Posted tagged ‘industry analysis’

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.