Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Challenges are Universal

On Tuesday, I attended a Business Plan Writing Workshop sponsored by NWEN, the Northwest Entrepreneur Network. It wasn't nearly as valuable as the Alliance of Angels pitch clinic that I attended last week. That doesn't mean it was devoid of content, but it was half the length and less focused, which basically meant it was one-fourth the content. Had I done the two in the opposite order, I might have felt it was more valuable. And, since the NWEN workshop is free (if you're an NWEN member), that's a reasonable way to do things.

Although one talk was about a slide deck for funding pitches and the other was about writing business plans, the content of the talks was very familiar, which isn't too surprising. After all, the mission of both is to explain your business.

I was surprised with the variety of entrepreneurs in the room at the NWEN workshop. When we all introduced ourselves, the businesses included technical stamping, specialized video, traffic information, mobile content, travel, transportation, medical devices, iPhone applications, biotech, farming, retail stores, healthcare, cleaning technologies, e-commerce, and a non-profit, plus two software as a service companies, including Groupthink. Wow!

Interestingly, pretty much every question asked of the presenter, despite the variety of businesses and even business models, applied to Groupthink and probably everybody else in the room as well. The challenges in starting and building a business are universal.


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