MBA student, LaTrenda Leonard discusses her reflection on the Passion + Profit Slam” Competition Advisory Panel:
“On the evening of September 11, 2012, students of the Carlow MBA program attended an advisory panel discussion for the “Passion + Profit Slam” Competition that will take place later this fall. Representatives from Giant Eagle Corporate and Oakland Planning and Development served on the panel to critique students about their projects.
Teams presented on their proposals to address challenges in the Food Sector. Some of the ideas included a restaurant that specializes in healthy, home-made to-go orders for those families and people that want to transition from eating large amounts of fast food; as well as a “Wheelness” bus that seeks to educate underserved populations about the importance of healthy eating. When teams were done with their presentations, the panel and the audience offered feedback and posed questions.
From the discussion, I learned that it is important to understand your target market and cater your product to that. Many of the ideas had a number of markets that they could focus on, but the panelists informed us that the simple route of focusing on one market/concept could provide the most value for the business and customers.
I also learned that it is important to do your research. Many of the people participating in this contest will have similar ideas. Also, some of the ideas that a team may propose may already be in place. It is imperative that the team knows what already exists in order to propose an idea that is unique. Idea Foundry is going to be attracted to those ideas that address a challenge in an innovative way.
Another important piece from the discussion was maximizing profit. While it is great that teams want to challenge many food problems, in order for a business to remain sustainable, the teams have to explore ways that profits will be earned and revenue will be maximized.
The value of brainstorming ideas for this social enterprise competition for MBA student at Carlow is the students get a chance to explore ways to innovate in a particular sector. Because one of the concentrations of the program is Innovation Management, it is important that students participate in sessions like this to explore this innovation process. In times like these, MBA students have to be able to bring new ideas to make companies want to hire them. Many people are now seeking advanced degrees, what will set individuals aside is their ideas and ability to creatively generate more ideas.
To me, the number one value for events like this one is networking. Students have the opportunity to meet key players in the private and public sector and to receive invaluable feedback. Not only can students meet other professionals, but students can interact with other students, experiences which may open up possibilities for collaboration.”
Check out the video from the event below!