Getting Started Resources
Whether you are emailing us your executive summary or simply meeting with us, the following tips will help convey your investment opportunity:
- Business plans are not graded by weight — keep them simple and to the point.
- Describe the opportunity — be specific about the unmet market need, and how you can fill it. Is there an open upside potential to your venture?
- Define your market clearly and definitively — tell us about your customers, what their problems are, how you are going to reach them efficiently, and how you plan to solve those problems. We’ve seen enough “upper right-hand quadrant” PowerPoint stacks.
- What is your secret sauce? What do you have that is so compelling that customers will pay for your solution?
- How much investment is needed? Successful software companies are capital efficient. Remember, customers are better sources of cash than the venture industry.
- Realism — have a thoughtful operating plan, and research operation margins of existing competitors. Are yours in line?
- Honesty, integrity, and total commitment to the success of the venture.
- Don’t procrastinate, apply way before the deadline. – Since we look at applications as they come in, getting yours in sooner will increase the likelihood of us spending more time on it.
- Send an application you can be proud of. – This should be how you sell yourself. Why should we choose you over all the other applicants? Don’t make it sloppy or lackluster, make it stand out! Gloat about your idea and don’t yourself short.
- Network – Get recommendations; see who our mutual friends are. It gives you a leg up in the competition, and it never hurts to have friends!
- Be an expert on us and our program. – We expect you to know what our terms and limitations are. Know before you apply if you think we’ll be a good fit for you. Get to know our company. If we are going to be working together, you need to know what we’re about and if that works for you.
- Tell us your plan – What do you already know from your research and audience? And what are your plans for making a scalable and sustainable company?
- Don’t compromise you or your business. – Do what you believe is best and don’t settle for less. It’s unfair to you and us. We are here to help you, but in the end, it’s your business, and you are the only one who can decide what’s a good fit.
- Read, research and learn. Consume anything and everything the mentors give or suggest for you.
- Hone your business plan, the more details you provide, the better it will be.
- Experiment and try new things. Don’t be afraid to get creative. Now is the time to mix things up.
- Prepare for your pitch. Really work on making a solid sales pitch, this will put you ahead.
- Learn and master networking. You’ll soon discover the importance of networking, and it’s better to start early and really get the hang of it.
Other Helpful Resources
- USPTO – United States Patent and Trademark Office, an Agency of the Department of Commerce
- AUTM – Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) is a nonprofit association of technology managers and business executives who manage intellectual property.
- College of Law Entrepreneurship Clinic – The Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic at the University of Nebraska College of Law is a student-based clinical program designed to provide representation and counsel to startup business clients on a variety of early-stage legal issues.
- Nebraska Department of Economic Development – The lead economic development agency for Nebraska, emphasizing growing and diversifying the state’s economic base and bringing new dollars into the state.
- Nebraska Business Development Center – NBDC helps Nebraska businesses grow and create new jobs by providing consulting and educational services to small and mid-sized businesses. Many services are free to the business owner or entrepreneur, and all are confidential and impartial.
- Silicon Prairie News – Silicon Prairie News is a digital media company dedicated to highlighting and supporting entrepreneurs, creatives and investors through an emerging model for grassroots entrepreneurial ecosystem development in and around Omaha, Des Moines, and Kansas City.
- Google’s Tools for Entrepreneurs Video SeriesGoogle for Entrepreneurs + General Assembly have partnered to provide weekly lessons for entrepreneurs of all kinds. Take your skills to the next level with business, marketing, and technical classes taught by leading entrepreneurs, academics, and experts.