University of Minnesota
Office for Technology Commercialization

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For Entrepreneurs

Business Plan

A business plan that describes a potential startup’s business model is a critical document used by the Venture Center in assessing company viability. The Venture Center is prepared to review and assist with the business plans of startups proposed by researchers and external entrepreneurs.

The business plan should include answers to the following types of questions:

1. What is the problem or market need to which the company’s technology relates?

2. What is the solution offered by the technology?

3. What are the technology solution’s features and benefits?

4. What value does your startup company bring to the technology you hope to license?

5. What are your company's products?

6. What are benefits and value of the products and how will they be priced?

7. Who are the company's anticipated customers, why will they buy, and have they been contacted to assist in product design?

8. What are the barriers to entry for your approach?

9. What are the initial markets and size of market?

10. Who are the competitors and what is the company’s competitive advantage?

11. What are the technology milestones and costs to make the solution work?

12. What are the product milestones and costs to produce the products?

13. What are the company milestones and the cost of getting through each one?

14. What are your financial projections for the first five years of company operation?

15. How much capital is needed to get a product to market and what is the anticipated pre-money value of the company at each round of financing?

16. What are the comparable companies valued at in the market?

17. Who will manage the company and what is their relevant experience?

18. What is the company's exit plan?

More Information

Licensing Agreements for Startups

After a business plan review and due diligence confirms that a startup company is the most appropriate form of commercialization for a particular technology, the Office for Technology Commercialization will negotiate a license for the related University Intellectual Property with the newly established startup.

OTC and Venture Center will work with the startup company’s management to finalize this license and, if applicable, equity or other agreements.

These agreements generally include both financial and non-financial terms. Financial terms include the license fee (in the form of cash, equity, or other consideration), the royalty rate paid on company revenues, patent reimbursement, and development milestone payments.

For additional details of the license agreement process, please see the Licensing Process