The ETC offers an array of business assistance programs, from detailed business analysis to professional mentoring. All services provided by the ETC to tenant companies are free of charge.
When a company is admitted to the ETC, it meets with ETC mentors and staff to establish the business milestones that it intends to achieve over the next two years. These benchmarks – which will be used to regularly gauge the company’s growth and development – will focus on four basic areas: product/service development; marketing and sales; management and staff growth; and funding/financing.
Direct Business Assistance
The ETC staff provides tenant companies with hands-on business assistance services, including:
- Business plan review, assessment, and refinement
- Market research, strategy, and penetration
- Competitive analysis
- Product planning, positioning, and pricing
- Coaching for investor or corporate presentations
- Licensing and financing assistance
- Networking assistance
Beyond direct assistance, the ETC offers access to a wide range of attorneys, accountants, and business advisors, all of whom have extensive experience in the tech arena. Through regular meetings, these volunteer service providers offer ongoing counseling on technology and business issues, including financial planning, business development, marketing, licensing, and intellectual property. For those instances in which companies need to contract for specific services outside the scope of the ETC’s services, the ETC makes available a list of “preferred” service providers. Should more intensive counseling be required, many offer reduced rates for their services.
Gauging Growth and Development
ETC tenant companies meet at least twice annually with the ETC Review Panel to gauge the company’s growth and development. Company presentations focus on the biggest challenges and opportunities it has faced, as well as developments that have impacted product development, marketing and sales, management and staffing, and financial health.
As needed, the Review Panel helps to adjust the company’s business milestones to respond to changes in the marketplace, the state of technology, or available resources.
Companies transition out of the ETC after they have achieved a certain level of self-sufficiency. In most cases, companies graduate once they have achieved some or all of the following:
- Acquired multiple paying customers
- Executing a well-planned, market entry strategy
- Possess a full management team and Board of Directors
- Raised sufficient financing or revenue to ensure smooth business operations for 6-12 months.