Feb 4 • 3 min read

Last night (2/3), IEI’s Executive Director, Ellen Weber, had the pleasure of informing students of how to “Create a Winning Business Model” by discussing strategy, value, chain and value path to help BYOBB participants succeed in the upcoming business model competition.

Ellen shared with last night’s attendees her real-world experience, as she shared she runs an angel investment group and the majority of the companies they support have a multi-sided platform. She advised it is extremely important to define the target customer in markets including, mass market U.S. niche, single U.S. multi markets and multi-sided platforms.

Throughout the presentation, Ellen prompted multiple questions about the student’s value to the customer and ultimately what the student brings to the table. As a group, Ellen helped attendees build their business model canvas by addressing the different aspects of the model.

If you missed last night’s presentation or would like to know more about how to create a winning business plan, please see the Q&A section below. 

Q – If my company isn’t going to show revenue for a few years (like Facebook), do I still have to do the financial part of the business plan?

A – You still have to do the financial part of the business plan.  You need to understand your cost structure so you know how much money you need to borrow/get funded and you need to know what your breakeven point is.  Also, in the text portion of the business plan, be sure to explain your revenue assumptions (who will pay what amount for what product/service) when the company will begin making sales.

Q – Is the financial analysis included in the 10 pages?  How about the Title Page?  The Table of Contents?

A – The financial analysis, as well as the PowerPoint “pitch deck” are not counted as part of the 10 pages, nor is the Title Page. Do not include a Table of Contents page, as it is not needed in a 10 page plan.

Q – I noticed that a business model canvas template is an optional component – where do we find a template?

A – You can find a template via Google, which offers several different choices.  A simple format you can use for 30 days can be found here. Remember, this is not a requirement, but some people find it helpful to do a business model canvas first, and then the business plan.

Q– How important is it for BYOBB if the product is in Beta or tested?

A– If the product is in use or has been tested by customers, it is a plus. It can be as small as a test of peers but is not required and you will not be penalized.

Q – I really need help with the financial component. Where can I find the help?

A – Attend the BYOBB workshop on February 18! It will focus on Cash Flow, Profits & Financials.   In addition, your mentor should be able to help you think through the financials.  And the Open Mentor Nights will be helpful for any last minute questions you may have.  One final suggestion:  Add a finance or accounting major to join your team!