The business plan summarizes our entrepreneurship efforts and is used for pitching our future plans and goals to potential investors and businesses. Our business plan has been pitched to Alexander Ribbink, a well-known Dutch Venture Capitalist. He provided us with some insights on how to attract potential investors. For instance, we learned that the management structure we used throughout iGEM is not suitable for setting up a business. Investors highly value a senior leader in a company.
We also presented our ideas to agrochemical producer Simonis B.V., which is a preselected supplier of the FAO. Simonis B.V. showed interest in funding our research phase, but we held off future negotiations as we wanted to develop the project and create a proof-of-concept first. As we learned from Alexander Ribbink, Venture Capitalist and former COO of TomTom, having a proof-of-concept or a working product is essential to having a good bargaining position with respect to investors. The more risk an investor takes in, the more is expected in return.