On June 22nd, 2021, DifferenceMaker held the fourth Summer Boot Camp Session. Holly Lalos, Director, Rist DifferenceMaker Institute, welcomed the student teams, advisors, and guest speaker. Then, each team presented their homework deliverables.
This week, the 2021 Idea Challenge winning teams shared their research findings on channels, customer relationships, and revenue. Each team presented on the channels in which they would engage with their target markets, the methods in which they would do so, and the expected outcome of using these channels, like social media or word of mouth. Teams then explained the ways in which they plan to get, keep, and grow customers. Lastly, the teams presented on their revenue streams.
Knowing the channels that will be used, customer relationships, and various revenue streams aids in understanding potential outcomes, planning for the future, and developing a more robust business model. For example, Tommy Vi’s Gelato, a team aiming to blend Asian flavors into classic Italian gelato, presented on using social media and word of mouth as their channels in hopes of targeting millennial and Gen-Z generations.
In terms of how they plan to get, keep, and grow their customers, this team will post quality pictures, surveys, and weekly stories, and will advertise social media handles through flyers and on their website. Tommy Vi’s Gelato revenue streams will be through serving and catering hours.
Each team presented their findings and received constructive feedback from the advisors which helped further their research and development. Additionally, the student teams continued to interview customers through various methods, such as, surveys and Zoom interviews. Many teams researched and read research papers to gather more information about their ideas.
Jack Wilson, President Emeritus of the UMass System, Distinguished Professor of Higher Education, and founder of the Jack M. Wilson Center for Entrepreneurship, guest spoke about funding new ventures and the importance of being a leader and asking for help.
Professor Wilson sponsors the Jack M. Wilson First to Market Award at the Annual $50,000 DifferenceMaker Idea Challenge. Professor Wilson explained the need for funding and how to find financing to start and grow a new venture.
Thank you to Jack Wilson for guest speaking at the boot camp and for guiding the student teams in the right direction when it comes to funding their projects and understanding all the funding opportunities within and outside of UMass Lowell!