This past Wednesday night was the final session of the High Tech Rochester series of business plan workshops. Instead of another instructional lecture, this session allowed several participants to get up and do a practice run of their business pitch – complete with PowerPoint and other visuals.
The participants in the practice session were:
It was interesting to see what information the participants decided to include in their presentations, which were limited to a brief 12 minutes each. Hearing the judges’ feedback as well as comments by the other participants was also insightful. While each of the presenters did a great job and clearly had well thought-out and engaging presentations, a few seemed to be missing a crucial element: a description of the product or service and what it purports to do.
In my judgment, some contained a bit too much “background” information about the problem the product was intended to solve, instead of how the product provided that solution. While you have to assume the judges in a real competition would have already read the full business plan, anyone watching the presentation should still be able to get a clear idea of how the product or service works.
Other than that one piece of constructive criticism, I give a heap of props to the participants. Their presentations flowed smoothly, included the most essential parts of their business plan, and had a good mix of visuals to complement the bullet points on each slide.
I also had the pleasure of talking with a few of my fellow classmates to get their thoughts on the workshops and the Rochester Regional Business Plan Contest. Kristin Elliott is the creator and founder of DoodiePack, a light-weight backpack for dogs that allows a pet owner to easily carry all of the essentials – water, waste bags, etc.- while out and about. An earth science teacher by day, Kristin has been diligently working to promote her product, and is now ready to take the next step of reaching out for funding.
Her take on the workshops: “They had so much to offer. I can’t imagine writing the business plan without attending the sessions since they provide you with essential information. I also highly recommend anyone entering a contest to take advantage of the opportunity to network and to build some confidence.” When asked about what she hopes to take away from the upcoming competition, she said, “If I make it to the semifinals I will be very very proud and will have attained what I set out to accomplish.”
We’ll be covering the action at the finals of the Rochester Regional Business Competition at the end of April, along with several other business plan competitions around the country, so stay tuned!View all posts by Megan Hurley → This entry was posted in Featured Posts, Spotlight - Competitions and tagged featured. Bookmark the permalink.