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US urged to foster startups

US urged to foster startups | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

When Twitter raised $1.8 billion in one of the largest initial public offerings last year, investors and entrepreneurs celebrated.Twitter’s public reception provided more capital for it to grow and add workers, stimulating the economy. It will create wealth for many more shareholders if the company continues to grow over time. And, coming a year after Facebook’s IPO, Twitter’s successful offering primes investors’ enthusiasm for future tech companies’ offerings.But Twitter’s achievement highlights something missing in the U.S. economy: Why aren’t there more Twitters?

To read the full article and see more charts, click on the title.


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Good point, the government needs to know how and where to stimulate the economy, and what better place to do that than with startups?

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Here are the 11 Startups Women's iLab Discovered Through The MassChallenge Partnership

Here are the 11 Startups Women's iLab Discovered Through The MassChallenge Partnership | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Here’s an impressive fun-fact: David Chang, Co-Founder of Start Tank, has said that over 60% of startups that pitched in the second round of judging in the high-tech lane on the show had at least one female founder. And, at Women’s iLab, we celebrate the rise of female entrepreneurs.

This year Women’s iLab was invited to partner with MassChallenge to discover Boston’s best and brightest female-led startups and compete in its accelerator program. MassChallenge’s four month accelerator program offers mentorship, office space, and education resources, and awards two million dollars in cash awards. With programs in Boston, Israel, and the United Kingdom, MassChallenge is open to anyone in the world, from any stage in the startup and in any industry.

Women’s iLab is one of Boston’s experts on women in tech, and we’re proud to highlight the startups that we’ve chosen.  The selected startups were given the opportunity to work out of the MassChallenge offices leading up to the program and/or be fast-tracked into the second of the three rounds of judging to make it into the program.

Here are the eleven startups chosen by Women’s iLab and their elevator pitches (those marked with an * made it to the MassChallenge Semi-Finals):  read more: click on image or title.





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"I loved working with Growthink. The staff are passionate about their work and committed to what they do in a way that can only be achieved when you love what you do. They helped keep us on track to achieve our planning goals. I am looking forward to continued success working with everyone from Growthink in the future."
- Venus Williams, Professional Tennis Player and CEO, V Starr Interiors


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

From #Beauty to #Breastfeeding, #Education to #Wardrobe management, these startups are made by women and for women (mostly).

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Using Technology To Humanize Finance

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

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

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

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





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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

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How we grew our startup to an early revenue stage

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


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

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

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




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

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

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

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How To Make The Most Of Your Startup Accelerator Program Experience

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

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

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

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




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

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What it takes to be a tech entrepreneur in 2015 - VB News

What it takes to be a tech entrepreneur in 2015 - VB News | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Opinion A handful of technologies have contributed to an explosion of entrepreneurship in the past decade. But it’s not just technology that is empowering people to take fate into their own hands and launch their own businesses.

...

Paying it forward

One of the things that’s critical to making a community work is a pay-it-forward mentality. Panelist Emily Baum, who is the founder of Keyrious, a startup maker of connected luxury items, explained it this way: She compared New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco by the way people respond when you ask them for a favor they aren’t able to deliver on.

In New York, she said, if you ask someone for something they can’t do, they just say no — and they’re often rude about it.

In Chicago, they’ll spend five minutes apologizing for not being able to help you.

In Los Angeles, they’ll cheerfully say, “Sure, I can help you out!” even if they know they have no intention or ability to do so.

But in San Francisco, if you ask someone for something they can’t do for you, they’ll say, “I can’t help you, but let me introduce you to someone who might be able to.” Then they’ll make an introduction — and that person will actually respond. Even if that person can’t help, they’ll make another intro — and so on, until you get connected with someone who can help you.

For that reason, Baum said, she figured she was able to get her company off the ground four times faster in the Silicon Valley area than elsewhere. 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:

'Paying if forward' is only one of the examples given in this great article.

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500 Startups announces $10M TukTuks (ตุ๊กตุ๊ก) Fund

500 Startups announces $10M TukTuks (ตุ๊กตุ๊ก) Fund | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

We’re proud to announce the launch of “500 TukTuks”, a $10M USD micro-fund focused on promising startups, managed by new 500 investing partners Krating Poonpol and Moo Natavudh. Why the name TukTuks? Well they are small , lean, fast, agile, and dangerous. JUST LIKE STARTUPS. We’re excited to take a trip through the winding roads of Thailand to discover smart, badass entrepreneurs.

Why 500 TukTuks?

500 sees an opportunity to invest early and often into the next generation of Thailand’s most promising startups and empower them with best of Silicon Valley’s education, thinking, talent, and money to provide unfair advantage in the local market. 500 will be the first major SV accelerator and seed stage investor in the local Thai market and founders will gain access to our global network of high-value mentors and 2,000+ founders. 500 will look to invest in not just companies that can succeed in the local Asian market, but through its accelerator, find and work with Thai companies that can succeed in the US and global market.

500 TukTuks Management & Investment Team include:

  • Krating Poonpol  – Venture Partner (Thailand)
  • Moo Natavudh – Venture Partner (Thailand)
  • Dave McClure – Founding Partner (Investing & International)
  • Khailee Ng – Managing Partner (SEA)

Who are the local investment partners?

Read more: click on title or image.





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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


Via Arnaud Bonzom
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Meet Some of the Most Promising New York City Startups

Meet Some of the Most Promising New York City Startups | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/xKL4

Techstars just held its Winter 2015 NYC Demo Day, and the companies presenting were all amazing.

The New York entrepreneurial ecosystem is BOOMING. A clear indication of this is in the numbers of new companies that are being created everyday. Not only are a ton of new companies being created, the quality is, in my opinion, getting better every year.  I have a birdseye view on the market, being the CEO of AlleyNYC and having the awesome opportunity to mentor for Techstars.

The other day, Techstars had its Winter 2015 NYC Demo Day, and the companies presenting were all amazing.  The following list of companies along with a brief description is proof that the NYC startup scene is stronger than ever. 

By Jason Saltzman. Read More: http://snip.ly/xKL4




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When you're underwater, and resource-constrained, like most startups, Growthink can be a valuable partner to help you progress in areas like organizing and developing the business plan and pursuing funding.
Their service can be a well-managed extension of your own human resources. The people at Growthink care about their work and are very "hands-on", which is required in this process.
We found Growthink to be strong not only with the assigned projects, but also the extra things needed to get a company off the ground, and not always specifically laid out in the assignment - networking for advisors, funding sources, potential partners. We used them for more than one of our startups.  
- Marc Junkunc, Principal

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

A great list of very creative and successful startups. Find out what makes innovation tick!

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Why Startups Like Uber, Airbnb, and SpaceX Succeed, While Others Fail | Singularity HUB

Why Startups Like Uber, Airbnb, and SpaceX Succeed, While Others Fail | Singularity HUB | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/5kaF

What's most important for the success of your project? Is it the team? Funding? Timing? Idea? Business model? Recently I heard Bill Gross, one of of the most brilliant entrepreneurs of this century, offer a compelling answer—one that changes my views on the formula for success.

This blog is a summary of Bill Gross's excellent talk.

5 Key Success Factors

Bill investigated how 5 key factors affected the success of the 125 companies in his portfolio at Idealab and 125 companies outside of his portfolio.

The factors he considered were:

  1. The Idea: How new is it? Is there a unique truth in the idea? Are there competitive moats you can build around it?
  2. The Team and the Execution: How efficient is the team? How effective is it? How adaptable?
  3. The Business Model: Do you have a clear path to revenues?
  4. The Funding: Can companies that can out money-raise others succeed where the others would fail?
  5. The Timing: Are you too early? Just early? Too late. Right on time? Did that matter a lot?

Of these 250 companies, Bill picked 10 in each category: five companies that turned into billion-dollar companies, and five that everyone thought would be billion-dollar companies but failed.

The question: Which variables accounted more for successes?

Read more here: http://snip.ly/5kaF





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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.
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Robert

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Timing is important. Essential though is execution and the team. You can have the greatest idea or plan, you still need to make it happen.

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Aiming To Bridge The Gap Between Startups & Investors; Entrepreneurship Evangelist Prajakt Raut Launches Applyifi.com - Inc42 Magazine

Aiming To Bridge The Gap Between Startups & Investors; Entrepreneurship Evangelist Prajakt Raut Launches Applyifi.com - Inc42 Magazine | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/G7UT

Aiming to nurture and mentor early stage ventures and to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and potential investors, entrepreneurship evangelist and startup mentor Prajakt Raut has announced the launch of Applyifi.com. It is a private platform for startups and early-stage companies to create a comprehensive and elegant online investor pitch deck and get funded.

Speaking on the launch, Prajakt Raut said, “We want to make it easier for startups to reach potential investors. Also, we wanted to significantly expand the angel investor community in the country by making it possible for senior professionals, recently successful entrepreneurs and HNIs to discover curated and assessed startups that they can co-invest in.”

Read more here: http://snip.ly/G7UT



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

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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This initiative will help investors sort through the multitudes of startups pitching them, and also help the startups make better presentations with a thorough assessment.

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Wgordon3's curator insight, April 12, 11:27 AM

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

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How To Negotiate Successfully With Angel Investors

How To Negotiate Successfully With Angel Investors | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

1. Understand the Nature of Angel Investment

Angel investing is particularly associated with Silicon Valley, but this practice is used all over the world. Angel investors are often already successful entrepreneurs, but they may be anyone with money to invest in a startup. In return for the funds that the investor provides, the angel gets a pre-specified share of the business, in effect owning a percentage of your company.

 

Most angel investors then sell this stake in the business in the future for a profit. However, if the business fails, they don’t get anything in return. Because of the high-risk nature of an angel investment, some investors prefer to take a highly hands on role within the company. They also will need to see proof of your startup’s growth prospects before beginning negotiation.

 

2. Nurture Existing Leads

Treat relationships with potential investors as you would those with any other business leads. If there are any individuals who have shown interest in your company, follow up with them at least once a month to update them on your progress. This way, they’ll feel that they won’t be jumping into an unknown investment.

 

3. Track Results From Day One

Angel investors are interested in measurable results. To attract attention, keep track of all of your data from the get-go. No matter how small your business may be, spend time recording leads, profit, and website traffic. This provides proof of the progress you’ve made from day one.

 

4. Look Beyond Money When Evaluating Investor Value

Naturally, angel investment is attractive to entrepreneurs in need of startup cash. However, it also provides the opportunity for other benefits. Many investors are experienced entrepreneurs who have already learned valuable lessons through trial and error. If they have a financial stake in your company, they will most certainly wish to impart their wisdom to ensure its success. Look at the experience and networking potential of an investor as well as his or her net worth.

 

5. Have a Two-Way Conversation

You will undoubtedly put a great deal of time into refining your pitch for investors, but don’t forget that you’ll be entering a business relationship that’s ideally mutually beneficial. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the investor during your negotiations. Find out more information about the individual’s investment history, resources, industry experience, and expectations. Follow up with references from past beneficiaries and consider all points carefully.

 

An overbearing or shady investor can often be dealt with in the same way that you would deal with a difficult boss, but there’s more at stake in this case. It may be impossible to separate yourself from a difficult investor in the future, so take care to do your research before you enter into any contract.

 

6. Follow Up

Don’t give up if a worthy investor has passed on your offer at this time. Continue updating your records and refining your pitch. It may be that you’ll find more interested parties in the future, or perhaps you’ll get a second chance with your pitch. Finding and negotiating with angel investors isn’t easy, but when done successfully, it can become a mutually beneficial, (and hopefully very lucrative) relationship for both sides.


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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

It's not just a matter of contacting an investor. It's a process and being professional all the way will make the difference.

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, September 24, 2014 10:55 AM

It's all about building relationships. You'll work with an investor for a long time, chose well.

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How to deal with investors: Rajan Anandan, Raghunandan G and K Ganesh share some tips & tricks - The Economic Times

How to deal with investors: Rajan Anandan, Raghunandan G and K Ganesh share some tips & tricks - The Economic Times | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/TmVc


I have invested in 50 startups and a reference from any of their founders makes things easier for me, says Rajan Anandan, MD Google India.
Choose investors wisely and keep them happy till a successful exit. Masters of the startup universe share tips and tricks.

Rajan Anandan; Managing Director, Google India and Angel Investor

"I never have a second meeting with an entrepreneur—one is enough to know whether the startup team and idea is good to build a business. But for that one meeting there is plenty of ground work to ensure a high quality discussion with a concrete outcome .

Choose investors wisely and keep them happy till a successful exit. Masters of the startup universe share tips and tricks. Read more here: http://snip.ly/TmVc




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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:

Advice from top Indian entrepreneurs in the Indian Economic Times. Worth reading, comes from experience.

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7 startup early warning signs to watch for

7 startup early warning signs to watch for | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/95jq

You’ve probably heard talk of startups pivoting. Conventional wisdom is that among the reasons for startups to effect a change of direction is an acknowledgement that things may not be going quite to plan. The question for the startup founder is when should that realization set in? Let us look at seven early warning signs you should pay attention to – the fat lady may not be signing just yet but chances are she’s waiting in the wings clearing her throat.

  1. Stuck on the sales plateau: The initial wins came easily enough – your immediate network and references liked what they heard from you and signed up but over the last few quarters it seems like new customers are getting harder and harder to find. Another version of this malaise is the loss of older customers through the revolving door at the same rate as the entry of new customers. The net impact is a monthly billing figure that refuses to shift into higher gear.

Read more: http://snip.ly/95jq



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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, Metroforce

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Written from experience this article warns for the pitfalls that #startups face when trying to get into a higher gear, but facing running out of steam.

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These Are The Top 20 US Accelerators | TechCrunch

These Are The Top 20 US Accelerators  |  TechCrunch | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/iBlz

By Yael Hochberg

Startup accelerators have become a prominent feature of the tech landscape in recent years, with more and more programs popping up every month.

In many ways, they have become a rite of passage for thousands of entrepreneurs who apply to and join programs annually.

Yet, with so many programs to choose from, and little publicly available data on each program, it can be hard for entrepreneurs to figure out which programs are most effective and which specific program would be the best fit to help launch their startup. We founded the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project with this challenge for entrepreneurs in mind. Read more: http://snip.ly/iBlz




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"No matter how small a company may be, we believe that Growthink’s standard of excellence does not change from one client to the other and we would certainly welcome the opportunity to work with Melissa and her colleagues again."
Shannon Lindsay
Publisher
Southern Beauty Magazine

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

#Startup #Accelerators are everywhere now. Here's the list with the top 20.

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These startups from around the world are innovating their way to a better world

These startups from around the world are innovating their way to a better world | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Innovative solutions to fundamental problems.

Over the past week, 1776, a startup incubator focused on public good brought startups from 16 cities in 11 countries to Washington D.C. to compete in the Challenge Festival.

The week-long startup competition focused on four areas of public innovation: education, energy & sustainability, health, and transportation.

Unlike other well-known incubators and seed funds, 1776 solely funds startups that are focused on making a major impact in heavily regulated industries.

At the Challenge Festival, startups like as BaseTrace, which “uses DNA-based tracers to track where industrial fluids are going in large, complex environments” and Reliefwatch, a cloud-based system that uses smartphone technology to track inventory and diseases for healthcare organisations in the developing world, battled it out on stage for a grand prize of $US150,000 in investment.

Twiga Fruits, a Kenya-based startup that builds fair and sustainable distribution systems to export fresh fruit from the country without going through a middleman. The company aims to treat farmers fairly while helping to distribute their goods to the widest network. Twiga Fruits is currently Kenya’s leading exporter of bananas, pineapples and avocados.

Read more: click image or title.




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Impressive list and creative ideas from entrepreneurs allover the world making a difference.

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6 Reasons Investors Are Drooling Over Subscription-Based Startups

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

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Charting A Path From Seed To A Competitive Series A Round

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

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

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


...

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

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

Read more: click image or title.



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

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


Craig Heppell
Nambour, Queensland

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

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

Developing seed techs ... 

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500 Startups Accelerator Announces Its Thirteenth Batch Of Companies

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

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

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

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

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




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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

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

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Sneaky Questions Early-Stage VCs Ask Founders

Sneaky Questions Early-Stage VCs Ask Founders | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

During conversations with VCs, entrepreneurs will often encounter a few sneaky questions that have nothing to do with their actual businesses today. Many of these are attempts by investors to learn something specific that they don’t want to ask directly, and there’s usually some kind of hidden meaning behind a given question. Some VCs may just be fishing for more information, but many are looking for specific “right” answers.

It’s a funny dance, and while experienced entrepreneurs know what’s going on and how to respond, these questions can easily trip up a founder going through the fundraise process for the first time.

Below are some examples and suggested responses. Of course, it’s always best to be honest and authentic, so this is not a proposed script so much as additional context to incorporate into your own thinking. Read more: click on title or image.



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

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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Dealing with VC's is quite a challenge. They see many startups and only pick the most promising for another conversation. The questions they ask are like probes going into your sense of doing business. Everything you say tells them a story. Since they do this for a living they are very well versed in asking the right questions. You need to find the right answers. This article explains some of their thought processes.

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Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, April 29, 7:49 PM

Anticipating the questions from your investors (VC's in this article) will create a huge advantage in your funding process. Understand what they are looking for and what their questions mean.

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Xiaomi Betting Big On Small Startups; Plans To Invest In More Than 100 Of Them | Androidheadlines.com

Xiaomi Betting Big On Small Startups; Plans To Invest In More Than 100 Of Them | Androidheadlines.com | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/Jdd8

Xiaomi Inc., headquartered in Beijing, China, may not be the most easily recognizable brand in the US, but it is the world's 3rd largest smartphone OEM aftter Apple and Samsung, and the biggest in China, having recently surpassed Samsung in that market. For the uninitiated, Xiaomi designs, develops and sells not only smartphones, but mobile apps, accessories and smart consumer electronics. It was only last year, that they ventured out of their home base in China and immediately proved to be a big hitin other Asian markets most notably, in India. Last December, Xiaomi became the world’s most valuable technology start-up after it received US$1.1 billion funding from investors, making it a $46 billion company. US-China investment firm GGV Capital has also invested in three different Xiaomi-backed companies since and is actively funding Xiaomi-backed firms as part of its Internet-of-Things bet.

However, Xiaomi has no plans to sit on its laurels and plans to move full steam ahead in its quest to become what their CEO Lei Jun calls an “ecosystem empire”. But even though they’ve grown exponentially over the past few years, they are increasingly facing challenges on their home turf from domestic technology companies like LeTV, that are betting big in the smart devices business.

Earlier this week, when Xiaomi backed robotics company Ninebot who acquired Segway in an acquisition, it was a big step for Xiaomi because it marked the first time one of their group companies had bought a globally recognized brand. Talking about that acquisition and his plans for Xiaomi going forward, the company CEO Mr. Lei Jun, while interacting with reporters, said that Xiaomi wasn’t concerned about challenges coming from their hardware competitors. Its strategy, he said, is to grow the company into an “ecosystem empire” with the focus being on software that can link up anything, anywhere. The company already offers smart products including, but not limited to smart bulbs, smart air purifiers, smart televisions etc. Now with new-found financial muscle, Xiaomi can radically increase its already burgeoning product portfolio simply by investing in new partners in all corners of the Internet-of-Things industry. With a view to achieving those goals, Xiaomi he says, has already invested in more than 20 startups and plans to invest in a hundred more and help them achieve growth, said Mr. Lei Jun.

By Kishalaya KunduIntern Writer



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Rather than the typical client/vendor relationship I'm used to, Growthink has been more like a strategic partner and trusted advisor. Not only did they provide me with a dynamic business plan but they have given me invaluable advice and feedback along the way. They have exceeded my expectations in every way possible during this exciting but uncertain time of starting & ultimately growing my business.  
- Jerry D. Erickson, President/CEO


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Xiaomi is becoming a powerhouse in Asia. They profit margins are much lower than Apple's, but they are  building and gaining market share.

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

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

http://snip.ly/5f9N


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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

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

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

http://snip.ly/QxSK


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

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

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

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




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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

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Hey, entrepreneurs: Get a job | VentureBeat | Entrepreneur | by Mark Weiner, Centrify

Hey, entrepreneurs: Get a job | VentureBeat | Entrepreneur | by Mark Weiner, Centrify | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/YN6M

Why you should be an employee in Silicon Valley before you become an entrepreneur.

Most young entrepreneurs today want to bypass the whole employment thing and go straight to being the boss. Like their heroes — Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Sergey Brin, et al — they imagine they can change the world without any on-the-job training.

The reality, of course, is that 99.99 percent of young entrepreneurs aren’t in the same league as those guys. And for people like that, there are a number of very good reasons for pressing pause on the entrepreneurial dream, at least for a few years, to gain the invaluable experience of actually working at a Silicon Valley company.

Over the course of my career, I’ve held leadership positions at seven different startups, six of which had successful exits. Here’s my advice to the next generation of startup founders.

Don’t jump into entrepreneurship right away. Your first step should be to join a growing company in Silicon Valley. This is where you can build your network, gain leadership experience, and really learn how the startup model works. Yes, entrepreneurship is your ultimate goal. But beforehand, take some time to map out how you’re going to get there. Read more: http://snip.ly/YN6M


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Gathering experience in different functions is definitely a good idea. Also, most entrepreneurs lean more to either being technical or an administrator. Leadership does not come out of thin air. It grows with experience.

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The Top 20 Start-Up Accelerators in the U.S. - HBR

The Top 20 Start-Up Accelerators in the U.S. - HBR | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/8FNi

A quantitative ranking.

Start-up accelerators have become a prominent feature of the entrepreneurship landscape in recent years. New programs appear nearly every month, and in many ways, accelerator participation has become a rite of passage for budding entrepreneurs. Yet, with the proliferation of programs, the newness of the phenomena, and little to no publicly available data on outcomes for the programs and affiliated start-ups, it is hard for entrepreneurs to determine which programs are most effective and, more importantly, which specific program would be the best fit for their particular start-up’s goals. With this challenge in mind, we set out over the last few years to both foster conversation about the accelerator model, and help entrepreneurs gain visibility into the strengths of individual programs.

To begin, our research enterprise the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project releases an annual ranking of accelerator programs. To construct these rankings, we collect detailed, confidential data directly from accelerator programs. We then calculate quantitative measures to better understand how programs stack up on several important outcomes, and supplement those measures with a broad survey of each accelerator’s graduates. As a non-commercial, academic-based enterprise, we provide a neutral ground for accelerators to share confidential data, which allows us in return to provide the community with rank-based benchmarking and aggregate statistics without revealing confidential information about individual start-ups. Read more here: http://snip.ly/8FNi



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Hi Dave, (Growthink CEO)

You are a wonder. Your Financial Business Modelling put in the Excel format is an excellent way to make entrepreneurs understand the basic concept of finances. Your direct involvement and assistance in my case is very much appreciated.


Khai Levinh
Managing Director
Media Blender

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#Accelerators are doing a great job everywhere. Take advantage of them.

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How to Really Get Startup Seed Funding - Inc.

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

http://snip.ly/swQS


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


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

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

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

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


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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 plans. 
- Adam Unger, Principal

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Good article on Inc.

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