BIZ Luncheon Series: Tom Buman of Agren
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  • 1. Tom Buman AGREN
  • 2. Agren’s  Leadership  Background    Farm  Backgrounds    USDA  Natural  Resources  Conservation  Service       Combined  24  years     Six  different  field  offices     Lots  of  contacts    Degrees  in  Agronomy  &  Animal  Science  
  • 3. Agren’s  Background    July  1,  1996    Agren  started  as  a  consulting  firm    Work  fell  out  of  the  sky    Added  staff     Family  business  
  • 4. During  Last  15  Years    Expanded  list  of  clients    Diversified  consulting  work    But  still…endless  pursuit  of  work  
  • 5. Desire  For  Change    Wouldn’t  it  be  nice  to  be   diversified  where,  in   addition  to  consulting,   we  would  have   something  to  sell.      
  • 6. Stars  Line  Up    The  idea     If  we  just  had  high  quality  topographic  data…    The  opportunity     Iowa  DNR  purchased  LiDAR    The  funding     NRCS  Issues  Conservation  Innovation  Grant  RFP    The  knowledge     Past  experience  
  • 7. The  Product    Great  reviews    Increased  efficiency    Used  new  technology    No  one  else  doing  it    A  vision  for  the  future  
  • 8. Changing  The  Business  Model    Agren  =  Consulting    Work  done  with  public  funds    NRCS  needed  this  technology    But  NRCS  was  not  interested  
  • 9. Something  To  Sell    Software  as  a  Service  (SaaS)  Model    Where  to  begin     Customers     Knowledge     Desire     Competition  
  • 10. We  Got  Lucky    Iowa  Department  of  Economic  Development    Call  Mike!  
  • 11. What  Mike  Taught  Us  Everything  Else!  
  • 12. Intellectual  Property    Ownership  of  IP—Contact  an  attorney    Do  contracts  to  retain  IP  ownership    Patents,  Trademarks,  Copyrights    What  will  past  customers  you  developed  the  IP  in  the   past  care?    Did  you  ask?  
  • 13. Leverage    Products  build  on  past  services    Products  will  build  on  future  products     Content     Code      Will  it  add  cash  flow  and  smooth  cash  flow  
  • 14. Scale    Growth  within  original  market    Additional  markets    Can  Agren  support  the  growth  
  • 15. IdenGfiable  Market    We  could  identify  our  market    We  know  our  customers    We  can  directly  contact  our  customers    We  knew  how  to  talk  to  our  customers  
  • 16. Time  To  Market    We  had  the  time     No  competition     Working  with  government    We  knew  the  features     Required     Optional     Nice  to  have  
  • 17. Pricing  The  Product    Where  to  start    Could  we  be  competitive     What  evidence  did  we  have    Testing  the  price  point     Benchmarks    Cash-­‐forward  business  model    Auto-­‐renewals  
  • 18. Time  To  Cash  Flow    How  much  cash  did  we  need     Where  to  get  the  cash    How  quickly  can  we  cash  flow    Do  we  develop  more  tools    Can  the  “Service  Sector”  provide  the  float  
  • 19. RelaGonship  In  The  Market    Brand  recognition     Would  we  be  recognized    Current  customers     Would  customers  (NRCS)  accept  the  product    Current  competition       Other  vendors    Collaborators     Support  in  the  market  
  • 20. Selling  Model    Our  selling  model    Sales  training/experience    Leverage  with  partnerships  
  • 21. MarkeGng  Plan    We  have  a  clear  plan     Need  perseverance     Need  focus    Staying  in  contact/Customer  Relationship   Management     Tracking  sales  cycle     Automated  sales    Realistic  projections  
  • 22. Time  &  Money  (Do  you  know)    Development  costs    Legal  costs  for  IP  on  contracts    Marketing  costs    Hosting  or  other  support  costs    Support    Marketing    Services    Administration  &  Billing    Updates  to  stay  competitive  
  • 23. Long-­‐term  Decisions    Do  we  keep  the  service  sector     How  long    Do  we  keep  the  product  sector     Bring  programming  in  house     Adequate  resources    Do  we  keep  both     Can  you  do  everything