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What Investors Want - Visible.vc

What Investors Want - Visible.vc | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Figuring out what a VC investor wants is crucial for the success of your startup fundraising round.

With the number of places available to gather information on how VCs invest – Mattermark and CB Insights on the paid side, Crunchbase and Angelllist for the burn conscious – it is no longer difficult to understand who you should be trying to raise money from.

Want to know who most prolific early stage FinTech investors are, for example? LMGTFY…the first result from CB Insights gives you a good starting point. Great! So it looks like 500Startups is very active in the space but they are a big firm, who should I be reaching out to there? Well…a second Google search might lead to something like this. Read more: click image or title.



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or check out the Growthink product line to get funded by VC's or angel investors: http://www.business-funding-insider.com/growthink-products.html


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

How to approach the right #investor or #VC.

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, January 23, 5:35 PM

Learn about the mindset of #VC's and how to approach them.

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$7.3 billion invested in Indian startups in three quarters of 2015

$7.3 billion invested in Indian startups in three quarters of 2015 | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

In the past nine months, angel investors and venture capitalists have been active. Between Jan-Sept 2015, $7.3 billion has been invested across 639 deals.

Is the number of startups being funded in India enough for the country’s ambition?

While the highest number of deals for a given month in India was 99, in the US there were 1200 deals in Q2 of 2015. According to PwC and National Venture Capital Association historical data, in Q3 2015 there was a dip in terms of the number of companies being funded in the US, though the invested dollar amount didn’t take that much hit.

And in the US, the amount invested in Q2 2015 was the highest since Q4 of 2000. Q3 2015 was down by 5 percent in terms of money poured in startups in early and late stage deals. Read more: click image or title.



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



Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#India is moving up in the #startup world. Even Modi sees the potential, as stated in the article.

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AngelList gets $400M from China's CSC Venture Capital for early-stage startup investments | VentureBeat | Deals | by Michael de Waal-Montgomery

AngelList gets $400M from China's CSC Venture Capital for early-stage startup investments | VentureBeat | Deals | by Michael de Waal-Montgomery | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Funding platform AngelList is set to announce a deal with China-based private equity firm CSC Venture Capital on Monday that will see it birth a new $400 million fund for early-stage startup investments, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The deal is expected to be the “largest single pool of funds devoted to early-stage startups — ever,” the WSJ reported. Beyond that, it could also be the “largest-ever single investment by a Chinese private-equity firm in a U.S. fund.”

CSC has more than $12 billion under management, and just raised $2 billion through a listing on China’s stock market in March. Prior to this deal, AngelList had raised a total of $205 million — or about half the amount represented by the new funds.

The platform brings together angel investors who band together to back early-stage startups in syndicates, typically not much larger than $300,000 per round. According to the report, AngelList will inject about $20 million from the new fund in the first year, moving up to $50 million per year thereafter.

Here’s what it really boils down to: Read more: click image or title.



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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Massive injection of #seedfunding capital from a Chinese fund. The early #startup scene gets yet another fund to work with.

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Avoid the Seed-Funding Surge Trap With These 8 Tips

Avoid the Seed-Funding Surge Trap With These 8 Tips | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
A seasoned investor provides tips for startups to dodge the challenges created by the increasing availability of seed funding.

"Finding startup funding is easy."

Of course, anyone who has ever been involved with a startup knows that this is not something you would typically hear from founders. Finding credible investors with the resources to invest -- and convincing them to commit -- continues to be a time- and resource-consuming challenge for all startups.

Related: 4 Options for Raising Capital From Friends, Investors or Even the Feds

Times are changing, however, and so is the funding environment for startups.

While most startups will be self-funded by its founders or the founder's immediate family and friends, some seek and accept third party "seed funding," an investment at the very early stages of a company.

Seed investing is risky, and most seed investors understand that seven of 10 startup investments will ultimately fail. They also understand, however, that it only takes one massive startup success to make you rich.

Therefore, seed investors understand that they need to have "skin in the game" to find successes and, maybe more important, to avoid the pitfall of "FOMO," or "fear of missing out" on the next big startup success. 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:

The funding process is challenging, to say the least. There are ways to control the process and stay on top, not at the mercy of investors. Take a look at this: http://bit.ly/1Lr9RrI

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Besomebody raised $1M to inspire people to do what they love

Besomebody raised $1M to inspire people to do what they love | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

t all started with a hashtag. Then, it became a traveler blog. This week, Besomebodyannounced it raised another million dollars to be, what they call, “the fastest growing and farthest reaching Motivational Movement in the world.”

Besomebody is a marketplace for people who are looking for “passionaries,” also known in plain English as mentors or teachers, to give them lessons and inspiration, even in some unconventional fields like dirt-bike riding and rapping.

“I wanted to create a new path to learn. In our platform you can learn what you want,” said founder and CEO Kash Shaikh.

Shaikh told VentureBeat that he started sharing the hashtag on Twitter back in 2009 along with inspirational messages and his following started growing. Some of those followers suggested a blog, so he started traveling and writing about his experiences.

“I’ve been in countries were they don’t speak english, but they understand what ‘be somebody’ means,” he said.

For the CEO, Besomebody solves the common dilemma between doing what you love and doing something that came earn you some income. He said that some top teachers are earning as much as $3,000 a month, “for teaching what they love to do. 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


Via Justin Jones, OneTechGirl
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great initiative: doing what you love and getting paid for it. It doesn't get any better.

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Mohammed Ayub's curator insight, July 30, 2015 2:42 AM

Great initiative and much respect to your vision..

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

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

http://snip.ly/5f9N


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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

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

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

http://snip.ly/RcwY


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

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

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

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



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

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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

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Startups, A Rich Man’s Game | TechCrunch

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

http://snip.ly/aWLW

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

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

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



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

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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

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Techstars Closes $150 Million Fund for Early-Stage Investments - WSJ

http://snip.ly/lgpc  By Yuliya Chernova

Techstars closed a $150 million early-stage fund, a much larger pool of money than it previously had, that will enable the firm to capitalize on the global network of startup founders and advisers it has built out in recent years.

Techstars launched its first startup accelerator in Boulder, Colo., in 2007. Since then it has spread around the country and internationally. Nearly 500 startups have gone through its programs. (Venture Capital Dispatch recently looked at the performance of these companies.)

Its accelerator graduates went on to raise about $1.1 billion in venture capital. Techstars’ larger network, including the companies in which its 1,500 advisers have been involved, raised even more capital.

The network, for example, includes Uber Technologies Inc., the private company with the most venture capital ever raised, at $2.8 billion. Early Uber employee Ryan Graves was a mentor at Techstars advising its accelerator startups. Techstars invested in one of Uber’s earliest rounds in 2009 through the connection with Mr. Graves, according to Techstars co-founder and Managing Director David Cohen.

But the firm didn’t have much money to capitalize on the successes. Its 2009 fund was just $5 million, and a 2012 second fund was $30 million. The Uber investment came out of the first fund, according to Mr. Cohen. He called the first fund a “rocket ship,” but declined to specify return figures for either fund. Read more here: http://snip.ly/lgpc


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

Growthink helped me with two business plans. I liked working with Anna Vitale because she was a professional yet personable and that gave me a sense of trust. Keep up the good work.”


Phil Marcu

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Techstars’ runs accelerator programs in 11 U.S. cities, as well as in London and Berlin. It also has employees in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Landis Thompson's curator insight, February 4, 2015 1:54 PM

...and Incubators are on the rise!

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How 'venture builders' are changing the startup model | VentureBeat | Business | by Ali Diallo, Media Investment Tech Ventures

How 'venture builders' are changing the startup model | VentureBeat | Business | by Ali Diallo, Media Investment Tech Ventures | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/qLPH

The venture-building philosophy is a rising movement in the tech and startup industries, both in the U.S. and internationally.

If you haven’t yet heard of venture-builders — also called tech studios, startup factories, or venture production studios — let me introduce them to you: They’re organizations that build companies using their own ideas and resources.

Unlike incubators and accelerators, venture builders don’t take any applications, nor do they run any sort of competitive program that culminates in a Demo Day. Instead, they pull business ideas from within their own network of resources and assign internal teams to develop them (engineers, advisors, business developers, sales managers, etc.).

You’ll want to get used to the idea because we’re going to see a lot more venture-building organizations emerging. Read more here:

http://snip.ly/qLPH


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

"With Growthink on your side, you are in a win-win situation. They placed themselves in my situation and analyzed my business as if it were their own business. I could never recommend any firm but Growthink to provide business planning services at this level of quality."
Prem K. Kapani, CEO

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

A new way of creating new business is growing from the startup concept. Taking all of the best aspects together and putting them in very focused setups is a great idea. It would be a great place to work before starting your own startup or small business. So much to learn. Also the perfect place to launch your own idea from, all the resources and support are right there.

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20 Questions You Can Ask to Validate Your Startup Idea

20 Questions You Can Ask to Validate Your Startup Idea | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/JuIl

Before you commit significant time, money or other resources to launch, take this test.

Do you have a million-dollar idea in your head, just waiting to be acted upon? Or will it be a complete bust -- an idea with no actual potential for return?
This question is one that stops many would-be entrepreneurs in their tracks before they even take the chance and launch their potential business ventures. Fortunately, it is possible to make a more educated guess on your idea’s likelihood of success or failure by taking the time to validate your idea before moving forward with it.
Here are 20 questions you can ask to validate your startup idea -- before you commit significant time, money or other resources to its launch:

More here: http://snip.ly/JuIl



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

"I have so much gratitude in my soul right now. Growthink has helped me to come a long way since I've found the company and started making my business plan.
I'm counting my blessings every day."
Best Regards,
Trevor Houlihan

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The ultimate guide to pricing your company for a fundraise (Or, how much is too much?) | VentureBeat | Entrepreneur | by Armando Biondi, AdEspresso

The ultimate guide to pricing your company for a fundraise (Or, how much is too much?) | VentureBeat | Entrepreneur | by Armando Biondi, AdEspresso | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Your company’s valuation is probably the single most important number in your whole fundraising story.

Your company’s valuation is probably the single most important number in your whole fundraising story.
Sure, you need to have some early traction, you need to have a product out there and a convincing enough team; but those are prerequisites. Don’t even go into a fundraising conversation if you don’t have them, and much has been written about what people look for nowadays.
But valuation? That’s where you make or break the conversation. If yours is too high, potential investors will prioritize other opportunities over yours; if it’s too low, they will ask themselves what’s wrong.
If the valuation you’re asking for is completely off the chart, that’s a huge red flag and it signals that you have little or no idea what you’re talking about (and leaves investors wondering what other things you don’t have an idea about). Plus, if you look for answers online, the average one you’ll get is: “it depends.” Yeah, thanks.
So let me break down what valuation you should target based on the stage you’re in, which is, incidentally, also what the average investor expects to hear based on the valuation of the company you give them:
Up to $1 million valuation: This is probably what you should be aiming for if it’s the first external money and/or your first company and/or you’re taking money from friends and family, and/or you barely have a prototype (or a landing page and/or a few thousands in users/revenue). This is also what you’ll get if you’re selected for an accelerator program (or a little less in some cases, a little more in others). Also consider that U.S. people will be ok buying at around $1M while the rest of the world will be a bit more comfortable buying at around $500K.
$1-3 million valuation: This is a price you should use to incentivize and reward the early movers so you can build momentum on the fundraising. This might mean the first $100,000-250,000 of angel investors not directly related to your friends and family network, or the network of angels surrounding the accelerator (if you joined one). To justify this valuation, you don’t really need anything more than the requirements of the previous stage, just the fact that somebody else — besides you, your cofounders, and your dog — believes in what you’re doing enough to throw some money at you. It’s called “social proof.”
$3–6 million valuation: At this price you are expected to not only have a product out there but also to have 5-20 percent month-over-month growth rate for at least 3-6 months. Use this rule of thumb: Add $1million to the valuation for every 5 percent of traction month-over-month you’re gaining. If you have a previous success under your belt, you’ll be able to raise at this valuation with less validation, but do remember that this is pretty much the range at which every startup in the world tries to raise the first $500,000-750,000.
$6–9 million valuation: If you’re a Y Combinator company nowadays, you can pretty much raise at this price with the same validation and metrics as in the previous category, or less. But if you’re not, this is where you can go with around 6 to 12 months of operational data plus 10 to 25 percent of month-over-month growth. At this point, traction is not enough though; absolute numbers become important. Investors will expect you to have $30,000-50,000 per month in revenue or more, and will usually be fine in buying at a valuation 100X your monthly revenue or 8X-9X your yearly revenue. Your target raise should be $1–2 million.
$9-12 million valuation: Now things start to become interesting. For this price, you’re not expected to be the scrappy startup anymore; you’re expected to be an actual company. You’ll need an established product out there, 12-18 months of operational data, and some interesting absolute numbers paired with a consistent month-over-month growth rate (the bigger the growth is, the smaller the absolute numbers need to be). But, more importantly, people will want to take a look at the cost structure, how you managed it, and how close you are to profitability. Your target raise should be $2–3 million.
$12–15 million valuation: To raise money at this point, the main question for which you need a very good answer is: “How do you intend to grow to 10 to 20 times the valuation investors are paying for right now?” So, besides the already-mentioned elements, what becomes really important is the go-to-market strategy you’re already executing to gain market share, and to go from initial traction to initial scale. “What are the customer lifetime value (LTV) and customer acquisition cost (CAC) calculations?” is another typical question. Know the answer. Your target raise should be $3–5 million.
The overall issue is that the average founder is as lousy at pricing his own company as he is at pricing his own product. The two kinds of valuations aren’t that different. They’re both sales — one is a specific product and the other is a whole company. In the same way the price of a product is a proxy for its perceived value (you expect something more expensive to be more valuable, after all), the price of your company is a proxy for the expected underlying value (ergo the metrics it’s generating). Be very aware of that and deviate from the framework at your own risk.
Of course, caveats apply:
A) You can optimize for speed or valuation; it’s very hard, if not impossible, to do both.
B) The spread between investors from the U.S. and from the rest of the world is real, so take into consideration where your target investor is from.
C) Different investors will want different things; the earlier ones will be more valuation-sensitive, while the later ones will be more ownership-sensitive.
D) Valuation really is a promise; to go the next stage, you have to materialize the current one. Unless you’re an outlier. If that’s the case, just feel free to ignore every single word I’ve said so far.
By Armando Biondi. He is cofounder and COO of AdEspresso, a Saas Solution for Facebook Ads Optimization. He previously cofounded five other tech and non-tech companies. He’s also an angel investor in Mattermark and 14 more companies. He’s also part of the 500 Startups network, and is an occasional mentor.


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


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Valuations are essential in funding negotiations.

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Pitch, Please: 14 Must-Read Pitch Lessons Every Startup Founder Should Know

Pitch, Please: 14 Must-Read Pitch Lessons Every Startup Founder Should Know | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

A few reasons you won’t raise money:

  1. Your business isn’t the right fit for VC (which is totally OK!)
  2. You business could be interesting to VC, but you have nothing yet. Stop pitching, and focus on building a solid business that solves a big problem, getting customers, and assembling a great team.
  3. You’re not talking to the right investors, or you may live in a city without a mature ecosystem that supports early stage companies, or…..
  4. Your pitch sucks, and you can’t tell your story on stage or on the fly.  

I can help with the last one.

Building a great business is more important than a great pitch, but if you don’t know how to tell your story, you probably don’t understand what is most interesting about your business. This problem affects more than just fundraising.

The hardest part about pitching is that it’s not about you. It’s a delicate balance between being authentically who you are, but more so focusing on what is important to your audience. This is what I help founders understand. 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



Via marcduke
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Another great article on how to pitch and the reasons VC's want to see to #finance you.

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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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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, October 19, 2015 4:44 PM

You still need your documents, such as #BusinessPlan.

SageRave of Get Custom Content's curator insight, October 19, 2015 5:54 PM

Need  free business plan template?

Howard Jacobson's curator insight, October 22, 2015 5:53 AM

Pitch decks are always a challenge - what do we put in, what do we leave out, what does the potential investor want to see? - this article is a good insight and provides great examples from famous companies

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Ashton Kutcher explains his 3 rules of investing - Business Insider

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

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




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

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Via High Above the Clouds
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

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3 Ways to Find the Right Investor for Your Business

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

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


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Watch Out for These 9 Seed Funding Gotchas

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

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

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

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




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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

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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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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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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 Smart Way to Start a Successful Company While Keeping Your Job

The Smart Way to Start a Successful Company While Keeping Your Job | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/16Zh

Moonlighting isn't your only option.

Most aspiring entrepreneurs face a dilemma. They want to start a new business but they don't want to give up their jobs--and the security of their paychecks--until they absolutely have to. On the other hand, launching a successful company is consuming enough without combining it with full-time employment.

What do you do? Most either sacrifice sleep and family time while they struggle to serve two masters, or they leave their jobs and live on savings, spouses, parents, or investment money until the company begins generating revenues.

There may be a third option: Create something your company needs and make your employer your first customer. That approach worked beautifully for serial entrepreneur Steve Elliott when he founded his newest company, agile software development tool AgileCraft.

http://snip.ly/16Zh



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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great idea!

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How to Determine the Value of Your Pre-Revenue Startup

How to Determine the Value of Your Pre-Revenue Startup | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/XEGo

Here are the formulas and turns of phrase the experts use to determine what your work is worth.

Good news: Despite the perception that we in the VC world employ armies of analysts working behind the scenes and prepping us to beat down the valuation expectations of poorly prepared entrepreneurs, nothing could be further from the truth.

Bad news: Much like trading baseball cards, there is no science to pre-revenue valuations. It all comes down to a negotiation. However, there are some basic guidelines for founders that can help both sides come up with a figure that works for everyone.

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


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

Growthink helped me with two business plans. I liked working with Anna Vitale because she was a professional yet personable and that gave me a sense of trust. Keep up the good work.”


Phil Marcu

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

In order to deal with investors you need to learn the ways they work.

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The Seed Bubble Has Popped

The Seed Bubble Has Popped | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

New data published today by Mattermark CEO and co-founder Danielle Morrill concerning the venture capital industry paints a relatively stiff picture: Seed rounds are taking it on the chin.

More precisely, according to Mattermark, the number of seed rounds in 2014 fell compared to 2013, and the trend is accelerating. The volume of seed deals — not counting a few corporate categories like biotechnology — had grown every year from at least 2005 to 2013: click here to see the graphs in original article.

Ouch. Bear in mind that the total dollar amount of money flowing into seed deals barely declined, so, of course, we are seeing the average seed deal increase.

All this should square with your gut. It has felt for some time that the number of yahoos picking up a million dollars to build flipmeat for Yahoo has been declining. At the same time, the seed round your friend raised was almost a Series A. The data agrees.

So has the seed bubble popped? I think it’s fair to say that it has despite the only slight decline in the total dollar amount that is being invested at the level. That’s due to the fact that we’ve become too loose with what counts as a seed round. So if we used an older measuring stick, the downtick would be more accelerated.

It’s up to you to decide what the impact will be of the dramatically slowing seed deal flow. I think it could slightly ease hiring tensions in hot markets, but that would be only a minor benefit.

Is this indicative that the  larger technology inflation — or “bubble” in the parlance of some — is headed for a crash? Look at that Series A line in the second chart. It seems like the music will play a little longer.

 

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

"The Growthink team took our thoughts and ideas and transformed them into a well researched, operationally sound, top notch business plan. Most importantly, they kept us involved in the process and challenged us to build a better business model. I have and would recommend Growthink to any business."
 John Gumersell Jr., Founder


Via marcduke
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

It looks like we're back to normal levels for seed funding.

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The personal costs of raising money | VentureBeat | Entrepreneur | by Francisco Dao, 50Kings

The personal costs of raising money | VentureBeat | Entrepreneur | by Francisco Dao, 50Kings | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/7bMn

In the tech industry, we celebrate raising money as a victory second only to that of a successful exit. But there's a huge downside to raising money that isn't often discussed.

And while I recognize that venture capital is often an unavoidable requirement for growing a business, most entrepreneurs, and the tech community at large — who often seem to push people into raising VC — would be better served viewing it as a necessary evil as opposed to an absolute win.

I’m sure you’ve heard the horror stories of entrepreneurs getting fired from their companies by their VCs, but most of those stories only tell the tale of the final straw. Have you ever thought about all the intermediate steps and indignities that came before the firing? Before those entrepreneurs signed the first term sheet, whatever they were working on was theirs and theirs alone. If you think about it, it’s a long journey from owning it all to getting fired from your dream. That’s a journey that is rarely discussed and not well understood.


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"I have so much gratitude in my soul right now. Growthink has helped me to come a long way since I've found the company and started making my business plan.
I'm counting my blessings every day."
Best Regards,
Trevor Houlihan



Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Keep your independence or work for the VC's? Big question.

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