HOTB Software Solutions
HOTB is a highly experienced software development company that provides in-kind angel capital to startup entrepreneurs with a viable technology based business. HOTB helps startups bridge the gap between their friends and family round and their venture capital round by subsidizing expensive technology needs. HOTB specializes in building custom software platforms to provide certainty of execution, experience, credibility, security and compliance. Additionally, HOTB Ventures has been formed for instances of passive investment when software development is not needed.

Manatt
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP is known for quality, for extraordinary commitment to clients, for integrated, relationship-based services, and for a range of capabilities typically found only in boutique firms. We are progressive and entrepreneurial compared to other major firms, and we are deeply committed to diversity, to public service, to involvement in the communities we serve and to excellence in all we do.

TriNet
Tech companies partner with TriNet Passport to compete for top talent by using our bundled HR products that cover the core services of payroll, fortune 100 benefits, risk and compliance, a scalable HR team all on a cloud platform. TriNet reduces the time businesses spend managing HR and administrative issues while providing enterprise-grade cloud capabilities. This enables entrepreneurs and management to focus on what’s important from raising funds to driving revenue. Join hundreds of executives in high tech who have experienced the TriNet Passport difference, working for companies in hardware, software, SaaS and telecommunications. Contact choy.chew@trinet.com for more information.

Eureka
The Eureka Building is a 3-acre technology campus in Irvine, California designed to help accelerate innovation. Founded in 2014 by Peter Polydor, our goal is to support local entrepreneurship by giving innovative companies and entrepreneurs in Orange County a home that is centrally located and easy to access. Through partnerships we are more than just a home, but are a support network hosting startup events while fostering mentorship relationships with our partners all within one of the most creative spaces in the region.

CrashLabs
CRASHLABS IS A VIBRANT COWORKING AND EVENTS COMMUNITY THAT ENHANCES WORK/LIFE BALANCE FOR THE NEW ECONOMY OF UNTETHERED WORKERS. CRASHLABS OFFERS CREATIVE AND FLEXIBLE SPACES SUCH AS OPEN DESKS, DEDICATED DESKS, PRIVATE OFFICES, AND EVENTS SPACE THAT SERVE EVERYONE FROM THE INDIVIDUAL TO CORPORATIONS.

Real Office Centers
At ROC you’ll find a cohesive and progressive working environment with professional support for entrepreneurs, innovators, and today’s leaders. Beyond merely providing the physical workspace, we contribute to your capital growth by facilitating innovation, inspiration, and collaboration. With professional support services, educational events, and a stimulating environment, ROC is where you and your company will grow. Our open-source work environment and friendly staff complete with private receptionists keep business running smoothly. ROC handles day-to-day operations and facility management so your company can focus on what it does best.

What Investors Want to Learn From Your Business Plan, by Sabrina Parsons

Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2013-11-18

Founder Insight gives you feedback from the startup trenches.

Never underestimate the power of a great business plan. Incorporating all the right elements into your plan can take you from a simple idea, to a VC funded company. So, if you're serious about making it big, it's best not to skimp on the details.

Fortunately, services like LivePlan are there to make drafting a business plan a little easier. In the post below, LivePlan CEO, Sabrina Parsons, outlines how draft a business plan that will effectively sell your business to investors and seal the deal you're after. 

What Investors Want to Learn From Your Business Plan was originally published on the LivePlan.com blog.

 

Your business concept is awesome and you know it. But you need startup funds and a way to convince investors that they’ll see a return on investing in your business. The thought of putting together a business plan that will effectively “sell” your business concept to seasoned investors is intimidating, but it’s also essential in getting the funding you desire. A well rounded business plan will provide you with valuable insight into your business, its potential for success, and the areas in which you may want to fine-tune your operating model.

 

Keep It Simple, Shorty

You always hear, “keep it simple, Stupid” or “KISS” and that goes for an effective business plan as well. But don’t be stupid, instead be smart, short, and sweet. Ten pages or less, absolutely. No one wants to read a really long plan.

In fact, ideally I don’t think you need much beyond great financials and an impressive executive summary. Potential investors are going to ask for whatever additional information they’re interested in whether you’ve written ten pages or 100. If you’ve done your homework and put together an impressive, tight little package, then you’re going to be in great shape. No one wants to read a 50 page business plan.

If your motivation is funding, they’re going to ask for the specific additional information they want. Your plan is more likely to be too long (I’ll call it a data dump) than too short. Too short would mean you’re missing critical information.

 

Do Your Homework, Then Practice Brevity

Just because you’re writing a succinct (and therefore effective) business plan that hits on the critical elements for potential investors doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do copious homework in preparing that nice, little plan. You absolutely should. Especially when it comes to knowing your financials. The easiest and most accurate way to do this is to build the financials from the bottom up. If it’s a new business, then start by determining your addressable market, then what percent of that market you are going to get, how much are they going to spend (lifetime value), and how much is it going to cost you to get them? If you can answer these questions accurately for the first twelve months, year two, and year three, then your financials are going to be in a good, realistic state for potential investors to pick them apart and (hopefully) like what they see.

 

The Critical Elements of an Effective Business Plan and Pitch

Your plan and pitch to investors should absolutely address each of these topics:

- What market problem you’re solving
- How you’re solving it
- Target market, size, and segmentation
- Your sales channels
- Marketing efforts
- Competitor analysis and your competitive advantage
- Real financial projections
- Key milestones in your business to date and a timeline of expected milestones to come
- Key team members and advisers championing your success

 

The Pitch: Turn it Into a Narrative

Once you’ve put your business plan together, ensured it’s not too long, and that it covers all of the important bases, then it’s time to start working on your pitch. I won’t go into too much detail here except to say that people (and don’t forget that investors are people too) love a compelling story. If you can find a way to weave the elements of your business plan into a tale that illustrates how your business is going to solve people’s problems, garner their loyalty, and generate revenue then it’s going to be a lot easier for you to pitch to investors. After all, stories engage our emotions and get us to root for the protagonist to win.

Make your business the hero of your story and back that story up with facts and figures to prove your potential for success and investors will appreciate the work you’ve put in and be much more likely to infuse your enterprise with the funds it needs to get up and running.


About Sabrina Parsons
Heir to a business planning kingdom and CEO of the world leader in business plan and management software (flagship products include LivePlan and Business Plan Pro) Sabrina knows more than a little something about planning, pitching, and managing a startup to success. Sabrina took over Palo Alto Software in 2007 (her father was founder and business planning icon, Tim Berry) and went on to not only beat the odds (approximately 70% of family-owned businesses don’t survive succession) but to successfully expand the company’s offering from a shrink-wrapped software company (Business Plan Pro) to a booming SaaS corporation, hosting business planning, pitching, and financial management in the cloud (for more than 60,000 small and mid-sized businesses and counting) via LivePlan (www.liveplan.com).

Sabrina is a graduate of Princeton University and president of the Princeton Entrepreneurs Network. She is also a mother of 3 young boys; involved in multiple business planning competitions; blogs for Forbes Women; and is a passionate advocate for evolving the workplace for today’s modern parents, including instituting and personally taking advantage of Palo Alto Software’s baby-friendly office policy.

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