A team of business development specialists is coming to Prince George to give upstart local companies some advice.
The mentorship panel - three from outside Prince George and two from the local area - will sit down with select entrepreneurs for a 45-minute focus session. The entrepreneur will present their business case, and the panel will provide an ample dose of feedback, all in private.
"The goal of each mentor panel is to help a company with their biggest needs," said Ernest Daddey, executive director of the Innovation Central Society, the agency hosting the expert panel. "So, you can do a practice investment pitch and get feedback on how to improve it. Or, if you want some feedback on your market segmentation, you can bring these questions to the panel. The 45-minute session is yours."
The panel includes veteran business people Dave Thomas, Mike Volker, Ean Jackson, Aaron Sinclair and Sean Simmons. Daddey suggested that before meeting with the group, each participant should prepare and practice a 30-second business pitch, a positioning statement and a value position all pertaining to their entrepreneurial idea. He suggested participants also bring a supporter to take notes, so each participant can focus on their presentation.
The panel meetings will all be done Tuesday at the ICS office in the Community Futures building at 1566 7th Avenue. After introductions, each participant will have the floor for about 10 minutes to explain their startup idea. Following that, the panel will spend the next 30 minutes dialoguing and brainstorming with the entrepreneur about the concepts presented.
He said that this exercise is for "early-stage technology companies" and the panelists would be focused on some key areas of business development:
- Help create sellable products and services;
- Find the customers with better positioning of company benefits;
- Strengthen the management team to execute on goals;
- Build a lean business model;
- Prepare for investors.
Space is limited and already filling up, said Daddey. Those interested in the mentorship panel should make contact as soon as possible via email at executivedirec...@innovationcentral.ca.