The Mentor Capital Network (MCN) identifies and supports for-profit entrepreneurs who are using business to solve the world’s biggest social, economic, and environmental problems in a way that others will be inspired to follow their lead.

The business plan feedback you are about to provide is both valuable in and of itself, and a tool to assist both you and the entrepreneur in identifying and building mentoring relationships that will be useful, interesting, and engaging for the both of you.

This form is available as online text (here), as a Microsoft Word document, and as a Google Form. We recommend writing out the answers in the Word document and then filling in the form. If you do not have reliable internet where you are, you can just email us the Word document version.

All you have committed to is to provide feedback on the business plan. Should you wish to become more engaged with this company, or to remain anonymous, those options are available to you via the last question on this form.

Write to the entrepreneur(s), not to the MCN. Everything between and including “Product / Service” and “Reviewer Context” will be sent directly to them.

Write from your perspective and expertise. You are part of a team of reviewers who were specifically chosen to provide different points of feedback. Many sections include a “no score provided” option – if you’re a finance expert, feel free to leave the marketing assessment to someone else. (As a bonus, you will get to see everyone else’s feedback at the end of the process.)

You are reading a business plan written for the entrepreneurs, not for the MCN reviewers. There is little point in our providing feedback on a document written for the MCN. Many of the questions on this form will not apply to certain kinds of businesses. If you feel that they should have mentioned something in their plan, note that in the comments. But nothing is required.

While this program is no longer a competition, several questions on this form ask you to provide a score. Please use these criteria:
* Poor: If this area is not addressed, the business will not succeed.
* Adequate: While this area is a weakness, it won’t disrupt the entire business.
* Fair: This area will neither hurt the business nor provide a competitive advantage.
* Good: This is the level you would want to see in a business before working there yourself.
* Outstanding: They got this perfect. Particularly if they have a new approach to the challenge.
* No Score Provided: If you do not feel qualified to score a particular section, check this box. This will not affect the score. You can still include constructive comments, if you have any. This option is not available for all categories.

We will be scheduling “Clarification Calls” in late April and early May to give you an opportunity to either meet or conference call with the entrepreneurs directly. Details on those to follow.

Questions about this program should be sent to network@mentorcapitalnet.org.


Your name:                                                            

Your email:                                                            

Name of company reviewed:    


Product / Service
Do you understand their product or service? Do you understand the problem that it will solve?

Score: Poor / Adequate / Fair  / Good / Outstanding

Comments:  


Marketing / Sales Strategy

Do they know why people will pay for their product, if there are enough of them, and how they will reach those people? Your comments in this section could also cover how their market might change over time, and if and how they learning from marketing testing.

Score: Poor / Adequate / Fair  / Good / Outstanding / No Score Provided

Comments: 


Competition / Risks
Do they know who their competitors are? Do they know how their product is different? Do they have an unfair advantage? Do they understand major risks to their business model? Your comments in this section could also cover barriers to entry and relevant intellectual property protection.

Score: Poor / Adequate / Fair  / Good / Outstanding / No Score Provided

Comments: 


Team / Partners / Stakeholders

Do they have the staff, partners, & champions they will need? If not, do they have a plan to recruit them? Other than their team, who else will be invested in their success?

Score: Poor / Adequate / Fair  / Good / Outstanding / No Score Provided

Comments: 


Financial Assumptions

* Are their revenue and expense assumptions reasonable? 

Per USA SEC regulations, business plans submitted to the MCN should not contain offerings of securities. Companies seeking investment can (and should) say something like “We are seeking an investment of $XX, which we will use for YY purposes, which will enable us to become profitable / more attractive to future investors because of ZZ.” They should *not* say things like “For a $XX investment, an investor would receive YY% of the company and/or a ZZ% annual return.”

Your comments for this section could also cover:
* Costs of goods sold 
* Pricing strategy

Score: Poor / Adequate / Fair  / Good / Outstanding / No Score Provided

Comments:   


Integrating the Mission / Understanding the Ripples

Every company selected to participate in the MCN program claims to have a social, environmental, and/or cultural mission. We have chosen to believe the entrepreneurs that they *want* to accomplish these missions. While the Why can be an important marketing tool and/or a sign that the entrepreneurs are truly committed to the success of their business, for this section we’re focused on the How.

Integrated mission in this context, means that their social, environmental, or cultural mission is part of how they make money. The MCN has seen many business plans where a company wants to employ a distressed or underserved community. If done well, this can increase employee retention, resulting in lower turnover costs. Or they want to sell to a similar community. Again, if done well, they are identifying a market that their competitors are ignoring for what are usually non-business reasons (discrimination, fear of the unknown, etc.). In both cases, if done poorly, the company is just adding costs to their production or distribution process that will make them less competitive.

Ripples, in this context, are the things that happen because of the disruptive changes made by an entrepreneur. Regular entrepreneurs get to move fast and break things. The MCN believes that social entrepreneurs have a responsibility to think through what might happen because of the changes their companies will make in the worlds of their customers, employees, and other stakeholders. Some social enterprise ideas can be beneficial at a small scale, but problematic at a larger size. Is that the case here? If so, have the entrepreneurs addressed this?

Score: Poor / Adequate / Fair  / Good / Outstanding   

Comments: 


Operations / Overall Viability

Do they have reasonable strategies and assumptions for how they will execute production, sales, delivery, and other basic business operations? Do you think this is a viable business in its current form? Your comments for this section could also cover how they will measure their success, if you think other companies will follow their lead, and what aspects of the plan particularly excite or concern you. This section is also for comments that do not fit in other categories.  

Score: Poor / Adequate / Fair  / Good / Outstanding   

Comments: 


Indicate the extent to which you agree with the following statements:

Presentation Strongly Disagree Disagree Neither Disagree or Agree Agree Strongly Agree
This business plan was presented in a way that was logical and easy to understand. __ __ __ __ __
Due to missing information I had to guess or “mentally fill in the blanks” regarding aspects of this business in order to assess it. __ __ __ __ __
This business is addressing a social mission which is important to me personally. __ __ __ __ __
I have a very clear understanding of the social mission of this business. __ __ __ __ __

Are there any resources that you’d like to share with the entrepreneur? This can include examples of companies doing similar work that the entrepreneur may not be familiar with.


Reviewer Context

Please provide a short bio or description of your background as it specifically relates to the plan, e.g. “I am a business school finance professor who has worked in the automotive industry in India.” Or “I started two organic textile companies.” If you wish to remain anonymous, don’t use your name here.


Should we list, update, or remove your name from our website at http://mentorcapitalnet.org/home/program/mentors_and_reviewers/ ? (Only reviewers from the past three years are currently listed.)

__ Please add or update my bio with the “Reviewer Context” text above

__ Please add or update my bio with the “Public Bio” text below

__ No changes needed

__ Do not list me

Public Bio – If we should add or update your information on our public website, please provide a *short* biography here. This may be different from the “Review Context” above in that it does not need to reference your connection to the specific plan you are reviewing. We reserve the right to edit for length.


The next set of questions are for MCN research purposes, and will only be shared in aggregate, without attribution. 


In your opinion, what is the likelihood that the business will accomplish each of the following next year?

  Already Done 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
Raise external capital greater than $100k from any source              
Apply for and receive official government legal status              
Will have a primary entrepreneur working full-time on venture              
Deliver first product or service              
Hire first (non-founder) employee              

To what extent did you feel the business plan demonstrated the following?

  Strongly Disagree Disagree Not Sure Agree Strongly Agree
A sense of novelty __ __ __ __ __
A foundation in proven models __ __ __ __ __
Consideration of your likely interests as a reader and potential mentor   __ __ __ __ __
Authenticity __ __ __ __ __
Venture’s immediate feasibility                __ __ __ __ __
Venture’s long-term potential __ __ __ __ __
Close attention to detail       __ __ __ __ __
Big-picture thinking              __ __ __ __ __

Based on your reading of the business plan, to what extent do you agree with the following about the entrepreneur? (This question is only applicable if there is a single lead entrepreneur for the business.)

  Strongly Disagree Disagree Not Sure Agree Strongly Agree
Their personality is similar to yours __ __ __ __ __
They have skills are in similar areas to your skills __ __ __ __ __
They have values that are similar to yours __ __ __ __ __
You would be friends if you met in person __ __ __ __ __
They are committed __ __ __ __ __
They are trustworthy __ __ __ __ __
They are passionate __ __ __ __ __
They are authentic __ __ __ __ __

Was this plan a good fit to your interests and experience?

Poor       |      Adequate      |      Fair      |      Good      |      Outstanding

Why or why not? Do have any other feedback for the MCN?


Can you suggest other entrepreneurs or mentors who would be a good fit for the MCN?


What do you know now that you didn’t before reading this plan?


Approximately how long did it take you read the plan and complete this form?
__ 1        Hour                     __ 2        Hours                   __ 3        Hours  
__ 1.5     Hours                   __ 2.5     Hours                   __ 4.+     Hours

This is the last and most important question

Do you want to mentor this company?

The word “Mentor” means different things to different people. We’re looking for people who will engage with an entrepreneur over an extended period of time. Calls every two to four weeks for three to six months is about average, although some of our relationships have lasted more than half a dozen years. If you just want a one-time conversation with the entrepreneur in which you answer their questions about your feedback, or you offer them resources and/or suggestions beyond what’s written here, that’s fine as well.

Mentoring has the most positive impact when mentors and entrepreneurs both feel validated, which is more likely to happen when they are given the choice to engage with each other. If you select any of the “Yes” options below, the entrepreneur (and the other reviewers) will see your name, email, and LinkedIn profile (or other public biography, if provided) on the review form. It is then up to the entrepreneurs to decide whose comments they found constructive and useful, and it up to them to reach out to those individuals.

More details on our mentoring process are here: http://mentorcapitalnet.org/home/join-us/mentors/.

__ Yes, I would be willing to mentor this business.

__ Yes, I would be happy to engage in a single follow-up conversation.

__ Yes, I am willing to answer questions about my feedback via email.

__ No, leave me anonymous to the entrepreneur and other mentors.