The MBET Experience

The University of Waterloo – Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Program

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Golden Horseshoe Business Challenge Wrap-Up

June 4th, 2007 · 3 Comments

As I mentioned in my last post, James and I had the exciting opportunity to travel to Rochester, NY, to take part in the Golden Horseshoe Business Challenge. After crunching the numbers, the staff at CBET determined that instead of making the 4-hour drive the evening before and staying in a hotel, it would be just as economical to charter a plane for us! So we showed up at 7am at Waterloo airport, and boarded our small 6-seater plane for the short, 1-hour flight to Rochester.

Since we finished in 2nd place in LaunchPad, we had to compete with the three other 2nd place teams in a semi-final round first thing in the morning. The winner of this round would advance to the finals in the afternoon with the first place winners. James and I were up last, and as we were both too nervous to watch the other presentations, we spent an hour or so rehearsing while the other teams presented.

Finally, it was showtime, and we delivered our pitch as well as we ever have. However, the judges asked us some great questions, such as “What happens to you if Google decides to enter your market?” Unfortunately, I think we were both nervous, because usually we handle those questions well, but we didn’t come back with a strong answer.

After a short wait while the judges deliberated, the semi-final winner was announced – Wakonda Technologies. They have developed a new solar-cell technology that produces more power at a lower cost. This team went on to win the entire competition, so we didn’t feel too bad losing out to them!

The judges gave us some great feedback afterwards on our pitch and our strategy, and also some helpful suggestions for people to contact. We also got to spend the afternoon relaxed and watching the other presentations. It was nice to be able to sit back and evaluate them without having to worry about doing our own. It was a totally different league than what we were used to, with very experienced teams, and one company had already raised $5 million in venture funding!

All in all, it was another great experience. When I started MBET, I would have found it hard to believe that I would have had the chance to fly to Rochester on a chartered plane to compete for $100,000 in cash to start my business! Definitely a good selling point for the program!

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3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Paul Tiberio // Jun 5, 2007 at 9:49 pm

    Congratulations. Eventhough you didn’t go as far as you hoped it sounds like you still came out on top. Like everything, practice makes perfect. See you soon.

  • 2 Mia Haskins // Jun 11, 2007 at 12:26 pm

    I am really proud of you. I continue to be delighted in your success. Keep it coming.

  • 3 Dan’s Triathlon Blog » Blog Archive » The 100 Days of Exercise Challenge // Jun 15, 2007 at 11:13 am

    […] NY, for the Golden Horseshoe Business Challenge as part of the MBET program (see my report here). At the event, I met an interesting gentleman by the name of Ron Gordon. Ron was very interested […]