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By John Buttery, President, City Council USA


buttery_sm.jpgThe 2009 McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship Business Plans Competition was incredible!

The format was completely different this year with all the groups providing 3-minute summaries of their business plans. When I first heard about the new format, I was wondering how someone could outline a business idea in just 3 minutes. I guess this is a long format of the famed “elevator pitch”. As it turned out, most groups finished well within the time limit, and even the groups that didn’t ended their presentation professionally.

I liked the new format and offer congratulations to McGuire Center director Sherry Hoskinson for taking the risk of trying something new. It was great to see all the plans participating in the competition, versus the 6 plans the judges reviewed in prior competitions. Twenty-one plans were a lot, but the process went very smoothly. I know there were a lot of moving parts at the College that day, but they all came together.

First, I spent the morning in the McGuire Center and learned a bunch of new things. I’m raising money for a new venture and it was great to get the input from mentor-in-residence Bob Morrison and Sherry on how to write a document these days. We all read so many emails and articles online that we now have to immediately engage the reader, come right out with the facts, and create an action path.

Second, it amazes me when the judges get together that there isn’t an immediate consensus on who should win. I personally had 7 plans that I liked after the 3-minute presentations, yet there can only be one winner. I think it speaks volumes to the quality of the plans, and should give every entrepreneur hope. Just keep your dream alive and continue to move forward.