ChatChat (VC Version)

By Lara Tiedens, Davina Drabkin
2015 | Case No. L25VC | Length 12 pgs.

This is a role-play case, intended for use in a leadership development course for MBA students. The case has four roles: two for students playing the co-founders of a startup and two for students/coaches playing the venture capitalists deciding whether or not to provide seed funding. There are two versions of the case, one for students playing the co-founders (L-25CF), and one for those playing the venture capitalists (L-25VC).  While both versions of the case contain identical background information for the role-play, L-25CF includes additional information that is available only to the co-founders and L-25VC contains additional information that is available only to the venture capitalists.

The role-play objectives stated in the case can be accomplished if the students playing the co-founders successfully identify and address the questions and concerns of those playing the venture capitalists. 

The co-founders must solicit and grasp the underlining concerns of the venture capitalists, decide how to react and address those concerns, and reassure the venture capitalists that a seed investment is worthwhile. All students have the opportunity to demonstrate active listening, inquiry, and feedback regarding the concerns and proposals to address them.  All four individuals in the role play have varying objectives and interests and need to manage the expectations and perceptions of the others in a manner that may be assertive, collaborative, or both.

Learning Objective

This case provides students with practice in active listening, inquiry, and feedback as part of negotiation.
This material is available for download by current Stanford GSB students, faculty, and staff only. For inquires, contact the Case Writing Office. Download