Who are your most important customers? What do they do? What are their pains? What gains are they seeking?
The annual Draper Competition for Collegiate Women Entrepreneurs is designed to hone the skills that undergraduate women need to advance through the process from idea to venture creation. Through three rounds of competition, students demonstrate an understanding of a problem, why the problem requires a new venture to address it, how their idea presents the best solution to the problem, and what resources, partnerships and activities it takes to successfully launch the venture.
2018 Judging Panel (l to r): Dawanna Williams '90, Mona Sinha '88, Kathleen Curley '72, Dr. Alan Robinson, Debby Farrington '72, Tim Draper and Melissa Parker Draper '77
SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT - The 2018 Draper Competition was held on a snowy Friday, April 6. The competing teams so impressed this year's judges that the competition sponsors -- Melissa and Tim Draper -- announced that the prize money awarded to the top 3 teams would be DOUBLED! In addition, all of the finalist teams were awarded $3,000 scholarships to Draper University.
Thank you to all of the members of the 2018 Selection Committee, faculty, staff and alumnae mentors at Smith College, faculty and staff mentors to all visiting teams, 2018 Draper Competition Planning Committee, CiEC Interns, and all the members of the Smith Community who made this year's event possible!
Of course, congratulations and good luck to all the student founders as they continue to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.
See you in April 2019!
2018 DRAPER COMPETITION WINNERS
First Place - $20,000 + $10,000 scholarship to Draper University
Jamie Steenbakkers '18 and Michael Leahy '18 (not pictured), Babson College
Second Place - $15,000 + scholarship to Draper University
The Forever Shower
Maria Horta Vorse '18, Alex Boatman '19 (not pictured) and Edward Hall '19 (not pictured), University of Idaho
Third Place - $10,000 + scholarship to Draper University
Anmei Zhi '20, Nouhaila Norredine '20 and Elaona Lemoto '20, Smith College
2018 Finalists - $500
Alz You Need, Leda Rosenthal '18 (Colgate University)
Fida, Zoleka Mosiah '19 (Smith College)
HF Magnet, Samatha Farley '18 (West Virginia University)
Spin, Oumayma Koulouh '19 (Smith College)
Survival of the Fitted, Rachel Laflamme '20 (Smith College)
Therapalz, Fiona Kalensky '18 (University of Illinois)
Zapp Technology, Giovanna Jimenez '18 (University of Houston)
SPECIAL PRIZE WINNERS
Fan Favorite - $1,000
The Lunch Buddy
Hannah Kelsey '20, Vivian Nelson '20, Haley Markos '20 and Frances Duncan '20, Smith College
Best App - $1,000
Brianna Moore '18 and Leigh Miller '18 (not pictured), Smith College
Conway Center Five-College Prizes
First Place - $1,000
Duo Display - Kate Meacham '20 (Mount Holyoke College), Alessandra Massa '19 (Mount Holyoke College, not pictured) and Bryce Paquette '18 (Western New England University)
Second Place - $750
Anchor - Romina Gupta '20 (Mount Holyoke College) and Abhinav Karthikeyan '20 (Boston College, not pictured)
Third Place - $500
Painter Printer - Darleane Torres '21 (Hampshire College) and Joseph Mendoza '21 (Clarkson University)
Melissa Parker Draper '77, Tim Draper, Jesse Draper, Mona Sinha '88, Tim Rowe and Dawanna Williams '90
First Place: ImmunoGo, Emily Morris '19 (Smith College)
$10,000 + $10,000 scholarship to Draper University
Second Place: The Ekari Book Series, Pricilla Semphere '18 (Smith College)
$7,500 + $7,500 scholarship to Draper University
Third Place (tied): Sugaway, Danya Abutaleb '19 (University of Virginia)
$2,500 + $2,500 scholarship to Draper University
Third Place (tied): Vescenece, Kiran Meghani '17 & Arsheen Menon '17 (University of Houston)
$2,500 + $2,500 scholarship to Draper University
Audience Favorite: Sanitary Solutions, Sarah Price '18 & Katie Christensen '19 (Smith College)
Best App: ReBike, Nouhaila Norredine '20, Elaona Lemoto '20 & Amnei Zhi '20 (Smith College)
Conway Center Five College Prizes:
- Tiwale, Ellen Chilemba (Mount Holyoke);
- Travel Unicorn, Carly Forcade (Mount Holyoke) & MejiH2O, Rebecca Onyango (Mount Holyoke)
- We've Met, Molly Palmer (UMass - Amherst)
House Prizes: Tenney House - 72% of house members present; Park House - Most Attendees
Ventures: The competition is for new, for-profit, independent ventures in the seed, start-up or early growth stages. An existing business is eligible only if, as of 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2018, it has received less than $25,000 in funding and/or has earned less than $100,000 in gross revenue.
Team Member: The competition is open to any undergraduate student currently enrolled at Smith College or in a degree program at any accredited not-for-profit college or university located in the United States.
Team Leader: Each team must have at least one eligible Team Member who is also a female undergraduate at any accredited not-for-profit college or university located in the United States. The Team Leader must have played a significant role in conceiving the venture. The Team Leader must serve as the main contact for the team and as the spokesperson on Competition Day.
Faculty Advisor: Each team must provide contact information for a faculty adviser at their school. Faculty advisers are welcomed but not required to be present at Smith College on Competition Day.
Interested students should familiarize themselves with the Business Model Canvas (BMC). The BMC is a tool entrepreneurs use to track their progression from unproven concept to viable venture. The Draper Competition requires that students map the strategic vision for their venture using the BMC and provide a written narrative of their canvas in a two-page executive summary.
“A business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value.” - Alexander Osterwalder, Business Model Generation (2010)
What value do you create for your customers? Which pain are you solving? What need are you satisfying?
How are your value propositions delivered to your customers? What are your modes of communication, sales and distribution?
How do you interact with your customers (e.g., online, in person)? Do you interact differently with different customer segments?
How does the venture make money?
What assets are required in order for you to offer and deliver your value proposition to your customer segments?
What crucial things does the venture need to do in order to deliver on your value propositions?
With whom do you need to work so that you can focus on the key activities of the venture (i.e., to whom can you outsource non-key activities)?
What are the major cost drivers of your value proposition? How are they linked to revenue streams?
KEY 2019 COMPETITION DATES
To be determined
More than $60,000 in cash and prizes are awarded each year.
1st: $10,000 cash prize + Draper University Scholarship
2nd: up to $7,500 cash prize + Draper University Scholarship
3rd: up to $5,000 cash prize + Draper University Scholarship
NOTE: These prizes are not cumulative.
Best App: $1,000
Fan Favorite: $1,000
CIEC Five-College Prizes: $1,000, $750, $500
NOTE: These prizes are in addition to the main prizes listed above.