I had attended Prof. Asad M. Madni seminar named “Key Elements of a Business Plan for a Start-up Company” which was organized by College of Science and Engineering, City University of Hong Kong on 19th Oct 2018. Entrepreneurship is the engine of economic growth. Technologist, faculty members, graduate students, and other visionaries keep on developing concepts, products, and service that are revolutionary and continue to define the evolution of our society. This seminar introduced the key elements as well as simple yet powerful approach to develop a successful business plan for a start-up company. Before it, I took a photo with Prof. Madni.
The group photo was taken with all participants at the end. Prof. Hong Yan (Dean, College of Science and Engineering, CityU) (Left 3 in 1st row) and Dr. Ray Cheung (Asso. Professor, Dept. of EE, CityU; Director, CityU Apps Lab) (Left 5 in 1st row) were also here.
In the beginning, Dr. Ray Cheung introduced the background of speaker Prof. Asad M. Madni who is a visionary and highly successful executive to lead two enormously successful companies: Systron Donner Corporation and BEI Technologies Inc. He is currently an Independent Consultant; Distinguished Adjunct Professor and Distinguished Scientist of Electrical & Computer Engineering at UCLA; and Executive Managing Director & Chief Technology Officer of Crocker, a San Francisco based private venture firm specializing in emerging technologies.
Firstly, Prof. Asad M. Madni (Distinguished Adjunct Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles) asked us a question why so little startup success. You needed to go out to raise money and CEO of investment could give you only 15 min for you to present your idea.
Therefore, he told students and participants to ask themselves the following questions.
1. What is it?
- Explain the product or service that you are providing in simple, understandable language. Do not assume that the reader understands your technology, product or service in as much depth as you do.
2. Why are you proposing it?
- Explain the market you are trying to serve.
3. Who else is satisfying this market?
- If someone is in the market, then explain how you plan to take away his/her market share. If no one is then explain how you plan to create and penetrate the market. He said “Market analysis is necessary and talk to your end user/customer”.
4. Intellectual Property
- Prof. Madni said IP is very important that not necessary patent but your core technology should be protected.
5. Management Team
- He said that Technology Guru is not Management Guru. The combination of group / team should be included Engineering, Operation and Management who understand startup.
6. Sustained Profitable Growth
- Show clearly how you plan to grow the company. “Cash flow” is most important that to help your company alive.
7. Be realistic in your projections
- You will have to live with your own projections. (Like milestone assessment)
8. Perform sufficient Due Diligence before you choose your investors and VCs.
- He said to choose investors who understand your business and marketplace for long-term development.
9. Exit Strategy
- Have a well-defined roadmap in terms of an exit strategy. All investors will want to understand this very clearly.
10. Give Investors a reason to invest
- Very compelling reason why investors should risk their money on a startup
11. Do not become a Victim of your Past Success
- Learn to adapt to changing market conditions.
12. Be Prepared to Work Hard
- He said startup is no boss, you are the boss and work from Morning to Night without break!
13. Surrounding yourself with the Best People.
- He suggested to join different association and conference in your field and talk with experts.
14. Do not be limited by Your Own Imagination
- Discuss your plans with lots of experienced people (even sign NDA if need)
Lastly, Prof. Asad M. Madni encouraged students to take their technology from laboratory concept to commercialize as product or service.
At the end, Prof. Hong Yan (Dean, CSE, CityU) presented a souvenir to Prof. Asad M. Madni for appreciating this valuable and inspiration talk to students.
Prof. Asad M. Madni - https://www.ee.ucla.edu/asad-m-madni/
CSE, CityU - http://www6.cityu.edu.hk/cse/cms/index.aspx?lang=enCityU Apps Lab (CAL) - http://appslab.hk/