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Rethinking The Accelerator: What You’ll Achieve At 500 Startups

Rethinking The Accelerator: What You’ll Achieve At 500 Startups | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Before Avanoo arrived at 500, they were making about $2,000 a month selling self-help videos. But after a spell of stardom on Reddit, their social marketing channels had pretty much dried up. As cofounder Daniel Jacobs put it, “you can only do so many #1 posts before the Reddit people want to throw pitchforks at you.”

They had a plan to move from consumer to B2B and pivot from self-help into ongoing employee education for large corporations, but they were having trouble starting conversations with the execs they needed to reach. That’s when Jacobs and his cofounder got accepted to Batch 12. Less than six months later, Avanoo was an enterprise company worth $15M.

Avanoo’s success wasn’t about changing anything about their product or their plan. It was about taking the success they had already achieved and compounding it through rapid iteration, pushing forward through every failure: 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:

"We want to help more companies in that same way, and that’s why we’ve recently re-oriented the #accelerator around #growth. We’re working with companies ready to #scale rather than focusing on companies in the pre-product or idea stage. And we’re modifying our accelerator schedule to cultivate more intense, productive relationships between companies and their growth coaches."

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4 Signs Your Start-Up Needs an Exit Plan

4 Signs Your Start-Up Needs an Exit Plan | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Ready to kiss your start-up goodbye? VC principal Geoff Lewis offers four ways to tell if you're prime for the picking.

Exit strategies are rarely mentioned by start-ups, yet they are something every business owner needs if they hope to be acquired, said Geoff Lewis, principal at Founders Fund, a venture capital firm.

Speaking Tuesday at Internet Week in New York, he explained, "entrepreneurs and VCs don't often talk too candidly about how to think about getting acquired, because the best start-ups don't actually sell. The truth of the matter is that the vast majority of start-ups will not IPO, and most start-ups are also not suicidal. They do not want to die. Start-ups do not want to go off into the night with no exit whatsoever." 

There might not be an incentive to plan, as there's nothing to gain for investors, but entrepreneurs don't want to risk running their company into the ground before the deal has been finalized. 

Here are four ways to tell if your company needs a makeover before you try to offload it: 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:

Ready to quit? Time to look at #exit strategies.

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You Too Can Now Invest in Startups! What Could Go Wrong?

You Too Can Now Invest in Startups! What Could Go Wrong? | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
The SEC has finally approved rules to allow anyone to buy equity in a company–so-called equity crowdfunding. Here’s what you need to know.

You, your mom, or that random guy down your block will all soon be able to join the ranks of startup investors.

The Securities and Exchange Commission voted this past week to approve so-called equity crowdfunding rules for investors, an effort spawned by the passage of the JOBS Act way back in 2012. What that means is that startups or small businesses looking for investors can go through brokers or online platforms to find them—and those investors can now be, well, anyone.

This is a pretty big deal. It marks a shift in the kinds of capital that startups and small businesses can raise. Startups today often turn to venture capitalists, angel investors, bankers, and other accredited investors, but access can require the right connections, which are often hard to come by outside major financial hubs like New York, San Francisco, and Boston.

'Even if you're truly invested in investing in a startup, the odds are against you.'

Now, entrepreneurs can turn to the crowd. And if you’ve part of the crowd that’s always wanted to invest in a startup, you may soon be able to in ways that you couldn’t before. But there are some things you need to know. Since the passage of the JOBS Act, experts have worried about putting safeguards in place to protect unsophisticated investors, as well as protections for startups to minimize fraud. The SEC is hoping that its new rules will address those concerns. Here’s what you need to know. 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:

A new way for small companies to raise #capital. Not only for #startups but also for any small or medium size company. #Crowdfunding is legal now, but with certain restrictions. Good information in this article, bot for #investors and #entrepreneurs.

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Financial Architect ® - Interview with Timothy D. Hogan

Financial Architect ® - Interview with Timothy D. Hogan | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Is Raising Capital with Financial Architect® a game changer for Startups?

Financial Architect ®, a huge shift in funding success ratio?

MK: It is a well know fact that only 1-2% of start-ups will ever get funded. Teaching them the way to raise their own capital is giving them a powerful tool to use. It would allow great ideas to take off and find more real chances to move forward and to realize those ideas. What is your guess as to the % of companies that could get funded using the 'Financial Architect ®' program, how would it affect that success ratio up from only 1-2%? What is the potential?

Timothy D. Hogan: “ If we realize our vision for the entrepreneur, the concept of raising capital through selling securities, which started with the ancient Egyptians by the way, will be a mainstay undergrad college course in every major and respected university in the US and abroad, and the first approach every entrepreneur attempts. The current problem is, 1-2% get funded because 98% don’t understand the entire capitalization process. We hope to reverse that percentage, so that 98% of legitimate start-ups get funded to the degree they need.” Read more: click on image or title.

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Creating and marketing your own #securities is a daunting task. The Financial Architect ® product was created to put #funding in the hands of the entrepreneur.

Keeping control of the company and #dilution of shares under control, having funds available when needed, and not to go begging around and sell out to #VC's or #investors. Change the game, take power of the funding process, do it in #compliance. There are way too many problems with #crowdfunding to properly capitalize a #startup.


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BuildUp Fellows Program Aims To Nurture Underrepresented Founders In Tech

BuildUp Fellows Program Aims To Nurture Underrepresented Founders In Tech | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

There’s no shortage of tech accelerators and incubators, with the likes of Y Combinator, 500 Startups and TechStars. All three of them have addressed diversity in their own ways, but more could always be done.

Enter the BuildUp Fellows program, an intensive two-week accelerator designed to educate and mentor underrepresented founders, like women, veterans and minorities, in the tech industry. Entrepreneurs selected will get free desk space in downtown San Francisco, mentorship, meetings with investors and other industry experts.

BuildUp is the brainchild of Kristina Omari, Wayne Sutton and Christian Anderson (pictured above). Collectively, they make up a diverse, all-star team of serial entrepreneurs, mergers & acquisitions experts and investment bankers.

“Coming from an investment banking background, I have seen biases at work in regards to founders and funding,” Anderson told TechCrunch. “I want to bring to light investment opportunities of game changing, innovative products and experiences, which are created by ‘nontraditional’ founders.”

BuildUp is looking for startups that have strong potential in four key areas: global impact, innovation, design and growth. The program will run from Sept. 28 through Oct. 9, 2015. Startups can apply through August 31.


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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Underrepresented #founders in the tech industry, such as women, veterans or minorities in general, have a new #accelerator with a 2 week program.

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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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Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/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 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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It's Not Them, It's You!

It's Not Them, It's You! | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
The next time you have a chance to step up and pitch to a crowd, expecting them to invest, remember these things.

How long will it be before entrepreneurs realize and start treating fundraising is a sales process, not as an inalienable right?

Last week I attended my umpteenth Angel group forum. Four formal pitches, six mini pitches, plus a few updates from the ecosystem. Not an uncommon pattern for a gathering by an Angel group.

The problem: nearly all of these presenters presented facts and figures. Slide after slide of the same-old, tired 10-slide set of details. Far too many details. Details no investor can remember today.

The problem: presentations, not stories. Slide after slide filled with bullets and text, which presenter after presenter turned to face rather than connecting with the audience. Rather than grabbing the audience’s hearts and making them feel the importance of the startup’s work.

The problem: nine presenters who presented from behind the lectern, fifteen feet from the nearest investors, rather than stepping up to look those investors in the eye, to begin the process of building trust, which is the core of any investment.

The problem: pitch after pitch that were crafted without regard to the fact that the day would be filled with other pitches. Pitch after pitch after pitch that failed to bring anything entertaining or interesting to stand out amongst the competition. Where in fundraising, the competition is EVERY OTHER company raising money.

Finally, the biggest problem of them all: far too many entrepreneurs who pitched without excitement and without passion. If the speaker is not excited, there is no chance anyone in the audience will get excited. What a waste of time and energy delivering a tired, boring, cookie-cutter business plan. Read more: click image or title.




Need funding?

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


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Standing out and being different is part of marketing. Every single detail of your business, or would-be business - such as a pitch to investors - has to be created from this point of view. Make it creative, tell a story, be different.

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Know your Minimum Winning Game for startup success

Know your Minimum Winning Game for startup success | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
It's surprising how frequently entrepreneurs struggle when potential investors ask them a simple question: "What are you going to accomplish with this round of financing?"

At XSeed Capital we are introduced to over 500+ new startup opportunities every year, and we directly meet or talk to 150–200 of these companies. In this context, I am sometimes asked what is the “biggest mistake” that a CEO or management team makes when pitching venture capitalists. While there are several that come to mind, I remain surprised at how frequently even experienced entrepreneurs struggle with a simple question:

“What are you going to accomplish with this round of financing?”

In an unexpectedly large number of conversations and meetings, instead of hearing proposed measurable milestones, investors are given a “to do” list of activities from entrepreneurs: hire some engineers, launch the first product, get some revenue, do some marketing, etc.

In a world of staged funding rounds, an idea that my Stanford colleague, Robert Burgelman, and I wrote about in 2007 can provide entrepreneurs with a way to think about how they should contemplate what needs to be achieved with each infusion of capital and the size of the round they are raising: the Minimum Winning Game (MWG). Read more: click image or title.




Need funding?

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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Finding out what the VC's or investors expect from you is an important element in preparing your pitch. Go through possible questions and document yourself well.

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Richard Platt's curator insight, June 21, 2015 12:58 PM

Exceptional advice not only for startups but also large corporations as well that have their own business building activities internal to their organizations.  I have been long time supporter of MWG theory, along with the Porter 5 Plus model and the Strategic Inflection Point elements that make up the broader theory.  In contrast to the MVP model of the Lean Start-Up as promoted by others in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, which I see from my p.o.v. as a much smaller subset of what MWG theory propositions, necessary perhaps but insufficient in the kind of analysis and forethought required.  (In full disclosure I am ex-Intel, and specifically helped drive innovation across the enterprise and saw how MWG theory (when applied correctly) is a  better than other approaches to what we've seen different managers, groups, organizations inside of Intel as well as in other high tech firms.)

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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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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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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, 2015 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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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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Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Public Relations & Social Media Insight
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20 Hot Tips On How To Write the Perfect Pitch

20 Hot Tips On How To Write the Perfect Pitch | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Raise your hand if you want to know a perfect method of landing a guest post, article, or even the perfect job.

 

If you know how to write the perfect pitch, you’re on the path to success.

 

It took me a while to realize that I’m really good at writing pitches. I don’t think I’ve ever had a guest proposal refused.

 

And of course, I’ve received hundreds of guest proposals here at WritetoDone. Some great and many abysmal. So I know a thing or two about writing pitches.

 

The key to a successful pitch is honesty and respect. With your pitch, you are building a bridge to another human being. And that bridge can only carry weight if it’s built with integrity.... Read more: click image or title.

 

 

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


Via Jeff Domansky
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Whether you #pitch a client, an investor, or a crowd, there are simple guidelines on how to do it right.

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Jeff Domansky's curator insight, April 5, 10:56 AM

Want to know how to write the perfect pitch? We've found it in this post by Mary Jaksch! Recommended reading.  9/10

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How to get your project funded, some advice and ideas

How to get your project funded, some advice and ideas | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Funding multi million dollar projects is a serious matter. Having a great idea is just a start.
Here are a few steps to follow:

Have a set of quality documents ready for the funding process, first of all you need a good teaser, this is a brief description of what you are looking for: Do you want equity or debt or a combination? How much are you looking for? What type of project do you have? What country is your project in? Just remember, this is like an elevator pitch, you only have a few seconds to catch the attention. Make a good title and put all of the important information in that title or first sentence. The rest of the paragraph is a description with a few more details and contact information. Read more: click image or title.





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


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Dealing with this on a daily basis is frustrating. It triggered me to write this brief article on what matters when looking for #funding.

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Pitch Deck Examples: investor decks from successful startups

Pitch Deck Examples: investor decks from successful startups | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

This article is part of our new Pitch Deck Examples initiative, a blog + podcast focusing on the best pitch deck practices.


If you made it here your are probably looking for inspiration to create a pitch deck for your own startup. Let me start by saying that this might not be the best approach to take when pitching investors.

Each investor deck should be tailored to the companies strengths. The story you tell about your idea, team and concept validation (yes, metrics!!) is what will ultimately determine if your deck is appealing or not. Read more: click image or title.




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


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Some great examples of pitch decks, including Airbnb's and Buffer's.

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3 reasons startups should consider corporate investors

3 reasons startups should consider corporate investors | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Many entrepreneurs looking to raise funding for their businesses first think of traditional venture capitalists or angel investors. They would be wise, though, to add corporate VCs to the mix they’re considering. My company, SundaySky, has raised three rounds of funding and is fortunate enough to work with two corporate investors along with several traditional VCs. Here’s why:




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:

Working with corporate investing is definitely a great plus, the advantages are abundant, this article highlights the main ones.

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The 7-Minute Rule That Will Save Your Business Presentation

The 7-Minute Rule That Will Save Your Business Presentation | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Anything you have to say in a business setting should fit into a seven-minute window. Here's a guide to get you through your next conference talk, board meeting, investor chat, or daily team meeting.

Anything you have to say in a business setting should fit into a seven minute window. That's my theory about business presentations, and I've devised a plan to help you get through a talk at a conference, your next board meeting, an investor chat, or even your daily team meetings. If you talk less than seven minutes, people won't quite grasp what you have to say. If you talk more than seven minutes, you'll drone on a bit too much and lose people. It’s the ideal length for holding the attention of a crowd.

Now, before I explain what to so for the seven minutes, let's address the elephant in the room. His name is TED. The rule for every TED talk is to explain yourself in 18 minutes. Chris Anderson, the founder of the conference, has explained that 18 minutes is about the right length for the talks, and I tend to agree. That is, if you are Bill Gates or Elon Musk. However, for 99% of the people in business who need to hold the attention of the crowd, I'd cut that down to seven minutes.

I'm basing this rule on a few interesting findings of my own. First, when I created the seven-minute morning routine, I was relaying what I've done in my personal life for two decades. It works. And, as 200,000 people have read about so far and thousands have tried for themselves, it’s about the right length. My theory is that readers were drawn to the seven minutes. It isn't such a long period that your work will suffer or you can’t commit to doing it consistently, yet it's long enough to become truly contemplative. The same length of time works for presentations, especially if you are an entrepreneur. In hyper-connected world of texts and tweets, seven minutes is about the right time to make a point.

I've also given hundreds of talks, and seven minutes is about right. I've participated in dozens and dozens of startup sessions listening to entrepreneurs explain a new idea. In the first few minutes, you are still getting your head around the idea. After seven minutes you start tuning out. Your audience wants you to explain just the right amount to engage them.

So, seven minutes for a presentation. Here's how to do it. Read more: click on image or title.




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

Thank you very much for all of your hard work. We are very pleased with the final result of the business plan and the PowerPoint - say congratulations on a job well done and that you can use us a reference for any future clients. We will definitely look to utilize Growthink's services in the future as we build our company." 
Bryan Langslet, CEO
Perceptions Entertainment

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Seven minutes to make your pitch. Here is a detailed plan, minute by minute, on how to structure your #InvestorPitch.

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8 Questions To Help Set Expectations With Investors

8 Questions To Help Set Expectations With Investors | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

One of the big questions that every entrepreneur struggles with is how much funding they should request from investors in the first round. They know from forums such as Shark Tank on TV that asking for either too much or too little will derail credibility in the eyes of the investor, and leave the entrepreneur with no money and a struggling startup.

Strategies that I do not recommend include opening the discussion with a big number, hoping to make a more reasonable value feel like a good deal, or starting with a tiny number, hoping to entice interest from everyone. Both of these will brand you as an amateur to avoid, rather than a savvy business person with an exciting new opportunity.

The right answer is to ask for an amount that is just right, based on your real needs, and consistent with the capabilities and interests of the investors you are addressing. Here are eight key questions that will you get in the right ballpark with the right investors: 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:

Which amount of funding do you throw at investors? How do you calculate exactly what you need and how long it will last? What makes you sound like you know what you're doing?

Your 'pitch' will give investors a lot of information about how professional you are.

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No Team? No Idea? No Problem! This VC Will Fund Your Startup Anyway - Wall Street Journal (blog)

No Team? No Idea? No Problem! This VC Will Fund Your Startup Anyway - Wall Street Journal (blog) | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
As money pours into equity and venture capital firms, “pre-acceleration” programs are flourishing for those interested in entrepreneurship but who don’t know where to start.

Alejandro Vicente Grabovetsky wants to build a software program that checks the veracity of online news items. The 30-year-old with a PhD in neuroscience from Cambridge University plans to set his “media-truth-detector” loose on what he calls Russian propaganda, mostly against his native Ukraine. He has three problems though: he’s not exactly sure how it’s going to work, he doesn’t have any money to develop it, and he’s got no team to work with.

Also, he’s not sure the technology “is there yet.”

Enter Entrepreneur First, a venture capital firm that says it invests in people “pre-idea, pre-team,” which this week let Grabovetsky pitch his idea to see if he can get it off the ground.

Many wannabe entrepreneurs in EF’s program are pre-selected while still at university, where EF has close contacts with professors to spot the students with the best academic records, science projects, internships or publications. Two academics even hold equity in the company. “We spent a lot of time on campuses,” said Zoe Jervier, a member of EF’s recruiting team, said.

As money pours into equity and venture capital firms, “pre-acceleration” programs are flourishing for those interested in entrepreneurship but who don’t know where to start. It’s a risky, long-term bet on untested entrepreneurs with no real product or business plan.

“We are probably the most risk-seeking investors in the world,” said Matt Clifford, EF’s co-founder. Click image or title to continue reading.




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Via Laurent Timmermans
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Risky strategy, but probably rewarding because of the small investment and the choice of most promising candidates.

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9 Things to Know in Order to Turn Your Idea into a Business - PressFarm

9 Things to Know in Order to Turn Your Idea into a Business - PressFarm | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
The tips to help you to turn your idea into a booming business worth millions of dollars.

At some point everybody gets ideas. In fact, we have all had ideas that we wished to turn into businesses. However, having an idea in itself while is still a great thing, it’s not a guarantee that a business can be made out of it. If a business can be made out of it, knowing how to go about it is quite a challenge for anyone who has not started a business before. As a beginning entrepreneur, how do you turn an idea into a booming business? These tips below should help you figure that out. Read more: click image or title.





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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Having an idea doesn't mean anything. Investors will not waste any time on you. It takes a lot more than that. This article will get you ready for the next step.

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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, 2015 11:27 AM

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

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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, 2015 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, 2015 12:55 PM

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

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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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