As writer Milan Kundera said, “Business has only two functions – marketing and innovation.”
That was unquestionably the case at this year’s Genius NY Competition. Genius NY is the world’s largest accelerator of its kind; empowering entrepreneurs develop cutting edge unmanned systems technology. The program is in its third year and has led to the creation of thousands of jobs and has contributed to Central New York’s growing reputation as an Unmanned Ariel Systems (UAS) hub.
Our team had the great fortune of attending finals night, a high-energy, high-stakes competition where each of 5 Genius NY finalists pitch their business plans to a panel of judges. Narrowed down from over 700 applications, the 5 teams were previously selected to enter the accelerator program and were given three months to solidify their business plan with support from The Tech Garden and Genius NY.
As each team pitched their innovative ideas, the panel of judges was analyzing their business plans and potential for growth. Most questions came back to the same few questions:
Who is your buyer and how are you going to reach them?
What is the lifetime value of your buyer when you do reach them?
Do your numbers make sense?
While attracting talent and developing systems are fundamental to a successful technology company, what investors want to know is how you are can scale the company profitably. In order to attract funding, you must be able to demonstrate that you have tested the market, performed research about possible verticals and have a sound marketing plan.
For startups, young companies and established businesses, the story is the same. Sales and marketing is the engine that keeps a company moving and if not treated as a priority, everything will ultimately stall.
In the end, the winner of the competition was a company started in Italy, Sentient Blue. Sentient Blue was the last to pitch their environmentally-friendly hybrid drone technology, spurring the judge’s excitement with their well-thought-out plan for expansion and understanding of their market.
Give investors no reason to doubt your success by showing them the power of your innovative idea combined with a targeted sales and marketing plan. Learn more about how to develop your brand and marketing strategy by following our blog at www.brandx1.com/blog.