2016 Guidance for Program Participants (Fall Cohort)

This page contains information for companies that have been accepted into the summer cohort of the Mentor Capital Network’s 2016 Sustainable Business Plan Collaboration program.

1) Timeline:

  • Business plans from the entrepreneurs due to the Mentor Capital Network: Monday, October 17th
  • Business plans distributed to reviewers: October 31st
  • Clarification Calls with reviewers: November 9th to 22nd
  • Feedback and scorecards distributed to the entrepreneurs: December 5th

2) Processing Fee:

3) Research Surveys

We are conducting a multi-year survey of how we can best serve the entrepreneurs that we work with. At four different points during and after our program, we will ask you to fill out a variety of surveys with our research partners.

  1. Baseline: will be sent to you when your business plans are submitted.
  2. Feedback: will come with your feedback
  3. Three Months Out: to see which mentors you connected to, and how that is working for both of you
  4. One Year Out: to see which mentors you connected to, and how that is working for both of you


4) The Business Plan (Technical Specifications)

  • A single file in Adobe PDF, no longer than 23 pages (including the cover sheet and executive summary).
  • This file emailed to network@mentorcapitalnet.org as an attached file.
  • You may reference additional online resources in your business plan, but the reviewers will not be required to view them.
  • Your business plan should have a cover sheet that includes:

– Company name
– Name(s) of the lead contact individual(s), and email and telephone contact information.
– Physical address of the company.
– Website of the company (if you have one)
– An answer to: “Where do you need the most help in making your company successful?”
– A list of any competitors that you want to make sure do not review your plan.


5) The Business Plan (Content)
The rest of your submission should be no longer than twenty pages. The guidance here is deliberately vague — we want to evaluate your actual business plan, not something you wrote just for the Mentor Capital Network.

  • You should describe your Product / Solution. please make sure to cover: what it does, intellectual property, non-IP barriers to entry & technology validation.
  • You should describe your Customers and Marketing Strategy. please make sure to cover: customer engagement, partnerships / channels, market sizing analysis, market segmentation, trend analysis, & pricing strategy.
  • You should describe your Competitive Advantage. please make sure to cover: competition, substitutions, differentiation, and your industry knowledge.
  • You should describe your Team and Major Partners. please make sure to cover: your senior leadership and major partners, and what they bring to the organization.
  • You should describe your Financial Model. Please make sure to include an income statement, actuals for up to the past three years (if you have them) and projections for the next three years.
  • If you are currently seeking Investment, you should make sure to describe what you will do with the investment and how that will move your company forward. You should NOT indicate how much of the company can be purchased with that investment (due to regulations in the USA securities laws).

6) Where Mission Drives Margin:
You’ll note that we didn’t ask for a specific section on social/environmental value created by your company. That is because it should be woven into the rest of your business plan. Keep in mind the slogan of the Mentor Capital Network: “Where Mission Drives Margin.” Please make sure to cover how that happens in your company. We are specifically looking for examples of how your social, environmental, and/or cultural mission makes your company stronger financially. They should be addressed in the business plan for the business decisions that they are, not as a separate category.

Examples of this could include:

  • Environmental actions that lower your operational risk.
  • Treating your employees, suppliers, and/or partners fairly in a way that reduces turnover costs
  • Addressing markets that are traditionally ignored. These markets can be delineated by geography, income, class, gender, etc..
  • Using diversity (gender, class, ethnicity, etc.) to strengthen your teamwork, and/or your understanding of your market. If you are unclear on how to do this, we recommend this article as an overview: http://ssir.org/articles/entry/the_rise_of_gender_capitalism.