Holy smokes, I’m back bitches! My first BDQ post in forever, although admittedly in part due to the $30 bucks Georgia bullied me into putting up as a monetary incentive.

For my reunion tour I wanted to briefly mention my experience at StartupCorps‘ mid-semester business plan competition that they hosted for their students. First, it was great to see a real show of force from the Temple MBA’s. I’m hard pressed to think of a mutually beneficial relationship with more potential and can’t wait to see how things develop. The event, for those that weren’t there, was made up of 50 or so high school students (mostly from the Student Leadership Academy) pitching their business ideas to a panel of judges. The finalists from each of the separate judging panels then went on to present in front of everyone in a final round.

Having done a couple pitches and listened to more, I was quite impressed with the skills exhibited. True, there wasn’t much in the way of financials or competitive strategy, but it did not matter. Listening to these pitches, you couldn’t help but edge forward. The listeners visibly wanted to be a part of what these students so clearly believed in. It was, in a word, contagious. Can a business pitch be anything better?

Of the 8 or so pitches that I heard, there was a diversity of ideas, but they all shared a common thread: emotion. Clothing lines were battle cries of identity, acceptance, and individuality. After school communities were bastions of understanding and support. Given the emotional turmoil of everyone’s teenage years, its no surprise the emotional growth and expression played such central roles in these business ideas. Nonetheless, it was still amazing to see such clear examples of how entrepreneurship can serve as a mechanism for engaging the world around us.

Listening in on these pitches reminds me that emotions are powerful forces to tap into. The next time that I think about my game-plan, you can be sure that I will consider whether I need to build something to spark the change I’m interested in. Perhaps all I need is an emotion and a message.