When you start an FTC team, consider creating a business plan. A business plan helps you keep track of the costs of having a team. It also helps you determine what parts you can purchase for your robot and what competitions you can participate in. The main parts of the business plans are income (the money you have to spend) and expense (the cost of what you need to buy).
Tracking your Money
When you start your business plan, you want to figure out the major costs of your team. You might want to consider coming up with the following categories to track your costs:
Registration / Competition
Team Registration When you start an FTC team you will need to register with the FIRST organization and purchase the initial set of parts.
Registration with FIRST is $275.
Team Competition Fee $0-$300
You want to join FIRST because this will enable you to compete and get your kit of parts. Depending on what state you live in, you will want to find the competition schedule and the cost for registration.
NXT Brick $265
Samantha Module $85
Spare Parts $0-$300
Next, you will need to purchase a Tetrix kit of parts, the Samantha module and the NXT brick. You may also want to budget some money for spare parts such as spare motors, chain and sprocket, etc. The tetrix kit is the main set of parts that help you build your robot. The Samantha module is what helps your robot connect to the field
T-shirts, buttons, banner $100-$300
Next, you want to outline the major spirit expenses such as t-shirts, banner or decorations for your pit. The pit is an area at competition that you work on your robot. Teams often bring a banner or decorations to identify their team space.
Once you figure out how much money it will cost, you need to figure out how you are going to raise the funds. We suggest you check with FIRST to see if there are any grants available. We were able to get grants from GM Foundation and Consumers Energy. Each team member may also need to pay a portion of the fee to participate.
Next, you need to brainstorm how to raise money. We had success by reaching out to company sponsors and by having bake sales at our school and can drives.
Good luck making a business plan and have fun!
The Purple Proton Blog Team (Zack)
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