Lecture Notes

1 Introduction and Overview of Business Plans


Yonald Chery, Co-Founder of Virtual Ink

Read his bio (PDF)

Joe Hadzima

View his presentation (PDF)

Read his bio (PDF)
Introduction to the Business Plan

What is it, why do I need it and what is it used for? Practical do's and don'ts in preparing a Business Plan. Things to keep in mind in writing a Business Plan which will improve your chances of obtaining funding and running a successful business.

Introduction to Virtual Ink

During this course we will be using the Virtual Ink Business Plan as a working example. Yonald Chery, a co-founder of Virtual Ink will introduce the Virtual Ink idea and plan.
2 Market Identification and Sales


Bob Jones, Vice-President, President and CEO of Vitasoy USA, Inc.

"Finding Your Customer"

Read his bio (PDF)

Bob Jones at his Other Job (PDF)

Yonald Chery, Co-Founder of Virtual Ink
Market Identification and Sales

Many entrepreneurs, especially technology based entrepreneurs, are accused of being too in love with their technology or concept. They rationalize that if they develop a better mousetrap then the product will sell itself. However, a good technology or product idea is a necessary but not a sufficient condition to establishing and growing a successful business venture. Who will buy the product? How will you reach buyers? How much will they pay?

If you have an idea for a product or service how do you determine whether there is a market for it? How do you develop a marketing strategy? How do you turn your idea and market research into sales? What do you need to do to convince potential investors that there is a market and that your idea is viable? If you don't have a specific product or service idea but you see a potential need, how do you turn the need into a product or service?

This session will discuss these issues and provide guidance on how to approach the marketing section of your business plan.
3 Refining and Presenting your Venture Idea


Terry Heagney, Lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management

Read his bio (PDF)

View presentation (PDF) (Courtesy of Terry Heagney. Used with permission.)

Panel Review of Ideas

A panel of experienced entrepreneurs will review idea presentations from the class.

Sherwin Greenblatt, Director MIT Venture Mentoring Service, former CEO of Bose, Inc

Krisztina Holly, Executive Director MIT Deshpande Center, $50K winner and Serial Entrepreneur
You have an idea. You have some feedback from potential customers. How do you shape the idea and the feedback into a Venture? What are the "credibility testers" which you will have to overcome to attract customers, partners, employees and financing sources? A "credibility tester" is something that, if you can overcome it, people will be convinced of your idea/strategy etc. Is the Technology a "credibility" issue and if so can you/should you develop a simple version of the technology and go after a small market segment with something that proves the technology out? Is the Customer Need the "credibility tester" and if so who do you overcome that concern?

Part of this class will be an interactive session with students and others who are in the process of developing a business plan.

Presentation Basics

How to position and present your idea: strategic presentation skills.
4 Business Plan - Night at the Movies: Technology Strategy, Organization and People Issues


Fiona Murray, MIT Sloan School of Management, Class of 1922 Career Development Assistant Professor

Presentation Slides: "Technology Strategy," Professor Fiona Murray, MIT Sloan School of Managment (PDF) (Courtesy of Fiona Murray. Used with permission.)

Read her bio (PDF)

M. Diane Burton, MIT Sloan School of Management, The Michael M. Koerner '49 Career Development Professorship


"Designing and Leading the Entrepreneurial Organization"  (See this material in her class of the same title: 15.394)

Read her bio (PDF)

Because of scheduling conflicts for some of the faculty and students in the Course, Session 4 will be a "Night at the Movies" in which we play back two important presentations from prior years of the Nuts and Bolts Course.

Part 1: "Technology Strategy" - Starring: Professor Fiona Murray

Technology Strategy about Value Creation and Value Capture:

Value Creation: Does this technology or scientific idea create something of value for customers?

Value Capture: Can we capture the economic value inherent in this idea in the face of competition?

Part 2: "It's All About the People" - Starring: Professor Diane Burton

Most ventures which fail do so because of people issues, not technology, market or funding issues. What people are needed to take the Business Plan from paper to reality? How do you identify good team members and avoid problems? Building an External Team and an Internal Team. Developing and implementing a philosophy for the business.
5 Business Models and Financial Projections


Business Models: Rich Kivel, MolecularWare, Inc. (PDF - 1.1 MB) (Courtesy of Rich Kivel. Used with permission.)

Read his bio (PDF)

Building Financial Projections: Charlie Tillett (PDF) (Courtesy of Charlie Tillet. Used with permission.)

Read his bio (PDF)
Business Models

You have identified a technology strategy and a market. Now the most important question "How Do You Make Money"? This session will discuss Business Models. What are some common business models and when are they most appropriately used?

Financial Projections

Armed with an understanding of the market for your products how do you figure out what financial resources you will need to bring a product to that market? This portion of the program will introduce some financial projection techniques based on actual business experience.

Financial Template 2003 (XLS) (Courtesy of Charlie Tillet. Used with permission.)
6 Pitfalls and Plan Execution Your Idea is great. You have good feedback from potential customers. You are convinced that your Strategy is correct. So how come you are having trouble raising money or attracting a team or partners?

Over and over again entrepreneurs make the same mistakes. Experienced investors, partners, and employees are alert for the pitfalls. Session 6 will discuss these pitfalls, how to recognize them, what to do about them, and how to present a business plan case which alleviates or anticipates these concerns.

Among the issues we will discuss are:

Legal Issues

Identifying and dealing with legal issues in the Business Plan. Securities laws and the Business Plan - How to avoid Going to Jail without passing Go and without Collecting $200. Intellectual Property Law-Patents, Copyrights, Trademarks and Tradesecrets. Major hidden tax traps in starting a business - how to avoid generating phantom income and taxes. General questions and answers on legal issues for the entrepreneur - What you always wanted to know about the law but were afraid to ask/pay for.

Understanding Financing Sources

Bootstrapping the early stages. Funding from the 3 F's - Friends, Family and Fools. Angels - who are they and what are they looking for? Private placements. Customer financing. Consulting - getting someone else to pay for the development, provide a beta site and endorse your idea. Venture capital. Bank financing.

You will learn about the institutional constraints and needs of various funding sources. As a result you will be in a better position to determine if, when and how to approach these sources for financing.
7 Forecasting Markets: The Capital Update for 2005 (PDF)

Note: As we did in last year's course we are combining this session with the MIT Enterprise Forum Satellite Broadcast to its 23 chapters located throughout the world.


Produced in association with the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge, "Forecasting Markets: The Capital Update for 2005" is a can't-miss event being broadcast globally to MIT Enterprise Forum chapters and MIT Alumni Clubs. Our panel of experts includes:

Moderator Bob Crowley, President of the Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation

Daphne Dufresne, a Principal at Weston Presidio (see Presentation)

Oscar Jazdowski, Senior Relationship Manager for Silicon Valley Bank (see Presentation)

T. L. Stebbins, Managing Director of the Adams Harkness Investment Banking Group (see Presentation)

Carol Vallone, President and CEO of WebCT (see Presentation)
What do the capital markets have in store for high-tech entrepreneurs this year? Join the MIT Enterprise Forum and a panel of renowned experts as we take an in-depth look at money sources for both growth and start-up companies in 2005. From VCs to investment banks to M&As and IPOs, this provocative program will cover the important money angles your business needs to know for the coming year.

About the MIT Enterprise Forum

The MIT Enterprise Forum, Inc. builds connections to technology entrepreneurs and to the communities in which they reside. The Enterprise Forum produces a series of educational programs about entrepreneurship through a network of 23 worldwide chapters. Anyone interested in or involved with technology entrepreneurship is welcome to participate and join together to form the Enterprise Forum community.