Every now and then, we get an invitation to work with a different type of client – and we love the opportunity to adapt what we do for someone new. So when Skyler Rogers, a senior at BGSU and former TEDxBGSU organizer, reached out for some help with his business competition pitch (an old concept that’s getting new energy these days), we jumped at the chance to help.
He was given 5 minutes to talk in front of an audience that would then vote for their favorite business plan. The stakes? $20,000 of cash and in-kind help for his new business called NiceShirt.org. Not bad for a guy who in a week will graduate from college.
At first, we were skeptical – how could we make a tshirt business come to life and win over the hearts of the 500 attendees who were voting on the winner? The answer became readily available to us when Skyler started sharing stories about how his shirts have helped very good causes that otherwise would have huge barriers to using apparel as a fundraising strategy.
His model was simple – if you want to sell shirts for a good cause, let us do the design, printing and distribution for you – and we’ll send you the proceeds for your cause. No more negotiating with vendors, figuring out how to distribute 5000 tshirts or what to do with $20,000 in cash (as evidenced by a case study he cited about a 16-year old kid that found himself in just that predicament).
His opponent showed a number of charts and graphs – detailing the business projections of his enterprise. Skyler told four distinct stories that demonstrated the villain (the problem) and the hero (his idea), and who would benefit (the people and their causes) and how. He didn’t show one financial graph or data chart. And as you can figure out by now -between our pride in this post and the photo above, he won.
I got a text from him after it was over, and he said “I even saw some people tearing up in the audience.” Yep, even t-shirts can make people cry. And when they cry, you’ve touched their emotions and moved them to action.
Thanks, Skyler, for working with us and congratulations! We can’t wait to hear where NiceShirt.Org takes you – or you take it!