The Butler Launch Pad: John Hallal on the “Launch and Grow” Stage
An adjunct professor at Babson College, John Hallal teaches Mergers & Acquisitions for Entrepreneurs. John also serves as an advisor in Babson’s Launch Pad Program, advising businesses at the “Launch and Grow” stage, coaching entrepreneurs on go-to-market strategies, operations, sales and fundraising. John currently works as Managing Director for Network Blue, is an attorney for Acceleration Law Group, and is an active member of Boston Harbor Angels
Why do you care about entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship fuels our economy. In an increasingly competitive global landscape, it is critical we support such endeavors and do everything we can to make them successful, whether it be a start-up, existing company seeking to grow or an acquisition of a company. As an angel investor, entrepreneur and advisor, I enjoy interacting with bright, enterprising minds, sharing both my successes and failures.
What does your role at the Butler Launch Pad involve, and what does it means to be in the launch and grow stage?
I’m the advisor for the Launch & Grow stage. At this stage, it is important for entrepreneurs to fine tune their business model, build a financial pro forma projecting out at least 3 years, and hone their investor deck. I advise entrepreneurs on these important matters, with an emphasis on identifying achievable goals over the first 12 months and the execution plan. I expect participants to provide me with at least a one-page summary of their business with the following elements:
- What is the customer problem or pain point you are trying to solve?
- How do you solve this problem in a unique way?
- Market size
- Clearly defined business model
- Customer acquisition/acquisition costs/value of customer
What are some tips that you have for folks in the Butler “launch” stage?
In each stage, come prepared to engage mentors with specific questions. Make sure you have a good sense of your action items before the consult ends.
What is something that you think Babson entrepreneurs could do better?
Understand their market better and how your product/business will penetrate the market. I would like to add that Babson’s entrepreneurship program could do a better job making the case why entrepreneurship is important, which I feel sometimes gets lost in the granularity of the program. The case should be made powerfully in and outside of the Babson community.
What outcomes do you hope to see entrepreneurs make as you advise them in your role at the Butler Launch Pad?
Improvement in all areas of the business plan. Confidence in the plan but with a continuing willingness to listen to feedback from advisors and potential investor