Venture Management:

Start-Up Firm

Start-Up Company Assessment by a Business Incubator

 A Guide to Ongoing Planning, Management, and Fund-raising

By Blue Rock Capital

Company Name 

Contact Evaluator 

Date 

Address

Phone Number

Source Phone Number

 

Reality check    Market opportunity    Management    Technology issues    Resources    Commercialization program    Critical issues

A. Reality check

Please score the venture (3) according to these eight initial criteria:

Probably NO

Probably NO but a plan exists to address the issue

Probably YES

1 Is there a written and fully current business plan?

 

 

 

2 Are there current financial statements and cash-flow projections prepared or reviewed by an outside accountant?

 

 

 

3 Does the business concept appear to be based on sound technical and business principles (i.e., does it make sense?)?

 

 

 

4 Is the time needed to reach positive cash-flow appropriate?

 

 

 

5 Based on the company’s achieving the financing it now seeks, will adequate financial resources be available?

 

 

 

6 If the business opportunity is based on proprietary technology, is the proprietary position adequately protected?

 

 

 

7 Is there good personal chemistry among the principals?

 

 

 

8 Do the personal financial needs of the principals match the capacity of the business?

 

 

 

 

B. Market Opportunity

Using the check-off scale (3), please give this venture a rough ranking for each of the listed factors.

Probably Inadequate

Probably equal to the competition

Probably better than most competition

Potentially outstanding

I cannot tell

1 Evaluate the company’s belief that is has a significant and credible market opportunity (i.e., is the product or service or business system distinctive or an order of magnitude better in performance?).

 

 

 

 

 

2 Assess the company’s market approach including strategies for dealing effectively with customer indifference (or lack of knowledge), differentiation strategies, competitive offerings, and other economic forces.

 

 

 

 

 

3 Evaluate the company’s ability, as a new entrant in this market niche, to survive long enough to succeed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C. Management

Please score the venture (3) according to these five major criteria:

Probably NO

Probably NO but a plan exists to address the issue

Probably YES

1 Is there at least one member of the management team qualified to undertake the work?

 

 

 

2 Is the management team complete and appropriate for the work that is to be done?

 

 

 

3 Is there a willingness to bring in additional management and outside directors?

 

 

 

4 Is there an appropriate group of outside professional advisors?

 

 

 

5 Does management have the ability and experience to leverage scarce resources?

 

 

 

 

D. Technology issues

Using the check-off scale (3), please give this venture a rough ranking for each of the listed factors.

Probably Inadequate

Probably equal to the competition

Probably better than most competition

Potentially outstanding

I cannot tell

1 Assess the feasibility of the stated technology development goals and technology application objectives.

 

 

 

 

 

2 Compare the proposed development program with existing technologies (or with possible competing and future technologies).

 

 

 

 

 

3 Assess the company’s technical achievements to date.

 

 

 

 

 

4 Assess the company’s plan for obtaining any necessary regulatory or trade association approvals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

E. Resources

Using the check-off scale (3), please give this venture a rough ranking for each of the listed factors.

Probably Inadequate

Probably equal to the competition

Probably better than most competition

Potentially outstanding

I cannot tell

1 Evaluate the adequacy of the company’s budget in comparison to the work that is outlined.

 

 

 

 

 

2 Evaluate the possibility of raising additional funds to carry out the project.

 

 

 

 

 

3 Evaluate the adequacy of the facility against the needs of the tenant company.

 

 

 

 

 

 

F. Commercialization program

Using the check-off scale (3), please give this venture a rough ranking for each of the listed factors.

Probably Inadequate

Probably equal to the competition

Probably better than most competition

Potentially outstanding

I cannot tell

1 Assess the proposed commercialization timetable, in terms of....

 

 

 

 

 

1.1 R&D timetable

 

 

 

 

 

1.2 protecting proprietary rights

 

 

 

 

 

1.3 marketing timetable

 

 

 

 

 

1.4 manufacturing timetable

 

 

 

 

 

1.5 possible regulatory factors

 

 

 

 

 

2 Comment on the company’s sales function and its ability to compete in the marketplace.

 

 

 

 

 

3 Evaluate the company’s methods of distribution.

 

 

 

 

 

4 Evaluate the company’s approach to customer support.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Evaluate the company’s financial control, management, and strategic planning capabilities.

 

 

 

 

 

6 Evaluate the feasibility of the company’s commercialization milestones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

G. Critical issues

Check (3) the issues that the company itself needs to consider in more detail. Circle the issues that should be resolved prior to any formal commitment to this company.

The Fundamentals

A1   A2   A3   A4   A5   A6   A7   A8

Market Opportunity

B1   B2   B3

Management Issues

C1   C2   C3   C4   C5

Technology Issues

D1   D2   D3   D4

Resources

E1   E2   E3

Commercialization Program

F1.1   F1.2   F1.3   F1.4   F1.5

 F2   F3   F4   F5   F6

H. Commentary.

Based on the boxes you checked (and on any additional information or impressions you may have), use this space for any additional remarks or notes you feel would help the company focus on issues that could be important:

Entreprneurial Success: VENTUREPRENEUR (Ten3 Mini-course)


Virginia G. Bonker
230 Lackawanna Dr.
Andover, N J   07821-4113
 Tel 973 426-1767  Fax 973 426-0224
virginia@bluerockcapital.com

 Terry Collison
5700 Kennett Pike
Wilmington, DE  19807-1312
Tel 302 426-0981  Fax 302 426-0982
terry@bluerockcapital.com