First Look Forum

March 24, 2009

Date:  Tuesday, March 24, 2009 ~ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm with reception to follow
Location:  The Big Picture, Seattle

Magnify your opportunities -- first impressions count!
Due to popular demand, we have extended the deadline for submitting applications to the First Look Forum until Monday, February 9 at noon.  Complete the online registration to hold your spot in the application process!

Don’t miss this premier opportunity to present your early stage company to a forum of qualified angel investors. Gain the practice, visibility and connections you need to make a great first impression and get a clear understanding on how to move your business forward.

NWEN’s First Look Forums provide the next generation of emerging Northwest companies with the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to, and network with, an audience of the region’s top angels.

NWEN is inviting applications from entrepreneurs in every product and service segment. A maximum of a dozen startups will be selected per forum, provided intensive coaching by a team of seasoned investors, and given the opportunity to present to a room of close to 100 angels.

There are currently two forums planned for 2009, with the first scheduled for March 24.  The application deadline to be considered for the March forum is Friday, February 6. Spots are limited, so entrepreneurs wishing to present should apply now.

There is a $45 Application Fee for NWEN members, $90 for non-members.  The Presenter Fee for those selected is $175 for NWEN members, $275 for non-members. All Presenters receive a complimentary copy of the Puget Sound Business Journal’s Book of Lists (valued at $60) and an annual membership with Passport Unlimited (valued at $130).

Who should apply:
The First Look Forums are targeted at early stage entrepreneurs who haven’t previously presented and are in the pre-funding stage of their trajectory. If you have a business plan that is differentiated, that you are able to articulate, then this forum is for you.

Entrepreneurs should be ready to:
•    Work through the investor presentation process
•    Connect with the people you need to know
•    Receive structured feedback and advice from experienced entrepreneurs and angels with  operating experience to shape your pitch and business proposition
•    Present to an audience of early stage investors who are there to take a “First Look” at you

Forum format:
The half day forums will be held in a single track. Twelve companies will be selected to give their three minute pitches. The audience will then vote to determine the top five companies.  These five companies will then make their 15 minute business plan presentations.

The winning presenter from the forum will receive a prize package including offerings from Swift HR Solutions, Microsoft BizSpark, Puget Sound Business Journal, Keiretsu Forum, and Zino Society, in addition to incredibly valuable contacts, advice and connections. And maybe, just maybe, one or more will end up with a relationship that will help take their idea and their company to the next level.

Key dates:
February 6:              Deadline for applying to present at the March 24 Forum
February 23-27:       Initial presentation and review to screening committee and coaches
March 9:                  Announcement of 12 presenting companies
March 10-17:           Presenters meet with coaches
March 24:                First Look Forum

If you’re an entrepreneur looking for relationships with and feedback from experienced angel investors there’s no better opportunity than NWEN’s First Look Forums.

Application Guidelines
You have one page each to cover five topics—five pages total.

1.    Market/Opportunity:  Describe the market in terms of characteristics and size. Define total market opportunity vs. addressable market. How will you penetrate this market? Will you sell direct or indirectly? What are the market drivers? Describe the segmentation of your market.

2.    Novelty/Concept: Describe your business concept. How is it original or novel? How will you differentiate it? What is your value proposition? Do you or will you have defensible IP? Who are your competitors? How will you win against them? Where will you lose?

3.    Scalability of Business Model: Describe the means by which your business model can scale past the startup stage. What are the factors necessary to grow? What will be the funding requirements to grow? What are the milestones and challenges to grow the company? How do the fundamental economics (price, costs, margin, etc) support organic growth?

4.    Traction In Target Market: Describe any traction your company has, including sales, customers, references, primary market research, partners, or other.

5.    Experience/Team: Describe your team and their relevant experience. Describe each person’s role and how they are qualified for that position. Identify any holes in your team and how you will fill them. Include outside help such as service providers, investors, and boards, but be clear who is a full-time team member vs advisor.

Entrepreneurs:  Apply here

For an outline from our recent Think Tank on how to prepare for the First Look Forum, please click here and download the powerpoint presentations.




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