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Startup Rhetoric

For the entrepreneur to succeed getting an innovative idea is not enough. One needs to convince relevant stakeholders and investers of the ideas potential as well as the founders ability to turning this idea into reality.  Here the venture pitch plays a central role – both the delivery of the pitch and the assessment of it.

This study examins the pitch from a diversity perspective by shifting the interest in diversity from being mainly about gender diversity to being mainly about diversity of disciplines. This is done by zooming in on how disciplinary novelty is constituted rhetorically in the pitch by startups from different disciplines, comparing SSH (Social sciences and Humanities) to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

The empirical material consists of three-minute pitches from newly established startups and the investor evaluations from the public fund, Innovation Fund Denmark. The examination sets out to analyze entrepreneurs’ way of performing and constituting their field and the disciplinary novelty of their venture, as well as the assessment of the pitch afterwards.

The project is led by Solveig Kolstad and is located at Center for Rhetoric.