Industry Seminar Series - March 2018
Building an Investor-Ready Business Plan
Presenters: Robert Warren
DATE: Thursday, March 22
LOCATION: Harrington Hall 324
Join Robert Warren from the College of Business and Public Administration in learning how to create a business plan geared to the needs of investors. Robert’s model is based on over two decades of experience successfully creating business plans for presentation to investors – equity, debt and government – around the world. It’s also based on his experience as an investor of both equity and government funds in over 200 businesses around the world.
Accomplishments of companies using Robert’s methodology include:
- Successfully raising funds four times from the investors on Sharks Tank. The most successful of these companies, Beat Box Beverages, briefly held the record for the largest single investment by a Shark when Mark Cuban agree to invest over $1 million in the company. Beat Box subsequently received follow-on investments from Mark Cuban and his brother.
- Fifty-four first place finishes at graduate business plan competitions around the globe. This includes wins by teams from three schools – University of Manitoba, Texas at Austin and Thammasat. It also includes coaching back-to-back winners of the Wells Fargo Clean Energy Award. These wins were earned at competitions in Asia, Europe, North and South America.
- The successful financing of over 400 businesses. These businesses have raised over $700 million from individual angel investors, angel investor groups, European Development Bank, various government agencies, banks, corporations, e.g. Shell, Chevron and Intel and venture capital firms, e.g. S3. This group also includes one IPO.
Robert’s model uses the 4M’s approach – Market, Management, Merchandise and Money. Under this model participants learn how to use both Lean Canvas and Market Validation techniques to clearly explain the Market opportunity facing them along with the market and competitive structure they will face. In the Management section, Robert discusses the importance of, and how to build, a successful core management team, board of directors and specialist advisors. More importantly, he shows you how these three groups work together to protect the company and investors. In the Merchandise section, participants learn the importance of explaining features in terms of benefits to the user, having a “secret sauce” and intellectual property. The Money section consists of two parts. In Part A, participants learn about the roles of the business model and financial results as well as how these two concepts are connected. Part B answers the core questions every investor has about the how, what, why, when, where and who of the financing required and most importantly how they will be repaid.
Robert Warren Biography:
Robert currently serves as an Instructor with the Marketing Department of the University of North Dakota’s College of Business and Public Administration. Prior to joining the University of North Dakota, Robert spent three years running his accelerator, Mean Eyed Cat Venture Labs in Manitoba and has now moved this operation to Grand Forks. This role includes working with firms across North America to help get them ready for financing and managing the 54 investors that supported the Cat. Some of the firms Robert worked with in this role include: JTL Industries, manufacturers of petroleum and grain management systems; Buffalo Creek Mills, on the development of pellets made from oat husks that would be used in biomass system; Canadian Propeller, repair and maintenance company for propellers used on single and multi-engine aircraft; Pro Forma Engineering, developers and manufacturers of pressure relief systems used in the petroleum industry and New Leaf Travel, Canada’s first ultra-low cost airline. Robert has also spent over 20 years working at universities around the world including the University of Manitoba, Texas at Austin and Thammasat, Thailand. In these roles, he has advised on over 400 student start-ups involved in industries ranging from medical devices to oil exploration. These businesses have raised in excess of $700 million dollars and include one IPO. In addition, Robert has launched six businesses of his own, is a member of Rice University’s Alliance Program and served on the board of directors for both the National Research Council of Canada and the Industrial Research Assistance Program.