Resource Night Recap: Managing Time, People, and Structure

Each week you can read a recap of the previous sessioFeb 16 Resource Night BPC Practicum Class on managing peoplen. This week, the Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship’s Amy Sallin recaps a class focused on managing people, time, and structure with early-stage ventures. If you have questions about the lecture series, or any of the Buerk Center’s student competitions, email Amy at [email protected]

Wow, winter quarter is flying by! In the past seven weeks, instructor John Zagula (partner, Ignition Capital) has taken us through the entrepreneurial foundations of creating and planning a startup: Inspiration, idea generation and validation, to assessing risks and opportunities, as well as developing operating models. Wow again! Zagula has given us much to think about and the tools to get to work, and last week’s class provided insight into the fundamentals for managing time, people and structure—basics that are often overlooked by new entrepreneurs. Missed the session? Watch the video here.

While many people have heard about seven habits effective people use, Zagula prefers his lessons in threes (remember the ABCs of company vision and the 3 Cs of playing field assessment!). His personal time management maxims are:

  1. Set goals, strategies & tasks (know the difference, and use them!)
  2. Write them down and use them.
  3. Track your priorities, progress and deadlines regularly.

The session moved from managing priorities to building your team. Jennie Ellis, founder of Recruiting Bandwidth, talked about planning and creating your company culture early on (as did Christy Johnson last week). She stressed the importance of hiring—or partnering—with the right people. Don’t be afraid to hire people who are better than you in their skill set (a common problem with many founders!). Her final message: Culture matters. Who you surround yourself with can make or break you.

Steve Yentzer, partner at DLA Piper, wrapped up by reminding new entrepreneurs that it’s important to be aware of legal issues early in your planning. From how your form your company—partnership, LLC, C-corp, S-corp—to co-founder issues—ownership shares, vesting, even how decisions will be made—get expert advice, assume the best and prepare for the worst.


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

On Thursday, Feb. 23, four savvy experts join Zagula for a session on “Your logic—formulating the case for your business.” In other words, marketing! And with Zagula’s wisdom in the power of three, he’ll address “Positioning XYZs” and “Messaging 123s,” so don’t miss on the lively marketing panel and class session! Check out the panelists:

Zach Huntting, Crown Social

BreeAnna Marchitto, Dry Soda

John O’Rourke, Indix

Betsy Sperry, OneDegree Brand Chemistry

BPC PANEL: Insights from Past BPC Participants

Thursday, February 23, 5:00–6:00 pm in Bank America Executive Ed Building, room 320

Get a jump-start on your BPC planning with this interactive session featuring students who experienced the trials, tribulations and thrills of taking part in the Business Plan Competition. Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from these past BPC superstars!  Since this is the hour prior to class I’ll order pizza to power us through the evening, so please RSVP!

Taking part in this interactive panel are:

  • Ryan Ahern, JikoPower (EIC 2015, BPC 2015, 2016, J+F Accelerator 2015)
  • Adam Greenberg (EIC 2013, BPC 2013, J+F Accelerator 2013)
  • Brian Mogen, MultiModal Health (BPC 2014, 2015, 2016, HIC 2016, J+F Accelerator 2015)


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

Twenty-two student teams advanced through the screening round and will compete in the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge on March 1 at the Hub Lyceum. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @UWBuerk, Facebook @UWBuerk and @UWHealthInnovationChallenge, and UWBuerkCenter on Instagram for updates on competition day.


  • Our MentorConnect site is a great way to connect with a professional via email—including attorneys and people who specialize in IP issues—for advice, questions, and feedback. Connect with professionals in a variety of industries: Business Development, Cleantech, Consumer Product / Service / Retail, Energy/Environment, Finance, Intellectual Property, IT/Software/Online/Internet, Legal, Life Sciences, Marketing, Non-Profit, Operations, Production/Manufacturing, Research and Development, Sales, Venture Investing, and Engineering. These people all volunteer their time to help students, so don’t hesitate to reach out! Please do read the “Guidelines” section before contacting a mentor. FYI, 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 this resource is for students only!
  • View past executive summaries online from EIC participants (Resources tab, scroll down to Other Resources); and BPC participants (scroll down to the Learn by Example section).
  • Stop by the Buerk Center in Dempsey 227 to look at a wide variety of executive summaries entered into the EIC and BPC.
  • Review the Judging Criteria for the BPC Screening Round as you work on your 5–7 page executive summaries. Helpful hint: Use the Submission Checklist to help guide you through the judging criteria.
  • Check out our Startup Resources webpage.
  • If your team needs legal assistance consider applying to become a client at UW’s Entrepreneurial Law Clinic (ELC). The ELC is an innovative clinic that teams law and business students with pro bono attorneys and advisers to provide early stage legal and business counsel. Check out the ELC website for details, application and deadline.