How a venture capitalist knows your deal is weak

The venture capitalist is actually looking for a the reason not to invest in your company

How a venture capitalist knows your deal is weakIt is an industry accepted standard that venture capitalists will fund one of 100 deals. Some entrepreneurs will not be given more than a few minutes to pitch, others will get a longer meeting, while a lucky few will move into a process of successive interviews and discussions. But, in the end, only one deal…

5 facts to know before approaching venture capitalists

Learning these five facts - even if you don't want to hear them - will save you time and frustration

5 facts to know before approaching venture capitalistsEvery year hundreds of entrepreneurs and investors congregate at the base of the mountains at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta. Over the course of two days, approximately 50 IT, life science and cleantech companies make their pitch to an audience of venture capitalists and angel investors. Panels, speakers and networking round out the…

How to attract the right talent to achieve financial success

Making the right connections and finding the right people will directly impact the level of success you achieve

How to attract the right talent to achieve financial successWhen examining the who, what, where, when and why of any startup, it's the who that will most directly impact the level of success that is achieved. Making the right connections and finding the right people will be entirely reflected in the management team, staff, advisory board, customer list and availability of capital. While that…

Raising capital is not always the only option

Instead of pitching for investor money, start to focus on pitching for revenue

Raising capital is not always the only optionMost of us in the entrepreneurial space, whether building, supporting or funding early stage companies, assume attracting investor capital is just the normal course of business. We have been conditioned to believe or accept that once an entrepreneur gets a business underway raising investor capital is just part of the plan. Some entrepreneurs begin crafting…

There is only one way to meet a venture capitalist

If you can't make your pitch within 10 minutes, however, you're not ready

There is only one way to meet a venture capitalistHow you approach a venture capitalist (VC) can be the difference between receiving a quick glance or gaining direct attention. It can be very tempting to cold call venture capital web search results or chase down a harried VC at an entrepreneur event. While those attempts may work, it's a low probability tactic and just…

How to put a value on your technology startup

Attributing value is a source of countless rolled eyes, smacked foreheads, arguments and sometimes outright failure

How to put a value on your technology startupWhen a new company is launched, the odds are stacked heavily against the entrepreneur. It is stacked especially high against the tech entrepreneur. University of Tennessee Research tells us that more than half of all new businesses fail by the end of year four but only 37 per cent of technology businesses remain operable by…

Friends rarely make the best business partners

Keeping things simple just might help keep you from getting burned

Friends rarely make the best business partnersA big part of entrepreneurship is choosing your partners. Over the life of the venture you will likely spend a great deal more of your waking hours with your business partners than you will with your spouse, or any significant other who cares to hang about in a non-paid capacity for that matter. A lot…

The necessary perils of entrepreneurship

Real value does not come from the idea alone. Great ideas without execution are empty roadside soda cans

The necessary perils of entrepreneurshipThere were nearly 900 people seated at round tables alternating small talk with bites of chicken. The ballroom was glamorous, the chicken was dry and few paid attention to the joke-telling emcee. "My wife says that if I don't give up golf, she's going to leave me. I'm really going to miss her! Har har!…

All venture capitalists are not created equal

Some entrepreneurs who complain about their venture capitalists remind me of that guy who gets mad after buying a car without first performing his due diligence

All venture capitalists are not created equalMost times, raising capital is a tough haul. Endless pitching, grueling due diligence and an enormous commitment of time and money is usually required. But once in a while there is a company that rises up and grabs the attention and the imagination of a swarm of venture capitalists (VCs) in a relatively short period…

Beware the bad investor

Here are a few warning signs that you may be falling into the clutches of a bad investor

Beware the bad investorIn an ideal scenario, your deal has attracted such interest that you have the luxury of choosing your investor. Most entrepreneurs are not afforded this luxury and will often need to take the investment dollar that is offered. This I understand. Raising money for emerging companies can be incredibly difficult, so when money is offered,…