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Pitching your innovation

Although innovative ideas can be easy to come by, innovation requires true commitment of resources (people, money, time, equipment, etc).  For this project assignment, all effort will be devoted to refining the concept and producing a compelling pitch that will appeal to potential funders.  Each team will refine their brand, iterate on their prototype, quantify your business model, and create a final pitch video, kickstarter campaign, and poster.

The crowdfunding pitch should clearly and succinctly explain the problem space, the proposed solution, the need for funding and what the funding will enable, and a list of rewards for funders. Teams will host their funding campaign on After the semester, teams have the option to launch their campaigns. 

Learning goals:
  • Crafting a final brand
  • Refining a UI prototype
  • Adding a quantified value and growth model to the business plan
  • Creating all materials (written pitch, video, and rewards) for a crowdfunding campaign
  • Making a final poster that beautifully illustrates the materials your team generated this semester


Optional reading/resources:
UI mockup tools: 
Teams can use any tools for UI prototyping. Previous students have had success with generating static visual designs in Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop and then importing them into a tools like Flinto, InVision, and Marvel; a nice comparison of UI prototyping tools can be found here:

Students in prior classes have recommended these tools:
  • Balsamiq: Great for low-fi sketchy looking prototypes of your app concept.  It is recommended you either sketch or create the basic application flow in Balsamiq before moving up in fidelity.  
  • Flinto:  Great for creating hi-fidelity prototypes that can be deployed to a mobile device. Best to use this tool once your team has created a brand identity and can incorporate this design language into the prototype. 
  • Sketch: need to add something here
  • InVisionexplain what it's good for... The code they need is: 56-73-13-19 for unlimited prototypes.

Final brand and UI prototype:
Based on feedback your team received in A4, finalize your brand identity and design language (colors, fonts, and other elements). Use this design language to create hi-fi mockups of the primary screens of your UI prototype. Your prototype should focus on one stakeholder (although you can certainly address multiple stakeholders within your prototype or create a second prototype that other stakeholders would use.) The primary screens should include the home page for your chosen stakeholder and additional screens that demonstrate the key functions (3-4 screens will be sufficient, but you can do more if you want). The prototype need not include every single function or use case. 

The high-fidelity screens can be loaded as a Flinto app (or any equivalent tool that enables a click-able mockup -- see Cooper's comparison for more options) and easily linked together. The Flinto prototype can be deployed to a mobile device. Make sure to include this link in your final deliverables and be ready to show it during the final poster session.

Video pitch:
Before the team shoots any video, write a script and produce a storyboard for the video. Read Kickstarter's hints  and IndieGoGo's hints on how to produce effective pitch videos. The video should describe the problem and proposed solution, and include a short user scenario that shows how the service will be used.  The video should also introduce the team, say what you are seeking, and how the money will be spent. The storyboard for the video should illustrate the action, dialogue, and narration that will occur throughout the video. 

Here you can see examples of pitch videos and crowdfunding campaign sites.

Produce a video no longer than 2 minutes. This video can use a combination of live action video and narrated photos (i.e., the Ken Burn's effect). You can use any video edit software. Microsoft Movie Maker is available for free on Windows machines and iMovie comes installed on Mac OS X. The Digital Media Lab at the UCSD Library has video editing software.   

Crowdfunding campaign:
Students will create a crowdfunding campaign site on This includes a project description, your team profile, project goals, a funding goal, and rewards for funders. Create a title, short description, and thumbnail image for the project listing page. Upload your final video pitch to the campaign page.

Value proposition model and 6-month budget: 
Refine your value proposition and create a nice looking value-flow model.  Begin quantifying your business model by estimating start-up costs and projected income for the next six months. Assuming you are about to start the business, decide what you will do and how much you need to be paid. Add expenses like computer infrastructure, advertising, etc. to arrive at how much money you need to get started. Then estimate how much income you could potentially earn each day/month; this would increment over time as you advertise or as people advocate for your business.  Make an effort to choose plausible numbers.

Create a visual graph along with a spreadsheet with numbers. Include your value flow diagram and the visual representation of your budget on your poster. 

Create a polished poster with key materials produced throughout the semester.  This should include your final brand and design language, screenshots from your final prototype, the value flow model, the estimated budget model, competitive analysis, and important data you collected during user research (interview quotes, survey graphs, enactment details, ad campaign results, etc.). 

Your poster materials should be sized so that a passerby can read the material from at least 6 feet way. The materials need not be printed as a single poster (it can be assembled from smaller sheets). If you do choose to make a single poster print, you can use cplot. The cost is around $10 for a poster. 

During the poster session, have a digital device available to show your prototype and video. Take a photo of your poster and put all poster materials into its own folder within your team's folder.

All deliverables should be placed in your team folder by midnight on June 3rd (Same day as the final poster session). You should have these deliverables:
  • Revised value flow model (and accompanying spreadsheets for the 6-month budget)
  • The final video pitch compressed to a reasonable size
  • A URL to the crowdfunding campaign
  • Final branding materials (include raw materials in a subfolder)
  • Link to final version of hi-fi prototype (include raw materials in a subfolder)
  • Materials and/or photo of your team poster (include as a subfolder)
Important:  the video must be submitted by midnight the night before so that we can load videos onto one machine before the final video showcase. 

Grading Rubric:

Criteria Guiding questions Check - Check Check +
Quality of final brand and UI prototype (30%) Does the team produce a hi-fidelity prototype that allows potential users to perform simple tasks? The hi-fi prototype is incomplete or does not incorporate the brand. 
The hi-fi prototype is complete and incorporates the branding elements. The hi-fi prototype is extensive and looks/feels like the envisioned working system. The team went above and beyond expectations.
Quality of
video pitch (40%)
Does the video pitch concisely and visually illustrate the problem and proposed solution through a user scenario? Does it address what you are seeking and how the money will be spent? The video pitch fulfills basic requirements, but it does not clearly summarize the problem or proposed solution. The
video pitch does not have a clear user scenario.
The video pitch does a nice job of framing the problem and proposed solution and integrates a user scenario.
Great video pitch. Convincing presentation of the problem and proposed solution. Clearly articulates the user scenario along with monetary needs and uses.
Clarity of crowdfunding campaign (15%) Is the Kickstarter crowdfunding pitch clear, thorough, and convincing? 
The Kickstarter campaign is unclear and not very convincing. 
The Kickstarter campaign is complete and the project's goals and rewards are clear and reasonable.  The Kickstarter campaign is extremely thorough and convincing. The project goals are succinct and rewards are creative.  
Quality of business plan  (15%) Are the value flow hypotheses clear and reasonable? Is the six-month plan accurate? Value flow hypotheses do not make sense and the six-month plan misses obvious items.
Value flow hypotheses are reasonable but have some implausible, unjustified aspects. The six-month plan could be more thorough. Value flow hypotheses are clear and reasonable. The six-month plan is thorough and sensible.