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2018 Mid-Hudson Regional Business Plan Competition

April 13th, 2018|0 Comments

Indoor Vertical Farms Yield Growing Investor Interest

October 9th, 2017|0 Comments

Indoor Vertical Farms Yield Growing Investor Interest <http://cleantechiq.us12.list-manage.com/track/click?u=11700148e6e6ab5b6e7af446f&id=6aaad684a5&e=d6922ffe50> Money is flowing into companies that specialize in indoor, vertical farms, often located in warehouses or other urban locations. Such farms are expected to grow in coming [...]

iCANny Protypical Client

  • A solopreneur or small team who have conceived of an improved version of an existing renewable energy technology;
  • Not rooted in research but by practical application;
  • Self-funded or with limited funds from friends and family;
  • Unsophisticated business plans and models;
  • Desperate for linkage to qualified advisors, experts, academia, sources of funding;
  • Desirous of integration into the technology community.

“Nothing validates an idea like a customer”

The Incubation, Commercialization and Acceleration Network of New York (iCANny) is the oldest continuously operating business and technology incubator serving the Mid-Hudson Valley between Westchester and Albany. Since 2005, iCANny (formally the Hudson Valley Center for Innovation Inc.) has been supportive of both start-ups and mature enterprises by providing expert mentoring and advisory services as well as a curriculum to commercialization.

iCANny has helped launch dozens of businesses during the last decade and has the skills to guide entrepreneurs in their quest to locate the right financial and other resources to successfully launch a new endeavor. Besides a comprehensive, professional business plan, the startup business also needs the following, before applying to a venture capitalist, angel investor, or other funding source:

  1. Evaluation of resources;
  2. Traction, in the form of sales, publicity, written commitments or agreements to purchase products/services;
  3. Passion, revealed in the desire and actions of the entrepreneur to succeed.

Writing a Winning Plan

Executive Summary

I. The Challenges: Situational Analysis 
Market opportunity issues and pain points now (costs, distribution, limits, constraints) that our plan is addressing

II. Solutions
New technology, unique business concept
How we solve the problems in the market

III.Magic of Your Business Solution
IP, Technology, or secret sauce

Markets, segments, players, applications, targets, products, sales

V. Moneymaking Model
Business model for cash generation
Cash Flow generation
Economic sustainability

VI. Competition (and Solution Differentiation)
Existing players and approaches
Alternate solutions already deployed or being developed by others
Why we’re better and will succeed (the winning unique difference)

Experience of team
Why we are worth backing and will succeed

Financial projections, investment, returns, sources & uses of funds

IX. Potential Risks andMitigation Strategies
What could go wrong
What we need to do to prepare for what could go wrong
How we’ll handle unexpected activities
Contingency plans and Flexibility

X. Status and Next Steps
Where we are now and where we want to go
Gaps we need to Ill, and the plan for filling these gaps
Key issues and timetables, next steps and follow up actions
What the potential investor needs to do to invest

Here are several free tools that you can use to  1) inventory the resources you have, 2) identify the objectives and strategies you plan on using, and 3) determine the unique aspects of your business that can help differentiate you from potential competitors in your market segment.

Business Growth Guide
Business Planning Scorecard
Personal Evaluation Scorecard

iCANny is committed to growing the regional technology ecosystem and supporting region-wide economic development with an emphasis on the commercialization of products and services in; alternative energy; cleantech; fintech; scalable digital business; bio-pharma / medical and healthcare.

iCANny, as designated by Empire State Development Corporation, is one of only 10 Certified Business Incubators statewide; is a partner in iCLEAN, one of only six NYSERDA (New York State Energy and Research Development Authority) supported energy and cleantech incubators; a collaborator of the New York Medical College sponsored BioInc incubator and Empire State Development Corporation designated Innovation Hot Spot; a founding member of the New York State Business Incubator Association (NYSBIA) and iCANny has formed an alliance with the Westchester Angels.

Since 2005, The Hudson Valley Center for Innovation Inc. (dba iCANny) has been the only continuously operating technology incubator serving the seven-county Mid-Hudson Valley (from Westchester to Albany). From our founding, the HVCFI Board of Directors and its Managing Director (Les Neumann) stated that the emphasis of HVCFI would be on the development and commercialization of innovative technologies with a specific concentration on renewable energy.

The Mid-Hudson Region has the highest concentration of citizens in NYS who have attained bachelor’s degrees (37%) and who hold Graduate degrees (17%); the seven-county Mid-Hudson Region had the fastest growth of all 10 NYS economic regions at 5.1% from 2000 to 2010. Unlike other areas of the State, however, the Mid-Hudson Region is not buoyed by an academic institution with a concentration of respected world renowned degreed curriculums in technological research and development and engineering with a noteworthy and influential alumni such as RPI. Consequently, iCANny collaborates with selected academic partners when the opportunities arise, on behalf of clients.

Some of the clients we have recently helped include the following . . .

“VOLTA Reserve Power, is a commercial distribution leader in advanced battery system design and consultation, delivering scalable platform solutions for renewable energy and green building applications across the nation and around the world.

As a member of iCANny since 2014, through quality mentoring and expertly supervised pivots, VOLTA has gone on to gain major formative growth since its inception as an early stage company and has engendered much confidence within the advanced energy industry and community since conceptualization and implementation.”

“With the support of iCANny, VOLTA is currently consulting on and involved in several projects across the nation.Thanks to the help and hard work of iCANny and its advisory members, VOLTA has made rapid progress in a rapidly growing industry.”

Preston R. Bloss, Volta Reserve Power

I had developed a stunningly prescient business concept thirteen months ago. Four months later I was reduced to sending ‘Hail Mary’ emails to Jeff Bezos and Mark Cuban. I had exhausted my enormous list of Venture Capital Companies gleaned from the internet and was very much concerned that my perfectly disruptive sixty one page business plan was going to have to be renamed “Best Business Plan Never Launched!”

It was around this time that I stumbled upon iCANny. My email to founder Les Neumann had a distinct ‘Hail Mary’ flavor to it. Les responded quickly and within a week, we were meeting at a pub in Brooklyn. I was also blown away by the deep and thorough knowledge Les possessed in this arcane arena.

In a delightfully brief period of time, Les put in place half a dozen brilliant people who will help launch Idiom. We have just taken in a quarter of a million dollars seed money, are fully up to speed legally, have hired a software company and are finalizing a deal on a patent. Were it not for Les and his iCANny organization, I would be trying to find the email address of the rest of the panel on ‘Shark Tank’ in preparation for a new round of ‘Hail Mary’ emails.

Tom Kehoe, Idiom

“The advice and guidance iCANny provided Aris Renewable Energy in its formative phase was a key perspective to help shape our corporate strategy. As the Aris business has matured, so has the relationship with iCANny as a trusted strategic partner.”

Note: Aris Wind LLC is the wholly owned subsidiary of Aris Renewable Energy, LLC and a metropolitan New York City based renewable energy firm that has partnered with Airsynergy to promote, sell and service its Enhanced Wind Turbine products and Ventilation Exhaust products in North and South America.

Airsynergy is an Ireland-based technology company that has patented several air movement inventions using its “Enhanced Wind Turbine Technology”, Airsynergy is now bringing its innovative products, including the RPU Off-Grid Wind/Solar Lighting Solution, the “Total Energy Solution” (TES) 5kW class wind/solar power and our Passive Air Ventilation Exhaust Louver (PAVEL) to North and South America.

Dan Connors, Aris Wind


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