Monday, July 11, 2011

Imagine Cup - Day Four

One of the things we are asked to do as judges is to pass on to the student teams some tips on how to improve their presentations.  The number one item I noted in most of the reports was the need to provide the basics of a business model.  Solving a problem with a cool application is not enough.

Here are three basic questions to answer:

1) How much does it cost to deliver your application?  What are the upfront and one-time costs, and what are the recurring costs?
2) What is the size of your potential market?  Is it a million individuals or four country governments?
3) What are your sources of revenue?  Keep in mind that in the nonprofit sector, the users are often not the ones who are the payers.

If you can't answer these questions about your project, it will never move from the cool to the viable.  In the for-profit world, profits may rule; but in the nonprofit world, we look for community and economic sustainability.

Group Photo on Ellis Island

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