Today I would like to share the best program we have found to launch your business and highly increase the probability of success, Connect’s Springboard program.
Here is their summary of what they do:
Springboard offers free guidance and development to life sciences, clean-tech, high tech and consumer product companies in all stages of development, ranging from concept, technology transfer to start-up, to companies that have reached a significant inflection point. Innovators are matched with Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) with related domain expertise and experience in raising capital and/or growing companies.
More impressive though is this fact:
Of 105 companies that graduated the Springboard program in the last 3 years, 65% are still in business and they have raised $96 million in capital.
The program is designed for companies in 5-stages: Concept, Spinout, Product Development, Commercialization, or Inflection Point.
Here is how it worked for us:
Early May we applied
May 22nd we had an intake meeting with Ruprecht von Butlar, Director of Commerialization Programs, and our future EIR (mentor), Ken Liu. At the meeting we covered our concept, our goals, where we were at, our rough, early pro-forma, and our current ppt presentation. We were accepted into the program right after this meeting and Ken signed on to be our mentor. Ken has actively contributed to 5 IPO’s with a $1.3 Billion market value (Linkedin Profile). This was the first thing that really impressed us. Having this caliber of advisor that is volunteering to help us was amazing and is what makes this program so effective. You can search other EIRs here.
June – August was the intense and highly productive part of the program. Ken worked with us on re-hauling our financials from scratch, positioning our business model for success, developing our funding presentation, making us fundable, and preparing us for VC pitches. Also through the program we have extended our network into some of the most successful and influential business people in San Diego.
The key to making this program successful is to have specific tangible goals. The companies who don’t finish or are not accepted have vague or unspecific objectives. Our #1 goal was to make our company fundable and get funded.
August 19th - Final presentation Dry Run. The final part/graduation of the program once your goals are met is to have a presentation with local executives. Before that though, you have a dry-run/practice with a small group to get feedback and make sure the final presentation is compelling. This one meeting helped us realize the key aspects of our presentation that we were missing: stories, numbers, execution, valuation, etc.
September 26th – Final Presentation/Panel. The final step is to present to a panel of seasoned CEOs, executives, VCs, and angel investors. We spent hours honing and preparing for this presentation and received great reviews across the board that we wouldn’t have received otherwise and it was a tough crowd.
The panel included:
Tom Briggs – Jones Day law firm, Tim O’Brien – Stradling, Yocca, Martin Kleckner – Tech Coast Angels, Mark (Schmiddy) Schmid – Entrepreneurs Organization/CEO of Form Function, Andy Laats – President/Co-founder of Nixon, Owen Adams – Former Product Mgr from Brickfish, Norman Dowling – CEO of Got Access, Steven Cox – CEO/Founder of Takelessons.com, Matt Browne – CEO of Integral Impressions, Chris Kameir – CEO of Colizer.com, Chuck Longanecker – CEO of Digital Telepathy, Steve Gintowt – Competitor Group, Bill Lynch – Profinance.com, Roy DiBenerdini – CEO of IION Corp, Ingrid Sanders – Active Network, Julio Aragon – Wasserman Group, Mike Sick – Sick Consulting, Greg Kahn, Ken Liu.
So needless to say it was a tough group with decades of experience raising capital, running companies.
I recommend this program to any any every startup, entrepreneur, or early stage company in San Diego. Feel free to email me other questions or just apply online.
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