We often hear from teachers that they would love to incorporate entrepreneurial learning into their classes but have limited time. We wanted to give you a quick, easy way to introduce the entrepreneurial process and the associated mindsets and skills.
It requires little time to create a learning experience where your students will creatively generate ideas and confidently pitch to an audience. We’ve provided some helpful discussion points, extension ideas, context and connections to the VentureLab Entrepreneurial Mindsets and Skills for this activity after the instructions!
Activity: Pitch Game
1. Tell students they are going to create a new product and then try to convince the class it’s a great idea.
3. Give groups 3 words: a noun, adjective, and verb.
4. Tell students they will brainstorm a business name and ideas for a product or service that meets the needs of a user and includes an adjective, noun, and verb in some way.
- Example 1: Adjective: Green; Noun: Dog; Verb: Eat
Green, Grass flavored dog food for dogs that like to eat grass or a healthy dog food alternative or a service that paints dogs green while they’re eating.
- Example 2: Noun: Runner; Adjective: Round; Verb: Blows
A jacket for a runner that has round cloth flaps which can be opened when the weather is warmer so that air can circulate better (blows) and be shut when it gets colder.
6. Groups can use one large sheet of paper or several small sheets of paper to sketch and think.
7. Share the following guidelines to help develop a 60 second sales pitch for the product:
• Start with a question.
• What is the problem?
• What is your solution? Why is it unique?
• Who are you selling to? (Your market!)
• How much are you selling it for?
• What is your ask? What do you want us to do?
8. At the end of 10-15 minutes, each group pitches their idea to convince the audience it’s a great idea by delivering a 30-90 second pitch!
Important guidelines to emphasize to students:
• When brainstorming there are no bad ideas and crazy ideas are welcome!
• The point of this activity is to be creative and persuade someone to buy or invest in your product, so focus more on preparing a great pitch, even if the product idea isn’t that compelling.
• Require all members of the group to participate during the pitch.
• How did it feel to stand up and speak in front of the group?
• What was the process you used to come up with your business name and product idea?
• How did working in a group help or make coming up with an idea and pitching more difficult?
• Teamwork and collaboration are part of being a successful entrepreneur.
• Entrepreneurs need to be comfortable pitching their ideas because it is so important to secure funding or get potential customers.
• A quick, focused, creative pitch is powerful and can convince someone to invest in your product or company.
Extension or homework
Ask each student to choose their own problem to work on (especially if they have one that they feel stuck for ideas on) and give students the opportunity to spend time using these idea generation techniques.
Entrepreneurs can creatively combine thoughts to generate ideas that fill a want or a need in the marketplace. Their ideas, even if they make it to the product stage, only achieve success when entrepreneurs can convince investors to back them financially or customers to buy their products or services.
The Pitch Game quickly provides this experience to give participants an idea of the process. Entrepreneurs communicate and collaborate in a team to bring an idea to market.
Entrepreneurial mindsets and skills
This activity teaches idea generation, an important skill that helps students cultivate the following entrepreneurial mindsets:
• Problem-solving: Students develop creative solutions.
• Resourcefulness: Students develop different ways to overcome challenges.
• Opportunity-seeking: Students actively observe, identify, and act on circumstances where you can innovate or solve a problem.
• Courage: Requires students to step out of their comfort zone and make their ideas known in order to accomplish great things
• Creativity: Asks students to be bold and imaginative and not to limit their thinking.
• Teamwork: Students must communicate and collaborate with a group with diverse perspectives, skills, and talents.
• Idea generation: Students are asked to come up with a large quantity of ideas, accept all of them without judgment and encouraged to think as wildly and creatively as possible.
• Pitching: Students work to persuade potential users and investors that their idea is worth buying and investment.
• Public speaking: Students practice speaking confidently about their idea effectively to explain their idea.