Rudy Duarte ’14 – This is the fourth week of the Business Immersion Program (BIP) and if I can describe it in one word it would be WOW! In the short four weeks, we have learned so much about business and business practices that I am sure none of my colleagues, as well as myself, knew about prior to the program.
One of the main focuses of the program is to learn how come up and create a business plan. We were divided into four groups consisting of four members. Each team had an initial investment of $25,000 for the business idea. Our group came up with the idea of a device that monitors your blink rate to detect whether or not you are falling asleep. If you are, then an alarm will sound to warn you that you are falling asleep.
Our group had been working on this since the initial start of the project. This week though, was the first time we had to pitch our idea to some investors and convince them that their “money” will be a good investment in our idea. The way we do that is by presenting our idea and how we plan on executing the idea as well. This was the first time we were pitching our idea to “investors” outside our own class. Our team had the idea and the execution of the idea ready to go but we needed to practice how to present it to the investors.
The night before our team gathered in the Allen Center to start practicing for the presentation. We created a PowerPoint presentation and we each individually practiced our parts. We ended up practicing our presentation for five hours!
We were the first group to present our business idea to the investors, who on that day we found out were: Deborah Woods, Steve Hoffman, James Jeffries, Betsy Knott and Roland Morin. We were extremely nervous but we went unscathed with just a few suggestions on our presentation. Fortunately, the practice paid off. Our team received investment money to be able to continue our business; we also happened to be the team that received the most amount of investment money. Luckily, this was just round one of the pitching our idea to potential investors and not the final one because I believe that even with the amount of practice we were not fully prepared.
The final round of pitching is taking place the last week of the BIP and that is something our team is really looking forward. Hopefully by then, our team will be fully confident in our presentation and know exactly what to expect from our potential investors.