Author Topic: Local Startup Assistance  (Read 6040 times)

dogboy

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Local Startup Assistance
« on: November 06, 2012, 12:59:13 PM »
I mentioned this in a post in the Member's section, but it's worth its own thread...

When I think 'Startup', I think of all the documents that need to be written - the Business Plan, VC Proposal, etc. And while over the last year I've gotten much better at writing these documents, they are still difficult to write, and I haven't done one yet that I liked and thought was complete.  It's always the financial section that screws me up, but most of the time it's also because I'm not following a conventional format, and I end up dwelling on parts I dont need to, and not spending enough time on others that need elaboration.  In short, I rarely get anyone to read through it and correct things, so ultimately all sorts of mistakes and omissions leak through to weaken my argument, without me ever knowing it.

For my latest project, I decided to seek help from a local University...

Quote



"The UCF Venture Lab offers an array of business advisory services that are geared towards helping
students, faculty, and entrepreneurs commercialize research or launch high growth firms, located in
Central Florida, with the potential to create high wage jobs and employ top talent.  The Venture Lab
provides complimentary assistance for business planning and development and includes the following
services.

 Business Coaching and Mentoring
 Competitive Assessment
 Intellectual Property/Idea Assessment
 Sales Coaching
 Investor Pitch Development
 Business Plan Development
 Identifying Funding Sources (e.g., SBIR)
 Market Assessments

"The Venture Lab fulfills an advisory role for our clients. Our process is collaborative and requires
consistent engagement with our clients.  Using our resources, we strive to provide our clients with the
most pertinent, timely, and complete information possible.  However, we cannot guarantee the availability
of all information requested by clients.  This includes professional reports only available by purchase or
conducting original research such as surveys.  Our advisory role also restricts us from generating original
business materials such as business plans, websites, marketing or promotional material, or any similar
materials.  We can, however, provide guidance in these areas based on our collective business experience."


- http://www.venturelab.ucf.edu/


...in other words, this department offers totally free services to Florida tech entrepreneurs.  They offer a team assessment of your company/project and then point to self-help examples of docs and resources every startup needs (free to anyone, located here:http://www.venturelab.ucf.edu/resources.html). They also have marketing interns to help do research, etc.

And once you have something for them to review, they can review your docs and give feedback, similar to how you might do it in college, if you were working with a major professor on a research project - bouncing it back and forth until you had a solid document. Once you have a solid case - if they like the idea and your proposal - they can introduce you to VC.   In return for all this help, they ask for nothing - they are funded by the people trying to develop tech industry in Florida.  So no money, no equity.

I have a sit-down meeting with them Weds @3pm in Orlando to go over my proposal and my newest company, to see how they can assist me.  I never even thought about going this direction.  It's like a Startup Accelerator that is free to Florida based companies. You don't get seed money, but they can put you in a position to get some if that is what it will take to develop your tech idea into income.

I mention this just in case you've been thinking about starting something new and you were a little hesitant to pull the trigger because you felt a little overwhelmed. Chances you have a University close by that can help.  This one is actually 3.5hrs away, but they will work with me remotely, as much as they can, and I'm looking forward to some nice long bike rides up the coast when we need to sit down.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2012, 01:02:44 PM by dogboy »

Rooftop

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Re: Local Startup Assistance
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2012, 01:11:27 PM »
Really forward thinking. It's because of stuff like this that so many good start-ups come out of the US. 

In the UK we think too small with stuff like this.  The latest scheme allows those unemployed for long periods to get 1000 (spread over 6 months) to start their own business. The focus is almost entirely on basically becoming self employed rather than employing. Success stories so far include 2 dog groomers and a chap who cleans cars.  yeah - that'll get the economy rocketing along.

Much better to funnel money towards those that create jobs.

Chunkford

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Re: Local Startup Assistance
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2012, 02:30:21 PM »
Yea have to agree, the UK seems to have lost the plot when it comes to nurturing business opportunities and growth.
Stumbled across this the other day - http://www.clintonfoundation.org/main/our-work/by-initiative/clinton-economic-opportunity-initiative/programs/entrpreneur-mentoring-program.html
Wish there was something like that when I first started.

Hope it goes to plan DB, will be having my fingers and toes crossed for ya.
"If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions"

dogboy

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Re: Local Startup Assistance
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2012, 03:17:44 PM »
I've always heard people say that there is government funding out there but I never really looked, because it always seemed like that fabled golden city just around the next mountain.  Plus, my first and only real experience living in Silicon Valley and working in a startup that made it on stage in the techcrunch50 finals is that everything is politics and an incestuous ponzi scheme.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2012, 12:25:20 AM by dogboy »

dogboy

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Re: Local Startup Assistance
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2012, 01:52:20 PM »
ok, looks like a good day for a 420mile bike ride - time to meet these folks.

dogboy

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Re: Local Startup Assistance
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2012, 04:20:00 AM »


...made it back in one piece, although I got a ticket for 85 in a 60 ::)  I talked the cop out of the 'double the fine in a construction zone' part (because it was night and no one was working) but, if anyone deserves one, it's me.  Back to driving school - again:)

The meeting went well enough though.  I met with 3 members of their team and we got oriented and they gave me some advice on my proposal for a little over an hour.  Then I met with another guy who is in 'Tech Transfer' (who I met in another forum before hand)  for about an hour, just hanging out and discussing my project loosely, although he will dig into it deeper now that I gave him access to my website.

So basically, the next meetings will be conference calls, because it's quite a hike to get up there, but I'm sure I'll head up there again at some point, with a bunch of emails in between.  I'm really quite pleased with them.  It's a valuable resource - I'll use it.

Drastic

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Re: Local Startup Assistance
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2012, 02:20:06 PM »
Sweet bike. What is that sticking out the front mounted on the left, a pitot tube?

dogboy

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Re: Local Startup Assistance
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2012, 02:44:34 PM »
Ohlins side mount adjustable stabilizer for naked Monsters - it stiffens up the front end to give you more rigidity.  I actually tightened it yesterday because even though it was beautiful out, it was brutally windy, and without the fairing, going 90 felt like 140. It beat the hell out of me. Turning it up 2 clicks helped keep me less prone to getting blown around, and the wobbly front tire oscillation that usually ends in disaster.  In other words, it's really a safety device, more than a performance device... but it definitely makes the bike track better at speed and in the corners... but too tight and the bike wont turn when cruising around town.

Drastic

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Re: Local Startup Assistance
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2012, 03:11:11 PM »
Gotcha, interesting tech.