Training Aspiring Entrepreneurs to Pitch Experienced Investors: Evidence from a Field Experiment in the United States

Accredited investors finance more than 75,000 U.S. startups annually. We explain how training aspiring entrepreneurs to pitch their new business ideas to these investors affects their odds of continued funding discussions. We model accredited investors’ decision to continue investigation as a real option whose value is a function of their experience and the information contained in the entrepreneurs’ pitches. We derive four hypotheses from the model, which we test through a field experiment that randomly assigns pitch training at four elevator pitch competitions. The data support all four hypotheses and are inconsistent with alternative explanations.

Policy implications 
Pitch training can provide invaluable benefits to entrepreneurs with commercially viable ventures seeking investments.
Reference 
Clingingsmith, D., Shane, S. (2017). 'Training Aspiring Entrepreneurs to Pitch Experienced Investors: Evidence from a Field Experiment in the United States'. Management Science.