Project proposal about a new venture

Project proposal about a new venture

The purposes of this form are to:

  • Help you organize your thoughts on your project idea
  • Allow the professor to give you feedback on issues that you may encounter and other things you may want to think about. 

It is perfectly fine to make changes to your idea after the project proposal meeting.  You do not need to turn in a revised project proposal if you make changes, but you are welcome to come by to discuss any issues with your project at any time. 

  1. Title of venture (e.g., product name or brand name if new brand):


  1. This project involves (please put an “X” in one box below):
  New product/service that is not currently available.
  An existing product/service targeted at an underserved segment.
  An existing product distributed though a different channel (that is, a new way or place to sell a product to better serve potential customers).
  A product adapted from one country to another.
  1. This is a (please put an “X” in one box below):
  For-profit venture.
  Non-profit program or venture.
  Program to support an existing brand.  (The main purpose of this program is not so much to make money directly but rather to enhance the value of other products or services provided by the firm.  For example, iTunes makes it more convenient to download much to iPhones, iPads, and iPods.)
  1. This venture is intended as a (please put an “X” in one box below):
  New firm/organization that would be set up with its own financing.
  New venture for an existing firm.  You should do this project from the point of view of a specific firm so that you can consider the resources and brand image of the firm in question.  Please specify firm:


  1. Expected main revenue sources (please put an “X” in one or more boxes below):
  Direct sale of the product or service to end users by the firm (e.g., sales through the firm’s own web site)
  Sale of the product to consumers through wholesalers, retailers, and/or other distributors
  Sale of the product as a component to manufacturers of an end product (e.g., selected car manufacturers buy a part from the firm)
  Franchising of service operation (that is, allowing others to use your brand name and/or “know-how” in return for a percentage revenue or other fee.)
  Licensing of technology to manufacturers/developers (e.g., the firm does research and development and patents technology it invents, but instead of manufacturing, the firm sells the right to manufacturers to make the product in return for royalties).
  Advertising revenue
  Grants and/or donations (from individuals, firms, or government)
  Other –> Please specify:
  1. Do you have a rough idea of what this product or service might cost the end customer? If not, that is acceptable for this stage of the project. Please try to suggest an estimated price range, even if it is large. If applicable, please consider cost both to distributors, manufacturers if this is a component, and the end customer. Please discuss your reasoning as applicable.  


  1. Please specify any existing firms, brands, product categories, services, and/or distributors that are likely to be “close” or direct competitors against the proposed venture. That is, are there any other products, services, or distribution channels that offer very close substitutes? For example, in the beverage industry, Coca Cola and Pepsi are direct competitors, producing a number of very similar beverages.  Not all offerings have direct competition. Degrees of competition are discussed in a handout at the end of the sample project proposal.


  1. Please specify any existing firms, brands, product categories, services, and/or distributors that are likely to be intermediate level competitors against the proposed venture. That is, are there any existing offerings that are likely to serve a function somewhat similar to what you are proposing? For example, airlines and firms providing teleconferencing services both assist individuals and businesses in “getting together” for meetings, but the two industries provide services that differ greatly in their form.  Almost all offerings have some indirect competition even if there are clear strengths to this offering that competitors can’t match.



  1. Please discuss your tentative assessment of the technological feasibility of this venture if applicable. This is not a course in engineering, and you are not expected to supply the “nuts and bolts” of the actual functioning of the product so long as you have a good faith belief that the product may be feasible. However, you should have some general idea of how the technology would work. You cannot, for example, propose “negative calorie” snacks unless you have some broad idea of how these would work. You may want to briefly look into the basic science if possible. For example, it is unlikely that it will be possible to produce a purely solar power driven car. The main criterion here is that the idea should be plausible.


  1. Do you see any significant actual or potential ethical issues and/or concerns with this venture? Many ventures do involve significant ethical problems. You do NOT need to “invent” ethical concerns if none are apparent. However, products or services that represent a significant risk to the user, pollute excessively, or whose use may have consequences that a user may later regret (e.g., gambling ventures) are likely to raise ethical questions. Products that are deceptive in nature–e.g., vitamin supplements that really do no harm but do not provide any significant benefits, either, are troublesome. NOTE: Even when a venture may raise ethical questions, benefits to the customer may under some circumstances outweigh the ethical problems. Thus, ethical concerns do not necessarily invalidate a venture, but they should be acknowledged if significant.


  1. Do you see any “chicken-and-egg” problems with this venture? (A chicken-and-egg problem occurs when two things each require the other to occur first in order for the product or service to be workable.  For example, it is difficult to get consumers to buy electric vehicles before charging stations are widely available, but it is also difficult to get hotels, parking centers, and other businesses to set up charging facilities before a large number of customers will be attracted by these). If so, do you have any ideas at this point to address these?  (It is OK if you do not have a solution at this point.)  (The vast majority of ventures do not have significant chicken-and-egg problems).


  1. If this involves a tangible product, how do you envision that it would be distributed? (E.g., direct sale on firm web site, selling through upscale supermarkets, selling through full service bicycle stores, selling through discount stores such as Target and Walmart)


  1. If applicable, how do you envision getting the word out about the product—i.e., creating awareness among potential customers that the product exists and what it can do for them? (E.g., advertising on the Food Network, advertising in the sports section of local newspapers, paid placement in movies, advertising  on Facebook to males between ages 20-45 who lift weights, viral campaigns, recruiting fraternity brothers to spread the word, demonstrating the product at farmers’ markets, sponsoring concerts).   


  1. Depending on your type of project, please describe the product/service, the new targeted market, the new distribution channel, or product adapted from one country to another. Please be sure that you clearly identify significant differences from what is currently available.


  1. What does the current venture offer to the end customer and, if applicable, manufacturers, that is not readily and/or conveniently available in the current market? Please discuss the value provided. (Please note that if you are proposing to make a “better” product than what is currently available, you should give a specific explanation of why this product will be better—e.g., investment in additional research and development and/or use of higher quality components).