Are you an Entrepreneur? Here’s a Challenge for you

I recently came across an interesting video from Stamford University’s Entrepreneurship program.  A professor there came up with an interesting challenge for her entrepreneurship students.  First she formed them into groups then gave them each “seed funding” of $5.  The groups had 4-5 days to plan and then had 2 hours to make as much money as possible after their envelope was opened.  Afterward the groups presented their findings and outcome in front of the class.

There were some really creative ideas.  The team that generated the most money actually ended up selling their 3 minute presentation slot to a company interested in recruiting the students.

Some ideas that I think would do quite well include:

1) Buying tickets and cans then raffling off “dates” for group members. (This depends on the attractiveness of the group members.  This could also be an auction where the highest bidder wins the date)

2) Massages for $X or doing them free for donations.

3) Hold a focus group for businesses in the area so they can better understand and reach college/grad students.  Call restaurants and solicit food donations.   This focus group concept could be held for almost any vertical.  You could simply give the participants a free lunch and charge the companies $10-$20.

4) Hold a educational session on how to use twitter or new media to grow your business.  Again lunch would be provided through solicitations and you would charge people to attend.

5) Call a magician or other skilled person (artist, musician, etc) and invite local parents and kids (or the talent’s target market).  Convince the talent to perform for free to get his name out there and request $10 for admission for attendees giving half to charity.  People give their money away a lot easier when they know a portion goes to charity.  You could also get food donated for this event as well.

Well it’s late and that’s all I got for now.  I may add some more later.

What do you think about this challenge? Which was your favorite of my ideas?  What would you do with $5 and 2 hours to generate the most money possible?

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  1. This challenge is definitely something that makes you think outside of the box.

    As far as your idea I like the focus group idea the best. That’s very clever and I know some companies pay thousands to sit in on focus groups.

    I don’t really have any creative ideas for business ventures….I guess that’s why I am a coder and not a marketing guy…lol

    thx for sharing

  2. Concentrate on pleasing your customers and not focus on making money. Over deliver.You might want to consider building a website for your business.Not only will your practice grow, but you can earn additional income streams from having your own website.

  3. I’m writing a job profile on entrepreneurs. I’d appreciate a very detailed description of what an entrepreneur does in an average day at work from when he wakes up until he goes to sleep. It would be great if a real entrepreneur could answer my question.

  4. There are numerous entrepreneurship education programs and activities at universities and colleges throughout North Carolina. Communication between the various programs/activities is ad hoc and sporadic. Many operate in isolation while addressing issues common to all. Awareness, communication and collaboration on a broad scale will create greater efficiencies, synergy and increased qualitative output.

  5. Wow what a challenge, and what a brilliant idea the students came up with at the end! I am not sure what I would have done if given the same shot at this without knowing about it ahead of time.

    I think out of all your ideas the #2 sounds the easiest to do and might be the safest option to go with. Perhaps you could also have an “auction” style payment for the massage service since you are limited to 2 hours.

    Till then,


  6. This sounds like a great lesson for wannabe entrepreneurs. They probably had some great ideas, but for such a limited time frame and budget, it was likely the more basic ideas that did the best. I especially like the idea to sell their 3 minute spot to a business. I’m sure they got an A on that assignment.

  7. The other was an oil embargo that put the US in its worst energy crises for oil and resulted in super hyper inflations (gas went up to $ .54 a gallon and this was pre- unleaded days), and people were left pushing their car to the pump. Pumps had a set amount of gas and once it ran out, it was gone.

  8. My emails login to my mebers area check to see who joined lately call them and ask them if it’s good time to talk a minutes or make an appointment to call back later on to discuss the business with them and mentor them along !

  9. David, that challenge is pretty cool, I would love to be challenged that way in a class. Something unique and unexpected to really get the mind going. Just kind of how the real world works, as it just throws random things right at your face, and you gotta be ready for it.

  10. Social responsibilities of an entrepreneur are many. But the main responsibility for an entrepreneur is to generous to society. For example, Bill Gates is generous enough to take risk by quitting college,sell OS to million of people. Just imagine if Bill Gates was just keeping the software for himself.

  11. I’m writing a job profile on entrepreneurs. I’d appreciate a very detailed description of what an entrepreneur does in an average day at work from when he wakes up until he goes to sleep….

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