As the semester comes to an end we are transitioning into another phase of the company. So far our ideas and thoughts have started to take form but we are now in need of extra help to get things off the ground. We will continue to push research and development but are also looking to finalize our business plan so that we can show potential investors. Before we do that we will need to take a step back and analyze how things have gone so far. This is always important to do because it allows us to notice the progress that we’ve made and helps us set goals for the following years. There are many different things that I will take away from this semester. One thing that I learned involved the ins and outs of the business canvas model. While this document is very simplistic the real challenge is finding the perfect connection between all of the different categories. One of the most important connections is between our customer segment and value proposition because we want to make sure we are understanding the value of our product to our customers. If we don’t this correct then it will more difficult for us to market and brand our product.
Another takeaway from this semester is that as an aspiring entrepreneur it is extremely important to be optimistic and self-motivated. There are going to be bad days and good days. You need to be able to take a step back and go back to the very first moment that motivated you in the first place. For instance, there are going to days when your team may struggle to finish something or they do something that isn’t exactly what you wanted, but you have to understand that they have a vision too.
This semester my group had many big accomplishes. We participated in the annual innovation challenge with 9 to 10 other groups from the college. Out of the 9 other teams, we placed 3rd and were nominated (unanimously) as the audience favorite. This was a great experience for us as a group to come together and accomplish a great milestone. Another success was that we collected over +40 presale cases for our product. We sold all of these cases in one day alone and we actually decided not to do another pre-sale because we didn’t want to get in over our heads. However, we did collect contact information from everyone that participated in the pre-sale, so that we can contact them when we launch our product.
I wouldn’t say that we had any failures but more lessons to learn from. I think as an entrepreneur is important to perceive bumps in the road not as failures but as challenges. When you think of something as a failure, you instantly feel that you lost something or view this thing as a negative outcome. On the other hand, a challenge or obstacle is something that will, in the end, will make your company stronger and more motivated when you overcome it. These are lessons that you can’t be taught but physically/mentally need to encounter them. Some of the lessons that I learned relate to teamwork chemistry. There were many moments where people were motivated and excited about our company but later things slightly went downhill from there. This is partly due to a lack of communication and loss of sight of our mission. People had different visions of what our company is and where we were heading in the future. This made things disorganized which resulted in people losing motivation to continue.
What do you think you need to know more about to continue on your entrepreneurial journey?
Honestly, the list could go on forever because this is a lifelong journey. There are so many lessons to be learned that can only be taught through experiences. But in essence, we need to know more about what needs to be included in the start-up phase and how to go about these things. Some of these questions include who should we contact, where should we locate, what things should we complete first, etc?