Week 3 Business Team Update #1

Business Plans

Our FRC and FLL business plans were last updated for the 2020 season and were 49 and 30 pages long respectively. (Sincere apologies to the event judges.) I don’t know if the new 3-page-limit was put in place for 2021 (we never got around to updating in the chaos of last year) or if it’s new this year, but that’s quite a change for us! The students working on this transition decided to use the headings given by FIRST as the outline and adapt the existing content into the new page limit, which worked out great. They are finalizing the last of the appendices this week and then we’ll post them and ask for feedback (we know exactly what these business plans are trying to say, but do you? Let’s find out…)

Of course, the FLL business plan isn’t actually necessary but we do run FLL as a self-sustaining program so we also reworked that one into the same 3-page format. Regardless of anything else, it’s a good exercise for examining our goals, growing edges, and financial plan for reinvigorating the FLL program after it languished a bit in 2020 thanks to COVID.

In December, we held a quick student-led training session for new FRC students on how to write an email to potential sponsors to make the ask. Each participant was then assigned a short list of potential sponsors and tasked with reaching out to them. As a result of this campaign, we have four new sponsors so far with positive replies from several others that will hopefully turn into actual sponsors. Though they only have about another week to make it onto the shirts…

Chairman’s Submission Progress

Our Chairman’s team is facing a new challenge this season. We have three very experienced presenters who have been working on Chairman’s submissions for years. But all three are now seniors with exciting futures that don’t include continuing to work on Chairman’s submissions for 6328. :rofl:

So earlier this fall, our Business Student Lead put together a Shadow Chairman’s team made up of students of various ages who are attending all of our awards meetings and learning the process with the intention of taking over next year. They made the deliberate decision to include students of varying ages to ensure that the entire Chairman’s team isn’t going to graduate all at the same time in the future, making the transition between students year-to-year and the sustainability of the Chairman’s team a priority.

As for our Chairman’s submission, the Executive Summary questions are about 95% complete (need to look up some specific data points/numbers, and rework wording for one question). The essay is outlined and students are working this week to see what content from previous years can be used as a foundation before adding in new content and adapting to reflect the most recent year. We also reworked our Chairman’s Documentation Form for this year to hopefully make it easier to update and easier to read. Next step is to fill out the presentation outline, but first we’re waiting to hear (hopefully, as we’ve been led to believe, at the town hall meetings next week) whether judging for New England will be in-person or virtual since that affects how the CA presentation gets put together.

In accordance with the Open Alliance concept, we plan on sharing our CA submission once the drafts are complete. We’re also working with a friend-team to pull together a wider pilot program for CA presentation practice, so stay tuned on that front!


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