"as long as you're going to be thinking anyway, think big."
In the IA, this is precisely what our first unit will entail, not just learning about how to start a business but actually getting our hands dirty to create and manage one together. When this unit was first proposed to the whole class, I understood that we were going to be given 1000 dollars for the undertaking, and then, as a team, double the amount in order to have a solid investment for our start-up. Giving 2000 dollars to under aged unqualified students might sound crazy, but actually, Babson, the top school of business in the US, starts with this intact project every year (only they start with $3000). If this challenge allows students to put the skills they will need in real life market competition into practice, then why not go for it?
the importance of the idea
BUT, any IDEA remains as an IDEA if you do not know how to sell it. I believed my idea was worthy of our time, and that was a start, but I had to make a pitch that transmitted that to my team in order to CONVINCE THEM.
I found myself taking the whole day to finish my one-minute spoken proposal. I took some time and generated a brand, possible logo and listed my selling points regarding why was it feasible, viable and desirable for our audience. I made a visual representation of how it would look in campus to have a stronger share of my vision. I practiced, practiced, and practiced once more. Finally, I was ready for my pitch.
Last semester, as I was interviewing women entrepreneur for my film, I learned that every business starts with an IDEA. This week though, I figured that coming up with the idea for a company, service or product is not just the starting point but the single most difficult and important part to entrepreneurship.
Although this is a class project, we were all asked to put together a business pitch for Thursday: a concise proposal of our IDEA. At first, even though I was excited, I thought the pitch was nothing, I even wrote it down as an extra homework aside from other "big" ones I had to do for my IB classes. Still, when I got home I realized that I was BLANK. I submerged myself in a search for inspiration finding small start-ups that other students had created in the B.E.T.A. (Babson Entrepreneurial Thought & Action), many of which I didn't find inspiring at all.
After brainstorming for a while I remembered the one thing we are missing on campus: desserts. And what a better healthy option that aligns with the school mission than fresh-fruit-based frozen yogurts. Yes, this idea already exists but not in school meaning that if we were to put a stand together, we would be taking advantage of an exclusive audience with no other competition.
Just recently I've started to find myself seeking for opportunities that will potentially shape my future, and being exposed to how DIFFICULT competition gets once you're leaving school I've realized that in real LIFE opportunity comes in limited chunks of precious time: a college representative takes no more than 5 minutes in your application to determine if you're what their looking for, a busy CEO is not going to devote 2 hours of their time in an interview to see if you're qualified for a position; the list goes on.
I was not anxious because I had a lengthy presentation (in fact, that just might have been easier) but because this 30 second/minute-long opportunity was going to test an essential life skill. My nerves were bursting from my desire to prove that I COULD depend on myself, on my ability to deliver concisely, my ability to tame and embrace my nerves, my ability to MARKET.
It was electrifying to see my peers pitches and how passionate they were about their very diverse proposals. The dynamics were on the roll, one by one we stood in front of the board and pitched, while the others separated into three groups: some evaluated the product, others poked holes in the presentations, others praised. It all came back to public FEEDBACK, not anything we're not used to. The level of growth in the voice, the word-choice and the attention to detail in the media of everyone in class was inspiring. Personally, I felt I did a sweet job because I enjoyed the eye contact, the pausing, and the enunciating. I think that when you're surrounded by talented presenters, or just genuine people who work really really hard and excel in public speaking, we are pushed to live up to their expectations: not to be better than them, but because we are inspired to do so.
start to ask me questions that I don't foresee, the tense atmosphere disappears and I feel as confident and loose as I could be. I guess a little bit of nerves do no harm, even Pedro who's a natural speaker confessed he's always tingly inside when he presents, but being able to forget the KNOT in my chest and purely focus in what I want to get across to the public is what I want to achieve before leaving senior year. An "I WISH" to become better is not enough--I guess this just means I WILL be presenting a little more often. ;)