Once your Business Plan or Executive Summary has been submitted, it will be reviewed by the executive director and professional staff, along with a member of the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET) Advisory Board. Information considered during the initial screening includes:
- How the business fits the incubator’s mission
- The size of the market
- The proprietary aspect of the products or services
- The experience of the management team
As part of this initial screening, a representative of VCET will contact you to clarify important ideas and concepts concerning the business. The next step is a personal interview to discuss your business proposal in detail and determine whether there is a “match” between the nature and objectives of your enterprise and the capability of the VCET to contribute to your firm’s success. If this assessment is favorable, the formal admission review process is initiated. This formal process involves two distinct steps, each of which must be successfully completed to gain admittance:
- The information is analyzed to develop an understanding of the underlying technology as the foundation of the business.
- The venture is examined from an operational viewpoint, reviewing the business model and the experience and commitment of the entrepreneurial founding team.
Information for Review
In your Business Plan or Executive Summary, please provide answers to the following questions:
What do you do?
Provide a description of the business proposition (the range of products and services). Describe the significant market need that your business addresses.
What makes you unique?
Describe the key differentiating factors of your business that will allow you to gain, sustain, and grow a market position. How do you close the door on your competition and maintain your leadership position?
How will you generate a profit?
Describe the revenue model for the business. Provide details of the primary revenue source and mention others if appropriate.
Who are your customers and partners?
Describe the market, the purchase decision makers in the market, the sales and distribution channel(s), and the sales cycle. Ensure that the information is specific to your business opportunity versus a generalization of the industry.
How large is the market opportunity?
What is the size of the specific market and how much can you expect to capture annually over the next few years?
What are the competing solutions?
Describe the alternative products and suppliers that offer your customers a solution. Describe how your solution is superior to the competition.
When do you expect to successfully graduate from the program?
Describe the major milestones and challenges for developing the business.
Who are the members of your management team?
Describe the principle participants in the business and the positions that need to be filled. What specific strengths and resources does your team bring to the opportunity? What makes you as individuals unique?
What services do you require from VCET?
Describe what you feel is needed to meet your business objectives during start-up. What resources do you require from others? What are the metrics that will affect your ability to sustain rapid growth and profitability (i.e. technology infrastructure or other scalable resources)?