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

Category Archives: Invested Interests

Why are the majority of angel investors focused on opportunities with large TAM?

Because of the economic realities of angel investing, not greed.

The hard and unforgiving facts are that the majority of all angel-backed ventures fail completely, losing all the money of all the investors. Of the remaining investments, most will return either the same amount that was originally invested, or perhaps be a moderate success and return two or three times the

Read more >

Do you have to be tech savvy to start a business these days?

It depends on how you define “tech savvy”:

The appropriate analogy would be to ask if you need to be “auto savvy”. If the question is “do I need to know how to drive a car, be comfortable fueling my vehicle at a gas station, and understand the difference between a sports car, an SUV, a panel van and a semi-trailer?”,

Read more >

How True Entrepreneurs Make Themselves Accountable

Image via Wikipedia

Everyone seems to like the aspect of being an entrepreneur that goes with “being your own boss” and “able to do things my way.” But sometimes they forget that this kind of freedom comes with a price of personal accountability. Accountability means “the buck stops here,” and “all the failures are mine.”

Too many people seem to do

Read more >

How often do investors take a meeting with companies that they have rejected when the company was in its early stages?

It happens, but it’s not typical, given their limited time and the large number of companies they need to process in order to find the “keepers”.

Things that increase their likelihood of being open to another meeting after having previously passed on an investment:

A case where the entrepreneur was specifically asked to “come back after they have more traction.”
A major, public,

Read more >

How do I shake off needy investors?

Does the company have a board of directors? Are there any investor representatives on it?  If there is a “lead” Investor with whom you have a good relationship, you might try having him act as your front man. Otherwise, you might try sending ALL your investors something like this:

High Performing Virtual Teams Have 8 Key Attributes

Virtual Team meeting image via Wikimedia blog

Almost every startup is a virtual team these days, since most don’t start out with dedicated office space, and some or all members of the team work part-time or out of their own home. It’s a small world, so these team members may not even be in the same town, or the same

Read more >

What happens when a company is acquired for less money than it raised in funding?

Every investment round in a company is made on the basis of extensivepaperwork (often upwards of 100 pages in total) specifying *precisely* what happens when it comes time to pay out the proceeds (if any) from the sale or dissolution of the company. And since all prior investors sign such agreements—or are otherwise legally bound by them—there is never any

Read more >

What are the best New York City events to attend to meet VC’s and Angel investors?

This is a somewhat tricky question. Although there are many, many excellent events each week in New York that it would make sense for a startup entrepreneur to attend (see Gary’s Guide, Startup Digest, or This Week in NY Innovation), the truth is that (a) VCs and serious investors don’t go to most of them, and (b) the odds are

Read more >

How To Turn Friction Into Value In Your Startup

Image via Wikipedia

Entrepreneurship is not a job for the Lone Ranger. Every startup requires building and maintaining effective relationships with people, including partners, team members, customers, and investors. That means giving and asking for feedback, and learning from it, especially negative feedback.

“Friction” is feedback mixed with emotion or drama, making it all the more difficult to sort out the

Read more >

How do startups decide who sits on the board?

A company’s board of directors is technically elected by the company’s shareholders. So before a startup receives outside funding, the board is “elected” by—and usually consists of—the founders (although it may exist in name only.)

Once a company receives its initial seed, angel or venture funding, the documents prepared for the investment will include a Shareholders Agreement that gets signed by

Read more >