Category Archives: TBDC Events

Time to Take the Leap

Time to Take the Leap

February 29, 2012

Louisiana Tech University
Technology Business Development Center
Ruston, LA

Take the Leap was a workshop overviewing new venture startup to help people learn before they take the leap of starting a new business. The training covered how to identify opportunities, decide on the best option, calculate funding needs, assess funding alternatives, and begin preparing for startup.

Participants received relevant information, reference materials, continued support, business research assistance, and the opportunity for Q and A.

For more information on what was presented during the workshop, check out the links below.

Powerpoint Presentation

Outline

Excel Worksheets

New Venture Plan & Prep

New Venture Plan & Prep

January 19, 2012

Louisiana Tech University
Technology Business Development Center
Ruston, LA

The New Venture Plan and Prep workshop taught participants about the 6 M’s of business startup- Model, Market, Margin, Management, Money, and Motivation. Participants learned how to define each topic, why each is important, and what to do about it or plan for it.

For more information on what was presented during the workshop, check out the links below.

Powerpoint Presentation

Excel Worksheets

Resources

Finding Your Idea

FYI – Finding Your Idea

December 8, 2011

Louisiana Tech University
Technology Business Development Center
Ruston, LA

Participants received information and engaged in exercises to facilitate idea creation, evaluation, and implementation.  The “Finding Your Idea” workshop was designed to help aspiring innovators develop new opportunities or existing organizations identify additional products or services to expand their operations. Almost everyone has ideas about how to do things differently and perhaps, better. This workshop helped enterprising individuals pursue viable new opportunities by showing them how to assess the economic potential of an idea so they can focus on those concepts demonstrating a better chance of success.

Topics covered:

  • Understanding Entrepreneurial Impact on Economy and You

Ms. Wyatt explained what she considers to be the “BIG idea” – entrepreneurship and enterprise development, and why it matters. Tremendous benefit and value that occurs when each of your ventures and all of your future opportunities are fully engaged, adding to your personal wealth, our regional economy, and the nation’s prosperity as a whole.

  • Generating Ideas

Ms. Wyatt discussed how to better explore the world around us, discovering opportunities for new ideas. Attendees learned how to better examine themselves and the world and how to change their thinking to notice their opportunities. Attendees also learned that it’s good to have a myriad of ideas and how to handle them.

  • Assessing/Evaluating Ideas

Attendees learned in what ways they should evaluate their ideas as well as how to distinguish their product or service. Attendees also learned how to identify and demonstrate their market and their prospective organization. Presenters also gave attendees tips on how to continually assess their ideas and understand market trends. Participants also learned that “overnight successes” never truly happen overnight.

To end the workshop, Ms. Wyatt discussed next steps and how to implement ideas, as well as resources to help in this process.

FYI powerpoint presentation

FYI Training Resources

Understanding Financial Statements

Understanding Where You Stand

November 29, 2011

Louisiana Tech University
Technology Business Development Center

Ruston, LA

Local business people spent the afternoon learning about financial statements and how to best use the information they provide in evaluating their company, especially in comparison to industry standards and previous years from Cooper Cochran of Louisiana Tech University’s Technology Business Development Center. Cochran discussed the balance sheet, the income statement, and the statement of cash flows, their functions and components, ratios using their information, what information these statements provide, and how they can be helpful in making decisions about a company.

Topics covered:

  • Purpose of Financial Statements

Cochran explained the usefulness of financial statements in evaluating a company, providing a historical picture of a company, and in decision-making.

  • Balance Sheet, Income Statement, and Statement of Cash Flows

Cochran explained what each statement is, what information it provides, its components, and how each statement should be set up. He explained what classifies as each component, for example, on the balance sheet what classifies as a cash or cash equivalent. For the balance sheet he also explained the cash method vs. accrual method of accounting. For the income statement he also explained horizontal and vertical comparisons and how tax liability is determined.

  • Ratios and Comparison to Industry Standards

Cochran explained the following ratios which use figures from the financial statements and how to calculate them: working capital, quick ratio, current ratio, debt to worth ratio, profit margin on sales, accounts receivable turnover, inventory turnover, accounts payable turnover, and debt service ratio. Each attendee was given a “Understanding Where You Stand” booklet, and copies of Best Buy’s financial statements which were used as examples. Using the book, Financial Ratios Benchmarks by the Risk Management Association, Cochran explained how to compare a company to industry standards using financial statements from Best Buy as an example. He also discussed some reasons why a company’s percentages may be different from those of industry standards. He discussed how each statement and these ratios can be used in decision making especially in the areas of future planning, administration, and evaluation of a company.

 

  • Users of Financial Statements Outside of the Company

Cochran discussed the different types of people outside of a company that typically use a company’s financial statements, such as investors, creditors, potential employees, lenders, and government entities, and how they might use the information provided to make decisions about a company.

 

  • Future Action

At the end of the workshop, Cochran urged attendees to analyze their own companies, compare them to industry standards, look for areas of improvement, and make necessary decisions and changes. Cochran will do one-on-one sessions with some attendees to look at their own financial statements, calculate those ratios, and compare their company to industry standards.

TBDC Understanding Financial Statements

Small and Emerging Business Development Program

Small and Emerging Business Development Program

June 22, 2010

Cohabitat Shreveport

Shreveport, LA

Small business owners and entrepreneurs from the northern Louisiana area gathered to hear about Louisiana’s Small and Emerging Business Development Program. They learned that thru the program they can receive financial help to pay for professional services and entrepreneurial training. Participants learned details about the program and also some advice about some choices that are made early in the life of a business. Attendees also had the opportunity to ask questions, to meet other small business owners and service providers, and to see the new Cohabitat Shreveport office in downtown Shreveport.

Topics Discussed:

  • SEBD Program Overview

Presented by: Kathy Wyatt, TBDC Director

Ms. Wyatt gave a description of the program. She outlined eligibility factors, the process, and what the program actually provides for the small business. She also held a brief Q&A session.

  • Choosing What Type of Entity: The Tax and Legal Implications

Presented by: Alice V. Frazier, CPA, Heard, McElroy & Vestal, LLP and  Kyle C. McInnis, Attorney Cook Yancey King & Galloway

Ms. Frazier explained the differences between LLC, S Corp, C Corp, and Sole Proprietorship from a tax standpoint, while Mr. McInnis expounded on the legal implications between those choices. During their talk, they both fielded questions from the audience

 

Resources:

Cohabitat Shreveport

SEBD Program Description

Louisiana SBDC

 


Profit 101: Learning Simulation

Profit 101: Learning Simulation

November 17, 2009

Louisiana Tech Enterprise Center

Ruston, LA

Presented by: Dave Thomas, Manufacturing Partnership of Louisiana (MEPoL)

The Profit 101 program developed by Eureka! Ranch International is based on Doug Hall’s Jump Start Your Business and Jump Start Your Marketing Brain. Workshop participants learned  profitability principles by applying these skills as employees of a fictional company. The goal of the workshop was to teach a reliable system for accelerating profit growth. In order to achieve that goal, participants used a mock product and business and had to figure out ways to promote the product. Using the principles and ideas from Eureka Ranch!, new ways of promoting the product and thinking about the product were developed in an attempt to increase sales. Participants developed marketing strategies and new innovations that may rise from this product. The program pushed those involved to think outside the box and search for a uniqueness in the product. The strategies and tips learned are readily applicable to a wide variety of products or services.

Other Resources

Eureka Ranch Website

Profit 101


Basic Business Boot Camp

Basic Business Boot Camp

November 7, 2009

Louisiana Tech University

College of Business

Ruston, LA

Local business people and professors from Louisiana Tech’s College of Business spent the day giving  entrepreneurs advice and information about starting a business. Attendees learned about the basics of entrepreneurship, market analysis, financial planning, and they got to hear from a panel of local entrepreneurs. The camp provided an introduction to business planning. The camp also aimed to offer valuable insight and information for those who will be competing in the Top Dawg Business Plan Competition in Winter 2010.

Topics Discussed

  • Determining if Entrepreneurship is for You

Presented by: Kathy Wyatt

Ms. Wyatt provided a better understanding of the entrepreneurial lifestyle, so one might be able to discern if this is an appropriate career choice for them.

To download the presentation, click here

  • Defining the Opportunity

Presented by:  Doug Amyx

Mr. Amyx presented an understanding of the significant and complex factors affecting the sales potential of the participant’s product or service.

To download the presentation click here

  • Bringing the Right People on Board

Presented by:  Marcia Simmering Dickerson

Ms. Dickerson offered a better understanding of important considerations in building a team for initial management and operations of the business.

To download  the presentation click here.

  • Calculating the Financial Needs

Presented by: Carol Shaver

An understanding of basic budgeting tools and financial calculations was explained.

  • Choosing an Ownership Structure

Presented by:  Ryan Madden and Radian Hennigan

The presentation introduced a variety of factors influencing choice of legal business entity.

  • Learning from Experienced Entrepreneurs

Paneled by:  Jonah Ukpai, Whitney Ukpai, and Victoria Provenza

The panel offered valuable insights into preparing for business ownership.

Resources:

FastTrac Tech Venture
The Planning Shop: What Business Should I Start
The Planning Shop: Business Plan in a Day
The Young Entrepreneurs’ Guide to Starting and Running a Business
New Ground Publications: A Step-by-Step Business Plan Workbook
New Ground Publications: A Simple Guide to Your Small Business Marketing Plan
New Ground Publications: A Simple Guide to Your Company’s Financial Statements


Incentive to Innovate

Incentive to Innovate

October 28, 2009

Louisiana Tech University Technology Transfer Center

Shreveport, LA

Representatives from Louisiana Economic Development (LED) provided a detailed overview of innovation incentives for small and emerging businesses.  Available benefits, eligibility requirements, and application procedures for these incentives were among some of the topics discussed.  This meeting was directed towards science industries, angel investors, venture capitalists, and innovative small businesses.

Topics Covered

  • Digital Interactive Media

Presented by: Yosef Javed, Business Development Officer

A dynamic presentation explaining the Louisiana Digital Media Act. Javed offered a clear definition of digital media and also outlined what is not digital media. He then details the incentives allotted by the Act, how they work, and how they can be used by the business. Digital Interactive Media Producer tax credits provide a 35% state tax credit on payroll for Louisiana residents hired. The Act also allows a 25% state credit for development expenses incurred within Louisiana, such as component parts, production expenses, and payroll for employees not living within Louisiana.

To download the presentation click here.

  • Angel Investor Tax Credit

Presented by Craig F. Hartberg, Small Business Advisor

The presentation provided a description of what the Angel Investor Tax Credit is, the requirements for participation, and the benefits that come from the program. (Important Update: Angel Investor tax credits are not currently available. This incentive sunset on December 31, 2009.)

To download the presentation click here.

  • Research and Development Tax Credits and  Technology Commercialization Credit and Jobs Program

Presented by: Susan Bigner, Business Development Officer II

The presentation described both the Research and Development Tax Credit Program and the Technology Commercialization Credit and Jobs Program. The requirements, application process, and benefits were defined for both programs. Also resources were given for anyone having more questions specific to their business. Refundable state tax credits ranging from 8% to 40% are available for qualified research expenditures such as wages, supplies, use of computers, and contract services incurred within Louisiana. SBIR/STTR award recipients may receive a refundable state tax credit equal to 40% of the SBIR/STTR grant received. A refundable state tax credit for 40% of up to $250,000 in expenditures on machinery, equipment, and rights to use or use of technology may be received.

To download the presentation click here.

Other Resources

Louisiana Economic Development – Incentives and Programs:

Angel Investor Tax Credit Information


Finding Your Idea

Finding Your Idea Workshop (FYI)

October 8. 2009

Louisiana Tech University

Enterprise Center

Ruston, LA

The workshop featured presentations by the TBDC Director, Kathy Wyatt, and Dr. Jon Pratt, Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship. Attendees learned what is expected in proper presentations and the questions that need to be answered during the development of their ideas. As their ideas are still in the early stages, many participants will grow their ideas and pitch them in the TOP DAWG Idea Pitch.

Topics Covered

  • Finding Your Idea (FYI)

Presented by Kathy Wyatt

She provided steps for the process of idea generation along with criteria to evaluate each step.

To download the presentation click here

  • Preparing the Pitch

Presented by Dr. Jon Pratt

The presentation gave an idea pitch outline, advice to dress up the pitch, and come pitfalls that may occur.

To download the presentation click here

Wyatt FYI Pratt FYI


SBIR

SBIR/STTR Workshop

September 29, 2009

Louisiana Tech University Technology Transfer Center

Shreveport, LA

Former SBIR/STTR program manager, Dr. Robert Berger offered advice on how to develop successful SBIR/STTR proposals and improve chances of securing these funds. The event also allowed the opportunity for participants to network with other innovative organizations and individuals throughout the region.

Topics Covered

  • How to Prepare Winning Proposals for SBIR and STTR

Presented by: Dr. Robert Berger
Former U.S. Department of Energy SBIR/STTR Program Manager

The presentation provided an overview of the SBIR Program and the proposal audience. More importantly, he outlined the process for developing a proposal and also common pitfalls in preparation.  The SBIR and STTR Programs offer up to $100,000 in Phase 1 and up to $750,000 in Phase 2.

  • Phase Zero

Presented by: Roy Keller

Mr. Keller offered valuable information about the money available through the state’s Phase Zero program. Phase Zero serves to stimulate interest and participation from Louisiana businesses in the SBIR and STTR programs. The program offers grant rewards up to $2500 in Part 1 and up to another $2500 in Part 2 to businesses who submit applications and receive approval. Keller showed some examples of businesses utilizing those funds and people to contact for any questions.

To download Roy Keller’s PowerPoint click here

Other Resources

Phase Zero site

SBIR/STTR site