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Curated by Marc Kneepkens
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4 Types Of Startup Stories To Win Investors

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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, 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

Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from MarketingHits
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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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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.


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"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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The Entrepreneur Handbook: 120 Awesome Resources for Every Entrepreneur | Alltopstartups.com

The Entrepreneur Handbook: 120 Awesome Resources for Every Entrepreneur | Alltopstartups.com | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Whether you are starting a new business or scaling your business to new heights, these are some of the most useful entrepreneur resources you will ever need.

ByThomas Oppong. Published on May 6, 2014.

Whether you are starting a new business or scaling your business to new heights, these are some of the most useful  entrepreneur resources you will ever need. My hope is that this post will be a great resource list for all your entrepreneurial needs. This is a huge list of blogs, tools and general resources I think could be useful for every entrepreneur.



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


Great business blogs and resource sites

1. Inc. Start-up – Advice for founders of start-ups and start-up entrepreneurs on writing a business plan, running a home-based business, naming a start-up business, how to incorporate, financing a start-up, buying a small business, and starting a franchise.

2. OnStartups – Run by HubSpot cofounder Dharmesh Shah, On Startups offers advice and insights for entrepreneurs.

3. For Entrepreneurs—A blog for startups and entrepreneurs, written by David Skok, a five time serial entrepreneur turned VC (now at Matrix. Partners)

4. Startup Lawyer — Ryan Roberts’Startup Lawyer breaks down the legal issues of startups.

5. Mashable on Small Business – Essential business advice for starting and growing small businesses.

6. About.com for Entrepreneurs – Help and advice for going from the idea stage to business plan to the marketplace and beyond.

7. Mixergy – Successful CEOs share their experiences with the masses.

8. Small Business Administration. Find information, links and resources to help you start and grow your business, including SBA-guaranteed loans.

9.  Accounting Coach – Accounting coach will introduce you to some basic accounting principles, accounting concepts, and accounting terminology.

10. NYT Small Business – Find breaking news & money news on mortgage rates, mutual funds, the stock market, bonds & notes, company research, earnings reports and market insight.

11. Chris Dixon — A General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. He is also a contributing writer for TechCrunch.  A seed investor turned VC, Dixon takes a macro view, considering industry-wide trends.

12. Quora (Startup Founders and Entrepreneurs page) — Quora’s question-answering website has some fantastic responses from establish entrepreneurs and investors for entrepreneurs.

13. Wall Street Journal’s Small Business How To Guide – WSJ small business guide covering how to start, fund, run and manage your small business.

14.  Forbes on Entrepreneurs — Forbes entrepreneur section, specifically on how entrepreneurs are running businesses and advice from entrepreneurs.

15. First Round Review — A compilation of startup-centric content. Case studies on the experiences of individual entrepreneurs and companies.

16. The Funded – An online community of entrepreneurs to research, rate, and review funding sources worldwide.

17. Paul Graham – Super awesome timeless essays about venture capital and entrepreneurship.

18. Springwise – Your essential fix of entrepreneurial ideas.

19.  Big Think – Blogs, articles and videos from the world’s top leaders and thinkers.

20. PSFK – A go-to source for ideas and inspiration.

21. StartupDigest - Free weekly email to help you meet people and learn more.

22. The Startup Toolkit – Tools and guidance for all startup founders.

23. Both Sides of The Table – Upfront Ventures partner Mark Suster’s blog runs the gamut from sales strategies to fundraising and startup culture.

24.  Chic-ceo – Slick site for women with the entrepreneur bug, but its downloadable tools makes this a must-visit for all.

25. How-to Guides on Entrepreneur.com — How-to resources for kick starting  your new business.



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


Tools and apps exclusively for startups

Use these startups resources (mostly free) to launch your idea, gather feedback and grow your new business. Whether you are wondering about how to put your idea out there, how to make a good presentation or learn from the best you will find some of these resources useful.

1.GroupTalent – Top teams of developers and designers, on-demand.

2. Docstoc – Discover the best professional documents and content resources to help start and grow your business

3.  CustomerSure – Simple, web-based customer feedback software.

4. Crowdvi.be – Get instant answers from over 50 million people.

5.  AYTM (Ask Your Target Market) – Market research has never been this easy.

6.  Term Sheet Generator – Generate a venture financing term sheet.

7.  Cofounda - App platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors.

8.  Feedbackify – Simple, private website feedback.

9.  Appfigures – mobile analytics and sales data.

10. Mopapp – mobile analytics, sales data, rankings.

11.  UserTesting.com – Low-cost website usability testing.

12.  Prezi - The zooming presentation editor.

13.  CircleUp - Like AngelList with a crowdfunding twist.

14.  AngelList - A platform for startups. Standardizing the pitch deck.

15.  Idea Flight - Get your ideas off the ground.

16.  CapLinked - Making private investment easy, secure and social.

17.  Go BIG Network – Helps entrepreneurs find funding.

18.  Intern Avenue - Find interns. Intern directory.

19.  A VC – Musings of a VC in NYC.

20.  Startup Weekend - Global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs.

21.  LiquidSpace - Airbnb for workspaces. Book last minute or plan ahead.

22.  OpenDesks – Find and share places to meet and work.

23.  Founders Den - Invite-only shared workspace and private club in SoMa neighborhood.

24.  TechHub – A physical space for tech startups in London.

25.  Prosper–  Prosper can help you get the seed funding you need to launch your own online business.

26.  Unbounce – Easy landing page creator and tester.

27.  Mobile Roadie - Full CMS, no coding app builder for iOS and Android.

28.  Chupa - The marketplace for buying/selling mobile app components.

29.  Grow VC - Get visibility with the right investing audience.

30. Appbackr - Crowdfunding for mobile apps.

31.  LaunchRock - Setup a “Launching Soon” page in minutes.

32.  LegalZoom: An inexpensive, fast, and easy to use online legal document service that can help you file the appropriate paperwork for your startup.

33.  VCgate - Venture capital firms, angel investors and private equity firms directory.

34.  Envestors - Pay-to-pitch investor network.

35.  Startup Compass - Benchmark your startup’s KPIs against more than 10k internet startups.

36.  Startup Tools-Complete list of startup tools by Steve Blank

37. KickoffLabs – Find new customers with a viral landing page in less than 60 seconds.

38. RocketHub - Launch, fund and fly.



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


Mobile app development tools

These are some of the best mobile app development resources out there that guarantees stunning app for mobile devices.  These tools offer drag-and-drop interfaces, fast and easy mobile prototyping with support for designing some of the best Android, iOS and Windows mobile apps.

1. Ooomf – Create a beautiful landing page for your iPhone app in minutes.

2. Appcelerator – Mobile app platform for building on Android, iOS and mobile web.

3. GameSalad Creator – Create, test and publish your own game. Drag and drop.

4.  Parse – Add a powerful and scalable backend to your app in minutes.

5.  Mobile Roadie - Full CMS, no coding app builder for iOS and Android.

6.  Proto.io – Silly-fast mobile prototyping.

7.  StackOverflow - Question and answer site for programmers.

8.  Kendo UI Mobile – Build HTML5 apps that look native on any device.

9.  Tiggzi – Cloud-based mobile app builder.

10. Verious - A mobile app component marketplace.

11. justinmind – Rich interactive wireframes to define mobile apps.

12. UXPin – User experience design tools for professionals.

13. Chupa – The marketplace for buying/selling mobile app components.

14. Distimo - Providing valuable insight into the app store marketplace.

15. App Annie - App store analytics and market intelligence.

16. Kontagent - User analytics for the mobile web.

17. Applingua - iOS app localization (translation) service.

18. AppMakr – Point and click solution for building rich content based apps.

19. Flurry - Analytics, traffic acquisition and monetization.

20. Crittercism – Gives you real-time, actionable crash reports for mobile apps.

21. PhoneGap - Easily create apps using well known web technologies.



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


Incubators & Accelerators

Incubators and accelerators can be a great option for any young company or even idea to get off the ground. These programs offer everything from funding, connections with top investors and mentors and collaborative work environments.

1. Y Combinator – Has funded over 380 startups (3 months).

2. TechStars - Mentorship-driven seed-stage investment program (3 months).

3. The Brandery - Accelerating startups by building powerful brands (14 weeks).

4. KickLabs – Ready to start acquiring customers? (3-6 months).

5. i/o Ventures – Early-stage startup program focused on mentorship (3 months).

6. Capital Factory – Entrepreneurs like entrepreneurs (10 weeks).

7. NYC SeedStart – Focused on advertising, ecommerce, digital and mobile (12 weeks).

8. Tech Wildcatters – Mentor-driven and led by entrepreneurs (12 weeks).

9. Seedcamp - Early stage mentoring and investment program (1 year).

10. Excelerate Labs – Amazing mentors, Chicago resources, high-profile demo (3 months).

11. Springboard - Mentorship-led accelerator program (13 weeks).

12. Dreamit Ventures – Helping build great companies.

13. The ARK – Mentorship-driven tech startup accelerator (3 months).

14. Betaspring – Mentorship-driven accelerator focused on tech and design (12 weeks).

15. InnoSpring - Start in Silicon Valley, grow in the US and China.

16. BizSpark - Microsoft accelerator for Windows Azure (3 months).

15. Media Camp - Startup academy camp for media innovations (12 weeks).

18. Founder Institute - Helping founders to build great companies (4 weeks).

19. AlphaLab – Funding, mentorship, education and more (20 weeks).

20. 500 Startups –Provides early-stage companies with up to $250K in funding.

21. Startup Chile –Apply from anywhere in the world, start in Chile. $40k grant per project (24 weeks).

22. MEST – Entrepreneurial program designed to foster the growth of tech companies in Africa (24 weeks).



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


Crowdfunding resources

If you can’t find funding from angels, how about seeking help from the crowd.

1. Seedrs - Equity-based crowdfunding platform.

2. Crowdfunder - Equity crowdfunding for your business.

3. CircleUp - Like AngelList with a crowdfunding twist.

4. Grow VC - Get visibility with the right investing audience.

5. appbackr - Crowdfunding for mobile apps.

6. Kickstarter - World’s largest funding platform for creative projects.

7. Indiegogo - Fund your passion.

8. Crowdtilt - Group fund anything.

9. Invested.in - Raise money, reach goals, build community.

10. Funding Circle - Online marketplace where people lend to businesses.

11. Sponsume - Fund your project through social networks.

12. RocketHub - Launch, fund and fly.

13. SellAnApp - Make app ideas happen.

14. Petridish - Crowdfunding for science startups.



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



Via marcduke
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great set of resources. Use them.

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Rhonda Hunter's curator insight, August 21, 2014 4:21 PM

In need of customized services, check out LEGG Lincoln Entrepreneur Growth Group at www.lincolneda.org under the Entrepreneur tab.  While you are there don't forget to check out "Tools for Business" it is a wealth of local Lincoln County information that will help you start or grow your business.

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Why startups need to focus on sales, not marketing by @foundersatwork - The Accelerators - WSJ

Why startups need to focus on sales, not marketing by @foundersatwork - The Accelerators - WSJ | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
JESSICA LIVINGSTON: The most important thing an early-stage startup should know about marketing is rather counterintuitive: that you probably shouldn't be doing anything you'd use the term "marketing" to describe. Sales and marketing are two ends of a continuum. At the sales end your outreach is narrow and deep. At the marketing end it is broad and shallow. And for an early stage startup, narrow and deep is what you want -- not just in the way you appeal to users, but in the type of product you build...

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


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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, June 4, 2014 9:45 AM

Great article in the Wall Street Journal. What a Startup needs is nothing but proving that it can be successful, and what better way to do that than making that sales model work.

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Content Marketing Shares For Startups - Trending on Curtti

Content Marketing Shares For Startups - Trending on Curtti | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Content Marketing For Startups
Content marketing authority is something everyone wants yet few realize the fastest way to achieve what they want is to share, share, share. The 4 Sharing Tips:

* Give Expertise Away, but not 100% (find a way to create ROI too).

* Following Is Currency, So SPEND IT.
* Presence Makes you REAL.
* Trust in KARMA of the SHARE.

Post is trending on Curatti after going live on Tuesday. This "bean stalk" is an important content marketing one for startups to climb. Being a startup is solipsistic and self referential when it needs to be open kimono authentic and all about sharing. Share EVERYTHING.

To read the full article, click on the title.



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Via Martin (Marty) Smith
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Some universal truths here: the more you share, the more you gain.

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Driving Revenue w/ Social, Content, Marketing Automation

Slides of the talk Jason Miller gave at the Scoop.it #leancontent meetup on Sept. 25, 2013. 



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http://bit.ly/1aKy7km



Via Ally Greer
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great presentation.

How about using strategies like this to find funding? Creativity impresses investors.

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Neil Ferree's curator insight, October 3, 2013 10:23 AM

Content Marketing Automation and 10 Techniques You Should Know

theclairbyrd's curator insight, October 10, 2013 4:21 PM

We recently hosted our event series, #leancontent, with a guest from LinkedIn. His presentation focuses on driving revenue using smart content and optimized distribution steams. Check it out!

AlGonzalezinfo's curator insight, October 31, 2013 2:56 PM

Fantastic resource here.  The whole presentation is relevant but the Early Stage to Middle Stage to Late Stage is priceless!

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How Hungry Are Investors for Startups in Distress?

How Hungry Are Investors for Startups in Distress? | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
More VCs are circling cash-strapped ventures in search of bargains, a flurry of recent posts indicate


Last week, Andreessen Horowitz co-founder Ben Horowitz wrote in Fortune that in the current climate for raising venture capital, startup founders should swallow their pride and embrace the “down round.” That is, founders running out of cash may need to raise more capital at lower valuations than in previous fundraising rounds:

“Hoping that the fundraising climate will change before you die is a bad strategy because a dwindling cash balance will make it even more difficult to raise money than it already is, so even in a steady climate, your prospects will dim. You need to figure out how to stop the bleeding, as it is too late to prevent it from starting. Eating s— is horrible, but is far better than suicide.”

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


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https://growthink.infusionsoft.com/go/freebptemplate/gt4045/
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

There are many aspects to funding your Startup. Working with a clear and focused strategy is imperative, and having the right people guiding you through the process is very helpful.


Check out www.Business-Funding-Insider.com for information and tools.

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5 Hot Opportunities for Start-ups

5 Hot Opportunities for Start-ups | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Fresh numbers from Intuit shine a light on where consumers are spending the most--and where you might want to look for new business ideas.
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Very interesting article, every Start Up should be aware of these trends and take advantage of them.


Your Free Business Plan Template? Get it here: https://growthink.infusionsoft.com/go/freebptemplate/gt4045/


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20 words and phrases that will doom your pitch

20 words and phrases that will doom your pitch | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Use these 'cursed words,' and many reporters and bloggers will delete your email. So will your employees. Plus, civilization might end.
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The same in business plans and investor presentations of any kind.


Some more good articles here: www.business-funding-insider.com

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Growthink Products for Capital Raising and Business Planning

Growthink Products for Capital Raising and Business Planning | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Introduction and Review of Growthink Products to help you raise all the capital you need, and plan your business to grow into 8 figures, and exit profitably!
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Reviewed and recommended by Business Funding Insisder

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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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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.

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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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The 6 Key Components of Writing a Business Plan

The 6 Key Components of Writing a Business Plan | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Having prepared a good business plan before starting your venture can often be the difference between startup success and failure.  I am not saying you need a 50 page detailed report, as investors don't typically have the time to read them anymore.

 But, it is more about taking the time to think through the below 6 key components of a preparing a business plan, to make sure you know what you are up against in your industry and have reasonable foresight into where the business is heading in terms of go-to-market strategies and financial returns for the company and its investors. Click on title or image to read the full article.


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 TechinBiz
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

A business plan is your focus and compass when setting up a successful business. Investors or banks will require it, but even your team and yourself will benefit from having one.

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What Fuels a Startup's Success? Drive to Win vs. Fear of Failure

What Fuels a Startup's Success? Drive to Win vs. Fear of Failure | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
All offense and no defense can cripple your company. So how do you strike a balance between both?

George Deeb is the Managing Partner at Chicago-based Red Rocket Ventures, a growth consulting, advisory and executive staffing firm based in Chicago. 

What fuels a startup’s success? Is whether you are “driven to win” or have a “fear of failure”?

I think both sides of this argument are pretty self-explanatory, but let’s just make sure we are clear on what we are talking about here.

Being “driven to win” is an insatiable desire to be #1 in your industry, often with a “take no prisoners” mindset of growing market share as quickly as possible. The CEOs of these types of businesses often have a deep disliking of their competitors, and see themselves in an “all-out sprint” against the CEO’s of others in their space.

To me, this is an offensive strategy (as in, on the attack, not distasteful.)

On the other hand, “fear of failure” is driven more by not wanting the company to go out of business, and the perceived negative impact that would have on the CEO’s resume and reputation.  To me, this is a defensive strategy.

A sports analogy

So, if that is in fact a good analogy, are you aware of any competition that doesn’t require the proper balance of both a good offense and a good defense?  I really think if you have too much of one, without the other, your success will be hampered.

As one example from the sports world, let’s look at the failed Rich Rodriguez tenure as head coach of Michigan Football between 2008 and 2010. His innovative offense broke every statistical record as the most productive offense in the 132 year history of this storied program.

However, at the same time, his lack of defensive focus, broke every record in the wrong direction as the worst defensive program in the history of Michigan football. This lop-sided mix of skills, resulted in a middle-of-the-road record (7-6 in 2010), and the ultimate firing of Rich Rodriguez at the end of that season.

A business analogy

This analogy holds true in the business world as well. All offense and no defense can cripple your company.

If you are too scared to fail (e.g, too much defense), that may cripple your ability to innovate out-of-the-box ideas that, if successful, would catapult your business to new heights never before possible.

Let’s use Apple as an example. What if Steve Jobs had stayed “defensive,” focusing on protecting Apple’s market share as the leader in personal computers? We would have never seen such great innovations as the iPod, iTunes, iPhone and iPad that revolutionized the tech scene in the years that followed, fueling Apple’s meteoric growth and stock price.

On the flip side, if you try to use too much offense, you can cripple your business by growing too quickly, running out of cash or entering more markets than logically makes sense for your phase of development, stretching your limited resources too thinly to be sustainable.

My personal experience

I think this theory holds true from my personal experience while CEO of iExplore. I was equally focused on “offense” and “defense,” and was deeply-driven to win market share and partnerships away from my competitors at the time.

Concurrently, I had a deep fear of failing, especially in the wake of 9/11/2001 and the negative impact that had on the travel industry. I wasn’t going to let terrorism end my dream or taint my track record, and I fought on through very difficult market conditions, even though the odds of success were not in my favor.

Without the offense, we would have never built up a #1 market position and partnerships with National Geographic, Travel Channel, Expedia, Lonely Planet and others. But without the defense, it would have been a lot easier to simply file for bankruptcy in 2001, given the uphill battle that lied ahead.

To me, it is not whether you are “driven to win” or have a “fear of failure” – your startup success needs an equal balance of both. This is where having multiple co-founders may benefit your company to allot different perspectives and tasks for different people working toward the same goal.

Be sure to read my companion piece, Passion Drives Success, for additional insights on the key psychological drivers of entrepreneurial success.


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



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Incubated: How The 500 Startups Accelerator Helps Startups Get Noticed | TechCrunch

Incubated: How The 500 Startups Accelerator Helps Startups Get Noticed  | TechCrunch | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

It's only been around a short three years, but the 500 Startups Accelerator has already cemented its spot as one of the top programs for founders who are  looking to improve their products and reach new users. Now graduating more than 100 new companies per year, the program has historically done a great job of including international startups.

500 Startups runs four accelerator classes each year, running a 12-week program of about 30 companies in each batch. The program operates as an incubator in which startups all work together within the same office space, with access to staff and mentors to help them grow their business.

The accelerator is particularly strong in helping startups to understand their internal metrics and distribution, helping them to market their products and services more efficiently. And it’s got a strong background in helping companies about design and improving their product.

It’s also been great for international companies, many of which get their first exposure to what it’s like to operate in Silicon Valley. The program helps them to understand their audience from a global perspective, and helps them to figure out the best way to reach users around the world.

To find out more, check out the video above (link below), where I talk to partners, mentors, and some founders who have been through the program.


http://techcrunch.com/2014/07/30/incubated-500-startups/




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


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

First of a series of videos on incubators.

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3 Ideas Your Startup Can Steal From Warby Parker

3 Ideas Your Startup Can Steal From Warby Parker | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
By mapping Warb Parker’s success, you’ll find three sweeping, broad ideas your startup can steal and incorporate in its own business plan.

Every so often a company comes along and executes on a business plan so simple that it leaves thousands of would-be entrepreneurs on the sidelines asking one shared question, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Warby Parker, a stylish, high-end eyewear retailer, is one of those companies. Since 2010, the company has sold more than 500,000 pairs of glasses and become an inspiration for other aspiring businesses. 

How’d they do it in such a short amount of time? Their business’ plan was simple: offer a quality product that consumers feel good about buying, all at a price that wildly undercuts the competition. Now, that isn’t exactly a world-shattering idea. But what’s noteworthy, and what your business should pay attention to, is the way Warby Parker has succeeded in bringing its vision to life.

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



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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Startups are all about innovation, doing things differently. This one really nailed it. There are some great things to learn here.

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The Importance of Market Research for Startups

The Importance of Market Research for Startups | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
There’s nothing new under the sun! If there’s one thing you take away from this post, please let it be that! I don’t care how innovative you think your idea is, there is a 99.9% likelihood that someone has thought of it before and tried to do something about it. The iPhone wasn’t the first smartphone and Facebook wasn’t the first social media site to ever exist.

To read the full article, click on the title.

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



Via The Fish Firm II
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Take a look at this link to discover Free Sources of Market Research: https://growthink.infusionsoft.com/go/research/gt4045/

It comes with a free directory of Top Investors. Another excellent Growthink product.

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Mark Solomons's curator insight, January 20, 2014 6:44 PM

a good read year 12, jus as we are about to begin market research...

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Why Should A Startup Have A Social Media Presence?

Why Should A Startup Have A Social Media Presence? | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Social media is extremely essential for a business to expand. The role of social media has become paramount for a business to grow and reach a wider customer base.


There are sectors a business needs to look after – the profile of the company, the products, and the target customers. Social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, have made this humongous job a lot easier. Nowadays, a business even with a little exposure on social media has a great chance of making it big, and increasing its rate of conversion.

Following are the reasons why social media is important for a business:

I. Advertising: A social media platform is the best place where a business can highlight its products and services. The social networking sites can become a free brochure – a storefront – where the business can make its profile look attractive, and post photos and videos of important events to attract potential customers.

Click on the title to read the full article.

Get your Free Business Plan Template here:

http://bit.ly/1aKy7km



Via Martin (Marty) Smith, Marc Kneepkens
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DMA Central's comment, September 19, 2013 10:01 PM
Thanks for sharing! very informative!
Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, October 28, 2013 10:15 AM

It's very obvious that every company needs a social media presence, not just startups. However, if you can build a following for your company before it gets launched, the more chance for success you will have.

Haley Evans's curator insight, November 14, 2013 11:34 AM

Social media is one of the main forms of communications in today’s society. Whether it is between publics, consumers, or businesses, social media is an essential way of communicating with one another.  Business are able to use social media in many different ways to help there company and to expand the company to different publics.  By using social media companies are able to not only reach more publics, but have a better chance at becoming a well-known and successful company in the business and consumer world.  One reason why social media is important for a business is advertising.  In Adventure in Public relations, Guth and Marsh explain how much advertising can be done on social media and how affective it is in comparison to other Medias.  Advertisement on social media can be run twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.  It also shows the best of all types of media. The advertisement can show pictures, video, sound, and text. By using social media to advertise, your business has potential to reach consumers worldwide.  When you are reaching consumers worldwide the chances of your company making it big increase significantly. 

On top of the advertisement being able to reach so many people, it is extremely cost-effective as well.  Using cost-effecting is another important reason why social media is so important.  It can be extremely expensive to print off thousands of flyers and brochures, or to place ads in a newspaper.  A company can launch a new product on a social media site for free!  To add to this by using social media the company is also able to be time efficient.  When advertising or simply working to reach target consumers and publics, it is made easy with social media.  On social media sites a company can advertise their products and launch dates on the screen, if a user likes a link or an add on their page they are able to follow the company and receive more promotions and ads to that company on their other social media sites.  These platforms help to target the business’ audience and consumers more easily and efficiently. Lastly a huge perk of using social media for your company is that you are able to get timely feedback from consumers.  Guth and Marsh explain that it is important to keep and a close following on the feedback that is given from consumers and when the company receives feedback, make sure to respond quickly and efficiently.

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Real Business - Crowdfunding: what it's really all about

Real Business - Crowdfunding: what it's really all about | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Crowdfunding has the potential to become a valuable source of business funding. Can the model break into mainstream finance?
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Some interesting comments in this article. Making it real!


Basics for Crowdfunding: http://www.business-funding-insider.com/crowdfunding-startups.html

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Strategies: Tired of emails? Print is making a big comeback - Denver Business Journal

Strategies: Tired of emails? Print is making a big comeback - Denver Business Journal | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Mark Twain once said, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” This...
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

After Facebook's retreat, this is more interesting news. The digital age has not completely taken over.


Want to get a real book about building your business, for free?

It's excellent, the title is 'Start at the End', by Dave Lavinsky from Growthink.

Here is the link: https://growthink.infusionsoft.com/go/book/gt4045/


Just pay for the shipping and it's yours (listed on Amazon.com for $15.61 + Shipping).


Here are a few endorsements for the book:


"As a business owner, I wish I had read this earlier in my career. Starting at the End makes so much sense, yet it’s difficult to do tactically without this book. This book makes your business plan and dream come to life. Read it, then do it." by Adam Shaivitz, Founder of 'Accelerate Performance Sales Consulting', and Author of 'Selling is Everyone's Business'.


"Absolutely AMAZING!!!!!!!! Book. This is about as good or rather as great as it gets in terms of business education in a book. I love the writing style and the info is quite practical and easy to transfer into your everyday management as a business owner. Don't usually take the time out to comment on products - but for this one I really had to give it full props. BTW - For all those reading - this is a voluntary comment that honestly would have been against my conscience if I did not give feedback. Especially as the book was free... Great Job!!!! by Erica S. (spontaneous post on Start at the End's timeline).


Cheers!

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Startup Professionals Musings: 5 Startup Concepts That are Not the Next Big Thing

Startup Professionals Musings: 5 Startup Concepts That are Not the Next Big Thing | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

I choose to spread this article, real innovation is what is needed.

Get some good advice on funding for startups here: www.Business-Funding-Insider.com


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Growthink Business Plan Template Review

Growthink Business Plan Template Review | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Review of Growthink's Ultimate Business Plan Template by professional business plan reviewers
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Get it done in 8 hours or less, while communicating the essentials that investors are looking for and that will make them respond.

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