Lesson 4: Pitch

A teacher and community leader work together to guide and conduct a successful pitch event. Pitch may include two events: academic pitch and public funding/competition pitch in a public forum. In class, pitches are performed and assessed as part of the student’s overall class grade. A student’s performance is assessed as a team member and as an individual. The teacher needs to schedule these team pitches and pace them with enough time for all teams to present and address questions from the volunteer Board of Directors. Allow 20 minutes for presentation and question and answer session.

Preparation for the public pitch event can be used to highlight student achievement and the school’s local INCubatoredu success. The second pitch can also provide an opportunity for top selected teams to compete for funding, or other reward. Recognition of all teams, a celebratory environment for all students, and an invitation to include the broader community are critical components of success.

Teacher/Community Leader Checklist of Activities

  • Finalize dates, schedules and communicate to all teams and mentors. Include notices to your school district/school’s administrators i.e., superintendent and communications/outreach.
  • Communicate to students, parents, mentors and BoD of these upcoming dates. Encourage parental support from home, encourage Mentor support in class and also pre pitch for practice, trouble shooting and support.
  • Finalize Rubric and Pitch assessment. Share with students.
  • Have students complete Peer Assessment if using as part of overall grading
  • Prepare materials and structure for BoD or advisory board to assess student performance.
  • Send BoD or advisory board the Board of Advisors Final Pitch Tips_2016-17.doc for guidance.
  • Prior to selection of teams to invite to the public Pitch, ask which teams want to/are willing to accept. Some students will have a strong desire to continue, some teams will not. The selection process may be made simpler by understanding who is “in it to win it.”
    External Pitch Event for Broad Community and Possible Funding
  • Determine process and criteria for team selection and invitation.
  • Finalize date, venue and time of final Pitch event that will best fit with end of school activities (e.g. AP exams, proms, final exams) and allow for attendance. Best to communicate the date to students, their families, and volunteers at the beginning of the school year.
  • Ideally, schedule a few days plus a weekend between the two Pitch events. During the class periods, meet with each of the selected finalists. Discuss the numbers – investor due diligence may be needed to better understand the thinking and assumptions behind the numbers. Importantly, conduct a:
  • Reality check – for example, does the team actually need to purchase new computers or can they make do with their existing, personal computers.
  • Personal reality check – ask each student to assess their energy, time, and passion for starting a new business venture. Will it work with their schedule for the upcoming summer/school year? Will they make time for it?
  • Team reality check – does the team want to stay together?
  • If funding will be offered, share “terms sheet” concepts. Ask students to share the non-binding concepts with their parents. These can be referenced in the sample LLC legal document.
  • Engage school communications group and publicize date and event.
  • Leverage community leader’s network to invite outside investors as funding source.