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

Category Archives: Invested Interests

10 Ways To Kill A Growing Business With Bad Hires

Image via Flickr by Hobvias Sudoneighm

Every startup with any traction quickly reaches a point where they need to hire employees to grow the business. Unfortunately, this always happens when pressures are the highest, and business processes are ill-defined. At this point you need superstars and versatile future executives, yet your in-house hiring processes and focus are at their weakest.

The

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What should I include in an investor provisions summary?

From the question it sounds to me as though this is a case of both a novice investor and a novice entrepreneur, with neither one having much experience with or as an angel. I would therefore *strongly* advise you to get an experienced startup attorney to advise you during the negotiation/term sheet discussions.

Customer Engagement Is Key To Branding Yourself

The days are gone when a techie or a genius could build things in his garage and customers would find and buy the product, based purely on the “wow factor” of the technology. New technologies are everywhere today. People have seen so much that they are blasé, or actually fear pure technology. They want a personable brand, before they will

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Who are the Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists with a focus on early-stage businesses started by minorities?

Although that’s probably not the right question to be asking (because the right investor is one who is investing in you as a businessperson, not you as a minorityperson), some firms and groups specializing in this sector are NMAN, the National Minority Angel Network (http://www.nmanetwork.com/), MAIN, the Minority Angel Investor Network (http://www.minorityangelinvestor…), and Jalia Ventures(http://www.jaliaventures.com/).

*original post can be found on

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How do angel investors typically deal with the legal agreements and similarly how would they help deal with legal issues for a startup they’ve invested in?

All investments by angels (and everyone else) in a company are made according to detailed legal documents that specify everything about the relationship among the various parties, the terms of the value exchange and the various rights and responsibilities of everyone involved. The paperwork can range from 5-10 pages for a pretty straightforward convertible note, up to 120 pages or

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Don’t Forget Grants If You Need Early Seed Money

In the US, many entrepreneurs see grants as “free money,” since they are not loans and don’t have to be repaid. A grant is not an equity investment, so the entrepreneur doesn’t have to give up a stake in the company either. Typically they can be used to fund product development and commercialization that would otherwise require outside investors.

A good

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How do venture capital firms make money by investing in startups?

The venture capital fund itself makes money…

…by investing early in a startup company’s life, when success is not at all assured. In exchange for investing capital to help the company grow, the fund receives an ownership interest in the company. Because in the early days a company will not be worth very much, the fund’s ownership interest will be worth

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7 Steps To Making A Great Entrepreneur Impression

Barack Obama meets Mark Zuckerberg, photo via Wikimedia

Entrepreneurs are all about firsts, and the most important is you making a great first impression – on investors, customers, new team members, and strategic partners. Poor first impressions can be avoided, but I’m amazed at the number of unnecessary mistakes I see at those critical first introductions, presentations, and meetings.

The key

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Why are some venture capital firms not funding women?

The facile answer to this assumptive question is “because some women are not seeking funding from venture capital firms”.

But there is actually quite a bit of truth in both statements. Women-led ventures definitely account for a smaller percentage of venture investments than  do ventures led by men, but women-led ventures also account for a MUCH smaller percentage of ventures seeking

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As a VC or angel investor, how has your approach to investing changed over time?

The biggest change is the one that ALL serious angel investors eventually arrive at: no matter how smart or experienced you are, there are simply too many exogenous factors affecting outcomes for you to be able to pick only winners.