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EI in the News

Sample Presentation (Speech text)


What follows is the exact text of the speech that accompanies our sample presentation slides. We recommend you view the speech text and slides side-by-side.  Each slide's speech text begins with an bolded ALL CAPS title.


TITLE, PART 1

Good evening, everyone, my name is Claudio Santoro Jr. I am joined tonight by one of the cofounders of ZForm, Paul Silva.

During the course of this presentation, I promise to use one, and ONLY one acronym… and that is BVI, for the blind and visually impaired.

TITLE, PART 2

ZForm creates software that allows the blind and visually impaired the ability to play and interact with their sighted friends and family unhandicapped and as equals. In this presentation I will demonstrate:

  • - the clear need that ZForm has identified
  • - our solution
  • - the associated market potential
  • - how we will capitalize on this potential
  • - and how we can then exit and create a 10 times return for our investors
  • - next I will introduce you to the experienced management team we have assembled
  • - and finally, I will go over the resources needed to accomplish our goals

THE NEED

I would like to ask you to imagine, for a moment, how life might be different if you were to go blind, or perhaps, if a close friend or one of your children were to do so.

Imagine trying to play hide-and-go-seek or catch with the little ones. How about a game of golf with your business associates or, for that matter, what about trying to play just about any sport or video game out there?

These activities are not JUST a form of entertainment like watching television. They are primarily SOCIAL activities that are a vital aspect of how both children and we adults develop our relationships with our friends and loved ones.

But if you are blind or visually impaired, an overwhelming number of such activities are difficult, if not impossible for you to participate in. It is not a shock, then, that federal studies have shown that the BVI self-report feeling isolated from the general population.

SOLUTION, PART 1

Our solution is simple in concept, we are taking some of these vital social activities that have been traditionally inaccessible and we are MAKING them accessible via computers and the Internet.

ZForm launched our first commercial product last April, and I am proud to say that our service has about 300 blind, visually impaired, and fully sighted people from around the world who all come to play and interact together as equals. AND, these people are paying us for the privilege.

SOLUTION, PART 2

The game we launched was a multiplayer poker game (using play money, of course). As you can see here, this game has all the high quality graphics and user interface conventions that ANY of us here in the room expect in software that we would purchase. But it ALSO incorporates spoken play-by-play narration of the game’s action and carefully designed sound cues that allow our blind players to play, and play competitively with their fully sighted friends and family. SO COMPETIVELY, in fact, that when we asked our customers to try and identify who at their virtual poker table is blind and who is sighted, they are COMPLETELY UNABLE TO DO SO.

The only thing they ARE able to identify is who the better poker player is… and that, we feel, is the whole point.

MARKET

We are providing a service to the BVI population – a population that is HUNGERING to enjoy interaction that you and I take for granted everyday.

The clear potential customers for ZForm are the English-speaking, internet-enabled BVI. At about 3% of the population of the US and other Western Nations, this is a decent market but not huge.

But obviously, our online games are not confined to the boarders of this country, nor solely to those who are BVI. A full quarter of our existing customers are international. Furthermore, because we are solving the problem of social isolation, our games are not limited to the BVI. They are just as much for the sighted parents, children, and friends of the BVI as they provide direct social interaction. If you were to lose your sight tomorrow and downloaded our software you would not be playing with blind friends because you wouldn’t have any. You would be joined by your current friends and family who wanted to enjoy your company playing an entertaining game.

Combined, all of these components greatly increase our potential market. They add up to a market of approximately half a BILLION dollars.

COMPETITION

What ZForm is REALLY competing for is the time our customers would LIKE TO spend interacting with others.

In direct competition, there are about a dozen “mom & pop” shops creating games specifically for the blind, however, these games are inaccessible to all but the most severely impaired, lack the graphical quality needed to attract the fully sighted, and are played ALONE at the computer and NOT with friends and family.

Indirectly competing with ZForm, there are online games offered by the likes of Yahoo! and AOL that are targeted to the sighted. Some of these games MAY happen to be inadvertently accessible to the BVI with the help of the sighted. However, these games RARELY offer the BVI an unhandicapped experience that helps them gain a sense of connection with their fellow players.

BUSINESS MODEL and FINANCIALS

What our customers will be paying for is the ability to play and interact with others online. ZForm uses monthly paid subscription, THE most successful business model for online games in the world. It is used by companies like Sony, Yahoo! and Microsoft. The games will be distributed much like AOL Instant Messenger, where a customer will simply download the application and be ready to go. The basic package of broad-appeal games costs $9.95 per month, with premium packages being offered at a higher price point.

Our projections exclude ANY potential from those outside the US, from sighted friends and family of the BVI, and from the general game-playing population.

And even with these conservative assumptions, the company is cash-flow positive in the first quarter of next year, at which point we will accept our next round of financing to accelerate product development and marketing so that in year five, we can reach $14 million dollars in revenue and over 100,000 customers.

POTENTIAL SUITORS

From day one, ZForm has been designed to be a desirable target of acquisition, most likely by one of the major players in the ten BILLION dollar video game industry – companies such as Yahoo!, Electronic Arts, Blizzard, AOL and EONS.

EXIT STRATEGY

These companies have a well-established track record of acquiring the startups that prove their value by obtaining 100,000+ customers. In fact, in the past 24 months, 8 such companies have been bought out by some of the previously-mentioned industry giants. For example Bongo Games and Diamond Soft both of whom were purchased by AOL.

Based on what was paid for these companies, we calculated an average acquisition price of $400 per customer. This indicates that ZForm is likely to be acquired for $40 million meaning a likely return of ten times to our investors.

MANAGEMENT TEAM, PART 1

ZForm began as the shared dream of Jeremie Spitzer and Paul Silva, both of whom have worked tirelessly to put together a sound business model and to recruit a solid team to build and launch our first game.

One of the first things Paul and Jeremie did was to contact leaders throughout the BVI community to ask if there really was a need for what they envisioned. The response they received was an OVERWHELMING “yes.”

MANAGEMENT TEAM, PART 2

Armed with that knowledge, they began recruiting the ZForm team. They knew that we needed someone with REAL experience to lead product development and were able to attract Gavin Andresen to join as a full partner and to serve as our Chief Technology Officer.

Gavin, while working at Silicon Graphics was one of the lead architects for VRML, THE standard for 3D graphics on the Internet. And in his first startup company, he created a revolutionary voice chat technology. That startup sold for a handsome return to its investors.

To help ZForm better understand the BVI community and our potential strategic partners, Jeremie and Paul recruited Alan Holst.

Alan, who coincidentally has been blind since birth, is a well known and respected member of the BVI community with fifteen years experience working at some of the world’s leading developers of technology for the BVI. Alan has handled both sales and operations at different points in his career for a number of successful blindness products.

Finally, Paul and Jeremie knew that ZForm would need someone with extensive expertise in marketing and leadership to serve as our CEO. Will Coleburn has over 20 years of experience in consumer marketing for games, Internet companies, and consumer services. During his twelve years at Parker Brothers, he was responsible for the tremendously successful re-launch of Trivial Pursuit.

Will’s confidence in the opportunity ZForm represents is illustrated in his cash investment in the company.

INVESTMENT STRATEGY

We have already launched a real product with real customers that are displaying ten times the industry average in conversion rate from trial to purchase. ZForm is now raising $100,000 that will allow us to launch our new website and initiate the marketing and PR needed to successfully launch our second game.

In year two, we will seek to raise an additional $200,000 that will allow us to achieve positive cash flow and 15,000 customers. At this point, the company could continue to grow organically, or, if the Board of Directors so chooses will take on additional financing to accelerate our growth.

With this third round of financing of $1.5 million dollars in year three, we project that we will be readily able to grow to the size that makes us a desirable candidate for acquisition by year five, with a value of $40 million and a 10 times return to our investors.

CONCLUSION

ZForm:

  • - is addressing a CLEAR need in an active and growing market
  • - has a live product that is already generating revenues and revolutionizing the way the BVI interact with others
  • - has a PROVEN exit strategy that offers a 10 times return
  • - and has assembled a management team with the leadership, technical, and marketing skills needed to execute.

Thank you for this opportunity to speak with you here tonight. Paul and I will now gladly take any questions.

© 2006-7 UMass Amherst Entrepreneurship Initiative. Site design by Jamie Steglinski.