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florenceij's Avatar florenceij florenceij is offline
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Any useful Tips for Grand Idea Awards

I had a look at the Grand idea award entry form and the restricted 200 word count for each section, yet each section has about three questions (just 200 words!!) . I am not very good with summaries, I guess because I talk a lot (well sometimes). OK I'll get straight to the point.

I thought it will be great for all previous entrants to offer some useful tips to other people contemplating or keen on entering the monthly grand idea awards. Offer advise on completing the application form, the video pitch etc.

THE IDEAL SHELL LIVE WIRE GRAND IDEA WINNING ENTRY......
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Joshua Mason-Allen Joshua Mason-Allen is offline
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You're right - the limit does make it very difficult to say everything you need to. Try being in my industry (civil aviation and entertainment) and trying to explain exactly what it is your company does in less than two hundred words.

Try to avoid baffle, therefore, get straight into material facts - quote statistics and numbers if appropriate for the question type. If I still had a copy of my entry, I'd gladly email it to you to show you what I mean. For the purposes of the application form, it is also acceptable to lose sentence structure and just 'bullet point' things you wouldn't otherwise get in.

The video is another problem - at no more than one minute it can be as restrictive as the word counter. Conversely, the video can be quite good as people are more inclined to learn about your business if you can explain everthing you do, what you'd do with the money and how you'll grow as a result in one minute.

I don't think it appropriate that there be some guide to submitting the ideal entry as all businesses are scored on their own merits. Perhaps this would work if all the entrants were within one industry, but we're not, we're a diverse bunch. At the end of the day, if you have a good idea, and you can convey clearly and concisely what it is you do, how you do it, what you'd do with the prize money and how that would help your business grow I think you're somewhere towards winning it.

The video part of the competition doesn't sit well with me, however, I think it makes business more of a popularity contest in true X-factor style, ultimatley meaning that someone with a poor business model can win, whereas someone with a brilliant one can lose, dependant upon how many votes the poorer business person can yield.

In other words, get your entry shortlisted, upload your video and ask EVERYONE you've ever met to vote for you.

Hope this helps,

Josh
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florenceij's Avatar florenceij florenceij is offline
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Thanks Josh.
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lordlancaster's Avatar lordlancaster lordlancaster is offline
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The best advice I can give is just to give it a go.

There's no hard and fast rule about who will and won't win. It's a competition and it all depends on who else has applied that month, and who is decided to have submitted the best business idead / application.

However, you can apply for the Grand Ideas Awards again and again each month until you eventually win (fingers crossed).

Josh was actually shortlisted for the February Awards but didn't win that time around. However, he didn't give up, applied again in April and this time he won. So perseverance also pays off.

If you don't get shortlisted at the end of the month you apply, you will get some basic tips and advice on how to improve. You can also call the office for more specific feedback if you need it.

Good luck!
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florenceij's Avatar florenceij florenceij is offline
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Thanks for the encouragement. I keep telling myself maybe I will apply next month then I miss the deadline.
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florenceij's Avatar florenceij florenceij is offline
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HI Guys I finally did it. I applied got shortlisted and won. If you haven't yet applied and ur still contemplating just give it a go.
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katpattison's Avatar katpattison katpattison is offline
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Hi,

I think this is a great topic that could be really useful for potential applicants. I wanted to add my tip...

I've watched quite a lot of the videos, and one thing that often stands out to me (perhaps because I'm an sound technologist!) is the audio quality. Potential voters don't want to have to struggle to hear what it is your business does, yet a lot of the videos have narration which is either far too fast, or badly distorted.

So speak clearly and slowly - if you have to talk at 100mph the chances are you're trying to say too much.

Be careful with your levels - you'll be forgiven for not having a professional film made, but perhaps not for nearly deafening someone half way through! Have a bit of distance between yourself and your microphone to help prevent pops and distortion, around 6" should be ideal, and try to record in one take if you're not proficient with editing audio - if you sit with the same distance and speak at the same volume throughout, your narration will be a lot smoother and easier on the ear.

Hopefully this will be of some use to someone! I don't want to single any videos out, but there's been a few occasions where the first thing that stands out is not the great business idea but actually the poor audio. It only takes a couple of simple steps to make sure you are clear and can be understood, and it really can make all the difference.

If anyone needs any help with their audio or videos, please feel free to get in touch with me!

And good luck to everyone who is shortlisted!

Kat
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huxuecan huxuecan is offline
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I don't think it appropriate that there be some guide to submitting the ideal entry as all businesses are scored on their own merits. Perhaps this would work if all the entrants were within one industry, but we're not, we're a diverse bunch. At the end of the day, if you have a good idea, and you can convey clearly and concisely what it is you do, how you do it, what you'd do with the prize money and how that would help your business grow I think you're somewhere towards winning it.

The video part of the competition doesn't sit well with me, however, I think it makes business more of a popularity contest in true X-factor style, ultimatley meaning that someone with a poor business model can win, whereas someone with a brilliant one can lose, dependant upon how many votes the poorer business person can yield.
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Thanks Josh.
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lordlancaster's Avatar lordlancaster lordlancaster is offline
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Quote:
The video part of the competition doesn't sit well with me, however, I think it makes business more of a popularity contest in true X-factor style, ultimatley meaning that someone with a poor business model can win, whereas someone with a brilliant one can lose, dependant upon how many votes the poorer business person can yield.
Not true - the video votes only influence the outcome, as the scores returned by our panel of independent judges are the most important aspect.

We actually changed our scoring system this year to ensure that the winners aren't just those with the highest votes.

We've done this by introducing a ranking system which means that if 10 people are shortlisted, the video with the highest online votes will get '+10' added to their judges scores and so on down to '+1' for the video with the least online votes. This way, even if someone got tons more video votes than everyone else but their judges scores were the least, they wouldn't automatically win a prize. This is the fairest system we could come up with.

The video is still important though, and it's a good experience for those doing it. Plus, all the videos we receive remain in our Video Lounge for other LiveWIRE users to see and be inspired by. They might even be lucky enough to have an investor watching too...!
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fellmation fellmation is offline
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Maybe It could be one good idea, you'll be forgiven for not having a professional film made, but perhaps not for nearly deafening someone half way through! Have a bit of distance between yourself and your microphone to help prevent pops and distortion, around 6" should be ideal, and try to record in one take if you're not proficient with editing audio - if you sit with the same distance and speak at the same volume throughout.
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TyligoTrailers's Avatar TyligoTrailers TyligoTrailers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by florenceij View Post
I had a look at the Grand idea award entry form and the restricted 200 word count for each section, yet each section has about three questions (just 200 words!!) . I am not very good with summaries, I guess because I talk a lot (well sometimes). OK I'll get straight to the point.

I thought it will be great for all previous entrants to offer some useful tips to other people contemplating or keen on entering the monthly grand idea awards. Offer advise on completing the application form, the video pitch etc.

THE IDEAL SHELL LIVE WIRE GRAND IDEA WINNING ENTRY......

Have you got any business plans? Because you could start by comparing the questions from the award entry with the key parts of your business plan.
That way you could see what part of the plan matches the form, and then summaries from there. Each key subjects, such as the idea, the customers/market, Yourself, innovation/IP, etc... should be part of it.
The theme of each question is something that will come back again and again throughout your business life, asking you to bring updates at every single steps you reach, therefore a good motivation to get it sorted asap!

Remember that you want to inspire people, therefore the shorter it is the better it is gonna be as you want to keep it concised and straight to the point.

If you don't have any business plans yet, you could process the other way round, motivate yourself to write a 200 words summary for each theme/question (used for the award), and then use these summaries to write your business plan.

I won't promote enough the workshops organised by the IP centre at the British Library, as they are really really good. You should join the network and attend one of their seminars on business plan: http://www.bl.uk/bipc/
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clairehepburn's Avatar clairehepburn clairehepburn is offline
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Hello everyone

I applied for the award after reading this forum and have been shortlisted - keep an eye out for my video!

My tips for the application part of the process is to be clear honest and concise. To make the reader understand your business and more importantly your motivation behind the business.

As for the Video - I have no idea i'm just going to give it my best shot! Defiantly appreciate the sound tips - thank you.

Wish me luck
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tumestone's Avatar tumestone tumestone is offline
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When uploading a video, is there a size limit?
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lordlancaster's Avatar lordlancaster lordlancaster is offline
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There is, but we prefer to say there's a time limit of 1 MINUTE MAX.

(The absolute file size limit is 100MB)
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