Last week Mark Cuban -- the billionaire entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA basketball team -- announced an interesting new approach to stimulating the U.S. economy: an open source funding environment that he would fund with his own money. Says Cuban, "Rather than trying to be a Venture Capitalist, I was looking for an idea that hopefully could inspire people to create businesses that could quickly become self funding. Businesses that just needed a jump start to get the ball rolling and create jobs. I'm a big believer that entrepreneurs will lead us out of this mess. I just needed a way to help." Here's how it works: Simply post your business plan on Cuban's blog, and he will personally consider it for funding. There is no minimum and no maximum funding limit, and with a couple billion dollars in the bank, Mark can clearly afford some serious funding.
Sounds good, right? Well, there's a catch. Every business plan posted for Cuban's review will be publicly visible to anyone who visits his blog -- he expects and wants other blog visitors to comment on the plans, and to "steal the idea and use it elsewhere." In addition to this catch, Cuban has a list of 13 rules including such things as: it can be an existing business or a start up; it must be cash flow break even within 60 days; funding will be on a monthly basis -- if you don't make your numbers, the funding stops; and so on.
If you've got a GREAT business idea but lack the funding to make it happen, then Cuban's solution might be your solution. Just be sure to let us know if you post a business plan to his blog so we can have a look for ourselves.