Thoughts on startups by investors that
fund them & entrepreneurs that run them

Blog Archives

These 10 Key Elements Make a Business Plan Fundable

People ask me if they really need ANY business plan, unless they are looking for an outside investor. In fact, a business plan is needed more by you than investors, as the blueprint for your company, team communication, and progress metrics. Things that make it investment-grade for outside investors will also benefit you, since you are the ultimate investor.

First

Read more >

10 Things I Look for When Reading a Business Plan

Posted by on May 29th, 2012

It’s the end of May as I write this so I’ve just finished my annual April-May business plan marathon reading more than 100 business plans for my angel investment group and four different business plan contests. This seems like a good point to summarize here what I look for in a business plan.

Don’t push adjectives. Let me assign my

Read more >

Copywrong: Brilliant, Disruptive, Illegal Business Plans

Entrepreneurs tend to focus on opportunity rather than risk, and rightly so.  As Steve Blank has written, at its core, a startup is an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.  In the lexicon of the lean startup movement, once “product-market fit” has been achieved, the focus shifts to scale and execution as the startup matures

Read more >

Angel Investors: Watch for Business Plan Competitions

I just finished three days as a judge for the Rice University million-dollar business plan competition, which was held at the Rice campus in Houston last Thursday through Saturday. If you’re an angel investor and you aren’t aware of business plan competitions, maybe you should be.

The finals were very impressive. As the six finalist companies went through their pitches,

Read more >

Pull Investors to Your Business Plan With a Summary

Modern investors love to first read a two-page summary of your business plan, formatted like a glossy marketing collateral sheet, with text well laid out in columns and sidebars, and a couple of relevant graphics. This one had better grab their attention, or they won’t look further.

You may have already found several articles, web pages, or books about writing

Read more >

10 Sure Ways to Get Your Plan Trashed by Investors

After struggling to create your business plan for months, every entrepreneur likes to think that their document is inspirational and will reach someone who is smart enough to see the brilliance of the idea, intuitive enough to recognize their business acumen, and enthusiastic enough to offer the money required to make it happen.

Every serious investor, on the other hand,

Read more >

Reflections on Reviewing 30 Plans on Gust.com in a Day

I was never one of those people who rushed to get everything done early. I’m as likely as you are to put things off. So this morning I’m looking at 30 plans on Gust to be discussed this evening when we meet as the Willamette Angel Conference to take the first steps towards an investment decision in May. I started after

Read more >

Using your business plan

Business plans come in several flavors and you will need each of them to successfully raise money. I’ll briefly describe the forms of your business plan, but more importantly, explain how to avoid common mistakes in using your plans.

Elevator Pitch – A two-minute verbal description of your business. Illustrate the problem you are solving and how your solution will delight customers.

Read more >

5 Ways A Business Plan is a Promise, not a Product

One of the questions I hear most frequently is how to find consultants to help with developing a business plan for investors. Often it seems as if people are thinking that the right prose and formatting could make the difference between investor interest or lack of it.