Entrepreneur Arjun Ganesan '12 Shares Start-up Advice
There are three things every entrepreneur hoping to attract start-up capital needs right from the start, according to Arjun Ganesan '12: "a one-pager, a slide deck, and a business plan."
Ganesan discussed the keys to presenting a new venture to potential investors during a December 3 talk hosted by Yale SOM's Entrepreneurship Club. Ganesan is the CEO of New Haven-based Ancera, a rapid cell separation and pathogen diagnostics devices company that he founded after participating in the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute (YEI).
A one-pager is a brief but comprehensive overview of a business that includes the venture concept, potential market, and business strategy, Ganesan said; it is used to help build revenue, equity, and working relationships when a concept is introduced. A slide deck is shown at investor presentations; in a maximum of 10 slides, it should creatively tell the story of the project, its potential place in the market, and its business strategy. Finally, a business plan is a detailed accounting of business goals and how they will be attained.
Ganesan stressed that all three documents require continuous updating and should evolve as a business evolves. "These things make or break a business," he said.
Students asked Ganesan to talk about the mistakes he has made launching Ancera and about the resources he has tapped. Dan Wolchonok '13, also a YEI entrepreneur and co-leader of the Entrepreneurship Club, asked about support in the SOM community.
"There are a lot of great professors here," Ganesan said. "This is a small community, which is great because people take the time to listen and get involved." Ganesan also encouraged students to take advantage of the YEI, for both practical and conceptual guidance. "The YEI gives you invaluable tools in terms of learning how to think about things," he said.
Entrepreneurship Club co-leader Do Linh '14 said that alumni speakers like Ganesan are also a valuable resource. "It's really important to have people who are out there starting businesses now come back and share what they've learned," Linh said. "We all benefit."