The following is an interview conducted with Doron Barbalat, who was a finalist with Clear Path Robotics for the 2011 TiEQuest Competition. Doron was kind enough to share his experiences as he went through the competition and offered some insight for future participants and aspiring entrepreneurs.
How was your experience at TiEQuest?
The experience was challenging but very, very rewarding. If you put a lot into TiEQuest, there is tons that you can get back out of it.
How would you say TiEQuest is different from other competitions?
TieQuest differs because of the length and involvement. Whereas many other competitions are quick, over a day or weekend, TiEQuest is a multi-stage process over many months, and includes time with mentors and a ton of feedback to help perfect your pitches and plans.
What do you think aspiring/current entrepreneurs stand to gain from this?
The entire process will expose you to mentors, expert judges and major challenges. It all helps you become confident in your abilities as an entrepreneur, gain real advice and experience, and improve your business plan. There is also an opportunity to earn real investment in your business.
What were you expecting of the competition?
I was expecting an opportunity to test and prove our business plan, but the amount of feedback and mentorship involved was a positive surprise.
What really surprised you about the competition?
I was surprised by the size. TiEQuest attracts a ton of very interesting start-ups from many stages and a variety of entrepreneurs.
Any advice for upcoming participants?
My main advice would be to look at TiEQuest as a learning opportunity. There are considerable rewards in the finals stage, but all participants can take away the reward of being exposed to great mentors and judges.