Making the Pitch: Examining Dialogue and Revisions in Entrepreneurs' Pitch Decks

These findings suggest that entrepreneurs engage in dialogue with their target markets, but their engagement tends to be guided by tacit, situated experience rather than through an explicit, systematized approach

Clay Spinuzzi


Scholarcy highlights

  • M “ arkets are conversations” or dialogues, as the marketing literature tells us . In pitching their products or services, entrepreneurs must be able to engage in such market conversations or dialogues with potential stakeholders
  • We describe how we collected and analyzed the entrepreneurs’ pitch documents to understand how these documents’ arguments changed over the course of the program, in response to dialogue with the market stakeholders. This methodology allowed us to answer our research question: As entrepreneurs learn to pitch to unfamiliar markets, how do they revise their pitch decks in interaction with other professional communication genres that represent the concerns of market stakeholders? what changes do they make to the claims, evidence, and argumentation complexity in their pitches?
  • Program Context and General Results According to interviews with the Gyeonggi Innovation Program director and mentors, the entrepreneur teams operate in a specific domestic environment that has not prepared them for making commercialization pitches in international markets, and in the US market in particular
  • K5141 had a net addition of just one rebuttal, but its deck added a slide to respond to the Quicklook. Do entrepreneurs develop their pitch decks as a result of going through the GIP, demonstrating the ability to engage in dialogue with market stakeholders? The analysis suggests that many do, in terms of claims, evidence, and complexity
  • The results suggest that all entrepreneurs adjusted their arguments based on the feedback from the GIP documents
  • Some entrepreneurs continued the dialogue, so to speak, by rebutting some concerns in these documents and even adding slides that do not fit in the pitch genre they learned—a more complex response to the dialogue, and one that GIP personnel tell us suggests a more sophisticated understanding of entrepreneurship

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