Collaboration vs. Competition


I am currently a coach in the NYU Stern Business Competition. I focus on the Social Venture side – including ventures that have a social mission and are for-profit, non-profit, and hybrids. Candidates will spend the year honing their pitch and plan with our coaching and rounds of judging. Social Venture Competition winners get the $100,000 Satter Family prize.

In round one of coaching, candidates used Angel Fund software to profile their ventures. The core idea, market analysis, basic numbers, and competition are all analyzed concisely on the sheet. What’s not there? Collaborators. My co-coach Janet Becker, noted this gaping hole and disadvantage to those profiling their ventures.

The signs of silo-ed business strike again. It made me think back to Cheryl’s talk with She Says at the WeWork space.

What would it be like if ventures were forced to think about collaboration and integration from the first steps of conceiving their concepts and viability? How would that change the game? Tech, traditional, and social ventures alike would benefit from the analysis that offers integration and innovation with it. Let’s stop creating the wheel and dig into the complexity of our overlaps and ability to serve each other.


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