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Elevator Pitch and Online Venture Challenge

Page history last edited by tbateman 8 years, 5 months ago

Geoff Archer, Entrepeneurship BCom


Video Elevator Pitch



On campus students had a live presentation session to do their elevator pitches and recieve feedback. Online students had no such option.  Geoff had his online students post their pitches to YouTube, or Vimeo and had others students post feedback. What he found was that the f2f students were usually so focused on working through their own pitches that they had difficulty paying attention to the pitches of others and since  the feedback wasn't recorded, it was often forgotten. The online students had time to watch and reflect and provide feedback in a discussion forum.  



The Elevator Pitch is industry jargon for "a short presentation of your new business concept." It is called an Elevator Pitch, because the idea is that you imagine that you are working on a start-up, and you accidentally end up in an elevator with a wealthy potential investor. In order to earn a follow-up appointment, get a business card, or hear the proverbial 'have your people call my people', your pitch better be good: You should be able to quickly and clearly communicate a general overview of the opportunity you are pursuing. Of course, if this happened to you in real life, you would not have any time to prepare a script, you would probably be more than a little nervous, and soon enough the elevator would reach its destination and your time would be up. Thus Elevator Pitch assignments involve well-rehearsed public speaking under a strict time limit.



Here are the guidelines that will be used to grade this assignment (the following line items do not need to be covered in any specific order - common sense prevails). This assignment is out of 10 points - up to 1 point each for:

  1.  What is it? (What is the product / service?)
  2.  Who will buy it?
  3.  Where will they buy it?
  4.  Why will they buy it? (What problem does it solve for them?)
  5.  Who is on your team? (This references your hypothetical team - NOT your current RRU team. Who would you have doing what in this new business...in an ideal world?)
  6.  How much money do you need/What are you willing to give up for that? How much equity (ownership of the company)? Do you seek a loan? At what interest rate? (Because we are only halfway through the course it is OK to guess/make-up all these numbers...just realize that this is a really important part of the pitch that we cannot omit)
  7.  Use of a powerful statistic (be sure to give credit here, for example, "The ICBC reports that 10 million Canadians own a car that..."
  8.  Personal Presentation Performance (Poise, creativity, etc.)
  9.  Max. length is 2 minutes (go longer than 2 minutes and you lose these points)
  10.  The quality of your feedback to others


Elevator Pitch Hall of fame


Online Venture Challenge



 Face to face BCom students participate in a Venture Challenge that gives them hands on experience at running a business. The online students did extra case analysis. The challenge was to give online students the opportunity for the experiential learning experience that the f2f had.



Royal Roads University launched the Venture Challenge more than a decade ago. In what has become a tradition of social entrepreneurship, on-campus ENMN 313 students have dreamed up, refined, launched and operated small businesses that "make a difference while making a dollar." Each team starts with only $5 seed capital (but is allowed to take loans if they can get them) and has about a month to generate revenue, all of which goes to charity. 2010's on-campus cohort raised more than $40,000 in five weeks while having all kinds of fun, and learning about start-ups in a very hands-on way.


The online cohort who took this class in November of 2009 (2009-1s) pioneered the venture challenge experience, customized for online participation; The Online Venture Challenge. Their seven websites were poised to make a difference while making a dollar, but they did not include 'checkout' functionality.

The cohort who took this class in July, 2010 (2009-2s) did make that one giant leap for RRU, and added 'checkout' functionality. Their nine different sites raised a total of more than $7000 for their charity partners. Without spending more than $5 of your own money your cohort will follow their example building Mission-Driven E-Commerce websites that are open for business from February 20 until March 20, 2011.

Remember that 100% of your profits from this period must be donated to a charity of your choice. For tax purposes, your team will make that donation under the auspices of the Royal Roads chapter of the international student club SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise).



This assignment is comprised of three components that together will be 30% of thefinal grade:

  1. Mission-Driven e-Commerce Website Design (10%)
  2. Website Performance (8%)
  3. Investment Presentation (12%).


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