In 1990, the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship assumed responsibility for operating the Southwest Venture Forum, which had been founded by a local venture capital firm in 1984. The non-profit forum is a bimonthly breakfast meeting where entrepreneurs looking to start or expand their businesses meet with venture investors and the professional community to solicit financing and obtain advice.
Entrepreneurs present business plans or executive summaries that describe:
- The opportunity and business concept.
- The existing or proposed products and/or services.
- The industry and target markets in which they will operate.
- Accomplishments of key management personnel.
- Summarized financial projections of sales, profits, and cash flows.
- What they are seeking in terms of financing to build their company.
Following the presentations by selected entrepreneurs, current venture financing topics are discussed by prominent investors or expert panels. Membership in the forum consists of entrepreneurs, venture investors, bankers, attorneys, accountants, and consultants working with early- and intermediate-stage growth-oriented entrepreneurs and their firms.