Thoughts on startups by investors that
fund them & entrepreneurs that run them

Category Archives: Invested Interests

Dread Startup Problems Or Learn To Enjoy Challenges

Stressed entrepreneur photo via Wikipedia

If you can’t solve problems and enjoy it, you won’t make it as an entrepreneur. By definition, an entrepreneur is the first to undertake a given business, and firsts never happen without problems and people frustrations. The toughest problems are people problems, like personnel issues, but there are tough operational problems as well, such as

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Of the private companies trading on secondary markets, how much (percentage) of those companies’ stock is available through the secondary market?

On average…none.

The secondary market for private company stock is brand new, and so nascent that it is virtually nonexistent.

For a very brief time, when Facebook, LinkedIn, Groupon and Zynga were still private, there was a quick flurry of private secondary sales through platforms like SecondMarket and SharesPost. But there was much, much, much more smoke than fire, and I would

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What tools can I use to manage relationships with investors?

Gust.com is the most widely used tool platform for both sides, with hundreds of thousands of companies and tens of thousands of investors using it to track and manage their relations with the other. It’s the official collaboration tool of the Angel Capital Association (and the equivalent national angel investor federations in 20 other countries.) It’s also used by over 300

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Every Entrepreneur Needs Help In Getting Things Done

To Do List Chalkboard by Mufidah Kassalias, on Flickr

The universal challenge of every startup founder is to get everything done that needs to get done, and still have a life. Even outside of business, everyone wants to accomplish more, while working less. I’ve been a student of these techniques for some time, but some time ago I saw a

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Can a private company take investment money from anyone?

Unfortunately, a private company in the US may not take investment money from “anyone”. The only people who are legally eligible to purchase an equity interest in a private company without a great deal of special paperwork are, as you noted,Accredited Investors. These are defined as a person with net assets of over $1 million (not including the value of his or her primary

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As a new independent angel investor, how will I find new companies to invest in?

The two sites you mentioned are both secondary listing services, for later stage companies. For a new angel investor, by far the best thing to do is to join a local angel investor group that belongs to the Angel Capital Association. There are hundreds of them, with at least one in every state. Major metropolitan areas typically have more than

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How Do You Select A Revenue Model For Your Startup?

Image via Wikipedia

One of the toughest decisions for a startup is how to price their product or service. The alternatives range from giving it away for free, to pricing based on costs, to charging what the market will bear (premium pricing). The implications of the decision you make are huge, defining your brand image, your funding requirements, and your

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How does a VC keep a track of his/her investment?

Professional investors typically have a range of information rights that they negotiate for when making an investment. While not every investor will have every right (or every right with the same frequency), the types of things we’re talking about include:

Seat on the Board of Directors
Non-voting Board Observer Seat
Monthly, quarterly or annual financial statements (audited or unaudited)
Monthly, quarterly or annual narrative

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Does a startup need a CEO from the start?

You certainly don’t need a full executive suite if it is only a few co-founders. However, in my experience every organization needs one person on whose desk the buck stops. You can call this the President, or General Manager, or Executive Director, or Chairman, or Man in the Moon…but it has to be one person who is at the very least the

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Entrepreneurs Need To Keep Their Business Focused

Zappos logo via Flickr by Ben Spark

One of the most common failures I see in startups is lack of focus. Unfocused entrepreneurs boast that their new technology will generate multiple disruptive products for consumers as well as enterprises around the world. Investors hear this as trying to do too many things with limited resources, meaning the startup will not

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