If you don’t know the name Mark Cuban, you should. He is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team who made his fame and fortune in the early days of the Internet, having pioneered one of the first streaming media companies.
I am re-posting his very novel blog where he posted an offer to finance start-up companies using his concept of “renewable capital.”
It’s easy to write about what the government or other people should do with our/their money. It’s harder to come up with a course of action that I can undertake on my own that possibly, somehow could make a difference. My first inclination is always to try to look “for the next big thing”. But the next big thing is just that, next. It’s not now. It’s Venture Capital. It’s not self funding, renewal capital.
Rather than trying to be a Venture Capitalist, I was looking for an idea that hopefully could inspire people to create businesses that could quickly become self funding. Businesses that just needed a jump start to get the ball rolling and create jobs. Im a big believer that entrepreneurs will lead us out of this mess. I just needed a way to help.
So here it is. Some people will love it, some will hate it. It is what it is.
You must post your business plan here on my blog where I expect other people can and will comment on it. I also expect that other people will steal the idea and use it elsewhere. That is the idea. Call this an open-source funding environment.
If it’s a good idea and worth funding, we want it replicated elsewhere. The idea is not just to help you, but to figure out how to help the economy through hard work and ingenuity. If you come up with the idea and get funding, you have a head start. If you execute better than others, you could possibly make money at it. As you will see from the rules below, these are going to be businesses that are mostly driven by sweat equity.
I will invest money in businesses presented here on this blog. No minimum, no maximum, but a very specific set of rules. Here they are:
1. It can be an existing business or a start up.
2. It can not be a business that generates any revenue from advertising. Why ? Because I want this to be a business where you sell something and get paid for it. Thats the only way to get and stay profitable in such a short period of time.
3. It MUST BE CASH FLOW BREAK EVEN within 60 days
4. It must be profitable within 90 days.
5. Funding will be on a monthly basis. If you dont make your numbers, the funding stops
6. You must demonstrate as part of your plan that you sell your product or service for more than what it costs you to produce, fully encumbered
7. Everyone must work. The organization is completely flat. There are no employees reporting to managers. There is the founder/owners and everyone else
8. You must post your business plan here, or you can post it on slideshare.com , scribd.com or google docs, all completely public for anyone to see and/or download
9. I make no promises that if your business is profitable, that I will invest more money. Once you get the initial funding you are on your own
10. I will make no promises that I will be available to offer help. If I want to , I will. If not, I wont.
11. If you do get money, it goes into a bank that I specify, and I have the ability to watch the funds flow and the opportunity to require that I cosign any outflows.
12. In your business plan , make sure to specify how much equity I will receive or how I will get a return on my money.
13. No multilevel marketing programs (added 2/10/09 1pm)
I’m sure I will come up with more rules as I see what comes along, if anything.
As I find businesses I like, I will use the email address you provide before you post to get in contact with you. There will be a standard agreement, you can take it or leave it. Once I have done the standard agreement, I will post it here for all to see. This will definitely be a work in progress. Maybe it leads to great things, maybe it leads to nothing. We will find out. I’m not going to claim a minimum or maximum amount or total I will invest. I’m not promising I will definitely invest anything. If nothing comes along that I think is viable, thats the way it goes.
Hopefully I will invest in quite a few businesses that will lead to something more.
Sam Thacker is a partner in Austin Texas based Business Finance Solutions.
You may contact Sam directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
or follow him on Twitter: SMBfinance
EXTRA: If you have questions for Sam regarding business financing, the credit market, and similar issues, please send an e-mail. Your questions will be recorded and Sam will answer the best ones in his Ask the Expert podcast show.