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Academic Think Tank  


1. What is the Program? A business value proposition analysis THINK TANK from the Ritz Group with research support provided by KSU entrepreneur-major students.   The Ritz Group, one of Atlanta's  premier non-profit organizations connecting entrepreneurs with capital resources.

                                                                                   Re-THINK is real world meets academia .

ReTHINK is a  formal structured THINK TANK  to validate a company’s VALUE PROPOSITION and report the findings to companies and investors.   Think Tank uses a five (5) team approach to challenge the market, price, competition and risks.    Independent,  second opinions,  are always valuable for new concepts,  or major pivots - especially if the target audience includes millennials.
2. The Need? One of the key reasons for start-up entrepreneurial failure, besides leadership and the failure to fund, is the failure of the original value proposition - defined as the business vision the company was created to satisfy.

All companies, once in the real-world market, PIVOT to adjust their value proposition, based on what they are currently experiencing in-market.   The pivot may be to capture more market share, react to competition, availability of market resources, or real consumer/business sales results.
We are in a dynamic, disruptive and rapidly changing economy.    The time for new businesses to get to market can often result in a dramatically different marketplace from the original “vision.”   Failure to "pivot" is not an option.    However, pivots always require additional capital and  time.

Creating the initial Value Proposition and/or the pivot strategy is often a challenge for the founder/s.    In most cases, time or resources do not permit R&D or independent assessments.    Consensus by Founders and capital partners is often narrow in scope and most often void of any outside or independent “thinking.”

 The GOAL with the Re-THINK program is to add an independent, disinterested, professional academic assessment to a company’s original value proposition, proposed pivot, or entry into a new market.

Re-THINK is a structured methodology defined to provide an independent assessment in four critical areas related to the SUCCESS of a new business.    This confirmation and identification of risks is invaluable to both founders and investors.   It is the catalyst for acceleration, or for initiating pivots saving time and capital.

3. THINK TANK Methodology 
      __________TEAM #1   MARKET Value Prop TEAM______________________
           a.  Value Proposition (Niche and Need)
                           Does it make sense? Is it clear? Who would buy it? A solution with or without a need?
           b.  Market and Niche Size
                            How big and where is the market and the market NICHE ? 
           c.   Competition
                            Who are the major players, Ownership % and possible pivots?
                            Who are the emerging new entrants and any potential treats from majors or forces that can enter the space?

      __________TEAM # 2   PRODUCT TEAM__________________________________
            a.   Product procurement
                             Can they make/buy/warehouse & continue to supply product maintaining COG margins through-out scale?
            b.   Business delivery (Source and Strategy)
                              Is their physical and virtual selling venues adequate and capable of producing revenue projected? 

       ___________TEAM #3   S&M TEAM _________________________________
             a.  Launch and promotion rquirements
                              Is there a comprehensive launch and media campaign within the budget and designed to meet the growth expectations
             b.  Scale plans and exits (steps and timeframe)
                              What are the scale plans and benchmarks required to successfully Exit?
                               Are their references of others that have achieved this milestone providing exit valuations? 

         ____________TEAM #4 CAP TEAM ________________________________
              a.   Financial capital requirements
                               What are the funding requirements beginning with founder investments and existing investors?
                               Plans for additional raises leading to exit? 

              b.   Human Capital Requirements (womb to tomb)
                               What is the initial experience level of the founder, initial management team and core investors?
                               What is the expertise needed to reach each of the milestones in the growth projection?
           ___________TEAM #5 FINAL REPORT TEAM_______________________________
              a.   Critical Success Factor/s
                            1)   Review and ranking of the Critical Success Factors identified in the four (4) functional Think Tank Modules.
                            2)   Summary Report 6 Pages including overall summary 
                                   A summary page of the “Positives” and “Concerns” plus any recommendations “Opportunities” that should be considered                                       going forward (Optional)
                                    In addition, the final report will contain four (4) Research Team page conclusions, plus an APPENDIX of the Think Tank 
                                    researchers, by team, to include their contacts information.
4.   TWO Versions
The ReTHINK Pogram has two fulfillment options.    They are the Standard Academic Research Analysis and the Millennial Market Analysis. The Millennial Market Analysis is designed to complete the Think Tank with a millennial perspective.   This option is designed to validate the value prop for companies who want to sell product to millennials.

Note: The key to ReTHINK is Academic Research.  Marketing and web collateral, plus the companies own assessment submitted in the application, is the “given” or “starting-Point.”   The THINK TANK study validates the owner’s assumption/s while confirming agreement, challenges and possible new options.

5.   The THINK TANK Process:
              a.   ReTHINK Application Submission
              b.   Acceptance and Scheduling
              c.    Payment
              d.   Study Performance
              e.   Re-THINK Report Delivery

               a.  Name of Company and URL
               b.  Contact Name and email
               c.   Executive Summary or Tear Sheet
               d.   Promotional Material (Flyers/Brochures/PPT/Videos)
               e.   Re-THINK Application (One Paragraph on each) 
                             1)     Value Proposition (Niche and Need)
                             2)     Market and Niche Size
                             3)     Competition
                             4)     Product procurement (make, buy, source)
                             5)     Business delivery (Source and Strategy)
                             6)     Launch and Promotion Requirements
                             7)     Scale Plans and Exits (Steps and Timeframe)
                             8)     Financial Capital Requirements
                             9)     Human Capital Requirements (womb to tomb)
                             10)  Critical Success Factors

7.  FEES
             ReTHINK is a fee-based academic research service contracted  by the Ritz Group to idependently validate  value propositions.   
             The five (5) research teams are focused to hone specific skills and compensated based on the number of hours expended on each task.
             Final pricing is quoted based on receipt and review of the ReTHINK Application defined above.
             The estimated effort to deliver is 50 hours with an estimated cost of  $2,500.  
             To validate the process and time estimates the first three (3) contracts will be fixed  at $1,000.   The next three (3) fixed at $1,500.