How do I vote?
All 12 of Project Vesto finalist teams have created pages to tell their story and encourage you to vote for them. Upon clicking one of the 12 feature image tiles, you will be presented with a one-page post from the team (on the left) as well as a voting panel (on the right). We welcome you to view pages and user-generated content from all of the teams and to vote using the blue voting panel on the right-hand side. You may vote as many times as you would like; however, only your last vote will count (i.e. if you select A, B then C; only C will count).
What am I voting for?
By voting for one of the 12 finalist teams you are giving them a shot at the $100,000 top prize in Project Vesto. One team will receive $100,000 to help them launch and grow their startup or early-stage venture. It is up to you, the public, to determine which team deserves to receive the $100,000 prize.
How did they get here?
All 12 finalists started by creating a 1-page Business Model Canvas and submitting it to Project Vesto prior to December 31st, 2012. These teams were then asked to pitch their business model to a panel of venture capitalists, angel investors, and successful entrepreneurs in mid-February, 2013. Out of the 232 teams originally submitting to Project Vesto we are now down to 12 finalists and one team will walk away with $100,000 to launch and grow their business.
How are online votes counted?
Very carefully . NIREC and Project Vesto are working with Wedgies from Las Vegas to tabulate votes. In the last month Wedgies has conducted more than three-dozen online competitions. According to Wedgies:
“Wedgies will tabulate all votes, and only count the last vote tallied on each machine. Wedgies takes into account information on each vote that includes but is not limited to IP Address, Timestamp, Session information, Device Fingerprint, and User Authentication to evaluate whether a vote is valid. Wedgies reserves the right to remove any vote that appears to be fraudulent in nature.”
Why do you only show percentages?
“Wedgies renders realtime results in a percentage display, this encourages voting, and reduces the potential for fraud.”
If you have more specific questions or concerns about the voting tabulation methods, please contact us.
What is the layout of the room?
In general expect it to be a board-room like setting with a small board-room table. There will be 2-5 judge/investors on the other side of the table when you walk into the room. We plan to have small whiteboards and markers available in all pitch rooms. Do not plan on AV equipment, internet, power plugs, or computers to be available to you (this does not mean that you cannot bring said technologies, we simply will not be providing nor can we promise access to any of the aforementioned).
What am I allowed to bring / present with?
We realize we threw some people off with the “1-page handouts and /or visual aids okay” section of the rules. We have modified this a bit. We want you to keep it simple, but you are welcome to bring visual aids, handouts, etc. (feel free to get creative) as you see fit for the 5 minutes; however, if it cannot be digested in less than 5 minutes, DO NOT waste your time. You are welcome to bring laptops, iPad’s, etc as you see fit. Show videos or demos. If it makes sense for and enhances your presentation, bring it, include it, astonish the judges. If you bring a 30-pager, it will be filed in the round bin. Know your audience and know the time constraints. 5-minutes; how will you use it? No additional time will be allotted for setup or take down of any visuals or aids; as soon as you walk into the room, your five minutes begins.
Can I bring an updated BMC?
Yes! We understand that business is a process and are glad to hear that you are revising and adding to your Business Model Canvas. We will be providing the judges with a copy of the BMC provided to us prior to December 31st; however, you are more than welcome to bring a revised and/or updated one demonstrating your progress on your pitch date.
Can I leave packets for the Judges to review later?
No. N.O. The judges WILL NOT accept any documents, proposals, or otherwise beyond your existing Business Model Canvas and what can be digested in this 10-minute session into consideration; so please put your best foot forward.
Tell me more about this cofounder requirement.
By co-founder we want you to have someone who is integrally involved in the decisions of your business and has a significant equity stake.
My co-founder cannot make it; what should we do?
No problem. We understand, though they better be real . It would be best to have both of you in attendance, though we understand if one of you is unable to attend.
Scoring. How does it work? Who decides?
Your judges have been carefully selected from the best investment and private equity professionals around. The final decision will be made solely upon the information presented to them during the 10-minute session and your Business Model Canvas. Scoring is based upon demonstrable validation of the 9 building-block sections of the Business Model Canvas in addition to your demonstrated overall (a) proof-of-concept, (b) execution potential, and (c) investment-worthy nature. You are welcome to bring revised copies of your BMC to help demonstrate your progress. Judges will be given the copy we have on file.
Why are they looking away?
It has been known to throw some contestants off when judges don’t seem to be giving their full, undivided attention. It can be natural for investors to glance at the scoring sheet, their cell phone, make notes, etc during your pitch. Just because they are not looking directly at you the whole time, does not mean they are not paying attention.
What other tips to you have for the 5-minute pitch?
Check out these 12 tips from an entrepreneurial legend and Vesto judge.
Firstly, please make sure to read the Competition Rules
Project Vesto is creating the next generation business competition in Nevada for people serious about starting a Nevada business, right now.
In order to win the $100,000, teams must:
- turn in a simple business model canvas,
- pitch to a panel of investor-judges (see pitch dates), and
- gather support from their tribe with online votes.
In the early spring of 2013, one Project Vesto team will walk away with $100,000 and a network of support to start their Nevada business. It’s that simple: No gimmicks. No strings attached. No excuses. Start your Nevada business.
How do I enter?
Do I really need a co-founder?
Yes. We’ve found that solo founders take 3.6 times longer to ramp up their business as compared to teams. Don’t worry though, you have until the date of the pitch to find a co-founder and we have resources to help you find someone. See below or contact us if you need help finding a co-founder.
How do I find a co-founder?
If you are in need of a partner/co-founder, we encourage you to use FounderDating (http://founderdating.com) as a starting point if you do not already have someone in mind.
Additionally, it may be beneficial to watch the following videos discussing pitfalls to avoid when starting your business: http://ecorner.stanford.edu/authorMateriallnfo.html?mid=3034
What the heck is a Business Model Canvas?
Business Model Canvases are based upon Alex Osterwalder‘s 9 Building Blocks of Business:
- Customer Segments,
- Value Propositions,
- Customer Relationships,
- Revenue Streams,
- Key Resources,
- Key Activities,
- Key Partnerships, &
- Cost Structure.
When you’re starting a business, you quickly find out that some of your assumptions are wrong and/or need adjusting. The Business Model Canvas simply lays out these building blocks in an easy to change, 1-page format. Visit the Project Vesto infographic / instructographic to learn more about it and how to fill one out.
We also have some other versions of the BMC available to you:
Where can i find help in putting together my Business Model Canvas?
- A checklist from the Startup Owners Manual: Founder Workbook
- iPad app from the master himself: Business Model Toolbox
- Free downloadable Canvas: Business Model Canvas
- A web Canvas tool: Business Model Designer
- Share Business Model Canvas/Custer Development progress: Lean LaunchLab
- Business Model Canvas Tutorial
- Customer Development Tutorial
What are the pitches like?
The pitches will be 5-minutes followed by 5-minutes of Question & Answer. No setup time. No projector, no Powerpoint, no Prezi, no Keynote. Keep it simple. 1-page handouts and /or visual aids okay. If it can’t be digested in less than five minutes, don’t waste your time.
Will you review my BMC for me before I submit?
No. Sorry, we are administering the competition and we cannot show favoritism to any team. We do however have resources with whom we can connect you. Please visit nirec.org/resources or Contact Project Vesto.
Can my Business be part of an existing, long-time business?
Yes and No. We love to see spin-off companies and serial entrepreneurs working their magic; however, the requirement of the competition is that it must become its own entity operating within the State of Nevada and with its own Business Licensed. Simply operating under a DBA or as part of an existing larger company IS NOT enough.
Who’s behind the curtain?
“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” – Wizard of OZ
Time is running out: Don’t forget to Register for & Enter Project Vesto by Dec 31st!
Where is this money coming from?
NIREC Received a portion of the funding for the $100,000 Grand Prize through an award from the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development; the remainder is raised from private equity investors throughout the state.
What is the buy-in for the investor (i.e. owning a portion of the business, a portion of the revenue, etc.)?
Project Vesto is partially funded by the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development and partially from contributions by private equity investors. None of these parties will be taking an equity stake in the company, though many of these parties will be available to help ensure the winning company become successful. For all intents and purposes, you may consider the funding from Project Vesto as being received in the form of a grant from our non-profit (NIREC).