Beware of the revolving-door venture capitalist

What happens when your great VC buddy who helped you through so much is gone?

Beware of the revolving-door venture capitalistA start-up that takes its fundraising seriously has to allow its CEO to tackle the project full-time for up to a year. The founders have studied the due diligence requirements ahead of the process, and they approach the investment community in an orderly and structured fashion. The founders and CEO work hard to listen to…

The necessary perils of entrepreneurship

Real value does not come from the idea alone. Great ideas without execution are empty roadside soda cans

The necessary perils of entrepreneurshipThere were nearly 900 people seated at round tables alternating small talk with bites of chicken. The ballroom was glamorous, the chicken was dry and few paid attention to the joke-telling emcee. "My wife says that if I don't give up golf, she's going to leave me. I'm really going to miss her! Har har!…

Getting an investor to move from “not now” to “yes”

Investing is a process and not a speed dating event. If you develop relationships with investors, you’ve got a much better shot of closing the deal

Getting an investor to move from “not now” to “yes”Getting a “no” from any prospective investor can be hard to take. At first glance, it’s insulting. You’ve poured heart and soul into an idea and after 10 minutes of pitching, the investor doesn’t want to hear more. For the entrepreneur who wears the success or failure of his company as a reflection of their…

Talk to your venture capitalist before you crash and burn

Open communication with your VC can help you, your company and your longer-term prospect of later support

Talk to your venture capitalist before you crash and burnEverything is positive when a new venture begins. There is a rush of excitement, people are fully committed, hours are long and creativity is cranked to its peak. The traction, media attention or buzz will soon bring you to the notice of venture capitalists. Cash comes in and everyone is pumped up. The founders are…

Entrepreneurs need to know when to call it quits

Don't let your business success or failure define your worth as a person

Entrepreneurs need to know when to call it quitsJody Sherman founded several companies. Some got bought out for modest success and others failed. Ecomom was his last startup. Management and staff tried hard but Ecomom didn't work and it burned. When Sherman saw no hope for Ecomom, he saw no hope for himself so he ended his own life. But there is more…

How a venture capitalist knows your deal is weak

The venture capitalist is actually looking for a the reason not to invest in your company

How a venture capitalist knows your deal is weakIt is an industry accepted standard that venture capitalists will fund one of 100 deals. Some entrepreneurs will not be given more than a few minutes to pitch, others will get a longer meeting, while a lucky few will move into a process of successive interviews and discussions. But, in the end, only one deal…

5 facts to know before approaching venture capitalists

Learning these five facts - even if you don't want to hear them - will save you time and frustration

5 facts to know before approaching venture capitalistsEvery year hundreds of entrepreneurs and investors congregate at the base of the mountains at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta. Over the course of two days, approximately 50 IT, life science and cleantech companies make their pitch to an audience of venture capitalists and angel investors. Panels, speakers and networking round out the…

How to attract the right talent to achieve financial success

Making the right connections and finding the right people will directly impact the level of success you achieve

How to attract the right talent to achieve financial successWhen examining the who, what, where, when and why of any startup, it's the who that will most directly impact the level of success that is achieved. Making the right connections and finding the right people will be entirely reflected in the management team, staff, advisory board, customer list and availability of capital. While that…

Raising capital is not always the only option

Instead of pitching for investor money, start to focus on pitching for revenue

Raising capital is not always the only optionMost of us in the entrepreneurial space, whether building, supporting or funding early stage companies, assume attracting investor capital is just the normal course of business. We have been conditioned to believe or accept that once an entrepreneur gets a business underway raising investor capital is just part of the plan. Some entrepreneurs begin crafting…

There is only one way to meet a venture capitalist

If you can't make your pitch within 10 minutes, however, you're not ready

There is only one way to meet a venture capitalistHow you approach a venture capitalist (VC) can be the difference between receiving a quick glance or gaining direct attention. It can be very tempting to cold call venture capital web search results or chase down a harried VC at an entrepreneur event. While those attempts may work, it's a low probability tactic and just…