I recently attended the California Dreamin’ Business Plan Competition put on by Chapman University. Nineteen groups of students from some of the top schools in the country competed for prize money totaling over $100,000 and the opportunity to obtain over a million in equity financing!
The business ideas ranged from novel technological concepts to video games to reward programs. Each group was passionate about their business idea and the students displayed confidence, poise, enthusiasm, and innovation. What impressed me most was their ability to field the hard questions posed by the judges and communicate their knowledge and differentiation back to the audience. Although I didn’t have the opportunity to hear all of the student groups, the ones I did hear from were consistent in presenting the problem they were solving, trends in the industry, what their platform was, the team strengths, financial projections, financial needs and a compelling vision for the future.
Knowing they were competing, they had to step up their A game. They had to understand their business inside and out. They needed to know where they wanted to go, how they were going to get there, what they were going to do once they arrived, and what they needed to make everything happen.
When was the last time you stepped up your A game?