AgVA is looking for good teams. We don’t need complete teams or even complete plans, but the key technology risks of you approach— and the economic and market benefits, if it is successful— need to be identified. From a seed perspective, planning for risk elimination at the lowest possible cost is a key variable to success. The seed plan should validate your hunches about the market and help you decide what market segment you want to enter. Please be prepared to answer, in detail, the following criteria if AgVA chooses to pursue your company further.
What is the problem and how are you trying to solve it?
Do you have a scientific breakthrough, intellectual property, business-model innovation or a unique partnership? Why is now the right time? If your plan is successful, what economic or market benefit will the technology convey?
Address the innovation in significant detail—think science and engineering, not solely marketing. Explain the principles of the technology. What, if anything, has been proven? How far is this from commercial scalability? What risks remain to be proven? What are the three major things that could go wrong? Have theoretical models been created or validated? What external third party has validated your models and experimental results? How long will it take to validate the viability of the technology, through experiments or otherwise?
Who are you, and why are you qualified to lead this opportunity? What skills do you bring to this problem? What technical skills will your team need to add? Do you envision yourself as the long-term CEO or in another role? Describe the investment you and your team have in the company? The focus is mostly on you, your goals and your technical team. Address why you are uniquely qualified to solve this problem. People, who are key to your innovation, matter to us.
What is the role of every member of your current team? Are they all working toward mitigating your primary risks, or are they working on non-critical development that can be addressed later? Are they the best possible people for meeting your current milestones? Are the founders thought leaders or associated with thought leaders in the field? What critical people, who could address your key risks, are missing, and where can you find them?
Market & Competition
Do you have a good understanding of the competitive landscape? Are you comparing your company against technology competition in areas that matter to the end customer? Are you comparing your future product to your competitor’s current product or to their future product? Is your innovation addressing a need in a large enough market (over a billion dollars)?
How significant a step forward is represented by the technology or innovation? What impact will it have on the competition? Why can’t a competitor replicate your plan tomorrow? Why have other players in the field missed out on the technology?
Financials & Milestones
It is important to us to understand your path to mitigating the risks you face. What milestones will this financing help achieve? What are your future milestones, and how much capital will you need to achieve each? What is the company status and burn rate at each of these milestones? What are your contingency plans if things don’t go well? Is the amount for which you’re looking for in line with the risk-removal milestones you have outlined? What is your total and operating cash burn (the amount you’re spending) per month, in case months stretch into years? Please include your financial projections (min. 5 years), profit and loss statement, balance sheet and an updated cap table.