This is the story of Lorenzo Maggiore – a Santa Monica artist and the man behind a killer product. As a child, Lorenzo had an unusual fascination which later led to him founding a multi-million dollar business. The activity also examines the fascinating world of crowdfunding.
- Activity: Videotelling, text reconstruction
- Topic: Business and crowdfunding
- Age group: Upper secondary & adults
- Time: 45 minutes (+ follow ups)
- Language level: B1 +
- Language: Business-related verbal collocations
Lorenzo Maggiore is probably not the kind of person that you would expect to run a multi-million dollar business. As a young man, he was always a bit of an outsider who preferred surfing to studying. He dropped out of school at an early age and this worried his parents.
Lorenzo never went to college. Instead, he chose wallpapering as a profession. But his big sister saw greater potential in him. With her encouragement, Lorenzo signed up for an art course and pursued an artist’s career.
As an artist, Lorenzo became obsessed with an idea – an idea that he had had since he was a child. And he was sure that if he could get funding, his creative idea could be brought to commercial life. If he could do that, he would have a killer product.
Unfortunately, Lorenzo had no history as a successful businessman. No bank in the world would give him the funding that he needed.
In 2013, Lorenzo founded a startup company called Skell Inc. He introduced his killer product to the world through a promotional video on YouTube.
The video shows the killer product in action. It consists of a series of deaths, each one played in slow motion. Victims are thrown into the air. They hit walls and fall to the floor. Dead!
In just two months, Lorenzo was able to raise $577,546. His success story provides an interesting case study into the world of crowdfunding.
You can download the full activity on the PDF above. In the activity, students see an image of Lorenzo and then speculate on who he is and what he does. They then complete a vocabulary activity sheet before hearing his story. Finally students move onto a text reconstruction activity. There are also follow up activities which suggest possibilities for students to explore the world of crowdfunding.
And while we are on the subject of crowdfunding, what’s this cat doing?