Many executives wish that they had a more systematic means of using technology to help them identify external events that represent evidence of potential threats or opportunities. The Business Event Advisor is a prototype corporate radar kit that addresses this need. It can be used to create customized solutions to monitor the external business environment in which a company operates. It exploits Internet-based information sources to help decision-makers systematically detect and interpret simple patterns of external events relevant to their business concerns. To accomplish this, it integrates text mining components and a simple inference mechanism around a semantic model of a company's business environment. Applications built with the system can produce structured descriptions of events that may be relevant to a given company, and can then aggregate those events around its model of the company's business environment and suggest what impact(s) these events might have on that company. We discuss our motivation for creating this prototype, the architecture of the system, the kinds of information it can provide, the kinds of models it requires, and possible directions for future research (including use of pattern matching to auto-generate elements of our system's models).