The IE@Columbia Program The Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center July 2012
The IE Program Phases Phase 1: Inquiry Team Recruitment Process: Submit idea with need Search for a team Search for match of your expertise Phase 2: Application/Proposal Submission Apply for admission to IE@Columbia with assembled project team Due Date: Monday, November 19, 2012 Phase 3: Judge Review Applications will be gathered by Exec Education. A panel of judges will be selected to review all entries Approximately twenty plans will be chosen. Phase 4: Applicant Presentations to Selection Committee The approximately twenty chosen applicants will have the opportunity to present to the selection committee of faculty, alumni, VCs Presentation Date: Friday, November 30, 2012 Phase 5: Selection Committee Decisions Twelve teams selected to participate in IE@Columbia Program Orientation Date: Friday, December 14, 2012
The IE Program Flow and Timeline The I&E Program Flow and Timeline Ideas Information Assign coaches Idea Project Selection Funding and Launch The I&E Program Final Event Grand Finale Owner People
9 Elements of a Good Proposal To assist in preparing your proposal, the following is a list of the ten key elements for your consideration. Be sure to address each of them as they are all vital to a successful venture. • Barriers to entry / competitive insulation • Business model • Team skills / organization • Financial metrics • Business concept • Target market • Product or service • Customers • Competitors
1. Business Concept • Provide a concise definition of the business concept in order to capture the attention of your audience • What is your business concept? • What problem are you solving for a customer? • What is exciting about it? • Why is the timing right? • How you came to these conclusions Goal: Identify a significant customer or industry problem and explain how you will solve it.
2. Target Market Size Trends Growing or declining New or existing customer base Market share • Distribution • Define market fit • Penetration • Time to market • Success stories
3. Product or Service • Provide a clear description of your product or service • Describe the business need it addresses • Describe the advantages it provides over the current offering(s) • Bring it to life with a prototype, designs, graphics or whatever else is available at this stage of development • Define proposed features and benefits • Describe user experience • Is it a solution or add-on? • New or replaces an existing product or service? Goal: “Paint a picture” with a detailed description of the proposed product, service or solution, and why it will be successful.
4. Customers • Who is the customer(s) – identify/list? • What is the business problem you’re solving for the customer(s)? • What customer segment? • Describe demographics/geographic/lifestyle/age characteristics. for product or service. • Ability to purchase. • Needs/wants satisfied. • Benefits to the customer. • Costs to the customer. • Skills required by the customer. Goal: Describe how your idea solves a customer problem and meets the customer’s strategic goals and needs, e.g., strategy, cost, etc.
5. Competitors • Profile of current/potential competitors • Current product/service offerings of competitors • Why your product/service will have a competitive advantage (quality, brand, ease of use, value added, cost, etc.) • Challenge in the marketplace • Goal: Identify the market space with competitor activity where • your product/service is clearly differentiated from other available • offers. Target: #1 or #2 market position; significant market share
6. Barriers to Entry / Competitive Insulation • What will prevent current and/or new competitors from aggressively responding? • Do you have proprietary intellectual property? • What elements of your concept will provide a barrier, e.g., production capability third party component requirements, distribution channels, existing customer base, regulation, ability to scale, etc. Goal: Describe how you will protect your innovation and protect IP trade secrets and trademarks through patent filings if applicable.
7. Business Model • How do we make money? • What is the business flow from design - to production – to distribution - to usage – to service – to support (draw the model) • How do these components fit together to maximize performance and return on investment? • Be sure to consider each element from an operational as well as financial perspective. Goal: Clearly articulated business model in which your product/service provides a clear business value to a customer or partner with a willingness to pay.
8. Team Skills / Organization What skills are required? Technical Design Production Marketing Sales Finance What organizational resources are required? People Time Goal: Build a team with complementary knowledge and expertise
9. Financial Metrics • Revenue potential • Market share • Gross/operating margin • Investment required for various stages of development (phase I, II, etc.) • Cash flow: • Timing of investment • Break-even point • Cash-flow positive