REVIEW: Carlo, I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing your pitch. I am impressed by the way that you overcame the challenges of self-isolation to still deliver a compelling elevator pitch presentation. I appreciated your choice to include the elevator pitch script in addition to the video as it was useful to reference later on. As a CEO, you clearly have the ability to communicate your ideas and can back them up with your 6 years of experience, data to effectively convey a pain point (17 hours of lost time!) and an attractive solution (99% accuracy!). I found the closing of your pitch to be particularly strong: “Make an investment in us, in education and in the future.” The irony is that it is I fear that Gradenetix (or any AI solution) cannot replicate this same calibre of communication in the feedback it may generate. How could AI really deliver personalized feedback that models that level of written ability? It doesn’t appear that the strongest competition, Progressay, can come close to that, and I don’t have information from your pitch about how Gradenetix would be able to achieve its claims. I also wasn’t clear about the subjects and grade levels that Gradenetix was purporting to assess, and I wasn’t convinced that a database of academic papers could address the breadth and depth required to meet the claims made by Gradenetix. For example, one of the papers I have to mark in my higher-education job are resumes and cover letters. A solution that has been bandied about for years is https://www.vmock.com/higher-education. It’s apparently a great tool, but my college is hesitant to make the significant investment that I’m told is around $30,000 per year. Given the individualized nature of resumes, I really wonder how AI (Gradenetix or otherwise) could provide accurate feedback.
As an investor, I’d like to understand more about the content and the integrity of the tool in order to trust its capabilities. Specifically, how would the academic papers be selected for inclusion in the database, and how would students’ confidentiality be protected upon submission for grading? Privacy concerns could interfere with adoption with public boards; independent schools may have more flexibility and could be a logical place to start, especially given your background. I know that professors at my college can’t accept help from other college staff for marking as it violates integrity standards. I appreciated the honesty of your reflection and recognition of weaknesses. Your utilization of the Cube Framework is especially appropriate given the business of Gradenetix – submissions that directly respond to curriculum are certainly ideal! Based on the information of the current pitch, I would not be in a position to invest, but I thank you for the opportunity!