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I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. Sure, it’s a parody, but this is as close to the typical entrepreneur-pitch experience as it gets – particularly the comments of the VCs responding to a pitch by one of the greatest innovators that ever lived. And, sadly, I’ve been on the other side of the table too and it is just as frustrating to see one’s investor-peers behave this way. It’s as surreal as it is predictable.

Written by CJ Cornell

CJ Cornell

Serial Entrepreneur. University Professor. Software Engineer. Media Executive. Venture Capitalist. Researcher. Marketer. Advisor. Mentor. Author and Speaker. Founded or co-founded nearly a dozen companies in software, digital media and television.

For the past few years I’ve been Co-Director of the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship and Professor of Digital Media & Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University, and the university’s first full time Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Currently Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at New York Institute of Technology and Managing Director at Propel Ventures LLC.


One Response to Nikola Tesla Pitching Silicon Valley VCs

  1. Thanks CJ for such a sadly accurate representation of at least some segments of the capital markets. I have been there too and I am now very grateful for the unprecedented opportunities to cocreate cause-oriented companies through the new Benefit Corporation model (passed in 14 states including Arizona) and position them to generate up to a million dollars each through the Crowd Funding provisions of the JOBS Act (if and when the SEC finally complete their role in the process).

    As a Community Economic Development specialist, I believe this is the richest time in the history of the United States for “communities” (including geographic, philosophical and interest groups) to collaborate, share their vision, expertise and resources to foster innovation, creativity, jobs and more sustainable communities. In addition, I believe that providing programs and resources that help people learn how to apply what might be called “successful living skills for the 21st century” and help them discover how to harness opportunities in the new fields of Social Entrepreneurship, Metapreneurship and Infopreneurship are vital to our local, state and national economies. Looking forward to your book!

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