In the past, I had always heard of business competitions. However, they never seemed attainable. In my mind I always imagined Shark Tank and Mr. Wonderful tearing apart someone’s idea based off of their seemingly short elevator pitch. This mindset stuck with me until freshman year of high school when I got the opportunity to attend and compete in the Teen Entrepreneur Academy and Business Plan competition. This changed everything. I learned to love the competition, challenge, and pressure of pitching an idea to a panel of judges. Fast forward to last year when my business partner and I had the opportunity to compete in the Wolverine Venture Battle with our company idea Resense. We came up with the idea of Resense through the Lean Launchpad Class offered at Grove City College and by the end of the semester we were able to have a great run in the competition and take home over $6000.
We decided to take Resense further than the Wolverine Venture Battle and launch it as a business. So, this year, we are a part of Venture Lab but we also have decided to take our chances with more business competitions. You would be surprised at the number of various business competitions that are out there. Recently, we have applied to 3 different national competitions and are moving up through the different rounds! It has been a very interesting journey and there are a lot of things that I have learned and will forever take away from this experience. The most important takeaway being, no idea is too small. I don’t know if it is just me, but I tend to underestimate the impact that an idea can have and entering these competitions I realized just how unique and beneficial Resense can and will be.
When entering these competitions they ask lots of different questions, making you think through every aspect of your company. This is something that we were prepared for, but it definitely tested our knowledge and comfort levels. We had to research, ask questions of our mentors, and really get to know our company. While at times it was stressful, we ultimately were able to improve our company drastically and learn by doing, gaining knowledge that could only be found outside of the classroom. So, the application process was somewhat tedious and frustrating but we did it, and we are still doing it. Each competition has its own application process with different requirements and so applying to each was an undertaking. However, it pays off! We were able to move forward in the Poets & Quants Big Idea Bounce and ended up in the top 12 out of 167 companies. While we didn’t make it to the Top 3 finals, it was still an amazing experience and accomplishment to make it as far as we did considering the truly impactful and innovative ideas. This gave us so much confidence to keep going in these competitions. We were reassured that Resense and The Memory Box is a good idea and that there is great need for our product in the market. Currently, we have also moved on in the TCU Values and Ventures competition and are waiting to hear back from more.
So, if you are interested in ever participating in a business competition, I have 2 words for you: Do it! The experience, knowledge, and feedback that you will get as you go through the process is priceless. Even if you don’t end up winning, you will still get your name out there, market your product, and gain extremely beneficial experience in pitching an idea… something I know for sure I will be thankful for in my future!