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Friday, November 11, 2011

And The Winner Is...You!


We participated this week with seven other entrepreneurs in the 2011 Capital Management Technology Hub and George Mason's School of Management Technology Startup Challenge to introduce our cloud-based community and supporting tools: MyLeadershipPractice. What a top notch event and great learning experience! Plenty of innovative solutions to specific needs were presented.

2011 Capital Startup Challenge

The competition was an experiential lab for evaluating a new service or product. Here's what came from competing:
  • Makes us think about how to use the service in much greater detail
  • Preparing the presentation begins a dialog about the service:
    • defining features and benefits
    • sharpening descriptions of key elements and what's unique or superior
    • translating thoughts, ideas, concepts, and concepts into words
    • choosing statements which are the most precise and compelling in delivering the message
  • Questions from the judges show:
    • areas they feel are most important:
    • ones that need additional clarification
    • specifics comments about elements that may need further development (new thoughts or just a different priority?)
  • Feedback from the audience indicates the reception of the presentation or topic:
    • non-verbal – are they listening or tuning out
    • verbal – if interactive, did they respond; did they raise questions during or after the presentation
  • You can observe other entrepreneurs:
    • what they identified as a need and how they developed a solution
    • how they communicate about their service or product, deliver presentations, and persuade the judges
  • Pre- and post-competition publicity gives your new service visibility
  • You now have a significant group of people who know about your new service and by competing, they know you are legitimate, not just a dreamer.

In addition to gleaning this priceless information, you have now practiced selling the service in front of 100 people. How easy will it be to present 1-on-1 or to a smaller group now?

With this rich input to work with, you can quickly refine the service, better highlight the benefits of the service, and refine the message you present to the customer – as needed.

I found that presenting at this entrepreneur competition got the juices flowing and raised the level of passion for creating a successful service, valued by the customer.

Why wouldn't someone just jump at an opportunity to compete in an event like this? Only upside gain.

Have you been in a service or product competition? How did it helps your project?

Looking to improve your blog? Our next presentation is BlogLab - Improve Your Blogs! Thursday December 8, 8:30 am - 1 pm. Learn more at http://bit.ly/WMRBlogLab
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