Tonight, New Ventures BC’s own Bob de Wit and Elisabeth Maurer of LightIntegra Technology present Assessing the Opportunity. Entrepreneurs get the answers they need tonight about what do do when running with a new business idea.
Before getting underway with the seminar, Bob de Wit gave a warm and informative introduction of what NVBC is all about…
The NVBC competition takes place over four successive, and increasingly complex, rounds. Competitors are eliminated after each round until only 10 remain in play to win $300,000 in prize packages.
Need more details? Learn more about the New Ventures BC competition.
Check out the winners of past NVBC competitions!
Bob de Wit:
What defines an innovative product that might be entered by a company into the competition?
- It utilizes new technology
- It combines existing technologies in a new way.
- Utilizes technology to develop new or improved existing products or services
- It utilizes technologies to develop new or improve existing production processes
- It is early stage of a new technology
Bob’s Checklist for Crafting an Effective Business Opportunity Statement or elevator pitch
- Say what you do
- Define the pain
- Define the solution
- Say why anyone should care
- Define how you’re going to win
- The call to action (ie. Show me the money)
Elizabeth Maurer delivers award-winning pitch representing last year’s winner, LightIntegra
For first place in 2009, they won the $120,000 BC Innovation Council prize package. LightIntegra develops a medical device and disposables to measure the quality of platelets before transfusion…
Questions and Answers Session following the Presentation
1. You talk about the market and how big it is, but do you plan to take it private?
We plan on going private. These companies that I have listed here already have an established customer base. We would feed into what they are doing. They don’t have a platelet quality test. They just want us to go through the FDA process.
2. Market adoption and market penetration… You mentioned you were going to start with hospitals because they are most incented. You mentioned they would pay $500 for a bag of platelets. If they find the platelets are bad, would they return them? They’ve already paid for them…
Once hospitals can determine which one is the better product, they will force the production site to give them the better product. Can they get their money back? I don’t know. Maybe they can do an exchange and not pay for the next product. Something like that? Most cost savings comes from reducing the stay of the patient in the hospital… the cost attached to repetitive transfusions.
3. You won the competition… Were there areas you saw that differentiated you from the competition? Were there paradigm shifts that if you knew then what you know now, would you have made changes?
I didn’t actually get to hear other pitches, so as a contestant, I didn’t really know how we compared. What we learned… being a scientist, I found it tremendously important to see these seminar topics and get the experience of the mentors. To get the feedback about what we had to think about was essential. To have a good idea is one thing, getting feedback was good. But being willing to listen and learn so that the feedback was actually helping you was also important.
(Bob de Wit: All three of the top teams added to the management team as they went along last year. This should be noted by current competitors).
4. Where else did you get support for growing your venture?
Within Vancouver, the angel network and the life sciences network, where you can test your pitch is really, really helpful.
8:18 pm – Time For Prizes
New Ventures BC Leather Folio goes to Oliver!
New Ventures BC Jacket goes to Wolfgang!
8:20 pm Bob de Wit is back! “So, How do you Win?”
Round 1 Questions. What are the NVBC judges looking for?
- Describe the product or service offering
- Describe the innovation behind the idea without disclosing proprietary technology.
- Briefly describe the tech sector
- Provide a brief analysis of the market and competition
How about eligibility?
Our WIPO Definition of IP – Creations of the Mind
Round 2 Entry, Feasibility Test
Deadline is May 10, 2010!
Round 2 Judging Criteria
9 questions, grouped into Baseline questions and Evaluation Questions
Where you sell the judge on your venture.
Describe your product or service.
Who’s on your team?
What’s your Business Plan status?
Q1. Intellectual Property
Describe your IP strategy including plans for how your IP gives you a defensible competitive advantage. Remember, IP is not just patents!
Note: If patents are part of your strategy, don’t disclose all of your secret sauce. Talk about what it does, not how it does it. Patent protection is important to us.
- 9 out of 10 submissions don’t talk about how they make money. Don’t make that mistake!
- Be specific about the size of your target market in terms of size, segments and trends. You need to come up with a number that shows you’ve researched what the market is.
- Make sure you consider all the markets you could apply your technology to, but keep focused on your first market.
- Next, describe your ideal customer. This really helps you work from the ground up.
Explain the go-to-market plan. Do you have alliances you intend to strike? Why? When?
- Describe your company and product’s primary competitive differentiators.
- What makes you unique? How will customers benefit or save money?
- What are the barriers to competition?
Q5. Financial (key numbers)
- What have you spent to date? What funds have been raised? From where? How much do you need?
- When will your venture be cash-flow positive?
- Include your key assumptions that drive your forecasts.
What do Successful Entrepreneurs Understand?
- The market where their product is sold.
- Key defensible qualities that give an edge over the competition
- Strong supporting team
- Philosophy: “Cash is king”. They budget as closely as they can so they always know their cash runway.
Some final tips:
Find mentors to expand your vision
Don’t overplan – take action
Hire people who are smarter than you.
Tailor your elevator pitch to different audiences
Play to win but be willing to risk failure
Acknowledge the competition. Never say “there is no competition!”
Don’t let the critics get you down. Use the feedback. Adapt and overcome.
Have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously.
Where to Look for Help?
- Your regional Science Council
- NRC IRAP
- New Ventures BC Competition
- Mike Volker’s website
Where NOT to Look first for feedback:
- Your bank
- Your family and friends
- Outside your home market
- Business planning consultants (You can’t have someone else write your business plan. It just doesn’t work!)
8:42 pm Questions Session
1. Can we get a copy of the slides?
Will be available on the NVBC site the following day
Bob – Who’s already joined the competition?
Answer from the audience: Most put their hands up!
The competition goes on!