Mandatory sections in the Project plan
(i) Value proposition (highlighting the innovation)
- Value proposition (highlighting the innovation)
- Profile of management team; and advisory board (if any)
- Planned products and services portfolio
- Product development milestones and timelines
- Approach and infrastructure requirements for technical implementation
- Market potential analysis and competition analysis
- Go-to-market plan
- Funding requirements
- Capital structure
- Risk analysis and projected financials
(ii) Project team
- Please mention the need you are trying to address.
- Mention the value proposition you provide to the end-user/ customer of your business.
- Highlight the innovation in your value proposition.
(iii) Products and Services portfolio
- Please provide brief but significant details about your team members with small-size photos. – Brief but significant points of work-experience. Quantify wherever possible.
- If you have an advisor/ advisory team working closely with you or willing to work with you in the future, profile them as well. Put them on a separate slide/ page.
(iv) Product development milestones and timelines
- List out the product portfolio you are planning to build.
- If your product needs a service component to ensure users have a better experience with it, kindly detail the service plan as well
- You may even plan to position your product as a service.
(iv) Approach and infrastructure required for technical implementation
- The main idea behind applying is to get help/ guidance/ accelerate your product development phase. Hence this is, perhaps, the most important section of your project. Please write this carefully. Experts will be working with you to execute this plan. So, kindly ensure you plan this section thoroughly. And mention the main points with detail enough to understand that this plan is good enough for incubation. The details will be necessary for your presentation session and the subsequent two year programme.
- Please plan this as per your own product development schedule. Provide estimates of when you plan to accomplish each milestone. Think about the inputs you need at each stage and write it down somewhere. You will need to refer to that for writing a later section.
(v) Market and competition analysis
- In this section you will define an approach that you will follow to develop your product. It depends on many aspects of your product. You have already defined the various aspects of your product earlier. Now, in this section you elaborate upon how you go about doing this. You have already shared the milestones and timelines in the previous slide. So, this is all about the “How” of things.
- At the same time, you enumerate the requirements to achieve your technical development/ implementation. You should include in this list a requirement in the following heads: – List of equipment required to help you in your approach – List and estimated price of the components to build the product – Existing gaps in understanding of solving a particular problem en-route the development journey. And hence, define the expert needs. – If you have any specific profile in mind, you are free to let us know. We will try to find a expert for you such that she/ he meets your requirement. – Also let us know the software pieces you would require to build, design and develop the entire product.
(vi) Go-to-market plan
- What is the size of your market? Give an overall size for your market in terms of INR. Get deeper as you describe that. This number could be a number you got from a market report.
- Usually, market reports will include a generic market size. If they are specific to what you are trying to do, then great. But then, if it isn’t try and carve out through a logical set of assumptions a certain number that could be your relevant market. This is the number you will hit 100% if your project is successful.
- There is another number you can derive. Start from the number of sales calls you can do per day (assume the number of sales personnel you will have). Assume a sales call to sales conversion ratio. Multiply by revenue per sale and estimate the turnover of the company. This is how you arrive at the first year revenues of your company. This in turn also shows the %age of market share you will garner (this number divided by the relevant market number you arrived at in the previous bullet point).
- At the same time, there will be competitors for your product. Please don’t say or even think that “there are no competitors”.
- The sustainability of your project can be easily defined to this one section called “competition analysis”. The perspective you have about your competition defines the longevity of your project. This section might not be very critical in your Incubation chances, but it would define the DNA of how your future will turn out very strongly.
(vii) Funding requirements
- This all about how the product will reach out to the customer. Which distribution channel will you use? Why? Dig deeper on this aspect. Will you own the channel? Will you franchise it? How many layers in the distribution channel?
- Get down into more detail of your service layer.
- Which geography will you go after first? What is going to be the profile of your first few customers? How will you sweep the market? What’s the approach here? Define the low-hanging fruit in each geography? How will you find them? What’s the market strategy to reach them?
- What about certification requirements of the markets you are going after?
- Will you have any strategic alliances to help you reach out to the customer? Who would be the likely partners for you?
(viii) Capital structure
- So, yes, this section is important here even though you are coming for Incubation. Your priority is to develop your product and get the product to shape. But then, you need to have a parallel track of thought running 24x7 about how you will keep this venture afloat.
- Estimate your costs for the two year program first. How much you will need to survive two years in an Incubator. And brainstorm about sources from where that money could come from. Keep that list handy.
- There was a section earlier where you listed down components you need and an estimated price for that. This is the section where you bring it in officially and put it down as a breakup.
- You will have to think about whether you will raise this money through equity or any other means. Debt in India is tough. But this government is attempting at relaxing norms for lending to startups. So, let’s wait and see. As an Incubator, we will provide you access to Investors and angels in order to meet your requirements. So, it is essential we understand your future funding requirements at the admission stage.
- Even otherwise, it is useful for you to think in this direction and ensure that the business doesn’t dry out of funds.
(ix) Risk Analysis and projected financials
- You maybe applying for admission as individuals. But according to our process, within earlier possible time you need to form a Private Limited company. So, you need to think about your capital structure. It’s just a table. Nothing major. The term might sound serious.
- At a startup level this is all you need to know about capital structure. you will try and access all forms of available funds in all kinds of complicated structures. Some of these forms of funds will find their way into the capital structure. It’s okay. Leave it for now. We shall cross that bridge together when we come to that.
- What are the various risks associated with your product/ team/ company/ business model? Analyse them and discuss the top two risks in this section. Sometimes, there could be Government rules and regulations that could be required. Else, there could be distributor reliability. Every option you choose in the process of putting this company together, there will be risks and associated returns. Elucidate the risks. Prioritise the top two risks. And mention them and discuss those risks.
- Financial projections. Do a P&L/ cash flow for the first 12-18 months of your revenue generation phase. But at the same time, it should not be a very brief and worthless exercise. You must have put some thought into how you will be making revenue. And the associated costs should be properly thought through. The more you understand your company from the numbers perspective, the more you will know which areas to focus on during the operations of the company at various levels of scale of the company.