I am delighted to announce that Ventureneer will be partnering with Adin Miller Consulting to provide a one-stop resource for insights and news from the Social Impact Exchange: Taking Successful Innovation to Scale on June 17 and 18, 2010.
To help the Exchange in its goal of building “a community that collectively advances the practice of scaling impact in the social sector,” Ventureneer has set up a dedicated web page where the thoughts, take-aways, recommendations, and analyses of influential commentators will be posted. You can track blog tweets using #siex10. An RSS feed will also be set up.
In Round II of this competition, I consulted with one of the Mezzanine-Stage competitors. I have mentored, coached, consulted, and judged numerous entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs for other business-plan competitions – and entered one myself – so it is clear that I think such competitions are enormously valuable, and not just because money is on the table, although that is clearly important.
The examination and tweaking of a plan leading up to and during the competition is invaluable, whether it comes from a mentor, coach or judge. Expert advice helps fine tune your business model and your presentation of your business idea. Smoothing the rough edges will serve you well as you take the idea forward. It’s an enlightening, productive process. If you haven’t competed but want to know more about what’s involved, check out Ventureneer’s free ebook.
I want to offer some words of encouragement to participants who don’t win. The team I coached didn’t make the final round, although I thought their idea was exceptional. Sometimes even great ideas don’t make the cut because there are a lot of good plans out there or other plans are a better fit for the judging criteria. Judges are bound by the criteria of the competition, not necessarily by what is “the best idea.”That being said, judges are human so other factors may weigh in their decision.
Win or lose, you’ve got a polished plan and new ideas for moving forward.
I encourage other experts to get involved in the business-planning competition process. I love taking a diamond in the rough and making it sparkle.
Whether it is for the Social Impact Exchange competition or others, I have found my teams smart, conscientious, determined, eager to learn, and appreciative. The experience was very rewarding.
Have you participated in a business plan competition? What did you learn? Would you do it again?
For complete coverage of the 2010 inaugural Social Impact Exchange Conference: Taking Successful Innovation to Scale, go to Ventureneer SIEX10.