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  • ashleyross 8:24 pm on November 26, 2011
    6 votes

    Tags: , elevator pitch, venture pitch, week 13   

    Hello, Here is my Elevator Pitch for A3! For more detail, please read through my LearnTRU Venture Pitch. Thanks! (* Note: There was a audible click in my EP so I uploaded a new version.) Reference Learning Disabilities Association of Canada. (2011). Retrieved from http://www.ldac-acta.ca/

    Continue reading LearnTRU Elevator & Venture Pitch Posted in: Week 13: Venture Forum
    • jenaca 2:07 am on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ashley,
      What a great pitch! You caught my attention right away and I was engaged the entire time! I am shocked about the high number of dropouts and can’t seem to get 35% out of my head! I think this was a wonderful way to begin your pitch, as well as visually showing the comparisons!
      I am definitely voting for your product!

      • ashleyross 4:49 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Jenaca,

        Thanks so much for the positive feedback, it’s much appreciated. 🙂

    • jarvise 10:17 am on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      learntru is a well positioned and developed idea. I like the structure of your presentation. You clearly establish the need and the market, although there was no hard data on cash flow. You have positioned your product as a whole solution, through offering not only help with academics, but also with lifestyle, which would translate to self efficacy. I also think that through providing extra services, such as helping parents negotiate through extra funding applications that are available to them benefits both you and them. I thought your minimum commitment time was a little high, but I get that in order to peruse an activity on the weekend, it would take time. Did you consider offering fragments of your service as well? For example, if someone just wanted help with one aspect, they could pay only for that? Great presentation and great idea. I like your coordinated services model and would invest in this.


      • ashleyross 4:50 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Emily,

        Thank you for your feedback. I decided not to include any specific data on the financial aspect of the business mostly because it wasn’t a requirement for the assignment and I wanted to make sure that I gave as much attention as possible to the deliverables. In regards to offering fragments of LearnTRU, I feel as though it would go against the underlying concept behind the program, which is to help create an academic/non-academic balance in a child’s life. I realize that the minimum commitment could be considered high, but most sports or programs for young children are at least one day a week so it isn’t really any different as far as the time involved. Also, for families who have children with learning disabilities, they will help their child spend as much time as they need to become successful.

    • bcourey 5:42 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ashley,
      You are addressing a very challenging problem – meeting the needs of a group of students who are traditionally overlooked and given minimum support – your stats are disturbing as we look at their drop out rate. When I first viewed your pitch, I wondered if the only difference between your service and any other tutoring program was the weekend activities, but then I noted that you provide a great deal of support for parents and a very individualized program for each student based on your assessments. I too wondered about the cost and what investors would get in return…but maybe you are a non-profit group? I also wonder if one evening per week for tutoring would give them enough support to upgrade their skills enough to be successful in their regular school day. Great presentation for sure!


      • ashleyross 7:03 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Brenda,

        Thank you for your comments. You’re right, one day a week would not be enough to help upgrade a student’s skills, that’s why LearnTRU spends equal amounts of time focusing on participants learning lifestyle and high-interest lifestyle. Although it could be split so that we focused on the learning lifestyle during the week and the high-interest lifestyle on the weekend, it is much more effective when the activities are done together each day. This gives the participant an outlet after working hard on their academic pursuits through the transition to the high-interest lifestyle, even if it is something as simple as going for a swim at the public pool during the week.

        I do feel as though the business can be profitable, but I need to finish researching the financial requirements of launching LearnTRU before providing you with more detailed information. 🙂


    • hall 6:19 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      I think your elevator pitch is a good one. I definitely like your sequence of your ideas from the identification of problem to solution of problem through Learn TRU. I think it was innovative. Developing countries would definitely benefit from your venture.


    • schiong 11:44 pm on November 29, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ashley,

      Great product.
      I’ve never dealt with anyone with learning disabilities… so it is hard for me to imagine the market potential.

      just to clarify, would you be transferring the learner (diagnosed with learning disability) to your own “school”, or you send a consultant to shadow the student?


      • ashleyross 6:51 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Steve,

        Thanks for your question. The answer is neither, you could think of LearnTRU as an afterschool program that provides students with the tools they need to bring back to their classroom. The idea is for them to become self-sufficient and independent, while in the classroom.



    • jenaca 6:33 am on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      The Venture:
      LearnTRU is in the business of helping particpants learn using technlology to reach their ultimate goal by providing them with a learning lifestyle strategy that will stay with them forever. LearnTRU has blended a learning lifestyle and a high-interest lifestyle that aims to create the perfect ‘after-school’ and weekend learning environment for students with disabilities.
      LearnTRU has 3 main aspects:
      1) Assessment: To help clients discover their learning lifestyles through a series of questions that determine how they learn best and which tool(s) can help them in their academic pursuits
      2) Learning Lifestyle: Participants are taught how to learn by transforming any subject material so that it suits the learning style that was outlined during their initial assessment
      3) High-Interest Lifestyle: Involve students in activities outside of the normal lifestyles (horseback riding, playing musical instruments, snowboarding etc…)
      Additional Information:
      • In Canada, about 1 in 10 Canadians have a learning disability; 35% of those individuals who are identified as having a learning disability
      • LearnTRU is to help these young people find a hobby, sport or exercise that they enjoy, but more importantly one that will give them a sense of accomplishment.
      • LearnTRU clients will spend equal amounts of time developing their Learning Lifestyle and their High-Interest Lifestyle to help them achieve success in all aspects of their lives.
      • The minimum time commitment required to participate with LearnTRU is one evening during the school week and 4 hours on the weekend.
      My Thoughts:
      LearnTru is a well developed and structure idea. I like the vision of this venture and truly believe there is room in the market for this service. The elevator pitch intrigued me and motivated me to read your venture pitch where I found facts, statistics and information regarding the current market competetors and how your service differs from the once currently on the market. The feature I find most unique about yours is the last step in your pitch: high-interest lifestyle. Most of the other services do not currently include this and I believe this is the selling point of your service!
      learnTRU is definitely something I would invest in!

      • ashleyross 6:52 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Jenaca,

        Thanks again for your positive comments. I too believe that the high-interest lifestyle is one of the main selling points.



    • Keisha Edwards-Hamilton 8:02 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ashley,

      LearnTru has a great pitch. The elevator pitch initially grabbed my attention and I love the value proposition. I was really surprised about school drop-out rates. However, right away I understood the problem . I could also relate to the problem and wanted to know more about how LearnTru could solve the problem which lead me to explore the venture pitch. A differentiation strategy is evident, but how feasible is this considering the target market. It is exciting, but can the market afford to pay for this service? The marketing plan seem terms of marketing, the plan seem attainable. Also the LearnTru team is solid and seems to be capable of turning the venture into a success. The idea of a niche is good as it caters to a specific group that need this type of service and the presentation clearly identified the market. Overall I love your preposition. It is unique and suits the target market you identified. This is definitely a venture that is worth pursuing.


      • ashleyross 6:53 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Keisha,

        Thanks for taking the time to give me feedback. ‘Can the market afford to pay for this service?’ Great question. To make it more affordable for the market it is important to help clients find and fill out the proper grants, there is a lot out there but most people (1) don’t know they exist and (2) have a hard time finding them and filling them out.



    • andrea 10:06 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hello Ashley,

      Well done on your clear and convincing pitches. Both look very professional, and are quite persuasive in establishing a need market for this service. After reading through everything I was left thinking that it’s amazing something like this isn’t already established – it’s just so common sense. It also feels like you’ve already started developing a brand. This was evident as well in your use of the “learning lifestyle” and the “high-interest lifestyle” tags. (It would be cool if you could do this for the learning lifestyle assessment you mention as well.) Your quote “LearnTRU is in the business of helping participants learn using technology to reach their ultimate goal by providing them with a learning and lifestyle strategy that will stay with them forever” made me wish that I could access this product myself, because who doesn’t want to reach their “ultimate goal”? 🙂

      You very clearly identify the market, offering, and buyer. One area that I thought could be expanded is your discussion of the competition. As a potential investor, I’d be interested to know what places like Sylvan Learning charge per hour to get a sense of what buyers are already comfortable with. Also, how many students in the Toronto area are attending tutoring programs? I would also like to know more about the types of technology LearnTRU will use. You give a few examples, but I’d be interested to learn a little more about how those are integrated into the approach. What does the licensing for these systems look like?

      My final question is around marketing. I think I understand that this product will be marketed to schools, who will refer students, and also to parents directly? Not knowing much about the Individual Education Program process, I would love to hear more details specifically about where LearnTRU fits in that process.

      Great job Ashley, and I’m curious to know, is this something you’ve developed or are in the process of developing?


      • ashleyross 6:59 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks for your feedback Andrea, it`s really appreciated. You bring up some great questions.

        I found it challenging (in a good way) to choose information to include in my VP that focused on maintaining the interest of an investor versus a potential client. It is also why I provided a few examples of the assistive technologies, but didn’t go into too much detail. That’s why it’s great to be able to read everyone’s comments and questions and reply. 🙂

        When it comes to learning and technology, every student has different needs. Some students with LDs have dyslexia (trouble reading text) which is why applications like Kurzweil that transform text into speech, would be used for them. Others have dysgraphia (difficulty with writing) and applications like Dragon Naturally Speaking, that transforms spoken words into text, work well for them and others need a combination of both. I could write a novel about this but I’m sure you don’t want to read it. 🙂 What is important is to find what works for each individual participant and teach them how to successfully implement the programs into their daily education schedule. It all seems so simple but no one takes the time or has the time to sit down with these students to figure out how they learn best. Licensing varies on the technology, most are around $100 but Kurzweil is around $1500 plus then you need a laptop for these programs. The initial setup can be very expensive, which is why it’s important to get proper funding.

        I am planning on including all related costs and those of my competitors in my future VP. I decided not to include it the VP I submitted for this course because it wasn’t a requirement I wanted to focus my time on other aspects of the program. For a program like Sylvan it’s about $45-50 an hour after the enrollment fee of $50 and their initial assesment is about $150-200. But it varies depending on the client’s needs. Adding the percentage of students who attend tutoring programs in Toronto is a good point and one I’ll take into consideration.

        For the marketing aspect, yes I would position myself to receive referrals from schools and parents but also from psychologists. For students to be diagnosed with an LD they need to have a psycho-educational assesment done (which in Toronto costs anywhere between $1800-2400+). Once diagnosed, students can get an IEP at school which they can get extra time on assignments, tests and exams. It also allows them to write exams on a computer, in a private room and gives them access to potential funding for tutoring and technology. As I mentioned above, the primary issue is that no one has time to actually sit down and teach these students how to use the technology or determine how they learn best.

        The program isn’t completely developed yet, it is something that I am working on though and will hopefully be launching it in the near future. I hope I answered all of your questions, and sorry for the long post!



        • andrea 12:11 pm on December 2, 2011 | Log in to Reply

          Hi Ashley,

          Thanks for your thorough response. You obviously have a lot of expertise in this area. I can appreciate how difficult it can be to include everything you know and want your audience to know about your venture. You did a great job presenting the essentials in your pitches. Thanks for taking the time to answer all my questions!

          Reviewing people’s pitches and the subsequent discussions here I’ve learned a lot about new markets and technologies.

          Best of luck in your continued development of LearnTRU!

    • verenanz 11:57 pm on November 30, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Good job Ashley. It is great to see a product focused on a market that “needs” support and development. I thought your idea was creative and optimistic. There were a lot of steps and a lot of choices within your product, which confused me a little…..but I think that it has great potential.
      Well done.

      • ashleyross 7:01 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Verena,

        Thanks for taking the time to read my venture. I am sorry to hear that you found my VP a little confusing, perhaps I can clarify quickly how the program works. The initial three steps are designed to provide us with enough information to build a foundation for each client and it is from this foundation that we develop their learning and high-interest lifestyle. These are non-optional. We then allow our clients to choose how many days a week they wish to work with us to implement the aforementioned lifestyles. It could be one day during the week + four hours on the weekend, or it could be five days a week, it completely depends on their schedule, budget, and requirements.

        The rest of the additional services are supplemental to the above, such as providing laptops and software, helping families inquire about funding, etc.

        Hopefully this helps. 🙂

        Thanks again,


    • Deb Kim 10:41 pm on December 1, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ashley,

      This is a great venture idea. Your elevator pitch caught my attention, especially when you started with the number 35%. This made me think what it would represent. I also liked your venture pitch. You said that “In addition to the assessment fee and any associated equipment purchase or rental costs, the primary source of income for LearnTRU will be through annual contract agreements”. I think it’s a great idea. As I’m currently teaching students with special needs, I’ve been seeking for support in helping them learn in general. Your venture is a great idea to help both teachers and students. Great work!


    • Deb Giesbrecht 4:44 pm on December 3, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      • Pain Point: students with learning disabilities
      • Solution: LearnTRU – loved your use of acronyms. I think that this is a great idea. I think your venture idea has a lot of merit – it combines real-life experiences that boost morale and self-esteem with techniques on how to develop excellent study habits and routines. I think you have really identified a gap in the market that can be filled with your solution. I like your business plan and I think you have a well thought out and researched venture/market capability. You have identified that the market is ready for this type of solution and you have a flexible sales plan. You have identified a great team to work with and appear to have a lot of credibility. I did not see in your venture pitch how much you were asking from investors or return on investment. I did however, really like your sales strategy and thought overall the venture concept was not only feasible, but very doable and worthwhile cause. Great concept!

    • khenry 6:06 pm on December 4, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ashley,
      This was actually one of the first ones that I looked at but in my check throughs realised I actually did not post the response. Sorry. I really like the concept of Learntru. Your elevator pitch grabbed my attention and addressed pain points, solutions/product, and your target market. However, I did not get a sense of the team involved, how you will access your market or potential market share. I liked the use of the three step system presented, and how it was presented, and your inclusion of authentic learning activities. It is a great concept I hope you go forward with it.


  • themusicwoman 9:15 pm on September 23, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: elevator pitch   

    http://www.silicon.com/videos/view/sixty-second/60-second-pitch-identity-verification-60725972/ I chose to critique a venture pitch about VoIP as our school district recently changed over to one. ShoreTell’s pitch to the panel of experts from Silicon.com was interesting. It’s actually quite amazing how quickly 60 seconds goes by and ShoreTell’s Mark Swendsen is caught up by the short time. However, he does manage […]

    Continue reading VoIP Venture Pitch Posted in: Week 03: Analyst Bootcamp
    • jenaca 3:45 am on September 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I also found this pitch to be very interesting and I really enjoyed the way he started out asking the panel questions about the current market. I agree that he is a confident speaker and speaks very clear! Great fine!

    • jenaca 3:46 am on September 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      ****Great Find!!

    • bcourey 5:53 am on September 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I noted that he spent 20 seconds just on the pain point of his pitch..he had too many possible problems listed (and he spoke slowly through this part) so that he had to speed up so significantly that I had difficulty understanding him…and he still didn’t get it all in. He needed to find a more succinct way to state the pain point – a single statement that summarizes his list of issues that his product will solve. Another note: the audience looked like a team that would not be easily impressed by any pitch! Or is that just me thinking they looked grumpy?

      • themusicwoman 12:04 pm on September 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hahahaha! I thought they were grumpy, too! And I didn’t think they were going to give him the green light, either.

    • carmencheung 6:01 am on September 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I also think the panel looked grumpy, especially the one on the far right. I wonder if they are actual CEO’s. As for the pace of the speaker, if you just listen to the pitch without watching the video, it does seem to me that he was speaking too slowly. However, if you look at his facial expressions, it seems that he was calm and was genuinely trying to see if his product could be a solution to the panel’s problem..

    • Everton Walker 12:44 pm on September 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Interesting pitch. Even though he never came across as being confident, he was knowledgeable of his content due to the manner in which he answered the questions posed at him. Even though I am not a businessman, I would certainly follow up on this venture as it seems to be credible and workable.

    • David Vogt 5:18 am on September 25, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      For those of you that might watch TV shows like “Dragons’ Den”, keep them in mind for these panel-based pitches. While both aim to be “real”, the dynamic of having the pitch/response recorded significantly alters how the venture capital (VC) people behave. In the end VCs thrive on self-promotion, so they’ll all be projecting their own unique persona as much as possible.

      When you pitch a venture, you might be part of a public presentation like these, or you might be part of a closed-door session with a panel of VCs, but by far the most often you’ll be one-on-one with an individual. That makes for a different kind of pitch, much more personal in context. As VCs tend to be a tight-knit community, if one is unsure of your pitch he/she will likely ask you to also pitch (individually) to one of their colleagues who might know your opportunity space better. Then they’ll decide between them whether one or both may go further with you. It’s a very “social” process.


      • themusicwoman 12:05 pm on September 28, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks, David. I actually kinda wondered about the “socialness” of it and if they all knew each other or at least each other’s reputations.

  • ashleyross 8:15 am on September 23, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , EduFire, elevator pitch   

    EduFire’s elevator pitch grabs the perspective client’s attention right away by creating two scenarios one for perspective students and one for perspective employees. At first glance, the concept of EduFire seemed relatively clear and concise as the company provides one-on-one training through live video learning. However, when I looked at the pitch for a second […]

    Continue reading EduFire Critique Posted in: Week 03: Analyst Bootcamp
    • verenanz 1:31 pm on September 23, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hello! I totally agree. Edufire left me with far too many questions and as a result, I couldn’t buy in to the product.

    • jenaca 3:47 am on September 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hey Ashley, I really like the way you have set up your pitch critique: using bullet points is always a good way to show important information.
      After watching this pitch, I too was left with too many questions which threw me off of the product.

    • khenry 7:23 pm on September 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hello Ashley,
      Like you I was left wanting more information, particulrly on cost, and on the team of persons involved. You made an important point in that there needs to be a focus on on what makes a product different.


    • Doug Smith 8:19 pm on September 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Ashley, you raise some great points. First and foremost, it was completely unclear to me why someone would actually want the product that they are selling. Having said that, perhaps this kind of thing is more pointed towards clients in the US or international clients, like from Asia perhaps. I think this is more of a product pitch as opposed to a VC pitch. Following on this, I like how you point out that we have no idea as to who is behind EduFire.

    • Deb Giesbrecht 12:32 pm on September 25, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      It’s an interesting concept – providing 1:1 learning, particularly in language studies or learning a new language. The speaker appeared very believable and was passionate in what he believed in. The concept is captivating – providing just-in-time learning to the learner, while taking a small cut from the person providing the learning. As you pointed out, there are unanswered questions one in which they would likely love to tell you about if given an opportunity!

  • ifeoma 5:59 pm on September 21, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , elevator pitch, WEbook   

    My initial impression of the WEBook pitch is that it is well presented for a less than one minute pitch. If I would want to know more about any of the 4 examples given, I would incline toward WEBook for the following reasons: The pitch started by Identifying the company and the industry or terrain […]

    Continue reading WEbook- Catchy! Posted in: Week 03: Analyst Bootcamp
    • Everton Walker 6:41 pm on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I am also interested in exploring webook too. Even though she left a lot of questions to be asked, the conviction with which she presented overshadowed a number of the loop holes. The massive figure and the equal split was a deliberate ploy which caught my attention. Even though it is a workable idea, it will not be that easy and that kind of figure and market penetration will certainly take some getting.

      • ifeoma 7:50 pm on September 23, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        I agree with your comment that “that kind of figure and market penetration will certainly take some getting.”
        She sure sounded confident enough to make the figure sound like something that would happen easily which is why I asked the question about how long it took to get to 1500 book projects. Is 50/50 share industry standard? or is it he catch phrase to attract her target audience? I wonder. As an investor if she is giving more profit margin that would the regular publishing market, that’s a plus too.

    • Angela Novoa 8:49 am on September 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      As Everton I am interested in Webook too. About the pitch, I think it is very difficult to succeed and provide all the information that is required about a product in such limited time. But as you, I had the same doubts about the product.

      • ifeoma 7:59 pm on September 23, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        I minute is indeed a short time to provide a lot of information but I must say that she did a remarkable job of it- at least in my opinion. There definitely will be doubts for any EVA I would think; because that is what they are trained to do and that is why the doubts are good as it will help to make the critical decision once properly investigated.

    • khenry 5:21 am on September 25, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Ifeoma,
      I agree with your comments to Angela. An EVA has to be more critial and work with their standardised tools/ guidelines rather than just the romance of the product. It offers standards, credibility and a level plain for critical analysis.


  • Jay 5:50 pm on September 21, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: elevator pitch,   

    As an EVA I was not particularly captivated by the Evernote pitch. While I found the idea of an “external brain” intriguing (being a person with limited space for remembering things) too much was lacking in this short pitch. The presenter started off by immediately identifying himself, CEO Phil Libin and gets straight into the […]

    Continue reading Evernote falls ever short on pitch Posted in: Week 03: Analyst Bootcamp
    • Everton Walker 5:22 pm on September 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      A very average presentation even though the topic was rather interesting. As you mentioned, the presenter lacks confidence and tends to be rushing. I think he needs more time for the presentation. I am not even sure how feasible this venture is as reality doesn’t match up with his rhetoric when one analyses the what is being presented.

    • mcquaid 4:52 am on September 23, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Good, original point on the security of info. Keeping information safe as well as protected ownership of material is something very important.

    • themusicwoman 9:25 pm on September 23, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I agree with both you and Everton about the presenter. I am a huge fan of Evernote but his pitch almost turned me off it. This is perhaps a case where the merits of venture outweigh the presenter?

  • mcquaid 3:20 pm on September 21, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: elevator pitch,   

    Evernote allows you to save, store, and organize anything from lists and notes to pictures, audio files, and websites. Two of its selling features are that it can run on virtually any Internet-ready device you already own, and that it aids in organization by allowing file labeling and tagging. Another selling feature is that the […]

    Continue reading Hello… I’ve Waited Here For You… Evernote Posted in: Week 03: Analyst Bootcamp
    • Doug Smith 4:33 pm on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I agree that the the pitcher passes on a level of trust. I also agree with how your initial enthusiasm is not maintained.

      This pitch is end users, not EVA people. It gets the uninitiated interested, in the way that your interests were piqued. However, the more specific things that separate it from its competitors (Livebinders and even OneNote to some extent) require more in-depth comparisons than what a 1 minute pitch can deliver.

      I really like how they pitched the mobile device aspect. I’ve been an Evernote user for over a year and it can be useful. It does a good job of indexing and allowing users to search the materials you’ve uploaded, including PDFs. This is one area that OneNote is terrible at.

      • mcquaid 3:12 pm on September 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        I think you’re right in your end users vs EVA audience. I think I went through the same transition as a viewer… at first, I liked the idea, but, in the end, if I had to put money into it, I’m not so sure I would.

      • jarvise 5:01 pm on September 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Doug,

        Interesting and correct that you say this pitch is aimed towards end users rather than EVAs. The question is, however, would end users watch this type of pitch? It seems that the pitch, per se, is a business-type of thing that is generally not targeted at general public type end users. So, if this is his target, he should use something more video-like and media rich (like what you see on the website). If the pitch is, by definition, targeted at investors, then why not focus on what they want to hear? Show me the money, right?

    • Everton Walker 6:03 pm on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      I must agree with you about the body language of the presenter. Do you think this was a ploy to remain different? It always amazes me when presenters present their product as if they are appealing to inanimate objects. However, sometimes this is not a reflection of the quality service or product being advertised. It’s just up to the consumer to trust his or her judgement and do his own research before investing or buying.

      • mcquaid 3:27 pm on September 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi, Everton.
        I don’t think body language was even on his mind. I think Libin was solely focused on two things: showing off the logo and cramming program information into a minute time frame. He did a pretty good job of both, but neglected things like energy and a rationale for why his program solves some hitherto-now unsolved problem.

    • Doug Smith 6:29 pm on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I think this also reflects that the CEO is not a marketing, “get up in front of everybody” type of person. I suspect that Evernote, like many tech companies, has very few employees and perhaps no one specific as the front person for marketing?

      • Jay 11:39 am on September 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        I would agree with you that this CEO is not a “get up in front of everybody” type of person and not everyone is or can be, but I think that this is initial enthusiasm is so important in a position where you only have 1-2 minutes to capture someone’s attention. Of course it is not only this and a pitch must contain many other important things, but if this important information such as problem–> solution, how you will do it, and why it should be done can be pitched with more confidence it is likely to be more successful in that short amount of time.

    • ifeoma 6:36 pm on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Mcquaid,
      You are right that the pitcher delivered a comprehensive message though I though he only focused on what the product does. I also can relate to what you mentioned about his body language, I though he was a bit nervous. I guess we can assume everyone is their target audience. I initially thought it sounded like a personal digital library and then I thought, “with media cards, my smart phone can do all that” and is right in my hands, I do not have to pay to access the data I put on it. I guess I am saying that it would have been more informative if he had mentioned what they are trying to improve on or compete against .

      • jenaca 2:56 am on September 23, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hey Ifeoma,
        I agree with your post that the pitcher delivered a well-rounded message and that he did limit himself by mainly focusing on what the product does. I believe its important in a short pitch to include as much information as you can, touching all the key parts of what most critiques would like to see addressed.

  • Doug Smith 5:24 am on September 21, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , , elevator pitch, EVA,   

      The WeBook elevator pitch features a composed president of the company giving a 60 second overview of her company.  We are told that WeBook would like to upend the publishing business by bringing writers together and using a community voting system to bring new books to the market.  It is their hope to do […]

    Continue reading WeBook: is it realistic? Posted in: Week 03: Analyst Bootcamp
    • jenaca 7:12 am on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I agree with you, the pitch was very good and I too would like to learn more about WeBooks company. I also watched this pitch and found that they identified their goals and within the first 10 seconds stated her pain pitch.
      I also believe she included lots of examples of why one would want to join her. However I felt she lacked stating why WeBook will become more successful than the current competitors out there. She did state good facts, but nothing really to make me want to jump on board with her!
      Great find!

    • andrea 4:47 pm on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Doug, you make a great point with “there is a large divide between publishing a book and selling a book.” I wasn’t clear also if WEBook is publishing print copies or mostly e-books. And how are they marketing and distributing their books? I’d be interested to know more about the company.

    • Everton Walker 5:31 pm on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply


      I like your take on the pitch. It is clear that they know what they are about and aiming to get there. However, in typical advertising mode, I think the presenter exaggerated to some extent about 50bn dollar target. I can’t blame her anyways as one needs to sell their product with optimism and bit of sensationalism.

    • ifeoma 6:18 pm on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Doug,
      Nice one! On your opinion about the president, I agree. I also think she sounds quite confident and I can also relate to your mixed feelings. You have worded it well by saying, “I believe they greatly overstate the impact they could make” I also had questions about the marketing of WEpublished books and am not sure how long it took to build the capacity of 1,500 book projects and their growth rate is not mentioned. The President simply says, they are growing quickly- well how quickly?
      However, the pitch inspired enough curiosity in me with their idea of “open publishing” to want to know more.

    • Doug Smith 8:31 pm on September 24, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      In terms of market size, I really liked David Hansson’s presentation. He effectively deconstructs the stigma of not wanting to be an instant billionaire. Why does WeBook want to upend a $50B market? Frankly speaking, those terms are rediculous. At one of my past jobs we were quite happy with trying to get a 5% share of a $5B market. Even that scale is usually risky for a VC. These days it is even harder to get capital. Wallstreet is tight and it takes fire to fight fire. If you want to topple a $50B market, you had better be prepared to spend $100’s of millions. Or be lucky.

  • kstooshnov 2:13 pm on September 20, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: elevator pitch, ,   

    The two pitches I’d like to deconstruct are Phil Libin’s Evernote and Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col’s winning Pitch This! project Kill Shakespeare. Evernote elevator pitch 2010 Toronto International Film Festival’s Pitch This! Out of all the elevator pitches I have viewed so far, this one seems most likely to take place in an […]

    Continue reading Evernote and Kill Shakespeare Posted in: Week 03: Analyst Bootcamp
    • Kristopher 9:26 pm on September 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      At first I was a little put off as well by the ‘gateway drug’ comment; okay, maybe not exactly put off, but a little voice saying ‘this isn’t for the classroom’. It wasn’t until I was going back through the criteria for a good pitch that I remembered the audience types. That statement isn’t intended for the learner, but instead the end-user (the teacher). It connects us to a statement that is cliché, but gets the point across.

      I liked your analysis of both products. I felt the same about the EverNote presenter– he seemed genuine and confident in his product, like someone that I could trust and seek further information from.

      Thanks for the thoughts,


      • kstooshnov 9:40 am on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thank you, Kristopher,

        Regardless of how the pitch plays out in the media, I also had to get over my issues over using graphic novels to teach literature. Some of the students I tutor have teachers assigning The Watchmen, Maus and other classic comics for English, and it took a while for me to warm up to the idea of presenting graphic novels to the class. With most other manga editions of Shakespeare, the focus is all on the images, and too much of the text is crammed into speech bubbles, thus making it a pointless way into understanding the play. The creative team on KS took a more thoughtful and engaging route with their design (modeling their character on movie stars they’d cast in their film) and has at least raised my interest in graphic novels in the classroom.


    • hall 3:35 am on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      As result of Evernote elevation pitch several times, I think your analysis this pitch is very good. I concur with you that wearing the company logo of by Phil is a simple gesture which adds to the experience he is evoking. Good point.

      • kstooshnov 9:59 am on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks, Conroy,

        It wasn’t until I downloaded EverNote on my iPhone that I realized what the image is: an elephant with part of its ear folded over, like an “earmarked” paper note. Very impressive how much attention to the slightest details went into this project. It would be silly to wear anything but the company logo when pitching to prospective investors.


    • kstooshnov 9:58 am on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Thanks, Conroy,

      It wasn’t until I downloaded EverNote on my iPhone that I realized what the image is: an elephant with part of its ear folded over, like an “earmarked” paper note. Very impressive how much attention to the slightest details went into this project. It would be silly to wear anything but the company logo when pitching to prospective investors.


    • mcquaid 3:40 pm on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I think I generally agree with your thoughts on Evernote. Like WeBook, I appreciated the fact that he had a logo (and wore it). That gives at least an air or being established and serious. Edufire’s pitch, in front of a world map, did almost nothing for me. I decided in the first second that the pitcher was also a little crazy. While he got better, I couldn’t shake that first impression.

  • andrea 7:58 pm on September 19, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , elevator pitch   

    I reviewed a pitch from 2008 for the search engine Duck Duck Go. Aside from looking at the pitch, it was interesting to be able to see how the company/tool has fared since then. The pros The description of how it works is really clear – “it’s like Google,” but with “human-powered” results at the […]

    Continue reading Duck Duck Go pitch Posted in: Week 03: Analyst Bootcamp
    • jenaca 3:12 am on September 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hey Andrea,
      I really like the way your formed your analysis and sectioned it off through pros and cons. After watching the pitch you chose, I too agree with how you decided to group it. It is so much like google and does seem like it will save people time and effort.
      Thanks for sharing this pitch!!

    • David William Price 12:20 pm on September 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      But how does he make money?

      And do hand-picked results mean we have to wait longer for valuable results?

      He claims hand-picked results are better than Google but why? I find the Google database is so large that I can often enter a natural language question and find forums and blogs where someone asked the very same question, and I get the answers they received.

      When it comes to publishing, I think there is value in gatekeeping (see my comment on weBook for instance) but for search results, I think gatekeeping holds us back. Consider how easy it is to do research with gated databases of journals vs. using Google… which is faster? Which allows more intuitive personal searches without learning a system to do it?

      • andrea 4:30 pm on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hello David,
        I can definitely see how gatekeeping could hold us back. My understanding of Duck Duck Go was that just a few of the results at the very top are “hand-picked” and then the rest of the results are presented the same way Google does.

    • Angela Novoa 1:46 pm on September 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Andrea, I liked your analysis as it is concise and clear. Your idea about presenting CEO’s professional background and linkages to the product is necessary. It also is important knowing how revenues will be captured.

      • andrea 4:33 pm on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Angela, I wondered if perhaps (like other search engines) there would be revenue from advertising, but he doesn’t explain that exactly. And if this pitch is also for end-users, suggesting there will be advertising is usually a turn-off.

    • Kristopher 8:50 pm on September 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi all,

      I agree with Andrea that the presenter was awkward in his delivery, but I would also add unprofessional– it is weird to have the cat cleaning itself in the background, clearly creating the sense that this company is not a major player.

      Also, he chose an unfortunate description with ‘google-plus’ as there is now an actual product called Google+ that is supposed to (I haven’t managed to get on as they have been back logged for months now) blow social media and search out of the water.

      I also had a similar sense to David– gatekeeping can be appreciated, but how do I know that I value the same things as the gatekeeper? What if what is relevant to the GK is not relevant to me?

      Thanks for the thoughts!


      • andrea 4:31 pm on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        Hi Kristopher – I agree the cat thing was strange! Yes, his Google + description would have been okay when it was recorded in 2008, but wouldn’t work anymore.

    • Juliana 1:56 pm on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Andrea,

      This has been mentioned previously, but not having any information of profits or how much money would be required for the venture is central for the pitch. And I agree with you that the awkwardness of the pitch and not knowing his creditentials don’t help. People need to feel that they can depend on the person to deliver what they are pitching.


  • bcourey 5:08 pm on September 19, 2011
    0 votes

    Tags: , elevator pitch   

    The WeBook pitch begins with the claim to be the “next generation publisher” which caught my attention immediately in my interest in anything new and innovative. Her foot was definitely in my door and I opened it! The presenter took a secondary position in the screen (standing off to the side) in order to allow the predominant […]

    Continue reading WeBook Pitch Posted in: Week 03: Analyst Bootcamp
    • Deb Giesbrecht 5:45 pm on September 19, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I saw this pitch as well on youtube. Great concise evaluation of their pitch. It is a great idea and concept as the book market is a competitive niche that not everyone can gain access to. You are right that she appear to be confident and covered all the basic requirements in under 60 seconds – made you want to look into it more.

    • andrea 7:24 pm on September 19, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I agree with your evaluation! I was really impressed with the presenter’s speaking style – her confidence, clarity, and directness.

    • jenaca 3:15 am on September 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hey group member:)
      I also saw this pitch on youtube, you did a wonderful job of analyzing it! I also enjoyed her comparison approach and thought it was a great way to draw her audience in even more!!

    • Julie S 10:16 am on September 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      I too liked the presentation style because it captured my attention but I wasn’t sold on the content after reviewing at it a second time.

      If this pitch was targeted to the writer then I would give it higher marks than if it was targeted to the venture capitalist. The financial return she states is for authors and contributors but doesn’t speak to the value for the investor e.g. what does the investor get out of it. The pitch described ‘the what’ and ‘the how’ but didn’t clearly state the pain points in the existing market that justifies why this venture is needed. She states that WeBooks is open where the publishing industry is closed but that seems too vague. She also didn’t mention anything that gives me reason to trust in their core team e.g. is there anyone involved that is a publishing industry guru? Or how about an eCommerce guru? She also throws out a $50 billion dollar number but this is a red herring because their market would likely be a small subset of this. I’m guessing that the $50 billion industry is not just book publishing. I think that this pitch would be better received by the person wanting to publish a book than by a venturist because it tells me what I want to hear as a writer e.g. easy access, high profit potential, but doesn’t do the same for the venturist.

      • bcourey 10:29 am on September 21, 2011 | Log in to Reply

        I have to agree that the pitch did feel more directed to authors than to a venture capitalist…was that her intent? To build the community of authors to the point where she can then pitch for investors showing the number of authors that have come on board?

    • David William Price 12:23 pm on September 20, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Wannabe writers struggle for a good reason… there is a huge amount of competition and readers have a huge amount of choice. We naturally go with what we already know (known authors, known series) or what is popular (bestseller lists, books made into movies) or what is recommended by friends.

      50/50 profit share likely means 50% of $0. Profits are only what’s left after expenses are paid.

    • ifeoma 6:00 pm on September 22, 2011 | Log in to Reply

      Hi David,
      That’s quite interesting. You have actually presented some of the thoughts I had but I must say I like how you put it. I was really taken in by the pitch at once but a closer look threw up questions. I too thought about the quality of writers, editors and reviewers they have, I had actually asked if they were all aspiring or renown.

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