The second Camp BizSmart product design and business plan competition was held on July 17, 2014 at Microsoft Silicon Valley. Eight teams competed for the coveted 1st place title which went to Revolights student team, RevoArc who earned the top score from esteemed judges, Bill Reichert, Marty Reed and John Butler. What impressed these judges?
From the minute this team stepped on stage, their energy and passion for their invention was obvious. Bill Reichert, Managing Partner of Garage Technology Ventures, put it this way, “This this team captured our attention with a clever story that let us know they understood the customer’s problem and how their product invention would solve it. They went beyond addressing the requirements and added features that enhanced the customers experience while keeping the product intuitive and simple. Then we felt they came up with an ingenious marketing and sales strategy that set them apart from all the other teams.” Clearly, the judges felt that RevoArc deserved first place. Camp Director Bryan Cockel agreed, “These students really brought their A game and everyone felt their energy while they were on stage.” The students are pictures above with their 1st place certificates with Bryan and their team facilitator, Lilly Tatka.
The competition continues to be fierce and the students constantly rise to the occasion creating imaginative and yet very practical product solutions. There are business problems for Camp BizSmart student teams to choose from and then work for 8 days to create a customer solution complete with product design illustration that they conceive and which is later drawn to scale by industrial design firm, WAGIC. Many of the teams also create physical prototypes from basic material to further demonstrate to the judges how an element or the entire product might function for the customer. Teams present their competitive analysis, marketing and sales strategy and financial forecast along with their best pitch as to why their product solution if the best. Because the Camp BizSmart competition is not yet over and there is still one more competition to take place on Aug 7, 2014, I am not able to provide you with more information about the actual product solution that this team created. Once the final competition is over and the judges have made their determination of the top team for 2014 out of the 1st place winners from the three sessions, the product designs and more detail will be shared in future blogs.
In addition to the 1st place team award, Camp BizSmart also recognizes the individual who most embodies the spirit of invention, of solving problems and creating value, and doing so with a zest, optimism and grit that helps them to push on and persist amidst challenges. This student must also have the personal attributes of Character, Courage and Citizenship, which are the values of Camp BizSmart. The award is named for Ben Franklin, America’s great inventor, business man and leader. The student who was recognized with having these attributes was Rishab Yeddula.
The next session of Camp BizSmart begins on July 28 and goes until August 8, 2014. The first place winner of Ben Franklin Award winner of that session of students will be announced following the close of that session. So stay tuned for more results to come! Camp BizSmart is sponsored on Stanford’s campus by James Sweeney, the Director of the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center and also Engineering Professor at Stanford.
This is our fifth year at Stanford University and a great big shout out goes to Jim for his fantastic support which has made it possible to inspire hundreds of young aspiring entrepreneurs. In addition, Kevin Surace very generously spends time with each of our Camp BizSmart sessions providing lessons learned from his entrepreneurial journey which includes over 40 patents and creating and running multiple companies.
Kevin challenges Camp BizSmart tudents to engage and clearly articulate their business product solution. Kevin you are terrific!
Multiple others come to Camp BizSmart to provide real world examples of running business and provide a hands-on challenge to create a solution to a business need that they have. The students not only rise to the occasion, they get to practice important problem solving skills and receive real time feedback from the executives.
In addition to Kevin’s sage advice and feedback, Amir Patel and Jason Li two entrepreneurs still in their 20’s provided the students a problem to solve and feedback on their solutions. Students develop essential business and creative product development skills that they draw upon when competing for the best product design and business solution to address the business cases from Revolights and Vintage Electric.
Our sincere thanks to Revolights cofounders Kent Frankovich and Adam Pettler and also Andrew Davidige Founder of the Vintage Electric the business case sponsors for Camp BizSmart 2014. You guys rock!