Yesterday’s class was a milestone of sorts for the education arm of North Shore InnoVentures (NSIV). NSIV, for those who are unfamiliar, is a start-up incubator located in Massachusetts on the…um…North Shore. The Cleantech InnoVentures Center (CIVC) opened in October 2009 and the Biotech InnoVentures Center (BIVC) opened a year later in October 2010. Since July 2011, NSIV has operated a monthly educational program called InnoVentures U, with a curriculum designed to benefit NSIV’s portfolio companies – and interested guests. The milestone I referred to relates to the location for this very cool entrepreneur education program. The first eight months of InnoVentures U classes have been held at the J.B. blood Building in Lynn, MA – a very impressive “recycled” building in the heart of the city. Beginning with the March session, InnoVentures U will be moving to Beverly. The move is expected to accommodate a larger audience; will be closer to the fast growing primary NSIV site; and will be somewhat more convenient to main traffic arteries.
It seemed appropriate for the InnoVentures U to close the original venue with a positively uplifting session by Linda Plano presenting: ‘Make your Start-up Road Show Ready with PERFECT PITCH’. The overall InnoVentures U curriculum covers critical components needed for successful business building like accounting, intellectual property protection, legal mistakes to avoid, etc. Linda Plano’s Plano and Simple# presentation rolls everything together with a straight-talking approach to defining all the important things about your start-up that a potential investor or business partner needs to say yes.
Common business functions are, of course, necessary for the successful development of a new business; and detailed descriptions of what needs to be done and what expertise is needed are very important. However, all the accounting (or legal documentation, etc) in the world won’t help if nobody understands what the company does or how an investor (or business partner) will benefit from an investment. Linda’s Plano and Simple tools have been developed over years of working with start-ups of every flavor and serve as a comprehensive guide to unlocking and sharing the entrepreneur’s vision. Naturally, a 1 hour presentation of 10-steps to a perfect pitch is not the end of the story – rather, it is the beginning of an enormous volume of work. As with any journey, whether moving to a new facility or building a start-up, there has to be a beginning and it helps to begin with a destination and a discernible path.