Every Friday, the directors, associates and interns at ATI get together for a Pipeline Meeting. It’s an informal way to reconnect after another busy week, and talk about what to expect in the future. One of the coolest parts about these meetings are the guest speakers, who, more often than not, have a connection to ATI.
Today, Tab Ebrahim visited us to talk about how to win business plan competitions. It makes sense that he would: over the past 6 months he has been part of a team that has been awarded over $1.5 million in cash and prizes for their company NuMat Technologies. Oh, Tab was also an intern at ATI (thinly-veiled brag).
Without giving away all of his secrets, I can share a couple of useful tips:
1)Make sure your company is investable-Have a billion dollar idea and a clear exit strategy. Make sure the pie you bake is big enough for investors to recognize its potential and get them hungry enough to want to go after it.
2)Have a strong team-Make sure your team has complimentary skill sets and different backgrounds (i.e., engineers as well as business people). Don’t make your team too large or small. More than four or five people can make the decision-making process too bureaucratic. Only two people would have a difficult time getting the work done.
3)Be unique-The judges/investors often travel to business competitions, so make it worth their time. They see dozens of pitches, so make sure you differentiate yourself from the competition by being prepared, putting on a good show, and having fun with the process. Be professional, but enjoy yourself; chances are the judges will enjoy themselves too.