Have you been inspired by the recent student “Green” movement? Is the future of our planet something that concerns you? It’s easy to admire those who are making waves in the environmental/green/sustainable space, but you may have wondered many times how you could make a real contribution to the cause. Maybe you have the germ of a brilliant idea for a product or service which could potentially be a game changer in this area? The “Most Creative Business Idea Competition” is a brand spanking new part of the Student Enterprise Programme (SEP) and it offers you a platform for having your voice and idea heard by a very wide audience! This could be your chance to shine, to bring a whole new innovation to the world through coming up with a business idea in the area of renewables/the environment/sustainability/the marine/climate change. It doesn’t matter if your idea could potentially solve just a small problem. When it comes to this very important area, every little change counts! And you don’t have to have a prototype or any sales made. Plus, you could win a €500 voucher. What’s not to like?
So, how do you take part?
If your class is registered to participate in the Student Enterprise Programme and you will be sixteen years old by 28th February, 2020, then you can submit an entry. This is an individual competition based on a two minute long video pitch, so the idea has to be yours and it’s up to you alone to produce and star in the video!
Full rules are available on www.studententerprise.ie but, here’s a summary of what you need to know:
- Your idea must tie in with the “Go Green: Be sustainable” theme.
- Students MUST BE OVER 16 YEARS of age at the time of entry and in SENIOR CYCLE to enter. Anyone appearing in the pitch video must also have been 16 years old or older at the time the pitch video was made.
- You must enter as an individual.
- You have to make a video of yourself “pitching” your idea and post it on your You Tube Channel, on a public setting.
- Your video can’t be any more than two minutes long.
- The idea can’t be one which is being used by a team in the Student Enterprise Programme.
- You don’t have to have a prototype or a product made/sold to take part.
Sounds simple, right? A two minute video pitch – a piece of cake. Hmmm… You might be well used to taking selfies, but chances are, you haven’t listened back to yourself speaking or seen yourself on video very often. You may be a Snapchat pro, but have you ever tried recording yourself explaining a concept on video? Probably not. You will get lots of helpful tips on the Student Enterprise website about making your video, but when it comes to the practicalities of composing and recording your pitch, the following could be really helpful.
- If you’re not used to the sound of your own voice, practice reading something out loud. Concentrate on diction, pronunciation and pace. Don’t rush it and don’t forget to breathe! A nursery rhyme will do for a start! Record yourself on your phone. Listen back and get used to the sound of your own voice. You don’t sound that bad – honestly! Get over it….
- Graduate to taking a video of yourself reading out the piece you have chosen. Watch it back. Make notes of what you could change. Re-record. Do this a good few times until you are comfortable with the end result.
- Sit down and think about your idea. studententerprise.ie ( “New Competitions/ Go Green: Be Sustainable/More information available here”) gives you five pointers about the content of your pitch. If you stick to these you can’t go wrong. Write out your script. Don’t worry about the length of it just yet. Read and record.
- Edit your script. Remember that it can’t be more than two minutes long. This is probably the trickiest part. You may have to rearrange sentences. Read it out loud. Make sure it makes sense. There is a world of difference in writing an essay and writing a video script. Short, snappy sentences are the order of the day!
- Ask someone who knows absolutely nothing about your idea (but make sure it’s someone you trust so they won’t steal it on you) if they understand the concept and if you have explained it properly. This is a very good way to ensure that you are being crystal clear and that you have thought out your idea properly. Stick to the point. Explain it like you would to a five year old!
- Edit your script again!
- Decide on the location for your video and any props you might like to use. You will stand out from the crowd if you can do this creatively. NB. If you are using an “extra” in your video, that person MUST be at least sixteen years of age at the time the video is made.
- Wear a bright colour (but not white). Don’t wear very patterned clothing (best not to wear stripes). Have a good, contrasting background. Don’t take a video of yourself in front of a window (unless the curtains are closed!) or you will look like Beyonce with a halo! Make sure you pick a quiet location. There should be absolutely no back-ground noise.
- If you are moving/ walking about, using props in your video, make sure you and they stay within shot.
- Have fun with it! The judges’ attention will be caught by an engaging, informative, energetic presentation of your fabulous business idea!