Road Trips and Business Plans

Road Trips and Business Plans

I’m in love with all things Entrepreneurship, so it was no surprise when I booked myself for another Entrepreneurship related event this month. I attended the Google Startup Weekend in Bloomington, IN, where teams formed for the first time to take an idea from it’s inception to a full-blown business plan ready to launch within a weekend! The four-hour drive to the Indiana University campus was the start to my amazing weekend.

Accompanied by a few classmates, I was able to put into practice skills learned in various classes from the MAM program. From Economics to Financial Planning to Arts, Media, and the Law, this weekend event validated all the blood, sweat, and tears from my first 3 semesters at Columbia College Chicago.

"Team MooVooDoo" talk through specifics in business plan, Captured by Chris Williams

“Team MooVooDoo” talk through specifics in business plan, Captured by Chris Williams

By Friday night, I was paired up with 4 other participants (2 including my CCC classmates) to work on a project called MooVooDoo. The idea was to create a comprehensive platform that supported filmmakers, actors, crew, investors, and amateurs in creating movies and other videos. I was very excited to find a project that was arts focused at a tech-heavy event. Our team took a broad-level, loosely defined idea and determined our target market, pricing, financial needs, features, and key partners. Within a weekend’s time, I could confidently say that I built a brand new business ready for launch!

Teams were forced to think critically about their business ideas, survey target customers during the weekend, and develop a compelling pitch for a panel of judges. At the end of the weekend, my team and I nailed down every specific detail of MooVooDoo that we could wrap our minds around. It was also helpful that industry experts were around to give advice.

Business Development took place not only in our minds, but also on the Dry-Erase Board

Business Development took place not only in our minds but also on the Dry-Erase Board

After going into the experience thinking I would just be an observer, I realized that I learned so much from working with a newly formed team. We sifted through many ideas and narrowed down our focus, took constructive criticism and pivoted to meet the new needs, and ultimately placed 2nd in the competition!

MooVooDoo, an online community platform for filmmakers, takes 2nd place!

MooVooDoo, an online community platform for filmmakers, takes 2nd place!

I would recommend participation in a Startup Weekend to everyone for the experience, whether you’re an entrepreneur or not, and the opportunity to network with other community members and industry experts. The plan to visit little ‘ole Bloomington, IN came about because of my own participation in Startup Weekend Chicago. I was asked by a classmate to help organize the first iteration at Columbia College. Being one to never shy from a new opportunity, I dove in head first. However, I had to experience this great program first hand before organizing one. That’s what Bloomington had to offer and they surely exceeded my expectations. I am fortunate to be hosting the first ever

The first ever Startup Weekend Chicago for Creative Enterprises will be coming your way this upcoming spring semester. Open to all students and the public, anyone, even you, can sign up for this great event! Save the date for March 31st to April 2nd and join us for a great weekend of new business creation!