No One Knows Your Business As Well As You Do
Post by Emily Levy ’16
Over Winter Break I flew to Toronto, Canada to participate in The Queen’s Entrepreneurs’ Competition. My business is PICCPerfect, and we create stylish and functional medical accessories and our first product is the PICCPerfect PICC Line Cover. “The QEC is an international business pitch competition held in Toronto, Canada, with +$60,000 in prizes dedicated to helping talented entrepreneurs from around the world jump-start their businesses – and their dreams.” My team and I were thrilled that the Babson Undergraduate Professional Accelerator Fund was able to support us financially to attend the three-day event!
On the second day in the semi-finals pitch, we had to give a 20-minute pitch and answer 20 minutes of Q&A. Julianne Carlin ’16, our VP of Finance, pitched “the dream,” which is to create a line of medical accessories to help chronic illness patients have dignity through their treatment. The judges asked very difficult questions, but we were thrilled to be going on to the finals on Saturday.
At the evening dinner event the semi-final judges met with us to help us prepare for the final pitch. They advised Julianne and I to only focus on the PICC line portion of the business, and then mention at the end where we are going. So, for the finals, that is exactly what we did.
The pitch went excellent and the judges seemed to really understand our mission and the need for our PICC line covers. At the awards dinner on Saturday night we were shocked that we did not place in the top three because of all of the positive feedback that we got after our pitch. When we met with a judge after the competition, he said that the judges would have liked to have seen us pitch the medical accessories business because that shows that we are thinking big.
When we heard that advice, my heart sunk. I knew that Julianne and I should have listened to our gut and pitched big. We know our business best and where we see our selves in the coming years. This fatal mistake on our part by listening to someone else may have cost us one of the top three financial prizes. Moving forward, the advice of the judges will teach me that I know by business better than anyone and only I truly know the direction that our company should take.