I spent Thursday at the World Innovation Forum in Barcelona. I had the opportunity to speak to a great group of entrepreneurs and some politicians and regulators about the process of pitching a business plan to professional investors. What does it take to communicate a business plan in order to raise money?
- Simple – Anybody should be able to understand it. It should use simple language.
- Describe a problem – an opportunity is opinion. A problem is a fact, it is tangible. A business plan that describes existing customer pain describes something real.
- Present the people – The founder, the employees and the advisors of the business are real. Their experience is real. Describing why past experience demonstrates ability to sell, to manage software development, to manage invoicing, accounts payable, recruiting and execution is tangible. This gives credibility to the plan.
- Valuation – You are asking for money. You have to put some thought into what your business is worth today and what it can be worth in the future. What comparable companies exist? What deals have been done? What valuation multiples have been used ($ per user, EBIT multiple, $ per patent)?
The winning companies
We worked with eight companies that were selected to pitch to the venture capital panel on Friday. Check them out. I give my 3-4 word summary of each business based on what I took from their pitch. I enjoyed hearing some great passion and good ideas that will make the world a better place.
- Mobile social gaming Digital Fun (200,000 active gamers in their game Ancient Legion) (Market leader Zynga valued at $5 Billion)
- Making comics digital Robot Media (over 1 million downloads)
- Tool for project collaboration Teambox (27,600 companies use this tool)
- Mobile application recommendation engine Bubiloop
- Community for sailors Bloosee
- Anti-counterfeiting for big clothing brands BCN Touch
- Mobile tour guide for cultural landmarks Musetrek
- Visual search engine Buzzar
Other resources on Business Plans
- Starting a new venture at the Entrepreneurship Hub at Imperial College London
- How to raise startup financing by Ben Yoskovitz at Instigator Blog
- The business plan by Brad Feld at Feld Thoughts
- The four cornerstones of every business plan by Akira Hirai at Startup Professionals Blog
- The seven elements of a business plan at Entrepreneur.com
- How not to write a business plan by David Cowan at Who Has Time for This blog
- The Elevator Pitch Builder at Harvard Business School
- Pitching to Professional Investors IESE Technical Note by Conor Neill
- 10 things you should know before you pitch a VC by David Rose at TED.com
- An introduction to pitching angel investors by Ben Yoskovitz at Instigator Blog
- The 10/20/30 rule by Guy Kawasaki
- 12 ways to blow your elevator pitch by North Venture Partners
- Pitching to VCs by Baris Karodogan
What other great resources on business plans and pitching to investors are there? I would love comments that provide any other useful resources out on the web. Thanks.