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Startups, Entrepreneurs, be better informed before you 'Pitch it'!
Curated by Marc Kneepkens
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5 Steps to Raise Startup and Expansion Capital

5 Steps to Raise Startup and Expansion Capital | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
These universal steps make capital goals reachable for an entrepreneur in any industry.

What is the one thing that stops many potential entrepreneurs from chasing their dreams?

Money. 

Not everyone can secure a business loan -- or wants to put his or her personal assets on the line -- and the majority of startups never receive a dime from VCs. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

or "Done for You Business Plan": http://bit.ly/12KAGmM

Dave...I downloaded your business plan template...It is great!!!...My tax consultants say your plan is amazing. Thanks Dave!!!


Via Oliver Durrer
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Some really good ideas.

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Meet 18 Promising Entrepreneurs Rejected by Shark Tank - In Photos: Meet 18 Entrepreneurs On The Rise Rejected By Shark Tank

Meet 18 Promising Entrepreneurs Rejected by Shark Tank - In Photos: Meet 18 Entrepreneurs On The Rise Rejected By Shark Tank | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Only 104 entrepreneurs appeared on ABC's hit business reality show Shark Tank from a sea of 40,000 rejects in the 2015/2016 season, the show's seventh season. Meet 18 promising entrepreneurs -- some with millions in sales -- who tried out for Shark Tank and were thrown back into the water. They share their audition pitch, total sales and how they came up with the idea for their business.

See the slide show: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Entrepreneurs come up with amazing ideas.

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4 Types Of Startup Stories To Win Investors

4 Types Of Startup Stories To Win Investors | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Investment decisions are supposed to be based on rational analysis. But don't discount the power of a compelling narrative to engage a funder emotionally.

Like many technology entrepreneurs, I'm more comfortable with logic than storytelling. But entrepreneurs need to be able to tell an engaging story to attract capital and advice from investors.

The gap between many entrepreneurs' weak storytelling skills and the high demand for that ability is so often seen that one venture-capital firm, Greylock Partners, hired Elisa Schreiber, a marketing partner to help the firm's entrepreneurs to tell their stories more effectively.

As she wrote in Fortune, "I work closely with entrepreneurs to help them shape their company’s communications strategies. No matter the sector, I have found that the organizations who effectively tell their stories are the ones who can recruit the top talent, acquire long-term customers, and build brands that endure." Read more: click image or title.

 

Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km


Via Karen Dietz, THE *OFFICIAL ANDREASCY*
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Packaging your #funding request is not just about numbers. You're dealing with humans who have emotions. Tell a great #story.

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Karen Dietz's curator insight, April 19, 2016 12:48 PM

Just yesterday I finished putting together a storytelling program for startups to create their pitch deck. Lots of specific stories are needed in order to create a winning pitch to venture capitalists.

 

Then today this post pops up on my screen. Talk about serendipity! What I like about the article are the 4 story types that a startup can take. Each startup story is unique, yet typically falls into one of these 4 story types.

 

What I don't like about the article is that the original title is "4 Keys To Crafting A Winning Startup Story". It sounds like you are going to get tips for crafting your startup story. The article isn't about that, but it does lay out the 4 types very well.

 

If your are struggling with your startup story, this post will definitely help you. Which story type fits you best?

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Top Three Pitch Presentation Tips for Tech Startups

Top Three Pitch Presentation Tips for Tech Startups | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

You’re standing in the hallway with a group of fellow entrepreneurs; everyone is nervous, yet pretending not to be.

In the room next door, 400 people sit awaiting your appearance on the main stage. You are sixth in the line to give a two-minute pitch to the 800 eyeballs looking in your direction.

Do you have a clicker for the PowerPoint? Are you ready for the Q&A section afterwards? Should you rely on your note cards or try to do it from memory?

Just to add to your nerves, your phone is buzzing in your pocket. Will you check it now, or might it throw you off? Wait..where is the closest bathroom???



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km


Via Pantelis Chiotellis
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

How do you get yourself under control before delivering your #pitch to an audience? Here are some interesting tips. I especially like 3.

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Ashton Kutcher explains his 3 rules of investing - Business Insider

Ashton Kutcher explains his 3 rules of investing - Business Insider | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Kutcher may be best known for his comedic roles, but he's also a successful investor in companies like Airbnb and Uber.

Ashton Kutcher built a fan base as a goofball character in sitcoms and movies, but he has been seriously focused on his investments over the past several years.It's why his friend Mark Cuban, one of the regular investors on the show "Shark Tank," invited Kutcher to try out for a guest-investor role in the show's seventh season, which began Friday. After getting accustomed to the format, Kutcher dived right in, making a deal, offering entrepreneurs valuable insight, and even sparring with the brashest of the show's investors, Kevin O'Leary.Rather than begin investing on a whim, Kutcher reached out to prominent Silicon Valley angel investor Ron Conway, who became his mentor in the late aughts.Since 2010, Kutcher has been an investor through his venture-capital firm A-Grade Investments, which he founded with the entrepreneurs and investors Guy Oseary and Ronald Burke. He was an angel investor before that. He also connected with Marc Andreessen, one of the Valley's premier investors, and Andreessen wisely persuaded him to invest in Skype in 2009.He has invested in seed and Series-A rounds for companies including Uber, Airbnb, Spotify, and Casper.In an interview for his website A-Plus, Kutcher said he had three rules of investing, which are focused on what he sees in entrepreneurs: Read more": click image or title.




Discover how to raise capital on your terms, by legally soliciting and selling securities to angel investors in the United States.

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Via High Above the Clouds
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

These rules make sense and teach something to #entrepreneurs who want to #pitch their #startups to #investors

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500 Startups Targets $200 Million For Fourth Fund, Plans Growth Fund Next

500 Startups Targets $200 Million For Fourth Fund, Plans Growth Fund Next | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Just days after the third fund of 500 Startups was officially closed with $85 million, the five-year-old Mountain View-based firm has kicked things into high(er) gear, officially setting out to raise its fourth fund with a target of $200 million. In what’s perhaps a more meaningful shift, the outfit is preparing to raise a growth fund for the first time, too.

It’s a lot for 500 Startups — already a hyper-global investing juggernaut — to take on right now. In addition to the three “main” funds that 500 Startups has now raised – predecessors to the firm’s newest $85 million fund include a $29 million debut fund and a second fund that closed with $44 million — 500 Startups also has a $3 million fund focused on Latin America; a $10 million fund focused on Southeast Asia; a Thailand-focused fund that’s still fundraising and has targeted $10 million; a Korea fund that has similarly targeted $10 million; and, newly, a Japan-focused fund that’s looking to raise $30 million. Oh, and lest we forget, it’s also raising a $10 million fund that it’s calling its Mobile Collective vehicle.

Of course, firm cofounder Dave McClure has never been one to shy from a challenge. Indeed, he called us from a working vacation in Tokyo over the weekend to share more.

To read more, click image or title.


Learn more about funding, find great funding sources, get a free business plan template, post your funding request for free, and more:

www.Business-Funding-Insider.com

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#500Startups is moving ahead big time. #startups all over the world are joining the vision of Dave McClure. Great initiative. Creating a new economy?

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5 Personality Traits Investors Look for in Entrepreneurs

5 Personality Traits Investors Look for in Entrepreneurs | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Attaining capital means impressing seasoned financiers and convincing them that your business, more than any other, is worthy of their time and money.

Few companies get up and running without a bit of private capital giving them an extra boost, even in today’s era of free resources, digital communication and crowdfunding. Attaining that capital means impressing seasoned investors and convincing them that your business, more than any other, is worthy of their time and money.

Initially, you might think that all investors make their decisions based on the business plan -- the hard facts of the business and the trajectory for growth that will make or break the company. But there’s another set of factors just as important to most investors, and it’s all in your personality. They realize that an entrepreneur with the wrong personality can ruin the chances of a brilliant business on paper, much in the same way that an entrepreneur with a perfect personality can breathe life into a merely decent idea. Read more: click image or title.




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"The Growthink group was very easy to work with and took the time to understand our business and needs carefully.  I was surprised at how quickly they picked up the nuances of our business and were able to communicate our thoughts into an organized structure that has helped jump start our future plan."
Adam Unger
Principal
Art Asylum


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

It's not just about numbers and #businessplans. Doing business involves people: making offers and agreements. You'll be creating a circle of customers and keep them happy.

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ventureLAB's curator insight, August 7, 2015 11:04 AM

It's not just about numbers and #businessplans. Doing business involves people: making offers and agreements. You'll be creating a circle of customers and keep them happy.

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These startups from around the world are innovating their way to a better world

These startups from around the world are innovating their way to a better world | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Innovative solutions to fundamental problems.

Over the past week, 1776, a startup incubator focused on public good brought startups from 16 cities in 11 countries to Washington D.C. to compete in the Challenge Festival.

The week-long startup competition focused on four areas of public innovation: education, energy & sustainability, health, and transportation.

Unlike other well-known incubators and seed funds, 1776 solely funds startups that are focused on making a major impact in heavily regulated industries.

At the Challenge Festival, startups like as BaseTrace, which “uses DNA-based tracers to track where industrial fluids are going in large, complex environments” and Reliefwatch, a cloud-based system that uses smartphone technology to track inventory and diseases for healthcare organisations in the developing world, battled it out on stage for a grand prize of $US150,000 in investment.

Twiga Fruits, a Kenya-based startup that builds fair and sustainable distribution systems to export fresh fruit from the country without going through a middleman. The company aims to treat farmers fairly while helping to distribute their goods to the widest network. Twiga Fruits is currently Kenya’s leading exporter of bananas, pineapples and avocados.

Read more: click image or title.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Impressive list and creative ideas from entrepreneurs allover the world making a difference.

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500 Startups announces $10M TukTuks (ตุ๊กตุ๊ก) Fund

500 Startups announces $10M TukTuks (ตุ๊กตุ๊ก) Fund | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

We’re proud to announce the launch of “500 TukTuks”, a $10M USD micro-fund focused on promising startups, managed by new 500 investing partners Krating Poonpol and Moo Natavudh. Why the name TukTuks? Well they are small , lean, fast, agile, and dangerous. JUST LIKE STARTUPS. We’re excited to take a trip through the winding roads of Thailand to discover smart, badass entrepreneurs.

Why 500 TukTuks?

500 sees an opportunity to invest early and often into the next generation of Thailand’s most promising startups and empower them with best of Silicon Valley’s education, thinking, talent, and money to provide unfair advantage in the local market. 500 will be the first major SV accelerator and seed stage investor in the local Thai market and founders will gain access to our global network of high-value mentors and 2,000+ founders. 500 will look to invest in not just companies that can succeed in the local Asian market, but through its accelerator, find and work with Thai companies that can succeed in the US and global market.

500 TukTuks Management & Investment Team include:

  • Krating Poonpol  – Venture Partner (Thailand)
  • Moo Natavudh – Venture Partner (Thailand)
  • Dave McClure – Founding Partner (Investing & International)
  • Khailee Ng – Managing Partner (SEA)

Who are the local investment partners?

Read more: click on title or image.





Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km
Dave....
I downloaded your business plan template ...It is  great!!! we have a successful delivery service already running today ...This plan is for a new liquor store idea ...my tax consultants say your plan is amazing..Thanks Dave!!!
Aja Noyes
Shift Gear Deliveries


Via Arnaud Bonzom
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7 tips for nailing a startup pitch to a boardroom full of VCs | VentureBeat | Entrepreneur | by Hila Shitrit Nissim, Viola Group

7 tips for nailing a startup pitch to a boardroom full of VCs | VentureBeat | Entrepreneur | by Hila Shitrit Nissim, Viola Group | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/5f9N


As a member of the investment team at Carmel Ventures who has attended countless pitches for over a decade, I have observed that the way you tell your story can be just as important as the story itself.

Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or a first time CEO, pitching a startup isn’t easy, and if you’re not blessed with a natural flair for storytelling, then you need to work even harder because you only get one chance to make a first impression.

Most of the founders pitch us their dream of changing the world (or at the very least of disrupting a certain industry), and they understand their vision more intimately than anyone else. So why is it — despite their drive and ambition — that so many struggle to articulate that vision?

Of the hundreds of startups that approach us every year, only a couple of dozen are offered the opportunity to present to our entire forum of partners and principals. When they do, it’s their chance to “sell” themselves and their startup as convincingly as possible — with passion, confidence, and above all clarity.

As a rule of thumb, if we haven’t clearly understood the gist of your idea within the first three minutes, you have a problem.

Here are seven tips for increasing your chances for a successful boardroom pitch with VCs: Read all 7 tips here: http://snip.ly/5f9N




Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Hey Dave,
Your BP template help me achieve the goals I've been trying for 5 years. The template led me to produce an effective tool to attract the investors I need.
Thanks
Robert

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Real experience from the other side of the fence. The author has been in VC boardrooms for a decade and tells you what's important when delivering your pitch.

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The Top 20 Start-Up Accelerators in the U.S. - HBR

The Top 20 Start-Up Accelerators in the U.S. - HBR | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/8FNi

A quantitative ranking.

Start-up accelerators have become a prominent feature of the entrepreneurship landscape in recent years. New programs appear nearly every month, and in many ways, accelerator participation has become a rite of passage for budding entrepreneurs. Yet, with the proliferation of programs, the newness of the phenomena, and little to no publicly available data on outcomes for the programs and affiliated start-ups, it is hard for entrepreneurs to determine which programs are most effective and, more importantly, which specific program would be the best fit for their particular start-up’s goals. With this challenge in mind, we set out over the last few years to both foster conversation about the accelerator model, and help entrepreneurs gain visibility into the strengths of individual programs.

To begin, our research enterprise the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project releases an annual ranking of accelerator programs. To construct these rankings, we collect detailed, confidential data directly from accelerator programs. We then calculate quantitative measures to better understand how programs stack up on several important outcomes, and supplement those measures with a broad survey of each accelerator’s graduates. As a non-commercial, academic-based enterprise, we provide a neutral ground for accelerators to share confidential data, which allows us in return to provide the community with rank-based benchmarking and aggregate statistics without revealing confidential information about individual start-ups. Read more here: http://snip.ly/8FNi



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

Hi Dave, (Growthink CEO)

You are a wonder. Your Financial Business Modelling put in the Excel format is an excellent way to make entrepreneurs understand the basic concept of finances. Your direct involvement and assistance in my case is very much appreciated.


Khai Levinh
Managing Director
Media Blender

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Accelerators are doing a great job everywhere. Take advantage of them.

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16 Common Questions About Fundraising | Andreessen Horowitz

http://snip.ly/vlS6

by Stephen McDermid


For most companies, fundraising isn’t about $100-million rounds and “unicorns”. It’s often an anxiety-ridden, lonely, frustrating process filled with uncertainty and self doubt. Despite the stories out there, raising venture capital isn’t easy for most startups.

Entrepreneurs are always evaluating tradeoffs, such as valuation and structure (which we’ve written about before here). But there’s much more, so we’re sharing the below list of questions we often hear to help shed light on the realities of raising capital.

1. When should we raise capital; how do we time it right?

You should only raise capital when you’re “ready” to execute a process, but determining when you’re “ready” is the hard part. You’re never actually ready: There’s always another close milestone that’s going to increase your valuation, there’s never enough time to prepare. At some point you just have to push yourself out there and begin.

In the best case scenario, raise capital when these three criteria are true:

1) You have sufficient cash runway to provide you flexibility in the fundraising process so your back isn’t up against the wall (yes, that old adage ‘raise money when you don’t need it’ is true!). Runway = negotiating leverage.

2) You’ve achieved the necessary milestones to get the valuation you think you deserve.

3) You’re thoroughly prepared to deliver a knock-out pitch and efficiently respond to diligence requests.

 Read more here: http://snip.ly/vlS6



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

"Our work with Growthink was very helpful for creating a business plan to focus our efforts in the short term and increase our value over the long term."
Jack Bergstrand, CEO
Brand Velocity, Inc.

.

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Here is a funding insider from the VC company Andreessen Horowitz describing what the fundraising process is like by answering 16 questions. Excellent stuff! Read it, please.

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5 keys to getting your startup story heard

5 keys to getting your startup story heard | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Tips for creating not only a story, but momentum to carry you through the beginning stages of any new venture.

http://snip.ly/olYo

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Good advice.

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All Your Questions About Startup Fundraising… Asked And Answered

All Your Questions About Startup Fundraising… Asked And Answered | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Start-up fundraising is hard. Despite ubiquitous headlines about unicorn valuations and how it’s never been easier to raise money in Silicon Valley, the process of raising capital can be grueling, unpredictable, and non-transparent. To shed some light on best practices for successful startup fundraising, I sat down with my partners Eric Feng and Randy Komisar to ask and answer the most frequently asked questions entrepreneurs have about fundraising today. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

Dave...I downloaded your business plan template...It is great!!!...My tax consultants say your plan is amazing. Thanks Dave!!!


Via Pantelis Chiotellis
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These guys live and breathe #funding of #startups, interesting conversation, directly from the insiders.

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Predatory Investors and How to Avoid Them

Predatory Investors and How to Avoid Them | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Starting a business that would one day go on to achieve a gross transaction value of £450m and net revenue of £25m around the time of the dot.com boom, entrepreneur Dale Murray has a story with as many twists and turns as a Stephen King thriller. Read more: click image or title.

 

 

FREE Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km

 

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

A couple great stories from a #startup #entrepreneur successfully navigating the pitfalls.

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How to Raise Money Without Begging Investors

How to Raise Money Without Begging Investors | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Check out these different ways to raise money for your startup idea.

Trying to generate funds for your new business idea, especially an attempt to raise money online, is fiercely competitive and can easily become discouraging -- if you let it. But as we all know, the most tenacious and driven entrepreneurs are most likely to succeed.

Approaching VCs and angel investors with your pitch is one way to get funded, but what's the next step if it's not panning out? Check out these 3 ways to raise money without begging investors to give you a shot. Read more: click image or title.

 

Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km


Via Pantelis Chiotellis
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This #ounder is sharing some great experience for the #funding process.

 

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ventureLAB's curator insight, March 8, 2016 2:02 PM

This #ounder is sharing some great experience for the #funding process.

 

Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Growth Insights from Growth Engine Labs
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Part I: Doing Due Diligence to Find the Right Investor

Part I: Doing Due Diligence to Find the Right Investor | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Make sure you do your homework.

There has been much written and discussed about the due diligence process investors conduct on the companies for which they are considering an investment. Someone once described this process as 'opening the kimono'. The investor check list covers everything about the company and the kitchen sink including corporate compliance records, finances and taxes, employment and labor issues, business contracts, intellectual property rights, and litigation concerns.

Before you enter into this process with an investor, as a start-up CEO, you should do your own due diligence to make sure you are talking to the right investor. The key message: Beware. Not every investor is ideal for your business.

Here is a handy check list to can guide you through your search for a potential investor. Above all, do your homework. Know what you want from an investor and the types of investors in the marketplace. And absolutely examine their past and current investments, much of which can be found with simple searches via Google, LinkedIn, company websites and available government filings, and take the time to speak with companies they've invested in. Read more: click image or title.



Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km



Via Growth Engine Labs
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Pick your investor wisely. Like the article says: would you marry this investor? It'll be a long relationship with many ups and downs...

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3 Ways to Find the Right Investor for Your Business

3 Ways to Find the Right Investor for Your Business | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Seed funding, angel investors or venture capital? Which one is right for you?

There's a point along every entrepreneur’s path to success where the option is either to acquire capital or watch your company crumble. But there are subtleties to capital that all entrepreneurs should know.

It’s important, for instance, to know that the right kind of funding can have a huge impact on the direction of your company. In a recent survey of small business owners, fully half of the businesses surveyed, with 11 to 50 employees each, listed “cash flow” as their top concern. Twenty-one percent reported a closely related issue, “raising capital/funding,” as their top concern 

These concerns reflect what small business owners everywhere face. Capital is easier to access than it has been in the past, but it is still imperative that owners choose the funding source that will best match their specific needs.

Even billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson has pointed out that an investor’s deep pockets are "not the essential quality that will sustain the relationship and the business in the long term.” So, if you are unfortunate enough to choose the wrong financial partner, your move -- according to Branson and common sense -- will “dim the spirit and enthusiasm of a new enterprise, muffling the spark that prompted you to launch this project." 

That spark, Branson said, is the one that "is most likely to make your venture different from your competitors.'" Here, then, are some tips for recovering that spark and finding the right investor(s). Read more: click image or title.



Discover how to raise capital on your terms, by legally soliciting and selling securities to angel investors in the United States.
Check out…Financial Architect®

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Learn about the straightest and cleanest way to #funding your #startup, do it right from the start and in #compliance with the #SEC. Learn from a #venturecapital company how to...

http://www.business-funding-insider.com/RaisingCapital.html


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Pitching to President Obama: What 3 tech startups tried at White House Demo Day

Pitching to President Obama: What 3 tech startups tried at White House Demo Day | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
President Barack Obama hosted more than 30 startups at the first-ever White House Demo Day, including a language-learning mobile app, a smart teddy bear named Jerry and a baby monitor that measures vital signs.

In a typical Demo Day for new companies, teams pitch to prospective investors. But this was not typical. At the White House recently, budding startups had a different opportunity—pitching to the President of the United States.

As part of the Startup America initiative to promote entrepreneurial endeavors, President Barack Obama hosted more than 30 startups at the first-ever White House Demo Day, including a language-learning mobile app, a smart teddy bear named Jerry, and a baby monitor that measures vital signs.

“If you are going to present to the president, you want it to be perfect,” said Gina Gotthilf of Duolingo, a free language-learning mobile app that was voted Apple’s iPhone App of the Year in 2013.

Luis von Ahn, inventor of reCAPTCHAand co-founder of Duolingo, told the president that there are about 1.2 billion people in the world learning foreign languages in order to get a better job or to escape poverty. But traditional methods can be expensive.

“I decided to make an app that would teach languages entirely free,” Ahn said. “And today it’s the most popular way to learn languages in the entire world.”

The app, which is designed to look like a game, capitalizes on the addictive quality of mobile gaming applications to teach users vocabulary, reading, writing and speaking.

Obama joked that if he wanted to “spruce up on his Spanish” he would download the app, but he’s “not allowed” to have a smart phone right now.

“It was inspiring to see the president interested in improving language education in the United States,” Gotthilf said. Read more: click on image or title.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great ideas turned into very creative startups.

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To Bootstrap Or Not?

To Bootstrap Or Not? | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Bootstrapping is a tougher choice than ever for startups. Seed capital is so widely available that deals for the hottest companies can close in days, and many entrepreneurs never even consider bootstrapping their company — especially in the race to join the “Unicorn Club.”

On the other hand, some startups don’t have the luxury of securing investors to help launch their company, and others see enough value in going it alone they forgo outside funding.

In 2009, I left my job as a software engineer at Facebook and took a leap of faith to found Storm8 with a few friends. We scraped together our savings and funded the company ourselves. Over the following six years, we grew the company to more than 250 employees without raising any outside capital. Remaining bootstrapped hasn’t made our journey any easier, but the required differentiated approach itself has been incredibly rewarding and satisfying. Read more: click image or title.





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Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Before considering funding: take a look at bootstrapping. Finding investors may be easy, but each time they take out a chunck of your company.

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Watch Out for These 9 Seed Funding Gotchas

Watch Out for These 9 Seed Funding Gotchas | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Don't rush into fundraising too early or without a plan.

The reality is most startups need to raise funding to grow, and to become real companies. It's not typical that a company can make money if it doesn’t fundraise, and certainly very unlikely that anyone will make any money if your company does not grow.

One of the objectives of the companies going through Techstars and other accelerators is to secure financing. Most companies are coming in to focus on accelerating their businesses and then securing capital to continue to accelerate growth. So we love it when companies get funding.

But we’ve seen a clear pattern with the companies that rush into funding too early. Why? Here are the nine gotchas of seed funding that will help you understand what goes wrong. Read more: click on image or title.




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Dave....
I downloaded your business plan template ...It is  great!!! we have a successful delivery service already running today ...This plan is for a new liquor store idea ...my tax consultants say your plan is amazing..Thanks Dave!!!
Aja Noyes
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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Are you ready for funding? Read through this article and find out what is missing and how to approach investors, angel investors or VC's.

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Sneaky Questions Early-Stage VCs Ask Founders

Sneaky Questions Early-Stage VCs Ask Founders | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

During conversations with VCs, entrepreneurs will often encounter a few sneaky questions that have nothing to do with their actual businesses today. Many of these are attempts by investors to learn something specific that they don’t want to ask directly, and there’s usually some kind of hidden meaning behind a given question. Some VCs may just be fishing for more information, but many are looking for specific “right” answers.

It’s a funny dance, and while experienced entrepreneurs know what’s going on and how to respond, these questions can easily trip up a founder going through the fundraise process for the first time.

Below are some examples and suggested responses. Of course, it’s always best to be honest and authentic, so this is not a proposed script so much as additional context to incorporate into your own thinking. Read more: click on title or image.



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Dave....
I downloaded your business plan template ...It is  great!!! we have a successful delivery service already running today ...This plan is for a new liquor store idea ...my tax consultants say your plan is amazing..Thanks Dave!!!
Aja Noyes
Shift Gear Deliveries

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Dealing with VC's is quite a challenge. They see many startups and only pick the most promising for another conversation. The questions they ask are like probes going into your sense of doing business. Everything you say tells them a story. Since they do this for a living they are very well versed in asking the right questions. You need to find the right answers. This article explains some of their thought processes.

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, April 29, 2015 7:49 PM

Anticipating the questions from your investors (VC's in this article) will create a huge advantage in your funding process. Understand what they are looking for and what their questions mean.

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Aiming To Bridge The Gap Between Startups & Investors; Entrepreneurship Evangelist Prajakt Raut Launches Applyifi.com - Inc42 Magazine

Aiming To Bridge The Gap Between Startups & Investors; Entrepreneurship Evangelist Prajakt Raut Launches Applyifi.com - Inc42 Magazine | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/G7UT

Aiming to nurture and mentor early stage ventures and to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and potential investors, entrepreneurship evangelist and startup mentor Prajakt Raut has announced the launch of Applyifi.com. It is a private platform for startups and early-stage companies to create a comprehensive and elegant online investor pitch deck and get funded.

Speaking on the launch, Prajakt Raut said, “We want to make it easier for startups to reach potential investors. Also, we wanted to significantly expand the angel investor community in the country by making it possible for senior professionals, recently successful entrepreneurs and HNIs to discover curated and assessed startups that they can co-invest in.”

Read more here: http://snip.ly/G7UT



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Hey Dave,
Your BP template help me achieve the goals I've been trying for 5 years. The template led me to produce an effective tool to attract the investors I need.
Thanks
Robert

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This initiative will help investors sort through the multitudes of startups pitching them, and also help the startups make better presentations with a thorough assessment.

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Wgordon3's curator insight, April 12, 2015 11:27 AM

Applyifi is helping #startup #founders think through the details of how to do it.....great ideas.

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38 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know

38 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/qU1X


I'm a 38-year old startup entrepreneur, and I've had my share of ups and downs. Here are the things I've learned along the way.

I read a great post a couple of months ago, written by a friend of mine, for females, that really inspired me (even as a male). As we get older, we begin to see things more clearly. Things we once thought were important become secondary. We start to truly understand what life (and business) are all about.

At my age (I'm 38), I'm not claiming to know everything (or an expert in anything for that matter), but I do believe I've learned a few things. As I approach my 40′s, I thought I'd share the lessons (sometimes hard) that I've earned--and learned:

  1. Nobody cares about what you say, only what you do.
  2. Funding is not the end, only the beginning.
  3. Once you take on funding, the stress gets worse, not better.
  4. Don't beg for investment dollars. They're paying to be your partner, not the other way around.
  5. Arrogant and disrespectful investors will never be good partners. Ignore them.
  6. Never, ever ever, pay to pitch.
  7. TechCrunch is overrated. Unless you sell to startups, it doesn't do shit. It's good for the ego though.
  8. Some people only care about people who they think are popular. They'll only acknowledge you when you appear to be more connected then they are. Get rid of these people.


Read more here: http://snip.ly/qU1X



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Growthink really understands how to create compelling business plans and raise capital, and Growthink's Capital Raising Products succeed in infusing this knowledge.
-John Morris
Managing Director, GKM Ventures,
Board of Governors, Tech Coast Angels

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Before You Make That Pivot | TechCrunch

http://snip.ly/ZZrT

According to Eric Ries, A pivot is a “structured course correction designed to test a new fundamental hypothesis about the product, strategy, and engine of growth.” The rise of the Lean Startup methodology, however, has led entrepreneurs to indulge and glorify the pivot without fully weighing the consequences. Changing course opportunistically is a key part of starting a company, but the best startups only pivotwhen absolutely necessary.

As an investor, I love the lean startup methodology. In the early days, the risks of large pivots are small and the upside can be huge. Entrepreneurs should be focused on developing MVPs and proving or disproving hypotheses.

This changes once you take venture capital based on a particular strategy. The clock starts ticking and in my experience, pivots past a certain point can often be painful. Read more here:http://snip.ly/ZZrT


Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

"Thanks for all you do to encourage entrepreneurship! You and your team have successfully created a road map that most could follow to completion and exit strategy. Yes, it is possible to do these things on your own, but it can be short-cutted by using your strategy."
Jay Ed Moore

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

A pivot is a big decision. Here is some good information.

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