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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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How we grew our startup to an early revenue stage

How we grew our startup to an early revenue stage | Pitch it! | Scoop.it


If you are a very early stage entrepreneur, then the next 10 minutes reading this post will probably save you weeks of time that you plan to invest in customer acquisition and UI optimization strategies.

Like you, we started out with just a vision in our heads and little experience in running a SaaS business. Most of the time we had little clue of what we needed to do to convert traffic into leads and leads into customers. We got some great ideas from experts in the field, but the amount of knowledge on Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) can be overwhelming sometimes, especially for early stage startups.

So we did what we like to call as ‘experiments’ on CRO rather than have ‘strategies’. Some of these experiments have worked brilliantly for us and well, some have failed miserably. So we are sharing our learnings with fellow entrepreneurs who are starting out. The idea is to share our experience with young entrepreneurs just like us and to convey the message that it is a good practice to go with your gut instinct and experiment with options. Read more: click image or title.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The process of growing a client base analyzed in detail and broken up in many steps. Indeed, you'll save a lot of time checking this out before starting your own.

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Michel Morvan's curator insight, May 14, 4:22 PM

Very simple, concrete and useful tips that the author has tested with his own business...

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How To Make The Most Of Your Startup Accelerator Program Experience

How To Make The Most Of Your Startup Accelerator Program Experience | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Seed accelerators have been around for 10 years now and their popularity doesn’t appear to be waning any time soon. Sure, criticism for the programs themselves and the proliferation of different programs around the world have taken some wind out of the sails, but primarily, joining an accelerator program – or rather, being accepted to an accelerator – is still considered valuable and an endorsement of the concept and business model.

The best accelerators are incredibly competitive – Y Combinator and TechStars have application acceptance rates as low as 1 to 3 percent. Luckily for my company, we were accepted to the 2014 TechStars Boston class. I want to share how we did everything we possibly could to get the most out of TechStars in the short time we had under their umbrella – and how any startup can replicate those best practices in their own accelerator or incubator.

Our methods aren’t for every company, but hopefully you can learn from some of our strategies – specifically what worked and what didn’t. Read more: click image or title.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Ever wondered what happens in an #accelerator and how to take most advantage of the experience? This #CEO describes the process and what he did to get the most out of it.

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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
Shift Gear Deliveries

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.



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

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, 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



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:

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, 11:27 AM

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

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How to Really Get Startup Seed Funding - Inc.

How to Really Get Startup Seed Funding - Inc. | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/swQS


Want to know how to get funding? Your startup exists to fix a problem. Tell them how you're doing that. Investors want to know the why, not the what. Here are tips to solve this!


If you really want to get startup seed funding, you should consider downloading Startup Seed Funding for the Rest of Us by Mike Belsito--it's free for a limited time on Amazon, but well worth the "investment" if you miss out on the complimentary days.

However, if you are not a bookworm, there's good news: I've done the heavy reading for you and summarized Belsito's tips into an easy to digest blog (if only all aspects of a startup were so simple!).

By "the rest of us", Belsito means the not ber popular startups likely focusing on tech and probably located in Silicon Valley. There are three major themes of the book, starting with building your team. Raising money is a job in itself, and you have to remember that investors are looking at idea strength as well as business strength.

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


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

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 plans. 
- Adam Unger, Principal

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Good article on Inc.

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Elevator pitch: the investors’ version | VegaShark: Relentless Web evangelist Lost in random thoughts

Elevator pitch: the investors’ version | VegaShark: Relentless Web evangelist Lost in random thoughts | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

The aim of this post is to report what 5 Venture Capitalists shared during a training session for entrepreneurs. I hope that reading some investors’ perspective will boost your confidence and will help you to raise faster and more money than expected!

There are plenty of articles and books advising you on how to start up your start up, on how to prepare a perfect business plan, the ideal deck, your invincible elevator pitch. Probably what you’ll find below is neither original neither new to your ears.

#1 Quoting almost literally an investor: “Get rid of the mindset that is hard to get money. You must believe in yourself. The more you can have the confidence in yourself and in your business, the more you can convince the person on the other side of the table”.

#2 Look for the VC strategically valuable for you. Not all investors are alike. Check Crunchbase, visit VCs’ websites and blogs, be focused and targeted. If you can get referenced is even better: VC world is a small community. Pay attention to the size of the fund, where their portfolio is located, when the fund was raised: if they are the end of a lifecycle, they will probably be less prone to investment. Before pitching do your own portfolio of investors. Read more: click on title or image.





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

"It has been an absolute delight working with you and this will be just a beginning in my relationship with Growthink.
I am very satisfied with my business plan and financial plan. Your work is outstanding."
Michael Mundi
Mundi Homes


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Learning the perspective of investors is imperative to obtaining results when looking for funding.

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No one wants to buy from startups | VentureBeat | Business | by Chris Lynch, Atlas Venture

No one wants to buy from startups | VentureBeat | Business | by Chris Lynch, Atlas Venture | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/RcwY


I spend most days (and way too many nights and weekends) thinking about, evaluating, visiting, and coaching startups. It’s a never-ending series of pitches from people telling me they are about to take over the world to become the next Salesforce/Splunk/EMC, etc. But rarely, as part of their presentations, do they admit or imply the simple truth:

People buy from startups because they have to, not because they want to.

They really don’t. Sure it’s fun to talk about startups. It’s a cultural obsession. Get my 15 minutes of fame. Be an overnight sensation. And it’s no wonder. Anybody who manages to bolt a new idea onto a workable business model has the potential to be rewarded handsomely. That’s a potential reality, if you’re willing, able, and lucky enough to make it happen.

But, all things being equal, given the choice between buying from an established, safe, well-known company or a bunch of ponytails and greybeards crowded around some folding tables in a converted warehouse … You can guess how that decision goes the vast majority of the time. Read more:  http://snip.ly/RcwY



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

"It has been an absolute delight working with you and this will be just a beginning in my relationship with Growthink.
I am very satisfied with my business plan and financial plan. Your work is outstanding."
Michael Mundi
Mundi Homes

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The great challenge startups deal with is disruption. This VC explains it in detail. People don't like change. Structured environments don't do change. All they want is improvement. Read this is if you think that your next innovation is really going to change the world and find out what you're up to. Then act accordingly.

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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



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

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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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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Advice for inventors: turning your bright idea into a business

Advice for inventors: turning your bright idea into a business | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
The journey from great idea to commercial product can be long and costly – but help is available

It was 2008, when the late inventor John Reid and entrepreneur Arpana Gandhi got talking at a fundraising event for landmine victims. In a long career, Reid had invented, among other things, the plastic security tag used to deter shoplifters.

Reid told Gandhi about the Dragon torch, a product he had developed to disable landmines. Despite its promise, problems such as a lack of raw materials meant it had never come to market. “I explained that I’ve got a good track record and a commercial background, and that was one of the things, unfortunately, that John was not very good at,” Gandhi says now. The two decided to combine their strengths – and that is how Disarmco was born.

There are 120m landmines worldwide, and the principal method of disposal is to blow them up. But that requires carrying explosives across borders, which naturally attracts suspicion. “Because of these conflicts in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, everybody is awfully twitchy,” says Gandhi.

 
Reid – who, sadly, died in 2014 – was very good, says Gandhi, at taking technology used in one area of life and applying it to another. The Dragon torch works like a firework: it directs a very hot flame at the munitions so that the landmine is burnt rather than exploded.
Both Gandhi and Reid had put money into the company but needed more funding to test the product. Attempts to attract venture capital failed, says Gandhi: “People are risk-averse, especially within a sector that they don’t understand, and nobody is prepared to do the due diligence to understand that we’re not going to be using this in a detrimental way, we’re using it for a humanitarian purpose.”
So Disarmco used a very modern method of raising funds: it put a request on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube and within six months had raised just under £150,000 (£30,000 more than the original target). The torch has been tested and should be commercially available later this year – though the company also has other products on the market.
Disarmco’s story demonstrates that the journey between having a good idea and creating a commercially viable product can be long, bumpy and costly: half of UK startups fail within five years, and that is partly down to the difficulty of attracting investment.

Read more, click on title or image.


Get your Free #BusinessPlanTemplate 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.


Via Zonata
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Crowdfunding to test new ideas is a great platform.

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How to start a startup without a technical person - Oxygen Accelerator

How to start a startup without a technical person - Oxygen Accelerator | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

The most common question we receive from budding entrepreneurs is how to find a technical co-founder. However, finding a CTO in an active tech hub such as London is anything but simple.

There is a common perception that one cannot start an innovative company in this day and age without a developer and consequently the demand for them is insatiable – which is even giving breeding ground for new practices such as acqui-hires. As a result, the surprise in our community was widespread when we recently accepted a company to our accelerator programme consisting only of “business people.” Naturally, this begged for the question: How do you get a startup accelerator ready without a technical person? We sat down with Vidsy OA14 to find out. Read more by clicking on image or title.



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.


Via marcduke
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Smart solution, before hiring that expensive developer/CTO. Create customers, prove it.

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6 Reasons Investors Are Drooling Over Subscription-Based Startups

6 Reasons Investors Are Drooling Over Subscription-Based Startups | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
The future is looking subscription-based--and investors are taking note.

I moved to New York City in the dead of winter this year, after living in sunny Los Angeles my whole life. It was a season of firsts: first time I'd ever not had a car and first time I'd ever owned a coat. The grocery store is only a few blocks away from my home, but in the snow that I totally wasn't used to, picking up stuff for dinner was a chore. First world problems alert!

Surfing the Web, I found a lovely little startup that creates gourmet recipes, packs a box with the ingredients to cook them, and delivers a box right to your door. So my issues of being cold and a terrible cook were alleviated for about $60 per week.

It's been a running joke that no matter what your problem is, "there's an app for that!" The way things are going, that old saying might be modified to "there's a subscription-based business for that!" And investors are taking note.

"The subscription business model is in the midst of exponential growth and is completely transforming the purchasing habits and priorities of the consumer," says Donny Gamble Jr., financial expert and founder of PersonalIncome.org. "In the past, skeptics dismissed the subscription model as being 'all hype,' but recent trends have proven the opposite is true."

As consumer behavior increasingly favors access, simplicity, and convenience, a model in which customers commit to recurring purchases of a customized set of goods has been met with astonishing success. As it turns out, this model actually encourages consumers to buy more consistently. Reduced costs, global consumer access, and rapid growth potential make subscription-based businesses an optimal investment in the domain of e-commerce.

Gamble predicts that the future of investments will become increasingly subscription-based. Here's why:... Read more: click on image or title.





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:

Find the need, create the problem, sign up clients. As simple as that.

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Charting A Path From Seed To A Competitive Series A Round

Charting A Path From Seed To A Competitive Series A Round | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Over the past five years, there has been roughly $3 billion of capital invested in nearly 3,500 seed-stage companies, with the number of seed investments rising every year. According to CB Insights, 2014 saw the largest year of seed investing since 2009, with a record $1.3 billion of capital invested in almost 1,000 seed companies. Many of these seed founders have high hopes of raising the subsequent up rounds that can lead to a defining moment for their team, investors and advisers: an attractive acquisition or an IPO.

The reality is that raising seed capital is only the beginning of a long and sometimes turbulent journey of startup experimentation, and only a small percentage of seed companies will emerge from the gulf of experimentation to reach a Series A round....


...

Companies that reach highly competitive Series A rounds typically have systematically reduced their company’s product, market and execution risk during the seed stage. The founders of these companies use their seed capital to efficiently orchestrate a process-oriented set of experiments that culminate in evidence of product-market fit.

From a product perspective, their product teams are characterized by product, technical, and/or domain experts who can build compelling products that address concrete market needs. These teams study the engagement of their users/customers, and discover how users/customers are interacting with their products and the value customers are deriving. These companies have multi-talented, growing, and disciplined product teams that sometimes execute against a product roadmap that has feedback loops to help inform product development.

Read more: click image or title.



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

Great info. Loving your business plan template, makes writing a plan almost fun.


Craig Heppell
Nambour, Queensland

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Must read article for every founder who is serious about building a great business and wants/needs to think beyond the seed funding stage.

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Marianne Naughton's curator insight, May 20, 12:40 PM

Developing seed techs ... 

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500 Startups Accelerator Announces Its Thirteenth Batch Of Companies

500 Startups Accelerator Announces Its Thirteenth Batch Of Companies | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

With their twelfth batch of companies set to demo to investors and the press next week, 500 Startups is announcing the thirteenth batch of companies to go through its accelerator.

The firm is adding 30 more startups to its 1,000-company portfolio, and there are a few clear trends among the batch: lots of on-demand services, marketplaces, and physical goods like hardware or cleaning products.

As with its recent cohorts, the accelerator is bringing in companies from San Francisco, Silicon Valley, New York, and outside the U.S. for its newest batch. 500 Startups founding partner Dave McClure explained the philosophy behind that diversity at Disrupt NY on Tuesday, noting, “we think they’re under-priced assets that the rest of the world is missing.”

Here’s the complete list of startup joining 500 Startups in the Bay Area this summer:  to see full list click on title or image of this article.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#500Startups is doing a great job facilitating young startups into the

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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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This Entrepreneur Raised $70 Million by Ignoring Some Popular Startup Advice

This Entrepreneur Raised $70 Million by Ignoring Some Popular Startup Advice | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/QxSK


In the early days of his business, Wattpad founder Allen Lau faced a crisis. How he solved it would lay the foundation for astronomical growth.

In 2007, Allen Lau stepped into a coffee shop in his hometown of Toronto to meet with his business partner, Ivan Yuen. The topic of discussion that day: decide what to do with Wattpad, their struggling business. When Allen sat down, he pushed his coffee to the center of the table and said to Ivan, "I just spent our total revenue from last month on this coffee, so we have to share it."

The moment was a low point for Allen, one that stood in sharp contrast to the optimism he had felt a year earlier on a flight home from Vancouver. Earlier that day, he had met with his friend Ivan in the food court of the Vancouver airport to talk about their mutual interest in mobile reading platforms. That conversation gave birth to Wattpad, which the two men envisioned as an online community where people would share their writing--stories, poems, fanfiction, serialized novels, etc.--and readers would consume the user-generated content on mobile devices. It would be a place where writers and avid readers could find each other and interact.

At the time, Google had just bought YouTube, which was just over a year old, for $1.65 billion. Allen and Ivan believed Wattpad had similar potential. After all, as Allen saw it, human beings have been sharing stories for thousands of years--around fires and town squares prior to the written word. Wattpad would tap into this basic, human drive, but on a massive, global scale. Allen imagined millions, eventually billions, using the platform. Read more:http://snip.ly/QxSK




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

"I am here to thank Dave and all contributors for their passion to assist and guide others along their way. I began receiving your emails some time ago and have just begun to realize that they are responsible for my now beginning to implement the business idea that has been growing in my head for the past 25 years. I now have a clearer picture as to how to begin and proceed. I have had ideas on paper but now I know what steps to take to move forward. My fear has abated (finally!...thank you)"
N Creed

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Timing is everything. Sometimes you can be too early. These guys did the right thing, and eventually it paid off.

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Is your startup’s technology worth investing in? My perspective as a VC firm’s CTO

Is your startup’s technology worth investing in? My perspective as a VC firm’s CTO | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

As investors, we want to choose winners. We want to put our money on an excellent team and a superior technology that’s addressing a lucrative market with a unique offering. But how do we know that your team is excellent and whether your technology is indeed superior?

When we first meet you, it’s difficult to tell because we don’t know you well enough and don’t understand your technology deeply enough to feel assured. Sometimes we are tempted to invest because we see the potential, but fear that you might fail.

So we ask questions, many questions. We won’t necessarily invest in your startup if your answers about your technology are good, but we’ll certainly feel uncomfortable investing in it if they’re not. Read more, click on title or image.



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.





Via VC Girl
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

How do #investors assess your opportunity? What kind of questions do they ask? In what order? What are they looking for? Here is an article that describes this process in detail. You get a very clear picture of what they are looking for. Must read for any start up looking for funding.

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VC Girl's curator insight, March 13, 12:49 PM

An insightful piece about what VCs consider when evaluating a startup's technology in order to determine whether it's worth investing in - written by Carmel Ventures CTO Ofer Brandes.

Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, April 7, 12:55 PM

It's important to understand the VC perspective when looking for funding. Do you qualify?

Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Just Story It! Biz Storytelling
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Here's Why Startups Need Storytelling (or any biz)


Karen Dietz's insight:

It seems it's the day for SlideShare programs! Here are 14 slides that quickly lay the case for business storytelling. And what I really like is that if focuses on intentions and results. This is good -- otherwise we fall into "let me tell you a story so you'll buy my product", also called transactional storytelling.


Transactional storytelling doesn't get at the true power of business storytelling. This Slideshare easily shows us why.


After you view these 14 slides, another SlideShare will load that goes through what makes a good story. Well -- the focus is on the hero story, which is one kind of story. The author gives some really good examples. 


Enjoy!



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

"I am here to thank Dave and all contributors for their passion to assist and guide others along their way. I began receiving your emails some time ago and have just begun to realize that they are responsible for my now beginning to implement the business idea that has been growing in my head for the past 25 years. I now have a clearer picture as to how to begin and proceed. I have had ideas on paper but now I know what steps to take to move forward. My fear has abated (finally!...thank you)"
N Creed


Via Karen Dietz
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great SlideShare. We all need stories. Have a startup? Tell its story. Have a pitch? Tell a story. Catch the attention. Use the imagination. Have a team and want to create a culture? Tell a story. And so on.

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Karen Dietz's curator insight, March 10, 12:23 PM

It seems it's the day for SlideShare programs! Here are 14 slides that quickly lay the case for business storytelling. And what I really like is that if focuses on intentions and results. This is good -- otherwise we fall into "let me tell you a story so you'll buy my product", also called transactional storytelling.


Transactional storytelling doesn't get at the true power of business storytelling. This Slideshare easily shows us why.


After you view these 14 slides, another SlideShare will load that goes through what makes a good story. Well -- the focus is on the hero story, which is one kind of story. The author gives some really good examples. 


Enjoy!


This review was written by Karen Dietz for her curated content on business storytelling at www.scoop.it/t/just-story-it

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The Best Way to Ask Friends and Family for Seed Capital

The Best Way to Ask Friends and Family for Seed Capital | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

snip.ly/Orsw


With just a fraction of startups receiving venture capital financing, approach your social circles, with these five pointers in mind.

There is no amount of lipstick that you can put on the problem: You need capital. And if you are like most entrepreneurs, you need capital quickly. It’s the people who have known you the longest who will likely be the first to bet on your success. Nonetheless, it is still tough to put hat in hand and go out and ask friends and family for funding.

In many ways raising capital is much harder than the other aspects of executing your vision of a business. According to Fundable, a popular crowdfunding platform, friends and family invest about $60 billion a year in startups and  almost 38 percent of startups receive funding from this source. With only .05 percent  of startups backed by venture capitalists in 2013, those in your closest circle are most likely to be the ones writing those early checks.  

My company, SeeItFit.com, raised its entire seed capital at the desired valuation. Yet as is true for every young business venture, there are always lessons to be learned. Here are five of the things I wish I knew in advance about raising initial capital: Read more: snip.ly/Orsw



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

"It has been an absolute delight working with you and this will be just a beginning in my relationship with Growthink.
I am very satisfied with my business plan and financial plan. Your work is outstanding."
Michael Mundi
Mundi Homes

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Raising capital is not easy, and very often it start with friends and family. Here are some good tips to keep it clean and clear.

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The One Simple Tool for Transforming Your Relationship With Investors

The One Simple Tool for Transforming Your Relationship With Investors | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Creating a MAP will take no more than an hour of your time every month and will keep the lines of communication open, ensuring relationships with investors remain strong, and ultimately helping early-stage startups succeed.

Venture capitalists poured an eye-popping $48.3 billion into new U.S. companies in 2014 -- the most since 2000. The 2014 total was up 61 percent from 2013 and was more than double the total invested in 2009. But once new businesses have secured funding, how can entrepreneurs foster a strong ongoing relationship with their investors?

As the co-founder and president of monthly subscription service Petbox, I have found one simple tool that can ensure a strong relationship between early-stage startups and their investors: a monthly MAP, or marketing action plan.

The concept behind the MAP is simple: It provides a full report of everything that happened in the previous month and spells out your goals for the next 30 days.

To get the best out of this guide, make sure your MAP is detailed and specific. Bring your investors in on your process and your progress...  Read more: click on title or image.




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

"It has been an absolute delight working with you and this will be just a beginning in my relationship with Growthink.
I am very satisfied with my business plan and financial plan. Your work is outstanding."
Michael Mundi
Mundi Homes

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Investors expect to stay in touch and be informed. This tool is excellent and will 'over-deliver' in their eyes.

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The Anatomy of a Compelling Elevator Pitch #Infographic

The Anatomy of a Compelling Elevator Pitch #Infographic | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Master the art of the 60-second elevator pitch and watch your sales go up.

As organizations flatten out, employees don't have to corner senior management in an elevator to get their thoughts heard. They could just schedule a meeting, or even walk up to a leader's office or desk. So is there even a need to have an elevator pitch at the ready?

Absolutely. Although accessibility to managers has increased, the amount of time those managers have at their disposal has decreased. And that means the clearer, crisper, and more concise you can make your idea, the more likely it is that your senior-level listener will tune in.

Salespeople trying to connect with C-level prospects should have a variety of pitches at their disposal, but each should adhere to the principles of the classic elevator pitch. This infographic from Bplans explains each component of an elevator pitch to ensure you hit the highs and provide all the necessary information. Just remember that brevity is a virtue -- according to the graphic, an ideal elevator pitch should clock in at a minute or less.


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

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


Via Brian Yanish - MarketingHits.com
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Startups, A Rich Man’s Game | TechCrunch

Startups, A Rich Man’s Game  |  TechCrunch | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/aWLW

Despite the Silicon Valley echo chamber, starting a company remains easily among the most risky career moves for workers. The stress of the job can easily lead to burnout or long-lasting mental health issues. Failures, despite being lauded in some corners, still too often harm a founder’s future career prospects.

But the greatest risk of building a new company is almost certainly financial. In addition to the opportunity cost of lost wages working on a startup, there is the serious burden of fueling a company’s early expenses before an accelerator or venture capitalist comes in and drops some capital. It is a common form of founder braggadocio to talk about the $20,000 credit card debt that they are carrying to see their dream come to life.

The kerfuffle over the Crunchies this week was just the latest episode of a long fight over access to entrepreneurship. So far, that war has been mostly focused on women and minorities, but there has been far less discussion about financial inequality when it comes to startup founders. Read more: http://snip.ly/aWLW



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:

A start up is a risky venture. Leverage is the key, but the effort can be enormous and take its toll. Think twice before doing it. Creating a regular healthy company and growing it organically may make more sense.

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