A post from student blogger Brittany
I told you all last semester that I was chosen to be a member of the Business Plan Competition Team from the Office of Technology Transfer. If you’ve been following me you will also know that we have competed in two competitions, The Cardinal Challenge and the New Venture Champion, and lost both competitions, not even making it out of our room. I won’t lie I was mad; I knew how much work we put into developing our business plan, identifying our market strategy and gaining traction for the company.
I will say, compared to other business plan teams in the competitions, we had a rather complex technology and business model that wasn’t always well understood by the judging panel. We couldn’t quite find the balance between explaining the science in enough detail to satisfy the judges with getting to the point of our business operations. Looking through our teams google drive you’d see at least 10 versions of our business plan with countless more PowerPoint presentations indicative of us trying to figure out what the judges wanted.
The last competition we competed in was the McCloskey Business Plan Competition at Notre Dame and we were hoping that home court advantage would come into play. We simplified our pitch deck significantly compared to previous competitions because we only have 5 minutes to wow the judges. In a way I felt like the entire team was going in the competition with mixed emotions; hoping we’d win but at the same time having the outcomes of the previous two competitions in the forefront of our minds.
I felt like we performed well in the initial 5 minute presentation which led us to the finals but we wanted to take home the win so we knew we had to show up and show out so that the judges had no choice but to give us the grand prize. During the final pitch we were on our A game despite some technical difficulties that were out of our control. I was so proud of the team for how we presented, answered questions, and ignored the computer hiccups.
During the awards presentation it felt like EVERY OTHER TEAM was being called except Certus Therapeutics, Inc and my heart was racing. Finally we were called as the winners of the Grand Prize of $25K. All of the LONG HOURS we put in had finally paid off and we were thrilled! If you’ve taken nothing from my blogs over these 10 months it’s don’t count yourself out. It isn’t over until the fat lady sings.
Read about the winning team here: https://research.nd.edu/news/66367-cancer-treatment-system-wins-notre-dames-2016-mccloskey-business-plan-competition/