Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Engineering YES Day 3

We started day 3 bright and early with an 8:30 warm breakfast.  I got up at 6:30 to do a few miles on the treadmill in the hotel fitness room, so I was nice and hungry!

The day started at 9am with a 30 minute John Cleese video, "The Balance Sheet Barrier" which comically went through a lot of the basic ideas behind business finance, including what goes into the Profit and Loss Sheet (which shows what has happened to the company money in the past), the Balance Sheet (what is going on in the present with the company money) and the Cash Flow Forecast (what will happen with company money in the future).  It was pretty basic, but still entertaining.

After the film, David Scott, one of the Rotary organizers of the event, gave us some insight on how to organize our finance side of our project proposal.  For our presentation tomorrow, we just need to organize key financial details, such as predicted sales, profits and cash flow and how much we think we might need invested from Venture Capitalists.  (VCs)

After David, we heard from Dr. Penny Attridge, a VC from Spark Ventures, who gave us good insight into what VCs look for when investing in a start-up.  The main mission of any VC is to make money for the customers that fund them within a defined time frame.  She also gave us a lot of good ideas to include in our presentation for tomorrow.  She downplayed the importance of a Business Plan, saying that what she was more interested in was a good, unique Business Model and Executive Summary, though a solid Business Plan is key for long term success.

After Dr. Attridge, we heard from Jim Wood, a former engineer in the power industry, who now specializes in underlying marketing.  He gave some good tips on how to get good marketing research that helps the understanding of the market.  He emphasized the importance of quality research behind any business, using the analogy that one should "spend seven hours sharpening his sword before spending an hour in battle."

Through the afternoon, we focused on solidifying our project idea (which I will fully reveal at the end of the competition!).  The basic idea is looking at the hydrogen infrastructure for the UK.  We met with an expert in finance, Amy Burton from Baker Tilly, who gave us some good directive on how to solidify our finance spreadsheets for our presentation.

We are now working into the evening for the morning deadline of our presentation!  We are all set to present tomorrow, right before lunch, at 12:15pm!

Here are some pictures from the day:
Claire, Nick and Matt practice "awkward balloon" and "awkward turtle" as our strategy for answering questions we don't know....

I escaped outside and found the playground!!

Matt does some serious work for a minute

Short moment where we try to figure out EXACTLY what we are doing...

1 comment:

  1. The money aspect sounded like it was very interesting! We covered a lot of that in a class I took, so I'm happily familiar with what you're talking about =) I should hunt down that John Cleese video. If you're every bored, you should watch the show Shark Tank sometime. It's entrepreneurs pitching ideas to VCs.

    If you ever need help with business plans, let me know and I'd love to collaborate with you! I've written one business plan for my class so I'm familiar with them.

    Sounds like you're getting to do some awesome networking! That's such a great opportunity to learn from those more experienced.

    Awkward balloon & awkward turtle...?

    And you on the playground = too cute :3