Posted tagged ‘industry life cycle’

Business Launch Pad: What Is It?

February 4, 2009

So my job is to show you guys out there what is going on in the Business Launch Pad. So the first question that comes to mind is: What is the Business Launch Pad, Justin? You can look it up on the school’s website:Click Here

But if you want a student’s version of what it is, I am going to tell you. Well it is the final project for every student at JP Catholic, but it is not just an academic project. It is a platform to launch a real, breathing business. The project is part of the last six quarters of our time at JP Catholic. What is interesting is that every class that you take at JP Catholic has its end goal in supporting the Business LaunchPad. As an example, our marketing class’ final marketing plan was an initial marketing plan for our business idea.

Every professor is at a student’s disposal to offer invaluable advice and mentorship. This advice comes from true business leaders that have proven track records. Every business professor is an expert in their field as well as an experienced executive. To prove this, the chairman of a bank taught my economics class. The ability to seek advice from any professor is invaluable to the development and launching a business.

The school pours every resource it has at its disposable. If it doesn’t and you need a certain resource, they bend over backwards to get it. The school’s physical and intellectual assets also become the assets of any student venture. You are able to use their phones, internet, buildings, and really any typical business need. So instead of launching your company and taking on huge debts with non-strategic assets, you are able to save money and use the school’s infrastructure as your own.

What this means to us is that we are able to mitigate the risk of launching a new business. Everyone knows the failure rates for a new small business, but with the JP Catholic Business LaunchPad, you are able to dramatically decrease the failure rate with mentorship and cost savings.

The director of the LaunchPad is Professor Dominic Iocco. Here is a little about himself:

Family: Dominic and his wife Kate have three children. They currently attend St. Therese of Carmel Parish in Carmel Valley. Dominic and Kate grew up in Michigan and relocated to San Diego in late 2007.

Education: Dominic holds a BAA and an MBA.

Career: Dominic, along with his parents built a company that was a pioneer in the highly lucrative, and heavily patent protected inkjet cartridge business. Having developed some key intellectual property in the form of trade secrets around a novel cartridge refilling process, they were able to rapidly grow the business supplying inkjet cartridges to the wholesale market. Their company was acquired in 2007 by the world’s largest aftermarket inkjet and toner company. He also orchestrated the rescue of a failed PayPal competitor that had received over $14 million in venture capital. He was able to successfully stabilize and sell the operation. Dominic, in addition to his role at JP Catholic University, serves as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at San Diego’s CONNECT. In this role he is helping other entrepreneurs build their companies.

Check out his website.

It has all the information for the LaunchPad classes on there as well as student presentations.


Pizza Hut and LaunchPads

February 4, 2009

We did a Creative Advertising class this past summer. It was a fascinating overview, but we had the whole subject in only one quarter, so it was pretty much just a ‘table of contents’ approach. I was pretty sure nothing in would actually stick. You learn the pieces, you’re able to talk about them for awhile, pass the tests, but since none of us are looking at a career in advertising, we’ll never actually use this information, right?

So, that’s what I thought, until I was getting back from school the other day and saw the cover of a pizza box. Pizza Hut. Not too scary, right? It had a flyer on top about new pasta dishes they’re making. An advertisement.

It was very much a moment of “What has college done to me?” My first thought upon seeing it was: “Oh, they’re advertising a differentiated approach because it’s a mature industry!” (Disclaimer: that may have been my second thought, right after “mmmm, pizza…” but it’s hard to tell). There was one class about the connection between an industry’s life cycle and the advertising strategy for each stage. The fact that it had sunk that deep into my brain was pretty darn cool, if you ask me. It was kinda like ‘Porter’s 5 Forces,’ which we studied in the launchpad class. Just another way of looking at an industry, just a structure to hang information on, but it’s amazing just how much easier it is understand how businesses interact with each other. I had no clue about it 3 months ago. Eh, I guess there is something to this whole ‘business degree’ thing.