It was a catalyst for a career. Inawk of the two years he won the competition, he won with a plan to provide Web portals with smarter search engine technology called Direct Hit Technologies.
Today, Cassidy is director of product management at Google. Business-plan competitions have expanded into elevator pitch battles and industry-specific contests. The scale has grown, too. With that kind of money and influence at stake, here is insider advice from organizers, judges, and competitors:.
Megan Mitchell, senior associate director of entrepreneurial programs at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, helps students manage the Wharton Business-Plan Competition. Cross disciplines.
Internal friction and bickering can be devastating. He recommends looking for smart, hard workers who are team players. Cassidy suggests looking for a business opportunity in an area where there's some sort of turmoil, confusion, or rapid growth. That said, skip the secrecy.
The more transparent you can be, the ask geeves how to write a business plan. Mitchell says geevea seen many students tempted to hold ideas close to the vest and ask everyone around them to sign non-disclosure agreements. Talk to enough people and they know it's your idea. The Rice University competition is one of the largest in the world. Brad Burke is managing director for the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, which organizes and hosts the competition.
Investors are looking for teams with sustainable advantages, he says.
Last year he was on a team that didn't get ask geeves how to write a business plan as a finalist, a stage where competitors get one-on-one support. Burke says that while young entrepreneurs can fill their knowledge gap by creating an advisory board.
If your team is creating a product for the airline industry, try to get executives from United and Boeing on the board, he added. Those trusted advisors could easily become customers, or investors. And be sure to acknowledge your weaknesses.]