Sloan Foundation Supports Web-Based Archive for Dot-Com Era Business Plans

The New York City-based Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has provided a $300,500 grant to the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and research firm Webmergers.com to create a Web-based repository for business plans and related documents from the dot-com era, the New York Times reports.

The Business Plan Archive already holds the official blueprints for about 1,000 ill-fated Internet businesses and expects to receive more submissions from venture capitalists and failed startups. The creators of the project — David Kirsch, who teaches entrepreneurship at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, and Tim Miller, chief executive of Webmergers.com — believe the records will help entrepreneurs and academics learn from the failed business strategies of the dot-com boom.

"At one level, these business plans were all rational. If you looked at the hockey-stick-like growth of the early Internet, it understandably allowed people to make wild, wild growth projections," said Miller. "I think the comedic value has already been fully realized. Everyone's had their laugh. Now, why don't we try to learn something from this so that we don't have to have the laugh again in the future."

Andrew Zipern. "Money Granted to Study How It Was Lost." New York Times 07/01/2002.