New Business Concept Semi-Finalists (A-L)
aLiveListen® [a live-music subscription]™
Bao Jian Company
aLiveListen® [a live-music subscription]™
aLiveListenallows a user to purchase admission to multiple live-music events by subscription. This promotes a cost/value approach to live-music for the user, and stabilizes revenue for the venue, artist, and promoter.
Benefits: aLiveListen offers a cost/value approach to live music for the user by selling venue admission at a discounted rate. The Web site and service is a one-stop information resource for live-music enthusiasts so they can find out about and affordably attend more live music. The venues benefit because, for no extra cost, their attendance will increase; increased attendance equals increased revenue.
Products/Services: aLiveListen is a horizontally integrated technology and service development company with a clear path to maximizing live-music ticket sales at venues. aLiveListen operations are similar to those of Livenation and Jambase, but offer the user more flexibility, savings, and value. The subscription is flexible because, although a monetary commitment has been made, the user has made no commitment to which shows she will attend at the time that she purchases the subscription. There is substantial opportunity to expand this business model nationally and indeed globally.
Target Market: We are focused on delivering a superior product to the live-music enthusiast. This live-music enthusiast is a person who is on the cutting edge of the underground live-music scene and typically sees several shows every month. This person is paying to hear artists who are up-and-coming, well known, or on the verge of being famous. These shows often take place in small clubs and venues.
Sales/Marketing Strategy: Our strategy is to sign as many partner venues as we can and maximize subscriptions through advertising and word-of-mouth. We aim to control the cost, increase attendance for venues, and minimize the time required to obtain tickets.
- As we partner with venues, promoters and artists, our subscription base will grow. The more venues a prospective subscriber is able to access, the more likely it is he will become a subscriber.
- As our subscription base grows and when our online community is large enough, we will sell advertising space on our Web site. Within 2 years we anticipate reaching a CPM of at least $2 (Facebook CPM is anywhere between $2 and $5, and Myspace is anywhere between $0.50 and $1).
New York-based Asher is a for profit apparel manufacturing firm specializing in the production of premium denim, for which a prototype has already been constructed and has celebrity endorsements. The company will initially infiltrate the trendsetting "downtown" cosmopolitan clientele across US cities such as New York and Los Angeles over the course of two years. During the long-term, the company projects successful penetration into international markets, specifically within Asia and the Middle East. Ultimately, Asher will expand into producing a complete line of clothing and envisions a global presence where we are perceived as a formidable competitor within the apparel industry.
Asher will offer fashion forward high quality denim that differentiates itself through innovative design, fit and production. The most distinct feature of Asher is its ability to experiment with wildly different dye-processes and production techniques than its larger more conventional competitors.
The market that Asher will target is the ultra trendy consumer ages 18-35, who is always on the hunt for high quality distinct denim. Trendy clients and boutique buyers alike are always searching, and willing to pay for smaller brands that have specific brand identity and unique fits. To establish a brand that captivates this sophisticated market, Asher will fuse together inspiring contemporary art and avant-garde New York style to imbue an unparalleled image that is powerful, and yet inevitable.
Asher will collaborate with inspiring local artists in a series of cross-promotional events in New York City parks and venues that will attract much needed publicity. By emphasizing unique fits and design throughout tradeshows such as Project, Capsule, and Coterie, we will appeal to fashion forward boutique owners to establish our primary distribution channels. We will further promote our product to Visual Therapy, a NY-based luxury styling agency to recommend our products to their high profile clientele. Finally, we will leverage our existing relationship with Oscar winning actress Kate Winslet, and New York City musician Mike Furey of Dangerous Muse, who both currently own a prototype of our product, as a platform to reach our clientele on a macro level.
Variable cost will be $50 per unit, and have a 200% markup to a wholesale price of $150 per unit. Our product will retail at $375 which will give retailers a comfortable 60% profit margin.The company projects to break even after the sale of 650 units, which we forecast within the first 6 months of operations.
Asher's real knack is sewing and fashion design. He picked up the needle for the first time when he was 10, and from that point on, he couldn't stop making clothing. When he arrived in New York, he wanted to position himself at every point of the industry. He assists Rickie Freeman, the owner and designer for Teri Jon, where he learns the production of a clothing label. His experience at R&M Advertising has taught him the art of marketing clothing, and finally at Visual Therapy, Asher has mastered the techniques of dressing his future-type clientele. Now Asher is ready to begin his own dream and putting his skills to the test by creating his first clothing line, Asher.
Bao Jian Company
I am exposing an opportunity to provide better security to protect Chinese oil operations. China is the largest foreign business partner buying over 2/3 of Sudan's oil and accounting for nearly 70% of Sudan's oil sales. The Sudanese oil sales to China rose 113% from 2007 and accounts for 6% of all Chinese oil. The other major players in the Sudanese oil business are Malaysia and India. China owns a 40% stake in the current operation with $4 billion in investments. Both are expansionary opportunities. The Chinese do not seek to increase their 140 UN Peacekeeper People's Liberation Army engineers. The Economist October 2008 issue has reported that the Chinese government has asked for western security consulting firms to consult them in their protection in Sudan.
In October, China experienced their third attack by Sudanese rebels as protest to China's business and diplomatic involvement with the government. The rebels have attacked both Chinese oil leading to kidnappings and deaths of Chinese workers. Indian workers have also been the target of kidnappings and protests by disgruntled local tribes. The Sudanese government has offered additional support of more soldiers to aid in security efforts. However, they remain ill-trained and have been ineffective.
This is a less risky operation compared to security operations in Iraq and Afghanistan where IEDs and ambushes are ever prevalent. Chinese government contacts will be lobbied through friends coupled with personal in-country visits to gain security contracts. Personal military contacts will recruit veterans experienced with convoy and security operations. The guards will work in teams of 7-10 key facility locations as demanded by the Chinese. They will be subjected to UN peacekeeping rules of engagement. Any incidents will be reported immediately to corporate headquarters and the Sudanese government. Violations of international law and UN Peacekeeping rules of engagement will face U.S. legal prosecution and docks in salary. Endangered Chinese lives, diminishing public relations in western media eyes, and high risk of permanent fixed asset damages to oil investments create a stronger need for better security measures. An investment in security is what they are looking for.
"Bao Jian," or double-edged sword, is used in Chinese history and art as a gentleman's weapon strategically to engage vital areas of the opponent rather than be wielded with brute force.
Between Courses was founded on the principal that dining out should be an enjoyable and memorable occasion. This company provides a service to restaurants which have forgotten their core strengths and need revitalization.
The first service uses market research to provide an analysis of the overall temperature with the restaurant's patrons, non-current patrons, employees, and competitors. The next level is geared towards restaurants that need help generating more business and buzz about their eatery; proving marketing analyses and recommendations. The highest valued package involves thorough marketing research, food and wine consultations, management overviews, marketing analyses and recommendations, and options to restructure the restaurant's layout. The Web site, www.betweencourses.com, offers a menu of a la carte marketing research reports and statistics for restaurant owners to purchase online.
The restaurant industry is worth over 550 billion dollars; however there are a very high percentage of businesses which fail. In their first three years, 59 percent of all restaurants will fail and likely file for bankruptcy. Some of the main reasons why restaurants fail include a lack of planning, little knowledge of their customer, and inability to adapt to change.
The main competitive advantages Between Courses embodies are vast industry knowledge and experience, a strong management team with backgrounds in successful businesses, and customized solutions for clients. The competition (restaurant consulting firms) works mostly with chain restaurants, and their services are not specialized. Marketing will involve an interactive Web site with proven success stories, advertisements in magazines, trade shows, and complimentary comment card surveys and evaluations for potential clients.
The founder of Between Courses, Katie Ohsann, has a background in analytics and marketing research, will graduate from Pace University with an MBA in Entrepreneurship May of 2009, and holds 5 years of restaurant experience. Director of Operations and Wine Manager, John Patrick Ohsann, holds a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management, is a wine sommelier and restaurant manager in Destin, FL, and has 10 years of restaurant and hotel experience. Between Courses' Director of Food and Menu options is Jason Wold of Lodi, CA, an Executive Chef and graduate of the French Culinary Institute; with 4 years of experience.
Between Courses is currently seeking an investment of 350,000 dollars for 35% ownership of the company. These funds are necessary to allow for proper resources to establish a strong brand, build an interactive Web site, acquire necessary market research industry knowledge and reach the target market effectively.
I have an Internet-based business proposition that I believe will help a variety of minority-owned businesses and service providers.I have had a number of friends who constantly call me looking for caterers, event planners, designers, etc., which specialize in addressing the needs of a particular culture/ethnicity.I would like to create an online "Diversity Directory", similar in some ways to the online version of the Yellow Pages, however this site will be for service needs only and will be categorized based on culture, for example: I had a colleague, who was looking to have an African-themed wedding, she needed the following:
- Authentic African clothing (Ghana) - either a designer or seller
- A caterer who specialized in West African cuisine Musicians/singers who knew songs of that particular country, etc.
- Black Book of Business (African American specialty businesses and services)
- Caribbean Catalogue (Caribbean specialty businesses and services)
- Asian Almanac (Asian specialty businesses and services)
- African Appendix (African specialty businesses and services)
- European Edition (European specialty businesses and services)
- Latin America Listing (Central & South American specialty businesses and services)
- Sales & Marketing
- Web design & maintenance (IT)
- Finance & Accounting
Chenelle Blackman is an Associate Marketing Manager for Time Inc., the largest magazine publisher in the U.S.In her role she identifies and develops new business partnerships to increase the company's subscription base across all of the company's magazine brands. Prior to her current position, she managed the business process strategy initiatives for TIAA-CREF's Public Affairs division, as well as their Community Relations program. Raised in New York City, Chenelle is a current Brooklyn resident. In May 2008, Chenelle received her Masters in Business Administration from the Fordham Graduate School of Business. In her spare time Chenelle acts as a mentor to high school students through the National Black MBA (NY Chapter) Leaders of Tomorrow program; she is also an avid reader, traveler, and professional wedding singer.
Business Overview: One of the great joys I have found in playing team sports is the true sense of camaraderie that one shares with one's teammates. The relationships I have built in the locker room are extremely powerful. Unfortunately, most of these bonds can be difficult to maintain over the years. Many athletes become very frustrated when their buddies, teammates and friends inevitably go off in different directions at the end of the season. Even worse, in the case of professional sports, athletes are sometimes traded, released, or just retire. I saw a real need to develop a network that would allow me to stay in touch with my teammates, regardless of where their lives took them. This led me to create eFieldHouse.com, an exclusive online network for professional athletes.
I started the process of building this network by learning how to write code and how to build an online platform. I did most of this during my off-hours while playing in the minor leagues. I was heartened by the initial response to the network, especially when I discovered that most major league baseball organizations - due to media-relation concerns - openly discourage their athletes from posting their profiles on public sites like Facebook or MySpace. As a result, these athletes were looking for another way to stay in touch with their former teammates.
It's been extremely gratifying to watch the positive reaction to eFieldHouse as it has grown. In only a matter of months from its launch, there are now several hundred professional athletes in the network. As the word has spread, I've been approached by numerous advertisers as well as a few player procurement agencies. eFieldHouse helps professional athletes stay in touch with former teammates as well as find jobs on and off the playing fields. Over 30 professional athletes have found new playing jobs through the eFieldHouse network since March 2008.
So far, I have created a strategic relationship with Teracode, Inc. and exchanged 15% equity in eFieldHouse, LLC in order to build a more advanced Web application utilizing Teracode's staff experts. I have also implemented a controlled growth methodology to expand into the world of professional sports. Currently, the eFieldHouse brand, which is most recognizable in the baseball world, is positioned to expand into other professional sports. I have raised over $300,000 in angel funding; however, a good portion of that investment came from a few professionals at Lehman Brothers. Because of the recent events, much of the funding for eFieldHouse has been vaporized. eFieldHouse is currently looking for a second round of funding to aid in more aggressive expansion.
CEO & Founder - John Wolff created eFieldHouse in 2007 while playing in the minor leagues with the Chicago White Sox. He was drafted into professional baseball after his junior year at Harvard University. John's book, Harvard Boys, details his experiences in his first year in the minor leagues and was published in Fall 2007 by Skyhorse, a smaller imprint of Sterling Publishing, Inc. His second book, How To Make Pro Scouts Notice You, is due to be published in Spring 2009.
Director of Marketing -Ian Church played six years of professional baseball in the minor leagues. He was named the Frontier League's Most Valuable Player in 2006 when he hit 31 home runs for the Kalamazoo Kings. He finished his playing career in 2007 with the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League. He graduated from Stetson University in 2002 with a degree in Business.
Director of Business Development - Stephen O'Sullivan spent two years playing professional baseball after being drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2002 out of Marist College. After an injury ended his career prematurely, he completed his MBA at Pace University while working for standard and poor's as an analyst. He now runs a construction company in NYC while pursuing his entrepreneurial ventures.
Gamepe is new gaming software that will greatly improve how gamers communicate today. Let's talk about how Gamepe does it. Everyone likes to chat. It's a basic human need to keep in touch with friends and family, and to do so they use Instant Messengers (IM's) & Social Networks.Examples of IM's are:
Windows Live Messenger/Yahoo Messenger/ AIM / IRC network/Facebook/Twitter/Skype Games. We all love playing them. Unfortunately when gamers play games most cannot chat with their buddies at the same time. The reason is that instant messaging software is not designed to cope with these needs. They have to logout of the game by using key combinations like ALT+TAB in order to chat, play music and much more which can be annoying at times.
This is where I came up with the idea that we needed software to cope with these needs and allow players of games to be able to chat with their buddies and to listen to the music they like while they are playing the games they want to play without annoyances. (Aka a bridge between the gamers' desktop and the game being played)
We have a few options to generate revenue with Gamepe these include:
- Opt in mail with special offers for new games
- Partner with 3rd vendors such as Skype/twitter/pizza hut to bring their service in-game Advertising inside games
- Advertising outside games
- With MMORPGs with over 100 million customers we think there's a big share of the market available for us