The team was both nervous and excited this morning as we met at MKA before heading into the city for the big pitch. At MKA the team quickly made some last minute additions to the slide deck before turning it over to the more creative members who then made it more visually stimulating. The team spent the next couple hours finalizing small details before heading to the train station and meeting Dr. Richards at the Alley Chelsea. At the Alley, the team spent the hours leading up to the pitch rehearsing and getting feedback from Dr. Richards. We also made sure to acquaint ourselves with all the details so that we would be better prepared to answer the panel’s questions. As the pitch approached the team took a quick break for a late lunch before returning to the Alley. As the space began to fill with family and friends, as well as our esteemed panelists, the team became even more nervous and excited. After a brief introduction from Dr. Richards, the pitch began with Ribbon presenting first followed by Parkr. The presentation ran smoothly and the team was overjoyed at the overall positive judgement provided by the panel. The team went home tired, but relieved after a great experience with both the pitch and the startup program as a whole.
The team met up at MKA early on this Friday morning, ready to hammer out everything that needs to be done for the Pitch on Tuesday night. After discussing what needs to be done the team broke into smaller groups and got to work. The team read through Dr. Richards comments on the first draft of the Pitch slides and got to work on making edits. The team added interesting graphs and clarified points. while other members got to work on the financials, adding up potential costs and figuring out how much money Parkr will need. While the full logo is still in progress, the business plan is coming together nicely with sections on pricing, target audiences, operational plans, etc. being added today. At the end of the day half of the team went down to Lloyd Road take some pictures to be used in the Pitch. Overall it was an extremely productive day and the team is prepared for as well as excited about the Pitch on Tuesday. Hope everyone has a good memorial day!
Early on this warm Thursday morning, the startup team met up in NYC at the Facebook NY Headquarters. While there we first met Scott Reed, the executive assistant to Ms. Carolyn Everson, as well as a tech recruiter. They gave us a tour of Facebook’s amazing office space showing us everything from the sit/stand desks to the incredible artwork throughout the space. We then headed over to the cafe where we were joined by Ms. Everson and 3 other employees, including a software engineer and 2 global correspondents. We discussed the specifics of our product with them and received valuable advice on the benefits of using a mobile app. Ms. Everson and her team then gave us some more insights on how we could use Facebook to help out marketing strategy and how to specify our market. After the meeting, the team received some awesome Facebook swag and had lunch in the cafe before splitting up. The trip left the team eager to get back to work with only days left until the pitch.
The team arrived at MKA bright and early this morning ready to get to work. With only 6 days left until the Pitch there is a lot of work to be done and the team dove right in. The tech savvy team members managed to advance the demo app to the next stage of development and then spent the day backtracking to work out the bugs. Meanwhile, 2 other team members of the team began the slides for the Pitch and spent the day finishing the first draft of the presentation. At the same time the remaining members continued work on the Business plan and logo. The pair working on the business plan made good progress on the marketing plan and finished the general company description. The design team also finalized the logo, and began work on a separate logo that would include the whole name as opposed to just the image. After a long day of work the team went home tired, but excited to meet at Facebook tomorrow morning.
The team ventured into New York again early on this dreary Tuesday morning. We met up with Dr. Richards at the Contently office. Contently is a startup that pairs big brands with good freelance content writers. There we met Joe, an MKA alum from the class of 2006, who along with one of Contently’s co-founders and original employees told us the story of how contently came to be. They discussed how the company has evolved since they started and listened to our product ideas. They seemed intrigued by the idea of automating parking for convenience and helped us work through our business models giving us valuable insights as to what selling to companies instead of consumers would really be like. They gave us some tips as to how we could go about approaching municipalities for a trial run, and wrapped up the visit with a tour of their amazing offices. The team broke up after the visit ready to meet back at school tomorrow. The team is ready to get back to work and has set a new goal to have at least a first draft of the Pitch slides done by Friday morning’s meeting at the Alley.
The team once again convened at school this Monday morning. We had some time before our scheduled trip to the city to go over what each person’s responsibilities were leading up to the Pitch. We discussed the business plan, which began coming along nicely, and finished up general research. The team then began discussing the Pitch itself and how we would like it to be formatted. A keynote was started and a demo discussed before the team wrapped up and headed into NYC. We met up with Dr. Richards at Techstars and met with KJ, who will also be one of the members of the panel on the night of the Pitch. He explained what Techstars does as a startup accelerator and how they make a profit. He also provided the Startup 101 team with some valuable advice about doing what you are passionate about and how to survive the highs and lows of entrepreneurship. Then he discussed what Techstars looks for in a new startup and stressed the importance of the team itself. After giving us a few tips for a successful pitch, KJ wrapped up with a quick Q&A, leaving the team eager to get back to work.
Today we went into New York, to work at the Alley, a co-working space in Chelsea that is a haven for startups. We created a first functional version of the app, which in its current form allows us to see distances from beacons, and create and manage an account. We have a lot of work to do before the 31st, but we are motivated and full of the ideas necessary to pull it off.
Today we worked on setting up the business plan for our Startup, and began work on coding the demo version for the pitch. So far, the app can locate beacons and determine distances between receivers. It is still in development, but it shows a lot of progress.
Today we conducted more consumer research on the viability of our product. We talked to teachers, students, and strangers alike, getting their opinions on current parking systems, as well as their openness to trying a new system. We also reached out to beacon manufacturers, starting on the road to turn our idea into a working product.