Posted tagged ‘business presentations’

New Year… New Company!

April 17, 2009

We had our second team meeting of the new year for our launch pad business. It was at this meeting that we finally reached an agreement on the company name. Basically we are a hybrid between a design and marketing company with a specific focus on business presentations. Some of the names we tossed around were Bosco Design, Cupertino Design, and Renew Creative along with many others. After a few, heated discussions, 23 e-mails, and some random polling in the hallways we settled on the name Rhetoric.

While we were able to come to a consenus on the name Rhetoric, we are still discussing the actual company name (i.e. Rhetoric Creative, Creative Rhetoric, Rhetoric etc. etc.). After about an hour of discussions we decided that at this stage in the process there are bigger fish to fry so we tabled the discussion and bought three domain names that we could possibly use with the name Rhetoric.

Count Down

February 18, 2009

aunt-carla1Have you ever watched the same movie eight times in a row? This week in Comm II each student pitched on Auntie Carla’s Frozen Artisan Bread Company. Our homework from last week was to take raw information on the Carla’s Bread Co. idea and put it into a 12 slide presentation. Each of us prepared our presentations separately, so there was a little variation in each presentation (Auntie Carla’s gets old fast).  After each student gave their presentation, the others offered a short critique. The Auntie Carla’s presentations were the final countdown, next week we present our own ideas.  The slides that I present are the story of my business idea. The presentation will be an all-inclusive picture of my business model, target market, and financial projections. I have to focus on keeping the enthusiasm of a story in my presentation (when I get nervous, I get uptight). I’m excited to see how my idea will be received; we’ll see how it goes!

Working on the Pitch

February 4, 2009

One of the most important things we learn at JP Catholic is to be effective communicators whether in business or in the media. These are some of the most important skills any individual can acquire in business school, and at JP Catholic they ram it down your throats. To highlight this, our class spent the first day writing and pitching our 30-sec pitches. We all wrote them and presented them and tweaked them through the feedback of the students and the faculty. What was really awesome was getting feedback from Professor Iocco, but even more awesome was getting feedback from JP Catholic’s Script Writing Professor, Professor Chris Riley. He has given pitches for movies in Hollywood and his advice was invaluable to the film projects and the business ones too. It was a great class and we all had fun raising the bar about who had the best pitch. In case you were wondering, Chris Lane had the better pitch for our laundry business than me.

After class my esteemed friend, Steve Marshall, and I attended a quick pitch competition hosted by an angel investor group. We watched 12 companies pitch their company to investors for real money. What we saw was 12 individuals that made the same mistakes at we all made in the first 3 years at JP Catholic. Hard to read slides, boring hooks, too little detail, too much minutia, all too common problems during the beginning of our education at JP Catholic. It was incredible to see these CEOs make the same mistakes that we made as freshman and sophomores. What blew me away even more was how anyone of the kids in our class could easily deliver a pitch on par or better than the ones we heard that night.

We again only had one day doing it. Going to events like the quick pitch competition, gets me excited about the education I am receiving at JP Catholic. It’s great to see how we stack up against other companies and I think we stack up pretty well in regards to skills. Still a lot of work remains, and I mean a lot. Everyone has to pour in a lot more time, but it’s cool to know that we have the tools to make it happen.

But to put it simply, I think the LaunchPad passed its progress report.

Summary of the First Quarter of the LaunchPad

February 4, 2009

In order to give you a behind the scenes look at the LaunchPad, I have to bring you guys up to speed. I am a junior and we did our first quarter of the six-quarter series. The main purpose of the quarter was to examine an industry and increase speaking, writing, and presentation skills. We had to give numerous speeches about an industry of our choice. We would choice any industry that we were interested in. From there, we would analyze the industry as a whole and understand it better. From this understanding, business opportunities would present themselves.

Many industries were chosen and many were changed. The key was finding an industry that you were truly interested in. My colleague, Chris Lane, and I started the class looking at opportunities in the real estate markets, more specifically, college town real estate markets. Through careful analysis of this industry, we realized there was not a significant problem in the industry that we could solve (the real estate markets have bigger problems than a solution we could have thought of).

Check out our terrible first presentation, it’s the first one on the page: (keep in mind these were presentations on where we were at).

Halfway through the quarter, we changed our industry to laundry services. This may seem like a random jump, but it wasn’t. We were talking to the LaunchPad director, Professor Iocco, and we hitting off ideas to him. We were really curious about launching a small community bank focusing on providing funding to small to medium sized businesses in San Diego (currently there is a huge demand for this). Again we would be unable to deliver as a bank. It is way too complex and to launch a bank, you need a CEO with numerous years of banking experience as a CEO to get a bank charter (Chris and I had a combined total of zero experience as a CEO). We were disappointed again. Through this conversation, Chris joked and said “what about a laundromat for college-kids with high-end amenities, and call it The Mat.” This was an idea his uncle had for a business. Professor Iocco entertained the joke and we kept talking about it. Then we realized as we kept talking about the laundromat, many problems surfaced. Professor Iocco told us to check out the industry and see what are current solutions. We did and realized there were numerous problems and a few solutions that weren’t exactly favorable.

Through mentorship by the professors, we had a new direction. This happened to almost every student in the LaunchPad. They started somewhere, ended up somewhere us. At the end of the six quarters, I’m sure there is a possibility we could end up somewhere else again.

So we spent the rest of quarter analyzing the laundry services industry. The class had a couple of deliverables: one being a 30-minute presentation on the industry and a 20-page paper on the industry as well. The whole quarter was spent preparing for these two. We would give mini speeches through out the quarter that would be building into the final one. These helped our skills and build confidence. I can’t think of a school that really pours its heart and attention into the success of the students. Through constant mentorship and feedback from faculty and students alike, all of our presentations really took shape. It was really awesome to see the change from the beginning of the class to the presentations at the end.

Beginning Presentation of Laundry Services Industry

Final Presentation of Laundry Services Industry

Overall the class was great. Every student came out a better presenter from it. It really taught us to examine an industry and see problems and trying to solve those problems. The next class will focus on solving that problem.