If You Were Your Own Investor

One of the benefits member companies of high-tech business acceleration center VT KnowledgeWorks receive is strategic business counseling.

Prospective member companies in the pre-launch phase get a taste of that counseling when Jim Flowers, director of VT KnowledgeWorks, offers this scenario:

Imagine you, personally, were asked to invest $100,000 in the company you are proposing.

Would you do it?

That’s a lot of money.

Before you handed over your hard-earned cash, you would investigate and scrutinize the company–your company–to assess its merits, its risks, its potential rewards.


If you proceed with the business you are planning, you are getting ready to invest your life in this company.

Use the same rigor you would as a financial investor to assess whether investment of your own heart and your own soul in this company is worth it to you.

You’re investing time on earth.  You can’t get that back.

Make sure this is what you really want to do.

As I have alluded to before, I am thinking of life in quarters these days–my parents turned 75, they had me when they were 25, I’m turning 50 this year.  My father spoke recently of how a shortened timeline has changed his decision-making process.

My grandmothers are close to 100 and ailing; my mother is ailing.  At 50, do I have 25 productive years left?  If so, what will I do with them?

I do feel an imperative to have those years invested with heart and soul.

Jim asks important questions.


VT KnowledgeWorks is a unique growth enhancement program open to entrepreneurs in the New River Valley of Virginia and beyond. Its acceleration center and incubation facilities are located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, which houses more than 135 high-tech businesses employing over 2,000 people in 24 buildings.

Programs for Members are divided into two categories according to the evolutionary status of the member company.  Pre-Launch program components are carefully constructed to help market-worthy ventures organize, formulate strategy, obtain outside investment, and launch in an efficient manner. The services provided for Enterprise class members emphasize strategic support for organic growth, continuing intra-preneurship, and personal professional development for the corporate leader. As of 6/17/08, VT KnowledgeWorks had 37 member companies.

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