Mike Green had a vision for software that could allow tourists to navigate detailed 3D models of cities they planned to visit. As a first time CEO, Mike was learning as he went through the process of setting up his company. Although Mike felt that there is value to learning through experience, he also felt that there are more appropriate times to rely on trial and error than when you are starting a business—especially for the first time.
Mike came to the SOU Small Business Development Center for advice on how to avoid the pitfalls that so often plague new businesses. He began working with Ruthie Painter, a business advisor at the SBDC, and he feels that her assistance was instrumental in the early success of Vizitnow.
As Mike says, “I can’t tell you how much it helped to pave the bumpy road towards success to have someone in your corner that not only gives constructive criticism, but responds to your questions in a timely manner, and then encourages you and cheers you on—even showing up at venues where you have presentations.”
Vizitnow recently made the cut for Angel Oregon, a conference that gives emerging businesses excellent visibility and the possibility of getting serious investor dollars.
The SBDC put Mike in contact with another one of its advisors, Glenn McDuffy, who also played an important role in the success of Vizitnow. Glenn helped Mike with his financial assumptions, an area that Mike was relatively inexperienced in. Glenn also helped Mike go through his entire business plan and pointed out the areas in the plan that prospective investors would ask questions about, and how best to respond to those questions. With Glenn’s help, Mike was able to make his business plan look as appealing as possible to anyone who was considering investing in Vizitnow. Mike stresses the importance of having someone look at your business plan not only from your perspective, but from the perspective of an investor as well.
The creation of Vizitnow is proceeding very well, and Mike attributes this to the support of the SBDC.