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Publication type: Master thesis
Title: Differences in rhetorical and non-verbal communication of startup pitches in American and Swiss cultures
Authors: Tanno, Selina
Advisors / Reviewers: Graziano, Benjamin
Björck, Albena
DOI: 10.21256/zhaw-19577
Extent: 124
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher / Ed. Institution: ZHAW Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Winterthur
Language: English
Subject (DDC): 658.8: Marketing management
Abstract: In recent years, the conventional business plan presentation has been replaced by the pitch, which has become the main method of communication towards investors for many startups. Consequently, strong presentation and communication skills are of paramount importance. Furthermore, startup founders are facing new challenges while raising funding from investors, especially when introducing their businesses into new markets. Pitching in another country without any experience is a serious problem for many startup founders. Therefore, the main goal of this master’s thesis was to answer a hitherto uninvestigated question: what are the rhetorical and non-verbal communication differences of startup pitches in the American and Swiss cultures? Finding an adequate answer to this question would help the founders of Swiss startups to overcome the differences and challenges they face when pitching in the US. The results showed that various rhetorical and non-verbal differences existed between American and Swiss startup pitches. The biggest differences related to aspects of storytelling and the use of gestures, as the American pitchers were more enthusiastic and outgoing than their Swiss equivalents. Various other differences were identified concerning the credentials of a pitcher, the founding reason of the company, and the use of facial expressions. Nevertheless, not just differences but also similarities between the two cultures emerged from the analysis. The findings of this thesis showed clear differences that can be used by American as well as Swiss pitchers, bearing in mind minor limitations. In addition, the findings lead to several recommendations for further research. In particular, research on the impact of pitch adaptations, based on the results of this thesis, on startups’ success in front of American investors would make a valuable contribution.
License (according to publishing contract): CC BY-NC-ND 4.0: Attribution - Non commercial - No derivatives 4.0 International
Departement: School of Management and Law
Appears in collections:MSc International Business

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