What It Takes

For a new technology company, a target of $100 million in revenues within five years attracts major investor attention—if that goal is a realistic one and is based on a sound product or service, a good business plan, a management team with a track record and a marketing strategy that makes sense.

Although we're speaking in generalities, and it must be taken into consideration that different costs are associated with different technologies and applications, a rough schedule of investment needs in the above scenario could look something like this:

Start-up funds might range from a few hundred thousand to a couple million dollars.

1st tier investment of $5-$10 million would be sought from investors.

2nd tier investment as orders or contracts grew might be in the neighborhood of $20-$25 million

Mezzanine-level investment of $50 million or more would be sought from a venture capital fund.

The next growth step would likely take the form of a public stock offering or an acquisition.

Some firms and some technologies might be able to skip a step or two, depending on market demand and cost/cash curves, but a $100-million company will ordinarily have gone though most of those steps on the way to its initial goal.

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