Friday, 7 December 2007

Aikido in a business plan competition

To learn how businesses work and how they should be started, I entered the 'Pitch your idea business plan competition' at the university I'm at. It included a series of one-day courses about finance, marketing, intellectual property rights, etc. and we were asked to come up with a business plan of our own and create a short executive summary of our plan. The summaries were judged and the best 10 got into the final where we needed to 'pitch our ideas', convince the panel of 8 businessmen and -women that our plan was very good. We had to talk for 5 minutes and there was 10 minutes for questions. They it was like in Dragon's den but I haven't seen any episodes from that TV programme.

But why is this interesting to our aikido blog? Because my idea was related to aikido. Initially I just thought I wanted to set up a fictional business and teach aikido - fictional because I wouldn't start a proper aikido class with my 2nd kyu, obviously. So I worked on this idea and soon realized that there isn't too much money involved, so unless I have 40 years experience I won't start a highly profitable aikido business. Just read some of the latest entries from aikiweb by Erik Calderon (titled 'I QUIT!' and 'Aikido SUCKS!').

The modified idea was to do an aikido therapy, which was based on the idea of martial arts therapy. I set up and submitted the new business plan, talked about it in the final, answered questions and received a certificate of participation.

I didn't win but I still won. Not a prize but experience, opportunity to talk to knowledgable people and other students with ideas. I also got a £20 book token which was given to each finalist, a free certificate to put on my wall :), several free lunches and a half-ready business plan with feedback to improve it.

ps. The final took place in a very nice building near Barbican station in London (right next to the building which is used in the Poirot films as the detective's office/home) so I couldn't help asking someone to take a picture of me in the room during the break after my session :).

Have a nice day everyone.


MySpace Design said...

Congratulations for a very helpful experience!

Zolley said...

Thanks, it was indeed very helpful.