Brian’s Board

CTC Sparks: The Innovator Series – Tuesdays and Thursdays connect to CTC’s thought leaders for assistance in getting your innovation funded through the SBIR/STTR program!

Now is the time for Innovation. Did you know the federal government has a $3.7B set aside for Small businesses (US owned under 500 employees)! Whether you’ve been in business for decades or just starting, there is funding available to move new technologies and products forward from agriculture, manufacturing, education and more!

Brian Walsh, CTC’s commercialization expert, will share his expertise and information about the ins and outs of commercialization on Tuesdays and Thursdays as part of ongoing installments of Brian’s Board!

Episode 26 – Diligence Memos: Problems

Do you know what problem you are trying to solve? Do you know who the consumer is? Do you know how many of those consumers exist? How can do you prove it?! Brian is here to help you attract investors by answering these questions and more:

Contact Brian to learn more: https://wisconsinctc.org/team/brian-walsh/

Episode 25 – Diligence Memos: People

What are investors looking for in YOUR team? How does the expertise on your team tackle the tricky issues in your company? Brian wants you to be aware of 5 key areas investors evaluate closely:

Contact Brian to learn more: https://wisconsinctc.org/team/brian-walsh/

Episode 24 – Diligence Memos

Investors must evaluate their investments before making a call. To vet thousands of pitches firms must have a process to check specific criteria, known as diligence memos. Find out how these influence firm decisions and how you can prepare:

Contact Brian to learn more: https://wisconsinctc.org/team/brian-walsh/

Episode 23 – DOE SBIR Release

Brian wants YOU to apply for DOE SBIR’s $300M fund to explore feasibility of your innovative concept! Phase I topics for review are out now. Let Brian help you access this important resource and make sure you don’t miss a deadline:

Check out the DOE Topic Release: https://science.osti.gov/-/media/sbir/pdf/TechnicalTopics/FY22-Phase-I-Release-1-TopicsV407232021.pdf?la=en&hash=3512C1E80DE2153AFD0CD0C5124DE449F06E042F
Contact Brian to learn more: https://wisconsinctc.org/team/brian-walsh/

Episode 22, Part 2 – USDA Review Panel

Brian is back with some inside information from the USDA SBIR Phase 2 Review Panel. Check out what happens with the panel after the individual review and which rank you should strive for to be considered fundable:

Contact Brian to learn more: https://wisconsinctc.org/team/brian-walsh/
AND if you’re interested in learning about Wisconsin’s investors read The Approach Blog Series: wisconsinctc.org/learning-opportunities/blog/the-approach-blog-series/

Brian’s Board BONUS Ep – Siren Shrub Co. Ideadvance Testimonial

Ideadvance helped Siren Shrub Co. validate their idea, scale and get their product on shelves through clear decision making, production funding and expert mentorship. Make sure you don’t jump the gun, apply for Ideadvance by July 16:

Reach out and apply for Ideadvance by July 16: wisconsinctc.org/ideadvance

Brian’s Board BONUS Ep – Hive Central Ideadvance Testimonial

Applying what he learned in Ideadvance with Hive Central, Parker Schmidt is embracing success in his new venture. Find out why he thinks that the best part of Ideadvance is what YOU can learn and apply in your career as an entrepreneur! Apply to Ideadvance by July 16 for invaluable mentorship and funding:

Reach out and apply for Ideadvance by July 16: wisconsinctc.org/ideadvance

CTC Sparks BONUS Episode – Meet Your Ideadvance New Idea Concierges

What is this, a crossover episode?! Brian and Idella are teaming up to let you know more about who they are, their specialities and why they want YOU to apply for Ideadvance Seed Fund by July 9:

Reach out and apply for Ideadvance by July 16: wisconsinctc.org/ideadvance

Episode 22, Part 1 – USDA Review Panel

Brian has some inside information from an USDA SBIR Phase 2 Review Panel to help YOU succeed with your innovation. Find out more about the first step – individual review – and the 5 criteria YOUR submission is evaluated on (don’t miss part 2!):

Contact Brian to learn more: https://wisconsinctc.org/team/brian-walsh/
AND if you’re interested in learning about Wisconsin’s investors read The Approach Blog Series: wisconsinctc.org/learning-opportunities/blog/the-approach-blog-series/

BONUS Ep. – Ideadvance Application Pitch Tips

The new Ideadvance application involves a recorded pitch! Brian wants to help YOU create a cohesive and compelling pitch for a grant application. Find out how that is different from investor pitches and what WE want to hear when YOU apply, by July 9!

Apply for Ideadvance by July 9: wisconsinctc.org/ideadvance

Episode 21, Part 1 – Lead Investor

You’ve likely heard the term ‘lead investor’ when exploring funding for your business — Brian has mentioned it before! So what does ‘lead investor’ really mean? How can they help YOUR business beyond capital? Find out:

Contact Brian to learn more about investments: https://wisconsinctc.org/team/brian-walsh/
AND read about Wisconsin investors in The Approach Blog Series: wisconsinctc.org/learning-opportunities/blog/the-approach-blog-series/

Episode 20 – Vesting Schedules

Co-founders are an integral part of startups’ limited resources, which is why it is important that those founders aren’t going to unexpectedly leave the company high and dry. Let Brian show you how to protect your innovation on your commercialization journey:

Contact Brian to learn more about investments: https://wisconsinctc.org/team/brian-walsh/
AND read about Wisconsin investors in The Approach Blog Series: wisconsinctc.org/learning-opportunities/blog/the-approach-blog-series/

Episode 19 – Funding Rounds

You need to know about the various stepping stones required to get your idea commercialized. Today Brian walks you through some key rounds and what types of investors your innovation can find there.

Contact Brian to learn more about investments: https://wisconsinctc.org/team/brian-walsh/
AND read about Wisconsin investors in The Approach Blog Series: wisconsinctc.org/learning-opportunities/blog/the-approach-blog-series/

Episode 18 – Investor Lingo: Convertible Note Discounts

Another form of investor compensation when using convertible notes is building in a discount — a percent reduction of future price. This helps to validate early investment by providing an additional benefit for success later on. Find out more:

Contact Brian to learn more about investments: https://wisconsinctc.org/team/brian-walsh/
AND read about Wisconsin investors in The Approach Blog Series: wisconsinctc.org/learning-opportunities/blog/the-approach-blog-series/

Episode 17 – Investor Lingo: Capped vs. Uncapped Convertible Notes

When pursuing convertible notes, you MUST understand the difference in capped vs. uncapped to understand how much equity is being agreed upon. Investors need compensation for risk and this is often done through capped notes. Check out these examples from Brian:

Contact Brian to learn more about investments: https://wisconsinctc.org/team/brian-walsh/
AND read about Wisconsin investors in The Approach Blog Series: wisconsinctc.org/learning-opportunities/blog/the-approach-blog-series/

Episode 16 – Investor Lingo: Convertible Notes

Investor lingo can be complicated and Brian is back to help you out! Convertible notes can help you focus on your business at critical times to help put off a formal valuation. Learn more about this important tool:

Contact Brian to learn more about investments: https://wisconsinctc.org/team/brian-walsh/
AND read about Wisconsin investors in The Approach Blog Series: wisconsinctc.org/learning-opportunities/blog/the-approach-blog-series/

Episode 15 – Investor Lingo: Pre vs. Post Money Valuation

The valuation of a business is its price tag. Although it is a simple equation, pre and post money valuations can cause serious investment implications that you MUST know. Let Brian help you understand more about investor lingo and what it means for your business:

Contact Brian to learn more about investments: https://wisconsinctc.org/team/brian-walsh/

Episode 14 – Term Sheets

This basis for a term sheet is intended to lay the investment groundwork. It is non-binding but extremely important for you to understand. Let Brian help you interpret this document so your innovation is prepared for investors.

See National Venture Association Term Sheet referenced by Brian: https://wisconsinctc.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2021/01/NVCA-2020-Term-Sheet-1.docx

Reach out to Brian to review term sheets: https://wisconsinctc.org/team/brian-walsh/

Episode 13 – Quad Charts

Like an elevator pitch, in a written form, Quad Charts are a common industry evaluation method. Not only is this a way for your project to be evaluated but also a good practice for your innovation to measure goals and progress. Brian is here to walk you through the SBIR Quad Chart format:

See the template here: https://wisconsinctc.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2021/01/2018-Quad-Chart-Template-1.pptx

Reach out to Brian to get started on your Quad Chart: https://wisconsinctc.org/team/brian-walsh/

Episode 12 – Startup Valuation Pt. 2 Benchmark

What’s the most common valuation method used by Angel Investors? Benchmark! That is why Brian’s Board is here to walk you through what exactly that means to YOUR early stage innovation:

Contact Brian to Benchmark YOUR business: https://wisconsinctc.org/team/brian-walsh/

Episode 11 – Startup Valuation

To gain funding, you must go through startup valuation. Brian will walk your small business through the factors influencing valuation – like a scorecard 📋. Know where your innovation stands, don’t miss out on this Brian’s Board:

Contact Brian to get started preparing your valuation: https://wisconsinctc.org/team/brian-walsh/

Catch Brian’s first 10 Boards here!


Visit this page, Tips from Todd and Idella’s Ideas every Tuesday and Thursday for new episodes!

CTC Sparks: The Innovator’s Series

Tips from Todd

Our resident outdoors expert and grant writing guru shares Tips from Todd to help you get your innovation funded through SBIR/STTR programs!
Explore Tips from Todd

Idella’s Ideas

Idella Yamben, CTC’s Lean Startup expert, will share her expertise and straightforward tips on Tuesdays and Thursdays as part of ongoing installments of Idella’s Ideas!
Find out Idella’s Ideas

Quick Chats

Now is the time to innovate!  CTC will be hosting monthly “Quick Chats” with experts from various agencies, organizations, and programs who will share their experience with CTC.  These 20-30 min chats are a great way to get an introduction to new resources, funding, and programs.
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