5 Good Posts for Friday May 6

by Tim Berry

I’m in Austin TX today looking forward to two full days judging the University of Texas’ Venture Labs business plan competition, which is something like a grand finale, bringing together 36 teams that have won other competitions. This is the original Moot Corp, started in 1984, the first MBA-level business plan contest that I ever... Read More »

10 Reflections On 2 Business Plan Competitions

by Tim Berry

Last week I spent three days in Houston as a judge of the Rice Business Plan Competition. I haven’t been home since I left April 7 to judge the University of Oregon’s New Venture Championship. Both of these competitions include four components: the business plan, the business pitch, the responses to questions, and the elevator... Read More »

5 Ways to Make Your Projected Profits Realistic

by Tim Berry

I’m well into my business plan marathon again this year, in Houston today looking forward to judging the Rice Business Plan Competition, one of my favorites. Regarding business plans, instead of just complaining (again) about unrealistically high profitability projections, today I have some specific suggestions. And this has nothing whatsoever to do with the six... Read More »

Business Plan Marathon Again … and Your Profits Are Still Way Too High

by Tim Berry

This morning I start my annual business plan marathon. This is my day as a semi-finals judge at the University of Oregon’s New Venture Championship. From here I go to Houston next week for Rice University’s million-dollar business plan competition, and then in early may to Austin for the University of Texas’ Venture Labs competition.... Read More »

Business Plan Contests Leave Out Bootstrappers

by Tim Berry

I consider myself something of an expert on business plan competitions. I ran one myself for several years, I’ve judged several dozen including several of the most prestigious, my company sponsors more than a dozen a year, I’ve had students in my undergrad business classes competing in them, I’m an investor member of an angel... Read More »

Our Angel Group Chooses to Invest in Healthy Natural Organic Intimacy Products

by Tim Berry

I fear you’d have to know the quirky nature of Eugene, Oregon, my home town, to understand how well the choice of our local angel investor group matches the area. Some people call Eugene “Berkeley North.” We have to have way more health foods stores, organic foods, and natural products per capita than any national... Read More »

Business Plan Contests Grow Up and Mean Business

by Tim Berry

It’s time to note a major change. Just a few years ago business plan contests were an academic oddity, a dress-up exercise at a few business grad schools. Suddenly, or so it seems, they’re pretty much for real. Some very powerful new businesses are appearing at business plan contests, winning significant money, attracting investors, getting... Read More »

Big Mistake: Huge Unbelievable Sales Numbers

by Tim Berry

Jeffrey Moskovitz added an important comment to my big mistake post from last week: I read an blog yesterday, written by someone I respect, who asserted that investors know and even EXPECT that projected sales and profits will be overstated. Aware of this expectation, the entrepreneur plays the game by inflating the numbers, fully aware... Read More »

Do Investors Make Good Entrepreneurs?

by Tim Berry

Interesting thought: lots of entrepreneurs end up as investors. Few investors end up as entrepreneurs. Does that surprise you? Do investors make good entrepreneurs? Hint: it’s a trick question. This is the gist of what Charlie O’Donnell is saying in Everything I didn’t learn about startups as a VC (…or why VCs don’t make good entrepreneurs)... Read More »

Apples, Oranges, and Making Startups Pay to Pitch.

by Tim Berry

I hate it when people push issues way too far, diluting their points by overextending them. Stretch your generalization net too far and you catch a lot of innocent fish along with the sharks. Do that and you kill your own argument. For a great example of that, Jason Calacanis’ rant against startups having to... Read More »