IDF competed in our first ever competition and wouldn't you believe it, we made it to the finals! Not to mention we also got to Visit Hawaii!
Round 1 - Business Plan
David Trujillo, a recent member of the IDF team was approached by his Mentor, Tom Lenard of HTDC, about this business plan competition that he though we would be a great fit for. David approached the larger team and we submitted an application, which was a 7 page business plan. Two weeks later we receive word that out of 43 applicants, we were one of the 15 to move on to the second round!
Round 2 - Presentation
Our CEO, Cody Soodeen flew out to the Big Island of Hawaii to meet up with David Trujillo, Senior Business Development, who lives on the Big Island, and prepared for the presentation. The presentation was 15 min long with 5 min of judges feedback, which mean the presentations would take around 6 hours at best... and we we're last to go. After being painstakingly nervous for hours we made were up and we gave our presentation. David and Cody had practiced numerous times, but nothing compares to the real thing. Cody mentioned that he instantly got cotton mouth but David was calm and relaxed. Once it was over, we we're to find out who advanced within two days of the presentations. That Monday evening, two days after the presentation we find out that only 8 teams moved on and we were one of them!
Round 3 - Presentation and 2 min Elevator Pitch
If you haven't noticed by now, this competition was the real deal; 3 rounds, 3 presentations, and a business plan. We've done less work building the product than we did to prepare for this competition. Just kidding, but it seemed like it.
Cody flew out to Hawaii again two weeks later. We found out that we were going in reverse order this time, which meant we were first up. I think they realized how cruel they were to us in the previous round and felt bad this time around. We gave our presentation and this time we nailed it. As all of the other teams presented, we realized that everyone really stepped their game up and came prepared to win. Once the presentations were over the 2 min elevator pitches followed. Cody gave the elevator pitch and the competition concluded. The winner was decided immediately after. We all sat waiting in anticipation awaiting the results.
Unfortunately, we didn't take home the prize money, but instead we were approached by a mega-investor who loved what we were doing and wanted to get involved post the competition.
All in all, we are excited to have made it to the finals for our first ever competition, and to walk away with a great connection to an impact investor, we'll take that as a win.