Top Gun is a customized program that links the state's most promising growth-oriented entrepreneurs with our most seasoned business professionals, who use their expertise to help guide entrepreneurs in validating their business model and perfecting their fundraising presentation. For more information please visit our Top Gun page.
The process officially starts with the completion and submission of the application form which can be found on our website. If MCED management has not already met with the company, a meeting is scheduled. During that meeting, the company is able to share more insights about the business concept and founders and to learn more about MCED.
MCED's team is comprised of experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and business development professionals, many of whom have either personally started or participated directly in starting and growing for-profit businesses. MCED's board of directors consists of entrepreneurs, economic development professionals, and professional service providers. Please explore our Community page for more information on our individual members.
MCED is a private, not-for-profit organization. It is not a government agency.
MCED has become a virtual business incubator meaning we offer an array of business support services and development resources.
MCED receives operating support from the state, various grants and sponsorship from the private sector. In addition, MCED derives income from its client companies that pay a fee for services provided by MCED. These revenues fund the operation of the program and enable us to provide client assistance, business development and access to capital functions.
It's a long list! Our website lists many of the organizations we partner with to make services available to our clients. We are always adding to the pool of partners as we find additional sources of expertise. In the community, we work with many non-profit small business service providers and many professional service organizations and businesses that have relevant products and services.
MCED's focus is on growing scalable, innovation-based ventures. Though we do not work with service, wholesale, consulting, or other businesses that do not those two core criteria, we will happily refer businesses on to other programs that would be a better fit. Such traditional sources include SCORE, SBDC, and state economic development agencies such as the Department of Economic and Community Development.
According to the SBA, 50% of small businesses fail in the first three to five years. Studies show that the top two reasons for failure are management inexperience and insufficient capital. Other reasons small businesses fail include: inadequate planning, lack of market knowledge, failure to seek the advice of a professional, lack of financial planning and review.
The Venture Capital (VC) industry is a major source of funding for the entrepreneurial community. Venture capital is capital provided by outside investors for financing of new or high growth businesses. Venture capital investments generally are high risk investments but offer the potential for above average returns. In exchange for the investment, the VC firm receives an equity stake in the business. The VC also helps the business develop its management team, and takes seats on the board of the company. They generally focus on both the business opportunity the management team that is offered.
What is an angel investor?
An Angel investor is a person who provides financial backing to very early-stage businesses or business concepts. Angel Investors are typically entrepreneurs or executives who have become wealthy. Often these individuals are looking for a higher rate of return than would be given by more traditional investments and will be looking to play an active role in the management of the company. Instead of investing in the stock market or mutual funds, Angels take high risk investments with new companies.