We are pleased to announce that we have won 2nd place at the Ruby Red Venture competition. Along with that the title of runner-up, we won a cool $10,000 dollars. We are thankful for the experience and appreciate the Mission EDC and the City of Mission for hosting a grant for aspiring entrepreneurs in the area.
For those of you striving to obtain capital for your business or business idea, we encourage you to participate and apply to the Ruby Red Adventure competition. I encourage you to enter and give it your all. Best of luck!
As alumni we wanted to share our story of our adventure through the World of Ruby Red.
THE CALL TO ADVENTURE
Initially, RR was introduced to us by Jorge Vivanco, a fellow RR adventurer. Also, a few other friends encouraged us to compete and of course, we gathered our wits and signed on.
The first threshold we crossed consisted of attending three workshops held by the mentors at the Small Business Advisement center. All in all, they equipped us by teaching us the process of formulating a compelling business plan.
ROAD OF TRIALS
Once we competed the workshops, we had two months to prepare our business plan.
What was great was that the mentors at the SBA were there to assist in every step of the way.
APPROACH THE RUBY RED ORDER
After submission of the business plan, we had two weeks to prepare for the day of reckoning; we would approach the panel and present to the judges.
Many trials came our way during this time. We were specifically dealing with what is known in our company culture as the “Night Shift”. So, in order to fix our schedule, we forced ourselves to stay awake as much as possible, usually around 22 to 24 hours a day. All the while going to the gym and staying within our regular diet.
Not to mention the juggling of client work and the launching of our new website and blog. Therefore, it wasn't until two nights before the pitch that we began to work on our presentation. I had to pull one day with no sleep to practice.
The day had finally arrived. We prepared ourselves for what we knew would come; the day we face our greatest fear, and out of the moment of death came new life...
A few days later, Daniel, the COO of the Mission EDC, called us and commended us for winning the battle well. Our reward; $10,000 dollars.
RETURN WITH THE RUBY
Of course, we’re all about sharing our acquired wisdom with the rest of the world! So for those of you interested participants in the next coming round, please continue reading.
Take advantage of signing early and take note of the dates mentioned on the website. (Deadline is approaching fast, March 31st) I encourage you to add them to your preferred calendar of choice. There were a few times I would have had missed the weekly meetings if it wouldn't have been for my phone's pop up reminder.
The reminders were extremely helpful, especially on extremely busy days. Also, at times the dates will change, so keep an eye out for emails from Daniel at the Mission EDC to ensure you don't miss any important date changes.
The toughest part in this stage is attendance. There were a few people that didn't attend the meetings because they had simply forgotten. If you fail to do so, you would forfeit the opportunity to compete. Do your due-diligence and make the necessary adjustments in your schedule to be there. The meetings last three hours every Monday from 7 to 9pm.
Give yourself the time to sit down with your SBA representative to flush out as many details as possible and start early as well. We only met with our representative three times, but we highly encourage you to meet with them at least 8 times throughout the process.
Having a clear pitch was a huge emphasis that was made in the classes. The way you structure your pitch will determine whether you'll be awarded the total amount you ask for.
Ensure your pitch is clear and you state specifically what the money will be used for, why you need it, how it will benefit your business and the city as a whole. Focus on the benefits not just the features of your idea.
Also, I strongly advise you - depending on how technical your idea is - to ensure you simplify your pitch as much as possible. A lot of the judges might not have the technical understanding you do, so ensure you don't speak over their heads. This was definitely something we had to consider.
Bring your idea back to core business concepts; in which ways will your business provide value? What problems will it solve? Does it save consumers time or money? Will it make them more money? Etc. Your SBA representative will help you through this process.
Again, focus on the value you’ll provide and the pitch for the amount you’re requesting.
We are extremely grateful and appreciative. We are glad we could participate in such a great initiative that fosters entrepreneurship and innovation. We plan to make the City of Mission proud.
We encourage you participate in the next round; submit your application here and if you have any questions please comment below.
Check out the Progress Times article here.