A Rich Multimedia Module for Using the Elevator Pitch as a Locus for Teaching Entrepreneurship

Bob Reynolds, San José State University

The elevator pitch is one of the most difficult aspects of entrepreneurship to teach. The proper balance of energy, analysis, technology, and marketing that makes up successful pitches is almost impossible to achieve within the confines of a typical university course or entrepreneurship workshop. This session presents a multimedia course module that attempts to address this difficulty by using the elevator pitch as an organizing concept for teaching various aspects of entrepreneurship. The centerpiece of the module is a video of young entrepreneurs (from underrepresented groups) pitching to a partner at a venture capital firm. The video is summarized in a timeline that has links to lessons on the substantial amount of preparation required to arrive at an actual pitch, including lessons and exercises on market research, prototype development and customer testing, networking in the entrepreneurship community, and background research on potential investors.

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