I have found the closest thing to a “free lunch” around for anyone who is serious about starting a technology company. Technology Ventures Corporation (TVC) is an organization that provides a 6-month seminar series — free — explaining how a technologist can become an entrepreneur. Yes, I really said free! TVC is a tax-exempt non-profit that was formed for the sole purpose of helping commercialize technologies and creating long-term, high-paying jobs. TVC does not charge for its services, takes no equity in your business, and they do not invest. But they’ll help you build a high-quality business case and find investors.
In addition to the seminars, TVC selects a small number of “clients” from seminar participants and coaches them through the venture-seeking process — again charging no fees. Clients are selected based on:
* Evidence of real pain in an existing market
* Proprietary technology that creates a competitive advantage
* Potential to raise equity capital
* Founder/management team expertise, commitment and experience.
These are high quality programs with subject matter experts from the relevant fields as presenters. Their seminars are held in California, Nevada and New Mexico. A series is underway right now in Northern California. The first seminar, Entering the Entrepreneurial World, was held in July. The second, Market Reserch and the Marketing Plan happens this week in Pleasanton and Mountain View. In September through December, there will be seminars on Finance, Business Plan Presentation, Operations, and Attracting Equity Capital.
There are other programs, too, in addition to the seminars. Check their website for other locations and dates.