Pitch Reality was conceived by 4 ladies, who met for the first time at the Stockholm Techfest Hackathon World record attempt in 2019. All 4 had chosen the Stockholm Invest challenge of addressing the investment gap where only 2% of funding goes to female business owners. In the US, a record year of female founder investment is still only worth 2.8% of all investor funding in 2019 according to Crunchbase.

In Sweden about 40% of all companies are founded by women. So why is it still the case that only a fraction of investor funding, goes to female entrepreneurs? Researchers found that this is as much down to the fact that investors have a bias towards what they traditionally know works, as well as down to how they treat female entrepreneurs differently. Equally how female entrepreneurs answer in a pitch scenario will impact their level of investment received.

Men are asked questions on how they will succeed, and women are asked how they won’t fail (promotional questions versus preventional questions). Promotion/prevention is 35% cause, and “think big” is 65% cause of loss/no funding for female founders:

The original team at the Stockholm Invest Hackaton

An Coppens pitched the idea of a game to the group, DeMulan Jin Gustafsson, Jessica Bengtsson and Ebba Kierkegaard joined the team. The team looked towards research about how women are treated differently in the investment process. They found the research of Mark Conley and Dana Kanze, which explored the differences in questions being asked at investment pitches and also the outcome differences based on the answers given.

Although the team originally wanted to address the often-unconscious bias of investors first, they also felt that maybe equipping women with better skills to navigate the world of investment pitching and Q&A. This is how the boardgame Pitch Reality was born.

The team connected with Mark Conley and he has since come onboard as a team member in making this game come to reality. Gamification Nation subsequently took the original hackathon concept and developed it further into a playable game with vital input by all members of the team together with highly supportive players, in lots of playtests.

The team still wants to achieve the objective of making a difference and shifting the balance towards more investment in female founded businesses. 

We are also looking to build the original concept out into a digital game and enable players to submit the questions they were asked and the responses they would give, which will then be audited through a linguistic AI to give your prevention/promotion score for your answers. In order for the team to continue with the digital version they need to raise funds. If you can help, reach out to the team members and tell us how!