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

8 Tips On How Much Money To Ask For From Investors

Image via SVTuition.org

Startups ask me “How much money should I ask for?” The simple answer is the absolute minimum amount you need to make your plan work. Some entrepreneurs try to start with a huge number, hoping they can negotiate and close on a smaller one, while others understate their requirements, in hopes of getting their foot in the

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I want to start investing in the tech industry (seed stage and/or stock market investing). What resources are good for evaluating a company in this niche and learning more about the industry?

The two possible approaches mentioned in the question are very, very different from each other.

Investing in public technology stocks in the stock market (such as Google, Apple, and many smaller companies) is something that anyone can do, can be started with a very small amount of money, can be experimented with before committing (by establishing a ‘shadow portfolio’), can be easily unwound, and for

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How does a startup replace an executive?

This is one of the trickiest situations, and for a tech-based startup where the Founder/CEO is not him- or herself a tech person, it may well be THE trickiest situation.

In large part it comes down to the integrity and personality of the CTO, and the quality of the relationship with the CEO. If both are straight-shooting professionals, then a full,

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Investors Look First At The Founder, Then The Idea

James H. Clark photo via Wikipedia Commons

Investors are people too. They evaluate you like you should assess a possible co-founder or first employee. What are your credentials? What have you done that would convince me that my money is safe in your hands? Only after they see you as fundable, do they want to assess your plan for fundability,

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What’s the best financial structure for an active Angel investor in the US?

I believe that you’re over-complicating the issue. In the US, taxes are taxes, and the only question about income is whether you have held the asset for over one year, in order to qualify for capital gains treatment

How do angel investors typically get the initial capital to start off in their profession?

There are very, very few “professional” angel investors (as opposed to venture capitalists, who are, by definition, professionals.)

That said, many active angel investors were themselves entrepreneurs, which is where they made their initial money that they can now invest.

How and Why To Do Your Own Business Financial Model

Image via StartupFinancialModel.com

Most entrepreneurs tend to avoid this area of the business, and as a result are badly surprised by cost realities, and investor expectations. They seem to think that financial projections are simply invented numbers for investors, and not useful. In reality, it’s like jumping in your car for a long hard drive with no destination in mind.

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Can I find an Angel Investor for a European goldmine business?

Realistically it is highly, highly unlikely that you would be able to find an angel investor for any such venture, here or elsewhere. And, speaking to you as an active angel who has personally invested in over 80 companies, I can tell you that if anyone claiming to be an angel investor even hints at offering you funding for it, it

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What are some quantitative metrics angel investors look for in a pitch?

Unfortunately there’s nothing that can be generalized, because each case is different. Realistically, most angel deals are very early stage, which means that reliable metrics are pretty hard to come by. So most of the number crunching and ‘what if’ analyses tend to focus on customer adoption and revenues.

Real Entrepreneurs Need to Accentuate The Positive

Trevor Blake photo via YoungUpstarts.com

Entrepreneurs need to listen to constructive criticism, but ignore negative vibes and complainers at all costs. If you are a complainer, and you are thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, think again. The world of an entrepreneur is tough, unpredictable, and fraught with risk. Most importantly, the buck stops with you, so there is no room

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