Undergrad Team Takes Top Place at Two New Concept Competitions

in Entrepreneurship, News, Students, Undergraduate Students
November 7th, 2011

ArtCereal Credits School of Management Training for Competitive Success

ArtCerealThe School of Management (SMG) undergraduates behind the new creative venture ArtCereal have taken top prize at the Boston Startup Weekend and in the Terrier Trap $1K Concept Competition both held recently at Boston University to support entrepreneurs in refining new business concepts.

ArtCereal offers a student art brokerage website, connecting student artwork with buyers. The team behind the idea includes Alessandro Cetera (Marketing and International Management, SMG ’12), John DeFelice (General Management, SMG ’12), Clara Luo (Finance & Marketing, SMG ’12), Dan Stalls (International Management, SMG ’13), Olivia Wilson (Marketing & Entrepreneurship, SMG ’14), and Max Veggeberg (Entrepreneurship, SMG ’12), as well as Nilesh Khaitan (CAS/ENG, ’15), and Arnaud Rouyer and Jenny Ha from beyond BU.

ArtCereal’s Mission: Bringing a Simple Solution to a Nationwide Problem

Says the ArtCereal team, “We wanted to build a business that could provide artists with a platform to showcase and sell their artwork to the community. Many of us have friends who are art majors and often had to throw out or give away paintings because they could no longer store them. Our goal was to take a nationwide problem and develop a simple solution that could become a viable business. Our mission is to make art accessible to everyone and create a marketplace for beautiful, original, and affordable art.”

“After going through SMG’s CORE, we knew what tasks had to be prioritized and how to properly delegate work among team members in order to be efficient.”

About the Competitions: Supporting Entrepreneurs in Refining New Product Concepts

The Boston Startup Weekend was held October 14-16. Participants were given 54 hours to develop a commercial case around a new product in the creative industries.  Each team was challenged to construct the framework of their proposed new business, build a web or application presence for it, and present their initiative to a panel of judges drawn from the local startup community. Pitches were judged on three criteria: viability of the business model, execution of presentation, and strategic targeting of customers. In addition to noting ArtCeral’s excellence in each of these areas, the judges also praised ArtCereal for its innovation in filling an untapped market niche.

The Terrier Trap $1K Business Concept Competition, also held on October 14, is another Boston University initiative designed to help students learn about the process of formulating and refining an entrepreneurial idea.  Teams presented their business plans to a group of resource experts from the university and local business community, who judged  for the commercial potential for the concept, evidence of sound strategic thinking, and quality of written and oral presentation.

Tapping Lessons Learned in the SMG Classroom and Beyond

“Also from our SMG experience, we had a good general sense of how different aspects of a business need to function and work together.”

“Because we only had 54 hours to develop a brief business plan” for the Boston Startup Weekend, says the ArtCereal team, “it was extremely important to have good time management, project organization, and team communication. After going through [the SMG required curriculum] CORE, we knew what tasks had to be prioritized and how to properly delegate work among  team members in order to be efficient. We were able to quickly divide into subgroups and had an organized process of what fundamentals needed to be done first, such as market research, defining our target markets, surveys, etc.  Also from our SMG experience, we had a good general sense of how different aspects of a business need to function and work together.”

As for what they learned from competing in both events, the team reports, “We saw the importance of having a strong vision and story, and being able to communicate these effectively. Since we had such little time, we had to make sure we stayed focused and kept our vision simple but intriguing, while keeping the communication and team workflow going.”

“We also found it very important to just have fun,” team members add, “especially if what you are doing is going to take up your whole weekend!”

Learn more about ArtCereal.