I recently came across an interesting video from Stamford University’s Entrepreneurship program. A professor there came up with an interesting challenge for her entrepreneurship students. First she formed them into groups then gave them each “seed funding” of $5. The groups had 4-5 days to plan and then had 2 hours to make as much money as possible after their envelope was opened. Afterward the groups presented their findings and outcome in front of the class.
There were some really creative ideas. The team that generated the most money actually ended up selling their 3 minute presentation slot to a company interested in recruiting the students.
Some ideas that I think would do quite well include:
1) Buying tickets and cans then raffling off “dates” for group members. (This depends on the attractiveness of the group members. This could also be an auction where the highest bidder wins the date)
2) Massages for $X or doing them free for donations.
3) Hold a focus group for businesses in the area so they can better understand and reach college/grad students. Call restaurants and solicit food donations. This focus group concept could be held for almost any vertical. You could simply give the participants a free lunch and charge the companies $10-$20.
4) Hold a educational session on how to use twitter or new media to grow your business. Again lunch would be provided through solicitations and you would charge people to attend.
5) Call a magician or other skilled person (artist, musician, etc) and invite local parents and kids (or the talent’s target market). Convince the talent to perform for free to get his name out there and request $10 for admission for attendees giving half to charity. People give their money away a lot easier when they know a portion goes to charity. You could also get food donated for this event as well.
Well it’s late and that’s all I got for now. I may add some more later.
What do you think about this challenge? Which was your favorite of my ideas? What would you do with $5 and 2 hours to generate the most money possible?