As a West Michigan startup company life and survival are not easy. Your innovations could be revolutionary but that does not always equate to automatic success. Often times your idea’s future might hinge on how well you are able to sell you, your business and your innovation.
Entrepreneurs all have to have business plans and elevator pitches that they use to sell others on their startup. These are entrepreneurs’ only tools to sell potential investors, partners, employees, mentors, and development partners on their ideas. These tools vary greatly from startup to startup. Not all business plans are created equal.
HireStarts, LLC, a Kalamazoo, Michigan startup, is one of the semifinalists in the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition. This is a competition for a $1 million in prizes that has been termed "the largest business plan competition in North America."
HireStarts' plan seeks to address the skills gap, often blamed as one cause for the 3.6 million jobs going unfilled in the U.S., through their high-tech startup that is described as a cross between "Facebook and Match.com," which seeks to connect students with Michigan employers.
It is clear that HireStarts’ has put together a strong business plan and is able to present its innovation in a clear pitch. This has allowed them to be invited to the competition semifinals in Detroit. But for every startup like HireStarts, there is a startup that has a poor business plan and pitch.
You have to be able to sell others on your startup. You need to be able to address a clear problem and show how your innovation easily solves that problem. Then you need to be able to go further and show that your innovation is economically feasible. Simply throwing out marketing material and vomiting facts and information on those you are targeting to get on board with your startup is more likely to push these individuals and entities away. Those methods come across as disorganized sales pitches which no one likes to sit through.
West Michigan has more than enough advisors and consultants that can give you valuable feedback to make your business plan and pitch much more effective. Contacting and connecting with the numerous groups and entities that can help you is key. Remember don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Source: “Kalamazoo start-up HireStarts makes it to semifinals of Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition” by Yvonne Zipp