On March 31st, under the leadership of Dean Edgar Troudt, the LIU Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation co-hosted the 8th Annual New York Regional Business Plan Competition. The competition consists of 10 regions, with colleges from all parts of New York. This year, with the help of the LIU Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and marketing professionals from the Business Plan Competition, the New York City region had 51 teams compete from nearly 20 institutions, the most New York City region competitors ever. After kicking off the morning with a networking session, the respective teams had the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to judges from MakerBot, Etsy, and other renowned organizations. Before announcing the teams that would advance to the finals in Albany, David S. Rose, Founder of New York Angels and Gust, provided spectators his valuable insights. David is not only a successful entrepreneur himself, but also an Inc. 500 CEO, an Angel investor and best selling author. David has funded more than 100 companies during developmental stages.
We are excited to announce that Nikhil Parwar, a second year MBA student, advanced to represent LIU Brooklyn in the finals in Albany on April 28th, 2017. Nikhil’s business is “Domestic BioGas,” in which he aspires to change the way families cook in rural India by moving from gasoline to self-produced bio-gas powered cooking stoves. Nikhil utilized the LIU Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to prepare for the contest, receiving mentorship from Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship Dr. Christoph Winkler as well as Dean Edgar Troudt. LIU students Brian Landvogt, Sam Nam, and Isak Doumbia received honorable mention certificates for their ventures Binder, Clust, and TopMan Media. Please join us in offering a big congratulations to all LIU students who represented our university, and wishing the best of luck to Nikhil, who will be representing our LIU Brooklyn at the finals in Albany.
By Manpreet Singh (Manny)
On Friday, March 20, 2017, LIU’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation co-hosted a 3D Printing Training session with MakerBot for students competing in the 8th Annual New York State Business Plan Competition. In addition to gaining valuable insight into MakerBot’s 3D printing process, students received constructive feedback on their business pitches from the team at MakerBot.
During the first half of the session, Drew Lentz shared the company’s history, and explained the basics of 3D printing as well as the various tools involved. Students learned about how 3D printing material is molded by the printer into a desirable object. In addition, Drew demonstrated how to use the various software suites to create images of desirable objects for the 3D printers by actually printing some objects on site. Many students witnessed 3D printing for the first time and quickly realized the value of using this technology as a prototyping tool for their business plan projects.
During the second half of the afternoon, Grant Parker mentored students to improve their business pitches for the 8th Annual New York State Business Plan Competition. Students participated in a pitch exercise, where they they had to pitch their business idea to their colleagues and other professionals at MakerBot. Grant Parker played a key role for providing constructive feedback and helping students perfect their business pitches.
“Think micro for all aspects of your business idea.” Grant Parker of MakerBot
We are excited to welcome MakerBot as a judge for the 8th Annual New York State Business Plan Competition on March 31 at LIU Brooklyn.
By Manpreet Singh (Manny)
The LIU Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation partnered with Etsy to host a featured event on Thursday, March 9th for the 8th Annual New York State Business Plan Competition.
Etsy, which is located in DUMBO NYC, is a global creative commerce platform. The main purpose of the platform is to offer something original to the world, which they strongly believe of the platform, is to offer something original to the world, which they strongly believe is highly transferable to entrepreneurship. Over the years, Etsy has helped a lot of startups and creative entrepreneurs to manage and scale their businesses through business development, strategic planning, investor relations, or community growth.
During the event, Etsy speaker Ashley and other staff engaged participating students in variety of activities to share their business ideas, support innovation and induce the entrepreneurship spirit.
By guiding the students in a branding exercise, all participating entrepreneurs had to answer very specific questions about their business. The drill was similar to the speed-dating concept, where every entrepreneur had to answer quickly personal questions about their venture such as:
- If your company were a food, what food would it be?
- What´s color is the company?
- What adjectives describe your company?
In addition, the presenters shared a couple of considerations that are essential for every entrepreneur:
- Understand Your Customer First (Target customer)
- Research Your Competition
- Determine your Unique Value (USP or unique selling proposition)
- Choose a Positioning Strategy
- Align the Rest of Your Business With Your Strategy (Branding)
And lastly, what can Etsy do for you?
As an entrepreneur, you can take advantage by using Etsy´s marketplace and access a direct sales channel to your customers. The platform offers a simple setup for you to create your digital store and charge your customers. Also, you can browse the platform for inspiration and see if someone is already offering something similar to your idea, and how their sales have been.
Don’t forget to come out to the NYBiz Plan Competition Practice Section on Friday, March 24th, 2017 at 10:00 Am to 3:00 PM. RSVP.
By Nini Fan
On Tuesday, March 7, the LIU Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation hosted a digital marketing workshop, which was facilitated by Steph Schmitt and Jacob Mader from Google. The theme, the power of digital marketing, is highly relevant for all entrepreneurs. By learning about how Google works, participants were able to gain valuable insights into how to maximize a company’s digital presence online. To assist current and future users of Google´s services, Google developed different tools to support growth of new, as well as established ventures. Amongst these tools are Keyword Planner, Analytics and AdWords. During the workshop, all of these tools were introduced.
From an entrepreneur’s perspective, the keyword planner is definitely the most useful tool. The software taps into Google’s business intelligence to anlayze search statistics and display search volume by keywords. This way, entrepreneurs are able to take proactive action since the they are able to better understand what potential consumers are looking for. Even our mentors at the Center are using these tools to track trends and get a sense of what is relevant for customers in a particular market.
And here are some relevant links to get started with Google’s digital marketing tools:
- Sign up for Google AdWords Certifications
- Students may register as a Google Partner, which will enable the them to take lessons, as well as certify themselves in AdWords, Analytics etc.
- Think with Google: marketing site
- Consumer Barometer: provides consumer research
- Google Trends: visualizations for search query popularity, etc.
- Keyword Planner: Google AdWords tool to understand how frequently people search a term
- Google Online Marketing Challenge: for college students
Otherwise, the deadline for our pitch competition is coming up. Many ideas have been discussed during the Coworking sessions on Thursdays (11am-12pm), and hopefully, we will see some of your ideas in the grand finale on the April 28 at LIU Brooklyn. So don’t forget to submit your business pitch and compete for the price of $100,000: http://apply.nybplan.com/en/challenge/2017-new-york-city-semifinal-competition
by Aron Podavka
On Monday, February 13, college students from across New York City attended the Kickoff Event for this year’s NYS Business Plan Competition, which was hosted by Microsoft at their Times Square headquarters.
To foster community among the participants, the event started with an ice breaker exercises that encouraged students to network with as many individuals as possible and to learn more about each other. Antuan Santana, Community Manager, of Microsoft, shared Microsoft’s vision to support innovation and entrepreneurship, emphasizing that a “growth mindset always questions, pushes beyond boundaries and looks for new approaches.”
Over the course of the afternoon, participating students learned that the perfect pitch for a business is not derived overnight, rather a skill that is gained with experience and over time. Professionals with the Shift Group and LIU-Brooklyn shared their skills with competing students, giving them valuable insights to help them create their business pitch. During the event students created and practice their pitches, with valuable feedback from competition judges, mentors and entrepreneurs.
Did you miss the kick-off but still want to compete for $100,000?
There is still time to apply to participate. The application deadline for the New York State Business Plan Competition is March 10, click here for more information or to apply.
By Manpreet Singh (Manny)
LIU Brooklyn Students Kicked off Black History Month on February 2nd at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation with young comedian, Lorenzo Cromwell, who turned his social media fame into a business of his own, along with LIU adjunct professor, Dawn Strickland. Both guest speakers shared their journeys as successful entrepreneurs. Complementary lunch was served for all those that attended by LIU Campus Life.
Launch. Learn. Connect.
By Manpreet Singh (Manny)