I was lucky enough to be able to compete in the UBC business challenge this year and it has been an incredible experience and a real eye opener for myself. Throughout the first round of the competition I was put in countless real life business situations. Being in such a realistic environment gives you real preparation for what’s to come after university. Not only have I seen how markets move and compete with each other, I’ve been taught the invaluable skill of working as a team to overcome these issues.
Whilst the first round was much more figure based and mechanical, the semi-final was very different. It was concentrated on stimulating our creative minds. The first task involved submitting 3 business ideas but the catch was that a cow had to be a fundamental part of the business. We got off to a flyer with our first idea. We came up with a social network for cow farmers to connect with butchers and resteraunters, an idea that one of the regulators really liked.
The second round involved creating a business model for an existing idea. The time constraints were very tight but the task certainty improved my business modelling skills and the techniques they showed us I would be using in the future for sure. As the competition continued we entered the final round.
Similar to the first round we would be creating our own business but this time we would have to work around 3 key objectives; people, the planet and profit. Our idea would have to improve people’s lives whilst being eco friendly and generating profit. We had 40 minutes to brainstorm, model and rehearse our pitch, which would only last one minute. After 15 minutes our group was split between two ideas:
Idea 1- A car maintenance service that offered people the chance to switch the engine of their existing car to an electrical, eco-friendly one. Idea 2- A watch that stored kinetic energy as you moved to be used to charge your smartphone throughout the day.
After a fast paced and rushed debate between us we opted for idea 2. Something that we as a team felt would appeal to the audience of over 100 students who all seemed to have smartphones. After a well prepared and executed pitch from our team leader Dianna, we fell just short of the required total to make the final. In hindsight we could have done things slightly differently however we do not regret a single decision made at the time because they are decisions we made together by using all of our minds collectively.
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