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Using Technology To Humanize Finance

Using Technology To Humanize Finance | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

“Banking is necessary – banks are not.” Bill Gates said this in 1994. It was a bold statement to make at the time, and one that some have associated with the start of a transformation in financial technology.

Now, two decades later, we are seeing this revolution unfold before our eyes. Catalyzed in large part by the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, a new financial order is emerging. It is one where large, traditional banks are increasingly facing heavy competition from new entrants – namely, online marketplace lenders – that are delivering a more human lending experience through the technology, transparency and trust that consumers want from their financial services providers.

In a March report titled “Future of Finance,” Goldman Sachs analysts Ryan Nash and Eric Beardsley noted that regulatory changes and new technologies are among the top factors reshaping the traditional banking sector and enabling the rapid growth of marketplace lending. Read more: clickk on image or title.





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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Food for thought. Change is happening everywhere and technology is certainly enabling the process.

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Aging In The Startup World

Aging In The Startup World | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
There’s a funny thing about age in business. It swings quickly between being your greatest asset and seemingly overnight, a major liability.

pment, There’s a funny thing about age in business. It swings quickly between being your greatest asset and seemingly overnight, a major liability. It’s a factor on all sides of the table. Despite the lesson that we learned in Kindergarten about “not judging a book by its cover,” we all do it. Age impacts fundraising, business develosales, hiring and more.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Age is not important, however, as this article illustrates, you have to be aware of who you are presenting to.

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How to Know When to Change Direction

How to Know When to Change Direction | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
There's something to be said for stick-with-it-ness, but most entrepreneurs stick with flawed ideas and plans way longer than they should.

This is Silicon Valley. Startups, founders and VCs are everywhere. You can’t walk down the street in Mountain View or Palo Alto without bumping into one or two successful entrepreneurs. And yet, they usually have one thing in common: this isn’t their first rodeo. In other words, their initial venture wasn’t the one that stuck.

Knowing when it’s time to quit and try something different is always tricky. The problem is, when you’re in the middle of it, there always seems to be one more thing to try. One more customer to call. One more investor to pitch. One more credit card to max out.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



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Via Thomas Faltin
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Focus needs to stay with whatever you're doing. Keeping an eye on that is important. Sometimes mentors or or anyone who is looking at what you do from a slight distance have a better view. Keep on touching base with everyone, yourself included.

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Don't Make These 10 Startup Mistakes

Don't Make These 10 Startup Mistakes | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Due to entrepreneurs' lack of experience, many startups end up in failure. Here's how to avoid disaster.

Starting a business is difficult. Launching a startup is even more challenging. Aside from facing the challenge of attempting to build a company from the ground up, many entrepreneurs have little prior experience in the business world. Even when they have an incredibly awesome idea, complex problems arise, such as managing the young enterprise, handling finances and hiring employees on a budget.

Due to a lack of experience, many startups endure the misfortune of failure -- if they launch at all. Be sure to not add to their tales of disaster. Here are 10 startup mistakes to avoid at all cost:

To read the full article, click on the image or title.



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Via Luis Costa
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Common sense, but definitely worth reading.

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VENTURED AND GAINED

VENTURED AND GAINED | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

For the entrepreneur with a great idea, more options for obtaining seed money are available than ever before, venture capital experts in the San Diego area say.

A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers Money Tree report found that nationally there were venture capital investments of $9.5 billion in the first quarter of 2014, the highest level since the tech bubble burst more than a decade ago. In San Diego, 23 deals totaling $243 million were reported for the period, with biotechnology leading the way.

“A lot of the entrepreneurs feel there’s been a lot of contraction over the last several years over the number of funds and partners available,” said Don Williams, national life sciences leader at Grant Thornton in San Diego. “While that’s true, I don’t think that’s diminished the opportunity to obtain funding. If the entrepreneur has a good idea, the right idea, and provides the solution to a problem, he’ll be able to successfully find funding.”

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



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


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

On crowdfunding: “It’s not a replacement for venture capital. It’s an augmentation. It’s a great way to raise small amounts of capital to build exciting products and test ideas.”


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Three Colossal Mistakes Founders Make When Pitching Investors

Three Colossal Mistakes Founders Make When Pitching Investors | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
For founders, every idea seems like the next big thing. Now, imagine sitting on the investor side of the table.

Tell me if this sounds familiar: you start a company, build a product, and try to sell it to some customers, only to find out that you need more money. You need to hire more staff; perhaps you can’t afford to build the product the way that you originally imagined; or maybe, you are just simply running out of money.

I have launched a few companies and found myself in that exact situation: i.e., needing investors. If you need to raise money to keep going, you can’t afford to make a mistake — but many entrepreneurs do anyway. Before you get started, here is a list of the 3 biggest mistakes I made when first pitching to venture capitalists (VCs) or angel investors:

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Think like VC's if you want money from them.  This article sure makes this point. Entrepreneurs have no idea what they are getting into presenting their 'fantastic business' to a VC company. Great article, highly recommended.

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10 Qualities Investors Look For in a Startup Business | LawDepot Blog

10 Qualities Investors Look For in a Startup Business | LawDepot Blog | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Here are 10 qualities an investor looks for in a startup company that may determine whether or not they decide to invest.

As a budding entrepreneur, financing is the fuel to your startup’s fire. Investments can be secured through angel investors, venture capitalist firms, crowd funding, banks or by personal loan. With such a plethora of options, why do many first time entrepreneurs have a hard time landing investments? Attaining capital is no easy task and requires a combination of passion, strategy, marketing and business planning.Here are some of the qualities an investor looks for in a startup company that may determine whether or not they decide to invest:

To read the full article and view the chart, click on the title or image.


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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This very clear article from Lawdepot sums it all up. Do you have what it takes to create a Startup?

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Crowdsourcing Your Startup Portfolio: 6 Crowdfunding Experts Weigh In

Crowdsourcing Your Startup Portfolio: 6 Crowdfunding Experts Weigh In | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Equity crowdfunding not only gives people access to one of the hottest asset classes — startups — but it does so by inserting an added level of transparency and interactivity. Sitting in the office or at home, an interested person with little experience investing in private companies can now identify, research, and invest in deals that were solely the purview of closed-door, clubby meetings. Equity crowdfunding enables people to crowdsource their investment ideas by piggybacking on what the top angel investors are doing with their money. By tracking and following their moves, new investors can build a diversified portfolio of high-quality startups.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.


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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Startups have an incredible tool with crowdfunding. This article demonstrates this with great quotes from industry experts and a ton of information.

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, April 3, 2014 9:11 AM

Equity Crowdfunding is taking off. Good resource article.

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9 Lessons From A 10-Time Startup Failure

9 Lessons From A 10-Time Startup Failure | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

“Nine out of ten businesses fail; so I came up with a foolproof plan — create ten businesses.”— Robert Kiyosaki

Well spoken by Kiyosaki.

But what’s it like to live through 10 failed startups and still come out with a 3 million dollar company?

Meet Kurt Theobald, Co-Founder and CEO of Classy Llama.

Yes — Theobald started 10 businesses over the span of 5 years. Each one a failed mess. But herein lies the beauty from ashes — he nailed it on his 11th try.

Now ranked at #454 on Inc’s Top 500 Fastest Growing Companies in the U.S. for 2013, Theobald’s latest creation (with the help of co-founder Erik Hansen and a team of 23) is on target to reach $3 million in revenue this year.

As luck would have it, Theobald and I were able to sit down for a 60 minute rapid-fire chat where I did everything I could to extract the secrets of his success.

Pull up a chair and take notes, because Theobald reveals 9 valuable lessons you can take to the bank today, which I now gift to you:

To read the full article, click on the title.


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Via Michelle Mink
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Fabulous. Please read, don't let failure get you down.

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Michelle Mink's curator insight, January 15, 2014 12:21 PM

Some good insights from not so successful experiences.

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Could you turn your idea into a startup in 54 hours?

Could you turn your idea into a startup in 54 hours? | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

If you only read about Startup Weekend, it’s tough to truly grasp its power. As the organizer of Toronto’s first event in 2010, I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be.

I stumbled upon Startup Weekend four years ago while attending a conference in San Francisco. I’d seen hackathons of all shapes and sizes in the past, but never something with such a holistic approach, where developers, designers, business people and entrepreneurs come together to build a startup.

Hackathons, on the other hand, are typically focused on developers specifically. Groups of engineers will work on a specific set of programs on a prescribed platform – like Hacking Health, which aims to improve healthcare by inviting technology creators to solve problems posed by healthcare professionals.

To read the full article, click on the image or title.


Is your Business Plan working? Is it Succeeding? http://bit.ly/1iHk8zP

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Powerful experience, find one near you. Full immersion in the startup experience, with every aspect of starting and running a business covered.

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Designing a Recurring Revenue Model Will Help Attract Capital

Designing a Recurring Revenue Model Will Help Attract Capital | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
One of the first things that a venture capitalist looks for in assessing an investment opportunity is the revenue model of the business.

More specifically, they are looking for the frequency of that revenue stream, and whether or not it is recurring and easily predictable.

The rationale being investors prefer businesses that maximize the lifetime value of their consumers, and get maximum leverage and returns on the initial marketing cost of customer acquisition (which they are funding).

To read the full article, click on the image or title.



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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

One simple tip. If you can make this happen you will have a successful business.

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How to Tell if an Accelerator Is Right for Your Startup - Tuts+ Business Article

How to Tell if an Accelerator Is Right for Your Startup - Tuts+ Business Article | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

In this guide, discover the evaluation process, and key considerations, to determine whether an accelerator is a good fit for your startup. If it is, insdide are some great tips on how to increase your chances of getting accepted.

With the success of Mark Zuckerburg and many other entrepreneurs, forming a startup is no longer limited to college students looking to change the world. The technology is available today, if you have the right idea and are determined, you can build the next big thing.

Unfortunately, the journey from idea to marketable product is challenging. For a rookie entrepreneur building your network and knowing how to determine if someone is taking advantage of you are two of the toughest lessons for anyone to learn.

In light of the increased interest in entrepreneurship, many investors, businessesand other relevant partieshave begun forming accelerators as a way to help aspiring entrepreneurs rapidly execute their ideas in sheltered environments. Although the concept is novel and in many cases entrepreneurs greatly benefit, accelerators aren't for everyone.

To read the full article, click on the image or title.


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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

It's a big decision to go for the accelerator option. This article gives good insight in the pros and cons. If you're a startup looking for leverage, read it.

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The Worlds Top 15 Startup Accelerators

The Worlds Top 15 Startup Accelerators | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

A new survey by two professors used CrunchBase data as well as proprietary research to rank the most effective startup accelerators in America.

MIT professor Yael V. Hochberg revealed the most effective startup accelerators in the country Tuesday at SXSW in Austin. DreamIt Health showed up in slot No. 15 and was the only health-focused accelerator on the list.

Hochberg is a professor of finance at the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She and professor Susan Cohen of the University of Richmond and the Batten Institute at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business, used original research and data from CrunchBase to rank the 15 accelerators.

To read the full article, click on the image or title.



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Via Justin Jones
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Update on accelerators, or 'start up school', and how they are classified to Gold, Silver and Bronze.

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The Optimal Seed Round Construction to Maximize Series A Success

The Optimal Seed Round Construction to Maximize Series A Success | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Tom Tunguz is a venture capitalist at Redpoint and writes about startups, fund raising, SaaS companies, and best practices for founders.

Is it better to raise your startup's seed round from only angel investors, or is it better to include a VC or two? Several founders on the precipice of launching their seed fundraising processes have asked me this question.

It's a very difficult one to answer hypothetically because there are many different variables to balance. For example, VCs may invest larger sums than angel investors. The imprimatur of a VC's investment in a company might help convince potential customers and recruits. But some might argue their money brings potential signaling risk.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



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


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The rigorous selection process at VC's is definitely a factor. I a startup gets selected for funding by them, obviously, they will have a lot of potential.

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Former SBA Chief on 3 Keys to a Better U.S. Entrepreneur Economy

Former SBA Chief on 3 Keys to a Better U.S. Entrepreneur Economy | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

The case for expanding investment in entrepreneurs and small businesses is clear: small businesses create two out of every three new private sector jobs and half the people who work in America own or work for a small business. Entrepreneurs are at the heart of America’s identity and the key to our economic strength. They have been instrumental in building the greatest economy in the world as well as the world’s strongest middle class. Coming up with a new, innovative idea and turning it into a business is the American way.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The SBA is trying hard to get money to you for your startup. Interesting article. Consider getting funded by the SBA. If you need help with the paperwork, let me know.

Use the contact form on www.Business-Funding-Insider.com

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A Foolproof Guide to Raising Capital for Startups

A Foolproof Guide to Raising Capital for Startups | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Pass these nine tests and investors will beat a path to your door. Along the way you'll figure out if your firm has a great CEO.

This past week I started teaching a course about strategy and the CEO to 40 MBA students at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. One of our topics was the CEO's role in creating shareholder value.

We tackled the question for startups as well as public companies. We discussed the nine tests that entrepreneurs must pass in order to get a big check from a venture capitalist. (I came up with these criteria after interviewing startup investors for my book Hungry Start-Up Strategy.)

These tests are used by investors to decide two broad questions: Is the venture targeting a market that's now small but expected to get big fast? Is the entrepreneur a great CEO?

To read the full article, click on the image or title.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Test #1: Does your startup deliver so much benefit to customers that many of them would be willing to pay you more than it costs to produce and deliver the product?

and more great stuff in this article.


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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Approaching an Investor

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Approaching an Investor | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

We are pitched thousands of business plans annually. Here are the top five mistakes to avoid.

“All these investors claim that there are not enough opportunities out there to invest in, yet when I send them my business plan, I don’t even get a response.”

Considering that venture capital investors get tens of thousands of business plans, investor decks and other pitches annually, it is hardly surprising that not all of them get an investment. Based on reactions to one of my previous posts on investor feedback, it seems that a lot of entrepreneurs don’t even receive a response to their presentation.

At the end of the day, this is the investor’s fault. But there are certain mistakes that I have seen entrepreneurs approaching Credo commit over and over again, which significantly diminish the chance of any investor reacting to the pitch. Thankfully, they are pretty easy to fix.

Here are the top five which anyone can and should avoid:

To read the full article, click on the image or title.



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Via Ivan Berlocher
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Good points. Also read 16 reasons why your investment proposal won’t get read! : http://www.business-funding-insider.com/investment-proposal.html

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Michael Binzer's curator insight, May 18, 2014 1:05 PM

Good info if you are thinking of starting up as an entrepreneur. Also the business plan template

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'Don't F@#k Up the Culture.' Why you should never sacrifice culture for growth:

'Don't F@#k Up the Culture.' Why you should never sacrifice culture for growth: | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
This was VC Peter Thiel's one piece of advice to Airbnb after investing $150 million in the startup. Here's why he was right on.

This was a pretty great week. It may have had something to do with the fact that I got to walk along this beach at lunch, but mostly I think it was what I read in this Medium piece by Airbnb co-founder Brian Chesky. The story is actually a staff note he made public because he thought it might be helpful to other entrepreneurs.

That makes him a nice guy, but it's not what made my day. The following did; it's a conversation Chesky had with venture capitalist Peter Thiel:

Midway through the conversation, I asked him what was the single most important piece of advice he had for us. He replied, "Don't f@#k up the culture." This wasn't what we were expecting from someone who just gave us $150M. I asked him to elaborate on this. He said one of the reasons he invested in us was our culture. But he had a somewhat cynical view that it was practically inevitable once a company gets to a certain size to "f@#k it up."

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



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


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Stay true to yourself, in other words. Peter Thiel invested in a company that is different. That's where he saw value, and that's his advice.

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Here's a look inside a typical VC's pipeline (a must-read for entrepreneurs)

Here's a look inside a typical VC's pipeline (a must-read for entrepreneurs) | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
While it may seem that one percent represents depressing odds for a founder to secure VC funding, in reality, the process tends to help entrepreneurs refine their strategy.

When I meet with entrepreneurs, I am often asked about the VC “pipeline.”

How many deals do we see? How many meetings? How often do we conduct due diligence? How many of those companies do we invest in?

I thought it would be helpful to provide visibility about the VC pipeline, while also outlining what helps a company move from an intro meeting into a closed investment.

In order to make 10 investments, the average venture capital firm reviews approximately 1,200 companies.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This VC explains in plain and simple language why they pick certain companies over others. Lots to learn.

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Startups: 10 Tips For Getting the First 18 Months Right | CallFire

Startups: 10 Tips For Getting the First 18 Months Right | CallFire | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Launching a new business is one of the most daunting prospects you will ever face. Even with years of experience, reams of contacts, clients lined up, money in the bank and that all-important hunger for success, there are so many unknown quantities.

If you educate yourself about some of the common mistakes made by start-ups during the first year of business, you can avoid becoming one of the 80% of business that fail in the first 18 months. To help your fledgling company traverse the choppy waters of the business world, have a look at our top tips for surviving that all-important first year and a half. 

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Increase your chances to success. Don't be part of the 80%+ startups that don't make it. Getting a startup going is a massive effort. Don't underestimate it. Here are some good common sense tips.

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Behind Closed Doors: What To Expect Inside A Startup Accelerator

Behind Closed Doors: What To Expect Inside A Startup Accelerator | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Startups fail everyday. And depending on who you listen to, the crash and burn rate is anywhere from 50% to 90% within one to five years.

 

Because smart entrepreneurs know this, they seek help. Mentors, advisors, peer group entrepreneurs, business courses, masterminds and accelerators are a few options. In fact, according to TechCrunch ...

To read the full article, click on the title or image.



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


Via Justin Jones
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Wow, what a great article. Answer those questions, and find out what to expect. Are you entrepreneurial material?

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Zuck’s Advice To Startups: Explore Before You Commit, Listen, Build Something Fundamental, Don’t Copy | TechCrunch

Zuck’s Advice To Startups: Explore Before You Commit, Listen, Build Something Fundamental, Don’t Copy | TechCrunch | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Facebook didn’t guess that users wanted to share photos. It learned it, Mark Zuckerberg explained in his talk at Y Combinator Startup School. “We really listened to what our users wanted, both qualitatively listening to the words they say, and quantitatively looking at behavior that they take.” Users didn’t necessarily say they wanted photos, but were uploading new profile pics every day.

So Facebook built out photo sharing, it exploded with popularity, and proved that sometimes the data can reveal what users want before they even know it.

That wasn’t the last time Facebook would put turn this practice into product. Hundreds of thousands protested the news feed, but engagement was up, Facebook stuck it out, and news feed became one of the site’s most popular features.

To read the full article, click on the image or title.



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



Via Shahzaib Khan
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great advice from Zuckerberg. It's not just the idea of Facebook, it evolved with trial and error into a great company.

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Using Mind Control to Raise Startup Cash | Nir and Far

Using Mind Control to Raise Startup Cash | Nir and Far | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Raising money for a startup is like sex. The more unattainable you seem, the better your chances of getting lucky. Also, the more interest you receive from others, the more appealing you will become to everyone else.

This essay discusses two psychological principles at work in an entrepreneur’s fundraising efforts: social proof and scarcity. Nir has discussed both in previous blog posts regarding product design. In this article, I’ll take you through the mechanics of each, and show you how entrepreneurs use these tools to close their rounds.

To read the full article, click on the image or title.



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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

About Social Proof and Scarcity. Call it Mind Control if you like, I would  say Psychology.

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Acing The Investor Presentation | CEO.com

Acing The Investor Presentation | CEO.com | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Acing The Investor Presentation

Shark Tank venture capitalist Kevin O’Leary recently said, “It’s all about the money, all the time.” O’Leary is right. When you are asking for money from an angel, VC, PE or IPO institutional or individual investor the key message is about how the investor will eventually make money by supporting your company or idea.

On the other hand, you can’t walk into a pitch like Cuba Gooding in Jerry McGuire and shout, “Show (give) me the money.”

Pitching to investors is hard work and fraught with risk. It can make or break a company. The challenge for the actual presentation vs. a written pitch book or slide deck is when you are seeking capital you must prepare and rehearse for a variety of settings – the 10 minute pitch at a bake-off contest, the full 45 minute presentation with Q&A to an investment committee, the one-on-one when the investor just asks questions before you show a single slide.

While there are no foolproof secrets – and you need to be flexible to adapt to the presentation format – if you understand the Triangle of Persuasion, you will increase the odds of a favorable outcome. The Triangle of Persuasion forces you as the presenter to adapt your content within three variables – The Audience, The Stickiness of the Message and your own skills as a Presenter.

To read the full article, click on the image or title.



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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The 'Triangle of Persuasion' is a great tool and explanation on how to make good presentations. Recommend reading in case you have to make a pitch, and don't we do that all the time?

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Accelerator-Ready? 3 Pointers for Potential Candidates

Accelerator-Ready? 3 Pointers for Potential Candidates | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Entrepreneurs considering a startup program should do some legwork.

Today, almost every entrepreneur looking to break into the business world has seen the statistics: An estimated 90 percent of startups won’t make it. The struggle from conception to viable entity that they face is overwhelming and can lead to the undoing of an entrepreneurial spirit.  

While there may be a market out there for every good idea, executing it can be difficult. Working with a startup accelerator could be the secret ingredient your fledgling business needs to make it over the hump to longevity and success. Before you jump in, peruse this list of a few things every entrepreneur should know:

To read the full article, click on the image or title.



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Via Denis Liotta 
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Anything that can improve and help startups to succeed needs to be looked at seriously. Accelerators are definitely a great option, learn from the masters.

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