Babson Professor Stephen Spinelli, Case Director
Melissa Martinelli, Case Writer
Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship
© Babson College, 2006.
The partners at NextWorth are intent on crafting a high-potential model in a space characterized by low barriers to entry; online auctions. While the dynamic space certainly presents a host of opportunities, building a business with distinct competitive advantages and barriers has been a real challenge. Their journey leads the team through a number of iterations of an auction facilitator concept that weaves in and out of both the physical and virtual commercial modalities; from a virtual eBay-powered seller to a physical warehouse concept, and from an in-home auction consultancy to an arbiter of high-value goods for non-profits and electronics retailers. Identifying the core value proposition with this concept-test-modify strategy is one of the key aspects of this case. The case also examines both the key personal drivers of the would-be entrepreneurs, and the business model variables that shape their fluid mission. The NextWorth case concludes with their decision to raise $500,000 to fuel a concept involving iPods and the retailer Radio Shack. It looks like the best opportunity to date, but given their willingness to change and adapt to new insights, how do they pitch their idea to potential investors?
Teaching Objective: To present an example of a student team embarking on a journey to develop a profitable web-based model in a highly fragmented industry.
Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Apprenticeship, Student entrepreneur, Start-up n Opportunity assessment and shaping n Incubator, Business Plan, Start-up capital, Investor perspectives, Internet, On line auctions
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