LaunchPadTM SBDC

LaunchPad SBDC Overview

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LaunchPad SBDC is OCTANe’s Foundation for Innovation program to support new businesses, their creation, strategic development, their capitalization, and continued growth.  Our goal is to create new jobs in Southern California that have a lasting impact on the technology economy.

We work with companies in four primary sectors:

  1. Biomedical and life science technologies
  2. Information technology (hardware, software, networking, big data analytics)
  3. Action sports and sports technologies
  4. Clean Technologies

new_logoThe LaunchPad SBDC is run as a partnership with the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) and is part of the Orange County / Inland Empire Regional SBDC network.  The SBDC is partially funded through a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration.sba-logo

 The LaunchPad SBDC provides detailed analytical feedback to entrepreneurs in order to support the development of their companies.  The feedback is combined with specific subject matter resources so that companies are successful in securing early stage funding.


How is LaunchPad Unique?

LaunchPad SBDC doesn’t just provide advice and feedback. Companies that fully participate in the LaunchPad program receive a highly detailed and quantitative evaluation based on predictive analytics of their business plans. LaunchPad’s dataset contains thousands of data points on business plan elements gathered from hundreds of companies across all Southern California high tech industries. LaunchPad company CEOs know exactly what elements of their business plans differentiate them from other startups and which parts of their plans need improvement. OCTANe subsequently designs a company specific development plan, where applicable, based on the quantitative data set. LaunchPad does not charge a fee for its services and does not take equity compensation.

How Does LaunchPad Work?

Early stage companies apply to work with OCTANe by submitting a brief on-line application along with an abbreviated business plan or executive summary.

On Line Application: Click Here to Sign Up

Executive Summary: (submit to [email protected])

LaunchPad SBDC personnel will review the materials and schedule an initial counseling session to review the business model and make a preliminary determination based on the companies ability to satisfy five primary requirements:

  1. Attractiveness of Market Opportunity
  2. Viability of Technology or Product
  3. Profitability of Business Plan
  4. Attractiveness of Investment Sector and Opportunity
  5. Capabilities of Management and Advisory Team

Following the initial consulting session, a determination will be made if this company and opportunity is suitable for the LaunchPad SBDC process.

While the process has been proven to be effective for hundreds of companies, there are many good and viable business opportunities that are not well suited for the LaunchPad SBDC’s system of predictive analytics.

Once the determination has been made, a series of additional counseling sessions are scheduled (the number depends on the company level of preparedness and ranges from 0 to 3) to prepare the company for our predictive analytics panel review session.


At the predictive analytics panel review session, a team of evaluators will be assembled to listed to a 15-20 minute PowerPoint presentation by the company CEO and have an opportunity to ask questions for 20-30 minutes.  During this process, the evaluators will be completing a detailed feedback questionnaire that will be used to evaluate the company.

While feedback from any single individual can be highly valuable, it is also inherently subjective based on the experience and biases of the evaluator.  LaunchPad SBDC’s use of a panel evaluation and feedback approach minimizes the subjectivity associated with one on one mentoring in an attempt to provide meaningful, analytical, and actionable feeback.  This allows the entrepreneurs to focus his or her limited resources on the areas that are ultimately most critical for their company’s success.

The feedback questionnaires are collected, collated, and analyzed comparing the specific company to our database of more than 1,000 companies.  Detailed feedback reports are produced comparing the specific aspects of the evaluated company with both the average company that has gone through our process and the most successful companies that have gone through the process.



With these reports, the LaunchPad SBDC is able to provide detailed, non-subjective, analytical feedback to the entrepreneur. We subsequently design a support plan targeted at assisting the entrepreneur take best advantages of their strengths, while simultaneously pairing with targeted subject matter experts to mitigate any risks associated with their weak spots.

How Does LaunchPad Help Companies Get Funded?

The LaunchPad process can identify the strongest companies that are most likely to receive Start-up investment. When the start-up company and team are ready, we identify the sources of funding that are most appropriate for these companies and make introductions to our network of venture capitalists, angel investors, grant funders, private equity firms, and corporate investors.

We track our results based on the number of companies that go through the process, the number that ultimately secure funding, the amount of capital infused, and the subsequent jobs that are created in Southern California.

LaunchPad SBDC Results



The LaunchPad SBDC typically works with 100-125 companies each year and approximately 20% secure funding within twelve months.



In 2013, OCTANe worked primarily in the life science and information technology sectors.  Twenty-one companies raised in aggregate more than $40 Million.  In 2014 we initiated our action sports and sports technologies vertical expansion and these companies are representing a significant portion of our clients.

When combining the funding raised by early stage companies with the capital infused to LaunchPad SBDC alumni in subsequent rounds of financing, the total capital infusion to LaunchPad companies is 2013 was more than $140 Million and this resulted in the creation of 1,100 new jobs in Southern California.



Getting Involved

Entrepreneurs - The LaunchPad application process is very easy. Please follow the on line application process and email the executive summary of your business plan or your investment presentation slide deck to [email protected].

On-Line LaunchPad Application

Investors - Qualified investors can tap into the qualified deal flow from companies that have completed the LaunchPad process. Please contact Paul Symczak ([email protected]).


The LaunchPad SBDC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration and California State University Fullerton and extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. SBA and California State University Fullerton cannot endorse any products, opinions, or services of any external parties or activities.

  • Abbot Medical Optics
  • AcuFocus, Inc.
  • ADVI
  • Allergan
  • Alphaeon
  • Bioquest
  • Canada International
  • Chapman University
  • CORT
  • Covidien
  • Cresa
  • Deloitte
  • DevicePharm
  • Dorsey
  • Edwards
  • EY
  • Fleishman Hillard
  • ICON plc
  • Irvine Chamber
  • JLL
  • K&L Gates
  • Knobbe Martens
  • London Economic Development Corporation
  • Merage Institute
  • Micro Vention
  • Microsemi
  • Moss Adams
  • PWC
  • SC Edison
  • Stradling
  • SVB – Sillicon Valley Bank
  • TechSpace
  • Teijin
  • UC Irvine