March 10th, 2011

Finding funding faster: OTBC opens Oregon TechLaunch Boot Camp


Finding funding faster: OTBC opens Oregon TechLaunch Boot Camp
For many startups, finding funding is the only thing standing between them and realizing their dream. But it's not easy. And there are any number of ways to screw up an opportunity. Now, OTBC is launching a new initiative with one focus in mind: getting funding for every startup that goes through the program. Introducing Oregon TechLaunch Boot Camp, their new technology startup training program. The program, designed in collaboration with Oregon Entrepreneurs Network, Portland Angel Network (an OEN program), TiE, Bridge City Ventures (managers of the Portland Seed Fund), and the Software Association of Oregon is an intensive, three month training program, hosted and managed by OTBC. Tuition costs $900 per startup. What do selected companies get out of the deal?
3 Months of intensive focus with 24/7 access to the open work area in OTBC's facility in Beaverton where participants can work on their product, work with customers, attend seminars and lunches, while learning from and even collaborating with other entrepreneur participants.
Weekly seminars from experienced start-up CEOs, investors, and other business experts with practical advice on the business-side of starting a company. These programs will be based on the Kauffman Foundation’s FastTrac TechVenture program and materials, in addition to materials developed by OTBC.
Coaching from startup CEOs and investors, and OTBC’s team of 20+ coaches.
Weekly lunches with investors and start-up CEOs throughout the program.
Pitch coaching from investors, and from OTBC’s coaching team.
Ending with a demo day where participants will pitch a room full of investors.
Sound interesting? Just email answers to the following questions to smorris@otbc.org to apply. Applications close March 31.
  • What is your name, mailing address, and phone number?
  • What is your company's name and URL (if any).
  • In 150 words or less, what does your company do?
  • Who is your customer and what is the unmet need you are addressing?
  • How do you address that need - and what makes you different than other solutions?
  • Who is your competition?
  • What is your competitive advantage?
  • What prevents someone else from doing what you're doing?
  • How will you acquire customers?
  • Describe your business model - how will you make money?
  • How long have you been working on this company?
  • Describe your accomplishments so far. Do you have a demo? (If there is an online demo, what is the URL?)
  • What are the biggest risks in your business? (i.e., what keeps you up at night)?
  • Tell us about each founder: name, age, school, degree, email address, and (if they have any of the following) personal URL, Twitter ID, Facebook ID, and present employer and title
  • What products or companies have any of you built before?
  • How long have the founders known one another and how did you meet?
  • Have you set up a legal entity? What kind? (C corp, S corp, LLC, etc.)
  • Describe your current stock ownership (founders and investors).
  • What fund raising goal do you have for the next 8 months?
  • If you were to raise money in the next 8 months, exactly what would you do with the funds?
  • Are there commitments that would prevent your team from focusing on your company full time during the 3 months of the boot camp (April 4-June 24)?
  • Why should your company be an Oregon TechLaunch company?
Interested in learning more? OTBC will be holding two informational meetings, March 17 and March 22. Or you can read more at OTBC Oregon TechLaunch Boot Camp.

Like this post? There are more. Every week.
Plus events, jobs, and community offers.

View previous campaigns.



Background that may help (or may not)

11 Responses to “Finding funding faster: OTBC opens Oregon TechLaunch Boot Camp”

  1. Bubs says:

    Save your $.
    Build your product. Launch it. Iterate.
    And use http://www.angel.co, it’s free.

  2. Wm Leler says:

    As an angel investor, I’ve seen plenty of people and companies who have tried Bubs’s “build it and they will come” approach and failed. Building a successful company (believe it or not) is a lot more complicated than just building a good product.

    And as for using http://www.angel.co I think Bubs misses the point. How much would it be worth to you as a company founder if you could have a bunch of investors from http://www.angel.co working with you to develop your pitch, your plan, and everything else you need to get your company going? You couldn’t hire one of them for a day of consulting for less than a thousand dollars, but OTBC is offering you 3 months of time for $900. I think it is a steal.

    [Full disclosure - I've been a volunteer coach at OTBC for years, but I don't have any stake (financial or otherwise) in this program. I was lucky when I started my first company and had several mentors who did much of the same thing as this program is offering, but I still would have found something like this helpful.]

  3. Iris Sasaki says:

    Bubs, you have a good point, it is always important to research what one can get free of charge. What OTBC is offering is a different “product”. They are offering a boot camp (coaching from CEOs and angels). It’s like a mini-MBA on steroids! It provides information and instruction that’s unlikely to be found in one place.

    From my perspective, they are fortunate to have such a series available. I’m sure you know better than most how difficult an initial launch can be.

  4. Len Van Regenmorter says:

    Everyone’s needs are somewhat different. You can get free counseling from SCORE, you can use the SBDC’s, OTBC, OEN, and many other areas. Trying to get your idea funded is challenging at best and any help you can get is important. The boot camp gives you access to people who have been there and done that. They may also have the dollars you need to get started.

  5. Bubs says:

    I’ll write a post regarding my opinion on programs like the above… I have way to much to type try and fit into a blog comment. Short summary:

    If you are starting an internet startup… Webservice, App, Community, etc. Don’t hire consultants. Don’t hire coaches. Don’t pay to pitch investors. Don’t go to every tech networking event in PDX.

    Just build your MVP and then once you’re launched connect with fellow entrepreneurs who recently raised rounds and ask them for feedback and advice on your pitch.

    +B

  6. Bubs says:

    @WM

    I’ve also seen lots of Portland companies who tried the “hire experts to solve our problems” approach that failed… and it much grander fashion. The biggest opportunity for web founders is the low barrier to entry. I’m not saying all you have to do is build a MVP and post it to the internet then sit back and watch the $ roll in. Hard work is always a part of it. But you don’t need a business plan to start a successful web company. I don’t think you need an executive summary either.

    It may be more complicated down the road, but the process of build your MVP and getting initial user feedback / traction is easy and quick.

    I’m sorry, maybe I missed something on the site. But how many investors from Angel.co are part of this OTBC program? Last I checked there was only 1 investor from Portland listed on Angel.co at all. What successful web companies have any of the coaches / advisors at OTBC founded in the past 5 years? As investors, what seed stage investments did they make in the past 12 months? What successful companies have they invested in?

    As a founder who has done the funding dance a couple times and just recently raised a large, VC backed seed round… I know exactly what the challenges are. And I got lots amazing help in crafting my pitch, strategy and investor intros. I got this all for free. From other founders who just raised rounds, who have founded several successful startups, who have as investors the top guys & gals you would want as investors. Again, this didn’t cost me anything but reaching out to ask them for advice. And I’m not special, any founder can reach out to these same kinds of people to get advice.

    I’ve written similar thoughts RE: startups that hire agencies / outsource the building of their startups here: http://siliconflorist.com/2008/08/11/heres-the-deadliest-catch-hiring-an-agency-to-build-your-startup/

  7. Mark says:

    Thank you for sharing, Darius. Looks like AngelList is a valuable way to connect. I especially like your comment (regarding Internet-space ideas) “the process of … getting initial user feedback is easy and quick”. In fact, the same advice you are sharing is provided often at OTBC, OEN and from people at the other groups OTBC is partnering with. Validate your market before jumping in too quickly. There’s “try it fast” as well as primary research methods that can get you there.

    However, I find it interesting that you compare joining a webgroup (or any one method) against OTBC (or other ways of asking for / receiving advice). Joining a web-community can be a great way to move forward, but is no guarantee that a company will get funded. Actually, nothing can guarantee it.

    Wouldn’t it make sense that anyone who is serious about moving their company forward would want to take advantage of knowledge, lessons-learned and talent / advice from multiple sources? (BTW: Your comment about only being one investor as a coach at OTBC is an assumption. Do you know everyone there / everyone’s past?)

    Besides – AngelList and OTBC are really apples and oranges.

    OTBC’s programs (many free or inexpensive – since that seems to be a barrier) is a great way to connect (person to person) to propel entrepreneurs’ companies forward. It is a valuable resource for several reasons. (Coaches, partners, peer networking, educational sessions, etc). Additionally, several other excellent groups are teaming with OTBC to make this a reality: Oregon Entrepreneurs Network, Portland Angel Network, TiE, Bridge City Ventures and the Software Association of Oregon. Quite a line-up.

  8. Bubs says:

    Hi Mark.

    I wasn’t saying that OTBC only had one investor… I was saying that I only saw 1 investor from Portland on AngelList.

    And you’re right, I don’t know everyone’s past at OTBC. I only speak from my experience interacting with them.

    But if you do know more than I do, perhaps you can tell me… “What successful web companies have any of the coaches / advisors at OTBC founded in the past 5 years? As investors, what seed stage investments did they make in the past 12 months? What successful companies have they invested in? OR, What successful web startups have been members of OTBC that you consider a valuable peer?”

    OTBC’s programs (many free or inexpensive – since that seems to be a barrier) is a great way to connect (person to person) to propel entrepreneurs’ companies forward.

    Why does meeting people face to face help propel an entrepreneur forward? Who are they meeting with that will help them launch/grow/fund their web startup?

    It is a valuable resource for several reasons. (Coaches, partners, peer networking, educational sessions, etc).

    Again, who are these coaches, partners, peers? What successful web startups have they launched, sold, invested in, etc. in the past 3 years? Why are these resources valuable to web startups?

    Additionally, several other excellent groups are teaming with OTBC to make this a reality: Oregon Entrepreneurs Network, Portland Angel Network, TiE, Bridge City Ventures and the Software Association of Oregon. Quite a line-up.

    And I’ll ask the same question of the groups above.

    I’d be stoked to know that OTBC or any of the other groups you mentioned above are here in Portland, are really helping web startups launch… but from my experience… I don’t see it.

    Perhaps somebody else can answer the questions above and help me see what I’m missing.

  9. Anonymous Tech Entrpreneur says:

    Ditto for skepticism about this.

    We don’t need a months-long class on “learn how to pitch your idea to people like us”.

    Rather: We need money flowing the other way … Small investments / donations to free entrepreneurs up to get their product, and their promo docs, out the door.

  10. Russell D. Fink says:

    We were referred to OTBC by a friend that was once involved with your organization. He needed help raising capital for one of his inventions and you referred him to an angel investor.

    Since our patent, product, operating agreement, business and marketing plans have been reviewed by top level executives and attorney’s and have met their approval, we are not seeking to take any classes at this time. It is unfortunate we didn’t find OTBC several months ago, it possibly could have saved us a hundred hours worth of research. We are now in a race to beat the market and don’t have the luxury to step back. All of our team is in place, we just need capital to finish.

    We have raised a substantial amount of cash from friends in the development of our product, however we are short the amount needed to bring it to completion. We are seeking an angel investor(s) and would prefer to do business locally face to face, but if needed we are willing to travel to San Francisco and Los Angeles.

    In order for the investor to truly understand the vast potential of our invention, being somewhat technically savvy and understand market trends is helpful. We have found however most persons under 45 years of age tend to easily grasp the concepts and see the huge potential for personal and business application.

    Please let us know what steps need to be taken to put our company in front of a reputable angle investor.

    Thank You.

  11. Mark says:

    Russell: “What steps need to be taken…” If you haven’t yet, talk with Steve Morris at OTBC – or any of the coaches he has assembled. He is / OTBC provides a wealth of information & insights. Or… you could follow Bub’s advice: “Why does meeting people face to face help propel an entrepreneur forward?” Although, it’s people who make things happen. Nothing else.


About the Silicon Florist

Free Pricing | JCPenney Coupons | Pizza Hut Coupons | Home Depot Coupons
Clicky Web Analytics