Doesn’t sound possible, does it? On January 2nd– 5th, the Wharton School in San Francisco, California held their fourth annual workshop where MBA students are challenged to start a new internet business in just four days. Students come to the workshop with an idea and use the four days to transform the idea in to ready to launch internet businesses. In addition, students were competing against each other in a tournament to see who could build the best startup.
Not all ideas were developed. As students reviewed the ideas, seven emerged as the front runners. Students were grouped in to teams where they learned how to pitch their idea, set up budgets and business plans, identify target audiences, search engine optimization and reporting of key metrics.
Although four days doesn’t allow for any measurement of the long term viability of the business, that wasn’t the goal of the workshop. A major problem among future entrepreneurs is their inability to understand how to develop an idea, test its viability in the marketplace, build the brand, and open the business. This workshop aimed to address those skills.
The competition isn’t really a competition since every team wins something. Chow4You, a website that would allow you to pick meals based on your dietary needs, won based on page views and marketing. The acting CEO for the four day conference believes that this is only the beginning for Chow4You. He thinks more development could turn his idea in to a real internet based company.
In each of the past four years of this competition one of the businesses created during the four days has gone on to open their virtual doors so consumers may see Chow4You or one of the other six businesses as the next Groupon or LinkedIn.
Looking to get help with your business idea? You may not be an MBA student but there are numerous ways to get the help you need. First, go to the Small Business Administration’s website and look for local events that are taking place in your area. The SBA also has free mentoring programs located all over the country to help people like you. Finally, throughout the year, there are numerous startup competitions and workshops that allow you to get your idea to the masses and gain feedback.
The political climate is very entrepreneur friendly right now. Take advantage of that now because as we know, Washington could change its mind at any time.