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  • jenniferschubertubc 6:13 pm on November 25, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: engineering, , international, , science, STEAM, STEM,   

    Please click on the following links to view my Elevator Pitch and Venture Proposal for the first international extension of US based company Play-Well TEKnologies! (Play-Well TEKnologies is an existing company that currently only has branches within the United States. I am proposing London as a first location for an international branch.) (Links removed at […]

    Continue reading Play-Well TEKnologies – London! Posted in: Venture Forum
    • Kent Jamieson 4:02 pm on November 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hello Jennifer, thank you for your venture! I have always been a big fan of Lego, and its educational value. I’m glad that you added these learing features into your Prezi – gears/pulleys, engineering, math skills, etc.

      I couldn’t see you elevator pitch, but i could hear what seemed like an introduction. Powerpoint kept loading forever, so eventually i just gave up on it. I also tried to import it into my Dropbox, but unfortunately i’ve lost that login information…urrgghhh. I’ll track it down soon enough and review your pitch then.

      Back to your venture pitch, the Prezi was quite organized and flowed well. It was good to see the program in action through your pictures, as i’m a big fan of seeing the service working.

      Your price range seems quite reasonable, but with so many ‘special pieces’ that you mention the kids having the opportunity in using i’m curious as to how you are less expensive then your competitors.
      As well, your asking price of $25,000 seems low to me. Although this amount will be matched, i still don’t see $50,000 going very far in terms of starting a brand new venture in a place like England, where our dollar – or the States’ – doesn’t count for very much.
      I did appreciate knowing when my money would be returning to me, however.

      Another point I noticed was that much of your presentation seemed like an advertisement for potential employees looking for jobs. Information about ‘team buidling and training’ might be more geared towards potential employees, rather than investors in the venture.

      I’m also wondering that with so much red tape involved in trying to get Play-Well in Canada, there must be the same issues regarding a European branch. Perhaps adding this fact to your ‘pain point’ would be helpful.

      Although you have a terrific brand name, that many would recognize, I still think I would need a bit more information in regards to the legalities and financials with moving a brand into not only a new country, but a new continent. Your overview of your competition also seemed to be based in North America, and i’m wondering if England has any similar products. Is Mad Science in London?

      Just a few things i’m still trying to figure out. However, a nicely polished presentation and venture pitch. Well done!


      • jenniferschubertubc 5:59 pm on November 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Thanks Kent! I can see where maybe some of my points weren’t made in the clearest way by some of your questions…

        The special pieces that we use in the kit are used only by the instructor. Students do not take home the projects we create. (That would get WAY too expensive.) Our employees successfully impart that the take away from our courses is the knowledge and experience over material things. We provide links to where parents can purchase materials online if their children would like to continue exploration on their own at home, but the only charge they incur from us is the class rate.

        As far as the team building aspect goes, that was meant as a way of expanding our business (and not referring to anything internal). Instead of solely running after school enrichment, camps and experiences for children, why not branch out into the corporate world, providing interactive team building experiences for corporations at large? I am based near Boulder, CO in the States… home to many computer tech companies, including Google, who have expressed interest in this type of experience. It would obviously be more of a special event type of occurrance, but a new source of revenue regardless.

        Thank you for your comments regarding red tape and other issues. I hear you! I have been trying to figure this out for a while. As I understand it, England does have a “loophole” of sorts which allows a single representative of a foreign operation to come in and do business under a standard VISA. Fingers crossed because I hope to push this to headquarters upon my return!

    • jkotler 7:12 am on November 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jennifer,

      I really liked the learn by play with Lego concept presented in your venture pitch and also thought the presentation itself was very well organized. One thing I would suggest is to give the venture pitch an equal focus on how the programs actually work with the students and even perhaps some actual examples instead of focusing more on the marketing and future goals of the company.


      • jenniferschubertubc 6:03 pm on November 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Thank you for the suggestion Julie! Obviously as an instructor, I am super passionate about what I have seen this program do in the lives of my students. Unfortunately, I was so afraid to overload my presentation with too much sentimentality that I neglected to really express what the individual programs do accomplish! I agree with you that perhaps I shouldn’t have played it so safe here. (We really do great things!)

        I do hope that people visit our YouTube page to see the projects in action though! Prezi could never do that justice (though perhaps I should have included one or two in my presentation). Food for thought going forward! Thanks!

    • Colin 10:31 pm on November 28, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jennifer, I had problems with your elevator pitch so I wasn’t able to listen to it. Your Prezi was very well organized and personally I have always loved playing with Lego. I think your idea does sound interesting but I am not that familiar with the market in England so I don’t believe I can comment on how effective you would be. It sounds like you are doing the necessary networking and research gathering that you need to be successful so I wish you all the best.

      • jenniferschubertubc 6:06 pm on November 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Thank you Colin. I was having quite a bit of trouble with my pitch as well. It seemed to end up working fine on my end in the end, but I am quite bummed that so many of you seem to be having trouble with it. Those that know me from other classes know my obsession with creating video, so being without a computer here has been murder. I weep for my Mac back at home!

        I am currently staying in a part of England inundated with children and families. I have put out feelers with mummy groups and local enrichment sources and have actually garnered quite a bit of interest. It is all very exciting; I can’t wait to bring the news home with me in a few weeks.

    • manny 3:35 pm on November 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      HI Jennifer,
      I like the concept of integrating play with education and what better way to do so than lego. I am having a little bit of trouble understanding how the business model would work for such a setup. I read it as an franchise in which you build partnerships with individual entrepreneurs who would buy the kit for $10000 and then receive training on how to go into schools and work with students. My wife had a similar activity in her class in which the school paid $300 for a third person to come into the school and work with students on building projects using lego-like materials. My only question is why someone would want to fork out the initial $10,000 for that specific kit and membership to this group. Unless this organization already has orders from schools that need to be filled, wouldn’t one do better on their own?

      • jenniferschubertubc 6:09 pm on November 30, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Our company currently is not interested in providing franchise opportunities. This venture would be in-house only. I am basically tasked with making the case for bringing it abroad. With the interest I have garned in one very small borough of London, I feel that I have more than enough ammo to back up my request. I am looking for additional funding as my company is slow to compensate any new territory, whether within the US or outside.

    • jhodi 1:53 am on December 1, 2012 | Log in to Reply


      Overall, I think that you have an interesting concept here. Learning with LEGO can be very engaging for students. However, I would have liked have been able to view and hear your elevator pitch for more engagement from myself to get interested in the concept. For me, this format was not very engaging and did not spark my interest. I would have also liked to have seen a stronger focus on the student in the venture pitch.

      Overall, I think that you did a good job on both pitches. They were both informative and developed a positive view of your company and marketability.


    • Peggy Lawson 8:22 am on December 1, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jen –

      I thought you did a great job with your pitches. I’m a fan of educational uses of Lego (never used them for that, but think they are great for that purpose). I liked that your elevator pitch, early on, distinguished Play-Well Tek from similar competitors, with the curriculum being the main difference. You provided more detail in your venture pitch. The vertical structure of your prezi (What is..; Why; Marketing; Who is behind…, etc.) took me clearly and logically through your venture. Your Ask – clearly mentioned in the elevator pitch but no mention there of what it was for, but you answered this in the longer venture pitch. Even matched by the company this seems low for what the funds were to provide, but the money aspect is something I am admittedly weak about myself. You say my investment will be returned in a year; with a tidy profit I hope? The team has plenty of credibility – I love the title VP of Marketing and Fun.

      Well thought-out marketing plan.

      I thought you did a great job. The product seems expensive to me, but you put it into perspective. I’d be interested in further discussions, but the competition would be one of my main concerns.

    • rebeccaharrison 6:19 pm on December 1, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      This service is an extension or alternative form of teaching, so it may be a more difficult sell based on that point. However, this service comes at a good time. There is a massive movement in education towards play. This is a great example of using play to teach and learn. I didn’t get a clear idea of how this is different from the robotics and lego options already out there? Why is this particular program special? The championship in this venture is clear and this is a definite point of strength. I also think that it would be easy to market this. Expos, schools, etc. would be great avenues, however, your “difference” from other similar types of services would be important to include in any advertising or marketing that you do. Your ask and return are very clearly laid out and seem more than reasonable. Would it be possible to do online instruction as well? Could this be another area of growth for your company? I would definitely invest in this venture.

    • Lisa Nevoral 10:49 pm on December 1, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jennifer,

      Great job on your elevator and venture pitch! In your elevator pitch, I got a sense of who you were and what you were pitching. As well, you had an “Ask”. Depending on who you were targeting, I could see a need for this product. The idea about kids learning through play (especially LEGOS) is great.

      Here is some constructive feedback on your venture pitch:

      • Your elevator and venture pitch were well put together.
      o The Prezi was easy to follow
      • I was unsure as to what market problem Play-Well TEKnologies was a solution for.
      • You did include the competition, but I think you could have stated why your product was better than these other products. You mentioned it in your elevator pitch, but I think you should have re-stated it again in your “Competition” section.
      • Marketing – you do state where you will go to promote this product such as expos, community events/fairs, trial classes, promotional flyers but…
      o Who will your major market push be towards? I am unclear as to who runs the programs and where they are held.
      o Will you target schools or school districts? Do you target organizations that run after school programs like a YMCA?
      • You included information about the cost of the “Play-Well TEKnologies” kit, as well as attendance fees and how much instructors would get paid. I thought this would be good from an investor’s point of view since it would give me an idea of where this product would make money. The amount of money for the kit did make me wonder if this was too high of a price for an organization to buy into.
      • You did state an “ask” and “return”
      • I’m not sure if I got a strong sense of the strengths and weaknesses of “Play-Well TEKnologies”. What are some of the issues that may arise?

      Since I had quite a few questions as I went through your venture pitch, I would not invest in this product. But in saying that, good job on both pitches.


  • jenniferschubertubc 9:05 am on September 27, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: , founders parade, gaggle, jeff patterson, social media   

    Gaggle – Jeff Patterson, Founder and CEO ·         Gaggle started out as a filtered, controlled email client for students and teachers alike but has grown into a full social media suite which provides students safe places to communicate and collaborate, all whilst affording them personal spaces in which to foster and express individual creativity. The […]

    Continue reading Gaggle – Jeff Patterson, Founder and CEO… Posted in: Week 04: Entrepreneur Bootcamp
    • tomwhyte1 9:53 am on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I find it interesting that this venture was created out of a need for email…

      Lately, when instructing my students, and introducing email, and the platform we are using to accommodate this service, most students ask – “What is email?”

      Have we held onto something, that many of our students have moved beyond? Is it important?

      Secondly, in your information about the individual and company in general, I really appreciated and found value in the fact that this is not his first venture into technology and education, but another venture based upon a need he felt existed. As I am unaware of this company, is this a for-profit or not-for-profit venture?

      • jenniferschubertubc 6:21 am on October 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        The way I am interpreting what they state in their FAQ’s, Gaggle is a for-profit venture which does occasionally offer free services to selected schools who cannot afford their product (by invitation only). As far as the email origins… I quite enjoy that the company recognized the need to grow and expand from that and move into social networking. I have found that they have “kept up with the times” as it were and opened themselves up to new markets and services as the demand has grown and changed.

    • Ranvir 10:00 pm on September 27, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      I have looked at the Gaggle website and it seems that the concept of providing a controlled, human monitored environment works great for k-12 schools who are able to get the grant funding from the government. However, I wonder how this affects the students behaviour and their web etiquette when they know that their keystrokes are being monitored. I guess this may not be much of an issue in primary grades, however in high school where students are more matured, I wonder how much is the uptake. We don’t like to be policed irrespective of our age.

      • jenniferschubertubc 6:26 am on October 12, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I’m sure this is always in the back of students’ minds… especially when they become old enough to “know better.” I’m sure genuine posting is more than likely filtered to become what they find to be more safe or to look better to teachers rather than true feelings. After all, they still have facebook, twitter and other non-policed ways to communicate outside of school. (I do wonder if students would choose to use this service for anything other than strictly school-related communication in this instance. I do like the idea for younger students to have a safe space, but I can’t help but feel that older students will duck the system so to speak in order to have more genuine interaction with friends/peers.)

  • jenniferschubertubc 10:30 am on September 4, 2012
    0 votes

    Tags: fandom, , , teaching   

    Hello there fellow METers! My name is Jen; I’m a crazy American about to move to the UK (for just a few months) in just a few short hours (3 to be exact). I figured I would try to get a jump on posting as I’m not sure how available I will be this week […]

    Continue reading Greetings from Colorado, USA (and soon to be London, UK)! Posted in: Week 01: Introductions
    • lullings 11:32 am on September 4, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      London UK – thats excellent Jen. At least there are two of us now that are in the same time zone. Looking forward to it and we can discuss things before the others even get out of bed!

      • jenniferschubertubc 11:07 am on September 10, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        That’s wonderful! I’ve already thought about the advantages of this… longer time to procrastinate… but, no! I shall be vigilant and get things done ahead of time. 🙂

    • stammik 6:32 pm on September 4, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jen. Thanks for your sharing a bit about your background – I must say it all sounds rather exciting!
      Great photo in your post as well. I haven’t seen a portrait shot on Velvia stock for many years, that’s awesome 🙂 Cheers, Scott.

      • jenniferschubertubc 11:08 am on September 10, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        That’s what comes from having too many fancy photo apps on the iPhone! I look forward to sharing more with everyone as more things fall into place.

    • Jonathan 9:47 pm on September 4, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Lego Engineering Instructor, if that isn’t the coolest job title I don’t know what is. Have a good flight and I look forward to working with you. — Jonathan

      • jenniferschubertubc 11:09 am on September 10, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        Everything was so smooth getting here, but I am still looking for a flat. It is quite an adjustment and a bit tough to get started with everything here, but it will all work out soon enough. (At least, I certainly hope so!) It is a great job; I look forward to working with you as well!

    • jameschen 12:36 am on September 5, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      Hi Jen. Your research topic sounds interesting! Look forward to working with you this term. Safe journeys.

      • jenniferschubertubc 11:11 am on September 10, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        It is fascinating stuff! I created a 20 minute multimedia presentation on it. If I have access to it, I will certainly post it for anyone who is interested. I look forward to working with you as well!

    • kstackhouse 6:17 am on September 5, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      This is a very exciting time for you! Congrats on nearing the completion of MET. I am done after this term! Where does the time go? Is your acting/filming/editing for work or for fun? I look forward to hearing more about your experiences.


      • jenniferschubertubc 11:13 am on September 10, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        It certainly is flying by faster than I ever thought it could have! I’ve done the acting thing for ages now. I just got my SAG (Union) card in the States just before I left for England. I guess I can call myself a professional now! (Whatever that means in the acting world… Ha.) I look forward to sharing more of my adventures as they creep up… and I figure out how to integrate all of this wonderful MET business into them! 😉

    • Peggy Lawson 7:18 pm on September 5, 2012 | Log in to Reply

      What a cool job! I hope to hear much more about it and your research during Ventures. That’s what I love about the program, getting to meet such a diverse group of people. Have fun while in the UK!


      • jenniferschubertubc 11:14 am on September 10, 2012 | Log in to Reply

        I LOVE the diversity in the MET program! I certainly was pleasantly surprised by it all and am continually impressed as I progress through the courses. So very nice to “meet” you!

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