Miles S Nadal, Chairman, CEO, MDC Partners has thrown a million-dollar challenge to wannabe entrepreneurs – come up with a business plan and take away $1 million to set your shop. Nadal made this announcement during the session titled ‘How to Build an Agency from Scratch’ on Day Six of the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival 2010.
“We don’t care who you are in the audience, or anybody from MDC Partners, if you have an idea, send it to us in the next 120 days and we will give you $1 million to start your business,” said Nadal.
Ten plans would be shortlisted before being invited to talk with MDC. Nadal said that he wouldn’t mind if they had five great ideas, they would give away “$5 million”.
Wannabe entrepreneurs can send in their plans to firstname.lastname@example.org. “The greats” like Leo Burnett, Billl Bernbach, David Ogilvy, Frank Lowe, and Maurice and Charles Saatchi “are about two things – brains and talent” – with these words, Nadal commenced had his presentation.
He was reiterating what Chuck Porter, Chief Strategist, MDC Partners and Co-Chairman, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, who opened the session, had said while recounting his journey in entrepreneurship when he was 39. “Brains, talent, passion curiosity, and experience, in that order, are what you need to start your own agency,” affirmed Porter.
“It took us 4-5 years to come up with a mission – to produce the most talked about and written about work in the world,” he further said, adding,
“Money will follow eventually after you are recognised. You can’t set up an agency without a client. So, get attention with no money. The closer you can get to the product, the better you can do for the client.”
Porter ended his presentation with the words: “The other thing that people underplay is luck. You need it. So, best of luck.”
It was now the turn of David Droga, Founder, Creative Chairman, Droga5, to advise not to run after money. “Don’t chase the money. Money will come to you. Do it (Start your own agency). Be sincere. We need more entrepreneurs. Let’s not talk about recovery. Let’s reinvent,” Droga said.
Droga had left his job at the peak of his career to start his own agency four years ago with a mission to “want to try and make the most influential agency in the world”. “When you start your own agency, you have more chances of working with people you admire,” he said.
He had opened his presentation philosophically, stating: “Unlike Chuck, I’m still starting it. We are learning every day. Some day, we are walking forward, some day we are falling forward; till you are moving forward, it doesn’t matter.”