Business Plan Contest

Business Plan Contest-68
"I wish someone had really told me, 'Forget everything else and just make sure you get the most amazing people on the team,'" Cassidy says.He recommends looking for smart, hard workers who are team players."But when we won the MIT competition, I would send that in my intro letter." As a result, he landed a meeting with the search engine company Hot Bot.

"I wish someone had really told me, 'Forget everything else and just make sure you get the most amazing people on the team,'" Cassidy says.He recommends looking for smart, hard workers who are team players."But when we won the MIT competition, I would send that in my intro letter." As a result, he landed a meeting with the search engine company Hot Bot.

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In 2000, Ask Jeeves bought Direct Hit for $532.5 million.

Today, Cassidy is director of product management at Google.

If the main selling point is a cheaper product, beware.

"That's not a competitive advantage, especially for someone coming into the market, unless you're ten times cheaper," Holly says.

Burke says that while young entrepreneurs can fill their knowledge gap by creating an advisory board.

"An advisory board of 10 people, each with 25 years experience, and they are in leadership positions in their companies—that creates huge credibility," he says.

Investors are looking for teams with sustainable advantages, he says.

"Hopefully if they have a technology, they have a patent on the technology." Dig Deeper: The Best Industries for Starting a Business Right Now Winning a Business-Plan Competition: Use Your Resources to Plan Well Luke Behnke is a second year MBA student at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and one of the directors of the school's 0K Entrepreneurship Competition.

"Understand the mindset of the consumer, understand what it is they have to do." Then use those insights to develop an idea.

Behnke's team proposed a networking site that would connect parents looking for nannies with college students in their communities. "If we had focused on what they said, what they needed, and how we addressed that, it would have been more compelling." If you have the greatest product in the world but no customer, you don't have a business, he added.

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