Up2date Learning is a high school e-Text…

Up2date Learning is a high school e-Textbook company that produces customizable resources designed to align with individual course curriculum that receives annual updates every year, and sends email alerts to teachers giving them options for updating their course throughout the year when events and breakthroughs occur.

Here is my elevator pitch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiVXcnQAfn8

Here is my venture pitch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0l-TmIPwsM

Thanks everyone for your feedback!


My reflection/evaluation:

It is difficult enough watching myself on video, let alone giving a self evaluation, but here it goes.
I think my pitch lacked the appropriate enthusiasm required for a top tier venture pitch. I was concerned about time constraints, and wish I had planned that better. While looking up other venture pitches, I must have read somewhere that venture pitches range from 8-12 minutes, and mixed up the 8 minute maximum criteria for the assignment. I was forced to omit some of the presentation to fit into 8 minutes, which disrupted the flow and the overall effectiveness of the pitch. I cut out marketing strategies from the pitch like geographic locations and ideas such as ‘free 30 day trials’ which I wished had made the final cut. In hindsight, I would have cut down the opening ‘problem’ and been more succinct in that area.
From an analysis standpoint, I think my credibility lies a bit short, because of my lack of experience. I guess, however, for the assignment that is expected. I also did not put in any pricing or projections, frankly because I didn’t know what appropriate numbers would be. Perhaps researching into textbook budgets could have made that part of the presentation more powerful. Potential Venture Capitalists would also have questions about the algorithm that would search for resources to match a given curriculum. This is not something I have done, or even know how to do, but I guess that would be part of the job for the team I would hire. Another problem with the venture is that most of the high school market might not yet be ready to embrace it, so it could be tough to make money in the initial years of the venture.
With that being said, I do think the ideas of the pitch are strong. The pain point is something that teachers and non-teachers can relate with and the solution makes sense. Even though not all schools will be willing or able to make such a drastic switch in their resources, some will, and as time passes, more will join. The automatic updates offered to the teachers in time are one of the better parts of the idea. In my original cut, I demonstrate going to the sites and analysing if they would be good resources for the hypothetical eTextbook. I kept some of the update demonstration, but again, I wish had condensed the whole pitch to be able to include more of that section. One of the best parts of the venture is the infancy of the market; perhaps I should have stressed that more in the pitch.
I like the video and PowerPoint idea of presenting because it is a typical way that a venture pitch might actually happen. It added to the difficulty level as nerves were a factor, forcing many retakes and screw ups. Ideally, I would have liked to run through the whole thing flawlessly, and I think that if I was pitching this idea over and over, it would become more second nature, and easier to do. I thought the PowerPoint was good, not too flashy, wordy or long. I also thought the name of the company was a good choice. I debated between Up2date Learning and On the Ball Learning, and am glad I went the way I did.
It’s going to drive me nuts if in five years, someone else is doing this idea and making money, but maybe part of me will feel rewarded as I now have the proof to say, “I told you so”.

Posted in: Venture Forum