The MBET Experience

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

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HealthSpoke Reaches the LaunchPad Finals

May 9th, 2007 · 1 Comment

One of the things that James and I worked on during April was completing our business plan for HealthSpoke. First, this is a significant portion of our MBET practicum. Second, we were entering the plan in the LaunchPad $50k Venture Creation Competition, and entries were due in mid-April.

While putting together the plan, I realized the true value of what we had done during the first two terms of MBET. We had used HealthSpoke as the subject matter for many of our assignments, and were able to use material directly from these assignments in our business plan. This included strategy, marketing, operations, finance, law, and e-business. When I started proof-reading our final draft, I realized how far we had come.

Despite feeling good about the plan we put together, I wasn’t sure how far we would go with it. It turned out that approximately 20 teams were selected for semi-final presentations. HealthSpoke was one of them, but unfortunately, I was going to be in Florida on the day of the semi-finals. James stepped up to the plate though, and took on the 10 minute presentation himself. When I returned from Florida, I was extemely excited to see an email informing is that we had made the top 5 teams and would present in the finals!! Check out the announcement on the LaunchPad website!

The final round was held this morning. James and I spent the last couple days working on a longer version of the presentation and running through it. Having taken a couple weeks off, I felt a little rusty at first, but quickly got back into it, and we were ready to go this morning.

The judging panel included Jacqui Murphy, a partner at Tech Capital Partners in Waterloo, Tom Hunter, a partner at Gowlings law firm, as well as other senior people from KPMG, RIM, Atria Networks and TD Bank.

We have prepared and delivered similar presentations a few times in the last couple of months, so we felt pretty good heading in. Our practice helped, and things flowed smoothly. The judges asked a lot of good questions afterwards, mostly around things we had discussed privately. The most difficult question was “Who owns the data?”, which was hard to answer because there is a lot of debate going on regarding that topic. All in all, we both felt we couldn’t have done much better, and received positive comments from our MBET classmates who showed up to watch!

The top 3 teams from the contest all receive some nice prizes – up to $25,000 in cash and services for the winners, $15,000 for second place, and $10,000 for third!! Any one of those would be a nice little kick-start for HealthSpoke!! Now we just have to wait until 3:30pm tomorrow when the winners are announced at the Communitech Tech Leadership Conference! I’ll be sure to post an update!

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