The Pitch: "Our flagship product, ccProphet, helps call centers manage operations by creating what-if scenarios based on parameters such as call duration and number of workers. One of our other applications simulates the flow of patients through health care facilities to determine how many nurses and beds are needed. We do well in a recession, as companies focus on efficiency. We are in the process of standardizing our custom health care application so it works off the shelf for all clients, as well as our evacuation application, which helps a large facility plan a move, in either an emergency or a relocation. So far, we have been self-funded and have kept the company small. But now that our children are older, we would like to move more quickly. We believe that there are many opportunities for us in health care and government, especially with the passage of the stimulus."

OWNERS: Kerrie Paige and Jaret Hauge

LOCATION: Bellingham, Washington

EMPLOYEES: Four

FOUNDED: 2000

2008 REVENUE: $366,000

2009 PROJECTED REVENUE: $525,000

NET PROFIT MARGIN: 25 percent

TYPICAL CONTRACT SIZE: $20,000 to $150,000

CUSTOMERS: 36 percent manufacturing, 25 percent health care, 20 percent call centers, 5 percent government, 14 percent other

FUNDING SOUGHT: $300,000

The Experts Weigh In

STICK WITH WHAT YOU KNOW

NovaSim's product is impressive, overhead is low, and it has good margins -- those things are all very positive. But instead of focusing on its flagship product, the call center software, the company is trying to penetrate new markets. It's not clear to me whether there is a demonstrated need for these new products. I think it would be more productive to focus on increasing sales of the company's existing products. Anything NovaSim can do to make its business more scalable through existing sales channels will be time well spent.

Peggy Wallace
Managing director
Golden Seeds
New York City

FOCUS ON HEALTH CARE

This is a tough sell. NovaSim hasn't gained much momentum. The company has been in business for nine years, and it has only $366,000 in revenue. Although the software sounds interesting in terms of efficiency and cost reduction, it probably has an extended sales cycle, and it seems like a tough business to scale. The company's primary product is for call centers. That's a highly competitive field, and it doesn't seem to make it a lot of money. On the other hand, there's no question that costs in health care are exploding. If NovaSim has a critical solution, that would be beneficial.

Andy Sack
Managing partner
Founder's Co-op
Seattle

GROWTH CONQUERS ALL

In order to raise funds, NovaSim will have to battle the perception that it is just a lifestyle business run by a husband-and-wife team. It must demonstrate to investors that there is a compelling exit. Changing the business model from custom solutions to product sales signifies a new direction that may be more compelling to investors. NovaSim is projecting strong growth despite the current economic environment. If the company can hit those revenue numbers and show strong year-over-year growth, it will be positioned well.

Fran Seegull
Managing director
Funk Ventures
Santa Monica, California