(Photo by Melissa DiPento)
Five individuals pitched their ideas. After that, participants teamed up with one of the five pitchers to fine tune what they were offering. After 15 minutes, the groups rotated so that each participant contributed to each pitched project.
Each of the five original entrepreneurs who pitched at the beginning of the event shared what they learned and experienced.
Here’s who we heard from:
Sadhana Pasricha (Hockessin), founder and president of Social Capital Network, an international organizational research and training firm.
Idea: Social capital.
What she learned: “My idea was resonating with people and they saw value in that. I’d like to do coaching for women, minorities and parents. It’s about designing the game correctly and then teaching people how to play that game. What is social capital? Why is it important?”
Cathy Berzins (Clarksville), founder and owner of The Birch Tree Cafe, Delaware’s only dedicated gluten-free cafe and bakery.
Idea: Creatively raising money to keep the business going during the winter in this shore town.
What she learned: “I’d like to do internships in cooking and marketing. Someone could learn with us.”
Rita Wilkins, founder and president of Design Services, Ltd., in Avondale, Pa., and Greenville, Del.
Idea: Design a planned community in 50 desirable areas of the country for retired individuals. Tenants, who Wilkins said would enjoy flexibility, community and not a lot of responsibility, could then move about the country freely.
What she learned: “We’re going younger in the model — 40-somethings. We want to create a community network and a blog as the central location to keep in touch with each other. I heard we might like an activity planner, a ‘girl’s only’ retreat place, and a ‘pets only’ place.
Laura Parquet, a personal trainer who plans to open Evolve Fitness Studio in Wilmington, a gym connected to technology via E-volve 365, a platform that syncs wearable device data in one place.
Her idea: She’s got the idea down, but wanted feedback from potential clients on membership packages and other details.
What she learned: “I had too many packages … and nutritionists packaged in. I’ll take a look at that and pivot away from that. I could do specialty packages for people in rehab, a bridal package. I can solve this tonight. Whoa.”
Ralph Petti, a business continuity and disaster management consultant at Continuity Dynamics.
His idea: Delaware has the most risk in the country, he said, with the lowest sea level, the bay and chemicals in the ground. He’d like to take advantage of this business opportunity.
What he learned: “I’ve been in the business for 28 years. I think user testimonials work, to see how it affects them. Our group said, ‘Act like a funeral director and offer peace of mind.’ I learned so much.”-30-
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