OCTANE

LAUNCHPADTM SBDC FULFILLS A CRITICAL NEED IN ORANGE COUNTY BY PROVIDING GUIDANCE THAT HELPS ACCELERATE THE PATH TO BUSINESS SUCCESS

Partially supported by a grant from the Orange County/Inland Empire Small Business Development Center Network — a part of the U.S. Small Business Administration — LaunchPadTM SBDC provides business guidance and creates access to capital growth resources through its network of investors, companies, subject matter advisors, and academics. In essence, LaunchPadTM SBDC connects innovation and business growth by aligning experts that help entrepreneurs with business models, investment presentations, and general business guidance in all areas required to create a successful business plan that will interest financiers, and have a sustainable impact, on the life science and technology economy in Orange County.

LaunchPadTM SBDC works with companies in four primary sectors:

Medical device, biomedical, and life science technologies

Medical device, biomedical, and life science technologies

Information technology

Information technology
(hardware, software, networking, big data analytics)

Sports and active lifestyle technology

Sports and active lifestyle technology

Clean technologies

Clean technologies

THE LAUNCHPADTM SBDC PROCESS AND HOW IT IS UNMATCHED

There are many programs accessible to entrepreneurs, but only LaunchPadTM SBDC offers two distinct factors that set them apart from others, and benefit startups tremendously: its data-driven panel review process and historic database. Unlike other accelerators, LaunchPadTM SBDC has a rolling admission process.

A Diverse Review Panel That Works In Your Favor:

An initial counseling session will determine whether or not a company is suitable to participate in the LaunchPadTM SBDC process. Once that determination is made, a series of counseling sessions designed to prepare the entrepreneur for the panel review process will be scheduled. The number of sessions is determined on a case-by-case base, and typically ranges from 1 to 3 sessions. After these sessions are completed, the company will then present to the panel, which is selected from over 200 OCTANe advisors.

The LaunchPadTM SBDC panel is comprised of 6-10 individuals who represent different perspectives on the entrepreneur’s industry sector. The entrepreneur makes his or her presentation, followed by a question and answer segment. During the presentation, the panel scores the presentation and the underlying business plan according to criteria that would be important to an investor looking at the company for the first time.

After the presentation, panel evaluation forms are collected and analyzed, comparing the entrepreneur’s company to the LaunchPadTM SBDC database of hundreds of companies. Detailed feedback reports are then produced, comparing the specific criteria of the evaluated company with companies that have gone through the process and received investments, as well companies that have gone through the process and did not receive funding. The evaluation criteria include the following categories:

  • Market opportunity
  • Technical solution
  • Business plan
  • Investment opportunity
  • Management team

The typical mentor-based accelerator program uses an individual or small group to guide the entrepreneur through the business development process. While feedback from any individual can be highly valuable, it can also be inherently subjective, based on the experience and biases of the evaluator. This is why LaunchPadTM SBDC’s panel process is so crucial to the entrepreneur. It uses a panel of evaluation and feedback, and minimizes the subjectivity associated with one-on-one mentoring in an attempt to provide meaningful, analytical and actionable feedback. This allows the entrepreneur to focus his or her limited resources on the areas that are ultimately most critical for their company’s success.

THE PROOF IS IN THE DATASET

After completing the panel process, entrepreneurs receive a highly detailed report, based on both quantitative and qualitative input of their panel evaluation. With these reports, LaunchPadTM SBDC can provide detailed, data-driven feedback to the entrepreneur. The report also provides comparative information based on data points of business plan elements produced from hundreds of companies in high-tech industries all across Southern California. As a result, the entrepreneur becomes aware of exactly what differentiates their business plan from other startups, and enables them to produce an actionable plan that connects with investor interest. It also provides a specific set of actions to improve the content and quality of their plan.

Subsequently, OCTANe and the entrepreneur then collaborate to design a specific developmental plan based on the data that will highlight the company strengths, while simultaneously aligning them with targeted subject matter experts to help mitigate any risks associated with areas of opportunity and weakness.

HOW OUR PROCESS HELPS YOU ACHIEVE FUNDING

The LaunchPadTM SBDC process identifies the strongest companies most likely to receive startup capital. We then pursue the most appropriate source of funding to help these companies that are the most prepared, and make introductions to our exclusive network of venture capitalists, angel investors, grant funders, private equity firms, and corporate investors

LaunchPad Results

LaunchPad Results

WE HELP BUILD GREAT COMPANIES

LaunchPadTM SBDC initially works with 100-125 companies per year. Our process eliminates approximately 50 percent of those companies to enter our counseling phase, and again by another 50 percent to enter our panel process. The result is an average of 20 percent of the companies that receive funding from our initial stage.

$1.4B

Investment Capital Infusion

7,000

Companies Started in Orange County

When combining the funding raised by early stage companies with the capital infused to LaunchPadTM SBDC alumni in subsequent rounds of financing, the total capital infusion to LaunchPadTM SBDC companies since 2008 has been $1.4 billion, which has resulted in the creation of over 7,000 new jobs in Southern California.

OUR FOCUS: PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE

We’re excited to see what the future holds not just for OCTANe but also for local entrepreneurs, companies, investors, and the overall economic success of Orange County.

In 2013, OCTANe primarily worked with companies in the life science and information technology sectors. Of those companies, 21 of them collectively raised more than $40 million.

In 2014, we initiated our action sports and sports technologies vertical expansion, which promises to be a major segment of our client base.