订阅

多平台阅读

微信订阅

杂志

申请纸刊赠阅

订阅每日电邮

移动应用

管理

评委揭秘创业大赛拿奖窍门

Scott Olster 2012年04月18日

很多初创企业在莱斯大学创业计划大赛中都学到了一点:光是一个好点子并不能赢得足够的赞誉、奖赏,以及最重要的东西——投资。

    当然,你可能有一个很棒的创业点子,这个点子很可能极大地改变你所在的行业,甚至有一天能够改变整个世界。但正如很多未来的创业家在莱斯大学(Rice University)创业计划大赛中学到的那样,光是一个好点子并不会为人赢得掌声、荣誉,或者说最重要的东西——投资。

    莱斯创业计划大赛普遍被誉为规模最大、奖金额最高的创业比赛。大赛第一天,由往届冠军和决赛入围者组成的评审委员会聚在一起,讨论需要满足什么条件才能授予最高奖项。讨论结果是一个出色的创业计划团队需要具备的素质与一个成熟的商业团队并无二致。下面是从评委们的讨论中得出的一些重点:

精心包装,闪亮登场

    如果演示乏味,即便是金点子,能够治好全世界最严重的绝症,听众可能也会无动于衷。“我们当时似乎让评委不时地惊叹,”TNG Pharmaceuticals的首席执行官詹尼•考宾称,他们是去年的冠军、来自路易斯维尔大学(University of Louisville)的团队。“他们感叹的是产品的粗糙。但我们最后让他们露出了笑容。”TNG推介的是一种可解决角蝇之害的牛疫苗,角蝇每年给养牛业造成的损失高达10亿美元左右。

    因此,不管是展示个人风采,还是做出精彩(但具有意义的)演示,必须牢牢抓住听众的心。

结识评委

    正式推介之余找评委聊聊。评委们可是专门抽出几天的时间参与评选,认真考察选手的创业点子。“比赛中最重要的事情是和评委交流,融入那种氛围,”高塔姆•甘地称,他的初创企业——医疗设备和患者安全解决方案提供商Clearcount赢得了2004年的莱斯创业大赛。“我在正式演示前就已经和每位评委碰过面,他们已经提前对我的公司有了一定的了解。”担任今年大赛评委的甘地目前就职于谷歌(Google),领导这家科技巨头在印度的新业务发展项目。

    大赛评委通常是各自所在行业的领袖,如果能下些功夫结识这些人,就算最终没有获奖,也收宝贵的人脉。

 微笑着接受批评

    接受批评并肯定不是什么好滋味,特别是当着一帮陌生人。但这正是很多商界人士每天都要面对的事情;卖点子,卖产品,面对的顾客往往都是满腹狐疑的陌生人。因此,要习惯以一个胜者的姿态去接受批评。RhoMania首席执行官戴伦•奥森称:“把评委的挑剔性提问当做是给你一个证明的机会。”RhoMania是一家iPad葡萄酒菜单初创企业,同时也是去年莱斯大赛的决赛入围者。“不要乱了手脚。”

    不过,同时也要清楚一点,评委和潜在投资者一样,他们每个人对于什么样的商业计划是可行的都有自己的看法,而且评委之间也并不总能达成一致意见。尼考拉斯•斯特说:“有时候,(评委给出的)反馈(会)互相矛盾。因此,也不能盲目接受。”他的初创企业Auditude赢得了2004年的大赛(2011年11月,Adobe以约1.20亿美元收购了Auditude部分业务)。“必须亲自实践什么是对的,什么不是。”

    Sure, you may have a brilliant business idea that could very well change your industry, maybe even the world some day. But, as plenty of budding entrepreneurs learned Thursday at Rice University's Business Plan Competition, a solid idea alone will not win you much in praise, prizes, or, most importantly, investment.

    On the first day of Rice's competition, which is widely touted as the largest and richest of all business plan competitions, a panel of previous years' winners and finalists gathered to discuss what it actually takes to win the top prize. As it turns out, the ideal qualities in a successful business plan competition team are not all that different from those you'd want to see in any solid business group. Here are a few highlights that emerged from their conversation:

Razzle and dazzle them

    Even a profitable solution to some of the world's most serious ills can fall on deaf ears if the presentation falls flat. "We seemed to make the judges 'ooh' and 'aah,'" said Jenny Corbin, CEO of TNG Pharmaceuticals, last year's winning team from the University of Louisville. "'Aah' over the grossness of our product. And then we made them laugh." TNG pitched a cattle vaccine that tackled the vicious horn fly, a pest that costs the cattle industry around $1 billion a year.

    So, whether it's by showing off that shining personality of yours or coming up with a slick (yet meaningful) presentation, keep your audience on their toes.

Get to know your judges

    In between your formal pitches, speak with the judges who have set aside the time to spend a few days and seriously consider your business ideas. "The most important thing in this competition is meeting the judges and being in that environment," said Gautam Gandhi, whose medical device and patient safety startup Clearcount won Rice's competition in 2004. "Before I even presented, I met every judge and they knew a little bit about the company." Gandhi, who is a judge at this year's competition, is currently at Google (GOOG), leading the tech giant's new business development projects in India.

    Competition judges are often leaders in their respective industries and even if you don't go home with a prize in hand, you will still have several valuable contacts if you put in the effort to get to know them.

Take the criticism with a smile

    Accepting criticism, especially in front of an audience of several strangers, is never fun. But that's precisely what many business people do every day; they sell their ideas and their products, often to skeptical strangers. So get used to taking it like a champ. "Look at the critical questions from the judges as them giving you the opportunity to validate what you just said," advised Darren Olson, CEO of RhoMania, an iPad wine menu app startup and a finalist at Rice's competition last year. "Do not lose your cool."

    But it's also wise to bear in mind that each judge, as with any potential investor, has her own view of what makes a solid business plan, and judges may not always agree with each other. "At some point, the feedback [will] contradict. So don't listen too much," said Nicholas Seet, whose startup Auditude won the competition in 2004 (Adobe (ADBE) acquired part of Auditude's business in November 2011 for around $120 million). " You have to go and see for yourself what's true and what's not."

1 2 下一页

我来点评

  最新文章

最新文章:

500强情报中心

财富专栏