December 16, 2000

The California Venture Forum (CVF) launched its semi-annual application campaign inviting regional business owners and entrepreneurs to submit business plans for the Fourteenth Semi-Annual Investor Forum to be held on May 9, 2001 at California State University, Fullerton.

The deadline for submitting business plans is Feb. 9, 2001.

Since 1989, the California Venture Forum has created a venue for start-up and emerging companies to showcase their products before an audience of potential investors. The Forum focuses primarily on biotechnology and medical device firms, high technology, telecommunications and computer-related companies and general industrial firms.

Presenters at the investor forums have raised more than $20 million in investment money, with more than half of all companies acquiring funding. In fact, presenters at the November 2000 Forum already have received funding.

"The Investor Forum offers an ideal opportunity for the local business community to meet individuals and companies who are critical sources of venture capital," said Alan Schechter, Forum chairman. "Equally important, it assists entrepreneurs in developing high-powered presentations, an essential element in obtaining financing."

"We have consistently attracted the most high-powered and most aggressive investors because we offer them opportunities in the most exciting and potentially profitable commercial market segments," Schechter explained. "In addition, our partnership with Cal State Fullerton reflects the growing economic power of Orange County and provides investors with a regional focus they cannot receive elsewhere."

The California Venture Forum employs a three-stage process to help match investors with companies seeking financing. The first stage business plan review process determines which applicants will be selected. Typically, 12 or more companies are selected to be Forum presenters. The second stage is a presentation development program that assists the selected companies in developing high-powered presentations to investors. The third stage is the actual forum where companies deliver their presentations.

All applicants receive evaluations of their plans from a committee consisting of the CVF Board of Directors, business executives and advisors, entrepreneurs, educators and investors from throughout the Southern California business community who identify their strengths and weaknesses and the likelihood they will receive investment funding. Those companies requiring additional assistance with their business plan are directed to VenturePoint, SBDC.

The business plan evaluations include analyses of market potential, economic issues (including ROI potential), competitive advantages, ability to erect barriers to competitors, strength of the management team, and the viability of the investor's exit strategy.

The selected companies then attend a rigorous professional training and mentoring program that prepares them for interfacing with the investment community. This includes an all-day presentation workshop to coach the entrepreneurs through their plans and presentations. After the workshop, each company is furnished with professionally produced audio-visual presentations.

To submit a business plan for consideration, send a cover letter along with three copies of your business plan and a check for $150 to The California Venture Forum, c/o VenturePoint, 2 Park Plaza, Ste 100, Irvine, CA 92714 .

Alternatively, applicants can send an electronic copy of their business plan via the Forum's Web site. For more information, call 714/235-8655 or visit the California Venture Forum Web site at

A California non-profit corporation, the California Venture Forum hosts investment conferences twice annually -- each May and November.

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