Category — Mod02:Business Bootcamp

Pitch Assessment: Recombo (2004, 2005), Ingenia, UBC OLT, and UBC IT

Recombo 2004

CEO Credibility:

Brad McPhee (VP): In this clip, he does not come across as very confident; not quite sure where this company is really going – it is not clearly stated

Management Team:

Says there is a great team, but no description.

Business Model:

The model seems to have many areas of products and services – it feels very scattered.

Competitive Products:

Market size, market share, and selling price were not discussed.

Market Readiness:

The company seems ready for tackling various areas and pathways, but this also means that there is no clear path being laid.

Technical Innovation:

Being able to unlock information from any format and share the content object with others – this seems to be their “edge”

Exit Strategy:

Does not seem to have a clear destination.

Overall Investment Status:

There is an innovative idea, but the path to success is not clear.  They need to have a clearer vision before I would invest.

Recombo 2005

CEO Credibility:

Brad McPhee: Compared to the previous pitch, he is more confident as a speaker; knowledgeable, but still lack a clear vision (always changing throughout the last few years)

Management Team:

Mentions that there are 3 sales, currently 12 people on team, in process of hiring 10 new employees within the next 3 months.

Business Model:

They have moved from a products model to a service (solutions based) model.  Clearer than last year. They plan to be more focused and choose the “right” companies to work with.

Competitive Products:

Brad seems confident in only working with big companies (100 million dollar business) and will turn down smaller ones. Compares the company with IBM.

Market Readiness:

They are in a year of transition, changing their targets. They are willing to sell the business when the time is right.

Technical Innovation:

They have the support of a lighthouse (publisher), which seems to lead them into a bigger network of customers.  This will give them an “edge” into the market.

Exit Strategy:

The business seems to be growing (expanding and doubling in staff size).  Again, the company seems flexible with its path, but this means that they do not have a clear vision of a path.

Overall Investment Status:

Although the company is innovative and always looking for new chances and ways to improve, it is not solid enough – I would be cautious when investing.

Ingenia

CEO Credibility:

Ramona Materi: Confident, although stumbles through her presentation; knowledgeable and has a vision.

Management Team:

Claims to have a team of qualified people with masters and PhD degrees, but does not state exactly in what field.  Also, her presentation (including photos) was more about herself than her team.  There is no “team” presence.

Business Model:

They have done research and have a good argument about their market.  They have experience already in the region.  They have done their homework and understand their competitions (ex. Japan)

Competitive Products:

It seems that there is a market and support from the government; they have a price for investors, but these prices are not specific enough for me to want to invest.

Market Readiness:

The company seems ready and is waiting for investment.

Technical Innovation:

E-learning is not new, but it seems that it is an “edge” in Vietnam.  However, there is not enough evidence about Vietnam’s interest in this market.

Exit Strategy:

She has a clear destination; she seems knowledgeable that there is a market and money to be made in Vietnam.

Overall Investment Status:

She is asking for a large sum of money.  However, 40% of the $100,000 investment is for airfare for 2 people.  On a simple online check, her quote is 4x the amount that is needed.  This makes me wonder: where exactly is all the money going.  I need more convincing before I part with $100,000.

UBC OLT

CEO Credibility:

Michelle Lamberson: Knowledgeable about her work, has a clear vision, confident that her and her team will succeed with the support of UBC; comes across as a good leader with a big team

Management Team:

Have highly qualified individuals on the team

Business Model:

Has a strategic plan. Work with many faculties and faculty members to support them in the projects. Have IT as support to provide the infrastructure.

Competitive Products:

Perhaps there are competition with other institutions; but they seem to run the entire platform system in their own university.

Market Readiness:

Continually tries to improve. Have bought and are hosting wiki’s and blog’s

Technical Innovation:

Innovative – look towards students as knowledge builders, provide framework and tools for individuals to use.  Success comes from blending technology with learning

Exit Strategy:

Driven by faculties and schools.  Provide services.  Will be successful as long as the institution (UBC) supports it.

Overall Investment Status:

Need to prove to UBC that they are valuable.  There is a great leader and this section seems to be successful.

UBC IT

CEO Credibility:

Ted Dodds: A very confident speaker, has a clear and strong vision of where he is going, seems very knowledgeable.

Management Team:

Has a strong team; all of the VPs at UBC (5) are on the team

Business Model:

Knows the importance of having a clear vision. Community based; interactive; have annual town hall meetings. Have partners working at the strategic level. They have an e-strategy framework.

Competitive Products:

They are innovative. Prepared to create and work with other universities.

Market Readiness:

The team seems to be ready to deal with anything that is new on the market

Technical Innovation:

They are innovative and unique in Canada.  Prepared to stay on top with technology (open source, community source, etc.)

Exit Strategy:

Very clear vision and path to success.

Overall Investment Status:

Ted has a very clear vision and knows where this team is going.

October 5, 2009   No Comments

Pitch Pool Assessments: Recombo 2005 vs. UBC OLT

Recombo 2005

CEO Credibility
Brad Mcphee.  At first I found his presence not powerful enough to lead the company during a time of transition.  As I watched further, I found he was knowledge but still did not provide with a clear vision about what Recombo’s goals were.  Maybe that is why there is currently a new CEO leading the company.
CEO 2009: Mike Gardner     Source: http://www.recombo.com

 

Management Team
Only name mentioned in the video was Brad Mcphee.  He also mentioned that there are a total of 3 sales people and 12 current employees.  They are in the process of hiring 10 new employees. 

 

Business Model
Recombo has technology that allows users to run their course content on.  I believe there product and business model is feasible.   They are trying to sell existing technology to customers.
Private Company with investors

 

Competitive Products
Have switched from a product based company to a service based company.  “Services provided over a architecture”.   Trying to prove that they have technology that solves business problems.-
-“Content integration router” new product out.  “Adapter “is a performance evaluation product.

 

Market Readiness
Recombo is currently in a year of transition.  They are shifting from a product centered business to services centered business.  

 

Technical Innovation
Their lighthouse technology seems to give them a competitive edge.  It seems like there are constantly innovating new ideas and re-packaging old ones to make them better.

 

Exit Strategy
– Although they have a great product, I believe they do not know what success looks like.  They are prepared to walk away from a business if it does not fit there business model.  Estimated dollar value is 100 million.   If the price is right he/shareholders would sell the business.

 

Overall Investment Status
Have a signed a new deal with a publisher that is equal to their entire revenue.  Are a growing company which is hiring an additional 10 employees.  Current employee base is 12.   I would invest in this company. 

 

UBC OLT

 

CEO  Credibility
Michelle Lamberson (Director).  She seems to come across very knowledgeable and credible.   She understand some the problems that OLT faces and some of the opportunities as well.

 

Management Team
Nothing is really mentioned in the video.  When access the OLT website the page cannot be displayed.   Page might be down for maintenance.

 

Business Model
Role: OLT plays a leadership role in Facilitation, Coordination and Communication of technology within curriculum of courses at UBC.   I believe because they are part of university most of their funding comes from the government and student tuition.  This means they are not selling a product or service in the open market .
-Public Education Institution.

 

Competitive Products
They provide a services of hosting and maintaining e-learning platforms at the university.   It seems they have no other competitors within the university.

Course Management Software. 
– Recently they have bought a new server to host web blogs and wiki’s.

 

Market Readiness
Success for OLT is not measured in profits but more in the learning success of students within the e-courses at UBC.  Seamlessly integrating technology into courses is a measurement of success. 

 

Technical Innovation
– learning through blogs and wiki is an new project that they are trying at UBC.  Their goal to always incorporate new ideas.  And they understand that some will fail and others will succeed

 

Exit Strategy
Student centered goals.
Driven by UBC faculty and students.  As a support unit OLT will always have to be there as a non for profit organization of the university.

 

Overall Investment Status
They have to keep showing the university that are benefit.  They will never really earn the university money but that is not their role.  Their role is to help facilitate the technology

October 4, 2009   No Comments

Venture Design and Assessment Resources

Below are  a few interesting resources I was able to find regarding Venture Design and Venture Assessment

 

http://www.newventuredesign.com/

New Start-up business consulting website

 http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1348221

 The Impact of New Venture Design on Entrepreneurial Exit Abstract: In this research we examine how the selection and assembly of initial strategic resources (financial, human, and technological) impact the entrepreneurial exit strategy. Our results suggest that an IPO exit strategy is positively related to all three types of strategic resources, while a strategic sale exit strategy is positively related to financial resources or total initial investment, and a sale to an individual exit strategy is positively associated with percentage of ownership, a financial resource. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

http://www.andrewhargadon.com/Release/Hargadon_DMR_Leading_by_Design.pdf

Leading With Vision: The Design of New Ventures ‘Design is now readily acknowledged as essential to the enterprise. Andrew Hargadon argues, however, that designers must go beyond the making of individual products and brands to cut across the traditional boundaries within firms to create innovative business ventures. Advocating a new profile of design leadership, Hargadon explains how design principles and practices are uniquely suited to this exciting, multidimensional task.

http://www.heptalysis.com/

 Heptalysis is a methodology, software solution and set of tools for planning and analyzing startups companies and business ventures

 http://www.1000ventures.com/business_guide/company_assessment_brc.html

Venture Company Assessment Tool

September 24, 2009   2 Comments

Pitch Pool Assessments: Recombo 2004, Recombo 2005, Ingenia, UBC OLT, UBC IT, Royal Roads

Recombo 2004

 

CEO Credibility

ü      Brad at this point has poor presentation skills

ü      He does not exude confidence, in fact his voice is weak and his speech often stumbles

ü      His lack of a clear goal or vision does not leave me confident in his company’s success

 

Management Team

ü      It is interesting to note that neither Brad’s credentials nor those of his team are discussed during the pitch.  An oversight on his part after doing some research on the web as Brad does have some excellent credentials and experience behind him.

 

Business Model

ü      The general lack of focus leads me towards a ‘no’ as to whether this is feasible.  They are looking at too wide an area with tools, platform and service.  They need to have a clearer vision to share to compel the investor

 

Competitive Products

ü      Brad has not convinced me that his product is ready to compete with the existing competition and take a market share.  Price point was not discussed but is relevant.

 

Market Readiness

ü      The product is already in the market place but I’m not convinced the company is ready or prepared for growth.

 

Technical Innovation

ü      The company does have a unique edge with their ‘connectedness’ this is where I think their focus and vision should lie.

 

Exit Strategy

ü      Right now, overall Recombo is lacking a clear vision and goals, without these I don’t think that it is possible for them to accurately define what their success looks like.  They do not have a clear destination for themselves

 

Overall Investment Status

ü      At this time I would not be willing to risk my money on this proposition

 

Recombo 2005

 

CEO Credibility

ü      Brad at this point has improved his presentation skills

ü      He is very confident in his company and the product

ü      His lack of a clear goal or vision does not leave me confident in his company’s success

 

Management Team

ü      It is interesting to note that neither Brad’s credentials nor those of his team are discussed during the pitch.  An oversight on his part after doing some research on the web as Brad does have some excellent credentials and experience behind him.

 

Business Model

ü      Recombo has obviously learned from past successes and failures and have remodelled the company

ü      They are now focused on being a solution based company and are willing to turn down business that does not fit into their new vision

ü      Brad’s presentation, however, does not compel me to believe that they have done all of their homework to be competitive in this market

ü       

 

Competitive Products

ü      From the presentation it appears that the product is scaleable and adjustable for various markets, however, it’s niche is not readily apparent

 

Market Readiness

ü      The product has its first lighthouse client and has an interesting approach towards incentives for existing clients to produce new leads.  However, the sales teams approach does not seem to be focused and unified

 

Technical Innovation

ü      The company does have a unique edge with their ‘connectedness’ but do they offer their client’s and edge?  I am not convinced.

 

Exit Strategy

ü      Brad talks about focus but doesn’t seem to have a clear focus for growth and success.  They do not seem to have a clear vision of where they want to be with their product (other than a million dollar company)

 

Overall Investment Status

ü      At this time I would not be willing to risk my money on this proposition.  There is still work to be done on this company.

Further Remarks

ü      I took the opportunity to investigate Recombo’s website.  They have changed the focus of their product yet again.

 

Ingenia Training

 

CEO Credibility

ü      Confident, clear speaking voice

ü      Excellent credentials

ü      Concise Presentation

 

Management Team

ü      Solid business, highly qualified team

ü      Industry leader

ü      International expert

ü      Good successes already

 

Business Model

ü      Good research into the market

ü      Ripe for growth in eLearning and custom content

ü      Aware of the competition

ü      Already have contacts in Vietnam

ü      Money is available for the product

ü      Solid focused goal

 

Competitive Products

ü      From the presentation it appears that the product is easily able to take a good piece of the market share in this country that has yet to be tapped into

ü      The price for investment is clear and clearly broken down

 

Market Readiness

ü      The product is ready, the path to success should be relatively short

 

Technical Innovation

ü      If they act quickly and take the large market share than I believe they will have an edge that they can keep

 

Exit Strategy

ü      Their vision and goals are very clear and focused

 

Overall Investment Status

ü      I would invest in this proposition.  Although the return on investment is relatively small I do believe it is feasible

 

Further Remarks

ü      From further research on the Ingenia website it looks like they were successful in securing the IDRC/Government of Vietnam as a client

 

UBC Office of Learning Technologies

 

CEO Credibility

ü      Although the director was not a great speaker she does seem very knowledgeable about the various intricacies of overseeing the learning technologies for such a large institution with so many unique faculties and individuals that require accommodation inside her office’s vision

 

Management Team

ü      The UBC Office of Learning Technologies is filled with highly qualified individuals

 

Business Model

ü      The office does have a strategic plan

ü      They ensure that they work collaboratively with all individual and faculties

ü      They provide facilitation and co-ordination across UBC, which is difficult in an institution that values de-centralization

ü      Works collaboratively with IT services to ensure that the infrastructure can support the learning technologies

 

Technical Innovation

ü      This office values advanced and innovative users

ü      They look to the future and value online interaction

 

Exit Strategy

ü      Although the focus has to be on broader goals to encompass so many unique faculties and client groups, they still seem to achieve a clear focus and strategy for the future

 

Overall Investment Status

ü      No office is perfect and learning technologies are still continuously emerging and evolving.  This is a very difficult office to hold and please so many separate interests while keeping a common vision.  I think the director does an admirable job.

 

UBC IT Services

 

CIO Credibility

ü      Wow, Ted is a very well spoke individual

ü      He is clear, concise and exudes capability and confidence

 

Management Team

ü      All 5 of the UBC VPs volunteered to sit on the executive steering committee

 

Business Model

ü      Ted is very much aware that it is essential to have a clear vision, and the ability to articulate and share that vision with others

ü      The office has an eStrategy framework

ü      Annual town hall to discuss the strategy

ü      They give voice to the entire community

ü      Align their goals with the strategic goals of the faculty and the university

 

Competitive Products

ü      The office makes a point of keeping track of the innovators within the UBC community

ü      Liaise with other universities

ü      Keep current with the work of other institutions

 

Exit Strategy

ü      I was very impressed with the clarity of Ted’s vision.  He has a clear definition for success for his department

 

Royal Roads Open Courseware

 

CEO Credibility

ü      Miss Burgess speaks confidently and believes in the success of her proposal

 

Management Team

ü      It is made apparent that the current staff at Royal Roads are highly competent

ü      However, no mention is made of the team that would design and implement the Open Courseware – are they the same?  eLearning courseware is different than teaching in class

 

Business Model

ü      Although Miss Burgess talks about open courseware at other institutions and the benefits of open courseware, there is very little substance about how this would be implemented at Royal Roads

ü      Is the infrastructure already in place?  Are the courses fit for online learning?  What type of budget are they looking at?  Where is the evidence of a business proposal?

 

Competitive Products

ü      The selling price is zero dollars, Miss Burgess has done little to convince what the return on investment will be

 

Market Readiness

ü      This was not addressed at all during the presentation

ü      Are there courses already created?

ü      How much hardware requires purchasing

ü      What will the software requirements be?

ü      How long will this take to implement from start to finish?

 

Technical Innovation

ü      There are already a number of universities that offer Open Courseware.  Miss Burgess has not emphasized what will be unique about the Royal Roads open courseware

 

Exit Strategy

ü      I believe that Miss Burgess has a clear picture of what she would like to see, unfortunately she has not paved a clear road of how she will get there.

 

Overall Investment Status

ü      At this time I would not be willing to risk my money on this proposition.

September 24, 2009   1 Comment

Good job EVAs

Just wanted to write a short post to congratulate the fledgling EVAs of ETEC 522 2009.

Well done. Lots of evaluations (tables and prose) and comments on EVA findings. Thanks also for the useful resources that have been posted to support extensions to the content for Module 2.

d.

September 21, 2009   2 Comments

Ingenia and Recombo

recomo page 1recombo market 2

September 21, 2009   3 Comments

Bplans Pitch Site

A VERY new (pitches are not quite public yet) addition to bplans.com this section of the site allows users to post video pitches to the community to be evaluated (looks like 522 has some competition).  With a host of other free information on pitches and business plans, this site would be well worth a browse in preparing to develop your own pitch.  Welcome video by Tim Berry gives some solid thoughts on developing a pitch.

bplans.com pitch site

YouTube Preview Image

September 21, 2009   2 Comments

Resources

The Business Link is a joint web site- hosted by Govt. of Alberta and the Govt. of Canada.   http://www.canadabusiness.ab.ca/

This web site has many different sections from marketing- financing and includes a section  on e-business

Marketing- http://www.canadabusiness.ca/servlet/ContentServer?cid=1104766631708&pagename=CBSC_AB%2FCBSC_WebPage%2FCBSC_WebPage_Temp&c=CBSC_WebPage

e-business- http://www.canadabusiness.ca/servlet/ContentServer?cid=1184870303638&pagename=CBSC_AB%2FCBSC_WebPage%2FCBSC_WebPage_Temp&c=CBSC_WebPage

September 21, 2009   No Comments

Recombo and Ingenia

September 21, 2009   No Comments

Venture Internet Resources

I don’t remember seeing any of these sites posted let me know if you find them helpful!

 

http://www.1000ventures.com/venture_financing/vfin_vp_chart_byvpa.html – cool venture planning concept chart!

http://abc.go.com/shows/shark-tank– American version of Dragons Den, prime time version of making the pitch! 

http://sbinformation.about.com/cs/bestpractices/a/jointventure.htm – I found this interesting it is all about the benfits of entering in a joint venture to improve the chances of your company’s success.

September 21, 2009   No Comments