On behalf of White Elephant Post (WEP), I would like to thank the sum of individuals associated with the Crowell School of Business for making such an event possible. We are grateful for your wise counsel and direction, as well as your desire to create opportunity not only for our company but also for future students.

As a finalist in Biola’s first Startup Competition, it seemed reasonable to write an experiential piece on the journey, while answering our company’s most frequently asked questions. My goal in this post is to provide some first-hand insights for the next wave of contestant submissions as next year’s Startup Competition is planned.

Be a Thinker

Many peers ask where the idea originated. It came from a problem. One of my favorite quotes states, “For every problem, there is a solution.” I started journaling every problem, idea or invention regardless of the quality or practicality.

My encouragement here is to not wait for the next competition or perfect idea but to start thinking. I actually believe it is a skill you can practice. My journal went from an idea a week to a couple of ideas every day.

White Elephant Post Logo

Self-Aware Team

You are about to work with a team. As a student, I can tell you that your Startup team is not the same as your group project. I know you can draw insight from these experiences, but they are simply not the same. Learn how you and your team members work with others. My favorite assessment that focuses on teams is the DiSC Profile where I score as Influence (the otter) and Dominance (the lion).

Keep in mind that the Startup Competition’s business plan is different from a normal group project. It’s about the company you’re creating and must be a cohesive document. The judges want to gain insight into your company's thinking, culture, and behaviors.

Kayla Harrington is a student in the Crowell School of Business at Biola University. She led her team, White Elephant Post, to the first-place finish in the inaugural Biola Startup Competition. In this post, she shares her thoughts about her experience.