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Professor Schorer is a serial entrepreneur who specializes in the start-up acquisition and development of small and mid-sized companies. He focuses on businesses with unique ideas or technologies that are[…]

Your founding idea is the most critical, says Cliff Schorer. Vet it thoroughly.

Cliff Schorer: Well, I think the greatest challenge first is having a solid idea that you can build a business around. I think it's incredibly important that you vet it carefully and you ask as many experts in the field as you can for advice especially if you're your own person elderly people or older people love to give you advice and help you out. So that'd be the first step I'd take to find out if you've got a good idea and if you … it's within your scope of capability to make it happen. There's always plenty of capital around if you have a good idea and it's structured well so I think that that's where important business planning comes in where you show that you have a grasp of what it will take to do it, that you're not overly ambitious. They — We see so many business plans where it's kind of stick with me, you'll wear diamonds kind of thing and we want to know there's reality underneath, that we want to know that you really understood how long it takes to put together a sales organization or to develop a product order, take from prototype to packaged goods, how difficult it is and how challenging. If you have —  If you convey that you have a sense of that I think you have a great chance towards doing real well. After you've got that kernel of an idea I think the next most important thing you do is to kind of structure it out carefully. Think about the components of it. Begin to talk to the market and see are people really interested. A lot of us have great ideas but the public's not interested in them so I think it's pretty important to find out very, very early on if there is a market and if people would be interested in it.

Recorded on: 5/13/08