Pitch it!
Follow
Find
23.1K views | +5 today
 
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Competitive Edge
onto Pitch it!
Scoop.it!

5 Intriguing New Startups In Silicon Valley

5 Intriguing New Startups In Silicon Valley | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Y Combinator Demo Day took place today at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. The room was packed with hundreds of investors, entrepreneurs and members of the press trying to find the next billion-dollar startup.

Startup darlings Airbnb and Dropbox are Y Combinator alumni, for example.

Zynga founder Mark Pincus, SV Angel's Ron Conway, CrunchFund's Michael Arrington, 500 Startups' Dave McClure, early Facebook employee Andrew McCollum, and The Winklevoss twins all attended.

67 startups gave 2.5-minute presentations. Here is the first batch of rapid-fire pitches that stood out:

BatteryOS:  "You’ve never actually charged a battery to 100%," the founder explained to the audience. His logic: When a battery charges to near-completion, it begins to degrade. A black gunk begins to form in the battery, which eventually destroys it. BatteryOS says it's found a way to charge batteries all the way up without that residue forming. It claims that if Chevy Volt used its product, the car's battery would last eight years longer.  

"We can change every lithium ion battery on this earth and improve it," the founder said. His company has already signed a deal to ship 20,000 of its batteries.

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



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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Wow, great article, great solutions.

more...
Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, March 26, 2014 8:48 AM

Startups come up with amazing solutions. Read the whole article to see all five.

It proves again that human creativity is not dead, and solutions can be found for many problems, even if you didn't know about them.

Pitch it!
Startups, Entrepreneurs, be better informed before you 'Pitch it'!
Curated by Marc Kneepkens
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

8 Questions To Help Set Expectations With Investors

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

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

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

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



Need funding?

Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km
"The Growthink group was very easy to work with and took the time to understand our business and needs carefully.  I was surprised at how quickly they picked up the nuances of our business and were able to communicate our thoughts into an organized structure that has helped jump start our future plan."
Adam Unger
Principal
Art Asylum

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

YC Fellowship

Ten years ago, Paul Graham said there could be ten times as many startups if more people realized they could try. Thanks to the work he, Jessica, Trevor and Robert helped do, that’s become true.

We think there is still room for another ten-fold increase in the number of (good) startups. But even now, a lot of good founders never get started because they can’t scrape together a relatively small sum of money at the idea stage.

So we’re going to try a new experiment, which we’re calling the YC Fellowship. This is targeted at teams that are very, very early. Read more: click title.





Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km
"I wanted to take a moment to thank-you and your team for the incredible job on the Redux business plan. It was an absolute breeze to work with you and would look forward to working with you again in the future."
Hannah Kirby
Owner Redux Beverages, LLC

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Another initiative to give the best ideas a chance to get started. Even though it's a small budget, it may make a huge difference for some startups to take off. Take a look for more information.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

How the Top VCs Want to Be Pitched

How the Top VCs Want to Be Pitched | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Five top guys tell you exactly what they want to hear -- and what they don't.

When you’re preparing to pitch to a venture capitalist, you'll likely look for resources that tell you what constitutes a great pitch. And, sure, you'll find many expert tips on the best and most effective pitches. But have you stopped to think what the VCs themselves think?

Aren't the best people to tell you what a really good pitch comprises the VCs themselves?

Because they are the people at the receiving end who get pitched all the time from entrepreneurs, here are five top venture capitalists baring all about what will make them sit up and take notice. Read more: click image or title.




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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Find out what top VC's such as Dave McClure, Marc Andreessen and Paul Graham have to say about how to pitch your startup.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

7 Lessons from 500, YC, Angelpad alum — How to Prepare For Any Accelerator Interview

7 Lessons from 500, YC, Angelpad alum — How to Prepare For Any Accelerator Interview | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

This month 500 Startups and General Assembly teamed up to hold a pre-accelerator program. Last week, we had our mini Demo Day:

I led the final week of the program where, in addition to 60-second pitch workshops, Angel.co profile show-and-tell, and pitch deck review sessions, I organized mock accelerator interviews.

To help me, I called a few of my friends*, Ryan Jackson of Paid and Andrew Norris of Taplytics, both YCombinator alums, Mason Blake at UpCounsel and Tristan Pollock of Storefront (now EIR @500) who went through AngelPad, and Selcuk Atli and me from 500Startups (both of us with YC backgrounds from Boostable/inDinero).

We started with a panel introducing ourselves and the accelerator processes: YC does 10 minute interviews with a few partners and cares more about founders than ideas; 500 does a deeper dive over 20–30 min and focuses on people and growth. With Angelpad, you’ll be talking to Thomas and Carine, and there will be fewer companies in your cohort. Each pre-accelerator company then had a 5-minute mock interview with us.

Despite the differences between us and our accelerators, the six of us noticed very similar patterns in the founders. The following mistakes to avoid and advice will help you prepare for any accelerator interview (and some investor conversations, too!)

Read more: click image or title.




Need funding?

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



Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Creating a good pitch, whether it is for an accelerator program or for any round of funding, can be challenging. There are a few guidelines that can help you overcome the most basic mistakes. This article spells it out. Read it, it will help tremendously. Excellent.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

To Bootstrap Or Not?

To Bootstrap Or Not? | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Bootstrapping is a tougher choice than ever for startups. Seed capital is so widely available that deals for the hottest companies can close in days, and many entrepreneurs never even consider bootstrapping their company — especially in the race to join the “Unicorn Club.”

On the other hand, some startups don’t have the luxury of securing investors to help launch their company, and others see enough value in going it alone they forgo outside funding.

In 2009, I left my job as a software engineer at Facebook and took a leap of faith to found Storm8 with a few friends. We scraped together our savings and funded the company ourselves. Over the following six years, we grew the company to more than 250 employees without raising any outside capital. Remaining bootstrapped hasn’t made our journey any easier, but the required differentiated approach itself has been incredibly rewarding and satisfying. Read more: click image or title.





Need funding?

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


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Before considering funding: take a look at bootstrapping. Finding investors may be easy, but each time they take out a chunck of your company.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

The Most Important Question Every Founder Needs to Answer

The Most Important Question Every Founder Needs to Answer | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Not being totally honest with yourself about this might be the biggest mistake you will ever make.

"The freedom to make my own mistakes is all I ever wanted." - Mance Rayder, Game of Thrones

 

I have an eminently simple philosophy when it comes to business and life; no decision is a mistake if you can look back on it with pride in knowing why you made it.

"...no decisions is a mistake if you can look back on it with pride in knowing why you made it."

So, let me ask you a simple question: "What's your ambition for your business?" Sounds simple enough, right? Here's the good news, it's a multiple-choice question with just three answers--wait, it gets better, all three answers are right! What's crucial is that you pick one and then build every aspect of your business strategy around it. Vacillate between these and you're, well, how can I put this kindly....you're screwed! Yeah, that was a gentle but effective way to say it.

Here are your three choices.

  • A) The Exit Strategy
  • B) The Scale Strategy
  • C) The Lifestyle Strategy

Read more: click image or title.





Need funding?

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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Important choice to make when starting a business: what do you want with it? How do you want to exit? Or not?

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

Know your Minimum Winning Game for startup success

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

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

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

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

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




Need funding?

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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

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

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

Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

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

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

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





Need funding?

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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

Lessons From A Study of Perfect Pitch Decks: VCs Spend An Average of 3 Minutes, 44 Seconds On Them

Lessons From A Study of Perfect Pitch Decks: VCs Spend An Average of 3 Minutes, 44 Seconds On Them | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

DocSend, a startup that provides people with a secure and private way of sharing files like offer letters or legal agreements, studied more than 200 pitchdecks to figure out the right way to graduate from bootstrapped to seed-funded, or from angels to a Series A.

They partnered with Harvard Business School professor Tom Eisenmann to look at companies that had raised $360 million in total.

What did they find? You can see the whole study here.

Anyway, they discovered that companies needed an average of 40 investor meetings and took a little over 12 weeks to close a round. Investors don’t look at pitch decks for very long — just an average of 3 minutes and 44 seconds. Read more: click title or image.




Need funding?

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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Find out how long it takes to get funded, and what matters most. Great sets of infographs and data.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

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.




Need funding?

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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

6 Reasons Investors Are Drooling Over Subscription-Based Startups

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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

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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

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.

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

Developing seed techs ... 

Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

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.




Need funding?

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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Cat George
Scoop.it!

It's Not Them, It's You!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Need funding?

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


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

“So, You Want To Raise Your Series A?” – Haywire

“So, You Want To Raise Your Series A?” – Haywire | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

As a very early and active pre-seed, angel, seed, or whatever-you-want-to-call-it investor, I view my main job is to select companies and founding teams that will eventually go on to raise a proper and priced Series A round from a credible firm, with a partner from that firm joining the board. In some cases, you find a young team who you just know will make it — more often than not, you have to be imaginative and allow for time to help products, markets, and people grow. People can definitely surprise you with their learning pace and drive to succeed.

I often joke that in today’s frenetic seed environment, many founders view “Getting To Series A” as post-college grads may view law school or getting an MBA as the next step along an academic journey. Since I am not a Series A investor — but rather someone who tries to help Haystack seeded companies work toward a Series A — please read the following post with the context that I want to help young companies reach this milestone, but from my conversations this summer with a variety of Series A VCs across the country, I am predicting the seed explosion of the last few years have finally worn down professional VCs to the point where the environment and attitude toward putting together an A round has — in my opinion — changed significantly.

Don’t kill the messenger. I’m writing this so early-stage teams have fair warning. For the record, I am passionately optimistic about the long-term future of and impact of technology on society at large and continue to invest early and often. The following is food for thought for those seeded teams who have true ambitions to partnering with a bigger VC and clearing the Series A hurdle: Read more: click image or title.





Need funding?

Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km
"Growthink wrote the business plan for my mortgage company. Their research work was very accurate, and the average sales, revenue and cash flow data prepared me to make realistic decisions. They are a group of committed, dedicated and knowledgeable professionals who are with you during the process, and after."
Reemak Mortgage Funding

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Creating a startup is a big deal. Finding seedfunding is a huge challenge. After that, when all is said and done, and your startup is beginning to gather steam and going into a higher gear, the time comes for more rounds of funding. Series A funding is a reality check. Did we make our milestones? Is our valuation where we projected it and are we turning heads? This article from Semil Shah explains how to prepare and move to this next level.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

Read This Before Meeting VCs For Pre-Pitch “Advice” - TC

Read This Before Meeting VCs For Pre-Pitch “Advice” - TC | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Startups often ask VCs for pre-pitch meetings. These requests usually are positioned along the lines of, “We aren’t looking for money yet, just advice.” Of course, we all know this is just a nice way of getting your foot in the door for a soft pitch. And that’s ok; these meetings enable both sides to get acquainted before the real ask.

However, when startups come unprepared to these meetings, they can make a bad first impression that is difficult to overcome down the line. Before scheduling pre-pitch “advice” meetings with VCs, make sure you follow these three rules of thumb. Read more: click image or title.



Need funding?

Get your Free Business Plan Template here: http://bit.l/1aKy7km
"Hey Dave,
Yes, thank you, I have completed the business plan. Finance has been approved, accountant has done his thing, and the solicitor is lagging behind!
Thanks for the support"


Ruth Yates

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Don't waste the time of a VC. Prepare every step of the way meticulously.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from ATHENASIA CONSULTING LTD - Entrepreneurship ressources
Scoop.it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Need funding?

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



Via Laurent Timmermans
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

Running Out Of Money Isn’t A Milestone

Running Out Of Money Isn’t A Milestone | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Nearly all startups use the same methodology to figure out when to raise their next round of capital. The founder projects the planned burn rate and estimates the day they will run out of cash. Then they subtract a margin for fundraising approximately four months from the date the company’s bank account will be empty, and declare the difference the fundraising-process start date.

While logical, this method is highly flawed. It’s predicated on the idea that running out of money is the key milestone upon which to base a fundraising. However, running out of money isn’t a milestone — it’s exactly the opposite. Read more: click image or title.





Need funding?

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


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The logic of fundraising and running out of money.

more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Fotis Draganidis
Scoop.it!

How to Pitch Your Idea and Your Startup - #How to Startup_

How to Pitch Your Idea and Your Startup - #How to Startup_ | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

  At the Founders Institute in Athens, we are working with teams on pitching their ideas and try to develop them into viable startups. The teams get better and better as the number of pitches increases and the feedback they get gets more concrete, so here is a guide on how you can get a better pitch for your idea for different audiences.

A. Why you need to work on your pitch? To whom are you going to pitch?

There are many cases where you will need to pitch your idea to get support. A couple of them are:

1. Pitching to find a co-founder: Imagine you are going to a Startup Weekend, an OpenCoffee event or another entrepreneurship meeting and you are a business person trying to find a technical co-founder. You will need to explain your idea in a clear way, so that people can correlate with it and get enthousiastic.

2. Pitching to Contests: While trying to set up your startup, you will want to participate in contests that offer financial or other rewards.

3. Pitching to Incubators and Accelerators: If you want to get accepted at incubators and accelerators, you will need to pitch to them.

4. Pitching to Investors: No pitching, no fund-raising. You will need to persuade investors to get the money out from their pockets and you will need to work on your pitching skills to showcase the great potential of your idea and startup.

5. Pitching to the Media: You will usually have a minute to grab the attention of a journalist or a PR persons and get him/her to write a story about your startup. Read more: click image or title.




Need funding?

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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Different approaches for different situations. Your pitches to an investor and a CTO are very different. This article sums it up well.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

A Guide to Winning Support for Your New Idea or Project - Harvard Business Review

A Guide to Winning Support for Your New Idea or Project - Harvard Business Review | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Persistence is key.

You’ve got an idea for something that will improve your company’s bottom line or make it a better place to work. Nice going. Now for the hard part: How do you get people on board? How do you get funding? And what should you do if your idea doesn’t catch on?

What the Experts Say
In an ideal world, you’d come up with a genius new idea, tell your coworkers about it, and they’d immediately grasp its brilliance. Your boss would love it — and you! — and give you the resources you need to execute it. But that’s not reality. “It’s very hard to start a new initiative,” says John Butman, author of Breaking Out: How to Build Influence in a World of Competing Ideas. “It’s hard to get people to listen to your idea, to understand your idea, and to take action.” It may be difficult, but it’s also a vital skill to master. “Organizations need to keep changing, adapting, and innovating,” he says. “If they don’t, they stagnate and disappear.” But it’s not only the success of your company that’s at stake, says Susan Ashford, professor of management and organization at Michigan’s Ross School of Business. The ability to get new initiatives off the ground is also critical to your career. “You want to stand out, be visible, and get noticed as a leader,” she says. “And one of the ways to do this is by suggesting change ideas and implementing them.” Here are some pointers on how to get your idea moving. Read more: click image or title.





Need funding?

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


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Coming up with new ideas or projects is challenging, especially when this entails to find funding for the idea. This article goes a little deeper in approaching how to proceed.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

5 Times You Should Rethink Joining an Accelerator

5 Times You Should Rethink Joining an Accelerator | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Before your put the pedal to the metal, make sure your company is ready to quickly scale.

Thinking it may be time to accelerate and take the next step to success?  Before you go to Mach 10, it’s smart to think about accelerating in the right light. It’s not always the golden ticket to "greener" pastures that many are seeking.

I was part of the Imagine K12 accelerator, which funds startups in the education space akin to the prestige of the Y Combinator. While it was an amazing experience, accelerators aren't for everyone. As someone has gone through the program, I’ve been asked about when a venture should accelerate and when it’s better to put the brakes on.

Here are five scenarios that may make you think twice about putting the pedal to the medal:  Read more: click title or image.




Need funding?

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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Accelerators can be the perfect experience for your startup. However, you can be too early, not ready, or not fit. Read this article first to get some idea what it's all about.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

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.





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

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

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.





Need funding?

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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

more...
No comment yet.
Suggested by Swapnil Jain
Scoop.it!

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.




Need funding?

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


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.

more...
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...

Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

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.




Need funding?

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


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.

more...
No comment yet.