Charles Allen | BT-DT Clothing
We've posed a few questions to our contestants to give you a better idea about who they are and what their idea is about.
We'll interview a new contestant each week and this week, we're talking to Charles Allen about his BT-DT Clothing line.
What's your idea all about?
My idea is that the tourist can buy a shirt at any Tourist attractions, i-sites, hostels, and possibly rentals all over NZ. The shirts space to put iron-on transfers or stamps, which you receive when you have done an attraction so that you can tell your story to others. The idea is to have the attractions, which are part of the idea, to give tourist with a BTDT t-shirt discounts on the attraction. Each shirt will have a unique number on it possibly in a QR code, with which the tourist can logon to the BT-DT website and share their activities to Facebook and other blogs etc. But why would the attractions etc. want to be apart of this idea? Firstly, they would make profit on the sale of clothing to tourists. Secondly, they would get free advertising on shirt with stamps or transfers on it, and free advertising when a customer posts on FB through BT-DT site. This idea helps the tourist industry of NZ by promoting attractions to the rest of the world through the desire of people to tell others that they have been there done that. My question to anyone is, in all the places you have visited how can you prove you have "Been there-Done that" and got the t-shirt?
Why did you enter and do you think you have what it takes to win it all?
I entered the competition with my idea thinking that it would be cool to get through a few of the stages. After having talked to a few friends who entered, I didn't think that my idea was really anything particularity special. But now having done a fair bit of research and a bunch of good positive feedback, I have realized the potential of the idea. I think that I have some chance of winning, but some of the other top 10 ideas are pretty incredible.
How did the practice pitch evening help you with the real pitch you gave to our judges?
The practice pitch evening was a huge help. The two guys really helped me to stay focused on the main point of the idea and not to waft. The practice pitch helped prepare for what the actual one was going to be like. I would highly recommend everyone in the future competitions to go to this evening.
What have you learned so far through the Market Validation process?
I have learned a lot about how careful I have to be with starting a business and can't just rush into setting it up the way I think it will work well. I have also learned that I need to actually see what the customers want, and be willing to change my idea to fit with them.
What have you done with your $1k prize?
So far I have put the $1000 into the business' bank account; I have also used some of it to get some trademarks on a product name.
And finally, can you tell us why it's important for others like you to enter Innovate next year?
I think this whole process is such a great process to learn even if you don't win. It would be easy to start the business the way you want it to be, but if you don't have the correct procedures and don't know what your customers want then the business will fail.