Hi Joyce, I enjoyed your pitch – the ide…

Hi Joyce,

I enjoyed your pitch – the idea of personalized learning (more specifically adaptive digital tools) seems like the sort of thing that is within reach these days, so your venture appealed to me.  The venture pitch presentation was well organized and made good use of your research – you came across as an excellent champion for your venture.  I really liked your high-concept pitch – “choose your own adventure for education”.

The concept seems quite original and it’s likely that algorithms and the AI necessary to continuously assess student knowledge and then intelligently select the appropriate next learning step can be developed at this point.  But it will be time-consuming – your proposed 1-year development period may be unrealistic.  Much testing will need to be done before this product could come to market.

You were a little vague on the “magic” behind your product, which is fine for now, but it sounds a bit like you would be developing a whole new LMS, where a plug-in for existing LMS-s might be a better approach.

From a marketability perspective, I liked your use of a “three-pronged approach”, but was a little confused about the payment for your service.  Based on your marketing strategy, it would seem that  schools and school boards are your target market, but what would the $120/month subscription cover? Is it a per-student fee, per-class fee or just a per-school fee?

While, developing this tool would give you a very serious competitive edge, I’m not sure you were comparing your tool to the right competitors.  My understanding is that your tool wouldn’t necessarily be a content authoring tools, but a tool that helps locate pre-existing resources and tailors the selection to the needs of the student.

I think, in reality, your competition would be a collection of resources (podcasts, websites, youtube videos) compiled by an instructor and posted on any LMS.  Your competitive advantage would really lie in the adaptive presentation of content to the student making the whole learning process more tailored.

In terms of your venture plan, I have some doubts about the timelines you proposed and the amount of money you asked for.  You propose to bring together a team of data scientists and programmers to develop this tool – such a team would likely go through that initial investment long before you could even start marketing.  Think about the number of people that might be involved, and consider their salaries as well and any expenses you might incur in the process of developing this tool.

I would have preferred to see a pitch that plans for the need for funding for multiple years – it will take a while to reach profitability.  You claimed that investors should see a return on their investment within about 5 years, but that likely means no profit until year 4 or 5.

I think if you could plug some of the “holes” in your proposal, especially in your venture plan, I might be interested in investing.

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