If you are a young entrepreneur reading this I hope you will enter the IBYE competition. It is an excellent competition and win, lose or draw you will definitely learn something and meet some fascinating people.
I was very impressed with the training we received in advance of the competition. There was also great publicity and marketing opportunities for all that entered. I had the opportunity to network with a wide range of other young entrepreneurs from the Munster region, some of whom I call good friends to this day and who I turn to often for their advice. This for me is invaluable as we act as constant support for each other and tend to be fighting the same battles everyday in our early careers. The €20,000 funding is also game changing for any business.
The year I entered was the first year of the competition and I do think it has gone from strength to strength since then. As with most funding from a government body you have to have a detailed business plan ready. When I entered the competition we had to present our business to the judges in a Dragons Den style format and do a video presentation of our business.
The biggest tips I can give are:
- Have a well drafted business plan. If you are a start-up this can be hard, however, realistic and achievable projected results are important. Also the basis for these projections should be outlined in your business plan. The judges/dragons will need to see if the figures stack up and how long it will take you to become profitable.
- Have a clearly thought out plan for how you would spend the money, if you were to win. Highlight how the funds would be used to grow your business, not simply pay you a salary but provide long term growth for your idea or existing business.
- Identify and highlight the export potential for your business. The Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) wish to support businesses with export potential so this is critical to identify. If you have any research, findings, competitors etc in those foreign markets highlight this and perhaps how you will be different.
- Practice, practice, practice. Stress test your business idea. Pitch your idea or your business to as many people that will listen. Firstly, it will help you perfect your pitch and secondly welcome their questions and queries. Depending on their background; finance, sales or creative’s they will note different strengths, inconsistencies, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement. Be open minded and take their comments on board. It’s better to come up against these issues before you pitch so that you can have clear detailed responses thought out in advance.
Finally JUST DO IT!
If you are in any way apprehensive about entering, don’t be.
My business isn’t a tech business or one that is exciting, however with the help of the trainers I created an articulate pitch that showed the vision and passion I have for my business. I hope I have convinced you to enter! You can read more here