Linda Plano’s interview at emeastartups.com
Linda Plano is the founder of Plano & Simple, which provides pitch and business coaching for entrepreneurs. Since 2005, she has coached nearly 600 entrepreneurs in Boston, across the US and internationally, in person and online. They have gone on to raise well over $250M. Prior to starting Plano & Simple, Linda was the Associate Director of the Massachusetts Technology Transfer Center (MTTC), where she coached entrepreneurs one-on-one, to present in front of small, influential groups and for large audiences. Linda helped launch the Ignite Clean Energy Business Competition in 2004 with other founding members of the Energy Special Interest Group at the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge. The competition was merged in 2010 with the Cleantech Open, a nationwide competition and international showcase for early stage cleantech companies.
EMEAstartups.com had the chance to interview Linda Plano on the occasion of MIT Enterprise Forum Greece’s event “Build the Community“. It’s a four-day program running from April 3 through April 8 and includes workshops for technology entrepreneurs and investors combined with community and networking events. It’s designed to bring together the people who are working to build a local entrepreneurship cluster and to accelerate its growth.EMEAstartups.com: Linda, you have designed this workshop for the technology entrepreneurship community in Greece. What are its main elements and how will it help those participating?
Linda Plano: First, thank you for this opportunity to talk about the “Build the Community” program. I based its design on the work I have done over the years in helping to build the cleantech entrepreneurial ecosystem in Boston, as well as on programs in other fields that have proven to be the most useful to entrepreneurs and startup success. I am very excited to bring the program to Athens for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Greece because there are few things more rewarding than helping a nascent community to realize its potential.
“Build the Community” is comprised of four major programs plus many hours of one-on-one coaching for participating entrepreneurs.
– The “Perfect Pitch” workshop is a two day (3 & 4 April) intensive program for entrepreneurs who want to be ready to pitch their company to investors, customers and others. They will develop a compelling one-minute elevator pitch, assess important aspects of their business plan, and get practice pitching. They will also receive one-on-one coaching.
– The “Team Building” event on Thursday evening is intended both as an opportunity for entrepreneurs to practice their pitch in front of a real – but safe – audience. It is also an opportunity for them to add critical personnel to their company to help it grow and succeed and an opportunity for members of the community who wish to join a startup to find one to join.
– The “How to Pick a Startup” workshop is a one-day (7 April) intensive program for experienced investors who are new to investing in technology startups or who would like to add new tools to their evaluation process. They will leave with a practical guide to assess any startup in the absence of the normal indicators, like earnings.