Resource Night Recap: Real Problems and Viable Solutions

Resource Night class attended STS showcase as part of networking night

The BPC Practicum class attended the Science and Technology Showcase to network and join teams

Each week you can read a recap of the previous session. This week instructor John Zagula of Ignition Capital steps in for the Buerk Center or Entrepreneurship’s Amy Sallin. If you have questions about the lecture series, Buerk Center competitions like the BPC, the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge or the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge, email Amy at [email protected].

Students interested in entrepreneurship and Buerk Center competitions had a fun evening January 19 listening to Michael Dix of Intentional Futures and attending the Science and Technology Showcase + Networking Night. If you didn’t get a chance to drop-in on the class, be sure to check out the video and schedule for the coming weeks. You can also keep up on the class by diving into the reading list.

David Ogilvy, known at the ‘father of advertising’, once said “you make the best products you can, and you grow as fast as you deserve to.” That’s an important lesson students should take home from what was a really interesting class. We talked all about going from just an idea to a concrete, desirable product as the basis of a business. We covered some of the very basic concepts in product thinking—from problem/solution, to must have/nice to have, to “minimum viable product.” We reviewed your picks from crowd-sourcing sites Indiegogo and Kickstarter. And then we had the privilege of hearing from Michael Dix of Intentional Futures. Not only did he share both some of the unique tools he and his team use to develop products (like the benefit/cost teeter-totter), he also offered some of his own favorite product ideas to any of you who want to work to turn them into a reality. Finally, we all went to the networking night for another dose of inspiration, from each other and with each others’ business ideas.

Next week, we will be moving on to Step 2 of the whole planning process, starting with assessing the playing field into which your business will enter. Warren Gouk (COO, Limeade) and Laurel Buckner (VP Investments, GCI Comm.) are our guest speakers next week, who will bring their own perspectives and experiences to this key task.


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: Your Playing Field—assessing risks & opportunities you face (Part 1) with guests speakers Warren Gouk, COO of Limeade, and Laurel Buckner, VP Investments at GCI Comm.

Thursday, January 26, 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

Coming up during winter quarter 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. Dates and appointment times will be announced soon.

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!


The application deadline for the Hollomon Health Innovation Challenge is February 6. Should you enter? YES! If you’re a college student in bioengineering, health, computer sciences, business or other disciplines and have a new solution to existing health and healthcare problems. Questions? Email Terri Butler at [email protected].

The application for the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge opens next Monday. Should you enter? YES! If you’re a college student in built environments, environmental studies, engineering, business or other disciplines and want 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!

Workshops & Panel Discussions

Experts from the community are invited to campus winter quarter to talk about important topics relevant to healthcare and environmental innovation. This series of four panel events is aimed at students entering the HIC or EIC. The perspective and knowledge gained will be valuable as teams prepare their 5-7 page business summaries, which are required to enter the HIC or EIC. These are free events, open to anyone in the community, whether or not they will be participating in the Challenges.  Food and beverage provided.


Business Models and Financial Projections
Tue, Jan 24, 5:30-7:30pm, HUB 214

Polishing Up Your Business Summary
Wed, Feb 1, 5:30-7:30pm, HUB 214

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