IBM Global Entrepreneur Contest Kick Off
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Good Morning San Francisco California, and welcome to the Bentley Reserve in the Financial District.
Everyone wants to be successful, but the value of accomplishment runs deeper for a certain type of person. Entrepreneurs are a special strain of individuals who take an idea and turn it into a business. The first thing a start up business needs is capital. Capital will be given to the most talented companies. That is why we are gathered here in San Francisco, where the best and brightest ideas will be presented and critiqued.
IBM runs a program to help startup businesses, and receive an opportunity receive significant revenue from partnerships that they can form here today. Venture Capital companies are a pivotal part of the of the business ecosystem; they provide important lifelines and resources to entrepreneurs who want to share their ideas with the world.
The contest started in 2010 in April. Streetline was the winner of last year’s competition because they had such a successful model. The program has since expanded to more countries so now this is truly a global event. They connect the real world surroundings to help their users find parking spaces in a crowded city. Mobile app available for smartphones shows the available parking spaces in the user’s current area. The nine finalists are here today to get connected and be successful. The collection of companies that are present today are from all over the world. The vibe here is like the Business Olympic finals.
The companies will pitch their innovative ideas to a panel of judges to claim the title of Global Entrepreneur of the Year. The nine finalists will be given a “dress rehearsal” opportunity to give their presentation and then receive feedback on the presentation organization, flow, tone, and content. In addition they will also receive evaluations on their business model and their growth opportunities.
The first portion of the morning is the nine competing companies will give a six minute presentation with no formal judging, followed by coaching and mentoring sessions with local Silicon Valley professionals. Tomorrow the final judging will take place. The feedback that the contestants will be receiving is expected to valuable but also may be a bit harsh. Constructive criticism will give the contestants valuable insight and new perspectives.
After the six minute presentations were given, each contestant team is seated at a table and will meet with 50 mentors who specialize in funding startups. In a speed dating style, the mentors will rotate around the room to tell each team their true feelings about the pitches. The finalists will then be able to amend and alter their six minute pitches which they will give on the judgement day, which takes place tomorrow, February 2, 2012.