Resource Night Recap: Examining Business Strategy

Resource Nights Looks at StrategyEach week you can read a recap of the previous session. This week instructor John Zagula of Ignition Capital steps in for the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship’s Amy Sallin to recap a class focused on business strategy. If you have questions about the lecture series, or any of the Buerk Center”s student competitions, email Amy at [email protected].

Having previously learned how to study the playing field, we moved on to figuring how to get from one end of the field to another – strategy. We defined strategy as “driving a desired future in conditions of uncertainty.”

“In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

We examined several approaches to such strategy including FAKE GRIMLOCK, Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm from initial enthusiasts to the mainstream, and some other jokers who invented go to market plays like Best of Both and Dragrace. We then learned the important lessons of adaptation, differentiation, and timing/shifting plays as the field shifts over time from veteran practitioners Anders Brown and Lincoln Popp of Luxoft. And finally, we learned from Monty Montoya of SightLife on how staying true to your vision can keep you on track as you face hard strategic decisions.

Next we are going to be talking about money; How to make it, how to raise it. The top down and bottom up physics of start-up money – market sizing, business models and basic financial metrics. It is going to be fun – we are going to do this as a financial workshop with our expert guests.


The Resource Nights Lecture Series seeks to answer several questions: Are you entre-curious but not sure how to begin? Have you always dreamed of creating a company? Do you already have a startup and want to take it to the next level? Those questions empowered students from across campus to either enroll in the Business Plan Practicum/Resource Nights (Entre 440/540) class, or join the community and drop in to learn first-hand from local entrepreneurs the essentials of business planning and what it really takes to get a company off the ground. The ten sessions include topics such as: From idea to product; Assessing risk; Business models and financials; Legal issues; Crafting and giving a great pitch. 

Resource Nights runs from Thursday, January 5 to Thursday, March 9 from 6 to 7:50 p.m. in Paccar 192 (Shansby Auditorium). Can’t make it in person? Lectures will be recorded and the links to stream each one will be posted to our website weekly. View the Resource Night schedule for links and complete listing of topics and guest speakers.


Resource Nights: From Product to Business—business model and financials with guests speakers Christy Johnson, CEO of Artemis Connection, and Ethan Rudin, CFO of Rhapsody/Napster.

Thursday, February 9, 6:00 pm in Paccar Hall, Shansby Auditorium (room 192)


Team Building Website

Don’t forget to check out the Student Entrepreneur Team Building site. Register an account as a team looking for members, or an individual with skills searching for a good team to join. (Note: This site is for college/university student use only.)

Office hours with experts & MentorConnect

The Buerk Center will host experts with a variety of industry and professional expertise. Students entering the HIC, EIC and BPC can make ½ hour appointments with these experts to get advice on their business summaries, financial projection, legal questions, etc. The next round is open February 16 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. inside Dempsey Hall 211. To access the Office Hours appointment page, use your UW login, or email [email protected] for the Guest Login. Please note, Office Hours are open to teams entering the HIC, EIC, BPC – students only.

February 16
Josh Binder, Director of Advanced Manufacturing Development at Boeing, is an experienced executive and business segment leader with a record of success leading organizations to develop, launch and support technical products. Experience includes general management, operations, and P&L roles. Recognized ability to crossbreed technologies from multiple fields to drive business success. Direct experience in a variety of highly regulated business environments.  Operational specialties include organizational transitions, product development, recruiting, engineering, manufacturing and supply chain management.

John Plaza, an expert inStrategic Planning, has more than 20 years of experience in the renewable energy, clean technology, and aviation sectors, John Plaza has a proven track record of launching highly successful startups from the ground up, obtaining funding from leading private equity and venture capital firms, successfully growing operations, and structuring mission-critical partnerships and alliances.

In addition, our MentorConnect site is a great way to connect with a professional via email for advice, questions, and feedback. The site requires a UW login, so if you’re a student from another college or university contact me for a guest login.

Please note that both these programs are available to students only!


Applications are due for the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge by February 20. Should you enter? YES! If you’re a college student who wants to use their Capstone Project, lab prototypes, innovations, or ideas to solve environmental problems. Questions? Email Lauren Brohawn at [email protected]

Student teams who compete in the HIC or EIC before entering the BPC have historically had greater success!

Ready why students call the experience “the best thing they did in college” now on the Buerk Center blog.

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