Artificial intelligence as an enabler for entrepreneurial finance: a practical guide to AI-driven video pitch evaluation for entrepreneurs and investors

Guglielmo Giuggioli, Massimiliano Matteo Pellegrini, Giorgio Giannone

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: While different attempts have been made to use artificial intelligence (AI) to codify communicative behaviors and analyze startups’ video presentations in relation to crowdfunding projects, less is known about other forms of access to entrepreneurial finance, such as video pitches for candidacies into startup accelerators and incubators. This research seeks to demonstrate how AI can enable the startup selection process for both entrepreneurs and investors in terms of video pitch evaluation.
Design/methodology/approach: An AI startup (Speechannel) was used to predict the outcomes of startup video presentations by analyzing text, audio, and video data from 294 video pitches sent to a leading European startup accelerator (LUISS EnLabs). 7 investors were also interviewed in Silicon Valley to establish the differences between humans and machines.
Findings: This research proves that AI has profound implications with regards to the decision-making process related to fundraising and, in particular, the video pitches of startup accelerators and incubators. Successful entrepreneurs are confident (but not overconfident), engaging in terms of speaking quickly (but also clearly), and emotional (but not overemotional).
Practical implications: This study not only fills the existing research gap but also provides a practical guide on AI-driven video pitch evaluation for entrepreneurs and investors, reshaping the landscape of entrepreneurial finance thanks to AI. On the one hand, entrepreneurs could use this knowledge to modify their behaviors, enabling them to increase their likelihood of being financially backed. On the other hand, investors could use these insights to better rationalize their funding decisions, enabling them to select the most promising startups.
Originality/value: This paper makes a significant contribution by bridging the gap between theoretical research and the practical application of AI in entrepreneurial finance, marking a notable advancement in this field. At a theoretical level, it contributes to research on managerial decision-making processes – particularly those related to the analysis of video presentations in a fundraising context. At a practical level, it offers a model that we called the “AI-enabled video pitch evaluation”, which is used to extract features from the video pitches of startup accelerators and incubators and predict an entrepreneurial project’s success.
Original languageEnglish
JournalManagement Decision
Number of pages24
ISSN1758-6070
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Artificial intelligence
  • Communication
  • Decision making
  • Entrepreneurial finance
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Machine learning

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