This past weekend, Pedal Forward team members Randy Schur and Joshua Shapiro traveled to Rice University to present Pedal Forward at the 2015 Rice University Business Plan Competition. They won the $10,000 Social Impact Venture Prize! Woohooo!
Here is what Joshua had to say about the experience:
I have to say, the Rice Business Plan is one of the most unique places I’ve ever been. Before I got there, I heard all the marketing statistics – that 42 teams would be in attendance, that $1.6 million would be available in prize money, that the Rice Business Plan Competition is the largest and richest in the world. But those facts didn’t really sink in until I finally got there. Being in the same location as 41 other brilliant teams consisting of some extremely smart and talented individuals was awe-inspiring. Simply seeing the diversity of ideas and products these teams had come up with was an experience in and of itself. However what made this experience different than any other were the judges. With over 275 in attendance, Randy and I had a different panel of them for each of our 3 presentations. We took away some valuable insights from the questions and feedback they provided, and they forced us to seriously consider many ways in which we can improve Pedal Forward. The most amazing thing about the vast majority of judges was their careers. I have never been in an area so densely filled with venture capitalists and investors. These judges weren’t at the competition solely to pick a first place winner; they were there to find new opportunities for investment. For this reason, every moment free became a networking opportunity to meet some extremely influential people.
By the third day many judges knew about Pedal Forward from either hearing us pitch or talking to us during the competition. Apparently enough of them liked our venture, as we were awarded the $10,000 Sheafor-Lindsay Social Venture Award for being the best social venture at the competition. We are extremely excited for winning this prize, as we know it will make a positive impact on Pedal Forward in the coming months. Attending the 2015 Rice Business Plan Competition was an amazing experience where we met some great people and learned some extremely valuable insights. With the experiences and award we received, we hope to pedal forward to a better future, one bicycle at a time.