Manufacturers ask and AI technology answers
The following article on Bennit AI was featured in Impact magazine and written by Beth W. Orenstein
Entrepreneurs: when pitching to investors, you need to stay focused on only a few key items. While most likely you will be asked about many different aspects of your business, there are three elements you need to understand and be able to discuss in depth and with clarity. Most entrepreneurs would prefer to discuss their product or business idea, because that's what they've been focused on developing for months or years. But investors only have one goal—making a return on their investment.
Next month the Innovation Fund will announce the latest group of companies to win funding awards. This money is usually the first market validation that a new business idea has the potential for success. But there are a number of reasons why a good idea might not be awarded funding—at least not on the first attempt.
Applying for funding when you're a cash strapped entrepreneur can be stressful. Developing the financials for your business can bring on additional stress, but it doesn't have to. As long as you have a well thought out business plan, doing the financials to go with it is just a matter of putting the dollars to the business tasks. Here are my seven rules of effective startup financials.
Cleveland Whiskey is one of Northeast Ohio’s most successful and well-known startups. The company has raised more than $2 million, perfected a disruptive technology that dramatically accelerates the maturation of distilled spirits, and sold more than 200,000 bottles of its whiskey around the world.
Todd Doehring spent years working as a scientist at the Cleveland Clinic and as a professor of Bioengineering at Drexel University. His projects centered on images and micro-testing systems. He wanted to make them work better for doctors and other scientists. Todd researched and taught biomechanics of soft tissues and microscopy.
Beth Potratz owns an eharmony.com of sorts for truckers. Not for love, but for matching truck drivers with jobs they will love. The human resource expert was working on driver recruitment solutions for a trucking industry client when she spotted a two-way challenge: employers couldn’t find the best-fitting drivers and drivers couldn’t find the best-fitting jobs.
"Wait, I have to do financials for my business?!" That's what many entrepreneurs shriek as perspiration rolls down their foreheads when they're told three or five year pro-forma financials are needed for their business when applying to the Innovation Fund. That's closely followed by, "How am I supposed to do that? I'm an entrepreneur, not an accountant." In all honesty, when asked to write this blog I shrieked, "But I'm a numbers person. I don't write!" It took a bit to calm me down, but I realized I do know about financials and I have written before, so I could do this. Hopefully, your panic will subside or at least diminish and be replaced by some degree of confidence after reading this blog.
If you’re running a startup I’ve got one important bit of advice: you will never have enough funding. You will (and should) always be looking for your next source of funds. Well, maybe never is a bit over the top, but never is a good benchmark during the first five years of any startup.
Some growing startups are flashy, hit social media hard, and make headlines in Inc. or Entrepreneur. Others grow in a quieter, more conservative way. David Levine built Wireless Environment like that.
This guest blog was contributed by Andrew Bennett, co-founder of KnowledgePost and $25,000 Innovation Fund award winner. It's a firsthand perspective on the Innovation Fund application process.
Every quarter a handful of entrepreneurs are pitching their companies to the Innovation Fund investment committee. That same day, the committee decides which companies will receive between $25,000 and $100,000 to advance their technologies.
You know the old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again?” Well, it’s pretty fitting for the Innovation Fund’s application process. On average, it takes entrepreneurs two to three attempts before they win funding. Surprised? I’m not.