Duncan Roy ’19 LABB Intern – In the last week of the LABB Program, myself and the other 17 LABB interns traveled to Chicago to present our final business plans to a group of successful alums and friends of the College. This business plan was an accumulation of everything that we have learned throughout the program. I would like to thank the Lilly Endowment for making this incredible learning experience possible. I didn’t really know what to expect when the program started, but it has exceeded all expectations and I will forever be thankful for this opportunity.
Throughout our seven weeks we learned about finance, marketing and the ins and outs of decision making in the business world. The culminating project for us intern was to create a business plan for a smartphone application and present it to a panel of judges. We were divided into four teams and started brainstorming ideas for a potential app. The process of coming up with an idea for a business is much more than simply coming up with an app that would be cool. We had to take into consideration other apps that do similar things, how it will make money, the pain that it was solving and how big the market would be for such app. Our group thought that we had a great, new idea for an app and had begun coming up with a marketing plan and designing a mockup of the app. Then, like in most business ideas we had a setback. We decided to do one more search for competitors and found two apps that were exactly the same as what we had envisioned and were forced to change directions. In the weeks leading up to our final presentation we gave multiple mini-pitches to Mr. Morin and others from around campus to get feedback on what needs improvement. I learned that it is impossible to be over prepared walking into a presentation, because the audience will always have a question that you haven’t thought of yet. After weeks of refining our marketing plan, financials, and presentation and we were finally ready to present to the judges. Like Mr. Morin has said throughout the summer “it’s about the process” and this process of creating and revising a business idea was an incredibly valuable application of all the skills we learned during the first six weeks. Being able to stand up in front of a group and pitch and idea and take the criticism and questions is so important in business and the LABB program as allowed me to have experience, and feel much more comfortable doing just that. Once again, I’d like to thank the Lilly Endowment for this opportunity to expand my business and presentation skills.