Today I will be judging business plans. The event is the semi-finals for the NFTE, the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship. USF is the main sponsor. The competition is for high school students. Our job is to score the plans and give them encouragement a la Randy Jackson.
I missed the conference call so I am not really sure the logistics other than I have to be there at 9:30am. Judging will be done in two rounds. The first is a randomly selected and assigned to judges while the final one is the winners of the first round. Each entrepreneur will get scored and will receive feedback from the judges.
I have been thinking about the criteria I want to apply to this. The grand price is $1,500 to start the business. For a teenager, that is a lot of money. I don’t know if I will consider that in the criteria for a good plan. It will depend on how well thought out it turns out to be. Maybe if $1,500 can get them to a milestone is a good way to think about it.
My main goal is to say something positive about every plan. The last think an entrepreneur needs to hear is that his baby is ugly. That does not mean reality is put aside nor good business practices. The art will be to craft these two together into a story or plan for success.
They also want mentors to help them finalize the semi-finalist plans and pitches. Not sure if I will get roped into that. I am going as SCORE, so I could get sucked in. I do plan on offering SCORE services and our vast network of counselors. That should be a good service to help these young entrepreneurs.
I will recommend that SCORE get involved with this on an on-going basis. It is a great way to reach out to the community. Helping young entrepreneurs will give us a better sense as to how the up and coming group views the world and what type of services they will require. It should be an exciting day.