use in Jamaica convince me that the potential market is vast – and that this is the ideal technology to deliver learning to them. You have me convinced on the three crucial things…

      is there a need? yes
      is there a want? yes
      is this the right technology for the context? yes

      Fantastic! In my investor role, I say, let’s make this happen.

      As an investor/reviewer, I find I’m wanting to know more about the content of the lessons – my sense from your pitch is that the problem isn’t the amount of lessons the students already get, it’s that their delivery and design perhaps needs to be re-thought to work more effectively. I want to know how these lessons on chat bout might work – what are the language learning and instructional design principles that you’re drawing on; how do they best take advantage of the affordances of mobile technology?

      As an investor/reviewer, I’m also wondering – are there any models we can built off of? Are there successful similar technologies that we might emulate features of – or things we might want to avoid?

      As a Canadian investor/reviewer, I’m wondering if maybe you could use US dollar figures throughout? (I say USD because it seems to operate as a kind of gold standard, and is perhaps the most easily grasped by international audiences).

      Lastly, there was a book published a few years ago titled something like ‘the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid’. the title sounds pretty exploitative, but I think that the overall idea has to do with developing ventures that genuinely enhance life for the 80% who make up the bottom of the global economic pyramid; this is a viable market to cater to. That work may be useful for case studies, strategy development, or interesting reading.

      best regards, Allie

      • khenry 4:58 am on December 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Allie,
        Thank you for your comments and questions which will add further weight to my proposal. Great questions. These will definitely be answered in a longer proposal. I will definitely include converted figures but my initial pitch was aimed locally.


    • David Berljawsky 7:55 am on December 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      Great, great idea and pitch.

      Things that stood out for me: Your research was excellent. It was obvious that you had a passion for the product. Your paper was organized in a way that was easy to read, and easy to find the relevant information. I liked the fact that you included media in the paper, this made the venture easier to understand and by providing a visual it made it seem more real to me.

      Your elevator pitch was well designed with a great voice over and music. My only critique was that there was too much information in there, I did the same thing for my pitch. It’s really tough to narrow things down.

      I thought that it was a great idea to target Jamaica, and concentrate on the needs of students there. It provided me with more of an understanding of the project this way. It seemed to be more influencial this way.

      Excellent project!


      • khenry 8:37 pm on December 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi David,

        Thanks for your comments. I agree that the elevator pitch had a lot of information. I battled with how best to include ‘the essential’ elements and the best way to present in the given time. In the end I gave in and hoped that there was enough hook that persons would either watch again and freeze frame or contact anyway. I wanted to be safe rather than sorry and at least have ‘everything’. After such great analysis and comments and watching everyone’s pitches I have some new ideas on how to improve this.

        Thanks for taking the time to review it.


    • themusicwoman 7:52 pm on December 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Dear Kerry-Ann,
      Wow. Great concept. Like it. As others have mentioned, had no idea about the issues Jamaican people would have with English language. Your elevator pitch was very rich with information and I was a little overwhelmed with it but my engagement level was high so I simply watched it again! You certainly had my attention.
      As for your venture pitch, what a fabulous professional document. It was easy to find sections as they were clearly laid out. You have identified a product, explained it, and laid out the niche that it is to fit into. You’ve identified the need and it is clear for me as an investor, that there would be a demand for it. Of course, that would be if I were a Jamaican investor! As it is, I bet there would be some North American companies that would be interested 🙂
      I enjoyed the visuals employed in your venture outline. Again, the clearly organized sections are to be commended. I think you’ve hit it bang on in three areas: great application with a clear solution to a problem, a very clearly organized pitch and the fact that the technology that is available here and now to implement it.

    • khenry 8:43 pm on December 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Michelle,
      Thank you for your comments and taking the time to review my project. And thank you for rewatching the pitch and letting me know that it had a hook that encouraged you to look at it again to recap anything you had missed. As I said to David, I battled with how best to include ‘the essential’ elements and the best way to present in the given time. I did think it may have been too much information but hoped there was enough hook that persons would either watch again and freeze frame or contact anyway if it was too quick or too much. I really appreciate your comments as they and others (along with viewing other pitches) have given me more thoughts and insight on how to improve it.



  • Alice 11:38 pm on November 27, 2011
    1 votes

    Tags: , , virtual simulations   

    Dress Rehearsal is a gesture-based sewing instruction application for Apple and Android mobile devices. In the Dress Rehearsal application, beginning sewists will develop and rehearse foundational sewing and dressmaking skills and techniques on a virtual sewing machine before ever setting needle to fabric. In this rich, simulated sewing studio, learners will use the tactile affordances […]

    Continue reading Dress Rehearsal: A Gesture-based Sewing Instruction Application Posted in: Week 13: Venture Forum
    • Julie S 9:20 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Allie,

      Good job of making the market clear in terms of size of market and type of user – tech savvy yet traditional. You continued to make the market super clear in your venture pitch. I started out quite skeptical of the concept but after reading your report it made a lot of sense. Good luck with this if you are really going to pursue it. Sounds exciting.

      – Julie

      • Allie 11:47 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks very much for your feedback, Julie! I’m particularly happy to read that my idea was compelling and clearly laid out enough to win over a skeptic! (I was also happy to receive your comment; i was quite apprehensive after seeing my post go up in a sea of very academically oriented learning tech ventures that people would look at it and say… sewing!? really!?)

    • David William Price 9:25 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Allie

      KUDOS! you are the only person in the ten pitches I watched who actually made an elevator pitch… meaning an in-person, face-to-face pitch in your own voice. As one of our shy members (your post about pseudonyms)

      I have to emphasize how amazing this is! I’ve actually helped create three pitches for real entrepreneurs and watched them pitch to real investors. I can’t tell you how important it is that investors see and hear the founder and determine whether they like the person, can work with the person, and trust the person.

      Thank-you for doing this! I will definitely review your venture pitch.

      • Allie 11:50 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        danke schoen! The EPs I reviewed early in term were all sweaty-palmed entrepreneurs in front of a camera, and so I didn’t think to do anything else! I appreciate your comments about the importance of affect in these EPs, and thanks for reviewing my VP!.

    • andrea 6:12 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hello Allie,
      Congrats on a strong elevator pitch and venture pitch. As Julie noted, you did a great job illustrating the size of the market both in people and dollars. I also liked your clear characterization of your potential buyer as “traditional yet tech-savvy.” Well done!

      • Allie 11:56 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks Andrea! It’s funny how we often think of traditional and tech-savvy as being somehow opposed; throughout the course, I kept reflecting about how totally integrated technology is within sewing and crafting communities; with nearly every emerging market we discussed, I found I could see the intersections with lifelong learning so much more clearly than with academic anthropology and art history (what I formally teach). I designed Dress Rehearsal to respond to my own key frustrations with learning to sew (I’m entirely self-taught, and learned through online resources over the last 1.5 years).
        Cheers, Allie

    • Angela Novoa 5:16 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Allie,

      Great job! Your elevator and venture pitch offer an innovative and attractive product. I am sure that there is a market gap for Dress Rehearsal. As it has been mentioned before, you provided a detailed venture pitch with strong information about the size of the market (speaking of population and money required). I missed information about the competency of the venture’s leaders and advisors (championship). Could you provide information about the members of this venture and how they have become experts on this field?

      Congrats on developing a strong and innovative concept.


      • Allie 12:08 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Angela,
        Thanks so much for your kind comments! I admit that when I wrote the VP, I didn’t go back to our 2.7 materials on “anatomy of a pitch;” I simply looked at the course requirements page. And am kicking myself a little! I don’t yet have a management team in place, although I think that my *needs* would be someone with good knowledge of web development, and someone with good knowledge about the market in learning applications, and someone with great knowledge of and connections within the overall sewing/crafting market. I’m pretty sure that through my network I have two of those three covered – I know a fantastic web developer, and a fashion designer who teaches garment design and construction at a few of the local fashion schools.
        As for my own expertise as venture leader, I’m an educator (doing this MET program, but also having developed and taught post-secondary courses for 8 years) and a sewist. I’m I only began to learn how to sew a year and a half ago, and am entirely self-taught, off of online resources. Turns out that’s how most crafters today learn (Torrey et all 2009). I came up with the idea for Dress Rehearsal when I was working through a technique I learned online – and for the first time wasn’t going back and forth from my computer to the sewing machine, awkwardly trying to piece the two pieces of fabrics together. It was finally a fluid process, and I thought – how about I design a learning program for sewing that’s portable and small enough to be held at the sewing table (i.e. mobile device), and that helps sewists learn by doing – not by reading or showing.
        best, Allie

        • Angela Novoa 10:58 am on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Hi Allie,

          Thanks for the information that you provided. I am really messy at sewing, but maybe, by having the experience of Dress Rehearsal, I could be able to learn (I am always enthusiastic about gaming and simulated environments for learning). I think that your idea is really innovative. I watch at my niece having such a good taste on combining colors. She plays with web 2.0 apps to make dresses but have never sewed. I think that she would learn a lot from your product.


    • David William Price 10:55 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Elevator pitch assessment

      Allie – Dress rehearsal

      First Impression: Shows the CEO speaking directly to us, reading is distracting, clever product name

      CEO Credibility: Seems confident in her concept and smiles at the end and appears to be an example of her own target market

      Management Team: No team is mentioned, but the CEO appears and seems to be her own subject-matter expert for the sewing and m-learning aspect, at least at a high level.

      Venture Concept: Gesture-based sewing learning using m-learning devices, including feedback and troubleshooting. Not sure how this would work. Is the sewing with a machine or by hand? Intriguing enough to read more.

      Opportunity Space: Young, female, traditional but tech savvy. Addressing $29 billion crafting industry and 12 million 18-34 US women using m-learning devices. Not clear how many young women are sewing… would be a good number to have. No indication of pricing or revenues.

      Market Readiness: No description of how this will be marketed or distributed, how to enter the market or how to grow presence.

      Competitive Edge: Claimed advantage is m-learning gesture-based advice and troubleshooting.

      Exit Strategy: No indication of their target market, its size, or how they will capture it. No indication of what investment is wanted or how it will be repaid.

      Overall Investment Status: CEO seems earnest about the concept and defines a broad market. Concept appears lower risk as it’s an m-learning app, however there is likely very little upside for an investor—how many will buy this app and how long will it take to repay me? I don’t know how much cash is asked. Would be interested to read more to see how the crafting market and m-learning market intersect in an m-learning sewing market.

      • Allie 12:45 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Many thanks for your detailed review of my EP, David. You offer many good points to consider, and if I am to revise my EP, I certainly will take them into account. It’s a new genre for me.
        – I was a little disappointed too that i was reading off script more than I would like. Especially because I pride myself on my lecturing/public speaking skills. Given my own time constraints – having well and truly knocked myself out over that Social Analytics presentation the week before – and my and my partner-producer’s difficulties working iMovie that weekend, it was the best I could do (I wanted to do some splicing, and demonstration, but it just wasn’t happening 🙁 ). I realize one could raise one’s finger and object “but in the real world!” My real world is that I had both assignments worth the same % back to back. Not saying that your point isn’t well taken.
        – interesting that you wonder if it would be hand or machine sewing. I’ll have to find a way to make it clearer that it would be machine sewing. hand sewing tends to be the province of couture (= really advanced).
        – it’s true – it’s difficult to gauge the number of sewists out there, especially in my demographic. IN the VP, I do mention the demographics and numbers of members and monthly unique hits for the two main english-language websites for 18-34 beginner sewists. Perhaps I could really do some sleuthing and find out the sales figures for beginner sewing books. i don’t know if that would be heavily guarded or relatively accessible. Have you any ideas?
        – pricing I mention in the VP (4.99, based on other educ virtual apps). It’s true that while I provided numbers of potential users (750,000 Burdastyle members, starting from 0 in 2007)), I didn’t project numbers for how many more members will register with Burdastyle over the next couple years, nor what % might want to buy Dress Rehearsal. I guess… I’m a little in the dark as to how many I could reasonably expect to use Dress Rehearsal. 5%? 10%? Do you have any idea how I might go about working that out?
        (Burdastyle is the massively popular sewing website for 18-34 year olds whose open source patterns would be taught on Dress Rehearsal.)
        – you ask for some things, that I think are totally reasonable, to include in the EP. Like most, I struggle with doing it in the most succinct possible way. If you have any suggestions for how I might very succinctly include any of these within my pitch, I’m all ears.

    • Deb Kim 3:54 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Allie,

      When I first saw “Sewing” in your title, I got really excited because I love making things too. Although I’m a huge fan of knitting, sewing is another area that I’d like to dig in. I’ve dreamt of making my own clothes but haven’t tried yet because it’s hard to teach myself without help either from a book (traditional way) or from technology (your venture fits perfectly!).
      I was a little curious at the beginning (before reading your venture pitch) how Dress Rehearsal was going to compete against other sewing apps or videos (e.g. YouTube) available online, but your clear venture pitch answered this question.
      Great work overall!


      • Allie 9:19 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Deb,
        I know! I learned from books/online resources – am *still* learning a lot! – and it’s really hard.
        But go sew! If I can do it, anyone can! Sewing one’s own clothes is awesome. And send me any sewing questions anytime – there are some awesome online resources that I’m more than happy to share!

    • David William Price 4:12 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Allie Dress Rehearsal – Venture Pitch assessment

      CEO Credibility: Founder does not provide description of herself, background, or qualifications.

      Management Team: Founder does not describe people involved or existing resources.

      Venture Concept: Gesture-based application on Android smartphones teaching women 18-44 how to sew using freely-available patterns. Gestures meant to guide learners through physical actions for handling fabric and sewing by hand and machine. App teaches basic skills missing from online instruction and helps use plentiful but poorly worded patterns

      Opportunity Space: Online sewing community over 500,000 members, average household income $70,000. Crafting growing, driven by beginning sewists. Majority self-taught relying on web, challenged to translate instruction into actions. Founder not describe target market share or revenue. Founder assumes “tech savviness” (needs definition) in sewists translates to purchasing smartphones.

      Market Readiness: Venture relies on existing technology (mobiles, gesture-interface software, apps) and existing content (sewing patterns, techniques). Touch-gesture input may require significant complex development and pilot-testing. “Vast majority” of users of sewing websites have sewing machine. Why they would practice with mobile rather than their machine? How well does learning on smartphone translate into intricate hand motions for handling fabrics and making stitches? Potential partnerships with pattern designers and websites mentioned but not described. Price of $4.99 high for mobile users and subject to 30% app market cut.

      Competitive Edge: Uses touch-gesture technology, potential significant development for application to sewing. Innovation may have high barrier to entry but unclear how well translates into transferrable sewing skills.

      Exit Strategy: Founder does not describe initial target market or how to grow, amount of investment, projected revenues, or timelines for return of investment.

      Overall Investment Status: Smartphone app relying on individual purchases. Highest selling apps tend to be games. Given app market fee, taxes, cost of goods, etc. how many need to be sold over how many years to recoup a $100k investment with a better return than the stock market? Not clear how founder will leverage partnerships to improve sales. Without demo or scientific backup to connect touch gestures to actual sewing learning, consider this investment high risk and would not pursue it.

    • Jay 8:19 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Allie,

      You have an interesting idea and I particularily like your idea on learning by doing as it touches on some of the educational theory I have been reading and the importance of not removing the learning from context. You describe the idea clearly in your elevator pitch and I found your venture pitch addressed key aspects such as the market and competition.

      One comment I have: While your target market is likely females, I would be careful in gendering your pitch as this might imply that men do not like to sew. I don’t doubt that there are more women occupy this market but I am just advocating for inclusion of men into such a pitch and caution gendering that may lead to exclusion. Just a thought on your great idea.


      • Allie 9:34 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Jay,
        Thanks for your review! I was also thinking a lot about how I targeted women specifically… especially since I’ve studied a lot of feminist theory in graduate school. And because a couple of the powerbloggers are really quite interested in the gendering associated with fashion and sewing – and the huge popularity of retro and vintage 50s patterns. And since one of my favourite sewing bloggers is a man (peter lappin, who writes “male pattern boldness”), and one of the topics that emerges every so often in the online sewingsphere is… do men sew? why do or don’t they?
        I was genuinely surprised to find out that women make up 95% of the market share (and that’s the lowest number I found; the other I found was 97%!); craft magazine’s ‘brother’ is Maker (of MakerFaire) magazine has similar numbers of male readers. If this weren’t a business oriented class and venture, I probably would have taken a somewhat more sensitive approach to gender, but given the assignment and audience, I took women to be the norm.
        Do you sew?

    • Jay 9:58 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for you response and glad to see your awareness and sensitivity to the matter. I think that even though it is a business context it is important to consider these issues to move past them, even in business. Thanks for presenting the numbers of male readers of a similar magazine.

      With regards to sewing, i do not sew myself mainly for lack of time to learn but hopefully in the future that changes. I would be interested in learning (mainly for practical purposes, not “sew” much as a hobby. It would be quite “handy” since I currently have a button that needs to be fastened to my winter coat!
      (Sorry for all the plays on words. Been a long day)



    • verenanz 11:12 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Allie! Absolutely love it…..Since I am in your target market…it doesn’t surprise me…(well done pointing that out). I couldn’t access your video (I’m in China) but I did read over your venture. I could “read” your enthusisam throughout the paper….and that’s what will sell this App!!!
      I think it’s a great idea…and if it happens- pls send me the link. $4.99 is a great price for such a great learning tool. Well done!

    • ashleyross 2:43 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Allie,

      I think you have a very interesting product. Reading through your VP you seem well researched and it was clear right away what this product was selling and how it would work. I also like the idea of tactile learning how to sew on a tablet or mobile device before moving over to the machine. I have to be honest, I love the idea and concept of sewing but unfortunately I was not provided with the sewing gene. I’m a little sewing inept even with a machine, so the idea of practicing before actually wasting fabric sounds wonderful to me. 🙂

      I have a few suggestions for improving your VP. Although you seem really knowledgeable regarding this field I would have liked to know a little more about your background and how you fit into Dress Rehearsal. Also, will you be personally designing the gesture-based interface of your product or how will it actually be developed? The only other addition I might suggest for a future VP is providing any challenges or weaknesses you’re working to overcome. Maybe it’s finding the right person to build the product? Regardless I think you have a great product and best of luck with it! Is this something that you are planning to develop?



    • mcquaid 5:39 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi, Allie. You’re in my top three! I liked your elevator pitch and how unique (yet lucrative) your market was. I was drawn to delve deeper (having a very crafty wife probably helped me visualize some things… especially potential revenue!). Here are some thoughts I had on your idea:

      Despite your 18-34 focus, I think there could be significant opportunity in the intermediate / high school market, too. You kept mentioning girls / women as your market, but what better way to increase boys’ interest in sewing (or knitting… more are doing it again now, after decades of not) than to put it on a mobile device. Maybe even make a serious game out of it – rewarding precision and correctness with points / trophies, etc. Home Economics might get a boost in enrolment and fun / attitude towards the course. That being said, I wonder how hard it would be to make your program look real and act realistically (animations / different fabrics, etc.).

      Another potential market that I think would be quite large is the cultural one. Imagine preserving craft-based traditions (thinking First Nations especially), so that youth could maintain their culture? I could easily see this also going into Parks Canada programming for classes / visitors.

      I thought your pricepoint was very reasonable. Simple games on something like a PS3 often market for $15 – $20, and may have no updates. If your program can be made as good as it sounds, I think you could easily up your price (your market’s pretty affluent, too, after all).

      I like the name, you made great points on scaffolding and practice, and I thought you put together a great variety of supportive research.

      I’m in!


  • mcquaid 9:01 pm on November 27, 2011
    6 votes

    Tags: , , , ,   

    Watch the rePhrase Elevator Pitch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mM5vMmMDWek Read the rePhrase Venture Pitch. Leave some constructive feedback. Thanks!            

    Continue reading rePhrase – A3 Posted in: Uncategorized, Week 13: Venture Forum
    • Jim 5:28 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Stephen!

      Very cool elevator pitch and I was struck by the similarity between your product and my product in terms of the underlying rationale. Both of our products assist students who have difficulty making meaning from text. Yours rephrases to a different reading level. Mine automatically adds relevant images.

      Anyway, constructive criticism: Your video could be six seconds longer 🙂 That gives you time to do a 6-second mock-up of what the rephrasing application might look like. That is about the only thing I thought was missing. I thought the part where you spoke was well written, concise, and communicated all you needed to communicate in a very short time. And, VERY cool logo. Makes my logo look like a hack job!

      (BTW – Your venture proposal will be one of the three I will be reviewing in more detail tomorrow. Right now, I am looking at all 10 and making an initial post re: the elevator pitch.)

      • mcquaid 6:42 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Jim, you can probably appreciate how long it took me to make that logo! From start to finish, it was in the “hours” category. I looked for a site that made free logos & had free / stock images. Since a finished logo had to be paid for, I ended up copying my designed logo, complete with grid lines into a photo-editing program, and erasing the grid lines / colouring in pixels by hand! I like what I ended up with, but would also like it to be a bit sharper.

        You’re absolutely right about those lost six seconds… that’s 10% more time I could have used! The final take of me you saw, though, was self-shot-take number 27. I was happy with what I ended up with by then!

    • bcourey 5:22 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Stephen,

      I was really impressed with the logo as well for your venture. You are definitely addressing a problem teachers face – finding reading materials that are leveled to the ability of the reader. As a former literacy coach for our schools, I feel your pain. As schools and students purchase more and more e-books, I can see this becoming very useful – but in the meantime, scanning and uploading paper books will be a very time consuming tasks for teachers and parents and I am wondering if they would be willing to do that. Also, you might consider offering some literacy strategies for teachers to help them help students progress in their reading abilities – otherwise they could stay “stuck” at a particular level with little incentive or assistance in improvement. You have a great idea though and you show a lot of insight in your self-reflection!


      • mcquaid 6:44 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi, Brenda. Being “stuck” is a worry of mine, too. I think rePhrase, if it ever really worked, would be but one tool in an LA / resource teacher’s tool box. Starting out, I think it would just work best on newer texts that schools already have in electronic form. If desired enough, scanned copies would also work (and would hopefully be less glitchy than Kurzweil when it comes to fonts, indents, and the like). Thanks for the comments!

    • Allie 5:32 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Stephen,
      Your confidence really shines though – giving me confidence in rePhrase – and the name perfectly encapsulates what rePhrase does. I admit that for something as compelling as literacy, I do find your delivery a little… dispassionate? It feels very get-the-job-done-right, but I’m maybe wanting a bit more heart. I think i’ll be giving your VP a good close read, but from the EP, I’m thinking that in an American context the costs of students failing reading levels goes beyond just the costs of their having to re-take a year. Under No Child Left Behind, schools can lose funding if the target % of students don’t pass their levels. I should say, they *are* losing funding, they are being threatened with closure, they are having programs cut, and entire schools have been closed due to underperformance. Unsurprisingly, the schools suffering the effects of NCLB are in poorer areas. This question may be answered in your VP, but i’m wondering about access to this service… In an American context, my understanding is that schools are funded through property taxes, and so that the schools that will best be able to afford rePhrase are richer school districts; will the poorer districts be able to get this service that they need?

      • mcquaid 6:46 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi, Allie. I get the “dispassionate” thing. Maybe a little too Jedi, I was. I think I was trying to project confidence and capability / trustworthiness (so I’m glad that came through), but (as in real life, too), I could probably have used a bit more “oomph” as well.
        To address the “who can use it” comments, I wonder if it could be worked into rePhrase’s pricing /availability plan that schools ID’d as needier / poorer would qualify for discounts or even free licenses…

        Thanks for the thoughts!

    • Keisha Edwards-Hamilton 7:00 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I am intrigued with your venture. As I went through you venture pitch I can see where it would be useful in my school since it could help students with reading problems. I like the fact that it actually make words simpler so that students can understand because many times students do not understand what they read and therefore may get “turned off” from reading. Although the idea encourages reading, I would add more options for rephrasing in an attempt to cater to the different multiple intelligences of learners. For example, probably I would include sounds and animation to hold readers attention to. Great concept!

      • mcquaid 6:49 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi, Keisha… maybe sounds and animations could be downloadable add-ons for the app, creating another source of revenue. Good thinking!

        You’re also right about the “turned off reading” point. I have students of mine in mind when I think of this program. I want them to feel capable, be able to read what everyone else in the class is reading, join in the conversation, and grow in their skills.

    • Juliana 9:29 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Stephen,

      You have an interesting idea here. I especially liked how you brought in all of the other educational research into your proposal. I think many times the reason why a venture falls flat is because they forget the basics.

      It also looks like you have done extensive market research on how this program can eventually grow. The fact that you took the time to do that would definitely sway an investor. I have not taught in the K-12 environment, but I can see where your product could be useful. I think I have always taken for granted my level of reading and comprehension and never really thought about the students who are struggling. As a result, I think your venture could provide a little bit of help to students who struggle.

      As with many of these ventures, it could be hard to gauge what people are willing to shell out their hard earned cash for. I do wonder if people would be willing to renew their license on a yearly basis, but that could be just my personal bias. I don’t like software or apps that do ask me to shell out money like that, but I think I am in the minority.


      • mcquaid 6:52 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi, Juliana.
        My reasoning for the yearly license was for a few reasons, I think:

        – a program like Kurzweil is quite expensive (four figures around here). I wanted to price myself WAY below that, and make my product look quite enticing.
        – some classes / schools will need this program more or less over the years as students come and go. This would allow them to get it when they need it and not renew when they don’t.
        – the affordable yearly license would ensure I have a continuing source of revenue instead of a one-time purchase.
        – the program may get tweaked from year to year, so a new download / license would be as up-to-date as possible

        Thanks for the thoughts!

    • jenaca 3:10 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Stephen,
      I was really impressed with your pitch and the idea you created! You are definitely targeting a current problem that many schools are faced with today- Implementing and finding reading materials that are leveled accordingly to the meet the needs of students. I also think the name rephrase is perfect for your venture.
      Although I think you have a great idea and pitch here, I am a little unsure about the idea of having the teachers scan and upload the paper books. Maybe this is something you could add to your pitch?
      Otherwise, I think you have a great idea!!

      • mcquaid 4:25 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        The scanning is something that crossed my mind about my idea as a drawback, as well – I figured I wouldn’t be the only person to think of it (as I see a couple have now). I think, where I saw the progression (whether I said it in my venture pitch exactly or not) was for the use with e-books first (no scanning needed), the use of scanned texts for those who really want them (it’s what we do with Kurzweil), and then… I imagined it as ultimately being something that would work best on a mobile. The user would use their mobile’s camera to see / capture text, and rePhrase would rephrase it for them. Google Goggles can translate… why can’t rePhrase reword?
        Hopefully that alleviates your concerns, my dear investor. 😉

    • jenaca 6:49 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      My concerns are alleviated!! 🙂
      I will be

      The Venture:
      rePhrase is the world’s first ever automatic text leveler and enabler of adaptive text. What rePhrase does is take text from a chosen reading level and adapt it (without changing meaning as much as possible) to make it readable for almost any reader. Taking existing school texts and eliminating the need for many differentiated materials makes things easier on teachers, students, and school budgets.

      Additional Information On How it Works:
      • rePhrase determines the reading level of a body of electronic text that someone wants to read
      • Next the reader will alter the difficulty with a sliding scale at the top of the interface
      • Once a new reading level has been established, the program will use the abilities of a thesaurus and grammar check to change the words of a text without changing its overall meaning or hurting its sentence flow
      • As students grow in ability, they can adapt or change the difficulty of the text to suit themselves

      My Thoughts:
      rePhrase is a well thought and developed idea. The elevator pitch includes the essential information to help me further my decision of investing deeper into this idea. The pitch included statistics, facts, was very precise about the idea and showed confidence. rePhrase definitely has a place in the educational market and have the potential to help schools improve their current reading scores. I believe for the future, this service could create their own reading line, which would enhance the status of this product and essentially create more revenue.
      Great Pitch!

      • mcquaid 6:54 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks, Jenaca. I’m glad you’ve been convinced! 😉
        I also like your reading line idea… what a great source of dynamic products and constant revenue!

    • Jim 6:39 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi again Stephen,
      I wanted to delve deeper into your Venture Pitch and provide some feedback in the form of a brief EVA analysis. As a potential investor, I am looking in your venture pitch for a variety of information:

      Entrepreneur confidence:
      You exude confidence and calmness in your on camera appearance. Did that confidence continue into your longer Venture Pitch? I think it did continue because I saw arguments made for this product that are reasonable and interesting. You educational background is an asset but I would want to know who you have heading up the business aspects of the company.

      Good product that will be in demand:
      I think rePhrase is a great idea but the road to develop an app that can accurately and quickly rephrase text AND retain the original meaning will be a challenge. I think a successful app in this case would almost need to border on a kind of artificial intelligence (AI) that hasn’t quite been developed. Synonymous word replacement is straightforward but meaning variability, meaning context, word use variability, word connotation variability, and so on might change the meaning of rephrased text so drastically that the original message would be lost. (See honest about challenges below)

      How big is the potential client base:
      I like your market description and you are absolutely right about its potential. You mentioned several ways that the user base could be increased such as bundling with new tablets or other devices. That is a very good idea if a deal could indeed could be struck!

      Can the product compete successfully on the market:
      You rightfully mention that there is no competition although if I was going to invest in your venture, I might look at some of the AI work being done. There are algorithmic summarizers that do an excellent job with text and the more sophisticated ones might apply some AI algorithms that go beyond mathematical models most often used.

      Are you honest about challenges:
      Your pros and cons section speaks well of this. I think you are enthusiastic and excited but also in tune enough with reality to know the limitations. Obviously, if you were to go further, you would need to look into other patents and any other products that even comes close to your idea, including summarizers. You would also need to look at feasibility. Can an app really rephrase text in the way you describe? That is, an app that can written now (not ten years from now…).

      Investment risk?
      I think there is risk in the investment of this venture because, while the idea is very clear and the demand would be great and the problems solved would be significant, the road to the development of a successful product is not clear by any standard. I think your product, in order to be successful, would depend on yet to be developed AI components because your algorithms would have to somehow get a handle on the meaning of the text. Replacing synonymous simple words for more complex words will not work. My own knowledge of the AI research and history of AI failures over the last 60 years does not make me feel very confident.

      P.S. The point I make in the Investment Risk section above is one I would aim at my own Venture, too. BreakOut Illustrator has no clear path to development because I am not sure the technology exists yet to actually do what I want the programming to do.

      • mcquaid 7:01 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi, Jim.
        I’d like to know more about who would (like to) be in on this venture as well, to steer it into fruition. Anyone? Bueller?
        You’re absolutely right about the technological challenges. One of the strengths of my product is also one of its biggest challenges – its novelty / ground-breaking nature. These technological / AI challenges will definitely be a large hurdle. It’s a risk… but I really do wonder if it would be worth it. If someone (or group) out there thought it was possible (I think it must be, at least partially so, as I envision it), I’d gladly partner up to see it realized. Maybe I should talk to two of my Godparents’ sons… they recently had success on Dragons’ Den with their Honibe products.
        Thanks for your honest comments, Jim. It’s been great working with you and chatting with you throughout this course!

    • schiong 8:57 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      I like your rePhrase product.
      As I was going through your Venture Pitch, I was also thinking … “How can this be implemented? ”

      Few things came to my mind … database, theory of automata, and AI.
      I think the application / program is doable. I am tempted to write the code. But, that’s not my role today 🙂

      Now, what I am not certain is how much memory would the program require because it needs to look at how the words are put together … and look for a viable rePhrase without loosing its original meaning. But, this is minor.


      • mcquaid 7:03 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi, Steve.
        I like your can-do / can-be-done attitude! Maybe you should contact me later with your programming hat on instead of your EVA one!
        It’s uplifting to hear that, maybe, the hurdles are surmountable.


    • verenanz 11:20 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I really love your idea. I am in China right now selling online ESL courses to students…and I can obvioulsy see the potential in your product…but I couldn’t “see” your video – I apologize.

      Your marketing and licensing agreement system seems to follow http://www.busuu.com. I would look to them for some ideas…
      Something that I felt that you were missing was how you would sell your product. Marketing overseas is cultually different than western countries – as I am sure you are well aware. Getting local schools to even “consider” different ideas – is extremely difficult. How will you get to that “billion”dollar market?

      That said, I think that you have a great idea and I really hope that it comes to fuition- because we would be interested in working with you….www.GlobalEd.ca


      • mcquaid 7:06 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi, Verena. I have looked at busuu before – earlier in this course, I think. Perhaps I should delve deeper into the site for some ideas. Thanks for the direction and positive comments. If something ever comes of this, I’ll look you up!

    • carmen 10:54 am on December 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Great idea venture indeed, Stephen, and there’s definitely a need for this product. I know that for high schools in Vancouver, there are ESL social and ESL science classes, in which students simply can’t join the regular class because of their limited English comprehension skills. It is not easy to find reading materials with simpler language, and yet, teaches concept at the same level of difficulty that suits these students’ needs. The result is that sometimes students who move into the regular science class might find it difficult to adapt when other students of the same grade have learned the foundations in the previous grades. An app like rePhrase will help these teachers provide reading materials that is closer to the regular class (ex. Science 10) and better prepare these ESL students when they join the regular classes.

      One concern I have is how the program might deal with long sentences with complicated sentence structures. I often work with students who understand all the words, but couldn’t decode the meaning of the sentence when the words are put together.

      Another concern is about learning how to read… sometimes translation programs give us something that’s understandable, but not quite grammatically correct. It might take a while to perfect rePhrase.

      Since I don’t have the technical knowledge, I’m not quite sure if these problems can be solved with existing technology. However, I am convinced that this is a great idea and has a lot of potential!

      • mcquaid 8:00 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi, Carmen.
        Thanks for your encouraging remarks!
        I too, aside from my low-level readers, thought of immigrant students as a great target market – students at grade level mentally, but behind the pack in English. Allowing them to more easily access the content in classes they attend would be a great help to them.

        Long, complex sentences, phrasing (just think of the punctuation issues and possible shifts in meaning), and overall grammar are definitely big concerns of mine, too. I have no idea how to technically attack them… just how I’d like them to work!

        Thanks again for your e-props!

    • themusicwoman 9:20 pm on December 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Wow, Stephen. What a great concept. i especially like the logo. 🙂
      Agree with many of the sentiments already expressed but I have to say I really appreciate your research into this project. As well, I think I spent a lot of time going over your list of pros and cons at the end of your document. Kudos to you for putting it out there. Again. Wow. I appreciate the fact that it is a new product so much of your information is difficult to acquire.

      • mcquaid 8:02 am on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi, Michelle. Thanks for the compliment on the logo – I truly thought having a good one would lend some credibility to my venture. I remember looking at the Evernote pitch and thinking what the logo did for it – it makes it seem more real and memorable.
        Thanks for the rest of the comments, too… hopefully David reads them all before grading me! 😉

  • hall 8:59 pm on November 27, 2011
    2 votes

    Hi Everyone, You can find my short, media-rich “elevator pitch” on Scienmalab, a social network at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRuW8TFunF8 and a longer “venture pitch” at  https://blogs.ubc.ca/scienmalab/scienmalab-venture-pitch/ . I hope you will enjoy both.

    Continue reading Scienmalab, Social Network/Virtual lab Posted in: Week 13: Venture Forum
    • Kristopher 11:56 am on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      I reviewed your venture pitch and very much appreciated that you began with the solution (Scienmalab); the venture has an obvious need, which became much more apparent as you worked through the pitch. I also liked that you had sample screens that helped me to see how the product would be used. To improve on this pitch, you could include specific reference as to how you plan to integrate this venture into school (although your market was quite clear).


      • hall 5:15 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Kristopher,

        Your critique is fear and I kindly note of your suggestion. Thank you for your feedback..

    • Jim 5:40 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I took a look at your pitch. I had a few suggestions for some ways to improve your elevator pitch. First, I think you idea is excellent but it is not distinct enough. There are already free web sites that provide science labs, virtual libraries and math manipulatives (e.g., http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/vlibrary.html) There also also free educational social networks (e.g., http://www.edmodo.com/). I think you need to focus your idea on a core value that does not currently exist. If schools are going to pay for the use of your site, make sure you indicate what it is that is so valuable and that is not available elsewhere. Once you accomplish that, I think you will be set and ready to market your product!

    • Everton Walker 8:17 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      Great concept! I am happy you actually took on a problem that needs immediate attention now. Our students are really having serious problems grasping science and math concepts and this is evident at all levels. Whenever, the results from our regional examinations are released, I am sad as I know our students can do better. I think we will have to be the element of change and come up with more ideas to reduce these problems. I am ready to invest bro.


    • Allie 5:41 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Conroy,
      I think that you really make a compelling case for why Scienmalab is needed to improve student learning in Math and Science in the Caribbean. I’m just wondering what platform learners will access Scienmalab over? Given that there are issues with insufficient resources and space, I’m wondering whether schools purchasing the product will need to make a capital investment – such as more computers? I realize that this question may be answered in your VP, which I haven’t yet read.
      You may be interested in the virtual frog dissection app by Emantras; back when we did our founders parade a couple of months ago, I chose them and was really impressed by their virtual learning applications. http://frogvirtualdissection.com/
      best, Allie

    • Doug Smith 7:13 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I really liked your pitch. You made the venture seem important and almost indispensable. This is very important for investors. Investors can make all sorts of decisions based on data and numbers, but there are times when the investor simply has to rely on a gut feeling, and your pitch speaks to this part. I think I would have liked to hear a bit about the people behind the project, in order to give the venture more legitimacy, but overall I would say that it was a very good job done.


    • Tamara Wong 8:15 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Great pitch. You really emphasize the need for this technology and I found myself wishing I’d had something like this while I was in school learning science and mathematics. You state that it is a social network similar to something like facebook but from your explanation it seems that something like blackboard might be your closest competitor? Also, like Allie I feel that you could address the problem about your implementation of this program as you state there is a problem with a lack of resources and space and will schools be able to obtain the resources to implement your ideas?
      I think your idea is great and you really demonstrate it’s need, the only thing I feel you need to address is the implementation.

    • Juliana 7:19 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Conroy,

      I thought I had posted this previously, but it seems to have gotten lost (today was a crazy day of too many interruptions):

      Pain Point/Solution: You describe the pain point and solution very well. You describe the gap that your product is directly addressing.

      Differentiation: You also describe how your product is different from the existing competition and why it is better. You also state that there is a big collaboration and interaction component to this product making it even more attractive. In addition, you also state how your product is different from existing social networks. I also like the fact that you were taking in the Non-English speaking countries too.

      Marketing: This was not clearly laid out in your analysis and I did want to find out more on how this was going to be marketed in the schools. For instance, if this is going to be targeted as school administrators how were you going to get the word out to them and all the other teachers about your product.

      Championship: I was curious about who were going to champion this venture. Even if you were not the CEO, but you were going to propose this product to your administrator, I wanted to know who was involved with creating it and running it. Also I wanted to know how they were making sure that the private conversations were being kept private.

      Competition: You did a good job about talking about the different social networks that do exist out there. I was also thinking you could also include competing school sites, databases and other educational products that were out there. Most of these products require some sort of licensing or yearly fees and you could have further used that as your competitive edge.

      The Ask/Return: I know that we are not required to discuss figures in this particular projects, but I was curious about how much it would cost to develop such a venture.

      If you have any questions or comments about what was written, please let me know.


    • Juliana 8:44 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Conroy,

      I also wanted to let you know that I am going to be voting for your venture, but the pulse voting does not seem to be working for your post right now. I have forwarded the issue to our instructor who has forwarded to UBC IT. Hopefully they will have it fixed before the end of the class, but I just wanted to let you know that you will be getting a vote from me.


      • hall 7:13 pm on December 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Juliana,

        Thank you. I am happy that you find my venture interesting.

    • carmen 10:51 am on December 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Conroy,

      Your pitch made it clear the pain points that you are addressing. Sometimes the resources and time required to prepare lab materials cause a teacher to hesitate about doing labs. Sometimes virtual labs are even better than real ones not only because it lowers the cost and saves teacher’s prep time, but also allows students to repeat experiments as many times as they like to test their theories. I believe that having these virtual labs/ simulations are great tools to help student learn math and science.
      I wonder how this is related to the library that you mentioned in your pitch. Sharing resources between teacher is great, but it seems to me that you could’ve separated the two into two different ventures.


      • hall 7:12 pm on December 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Carmen,

        Thank you for your suggestions, they were fair. However, in my view I think a comprehensive system would add market value to my product.

    • themusicwoman 7:40 pm on December 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Dear Conroy,

      I really enjoyed the layout of your venture pitch: clear, concise, to the point with pertinent information. There is something to be said for a clean presentation – whether it be a multimedia or the old fashioned paper one. Thank you.

  • David William Price 8:50 pm on November 27, 2011
    0 votes

    You can find my elevator pitch for “Mind Traction” an m-learning performance support below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AmhbODxd2k I have uploaded the venture pitch to the media gallery as a PDF: https://blogs.ubc.ca/etec522sept11/files/2011/11/price-Etec-522-venture-pitch-mind-traction.pdf    

    Continue reading AS3 Mind Traction Pitches Posted in: Week 13: Venture Forum
    • kstooshnov 1:48 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi David,

      Wonderful to see your elevator pitch – finally it’s great to start putting faces (and voices) to names on this blog. You are very calm, cool and effective in highlighting what your project will mean for investors, and your slide deck backs up everything the elevator pitch mentions. Good job there, but one suggestion is doing something about the endnotes scattered throughout the venture pitch. They were a bit distracting, as I often found myself wondering about the information that is missing, rather than focusing on the content of the slide. The stickman figures are a great touch, and it would make for a cleaner pitch. If it were not possible to make them hyperlinks, as any EVA who sees this will be on one’s own computer before showing it to others, having the small print appear on the bottom of the page may help others to retain their focus. It may just be me, but any extra bits that take away from your presentation should be eliminated, like wearing an offensive tie to an investors’ meeting – not to worry, the one you’ve got on suits you perfectly!


      • David William Price 9:53 am on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Interesting that you saw endnotes as an indication of something missing, rather than the presence of authority for facts and figures given. Entrepreneurs often make unfounded claims or claims based on flimsy evidence.

        • kstooshnov 2:08 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Yes, curious indeed. And that’s the great thing about technology, isn’t it? The way it lets us do “today’s job with yesterday’s tools–with yesterday’s concepts” (p. 9) like endnotes in a PowerPoint presentation. I’ll leave it to you to find out what source the quote comes from…

    • jenaca 1:42 am on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi David,
      I really enjoyed watching your pitch and I found that you talked calm and slow giving me an opportunity to understand the product you are pitching! I think it is a great idea, however, I am not convinced that students will purchase or use this app on their phones. College students may have other concerns and would most likely turn to friends or family for support!

      • David William Price 9:51 am on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        That’s why it’s sold in bulk to universities, not students individually (noted briefly in the pitch at the start and at the end but more comprehensively in the venture doc) As noted in the venture pitch, students do not disclose their anxiety to each other, to friends, family or faculty. That’s part of the problem and that’s why their learning performance suffers. This is not about reassurance, it’s about mentorship and performance support… solving the problem, not asking for reassurance.

    • jarvise 10:16 am on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      You establish the pain and solution clearly. You give an indication of return and potential market. It was clear that your background makes you suited to leading this venture. It was also clear that you were looking for funding. Great idea and presentation. Your venture pitch is very clear as well. You have successfully laid out the market and differentiation. You could consider marketing this to corporations – how many people do each of us know right now who are on stress leave? You could lay out how much is spent on stress leave per year for a company, and then point out the savings that could be afforded through adoption of your app. I found it a little weird that you want to avoid the app market – would the licensing fees be offset by the additional exposure? Also, my only other concern would be: do universities regularly invest in strategies such as this one for their students? If it is something completely novel, it may be hard to break into the market and may make more sense to market to individual students. Great idea, and a definite market here. Matching behaviorist principles with mobile tech is a great fit. I’m not ready to invest yet since I’m not convinced of your marketing strategy, but may become convinced with more information.


      • David William Price 8:05 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for the comments.

        I avoid the app market because they take 30% from every sale, and this app is unlikely to sell well to individuals. There just would not be enough up-take to repay investors and provide a return.

        I chose universities rather than corporations as a starting point. I do see growth potential, but I figured universities are more learning focused and more concerned about dealing with people whose learning is impaired and causing them to drop out of courses and programs. The bulk licensing cost would mean a very small per-student investment, much tinier than many other investments made to support student performance in IT, health, etc. on campus.

        Interesting point about stress leave costs in corporations. I think people already in their careers may be a bit harder to get into performance supports like this.

    • Deb Giesbrecht 3:14 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Pain Point: anxious students
      • Solution: mobile mentor
      • Differentiation: puts mentors in the pocket of every student/identifies differentiation
      • Marketing; clear marketing strategy
      • Championship; identifies founder as champion
      • Competition: identifies competitors
      • The Ask: 100,00 – knew what you were asking for
      • The Return: 5 years ROI
      The Message
      • CEO Credibility: Really liked your elevator pitch. You were very credible, calm, cool and collected – made me want to go out and buy one – or at least learn more! Made me want to see your venture pitch
      • Management Team: spoke about founder – ?other team members
      • Venture Concept: Very feasible and doable.
      • Market Readiness: developed pain points with well researched solution. Identified statistics of cell phone owners
      • Competitive Edge: identified the strengths – no weakness identified
      Overall Investment Status: You provided a thorough and well researched background for an up and coming app. Identified real pain point in education. I would invest in this endeavor – great job!

      • David William Price 8:06 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks. I’d actually like one of these for myself. I spent a day coaching a highly anxious person through a lot of these issues in real time and the difference between the beginning of the day and the end was spectacular.

    • Keisha Edwards-Hamilton 7:50 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      Your elevator pitch is very intriguing and engaging, and I am keen to learn more about this venture. From the onset you identified your target market, the pain point and the solution which is very good. I can see how this proposal will help “anxious learners”. I have to deal with many of them on a daily basis. This is worth pursuing.


      • David William Price 8:08 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks. What saddens me is the effect anxiety has on learning… proved by science. That anxiety causes all kinds of performance degradation and associated psychological self-flagellation that could be avoided. My thesis will be examining this subject in more depth.

    • hall 2:43 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      Your elevator pitch is very interesting and informative. It was very innovative. Your voice was very clear and you appeared very calm which showed that you were confident. ‘Mind traction’ is a brilliant idea; I would definitely invest in your venture. The statistics given on the use of cell phones in America is a good idea. It gives investors a framework to work with in terms of the returns they would get on their investments. Although, America has such a large target market group but it could more profitable if you incorporate the rest of the world. Is Mind traction app written language only English? If not it could be used other non English speaking societies. It is a very good venture.

      • David William Price 8:09 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks. Great suggestions about worldwide coverage. Ideally, the app would be mostly visual, using icons with minimal text and that text could be translatable into the most common world languages. America seems a good proof of concept, and the venture pitch indicates expansion to Canada, UK, Australia.

    • carmen 10:23 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Love the idea of this app!

      The pitches are very engaging and make me want to keep reading (and listening). 🙂 The venture pitch is well researched to prove the need in the market. I’m very convinced. If it’s developed successfully, this app would be the leader in the market!

      As for the marketing strategy, I like how you focus on university students first. I think if people like the idea, it will spread to other markets, and by that time the app would be even better developed.

      I wonder why you would like to focus on selling to the university rather than the students, because the students are motivated to do well and need this tool to help. Though I truly believe students can benefit from this app, I wonder what is the budget of universities and how much they would invest to lower students’ stress levels. Big universities will go on with their business without the app… maybe private colleges might worry more about retention rate? But private colleges will have less budget…

      I wonder if it’s possible to be developed by the “university”, similar to how WebCT was developed by UBC.

      • David William Price 8:11 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks. Great questions.

        Individual spending on apps for smartphones is way heavily weighted to games. This kind of app is unlikely to sell enough to individuals to recoup the investment and pay decent returns. Getting bulk license sales in the multi-thousands and ongoing commitments provides a more predictable revenue stream.

        Would universities pay for it? Consider the tuition fees charged by American universities (10x those here). Some of them issue laptops and iPhones or iPod touches to their students. A dollar per student for this kind of performance support would not be a big deal.

    • bcourey 2:56 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi David,
      I may be repeating some of the comments mentioned before, but overall I was very impressed with your presentation – and as you said in today’s post, you feel strongly about have a personal Elevator pitch and your conviction on that front shows – you do have a more professional presence in your pitch than others I have viewed on YouTube when I was searching for examples.

      I am very intrigued by your idea of Mind Traction – your pain point of anxiety for post secondary students is very real – which would also make your product useful for many secondary students as well – we see anxiety disorders more and more each year because of the perceived pressures the students feel even in that younger environment. So since these students are all carrying some kind of portable device – it makes perfect sense to have an application right there in their pocket for quick access – better than some of the other products they may be turning to instead!

      I also see the advantages of adding other components to the product – such as the calendar and GPS – all pieces that help ease anxiety as well. Your use of language such as cheerleader, and collaborator would appeal to your consumer as well. I didn’t find the end notes distracting at all – in fact, I agree with you that they give credence to your claims.

      Your request for funding seems very reasonable and you provide great details about the return on their investment – the question is: will students pay for this? Maybe the parents will, knowing the stress their child may be feeling as they leave home. I also agree that your competition is either low-tech or require prescriptions.

      I believe your venture is a worthwhile investment!


      • David William Price 8:13 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply


        Your question about students paying for this is an excellent one. I don’t think they would. THat’s why I’m going after universities to buy it in bulk with the argument it will improve performance of their students, reduce dropouts from courses and programs, and increase retention in maths and sciences.

        These are real issues for universities. Concordia even offers a BONUS for grad students who graduate on time!!!

    • schiong 6:33 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi David,

      Fascinating product.
      It gave me an impression that I have my own electronic psychiatrist.

      Just curious …
      How do you go about implementing :
      a) Calms panic, grief, anger
      b) Helps identify and challenge negative thoughts & mistaken beliefs about self, others, life


      • David William Price 8:18 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for your questions.

        a) cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) deals with panic, grief and anger primarily through deepened and lengthened breathing and focusing thoughts on accepting and surfing emotions rather than fighting or repressing them or blaming the self or others for them

        b) the set of negative thoughts and mistaken beliefs are very common. THe plan is to produce the most typical versions and when people pick them, they are guided through an understanding of where those thoughts and beliefs come from, how they affect their thinking and emotions, and how to change them.

        Actual implementation is intended to present the symptoms, allow people to choose the symptoms, then run them through an insight-reinforcing diagnostic with tips to use immediately to address the problem. THis would be a combination of text, images, and audio.

        • schiong 9:05 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Hi David,

          Very clear explanation.
          Definitely worth investing.


    • khenry 4:41 am on December 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hello David,

      Forgive me. It’s over 300 words but you gave me a lot to say.

      I really enjoyed both your pitches.

      Elevator Pitch
      Your elevator pitch created a sense of confidence, trust and belief in your product and insight into your competence to lead your venture. You defined the essential elements within your venture and were very clear about what you were asking for. I also liked the fact that you did not have any distracting backgrounds and that it was neutral. I had this problem with many that I have seen and your pitch gave a professional feel that I missed from many video pitches I viewed (and did not like :-)). One thing that struck me though is that you were reading from a script and so at times I lost contact with you because of the shifting of your eyes. You seemed confident enough to go off script and it would sell you better and is a greater catch for investors. Reading your venture pitch I would definitely invest but if I am wading through many ideas/pitches I am not sure the elevator pitch would have hooked me enough to call. Perhaps more emphasis of your hook at the beginning or end? Something that stands out more? But overall it was a strong pitch.

      Venture Pitch
      One of the things I really liked about your venture pitch was the format you presented in and the clarity with which information was presented. It was very reader friendly. The bullet point format was effective and efficient and as a busy investor I would really appreciate this.
      You presented all essential aspects well: Pain Points, Solution, Differentiation, Marketing, Leadership, Competition, Investment needs and Investment returns. You showed that you have a viable and well needed product and your target market is well placed to attract investment and realise your forecasted returns.
      Your research in anxiety and learning is a big trump card. However, you did not discuss anyone else in your team except the CEO (you) and I would wonder at your experience and ability to deliver, navigate and provide innovations for mobile applications/ products (advising clients in a law capacity does not necessarily translate that you have the requisite experience and skills to develop and deliver the software yourself). I also did not get an idea of how you would deal with issues with mobile applications such as interoperability issues. Who, if any, will form the rest of your team?
      Good breakdown on how your ask price will be spent and the return for investors.
      I like the visuals presented as it gives the idea of a mobile app on a phone. However, I wondered at the titles in captions vs your titles in the documents e.g. mentor, collaborator, socialiser. Why is that?

      (This is the Smile section of the Analysis)
      The English language is such a beautiful thing. I smiled when you said ‘Competition is simplistic’. You are correct for what you are talking about but your point would be well made from your list and discussion without having the need to qualify them in your heading as simplistic. And for self-help books ‘cheap, aimed at middle age women’, that had me laughing out loud. You could delete cheap and go for ‘aimed at middle age women’ (if you have the statistics of course). BTW I agree with the use of endnotes.

      Great job! Enjoyed it and would invest. It is a problem everywhere and would be a great global app. Hope you do go for it.


      • David William Price 11:24 am on December 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply


        Yes, my reading was a big problem! You’re absolutely right.

        You’re also right about the team. I thought about this a bit but didn’t feel comfortable either making stuff up here or including names without permission… and I left this late enough that I didn’t think I could get that kind of sign-on. It’s definitely a weakness.

        I’m not sure I follow about interoperability issues on mobile… my intention was to use one standalone app solely on android.

        TItle in captions vs titles in documents… not sure I follow.

        Interesting point about the headers on the slides. This follows from the “assertion evidence” model of slide design where you make an argument at the top and give evidence in the slide below. It’s supposed to help frame the point and reduce the amount of thinking required to figure out what the slide is about.

        I actually had a reference for the middle-aged women part… I think it was a Forbes article analyzing the self-help industry.

        Thanks for the detailed comments.

        • Allie 11:39 am on December 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          i didn’t read your VP, but from the comments, I think it would be weird to have people signed on as team members. I think that for the purposes of this pitch-as-assignment, it’s perfectly appropriate to simply identify the roles that you would need to fill.

    • khenry 9:13 pm on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi David,
      I think that is admirable that you did not want to make up anything and getting permission to sign off and I support that point. Your target of the android market focuses your approach and answers my question.

      Re titles: I meant that the captions on your visuals say: Stress surfer, About me, About them, plans and progress etc. , whereas your titles in documents are: anxiety manager, mentor, socializer, collaborator. I just wondered what the app would look like on the screen (the possible selections). Would it show text as shown in your current visuals or would the text used be the titles: anxiety manager, mentor, socializer, collaborator etc?

      I was sure you referenced the middle age women. I was just generalising for the sake of the point.


  • Keisha Edwards-Hamilton 8:23 pm on November 27, 2011
    1 votes

    Hello All, My elevator pitch can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nob5EQ3mXbE  and the venture pitch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWp6KX7OWtk Cheers, Keisha

    Continue reading A3 Posted in: Uncategorized, Week 13: Venture Forum
    • Julie S 3:36 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Keisha,

      I’m just starting my reviews and your venture captured my interest. It looks like you are proposing a solution that is similar to something we have in the business world called ‘busines intelligence’. I think that you’ve explained your concept very well and have demonstrated the credentials of your team are what is needed to be successful. The pricing model looks reasonable for starting up but I’m wondering if you thought about future upgrades or enhancement potential? I’m also wondering if there is any possibility of partnering with any of the vendors that you identified as competitors e.g. the LMS vendors?

      Also, from a risk perspective, I’m wondering if there are any concerns that you need to consider with respect to privacy regulations with respect to any of the data that you will be integrating?

      Overall I found your pitch thorough and convincing.

      – Julie

    • Kristopher 3:46 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Keisha,

      Thanks for the pitch! It is very clear what your intended market and venture will achieve. I appreciated your voiceover in that it helped to make a connection with the pitch-er, but perhaps more visual on the screen to match the quality of the narrative could help engage the viewer.



    • Jim 6:58 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hello Keisha!
      I had a look at your pitches and I must admit that your proposal would solve many problems that exist in schools. I think your elevator pitch is clear and I only had to watch it once to know your idea. My only concern would be from school systems who might say “we already use a SMS and an LMS. Switching to your system would take even more time and effort than we correctly do trying to make our systems talk to each other.” Also, I am aware of plugs that are offered by SMS and LMS companies so that SMS and LMS can talk to each other. This provides the greatest flexibility for school systems because they can choose the SMS they like the best and the LMS they like the best. How would your product be flexible?

      • Jim 7:00 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Sorry – meant to say “plug-ins” not plugs 🙂

        [For some reason, the ‘edit’ button on comments is not available on this blog. So I can’t go back and change it myself…]

    • Everton Walker 8:34 pm on November 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      Loving the concept! This seems like serious money and such a system would work well with our system. The pitch is clear and to the point and workable. This LMS would be a good investment as it is only a matter of time before education systems globally are revolutionized through learning technologies and online learning. Making one’s name early in the market is always crucial and I hope you will follow up on this initiative.


    • ashleyross 4:17 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Keisha,

      Your elevator pitch was very clear, you explained your product well and you placed yourself in a position where you appeared very confident and knowledgeable about the market. From a perspective of an EVA that doesn’t know much about all the features of different LMS & SMS products, I would have liked to have seen at least one example of what these “best features are” that you are referring to in the elevator pitch. Overall Great job. 🙂

    • Allie 5:48 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Keisha,

      I think that your EP is very intriguing and engaging, and I’m keen to learn more. It seems like a really original idea! Like Ashley, I’m wondering if you could maybe provide the tiniest bit more detail about what the ‘best features’ are (and I say tiniest bit of detail because I felt that your EP had a really good level of information). I’m also wondering what the gap is between SMS and LMS that you speak of early on (true confession: have never used an SMS), and whether you could suggest what the benefits would be for end users?
      best, Allie

    • Julie S 3:26 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Keisha,

      I’ve chosen your presentation to do a detailed review.

      I think you really have something strong here and the credentials of your team give me the confidence that your company would be able to succeed. However, I would want to see some issues addressed before I would invest.

      I think the pitch to replace two systems with one new and improved system is a hard sell. The preferred, cheaper method, in my experience is to have interfaces built between the systems and/or to build a data warehouse that pulls data from the source and develops unified views of information, typically accessible through a web browser.

      This is not to say your new system isn’t a good idea but I wouldn’t see companies that have already invested in two systems as being in the market for a third even if it is much better; at least not without a very convincing argument.

      However, it sounds like you have a market of 70% of schools who have not invested in an SMS. I don’t recall seeing an associated statistic for the LMS. So I think there may be a market you just need to focus in to the right one.

      Note on presentation format: I think there is a generally accepted rule out there against reading PowerPoint slides to your audience. You could add some compelling images and make your points much stronger. The benefits section is a good example. I needed more convincing about the value to the customer. Maybe you could make a mock-up of an illustration of a unified view of information that the student, teacher or administrator would value.

      Good luck with your venture!


    • Jim 1:27 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi again Keisha,
      I wanted to delve deeper into your Venture Pitch and provide some feedback in the form of a brief EVA analysis. As a potential investor, I am looking in your venture pitch for a variety of information:

      Entrepreneur confidence?
      I was very much impressed with the clarity of both your voice and the organization of your ideas in your video venture pitch. I was beginning to wonder if there was any information about the CEO or other management team people but you did include that near the end of your venture pitch video. It gives me more confidence to know that you are a teacher and a software developer, and that you have experience. I would also like to be made aware of the people in the management team who have business backgrounds and who could lead the financial and business administration aspects of a growing company.

      Is it a good product that will be in demand?
      You spent a fair amount of time in your venture pitch describing exactly what your product is, the problems it solves, the features, and the advantages to teachers and students and administrators. However, I do have some difficulty envisioning how this database/Admin/LMS hybrid would have Facebook like look and feel. I can see the LMS system doing that okay, but not really the admin part of it. Perhaps an area that you could improve would be to elaborate on your Facebook-like affordances that differentiate your product from the many other similar products in the market.

      How big is the potential client base?
      In terms of your potential market, I think you are wise to initially target institutions that currently manage this information manually. Your potential client base is vast given that your system could be translated into many languages. However, I would assume that most educational organizations already use digital student and learning management systems. In order for these organizations to even consider switching away from their current product, you will need to demonstrate that your product is a vast improvement, cheaper, easier to maintain, and has no cost or effort to switch over to. That is a fairly tall order. If you can do it, then I think you might have a successful product.

      Can the product compete successfully on the market?
      It looks like you have examined a variety of other products on the market and one in particular intrigues me: that is the Sycamore product. I had a look at the Sycamore product on their web site and you are right it does sound very similar. In fact, on November 1, 2011, Sycamore announced that they were adding an LMS to their SMS (http://www.prlog.org/11712976-sycamore-education-adds-learning-management-system-to-their-comprehensive-online-school-administration.html). You do mention that your product will have a facebook look and feel but I am still wondering if that would work with the school administration aspect. Also, there are already Facebook type social learning networks available for free to teachers and schools such as Edmodo. I also did a little search online and I found some other similar products that you might want to look at such as eduswift (http://www.eduswift.com/), Caloris Planitia Technologies E-School Management System (http://www.calorisplanitia.com/e-school-management-system.aspx), SharePoint LMS (http://www.sharepointlms.com/), and there were a number of others… I hope that you understand that the point I am making is that your product would need to be paradigm shifting in order to grab clients and potential customers away from these other products that already seem to be effectively in use in many institutions.

      Are you honest about challenges?
      I was glad to see you openly discuss the challenges to your product near the end of your Venture Pitch video. I agree with all of the challenges you mention but I think that competition is a huge factor in your pitch as well as institutions that already are using software to manage these data. Your product would have to offer a significant difference in cost, ease of use, scalability, support, and capacity that would motivate educational institutions to change from what they are currently using.

      Investment risk?
      Until I can get a better sense of how this product is radically different from the many other products that do the same or similar functions in the market, I would characterize this as an investment risk and the venture in need of further refinement. I do see potential in your idea but I think perhaps a greater focus on specific markets or organizations might help with competition and marketing; or focus on creating a product that is fundamentally different and infinitely more usable or friendly that is currently in the market.

    • Doug Smith 7:31 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      The elevator pitch for School Manager grabbed my attention and struck me as a product that could be poised to offer a new venture into an existing market. After viewing the venture pitch, I now have a better understanding and appreciation of the venture, along with some concerns.

      School Manager, as a product, appears to be very comprehensive and I believe it is worthwhile to merge the realms of a LMS and a SIS. From an administrative perspective this would seem to make sense. However, I’m a bit concerned about the level of adoption that teachers will take. It is vitally important that teachers and students embrace this product. There is some comfort in knowing that the developers recognize the need for familiarity with the end users.

      I would have liked to hear more about the initial market where the product will first be sold. I am unfamiliar with the Caribbean in terms of education and sales, and this makes it difficult for me to appropriately gauge the potential for success. Furthermore, while I have confidence in the developers of School Manager, I am wary of the branding that may occur from a made in the Caribbean product. Consumer prejudice, while not supported or rationalized, is nevertheless a reality that I have to consider.

      I believe that with some appropriate marketing and branding, School Manager has the potential for success. The financials are very modest, making this a somewhat low-risk, low-reward venture. Combined with my lack of knowledge of the Caribbean market, I cannot approve investment into your venture at this time. I wish you success, and hope that we can speak again when you are looking to expand into Canada or the USA.

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