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Revising Entrepreneurs’ Pitches and Building Road Maps

How does an entrepreneur understand what value it offers to the marketplace? Studies performed by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have pointed to the criticality of deep market engagement—direct conversations between entrepreneurs and buyers—to facilitate co-creation of a product’s value proposition. Product value cannot be determined or “sold” without understanding how the value is perceived and received by the marketplace. The co-creative process facilitates a dialogue yielding insight positioning a product to a receptive market using messages and pitches that speak value to potential buyers.

This is all well and good, but what happens when the entrepreneur cannot directly access their market or buyers? This often happens when entrepreneurs are in one country, but want to sell to another country. An example of this is the Gyeonggi Innovation Program, a collaboration between IC²’s Global Commercialization Group and the Governor of Gyeonggi Province in South Korea to help Korean entrepreneurs reach the US market with their products. The IC² Quicklook® methodology engages experts to assess market interest for a technology or product for entrepreneurs who cannot directly engage with the market players. The experts have deep personal networks with diverse market participants allowing rapid and deep querying of the market about needs, technology or product fit, and perceived value. These queries are summarized in a Quicklook report that is then reviewed by program managers in the IC² Institute. But what happens between the first draft of a Quicklook report and the final materials presented to an entrepreneur? The Quicklook is meant to provide a clear road map for an entrepreneur to introduce their product to a new market. How is the road map built? How does the road map help define value statements that entrepreneurs “pitch” to market members?

UT Austin Professor and IC² Faculty Researcher Clay Spinuzzi has collaborated with other researchers to investigate and document the process that happens when entrepreneurs pitch and revise.  His blog New Quantitative and Qualitative Analyses of Entrepreneurs’ Writings points to interesting new analyses.