So far this month I’ve read 43 executive summaries and 16 business plans. This is my business plan season. Some details:
- I’ve joined the Willamette Angel Conference as an angel investor. We have 25 members at last count, looking forward to investing $150K to the winner of a competition that happens May 14 in Corvallis, Oregon. We all share the investment, and we’re all reading plans.
- I’ll be judging the University of Oregon’s New Venture Competition this weekend. I read four business plans for that.
- My company, Palo Alto Software, awards a best business plan award at the University of Notre Dame’s annual venture competition later this month. I read seven business plans for that competition.
- Later this month I’ll be a judge at Rice University’s annual business plan competition, which is one of, if not the, richest competitions, with a first prize worth $675K. I’ve read six business plans so far for that one.
- In May I’ll be reading another 15-20 business plans from the students in my Start Your Business class at the University of Oregon.
All of these tend to be full, formal business plans. If you read my posts here you’ll notice I’m not often recommending the full formal business plan for real-world situations; only when you actually have to produce the full thing for outside readers.
Most of these, however, are that case. They are done for investors and judges. The ones my students do are less elaborate, more in tune with my favored plan-as-you-go approach.
I expect to be posting here often, commenting and offering tips that come up as I read all these plans.
I won’t be commenting on any specific plan. That wouldn’t be fair.
And I won’t be commenting on any of the discussions inside the angel group. Those are strictly confidential.
Still, for today, after a weekend of reading business plans, I’m not particularly happy about dense text single spaced in big bulky paragraphs. I much prefer text styles that break things up better, with bullet points, and shorter paragraphs.
I have more about that on my Planning Startups Stories blog.