Wednesday, September 15, 2010

NYPL Start-Up! Business Plan Competition

I had mentioned a few times about my big presentation I had coming up, and now that it's over I wanted to share the details.

Last fall Uka and I were at the Hamilton Grange Library and noticed a poster for a business plan competition. There were several information sessions so we decided to go. It was located at the SIBL - a great resource that I've mentioned before on my blog.

There were about 60-70 attendees, and it was one of many sessions. This initial session was required to be able to attend the following 3 of 4 required sessions needed to submit a plan. It was underwritten by Citi. 

While pregnant with Nia I worked on the plan, and it did become rough at times. Also, my initial idea wasn't the one I had submitted. My final idea struck me like a bold of lightning one night while watching TV with Uka.

I had planned my own destination wedding over an 18 month period and found the information to be scattered and disorganized. Additionally, I found the best information to be found online in forums, and I noticed print magazines were starting to fold. I decided to consolidate this information into an easy-to-use webinar based format I called a "Wedinar" thus Destination Wedinars was born.

Plans were due on June 15, and I found out the first week of August that I was a finalist. This past Monday was the awards ceremony, and while I didn't win a monetary prize it was a great experience. You can see the top 3 prize winners here. I think it's awesome that they're all women! I'm a huge fan of women entrepreneurs and love the organizations Ladies Who Launch and Savor the Success.

The final stage was presenting my plan 2 weeks after giving birth which is why a vaginal delivery was most important to me. I definitely lost preparation time due to my long hospital stay and all the activity leading up to it, but in the end I'm so honored to have been chosen to be a finalist. 

Out of the roughly 600 attendees of the orientation, about 350 attended the required 3 of 4 sessions and ultimately about 50 plans were submitted and 13 were chosen as finalists, including me. I really endured to the end!

I still hope to execute my idea as it's something I'm very passionate about and will give me the opportunity to work from home and raise Nia. 

I'm in the process of seeking alternate funding and tweaking a few things on my plan based on the judges feedback.
Here I am accepting my award of distinction

*I have to give a shout out to my lil sis Ariane who met me and Nia at the library for the ceremony and watched Nia for me. She kept her nice and content throughout and even changed her diaper. Thank you Ariane! You can read her blog here.*

6 comments:

  1. Congratulations Q! What an honor to have your hard work recognized!

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  2. Congrats! I love your idea as well!

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  3. Congrats Q! I'm so proud of all of your hard work. I love your idea too and I know you will succeed at this new business! You are one of the hardest working women I know and such an inspiration to me!!

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  4. Thank you all! I appreciate the encouragement!

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