Business Plan Competition Takeaways

Hani Rachidi, TMMBA Student (Class of 2010)

Last week during the final rounds of the business plan competition we saw a very strong pool of finalists. The diversity of ideas was awesome – from an assisted walking mechanism to green bricks. The winner, Yongopal offers a compelling platform for ESL conversations between South Korean students and US college students. While our team, TrueLight, made it to the sweet sixteen we did not advance to the final six. Some key lessons learned though are useful for any would be contestants or budding entrepreneurs.

  1. Secure IP by either an Option or License
  2. If you are not the inventor have the inventor on your board and with you in the competition
  3. Have a beta product/prototype at the least.
  4. If there’s an elephant in the room (meaning a big assumption or barrier to your success) expose it and deal with it strongly
  5. Have an advisory board that has some clout

And lastly, bring viral passion to the presentation.