city to city

city to city

On the Fast Track: An Entrepreneurial Journey (Episode 3)

2mo ago
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Description

Simple Mills needs more money fast. Katlin Smith and the start-up team are on the verge of quadrupling the number of stores that carry their healthy baking mixes. But that means getting short-term cash is a priority. Smith is going into overdrive, flying from city to city to meet with investors who see the promise of her products. "We've been going back and forth with investors, trying to raise funding, and I thought it would be easier," says team member Arin Aghazarian, an MBA student at Chicago Booth. "People back out, they ask a lot of questions, want follow-up meetings. It just takes a longer time than we expected." Going through the Edward Kaplan, '71, New Venture Challenge, sponsored by the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, is preparing the team for this new phase. The premier business plan competition provides coaching, classroom experience, and other resources to teams competing for cash prizes and in-kind services. "They're going to have to prove they can scale, because those venture investors are going to want a return on their assets," says coach Robert Rosenberg, adjunct associate professor of entrepreneurship at Chicago Booth. Simple Mills' number of stores will grow four-fold on June 1. Time is short, but team members think their analytical, data-driven approach has them ready for the challenge. "It really shows that you've done your homework," says Simple Mills CFO Jessie Yu, "and that you're not here to play around." Can Simple Mills perfect its pitch to investors leading up to the New Venture Challenge? Follow their journey and join the conversation by tweeting #ChicagoNVC. http://research.chicagobooth.edu/nvc/