Gain a better understanding of entrepreneurship concepts and what judges will be looking for during the upcoming Entrepreneurship Expo. These FAQs will provide guidance and insight important to your project’s success.
What is a venture concept?
A venture concept is more than just an idea and less than a company with customers. The founders have thought through the technology or delivery method and have information on potential customers. There is something to “show and tell” to an audience, on a poster or computer demonstration. A prototype or minimum viable product might have been developed.
What type of products/services are suitable for the EXPO?
A wide range of products and services have been presented at the EXPO; from commercial space to retail fashion concepts and everything in between. The selection is made based on potential commercial viability, innovativeness and a general interest.
What are commercial viability, innovativeness and general interest?
Commercial viability means there is a chance the venture may find success in the marketplace. You might actually make money at this. Innovativeness means bringing new "stuff" to market. It could be new technology, but it could also mean new ways of delivery or communication. But it isn’t “the same old, same old." General interest addresses how the venture scores in relation to the “cool” factor? Maybe converting salt water to hydrogen fuel is cool. Another pizza place? Maybe not so much.
Why is the EXPO a good opportunity for students? Or faculty, staff and alumni — for that matter? What are the benefits of participating?
The EXPO is a good chance to get early stage feedback on your venture concept from successful entrepreneurs and professional investors. Expert judges will be visiting each exhibitor, providing advice and guidance. There will also be a panel discussion with a Q&A session between judges and exhibitors.
Last year, one student took orders from one of the judges for two installations of his product. Another team arranged to continue discussion for possible investment.
At the worst, you will learn whether other people think your venture is lame before you sink a bunch of time and money into it.
What additional resources are available for potential participants, budding entrepreneurs are available?
Check out the Center for Entrepreneurship website for resources. The Embry-Riddle student organization, CEO, is sponsoring two seminars on preparing business models and getting ready to pitch. Applicants to the EXPO will be invited to the seminars. There are many other resources available locally.
Is participation in the Entrepreneurship EXPO only limited to COB students, faculty, staff, alumni?
The EXPO is designed for the Embry-Riddle family. Students, faculty, alumni and staff from all Colleges are welcome to participate. People from outside the University can be on the team, but founders with direct Embry-Riddle connections have to be in substantive leadership position in the venture.