2023 Most Disruptive Business School Startups: BidBee, Emory University (Goizueta)


Emory University, Goizueta Business School

Industry: Event Management Software

Founding Student Name(s): Patrick Latting

Brief Description of Solution: BidBee is an event marketplace tool that allows event planners to connect with event vendors. Planners can find all the help they need, and vendors can take advantage of all the jobs they want.

Funding Dollars: $6,000

What led you to launch this venture? I started BidBee in response to a problem that I had experienced years earlier. In 2021, I was working on a startup in my hometown when I was immensely challenged by the planning process of the startup’s first gala. Planning the event monopolized everyone on my team’s time and was not price transparent. We ended up spending more time and more money than we had originally planned; the process was a massive headache.

A year later, I interned in procurement for a renewable developer and was exposed to some processes that would have made planning that gala much easier. I had one of those “There must be a better way” moments and ended up writing the business plan for a solution. That solution ended up being BidBee – a few twists and turns later.

What has been your biggest accomplishment so far with venture? My biggest accomplishment during this process has been getting the platform launched. The BidBee platform was supposed to be finished in early summer. I ended up with a runaway timeline that greatly extended the development process; launching the platform before the rush of classes began was a significant managerial and emotional hurdle. Thankfully, the platform was finished with enough time left to test with 50 beta users.

How has your business-related major helped you further this startup venture? Having a business-related major was helpful primarily because of the exposure to corporate history. Every class has examples of businesses trying both successful and unsuccessful strategies. After a while, you start to understand what kind of things are good ideas or bad ideas. Notably, you start to see the kinds of mistakes that incumbents make? Obviously, there is still a tremendous amount of ambiguity, but it is helpful to learn nonetheless.

Which business class has been most valuable in building your startup and what was the biggest lesson you gained from it? Managerial Accounting was my most valuable class. That was the class that taught me how to properly budget, which I ended up using almost every day. When conditions change, so does your financial plan. Startup conditions change a lot.

What business professor made a significant contribution to your plans and why? My Managerial Accounting professor, Jeff Byrne, made a significant contribution to my venture. He is an entrepreneur himself, so I naturally showed him every new business plan I wrote. The most helpful kind of feedback is not affirmation of good ideas, but the identification and destruction of bad ones.

He centered his class around a quote from Sun Tzu: “Those who are victorious, plan effectively and change decisively.”

What founder or entrepreneur inspired you to start your own entrepreneurial journey? How did he or she prove motivational to you? I was most inspired by Ben Horowitz, specifically by his book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things. He paints a picture of a crazy exciting, risky, rewarding, and stomach-wrenching lifestyle that I found appealing for some reason. The best simile that I can come up with is that he presented entrepreneurship as the closest modern-day equivalent to being an explorer.

What is your long-term goal with your startup? Sell it! I want to do this over and over again; I would prefer not to stay married to one business.

How has your local startup ecosystem contributed to your venture’s development and success? The most direct contributor in the startup ecosystem was The Hatchery, hands down. They managed the incubator program that I participated in over the summer and took their jobs very seriously. In addition, they made wonderful introductions.


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