This is the business plan that won the ACU Springboard Idea Challenge 2015. I was asked by some of my GDC Conference Associate friends if they could read it, so I’m posting it.
Posting it was actually kind of hard for me and I’m not sure why. I did take out the financials because they included salary numbers and some people don’t like that being public. Plus the income numbers were mostly just pulled out of my butt, but those forecasts are required by VCs.
We’re going to do development in public and that is ultimately why I just decided to get over my discomfort and post the plan.
Notes about the plan
It’s a mini-business plan, meaning it was limited to 10 narrative pages. There could have been a lot more detail. Matter of fact I have a note in Evernote titled “Business Plan Expulsions” where I put stuff I took out.
There are lots of different outlines and templates you can find for business plans. This plan is based on very loose guidance given by the Griggs Center about what they wanted to see in the plan. It is also focused for the Springboard competition and talks a lot more about the Summer Launch than I think a plan aimed at other angel investors would be.
It assumes the readers don’t know anything about the games industry or software development. People with a deeper understanding of the industry may think some of the explanations were simplistic, and they are.
Things evolve, already there are changes. This plan had changed before I’d even pitched. A big change was the name of the “Summer Intensive” in the plan to “Summer Launch” now. I found people thought “Intensive” meant internship and it would only last 3 months. But what it really means is 3 months of intense focus that will lay the foundation of company.
Finally describing an art business like a video game company in a business plan is like describing a woman by her gym workout. Those number may be somewhat related to her beauty, but they miss the magic and transcendence that is beauty.
Why did I win?
The short answer is “I don’t know”.
The less short answer is there isn’t one thing that made the difference. I get this a lot, where people try to guess what it was that made them pick me. But if I put myself in their place, I’m sure it wasn’t just one thing.
I could write a whole blog post on what was thinking as a wrote it, and all the value I got writing the various parts of the plan. Maybe I will if I think people are interested.
My final answer is always, all I know is what they said when they presented the award to me which was, “Ron has a lot of experience in the game industry and he’s got some really innovative ideas about how to use students.”