Preliminary Applicant Self Screening
To cope with an expected flood of applications from scalable concept and seed stage enterprises seeking the unique benefits of the Beacon Model© for entrepreneurs and hoping therefore to obtain funding from Beacon Business Development Company (BBDC), Beacon Investment Partners, LLC (BIP – Beacon) developed a self-screening protocol as the first stage in vetting candidates and also as guidance for entrepreneurs.
Beacon’s standardized vetting protocol utilizes a question and answer form. If needed by applicants, books and articles available online provide the detailed background which allows every entrepreneur to understand and fully address each question as they screen themselves. Furthermore, once an application is made, these sources help Fellows in the BEST Advisory to be “on the same page,” comment upon and work with the entrepreneur to strengthen his or her standardized application before passing the crème de la crème opportunities along to Beacon Investment Partners for further vetting prior to Beacon proceeding with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and costly due diligence.
Companies that would like to rigorously evaluate their own development privately, or wishing to apply for funding by Beacon Investment Partners, LLC, should give close attention to the following:
Beacon investments are vetted by seasoned, successful Business Angels who are Fellows of the BrightChange Executive Service Task Force (BEST) and by other experts. Business Angels are asked to rely upon their experiences as company founders, using most or all of the following six screens to augment their own evaluations before recommending candidate companies to Beacon Investment Partners, LLC:
- The Bell – Mason Diagnostic
A graphic depiction of the state of corporate organization in terms of the venture’s functional parts (ISBN 0-201-56321-5).
- The Fulmer – Goldstein, Five Star Growth Company Standard
A comparison of annualized growth rates among key income statement and balance sheet variables (competitor, M&A target).
- The Beacon In-house Entrepreneurial Aptitude Test
An easy-to-self-administer word comparison test indicating management’s personal bias toward established companies or toward entrepreneurial firms or life-style companies.
- Dr. Scott A. Shane’s, Finding Fertile Ground
10 criteria for identifying extraordinary opportunities for new ventures (Wharton School Publishing, ISBN 0-7686-8209-6)
- The Innovator’s Scorecard
Thomas K. McKnight’s 44 crucial success indicators (WILL IT FLY, Financial Times, Prentice-Hall, ISBN 0-13-046221-7)
- Where to Go When the Bank Says No : Alternatives For Financing Your BusinessBy David R Evanson, ISBN-10: 1576600173
- Do Venture Capitalists’ Implicit Theories on New Business Success/Failure have Empirical Validity?
International Small Business Journal 2002; 20; 395, DOI: 10.1177/0266242602204002,By Hernan Riquelme and John Watson, http://isb.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/20/4/395
- The Beacon Growth Quadrant Locator
A graphic representation of the state of the company’s growth in terms of product and process. Pattern recognition is about as close as potential investors can come in comparing equity investments in very early stage companies. No one has yet been able to develop a precise, surefire method of identifying winners and losers. The necessary accounting information is either not available or sadly lacking. Were it otherwise, there would surely be many more billionaires in Forbes’annual list of the world’s most wealthy.It takes judgment, as well as experience to evaluate a company in all of its potential for growth and profitability. Perhaps the quintessential element of “leadership” is the most difficult factor of all to quantify. If the organization and the management aptitude are lacking, the venture simply will not prevail, regardless of its technological or market advantages. Correspondingly, no single one of the six measures described above is adequate when taken alone. However, taken together in the hands of seasoned professionals, such screens represent a formidable chest of tools that can take the entrepreneur and investor beyond guesswork and lead to an interview with BIP and an opportunity for sustained public financing via the “Beacon Model© for Entrepreneurs.”
- Securities Issuers’ Manual for completing Reg A form 1-A (including old Form U-7 / SEC 1-A of 28-April-89)
http://www.nasaa.org/industry___regulatory_resources/corporation_finance/564.cfm and OMB #3235-0286 http://www.sec.gov/about/forms/form1-a.pdf
To Order the Self-Screening Kit
Shortly, readers interested in knowing and improving their Business Plan’s entrepreneurial score may send an Order Form with a check to Beacon Investment Partners, LLC, to receive the self-evaluation kit now being prepared. Whether you are planning to seek funding by the Beacon Business Development Company or not, the kit is designed to help you to decide either to seek a better opportunity or to systematically address the risks and opportunities for potential investors.
About the Authors
Vincent A. Fulmer is a co-founder of the M.I.T. Enterprise Forum and a member of its Executive Board. He is a nationally recognized advocate of entrepreneurship.
George W. Beard is Managing Member of Beacon Investment Partners, LLC (Delaware, USA) and founder and CEO of KeepTrack USA. KeepTrack is a development-stage physical cargo security and supply chain IT firm. KeepTrack features a portable Katie Bar® internal locking platform for containers which securely incorporates patented sensing and imaging while offering every innovator an “open” standard, “plug-and-play” bus and an open application programming interface (API).