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 slim that even if you and the investor were at the same event, you will have the opportunity or time to do more than say hello. Read more

How To Turn Friction Into Value In Your Startup

Image via Wikipedia

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 value. There should be no immediate assumption that one side is right, and the other is wrong. It may be an indication that one party isn’t giving the feedback well, or the other isn’t taking it well, or both. Both of these modes are wrong, and non-productive. 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 everyone. This agreement includes, among other things, specific procedures for determining who gets to pick the members of the board. Read more

10 Ways To Kill A Growing Business With Bad Hires

Image via Flickr by Hobvias Sudoneighm

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 result is a host of hiring mistakes that sink many young companies, or take years to fix. The solution is to never forget that hiring is a top priority task for the CEO, which should never be delegated, and which often has to supersede the urgent crises of the day. Read more

What are some good things about Gust that some founders might not know?

As the largest global database of startups (bigger than Crunchbase and AngelList combined, and more than double the size of StartupGenome), searchable by keyword and location, and with all entries written by the startups themselves, it can provide a quick sanity check before you go around saying “we have no competitors”.
Rest assured that your potential investors have already used it for their own research on your market.

*original post can be found on Quora @ http://www.quora.com/David-S-Rose/answers *

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 consider the product.

They are overloaded by the media with amazing advertising messages, and people now realize that you can’t believe anything you see in pictures, and even videos can be edited to deliver any message. In fact, we are all media companies now, with our cell phones, computers, and professional-looking publishing tools. Read more