Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest

We've decided to participate in the Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest to try to win possible seed capital. The contest description also mentions that participating in this contest may also provide valuable assistance that might help taking the company to the next level. We certainly could use some advice when it comes to manufacturing and taking our products to market. The contest consists of three consecutive phases:
  1. an idea abstract
  2. executive summary
  3. final business plans
Once we complete the idea abstract, a panel of judges takes two weeks to pick the companies that move on to the next phase. For the idea abstract we need to provide responses to four basic questions in less than 250 words. Contestants must choose between four different business categories - Advanced Manufacturing, Life Sciences, Information Technology, and Business Services. Our business does include some IT because we will be developing software for our drivers and control panel applications, but if we really have to choose something it should probably be advanced manufacturing. Here's what I've written in response to the sections for the idea abstract:

Product or Service Description:

Amplio Audio is in the Home Theater Personal Computer industry with an exclusive focus on the audio component of the Home Theater experience. Amplio’s product combines the functionality of a soundcard, A/V receiver and amplifier into a single device, providing consumers with an affordable, audiophile quality listening experience.

Customer Definition: Their Needs - Your Solution:

Our target customers are audio/video enthusiasts who use their personal computers (PCs) to play music, watch live TV, movies, and other content as well as to control and manage their media libraries. Amplio’s products provide customers the best possible audio for their media systems through a direct digital interface to their audio data complemented by a world-class amplifier system.

Market Description, Size and Sales Strategy:

The primary market Amplio Audio hopes to attract are relatively young, technically-savvy, Internet connected North American males with some disposable income. Secondary markets will include the same profile except woman and international markets and professional A/V installers and businesses or educational institutions that purchase presentation equipment. Using the market buildup method to analyze our potential market, we determined the size to be approximately $69 million. Customers will be able to purchase our products directly from Amplio Audio’s website. This is the most effective channel based on our customers preferred way to purchase electronics and computer related products.

Competition: In this section identify possible competitors.

Amplio’s products are designed to compete with the high end of their target market while selling for significantly less than current offerings. This market is currently served with a combination of products from several manufacturers, none of which are designed specifically for home theater applications.

We have until January 31, 2008 before the judges look at our idea abstract, so we will probably make modifications before that time. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any suggestions on ways we can make improvements.

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