The KnockNOW Vision
“Helping build successful technology companies by connecting the disconnect
between the entrepreneur and big business.”
The following is, a general sense, our vision for KnockNOW and projected time lines when we started in June 2000. It is a road map, but surely not our business plan.
September 2000. The KnockNOW monthly networking meetings begin.
The meetings are held on a monthly basis and membership is comprised of Executives from corporations in the five sectors identified. The Members Section provides the logos of the participating companies.
December 2000. Created Resources Listings for Entrepreneurs.
One of our first processes was to develop a listing of Venture Capital Funds that supported startups and early stage companies. A listing of resources for the local technology community was built and posted to the website, and this list is free for all to use. Additionally, this section is designed to provide additional resources as they are developed or become available.
March 2001. The KnockNOW Wednesday Breakfast Club meetings begin.
These meetings were designed to allow the relationships garnered in the monthly meetings to filter down to a larger population. These meetings are more informal, but are designed to encourage relationships in all levels of the tech community. There are now 5 locations for the Wednesday breakfast meetings (Chicago (downtown), Evanston, Schaumburg, Deerfield and Naperville. The attendees vary across all sectors.
June 2001. KnockNOW forms a 501(c) not-for-profit corporation.
Recognizing that the networking and relationship building is only step one in “building successful technology companies”, we began the development of a not-for-profit (NFP) organization. Corporate Sponsors are now being solicited for the purpose of supporting the growth of the KnockNOW foundation, as well as the sponsoring of specific projects such as the Cornerstone Project.
July 2001. Cornerstone Project becomes the first formal KnockNOW project.
The goal of Cornerstone is to connect qualified early stage technology companies with forward thinking corporations. This connection will bring partnerships, funding and other relationships that any startup needs to survive.
Fall 2001. KnockNOW utilizes the 2Xchange Asset Trading Platform to offer cash-free donated services.
Service providers will be encouraged to offer a portion of their services to the entrepreneurial community using the trading platform. These donated professional services will be available to qualified entrepreneurs. KnockNOW will grant selected entrepreneurs credits that they may spend in the Exchange for those services.
The service provider gets tax credits for the donation, the startup gets credit for an “investment” and the NFP becomes a catalyst for business growth. Win, win, win.
Summer 2002. KnockNOW begins educational programs aimed at the startup/entrepreneur.
Formal educational programs will be developed to assist the startup’s maturity. We also recognize that both parties will need to be educated for this process to work smoothly. The entrepreneur will likely need all sorts of educational, business and consultative services prior to being introduced to the prospective businesses. Additionally, the businesses will need to be educated to just what to expect from the startup.
Spring 2003. KnockNOW builds a seed fund.
The NFP will develop a $500,000 – $1,000,000 per investment seed VC fund.