It's the last night of class for Roger Wong's SBDC Business Plan Accelerator course at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon. Students are getting ready to deliver their pitch to a panel of local business people—a banker, a lawyer, the CEO of a local business, and their classmates. It's good practice for those who will pitch for funding for their companies, and sometimes students leave with new connections—like mentors or potential investors.
“The students see that the program doesn't end with the work they just did,” says Peter Thorsson of Palo Alto Software, who developed the course with Roger. “The program continues as long as you're trying to pursue this business idea, and into any future business ideas you'll ever have. This is the start—and you may need somebody who might help you on that journey.”
The course is a five-session business planning program that Peter and Roger developed, built using LivePlan as the foundation. “Both Peter and I talk to the class and present, and then they get to get time to work on their plan,” explains Roger. “Once they have access to their own LivePlan account, they can work on it during class, and I am invited in as an observer in their plan so I can see their progress.”