Written by Allen Klein, a Junior majoring in Business Administration at SPU
SVPC participant: 2009 and 2010
When I initially went into the Social Venture Plan Competition I knew Iwas in for a good time, but I didn’t know how much I would actually learn along the way. Here at SPU we learn a lot in our business and exploratory classes, but this was finally a chance to really apply my knowledge in a form other than a test. Scott, Stephen and I originally started out with a much different plan, we were aiming to do a fair-trade electronics company. But after much thought, market research, and lots of late nights in fall quarter, it was becoming clear that we needed something a bit more scalable. That is what we believed to be our key to success; we were able to scale our business to a manageable size. Also, Evenblade was to be based in Seattle which made it easier to understand our market and to make “competition contracts” with companies and service organizations in the area. What I mean by a competition contract is as follows: our team would call organizations and see if they would agree to partner with us, unofficially, for our competition. What this did was create a greater sense of thoroughness in our business plan. We would also use this relationship to get feedback on our ideas to beef-up our plan. A very common remark made by the judges was that we had ‘done the necessary footwork’ to really understand what we were getting into. Those are all the tips I’m going to give on that subject… I need to keep a couple for this year.
All said and done, The SVPC was one of the highlights to my college experience thus far. It has given me a great chance to really understand how to serve others with business, and to understand how God can work in different ways. The group work was a blessing, and all of my team members were great to work with. In life, we’re all going to have to work with differing personalities, so why not start learning how to do so now? Additionally, it was great application of what I’ve been learning in classes here at SPU. And let us be honest, knowledge without application is useless.