Tech Ventures

Lab2 Venture Rocked!

It was something new. It was something we’d never really tried before. Those attempts are supposed to be courageous. Right?

Well, I’m not sure this qualifies, but it sure was fun.

It’s been well over a week since our Lab2Venture Open House, and I still have “Separate Ways” and “Bad to the Bone” as the ringtone and notification on my phone. I’m not ready to put all of the memories away just yet.

Nearly 200 folks wandered the halls and lobby of our office building, chatting, looking at posters, sharing ideas, and making new connections. Elvis was there; so was KISS. We were looking to Rock the economy. We wanted an open house, and we got one.

There was a DJ, as well as great food and beer (and wine). We even had a VIP lounge hosted by “Hoff” himself serving mocktails. It was an unconventional way to get the scientific community and the entrepreneurial community in one place—talking to one another.

Many of our partners were there to just be available to meet any scientist, technologist, inventor, or entrepreneur that might stroll up and say “hi.” It was all about flow, interaction, and collaborative collisions.

I got in over 30,000 steps that day. It was full. We are now looking toward the Deal Stream Summit in October, which means we’re looking for business plans. Well, we’re always looking for business plans, really.

Spread the word.

It’s still a bit early to determine what “deals” may have started there, but the activity was electric.…

Technology Ventures Corporation’s Deal Stream Summit in New Mexico is the Region’s Premier Venture Event

It really is.

We will hold our 22nd Deal Stream Summit on October 6, 2015, at the Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum in Albuquerque.

From our press release:

Technology-based business opportunities that demonstrate outstanding potential for commercialization, innovation, and investment will be highlighted, presented in three separate flights over the afternoon.

“The Deal Stream Summit is New Mexico’s venue for showcasing exciting technology-based investment opportunities originating at the U.S. Department of Energy laboratories and other research institutes,” said John Freisinger, president and CEO of TVC. “It has served as a vehicle to facilitate private investment partnerships among emerging technologies within the lab, startups, and innovators.

“New Mexico has enjoyed unexpected growth in our entrepreneurial economy due to the intentional and coordinated growth in four factors: access to ideas, the availability of talent, intelligent capital, and the supportive community.”

In addition to an exciting agenda for investors, the Summit will kick off the Kauffman Foundation’s third annual Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship, which brings mayors and entrepreneurship experts together to discuss ways to promote startup activity. Its theme, “Recipes for Growth,” will explore the role of local assets in supporting entrepreneurial activity.

Albuquerque is home to the world-renowned International Balloon Fiesta.   Visitors from all over the world come to Albuquerque the first week in October to celebrate the beautiful wind-directed sport of ballooning.  With hundreds of balloons taking flight, Deal Stream Summit attendees will be delighted with a panoramic view of Balloon Fiesta Park from the event site of the Balloon Fiesta Museum.

This annual Summit is focused on starting, building, and financing research-based technology, as well as startups and entrepreneurship from the labs. It has also allowed hundreds of companies to receive funding and fueled the commercialization of laboratory R&D and IP. To date, one-third of the presenting companies have received funding a noteworthy achievement and an unmatched success rate.…

The 2015 Deal Stream Summit = more of our history

Unlike our Lab2Venture open house we held in May, our Deal Stream Summit (held Oct 6th) was most certainly not new.  Nor was it something we’d never tried before.  Since 1993, TVC has been presenting investor-ready companies, giving them a stage so that they can give a 10-minute pitch as to why you should give them a bunch of money. 

Prior to throwing (OK, not really throwing) them on stage, however, the selected companies go through a meticulous preparation process.  Advisor teams are assembled, and their presentation is examined and reexamined.  They practice (dry run), evaluate, then prior to the crowd showing up, they then have a dress rehearsal.

It’s what we do.  We match companies ready for investment with the right investors.  We’ve been doing it for some time now.  It’s been called the Equity Capital Symposium (1993-2011); it’s been held over several days, consisting of not only the presenters, but also informative panels and keynotes; it’s been at the Hyatt downtown, the Embassy Suites, and now, for the past two years, it’s been at the Balloon Museum. It’s a little over a half-day in length now, and we call it the Deal Stream Summit.

Regardless of what we call it, or how long it may last, TVC employs a successful commercialization model that connects innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors nationwide to create companies and take federal laboratory inventions to the marketplace.  And, between 1993 and 2015, TVC figured prominently in the production of more than $1.2 billion in venture capital investments, more than 121 new high-tech companies, and more than 13,500 new jobs.

Although the primary vehicle for showcasing both seed and early-stage companies is TVC’s Deal Stream Summit, we do this every day, in one form or another.

To date, 30 percent of the presenting companies have received funding—a noteworthy achievement and an unmatched success rate.

It may not be new, but it is consistent. We’re good with that.…

Writing a Business Plan: The Conclusion

This is the 9th and final post in our “Writing a Business Plan” series.

See… isn’t writing a business plan easy?  Well, it probably wasn’t that easy.  There are just a few more things to touch on now that you have your plan written out. First, you’ll note that I didn’t say “finished” or “done” in that last sentence.  For full disclosure, I have to tell you that a business plan is never actually complete.  You’ll hear the term “living document” tossed around because your plan will never really stop changing and growing.

Things change that will necessitate updating your plan. Often they are assumptions that no longer apply, but they can be caused by just about anything: changes in the marketplace, competitors, technology shifts, funding possibilities, customer requests, new partners–anything really.  So, be prepared to go in and change your plan.  You can consider this version as “done,” but you should already be working on the next version.

What You Get

You’ve finished all the sections, so now is the time to go back and finish the executive summary.  You’ll have a complete and appropriate summary of your plan.  From now on, every time you change part of the plan, you’ll have to go back to the summary and see if the changes affect anything. It can be a pain, but it’s a useful process to keep on top of the changes in your business.

Your new plan is now also the basis for two other business documents.  You can now generate your Pitch Deck and your One-Pager. Both of these documents will use parts of the business plan as their base.

With your completed business plan you can earnestly start talking with investors.  When you’re asked for a business plan, you can say “I’ll email it!”  Don’t start blanketing the world with your full plan though. Receiving multi-megabyte files that you didn’t ask for is more annoying than anything else.

What To Include

You’ve gone back and updated your executive summary.  I can’t stress that enough. Do it constantly.  Of all the sections, that’s the one that needs to be correct.

A tip that I recommend is to have a separate one-pager in addition to the executive summary.  The executive summary tends to run long and can be a bit bland. It’s usually in the same format as the rest of the plan and a bit standard.  That’s not a bad thing when you’re including a full plan. 

But when somebody wants an introduction to your business, and they ask you to send them an executive summary, send a one-pager AND the summary.  The one-pager is an “infomercial” version of your summary. It’s got flash, style, a call-to-action, and some formatting to make it interesting while making the exciting bits stand out.  Include highlights from the summary, a few images, and your logo.

A pitch deck is another very useful document to have ready to go.  But the trick is to have several versions prepared and ready to go.  I like to have at least 3 different versions.  First, I’ll have a “cold intro” version. The “cold” version assumes that the reader knows absolutely nothing about the company. It will have a lot more words, information, and descriptions. This is what you’d send to your cold calls and brief introduction contacts.  The second version is the “presentation” version. 

This version will have practically no text – it’s all highlights and images.  This is the one used for presenting to potential investors.  I recommend having no more than 12 words on each slide, with 8 being better. Keep the audience interested in your pitch and use the slides to reinforce your message. 

The third version is a combination of the above.  Keep the slides short and informative, but not overwhelming. It’s a multi-page version of the one-pager.  Once you have those ready, don’t be afraid of making individual versions for each situation or investor.  Take the time to customize the deck to match the audience; doing just a little research can make a huge difference.

For all of these documents, I recommend keeping a version number in the file names.  To not get too technical, my version numbers …