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Saturday, August 12, 2006

self evaluation for VC funding

Billions of dollars of risk capital is on the look out for bankable ideas, yet most start-ups find in reality they do not even get an acknowledgement for their applications filed( unsolicited). Take the self evaluation route to see for yrself whether yr business idea excites a VC.
Self evaluation
Try to answer the following questions, it will help you as self evaluation and for funding agencies to understand your case.
A. Nature of product/service1. What does it do?2. Who is the user?3. Can it do anything else?4. What stage of development..lab testing, on-site beta testing, has had product sales/existing customers? What is the feedback so far? How did you get your product into the test site or identify it for sale? Who arranged the deal? Pricing model? Maintenance?5. Identified any potential difficulties or negatives about the product or service?6. Competition? Who? How long in market? Direct or justsimilar? Pricing model? What is their distribution channel like?
B. Target Marketplace for the product/service1. Size of company2. Who own the IP, what is IP classified as and is it globally applicable?3. Type of company4. Geography5. Other demographic?6. Why these? Priority of the above? How manyexecutives/decision makers in these types of "ideal" companies have been spoken to directly about what's being offered, their willingness to purchase from a small, start-up company, their actual need to resolve the below business issues with some sort of urgency, what they were willing to pay to make these business issues go away, and can they. when/how would they go about getting funding for that type of pain relief?
C. Business issues that the product solves1. Main and secondary benefits of product2. What would happen if these business issues go unresolved? Is this a "must have" product/service or a "nice to have?"3. Who is the most likely contact/title that would own thebusiness issue? Why? Discuss pitfalls of working with thistitle/contact only4. ..any secondary titles?5. What else might it be able to resolve?
D. Discuss what's been done already to confirm any of the above information?
E. How do they or plan to keep track of what's been said, sent, or done to what prospect companies?1. Who's going to take care of fulfilment, follow-up, and / or sales calls once prospects have been identified?2. Company organization.who's who, doing what?
F. Discuss how they see their growth path - which below scenarios and why.1. Sell company to highest bidder as soon as possible?2. Develop relationship to distribute or sell product/service with a partner(s) under partner's branding3. Outsource manufacturing, distribution, and or sales under your name/brand?4. Sell licensing arrangements to existing, established companies in the same marketplace5. Develop own internal manufacturing, distribution, and/or sales force.
G. What are they doing to put themselves in a position to grow in any of these directions.what information are they relying upon in making these choices.

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