Elective: IE 290 Building A Global Audience

Professor: Aaron Dinin

Year: Fall 2015

Syllabus description



Task: create a product/service and deliver a 5 minute pitch. Class votes on the top 3 ideas and we work within the team to create an engaging audience.


My team was H2U Bottles and our idea was a monthly subscription reusable water bottle service with a monthly theme. Our task was to build as large an interactive audience around the product thus we set up a website to capture emails and a social media website to build engagement and raise awareness. As a team, we brainstormed the idea and business model, designed the logo, created the website and agreed on a strategy to drive traffic to our website. My task within the team was coming up with a social media publishing schedule and creating engaging content for the Instagram and Facebook accounts. At the end of the semester we presented our progress since the beginning of the semester and reflected on ways we would improve our strategy had we been provided funding. One of our conclusions was to thoroughly test the product for the product and be a lot more aggressive with user engagement.



This class was my first introduction to marketing. My goal coming in was to understand ways to build, engage and sustain an audience because that’s exactly what LAJA needed. I already had strong interests in content and social media marketing however this class exposed me to even more tools and it forced me to rethink and redefine how I presented my brand image. It pushed me out of my comfort zone from the beginning. Our first assignment was to create, research and pitch a business idea in 5 minutes. My idea was for an African merchandise app called Ullo. It redirected the user to the landing pages (website, online store or blog) of artists, designers and vendors specializing in African fashion, art and merchandise. Unfortunately, my idea was not a top choice among my peers. I got feedback on my presentation to improve my presentation and I later found out I was not able to build a personal/emotional connection with my audience. I cared deeply about the topic but my audience was not as familiar. Taking this into account, I was able to apply the feedback to the 2nd pitching project. My idea was Closet Next Door, a monthly rental clothing/accessory subscription service for students who wanted to stay on trend without the financial burden. My presentation hit home this time and my idea was one of the top voted in class. The exercise taught me the importance of story telling and being able to fine tune a message in a succinct but powerful way. This is applicable as an entrepreneur because there are cases where you have limited time to sell your product and the idea must be presented simply enough to engage and convince the customer. I learnt that communication is key.