Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
The elevator pitch is an effective and efficient communication tool that entrepreneurs use to quickly sum up and forcefully present the uniquely salient aspects of their products or services, with the sole purpose of engaging with potential investors and raising capital. As such, this “soft” technique is highly desirable for engineers to master in order to rapidly, concisely and clearly convey the engineering value of their projects to prospective investors. A number of universities are already working to embed elevator pitch learning opportunities into their curricula.
At Stevens Institute of Technology, we have established Senior Innovation (SI): a required companion course to the senior design sequence. SI aims to teach students to understand, identify and communicate the essential value in their senior design projects. One of the final outcomes for this course is for every student group to prepare and deliver an elevator pitch for a business based on the respective senior design project. While SI is academic in nature, the top teams from each section of the course have a chance to compete for a $10,000 First Prize in a school-wide competition. This endowed Prize is a strong stimulus for many students who initially may not be particularly enthusiastic about entrepreneurship, to take the elevator pitch competition to heart.
In this paper we will discuss the development process for our elevator pitch competition and the pedagogy behind teaching the skill in the classroom. We will describe how we engage and train invited industry professionals as judges to provide consistent scoring at the semi-final and final stages of the competition. We will present and discuss our semi-final and final competition data from the past two years. These data include our pitch-rubric scoring, along with information about gender and academic discipline factors of team composition. We will show that both women and multidisciplinary teams excel at our elevator pitch competitions. In addition, we will look at the most recent exit survey to correlate the above data with students’ perception of their learning.
Clavijo, S. F., & Wade, M., & Pochiraju, K. (2020, June), Insights About an Academic Elevator Pitch Competition in Undergraduate Engineering Curricula Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34834
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