Spark Bowl Student Consultant Gains Business Insight Through the SBEC
Lysette Eloi '23, an animal science alumna, small business owner, and former Spark Bowl student consultant, recalls her time working with Liquid Limbs LLC, our 2022 Spark Bowl winner.
Spark Bowl is a "Shark Tank" -like competition, which allows local small businesses to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges for a chance to win prize money. As part of DelVal's Experience360 program, students participate in the competition by helping the businesses refine their pitch, under the guidance of advisors in DelVal's Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center (SBEC). Depending on if the student's business places first, second, or third, the student consultants have a chance to win prize money as well. Participating in Spark Bowl, partnered with Liquid Limbs LLC, was a great experience. Fortunately, we were able to take first place in the competition, and it was because of all of our preparation before our presentation. As a student helping a small business with a presentation, I thought back to my business, speech, and management on courses. We were given tools to be able to understand and prepare ourselves if in any management or professional setting. Having an elevator speech is the first thing we covered regarding how to represent ourselves and what we have to offer. This was the main thing we focused on when meeting with our team. What is Liquid Limbs? What is the goal and how do you plan on accomplishing it? This helped make the entire format of the presentation run smoothly.
I am a small business owner myself, so working with a team in preparing for funding was a pivotal learning experience. How can your product be sold to those who want to invest in your vision? It’s given me vital insight into what a new business run by young professionals can entail. My major was animal science, but management in my field is something that is always needed.
Some key takeaways was navigating what was important for people to know when introducing an unknown business. How can you find a gap in an industry you care about, and what are some ways to fill it? Learning the intricacies of what’s needed to be operational is something I can implement in my own business, such as projected sales. While this is so much like the show "Shark Tank" I was unaware of how important these details are, especially when potential investors are involved. Overall, it was a great experience for anyone interested in becoming an entrepreneur, especially if it is a good cause. Teaming up with Liquid Limbs was inevitable, because after witnessing the pitch and who it would impact, I knew I wanted to do whatever I could to help this team accomplish their goals. Both founders do not have the problem they are attempting to solve, however they are doing it anyway because they care. That is something I can always stand behind.