Last Friday was the Babson Entrepreneur Forum 2009 event. The day’s events overall was a bitter-sweet experience for me. I’ll get to that in a minute but first a little background to the how we were involved.
Fresh Tilled Soil was one of the sponsors along with our latest venture Web-o-Matic. I was also a judge of the business plan competition, which selected 3 finalists from about 30 submissions.
On the positive side I’d like to congratulate Erin Vierstra and her classmates for making it a really professional event. Everything ran smoothly and the content of the presentations was generally really worthwhile. I attended a few of the break-out sessions and was impressed with the sophistication of the young business owners and presenters.
On the down side I was a little disappointed in the business plan judging process. The structure made it very hard to judge the teams and the final voting made very little sense. I’d like to see some innovation in this area. Why can’t we use some of the cool social tools out there to help gather feedback on the business plan ideas? Judges also need an opportunity to speak to the entrepreneurs behind the plan before voting. It’s impossible to judge a business by looking at the business plan alone. In fact it’s irresponsible to judge a plan without meeting the people running that business.