I visited the class at Stanford University’s Design School that was written about (a few times) in Fast Company not long ago:
Will the World’s Cheapest Solar Lantern Pull in Profits While Igniting Economic Development?
Stanford d.school Proves You Really Can Design a Space for Innovation
Stanford d.school Students Prototype on the Cheap In “Extreme Affordability” Class
Smart Solar Panels Shine at the Stanford d.school’s Beta Trade Show
Wall-E: Reconfigurable Walls at Stanford d.school Make Each Class the Perfect Size
The d.school’s Beta Trade Show Features Ideas From 11 Entrepreneurial Teams
11 entrepreneurial teams designed a prototype of products, and launched their start-ups during their short semester. Products ranged from solar lights, to an iPad app for news feeds (which by the way is more popular than the New York Times app), to an online personal software program that helps women match their bust size to the right bra size and style. All 11 teams have launched, 3 are generating revenue. The most exciting part of the class was listening to each team pitch not to VCs, which they have also done, but to an NBC news anchor. I hope you realize the difference between pitching for investment and pitching for thousands of dollars worth of PR by being on primetime TV. It’s the audience; who is the audience and why are you pitching.
The students turned business owners caught on fast. Having been exposed to experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and other Startup founders, this pitching exercise was still no piece of cake.
All the founders showed a passion for their products and a drive to succeed. Read some of the articles. They will inspire you.