You Want Investors’ Money? Stop Selling the Labor Pains. Show off the Baby!

You Want Investors’ Money? Stop Selling the Labor Pains. Show off the Baby!

People don’t bare gifts because of the labor pains. They bring gifts to celebrate the new creation. Summer is almost upon us: graduations, proms and last couple of investors’ conferences before vacation time. I’ll be heading to Silicon Valley Open Door (SVOD), a technology investment conference, in San Francisco, and to the RESI (Reinventing Early Stage Investment) conference in San Diego, which focuses on life science companies, as part of the investors’ panel. I’ll meet with the founders seeking funding and discuss opportunities with investors during one on one breakout sessions. If you are one of these founders, here is what I will be looking for:   Traction. What have you achieved? What milestones have you passed? Are you generating revenue? How have you proven you are solving a problem? These days, even angels tend to behave like VC, looking for traction. As an early stage company, and more so for those in life science sector, traction can be a daunting concept. You most likely don’t have revenue yet but there is always slow and measurable progress to leverage. Maybe you have identified and proven your target customer with sign up for upcoming trials; maybe you have endorsement from recognized scientific entities or perhaps pursuing a co-validation.   What does tomorrow look like? What changes do you anticipate in the market place? How will you still be relevant? You don’t have to know exactly, but based on trends, data and research, how are you directionally correct? From the time you conceptualized your idea to the first research/iteration to today, most likely a couple of years have passed. With seven...
Has Your Startup Been funded? Here’s How to Keep The Money Coming

Has Your Startup Been funded? Here’s How to Keep The Money Coming

  Look how far you’ve come. Despite the ups and downs, twists and turns of the entrepreneurial journey, you’ve developed your innovation, raised initial funding and put your product/service on the market. Now, you’re seeking a second round of investment. Let’s be brutally honest here, shall we? “Your job as an entrepreneur is not to raise money but to run a company”, said Paul Singh, investor and founder of Results Junkies. Singh recently participated in a panel at Co+Hoots, talking about how entrepreneurs can get more funding. The major constrain on entrepreneurs’ success is not the quality of their product or service, the intellectual property that protects it, or the lack of funding, but rather their inability to leverage their powers and gain traction. If you want to raise capital on your own, Singh’s advice is to prepare and be ready to have 500 meetings with investors in one week. Spending more time chasing the money would be a waste of your time. Singh explained, that the opportunities investors are looking to fund are the opportunities they are chasing. Not the other way around. The more you have to chase investors, the worse the deal. If investors are not returning your emails or phone calls, ask yourself what’s wrong with how you framed your opportunity, not what’s wrong with the investors. Lead With Traction If you are seeking additional funding for your venture, you have traction: customers, users, pre-orders, whatever the case may be. Edward Pizzarello, angel investor and serial entrepreneur, who was also a panelist at the Co+Hoots event said that when investors meet with founders, they hear all...
The Startup Guide to Funding: How to Make the Money Chase You!

The Startup Guide to Funding: How to Make the Money Chase You!

Startups looking for money are going about it all wrong. They are chasing the money, instead of making the money chase them. This article is about how to effectively secure funding. Why should you listen to me? I have spent almost three decades in the capital markets. I spent the early days of my career on Wall Street, as an Investment Banker. Now I spend my time solving complex financing problems for organizations of all stages. In all this time, I have seen what goes well and what goes wrong. While on Wall Street, more often than not, I was the person that put a company in play. What does that mean? It means I would seek them out to take them public. How did I find them? I actively researched, participated in industry related functions and had a great relationship with Civic Leaders. If you are doing something well, people will talk. Once a company came on my radar I quickly rated them based on their power: Hustle & Grit: As I learned about their story and all of the obstacles they overcame and struggles they endured, this made me want them more. That never die, can’t lose attitude cannot be taught. Management Team: How strong are they? Can they handle that type of next level success? Financials: How clean do they keep their books. This is an indication of how disciplined and well they will manage my money. How do you leverage your power? Learn the rules, then play to win! The rules of the game now are Fear & Greed. Intensify an investors fear of losing...
10 Factors That Predict Your Startup Success

10 Factors That Predict Your Startup Success

Performance Optimizing for Smart Layers Venture capitalists are constantly telling the entrepreneurs they invest in to make data-driven decisions. But as an industry, we haven’t been very good at doing it ourselves. Now that we have the analytics and numbers to take a closer look at ourselves and our business, we decided to give it a...