Interview with Rickie Moore, Emlyon Business School
Peaqs was used in a brand new Masters of Science program at Emlyon Business School. We had the pleasure to interview the teacher of this program, Rickie Moore, about the course and his experiences with the platform.
Q: Hello and welcome, please introduce yourself.
A: My name is Rickie Moore, professor of Entrepreneurship at Emlyon Business School. I teach entrepreneurship and innovation to all levels of students, whether they are the younger ones, the middle aged ones, the older ones, everyone. I’m enjoying teaching that discipline.
Q: Tell me which course did you use Peaqs for?
A: I used Peaqs this year as sort of an initiation, an inventory type approach to my students. It was a brand new Masters of Science program that we launched this year. It’s the Masters of Science in Global Innovation & Entrepreneurship. And I wanted a tool that was innovative and creative, that allowed the students to simulate being real entrepreneurs from the get go, and being exposed to the stock market, where they had to trade their businesses. Peaqs for me was the perfect tool that allowed me to meet this pedagogical objective. Because it allow the students to operate in teams as entrepreneurs, creating their own companies, and at the same time to put their product on the market, and to interact with the investors. So it is a brand new program and using Peaqs was the initial way to start the year, get the students to get excited and buzzed about it, while doing a kind of an inventory on, what they knew and what they didn’t know.
Q: Could you let me in on the details of the course?
A: In this course I had 20 students. 11 of which are French, and we had 8 nationalities in the cohort. It was a sort of a meeting of the minds. Whereby the profile of the students whether they were from economics or management or business, met with the guys that were the architects, the lawyers, the engineers etc., all working together to develop their business ideas that they created from scratch, and to put it on the market to discuss with the investors.
Q: What are the hallmarks of your students?
A: The way I used Peaqs, was in a sprint format. I wanted a tool that would allow the students to get exposed very rapidly in what the real world was like, outside of the classroom. Given that they had come from very diverse backgrounds, and the mix of nationalities and experiences, it was critical that they all lived a common experience together. So in the sprint format they had to break out of their shelves, get out of their comfort zones, work together to meet the objectives of the sprint and to make the deadline. What I found really interesting about it was the way they played the game. They really got in to it. It was a bit of a challenge so I had that stimulation, the adrenalin going in the exercise, and it was a very efficient and innovative way for them to start the year. So for me, the hallmark of using Peaqs was the way it brought the students together, to get them working together, discovering and learning and having fun all at the same time.
Q: What is the importance of teaching in a manner like this?
A: Typically a student doesn’t need to go to a business school to learn how to be an entrepreneur. You can read a book, you can look at Google, you can go on YouTube, you can look at LinkedIn, you look at SlideShare there is a lot of material out there, that tells you how you should be or should not be an entrepreneur. However when students come to business school it’s because they are coming to learn, and sharing experience together, while doing it in a safe space. They are able to tap into the experiences and abilities of their classmates, be exposed to a very stimulating ecosystem, and to build their project initiatives while studying for their degree. So it’s a very cool environment for students to learn how to be an entrepreneur. For me using this tool was perhaps the most efficient in breaking the ice for the students. Because it’s a discovery process and for many of them it was perhaps the first time they had ever experienced something like that. Investing while being a student. So we really were able to stretch the limits, and take them out of the comfort zone. Take them out of their envelopes a little bit, so that they can have a feeling from a real actual learning perspective, what it is like to do it in real time.
Q: How was your experience with the investment side of Peaqs, and what potential does that feature have?
A: Within the Peaqs platform there are two dimensions. As a team the students will create their own ventures, and post it and go through the phases of the product description, the concept, the market study etc., and then they go through to doing the pitch. What was unique about Peaqs is this combination of the sort of a crowd funding Kickstarter type environment, with the Shark Tank kind of environment. So everyone wants to know how good is their idea, everyone wants to know how the investors reacted to their idea, and Peaqs offer this facility in a very efficient way. It combined both the creative part and the investment part. So having that investment dimension within the platform for me was an additional incentive to use the platform. Because the students were learning at the same time both to be an entrepreneur, to create their own ventures, to get it started, while at the same time switching hats to become an investor and say, okay if I were to invest in someone else’s project, what would I look for, how would I read and evaluate what they have presented? And would I be willing to put my money on that venture? So it allows the students to have this double exposure, this dual profile while having fun in their actual learning. So it was really cool as a tool, as a feature within the Peaqs platform, to have this dual exposure, an investor and an entrepreneur at the same time.
Q: How did your students receive Peaqs?
A: They loved it. I mean, in today’s world where the generation Z type profile is everywhere, they want it fast, they want it fun, they want to have it in a very interactive way. So that part of the platform was wonderful because they were able to sort of, mirror their own daily lives and routines. Where I think it was the most challenging for them, it was perhaps the first time many of them actually assumed the role of an investor. Many have heard about investing, they know what to stock exchange, they hear about the quotations on the market, they hear about venture capitalization and people are going to IPO’s and raising money and stuff like that. So they have heard about venture capital. But for many it was the first time they were actually exposed to venture capitals within a platform. So the novelty of being an investor was very interesting for them.
Q: How did you motivate your students to use the investment function?
A: The way I used the investment function within the platform, was to stimulate their curiosity to learning how to be an investor. I mean, they have all understood or they have all seen what Shark Tank is like or what Kickstarter is like, but this was the first time many of them would have tried being an investor. So I used it to stimulate their curiosity, for them to do sort of a self inventory: What do I know, what do I not know, and what do I know that I don’t know kind of thing, so that it creates some sort of a learning map for them. I used the investment portfolio, the investment feature, in a way to generate that peer-to-peer learning. So on the one hand they promoted their own ventures, and using their peers as their own investors they were able to give feedback to each other, peer-to-peer feedback, from the investment perspective. So kind of build in a peer-to-peer learning loop within the platform.
Q: What is the potential of a platform like Peaqs?
A: The Peaqs platform for me, it’s one of the most innovative tools I have come across in a long time, in our space. I think Peaqs has this unique combination of being an entrepreneur and being an investor. And in today’s world of remote learning, it is perhaps one of the most suitable platforms for any school or institutions that is teaching entrepreneurship or teaching investing. I think it offers great potential. You don’t need to be physically in a classroom, it’s an online simulation. We can have real investors come and evaluate the projects of the students, we can have real investors give them feedback on their work, and it could be the real investors that are actually doing the investing, or bidding on their projects. So I think it offers perhaps the most complete learning environment, where entrepreneur students are being exposed: A. I need to build a very innovative product or company that I can pitch to investors, and B. I have real investors that will valuate and give me feedback in real time, on the quality of my work and how I can improve it. So I think there is a lot of potential for Peaqs. Personally I’d be happy to help spread the word and disseminate Peaqs as far and wide as we can, because I think it is one of the coolest pieces of platform technology out there in our space in entrepreneurship education.