When looking for a focus study area course to further expand my knowledge in September of 2020 and having had a negative experience in the finance sector, I was drawn to invest time and resources in a different area. Dr. Brent Sebold’s class has been a course for a beginner like me interested in engaging in entrepreneurship opportunities, behaviors, and challenges. Even with the pandemic, it is a very interactive class.

Engineering a Venture

Unlike other classes that may not have all assignments and tasks posted, Dr. Sebold’s FSE301 class had a clear structure from the start. We could have started working on our ventures from day one which comes in handy for a lot of students.

The methodology implemented in the class eased my process to learn the basics of a successful venture. We started with a draft of a topic that highly interested me.

Although for some it may seem relatively easy to point out areas they are very interested in, I discovered that because of the over-dedication to school I had not developed areas of my own personal interest.

Indirectly this made me examine my lifestyle and focus on areas that could need improvement. This is how I kept refining my concept and landed on Feast, an easy-enjoy meal service.

Networking and Interviewing for Validation

A key part of the course was to hold a plethora of interviews to obtain validation and feedback from potential users.

At first, it was very challenging for me to reach out to people in an area I didn’t have as much experience in, but after putting one step in front of the other I was able to get 30+ interviews.

It is fundamental to mention the value of contacting potential users. I had a very different idea of what my venture was going to look like from that of my final “product.”

This is one of the first lessons out of the class. Talking and/or interacting with your key customer is essential.

Feedback and Revision

With experience in data analysis, I opted for creating a document that would easily track the responses I got from my interviews. I created an excel document with key areas and assigned weights to these so that when I had an interview with a potential user I could ask them to quickly fill the template in. With this, I got a score and could numerically see the areas that needed improvement. From here I revised my solution and improved my evidence-based pitch deck.

Final Remarks

FSE301 has been a highly enriching experience for me. It has always been in my personal plans to engage in entrepreneurship and generate an idea so that one day I can have a company of my own. This course was my first step toward this personal goal. I will continue to maintain the valuable connections and professional relationships I have created in this class.   – Valeria Flores


You can check out the startup here:

Link to public website: https://vnflore2.wixsite.com/feast

Pitch Deck: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1A1FlJFJCpdK2Xnrt1sX3WpPryyMmMXZRk1OfZeJ1_GY/edit?usp=sharing

Pitch video: https://youtu.be/vOAWty7XBFk