Nobody knows your business better than you. But can you explain it? There’s no doubt that you’ve been asked hundreds of times what your company does, even if it’s by your family and friends. The day will come, however, when potential investors, business partners, and customers start asking what your business does. The last thing you want is to confuse them.
We’ve hit the year 2015 and, from the looks of it, the film Back to the Future II made some pretty accurate predictions about today’s technology. The movie’s famous hoverboard became a reality when Tony Hawk rode the world’s first hoverboard nearing the end of 2014. But what’s really fascinating is the number of ordinary objects that turned “smart” in the film are now becoming a reality this year.
When Marty McFly and Doc travelled to 2015, they encountered many advancements in technologies such as flat screen TV’s, head mounted displays, controller-less video games, video chat, automatic shoe-laces, and even flying cars.
Today we have most everything that the film showed a little over 26 years ago. We have flat screen TV’s ranging up to Samsung’s 110-inch Ultra HDTV, Google Glass is entering the market, video games such Wii and Xbox’s Microsoft Kinect, Skype’s video chat, Nike has patented and is said to release McFly’s self-tying “power laces” this year, and there are even prototypes of flying cars being produced around the world.
In my first month working at the Macomb-OU INCubator, I’ve gained more knowledge about startups than I have in the past twenty-so years of my life. As the marketing and communication assistant for an incubator, I am able to see devotion and passion stem from the variety of intelligent entrepreneurs who walk through our doors each day. I didn’t know, however, why these entrepreneurs were coming to an incubator for help when they are already packed with dedication and remarkable ideas.
I learned that starting a business is much more challenging than just selling an idea to the market. Many startups fail trying to launch their business. WSJ.com said, “Of all companies, about 60% of startups survive to age three and roughly 35% survive to age 10, according to separate studies by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes U.S. entrepreneurship.”
Calling all technology entrepreneurs – you won’t want to miss this!
Mac-OU INC is offering $20,000 in cash and in-kind prizes during its “Macomb Pitch: A Competition for Small Businesses.” This is the biggest competition we have held to date, and we couldn’t be more excited to give well-deserving tech startups some cash and resources for growth! Applications are due by October 14, which means about two more weeks to perfect your answers to application questions.
First through third place winnings include:
- First Place: $8,500 (cash); one-year affiliate membership to Mac-OU INC (which includes access to the Business Advisory Services Program; the Executives-in-Residence, currently including Butzel Long, Advicoach of Michigan, BiancoCPA and Jim Ruma, local defense expert; Pitch Prep; assistance with access to capital; and one-on-one business development with Mac-OU INC staff)
- Second Place: $1,500 (cash); one-year lease for a Mac-OU INC cubicle; five hours of consultation with Butzel Long; a two-hour strategic-planning session with Advicoach of Michigan
- Third Place: $500 (cash); one-year lease for a Mac-OU INC cubicle; five hours of consultation with Butzel Long; a two-hour strategic-planning session with Advicoach of Michigan
The Macomb-OU INCubator has always been a powerful advocate of diversification for small businesses. Our Lean training programs even roll up under “Lean Diversification,” with the goal for course graduates to simplify processes using Lean tools and subsequently have the resources necessary for company diversification.
The recent inaugural Techweek Detroit conference featured Josh Linkner, four-time tech entrepreneur (including Founder and Former CEO/Chairman of ePrize, now Hello World), current CEO and managing partner of Detroit Venture Partners and a NY Time’s Bestselling Author. Linkner’s new book, “The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate Transformation” dives into the importance of not relying on prior successes as a future sustainability plan. Linkner refers to this as reinvention, Mac-OU INC calls it diversification. The same point remains of never settling and understanding that what might be working great now will need future improvements.