Category Archives: business plan

Florida Statewide Business Plan Competition

Last week I had the pleasure of judging the Sunshine State Venture Challenge — Florida’s only statewide business plan competition. There were two tracks of presenters: Limited Investment and Investment Intensive (my track). Like last year, the event was well-run and a value to participants and judges alike. Among many I enjoyed meeting, it was great seeing a couple fellow bloggers as judges: Robert Hacker of Sophisticated Finance and Chuck Papageorgiou of The Operator’s Blog.

Winners for the two tracks were ToneRite (auto-tuning/aging for string instruments) for Limited Investment and ReDesigningWomen (community/support site for divorced women) for Investment Intensive. For my track, it was a tough decision, but RDW’s entrepreneur combined a strong marketing background with a focused, niche strategy to serve a valuable set of customers.

I was lucky enough to recruit my favorite presenter last year to join one of my portfolio companies. As such, I was on the lookout for my favorite presenter this year. Even though she didn’t win the bizplan competition, I wanted to offer a golden Kangarua for “Best Presenter” to Erica Courtney of Biodiversity & Co. Congrats Erica, the competition winners and all participating finalists. I look forward to watching your businesses grow across the state and nationwide…

Business Plan Templates

Although I believe business plans are most important for the mental process they make an entrepreneur go through, this post is largely an experiment with Google’s new cost-per-action text link ad units. Specifically, this

link will take you to various offerings to help with business plan creation.

I haven’t tried their bizplan template, but I do remember looking for models when I started my first company. If the template truly saves time, takes care of the mundane of bizplan creation and helps you focus on the most important startup questions (e.g. why will customers buy what I’m selling), the $39.99 price tag seems like a no-brainer. I like that price a lot better than some of the $100-1000+ business plan packages and/or seminars that too often snag first-time entrepreneurs.

Beyond a business plan template, it looks like they also have marketing plan templates, business letter templates, cover letter templates and even resume templates. I’d be interested to hear in the comments whether you found any value in the referral.

UPDATE, 09-22-07: When I created this post, I saw the same gaps/omissions some of you have also reported — nice to see you’re paying attention. After a few iterations of removing and republishing, I’ve decided to leave the post as-is for now. Those gaps should have included text links for “business plan template”, served by Google Adsense — specifically Google’s show_ads.js. Unfortunately, something is amiss and this gives me an opportunity to learn GOOG’s ad-serving a bit better.

I’d be interested to hear from anyone else who has tried to embed Adsense Text Link Referrals into posts, whether it worked or not. My Adsense Text Link experiments in the sidebar show just fine, but these post-embeds are goofed. All ideas appreciated as I dig under the covers…

Related images: business plan template, marketing plan template, resume template

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