The 2012 HBSAB New England competition offers cash prizes of $10,000 and $5,000. In addition to the cash prizes, valuable non-cash resources such as in-kind professional services will be provided.
Eligibility Requirements - Teams must meet the following requirements
- Each team must have at least one HBS alumnus/a member. The HBS alumnus/a needs to be a substantive member of the founding team, with a senior management and operating position, and participation in the company’s equity pool in a manner consistent with that role and position.
- Participating teams may not have more than $1,000,000 in total debt and invested equity capital, and must have less than $2,000,000 in revenues. Teams must meet both criteria. Invested capital is defined as funding appearing on the plan’s balance sheet at the time of submission to the regional Hub Club, which is no later than February 29, 2012. It is not necessary that the teams actually be seeking funding—e.g., they may already have raised the small amount of capital they need to reach an initial milestone—or may have a cash flow positive business model that essentially requires no outside capital. Note: investment funds and acquisitions will generally not be considered as "new ventures."
Guidelines - All business plans should clearly articulate
- The team members, their roles and backgrounds;
- The product or service, the customer needs it meets, and the market it will serve;
- The "business model," e.g., how the company makes money; and
- Income statement, balance sheet and cash flow forecasts for at least three years, including a clear articulation of funding needs, the anticipated timing of funding events, and how these relate to the entity’s accomplishment milestones (e.g., what exactly will you achieve with each round of capital funding). Financing term specifics need NOT be articulated
Suggested Format of Business Plan Submissions - In general, written business plans are preferable to "PowerPoint" style plans because the reader can more fully grasp the logic and substance of a plan. Slide decks generally rely on this to be filled in by the presenter, but the presenter may not be there during the initial view of the plans by the judges. That having been said, we do recognize the reality that many businesses develop only a "PowerPoint" style plan, and those plans are acceptable submissions. However, in the instances when a "PowerPoint" style plan is submitted, we also require a 2-5 page executive summary of the business plan.Either a "PowerPoint" or a prose style plan should meet the following guidelines: no more than 35 pages of either a prose plan or slide deck plus executive summary. Also, the material should clearly articulate:
- the product or service;
- the market need/pain it is designed to address;
- the team, their background, skills and experience, and their current level of effort/commitment to the venture;
- the target customer and market, competitive landscape, how that customer will be reached, and the potential of the opportunity, including the size and growth of that market;
- the technology—if any—on which the underlying product or service is based; and, if it based on a technology, the status of its development and a clear picture of the IP landscape and the protection/defensibility the team believes it will have;
- the competitive advantage and defensibility of the business; and
- the financial potential of the business, including: projected income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements for at least 3 years—preferably on a quarterly basis—in order to present a clear picture of the capital needs of the business, the anticipated timing of these capital requirements, a notion of when the business will achieve cash break-even. In addition, the financial plan in conjunction with the narrative should provide a picture of what will be achieved with each tranche of capital, in terms of risks reduced and business objectives achieved.
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