Business Plan Archive studies companies of the late 90s

I’ve been sucked in to the Business Plan Archive created by the University of Maryland and George Mason. They’ve archived business plans, investor pitches, term sheets, screenshots, mockups, and even old business cards. Here’s a sample company description from an online job site:

The company will introduce a new network of online recruiting sites that will utilize the latest advances in internet technology to provide online interaction between employers and job seekers.

Seeking a $26 million Series A in mid-1998. Another company I found was after $10 million for a sports site and ended up with $500,000 in convertible notes. I’m having fun clicking around through interesting company names.

Today’s Wall Street Journal cites new research from economist David A. Kirsch focused on every business plan submitted to a single East Coast venture firm between the Netscape IPO in August 1995 to the Nasdaq peak in March 2000. Nearly half of the 1100 companies studied were still in business in 2004. The study shows even more startups could have been created during that time focusing on small markets instead of a grow big fast mentality, but VCs often passed on the smaller deals.

Update: I found promotional and training videos from a few companies and even logo merchandise a.k.a. swag.

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