10-Step Process

ROWAN INNOVATION VENTURE FUND

10-Step Process

The Fund is interested in investing in high-quality, diverse opportunities in a wealth of industries, including automation and instrumentation, consumer products, energy, financing, food and beverage, health care/life sciences, Internet-related services, social ventures, software, telecommunications and any segment with high-growth potential.

By following a stringent and thorough 10-Step Process, the Fund selects for funding proposals that have the strongest opportunity to succeed. All those considering applying for funding should familiarize themselves with all of these steps. The Fund accepts applications on a rolling basis, and its Advisory Committee meets monthly to make initial decisions.

The 10-Step Process is:

  1. Application: Companies and entrepreneurs fill out an application.
  2. Pre-Screening: Appropriate committees prescreen applications. The committees select seven to 10 companies to present at monthly Deal Screening meetings.
  3. Deal Screening: Applicants give presentations up to 12 minutes long, followed by eight minutes of Q&A and feedback. Based on the screening results, the Advisory Committee chooses a small number of companies  to move into the Pre-Diligence stage, which provides Committee members with a high-level sense of the opportunity before moving on to the Coaching and formal Presentation stages. 
  4. Pre-Diligence: The Fund’s Due Diligence Team evaluates the competitive landscape and determines each proposal’s viability. Once the team determines a business can survive, the business moves to the Coaching stage. 
  5. Coaching: Applicants must process through Coaching before they can enter the formal Presentation stage. During Coaching, applicants work with and obtain the “blessings” of Fund coaches and mentors, who help applicants hone their presentation to allow them to better resonate with the Fund’s Advisory Committee.  Coaching may be held on a one-to-one or group basis on Rowan’s campus.
  6. Presentation: At the formal Advisory Committee meeting, each applicant will make a 10- to12-minute core presentation and then engage Committee members with eight to 10 minutes of questions and answers.  The Committee members rank each of the presentations and prepare to discuss their decisions at the end of the meeting.
  7. Discussion: Once all the presentations are concluded, Committee members will discuss the proposals in private, sharing thoughts and ideas that had not occurred to them during the presentations in order to reach a consensus on the best proposals.
  8. Due Diligence: Upon approval from the Advisory Committee, companies enter into a comprehensive eight- to 10-week Due Diligence phase with the Due Diligence Committee, typically led by an Advisory Committee member who was most vocal on the investment opportunity.  Generally, one or two Committee members take the lead in due diligence and work with trained Due Diligence Fellows and Rowan University alumni, faculty and staff to reach an investment decision.
  9. Funding: The Fund offers those companies that successfully emerge from Due Diligence a “Term Sheet” and funding.  The Fund invests between $25,000 and $100,000 in any one individual/company and may offer active syndication with angel groups and outside investors for those successful applicants whose needs exceed the Fund’s parameters. 
  10. Syndication: After a company generates a funding offer from the Advisory Committee, the Fund has the ability to introduce the company to other potential investors who will join the Fund in reaching the investment needed by the company to move forward. This syndication effort broadens exposure to both expert advice and equity capital from other active investors. Some of these investors will want to perform their own due diligence; others will accept the Due Diligence Report created by the Fund. One such syndication partner, Keiretsu Forum, offers the reach of 1,100+ active accredited angel investors in 34 chapters on three continents who have invested more than $490 million in early-stage DealFlow in the last 15 years.