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Meet The 11 New Startups Launching At AngelPad’s Spring Demo Day | TechCrunch

Meet The 11 New Startups Launching At AngelPad’s Spring Demo Day  | TechCrunch | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

AngelPad, the San Francisco-based startup accelerator founded by early Googler and tech investor Thomas Korte, is holding demo day for its Spring 2014 class in San Francisco today.

Since its inception back in 2010, AngelPad has established itself as a top player in the ever-expanding field of tech incubators. Now with operations in New York City (AngelPad’s brand new NYC office is pictured here) and its native San Francisco, the organization steadily graduates about a dozen companies in each batch, with solid alumni success stories including MoPub, which was acquired by Twitter last fall for some $350 million, and Crittercism, which has raised a total of $48 million. AngelPad itself has kept its operations lean and mean: The firm was self-funded up until this past fall, when it raised a tidy $7 million round from a small group of individual investors.

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



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Via Ivan Berlocher
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Always amazed at the new ideas new start-ups come up with.

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What is a Startup...?: 5 startups that show that the future has already arrived

What is a Startup...?: 5 startups that show that the future has already arrived | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
startups that show that the future has already arrived
Hello all Entrepreneurs! How are you?

Today I have selected 5 startups that make us feel (at least they make me feel...!) like the future has already arrived. Please check them out and feel free to comment below.

***

1- AIRWARE: "Hardware, Software and Cloud Services for Commercial Drones".

I have a personal fascination for drones (wow, we are in 2014 and they are already here!), so everything that has to do with drones calls my attention. Well, this startup doesn't need a lot of explanation, they sell hardware, software and cloud (!) for drones. The age of the flying robots is coming, hey!

2- ZUTA LABS: "Pocket Printer"

You type and the small device prints for you. I loved that and I would one in my purse right now! The format remembers me those child stamps and child paper push that we had in our childhood and that seem to be fashionable until now (or maybe children prefer i-Pads, I can't say)!

3- NEW MATTER: "Simple. Affordable. 3D Printing" - MOD-t

Everybody got very excited with the 3D printers, what was missing was something a-f-f-o-r-d-a-b-l-e. This seems to be New Matter's goal (thanks for that!). The device costs 279 US$ and you can already pre-order that. I found it chic!

4- AIQ SMART CLOTHING:

Wearables, the new "must" in tech. This business has wearables useful for heating, lighting, bio-monitoring, anti-radiation, conductive gloves (those I have... I call them social media gloves because they allow me to blog and post on winter time!). On their website It seems that you have to send a personal email and ask for the product (I didn't find a normal "e-commerce" screen). I want a heating shirt for winter!

5- EKSOBIONICS: exoskeleton

The first image from the homepage can speak alone. Super exoskeleton technology made for people with some forms of paralysis. Absolutely amazing. I think that the medical sector has thousands, if not millions, of possibilities in terms of innovations, new technologies, new facilities, new ways to perform the same activity with less pain, less wait, less nuisance and thus helping many people.

***

It's in the hands of the entrepreneurs - brave explorers - to bring to the present what our imagination sometimes puts in a distant future...!

I would like to remember all of you that the technology giants of our time (Google, Amazon, Microsoft) are also developing amazing and world changing technologies (such as Amazon's dronesGoogle's self-driven car etc), but the main goal here is to focus on Startups.


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Via Luiza S. Rezende, Edouard Estour
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Need ideas for startups? Yes indeed, the future is here.

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Luiza S. Rezende's curator insight, Today, 2:14 AM

I love thinking about the future... Don't miss these 5 startups!

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What is a Startup...?: Why has my startup not taken off yet?

What is a Startup...?: Why has my startup not taken off yet? | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Why has my startup not taken off yet?
Many startups fail. Many entrepreneurs start with a lot of energy (and anxiety), build expectations around the business they are building, launch it, are for a while very happy with it, and after a period of gradual decay, after 6 months or 1 year there is nothing more of them and the members returned to "safe" jobs. But why? What was missing for that startup to become a success? 

*** 

In order not to frustrate expectations: the aim of this paper is not to present micro-economic data, statistics or research on why startups fail. The aim of this paper is to show my opinion on the topic, based on what I see and read every day. 

*** 

As many of you may have already read, failing is part of the innovation and self-discovery process, and it's something totally linked to entrepreneurship. Starting a new business is venturing into the unknown: you can do many previous researches and studies, but there are variables that will be not well measured in advance. Sometimes you will need to launch your startup first and then see what happens when it's running.

Maybe your calculations were sufficiently well-aimed, you have studied the market and the competitors, you had luck and the necessary preparation, you did all on the "right time" and "the right way" and your startup is suddenly a success. Maybe you realize that important variables were ignored in the business plan and things did not evolve as planned. It's normal: making mistakes is human. Making mistakes, in the context of entrepreneurship, is fully part of the learning process. 

The way you go on after a mistake is the key and how you behave makes ALL the difference: you need to continue, understand it is a chapter, not the end of your story as an entrepreneur. Everything depends on how you will assimilate this mistake and go on with your business, with your dream. 

Many entrepreneurs are at this moment launching a business that will need some adjust to be a success (success here has the meaning of being well received by the public and generating sustainable income). Others will launch something that needs to be completely redesigned to be a success. Others will launch something that the market is not yet "ready" to accept or use, and they will have to invest in marketing, partnerships, sponsoring, endorsement and will have to convince the public they are good enough. That means a lot of time and persistence. Everyday believing and acting. For each person and for each business there is a needed time for development/maturation. It's necessary to try, believe, strive, pivot, adapt, follow. You should not be discouraged by an error, failure, or a broken company. 

You tried that way, it did not work. There are others. If you truly believe in your business, you need to continue with it, ask new opinions, study more, seek further advice and seek new paths to follow. 

There is a path to success, a straight shot. But it's not always there, on the first attempt. Sometimes you will need to improve more to reach it. Sometimes you will need to really conquer success, be ready to manage it and make it something sustainable. And that is actually good, that will make you grow. 

Success (and here I am talking about entrepreneurial success) will come, but each one has a journey, each one has a necessary way to go (a way that will enable each person to learn and grow). Do not give up. If you truly believe in your business, it will someday happen, maybe not exactly as you imagined, but it will happen and you will be much stronger when it happens.

You may need to re-create it completely. You may need to study more and harder, listen to other opinions, change partners, change partnerships, teams, sources, resources. If you are really proactive and seek people to help you, if you do not let your pessimistic thoughts or people who do not believe in you convince you, certainly your journey will be successful. 

It may be that the final result has nothing to do with your original plan. It may be that you end up getting involved in an area that has nothing to do with what you initially envisioned. You may conclude that being an entrepreneur is not for you. But certainly this journey of mistakes, successes, attempts (and courage!) will be very positive and will bring you closer to who you really are and what you really believe. 

See you soon!

Luiza



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Top 3 Tips To Cut Your Startup Expenses

Top 3 Tips To Cut Your Startup Expenses | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Never Spend Your Money Before You Have Earned It
I think the most wonderful thing that I started thinking when I started up or which I keep hearing from startups who are in the seed stages isI need funds to spend.

What I learned instead which I now keep telling the startup founders is

Earn money and push it back into your venture, Save, Repeat

An age old saying of money saved is money earned is not wrong. I feel many startups fail to understand that finding smart ways to save money and work is always a better option specially when you are bootstrapped or still better when you have acquired funding.

I threw open this question in Startup Specialist Group on LinkedIn.

What are the 3 tips to cut startup expenses

An amazing entrepreneur Peter Johnston says in the discussion thread:

Generally startups don't need anything near the costs most people allocate to them.
Ask yourself what the funding is for. Do you really need it?
Take the biggest expense and ask "why is it so high"?

You'll almost certainly find you can reduce it by 50%.
It isn't the largest any more.

Next week do the same exercise on what is now the largest.
In a few weeks you have your costs down to manageable levels.

So here are the list of top 3 tips that can help startups to cut their costs:

  1. Rework the expenses. Calculate them again and ask yourself why are the expenses so high, rework them again and try working with your team if you can reduce them by a sizeable margin. Ask this question "Whether you really need that cost " Why Do you need that cost now ? As Peter Johnston says in the thread " You'll know by your pre-orders how many to make - indeed you'll probably have funded production
  2. Hire Human Capital When The Product Market Fit is Validated. Dont jump the gun in hiring human capital even if you have funds. Test the market, customers, TA even if you have funds in place and when the market is established get the critical manpower in place to get into the market.
  3. Outsource & Prioritize : Besides the critical functions focus on your core competence functions. If you are tech guy and and you need HR or legal support, get a cloud HR software to run your system or a legal attorney to create your legal formalities instead of hiring these manpower on rolls. Focus on building your MVP and going to the right customers and getting revenues asap.

What are your thoughts and insights on the same ?

Are there some other critical tips that can help startups ?

I invite you to share your thoughts and feel free to share this thread with someone who may share insights or for whom this thread could be useful.

Bon Voyage.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

That's how to do it. Don't think that the big money will create and fund your startup. Your product will eventually have to pay for all of the expenses.

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Change Impetus's curator insight, August 19, 12:27 PM

I agree 100%

 

Developing the MVP doesn't mean "build the app" and hire developers. Get a mock up and find out what it might cost if a customer were to sign up in the near future.

 

Don't hire a tech wizard, there are cloud based tools that can be utilized until scale or a specialized feature/ function requirement surfaces.

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Microsoft names the 10 startups participating in its home-automation accelerator | ZDNet

Microsoft names the 10 startups participating in its home-automation accelerator | ZDNet | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Microsoft is bringing 10 startups focusing on home-automation into its new home-automation accelerator starting this fall.

Microsoft has named the 10 startups that will be participating in its home-automation accelerator starting this fall.

Microsoft announced in June its plan to create a new venture accelerator focused on home automation in partnership with American Family Insurance, one of the biggest mutual property/casualty insurance companies. Via this accelerator, which will be based on the Redmond, Wash., Microsoft campus, Microsoft will be investing in these home-automation startups.

The 10 participants (and Microsoft-provided descriptions of their businesses) -- culled from a pool of 400 applicants:

  • Chai Energy delivers real-time energy understanding – from the whole house to individual appliances.

  • Heatworks Model 1 is the world's first fully electronic, connected, water heater that conserves water and energy in any application.

  • Neura creates intuitive and intelligent experiences between users and their connected environments.

  • Novi Security is a portable smart-security system to seamlessly track activities across the home.

  • Reemo is a wrist-worn, gesture control wearable, interoperable interface for both conventional appliances and more recent connected homes.

  • Plum is Wi-Fi enabled light-pads, smart plugs and outlets that let the users control lights and electronics from a wall switch or from anywhere in the world using a smart phone.

  • Red Balloon Security is ubiquitous host-based defense for embedded devices.

  • Scanalytics is the centerpiece for understanding consumer behavior in the offline world.

  • Sentri's HD camera and built-in sensors track the home's vital stats and trends, allowing users to track temperature, humidity, air quality, weather and more.

  • Wallflowr is connected home technology that helps consumers prevent and significantly reduce risks related to accidental fires caused by ranges, stoves and oven


Microsoft has been conducting its own research in the home-automation space, with projects like its HomeOS operating system. Last year, Microsoft bought a home-automation focused company, id8 Group R2 Studios, whose technology the Redmondians are thought to be integrating with Xbox. More recently, it announced a partnership with Insteon, which is developing home-automation applications for Windows Phone and Windows 8. 

Microsoft formed its consolidated start-up outreach arm, Microsoft Ventures, in 2013. The company already launched ventures accelerators in Bangalore, Beijing, Berlin, London, Paris and Tel Aviv.



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9 Free Business Productivity Tools For Startups

9 Free Business Productivity Tools For Startups | Pitch it! | Scoop.it


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Starting a business can be a daunting endeavor, especially if all you have is a cool product and not enough capital. In the tech world, or in any other niche for that matter, most startuppers fail not because they have bad products but because they are unable to generate enough consumer interest in their products. 

Considering overheads and other back-office expenses, this scenario doesn’t come as a surprise. So if you’re still starting out and find yourself strapped for much needed funding to keep your startup afloat, the following free business productivity tools are worth checking out.

# 1. Bitrix24.com

If you need a collaboration tool your staff are most likely to adopt with relative ease and minimum training, take the social intranet route.

Bitrix24.com is the fastest growing social intranet that’s free for businesses with 12 employees or less. The application comes as a combination of several different work tools like CRM, project management, real-time streaming, activity planner, file sharing, to name just a few. As it is cloud-based, access can be anywhere, whether using your computer or smartphone. An upgrade to unlimited users starts at $99 per month.

# 2. GotFreeFax.com

In this era of e-mail and instant messaging, you’d think fax machines are no longer relevant. But if a LinkedIn survey as reported by Mashable is to be believed, fax machines are still in until 2017 steps in.

As you might have already guessed from the site’s name, GotFreeFax.com is an online service that allows you to send up to three pages of fax for free (maximum of two faxes per day) to any number in the United States or Canada. The site also offers premium pay-per-fax service should you need to send more.

# 3. RememberTheMilk.com

RememberTheMilk.com is an online productivity tool that assists in task and time management. Remember The Milk essentially functions as your all-in-one task manager, electronic calendar and to-do list. Aside from allowing you to share and split tasks with other people, the application can be integrated with GMail, too.

The pro account is priced at $25 for one year and comes with exclusive mobile app features and Microsoft Outlook integration.

# 4. Kolab.org

Kolab.org is an open-source group collaboration server that allows for sharing of notes, e-mail access, calendar organization, task management, address book maintenance, news aggregation, phone sync and journal integration. Kolab is secure, scalable, reliable, mobile and professional, ensuring productivity every step of the way. As a whole, the application requires some getting used to. But once you get the hang of it, the hassle can be all worth it.

# 5. WaveApps.com

Formerly WaveAccounting.com, WaveApps.com is an accounting software that’s fast, simple and easy to use, offering unlimited invoicing and expense tracking. 100% free for small businesses with nine employees or less, it’s accountant-approved and specifically designed for non-accountants. You can also securely connect your bank and PayPal accounts or other sources of data, and your transactions are automatically imported into the accounting software.



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# 6. PRLog.org

To make your business presence known, one surefire route to take is through the distribution of press releases. PRLog.org is a site where you can dispense press releases for free. And if you feel you don’t have the necessary expertise to create a killer press release, the site provides instructions on how to write one, even how to embed videos where necessary.

# 7. Weebly.com

One cardinal business rule is that businesses should have their own websites to boost their market presence online. Weebly.com is a free website creator that doesn’t require website creation expertise. Until you’re ready to go for more complex and/or self-hosted sites that would require monthly or yearly payments, Weebly.com is a good alternative.

# 8. Join.me

For those meetings or web conferences on the fly, Join.me is a simple-to-use teleconferencing application that allows you to review documents and designs, train staff, do product demonstrations – basically to get everyone apprised of company updates. You can do transatlantic web conferences and presentations, too.

# 9. IFTTT.com

IFTTT.com, which is short for “if this, then that,” functions like a computer program repeatedly uttering if/then logic all day long. With IFTTT, you set up “recipes” to assist you with task automation. For a recipe to work, you have to have a channel, a trigger and an action. Examples of channels are Facebook, e-mail, Evernote, LinkedIn, just to mention a few.

For instance, if you’re tagged in a photo on Facebook, you can create a recipe that would automatically download the image into Dropbox.

What other free business productivity tools can you suggest?



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Via Luis Costa
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Some more good tools for small companies and start ups. Get free fax, no more fax machines to buy.

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

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

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

ByThomas Oppong. Published on May 6, 2014.

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



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Great business blogs and resource sites

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

18. Springwise – Your essential fix of entrepreneurial ideas.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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Tools and apps exclusively for startups

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

8.  Feedbackify – Simple, private website feedback.

9.  Appfigures – mobile analytics and sales data.

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

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

12.  Prezi - The zooming presentation editor.

13.  CircleUp - Like AngelList with a crowdfunding twist.

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

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

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

17.  Go BIG Network – Helps entrepreneurs find funding.

18.  Intern Avenue - Find interns. Intern directory.

19.  A VC – Musings of a VC in NYC.

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

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

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

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

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

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

26.  Unbounce – Easy landing page creator and tester.

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

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

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

30. Appbackr - Crowdfunding for mobile apps.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

38. RocketHub - Launch, fund and fly.



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Mobile app development tools

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7.  StackOverflow - Question and answer site for programmers.

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

9.  Tiggzi – Cloud-based mobile app builder.

10. Verious - A mobile app component marketplace.

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

12. UXPin – User experience design tools for professionals.

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

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

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

16. Kontagent - User analytics for the mobile web.

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

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

19. Flurry - Analytics, traffic acquisition and monetization.

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

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



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Incubators & Accelerators

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12. Dreamit Ventures – Helping build great companies.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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Crowdfunding resources

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

1. Seedrs - Equity-based crowdfunding platform.

2. Crowdfunder - Equity crowdfunding for your business.

3. CircleUp - Like AngelList with a crowdfunding twist.

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

5. appbackr - Crowdfunding for mobile apps.

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

7. Indiegogo - Fund your passion.

8. Crowdtilt - Group fund anything.

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

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

11. Sponsume - Fund your project through social networks.

12. RocketHub - Launch, fund and fly.

13. SellAnApp - Make app ideas happen.

14. Petridish - Crowdfunding for science startups.



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



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Great set of resources. Use them.

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

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Earning the halo: How to build relationships with angel investors, even when they won’t invest...

Earning the halo: How to build relationships with angel investors, even when they won’t invest... | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Rui Ma, front row second from right, at a 9others meetup for entrepreneurs in Beijing. 

Rui Ma is the Greater China Venture Partner for the global seed fund and accelerator 500 Startups. She has been working in finance for over a decade and is well into her second year as a professional angel investor. 
As an angel investor, I get a lot of awkward pitches – lots of which could probably be less awkward and more productive for both parties. So partially out of self-interest and partially because we really do feel for those of you on the opposite end of the table, I would like to share some of my personal perspectives on what I believe are best practices for building a relationship with an angel investor – particularly with whom you have no prior connection. Some of you might find my advice to be very basic. But for those of you who aren’t naturally inclined to be your most charismatic self in front of a stranger with a noticeably short attention span, I hope the following five tips can be helpful.
Do your research
What sector does this investor invest in? At what stage? How much money does this person typically invest? While sector focus is often less clear for many investors, especially those starting out, what is a lot clearer is their typical investment amount and maximum risk tolerance, a stage of development the business has to be in before they are comfortable with parting with their money. As for the stage of your business, be sure that you’ve made enough tangible progress to at least pique the interest of prospective investors. Of course we have all heard of the serial entrepreneur who got an investment “before there was a business plan.” But in general, with investors you have no prior relationship with, there is usually some minimum bar to meet before a fruitful discussion can occur. Often it is a working demo or prototype. Sometimes, as in the case of 500 Startups, it is having some traction of said product or service. In terms of investment amount, there is usually some variable range. It’s true investors often like to inflate this number, but you can get some sense of the amount by asking – how many investments have you made in the past year or two? How much have you invested in aggregate? Is it within a million dollars or north of a few million?
Pro Tip: If you don’t know, and you have exhausted all previously named avenues of finding out, then just ask. Ask at the beginning of the meeting rather than the end. Wouldn’t you want to know earlier rather than later? That way, you can actually mine some useful information out of the meeting, and begin to map out future interactions.
Embrace a mindset of giving, not taking
Just like in any relationship, some giving may be required before receiving. If you realize that an investor is unlikely to invest in your company at its current stage, but still want to develop a relationship with this person, be upfront about this. It is entirely possible the investor will decline the meeting, but there are still many ways for the entrepreneur to make the meeting worthwhile for the investor and frame it as such. At the minimum, appeal to your investor’s strengths and tailor your request for the meeting to a specific “request for expertise.” Make it clear that you have done research on the investor and know their investment thesis, but address any concerns they may have about meeting you “so early.” One way startups have caught my attention is by approaching me and saying: “We know it is too early for you to invest, but what should we do about China given our x percent of users that live there?” This frames our relationship around an intellectual problem rather than an immediate investment decision, and lends itself easily to a conversation. Asking an investor you have only just met for intros into their personal network is rude, impractical and a surefire way to ruin a relationship. However, it is perfectly reasonable to ask a hypothetical question such as “if you were me, how might you approach fundraising (or whatever subject you are interested in receiving advice in)?” and receive much the same information. Knowing who you should approach, when, and why is arguably just as useful as a direct intro.
Pro Tip: At the end of a meeting, ask if there’s anything you can do for the investor, such as letting them know of interesting events (and somewhat less importantly, dealflow) in your sector or some adjacent sector they are interested in. Ask them if you can forward them interesting articles or reports about your space (or even your competition) once in a while so they can become more knowledgeable. Offer to be an expert they can go to for future companies they see in the space. It is a good habit to form, for any sort of business development actually – how can you be helpful, how can you demonstrate your value-add?
Create opportunities for interaction
Building credibility with an investor is simple – say what you will do, and do it. Do this enough times, and you will build trust. In the common case where you meet an investor who is bullish on your sector but undecided about your company, you should take every opportunity to prove that can competently build and execute. Take every opportunity to involve them in the building of your business, in a low-obligation, “opt-in” format. Creating opportunities for interaction and doing something together, no matter how small, is the best way to build trust.
Pro Tip: One best practice I share with teams is the “advisor/investor-friendly monthly (or major event) update.” Include everyone on this list that you hope to build a relationship with – mentors, advisors, and potential investors. The best newsletters tend to have the following format: A TL; DR summary of the month’s main achievements in 1-2 sentences More detailed sections on some variations of the following: what went well, what went poorly, and what you will be doing in the next month Be specific in your numbers, but don’t provide too much detail. Stick to 2-3 KPIs you think demonstrate the growth of your business Always frame your updates with the mindset of “versus planned.” What did you think would happen? What actually happened? What are your next steps? Lead and close with asks – what can the recipient do to help you? Are you hiring, launching, fundraising, or what? Be explicit in the ways you need help. For folks you don’t know well, this is a great way of initiating and keeping a lead warm. It’s also efficiently establishes credibility – showing others how you work, and giving them a glimpse into what it might feel like to back you.
Communicate and close the loop
When you do successfully create that interaction, make sure you follow up, so there is a complete feedback loop. If you are lucky enough that your prospective investors, mentors and advisors actively jump in and help you with your outstanding asks, then please do them the favor of thanking them for their advice. Even more importantly, let them know the outcome – did you implement their suggestion? Why or why not? What then happened? Very few entrepreneurs do this well, as most are probably too busy executing to close the loop. However, if an interaction isn’t complete, a relationship does not move forward.
Pro Tip: For inspiration, look to successful Kickstarter campaigns. Some of the best communications packages I’ve received have been from projects I’ve backed. I am not sure what it is about the folks running these, but they create some great examples of passionate calls to action that turn mere supporters into passionate evangelists for their cause.
Be patiently persistent
While no good entrepreneur takes a lack of reply as the final answer, don’t be a stalker when it comes to being persistent. Give yourself a buffer of a week or so between “check-ins” when immediate replies don’t surface. Also, keep your messages brief and to the point. Try to limit your communications to no more than two mediums because beyond that it begins to get a bit uncomfortable. Pro tip: Meetings that last more than one hour suck. Just don’t do it. 30-45 minutes is preferable, and you shouldn’t be talking more than half the time, unless it is to answer questions. As an investor, I am unlikely to make time for someone who has wasted my time in the past.
Angel investors are like athletics scouts
Though it may not feel like it sometimes, investors (and angel investors in particular) truly want entrepreneurs to succeed, especially first-time entrepreneurs. There is a certain satisfaction that goes with being able to say one was the “first money in,” a certain pride to being that first person to “discover” the next Google or Facebook, to “seeing” when no one else saw. Occasionally we come to a decision quickly, but sometimes, we need more information. More often, we might not be the right person to join you on your entrepreneurial journey, but we may become one of your many cheerleaders and be the bridge to someone who ultimately brings you to the next level. Think of angel investors like scouts for professional sports: we really want you to make it, but help us help you. Do your research and adopt best practices.


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Read more: Earning the halo: How to build relationships with angel investors, even when they won’t invest in you http://www.techinasia.com/earning-the-halo-how-to-build-relationships-with-angel-investors-even-when-they-dont-want-to-invest-in-you/
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Excellent insights by an angel investor who works with start ups all the time.

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How To Get Your Business Noticed By Venture Capital

How To Get Your Business Noticed By Venture Capital | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
For every successful start-up, umpteen entrepreneurs will fail - despite having brilliant ideas. Many of these failures will be down to one major problem that faces new businesses anywhere in the world: finding finance.

For every successful start-up, umpteen entrepreneurs will fail – despite having brilliant ideas. Many of these failures will be down to one major problem that faces new businesses anywhere in the world: finding finance.

One solution, with added potency in a time of reduced bank lending, is Venture Capital (VC) – finance provided to early-stage companies, usually through dedicated management funds in return for an equity stake in the business.

But securing VC funding is not as simple as turning up and asking for a blank cheque. Funds have no end of potential suitors. For example, Mercia Fund Management, a multi-million UK-based VC fund, estimates that it receives 50 full business plans and as many as 200 website enquiries each month but only does 10-15 major investments each year.

The most important part of getting noticed is doing the initial research. There are many funds out there specialising in different sectors or geographical areas and it is a matter of finding the best fit for a business rather than attempting to blanket the market with proposals and applications.

Mercia, for example, is mostly interested in UK-based businesses involved in sectors such as medical research, disruptive technology, financial technology and e-commerce. Mercia is particularly interested in businesses that do not require a significant capital investment before producing revenue, says Mark Payton, managing director of Mercia Fund Management. For instance, this means it prefers to invest in companies that offer services to the medical research industry as opposed to those involved directly in drug discovery, which can be a capital intensive enterprise.

“We love a business that can offer a tweak of services to the pharmaceutical industry and get into revenue quickly,” Payton adds. “Cash generation and growth are important. We don’t want it to be capital intensive just for it to prove its point.”

The VC fund finds universities to be a rich seam of potential. Mercia has partnerships with eight UK universities located in the West Midlands – the University of Birmingham; Aston University; Staffordshire University; Coventry University; The University of Warwick; Birmingham City University; Keele University; and the University of Wolverhampton.


These partnerships form the basis for the fund’s early-stage entrepreneurial investments, using funds garnered through the UK’s Seed Investment Scheme (SEIS) – a government scheme giving significant tax relief to private investors that back early-stage entrepreneurship. For example, an investor can claim back all but 14p from every £1 invested through tax relief if a business was to fail, says Payton. And if it was to succeed, the investment would be exempt from capital gains taxation, he adds.

This has given Mercia more money than ever before to play with and means that the fund managers can spend more time evaluating businesses instead of running around looking for new sources of capital. “The founders aren’t scrambling around looking for money,” he says. “They’re looking at businesses that will start earning.”

But Mercia also looks further afield when trying to find more established businesses. It uses a network of contacts and experts to find and evaluate a variety of start-ups from many different sectors. For example, it invested in Canary Care, through a later-stage equity crowd-funding site called Syndicate Room.

Mercia is also looking to expand its investments in the digital sector. In August, it is raising a new fund that will run alongside its pre-existing growth funds and co-invest specifically in businesses operating in this area. Other funds in other parts of the world are also quite excited about new ideas in the digital sphere. This is especially true in still-developing markets where businesses are springing up to cater to a middle class that is growing in wealth and technological familiarity.

For example, in Latin America another VC fund called Kaszek is snapping up stakes in start-ups involved in areas such as mobile technology, driven by growth in smart-phone and internet use. “Mobile is where we’re seeing acceleration and we’re seeing opportunities,” says Nicolás Szekasy, Kaszek partner. “In general access and quality of broadband and penetration of smart-phones is growing a significant tail-wind for certain businesses, creating a regional opportunity.”

Kaszek has invested in mobile- and internet-based companies such as Restorando, an online reservation service, Safertaxi, a cab booking app and Comparaonline, a financial comparison website.


But it too is heavily subscribed. The fund has done around 24 investments but has looked at more than 2,000 companies in order to do so, says Szekasy. “We get a lot of in-bound interest. Most entrepreneurs in Latin America are in the technology sector and in most cases know us from Mercado Libre.” (A Latin American auction site like eBay where a number of the Kaszek founders got started)

The VC fund continues to look for companies that have a strong entrepreneurial and technological team in place and operate in areas where a virtual marketplace can be created. One of the newest and most interesting of these is online education services, he adds.

“Typically when you have a platform that a company develops and needs to attract supply and demand to – buyers and sellers of goods – you’ve got something worth investing in,” says Szekasy. Kazek has invested in many ideas such as this including OpenEnglish, in the online education sector and VivaReal in real estate.

In the end every VC fund will be looking for different things. But the one thing they will have in common is a desire for a clearly thought out business plan. A start-up must have a commercially viable idea. But it also needs to be able to find the fund that matches it best and then present its idea in a clear and concise manner.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Every VC fund has its profile. Do your research well.

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AleksBlumentals's curator insight, August 2, 2:46 AM

If the current process is to look at 250 pitches per month to invest in 20 companies per year, could one not imagine a different way?  

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Find Your Dennis: How to Close the First Investor

3 Tactics to help with closing your first investor


$10,800. Dennis' check was the smallest check we've ever raised from investors; but it was also the biggest. While subsequent venture capital and corporate investments added several more zeroes to our bank account, Dennis' check--our first--added much more at the earliest stage in our company's founding: credibility with our investor community, confidence we could achieve our vision, and capital to reach critical company milestones.

Every entrepreneur raising capital comes to the same conclusion: no one wants to be the first investor in their company. Many investors want to be early. "Early" equates with the high risk, high reward that has elevated a select few angel investors into billionaire status, but no one wants to be the very first. Like us, you need to find your Dennis--the one investor who will jump off the cliff with you and be that very first investor. Follow these three tactics to find and close your Dennis:

1. Create a network of could-be investors

If you plan to go around cold calling qualified investors to invest in your business, particularly if this is your first company, good luck. Not only does the lack of an established connection prevent you from getting in the door with investors, it is often the case that entrepreneurs ask for money before they truly need it.

To find your Dennis, you have to build a strong network of could-be investors. This network creation comes as the result of two steps. First, identify could-be investors in every one of your networks (work, school, locality, friends and family). Founding NuLabel out of school, we immediately looked to our alumni network for could-be investors and in our local entrepreneur community in Providence, RI--where we connected with Dennis. Second, engage could-be investors to provide what you really need when you first launch your business: intellectual capital. Most could-be investors bring valuable advice to the table, and engaging could-be investors as informal advisors can build a strong connection to your company's story without immediately demanding they open their wallet to help you as an investor.

2. Treat could-be investors like they already invested

Now that could-be investors are engaged and even providing occasional, informal advice, treat these valuable members of your network like you would an existing investor. Provide them with regular updates that establish meaningful, achievable milestones and showcase results. As you achieve these milestones and share them in a consistent and periodic manner, momentum builds, risk starts to evaporate, and your could-be investors start to become will-be investors as you establish a track record of results that exhibit not only you achieving your vision, but their intellectual capital creating value.

3. Ask for the check

Don't wait for your potential first investor to offer to invest, because that won't happen. Instead, ask for a specific investment; state the use of proceeds; and most importantly, explain how this first check can be leveraged into many additional, bigger investments from others. With an immediate term need to fund a specific, measurable milestone, we asked Dennis for the capital to cover the expenses to get to that milestone. We showed upfront how we knew we would exceed expectations and that we had several interested could-be investors awaiting the achievement of that milestone who ultimately jumped in less than one month after Dennis' check came in and we accomplished that immediate term business objective.

....

The lunch bill when Dennis told me, "Yes, I'm in," was modest: two cheeseburgers, two Diet Cokes, and a side of fries. The feeling after Dennis agreed to invest $10,800: well, that was worth a million bucks.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Big point: get your first investor committed, no matter how big that check is, the rest will follow.

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How to Distinguish Your Startup in the Competitive Funding Environment

How to Distinguish Your Startup in the Competitive Funding Environment | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Over the past few years, it’s become harder to get seed or venture capital funding as a startup. Since the recession, the number of VCs has shrunk by 50%, and people are more and more hesitant to invest where they perceive risk.

As a result, fewer new companies are being funded. For the startups that can catch the eye of investors, however, things look good. Even though fewer startups are being invested in, those that do find investors tend to get much more capital now than previously.

Venture capitalists and angel investors are looking for companies they perceive as low-risk, high-reward investments. That means they need to see your company’s potential clearly, connect with your product, and feel comfortable with the risks involved. And even though YOU know your company is worthwhile, in order to snag those much-sought-after investment dollars you’re going to have to convince would-be investors of that.

So how can you do that?

1. Show a High Potential

Demonstrating potential is twofold: investors are going to be looking both at you and at your company.

Remember that VCs are ultimately investing based on how much faith they have in your potential to succeed. Show them your drive and complete dedication. If you are a startup veteran, speak to your past successes and explain why you know you can do it again. If this is your first startup endeavor, show why you have both the experience and passion to succeed based on past projects or work.

You can also show your potential by branding yourself. Use Quora, LinkedIn and Google+ to establish yourself as an expert in the specific industry or field you plan to enter with your company. Join discussions, answer questions, and show your general level of expertise. Your Twitter and Facebook should also reflect a high level of professionalism, so be sure to clean it up if you haven’t already.

Show potential for your company by generating buzz around your idea. Pitch your startup to media publications, bloggers and journalists. When VCs and angel investors see that others are excited about your idea, it clearly demonstrates the traction of that idea.

2. Pitch the Product

First off, make sure you’ve got a well-thought-out description of your startup. Think about if you were to have to tweet what your company does and why it’s unique — would you be able to say it in 140 characters or fewer? Work on fine-tuning your description until you can get it to this point. A concise, clear way of explaining your product is much more memorable and packs more punch than a longer explanation.

Once you have a concise description, you can then clearly explain why they should choose you and your product. What burning problem are you solving that hasn’t already been solved before? Detail how you will succeed where others haven’t, and why your idea is better, unique, cheaper than previous attempts or existing solutions.

A great way to make sure you’re pitching your company in a way that distinguishes it from competitors is to listen to your friends. If they’re constantly comparing your company to something that’s already out there, focus on being clear about what it is that makes your product different and why you’re not just creating a slightly different iteration of something that exists. In that same vein, know who your competitors are and have a deep understanding of their products and business models. You have to understand them in order to come out first.

As important as knowing your competitors is showing that you know your audience and the market that exists for your product. Provide a detailed analysis of your audience members, demonstrating that you know your potential consumers’ behavior inside and out and that that group will be able to generate sufficient and significant profit. Make it clear that you’ve done your homework and researched them thoroughly.

3. Alleviate Concern Over Risks

The best defense is a good offense. Anticipate the hesitations investors are likely to have before investing in your company and address them head-on. Analyze those risks and clearly explain why they won’t materialize into problems. Make sure to show how you’re already prepared to address and deal with the risks.

You will also comfort investors about the low-risk of investing in you by showing them that you’re far-enough along. Before you begin looking for funding, be able to demonstrate that you’re at a stage in the development of your idea where it’s tangible. If you can make it clear that your idea is already becoming a reality, and all that’s left — the very last step before you can launch it — is capital, then they’ll be much more eager to invest in you.

If you focus on creating a presentation for potential investors that demonstrates your startup’s potential, clearly and effectively explains the product and the market that exists for it, and shows it is low-risk, you’ll be able to stand out in the challenging funding climate.

Jul 26, 2014 - Fernando Cuscuela for the National Edition



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Good points. Value, Pitch, Risk.


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Here's The Number One Mistake That Kills Startups, According To Ben Horowitz

Here's The Number One Mistake That Kills Startups, According To Ben Horowitz | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
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What businesses should consider with equity crowdfunding

What businesses should consider with equity crowdfunding | Pitch it! | Scoop.it


Crowdfunding websites raised more than $5 billion in 2013. That said, there are some complications with crowdfunding that businesses should consider.

When it comes to getting funding for your latest business venture, crowdfunding may seem like a no-brainer. Crowdfunding websites raised more than $5 billion in 2013, and to get a piece of that wealth, all you have to do is set up an online profile and watch the dollars roll, right? Not so fast. While crowdfunding can be a viable way for entrepreneurs to raise capital, it’s more complicated than many people realize, and it might not be right for every business.

Equity crowdfunding could help some entrepreneurs, but it comes with rules and costs, and it won’t be appropriate for every business. A few things to keep in mind:
To read the full article, click on the title or image.


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Equity crowdfunding is a whole different deal than 'rewards' or charity crowdfunding. The rules are tight and expensive. Take a look at this article, it summarizes the situation.

Kishor Kafle's curator insight, July 29, 8:30 AM

dear sir

 I am the Broker legal representative of Fernando Valle Pons the Principal of the HOLDING project... please read below
 My name is Fernando Valle Pons, (Nando Pons) Spanish nationality with actual residence in Eastbourne, England. (Just moved from Guangzhou, China where I spent my last 10 years). During my entire professional life I have enjoyed the freedom to work "my way" and develop the business model needed for great success at any given time and the results have been outstanding overpass sing not only sales budget but expectations. Today after having lots of successes under my belt, I have a MEGA project and as always I have designed the business model in order that is easy for everybody to join and have a JOB and a BUSINESS and never look back. The project needs 100 million Euros funding. (Euros due that the $US Dollars has devaluation and I cannot be short of budget) The businesses will have a lot of income and will fold every month during first 3 years (producing over $6 billion US Dollars profits ) (For such reason, I may consider to take 50 million Euros funding... the difference, we will build our own Intelligent premises with few months delay upon generating income from shares sells) therefore I can take as a LOAN or as a JOINT VENTURE or as PARTNERSHIP with Investor/s. The project is: 1. An Offshore main Company as a HOLDING and owner of all other companies. 2. An Offshore BANK as a payments and collections solutions to our own ACR (Affiliates Clients Referrals) + High Yield investment programs (PPP's etc.) 3. An Import / Export TRADE company in China mainland as the supplier of daily consumable products working for small profit just to maintain infrastructure in China and with a strategy to repatriate all investment (intelligent premises, inventories etc.) out of China  mainland. 4. A total of 30 E-commerce online B2C companies that are sold to the ACR as their own investment (they agree according to the research and the Affiliate program and willing to invest) I become my own competitor before anyone tries to copy and paste my own business model (did the same in 1995/6 with great success 5. In a later stage a Private Club 6. An a Gaming Company. The only Gaming Company that does not use debit / credit cards therefore has NO CHARGES BACK (Only talented people can design such Gaming business with ZERO RISK).  The people who will run such MEGA project: CHESS88 team, ITWEB team, PID team, ADMIN two teams. As you can see, I have surrounded myself with people that pose talent attitudes like me. 1.             This HOLDING businesses is feasible due my (Nando) talents, skills, experience, contacts in the Chinese Government and because I have done a massive Market Research, conducted interviews, surveys, studied the unemploymentph     phenomena, l learned how to profit from the social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn etc. In the next 5 years I, Nando, want to accomplish:

ü         30 million people network in my businesses in the next 5 years

ü         $8 billion US Dollars profits in 3 years

ü         Ensure earnings of $2 Billion US Dollars per year every year and growing

A   And spend my wealth by building a FOUNDATION (NGO) and dedicate to Children's programs to provide Food, Shelter, Health, Scholarship, etc.

Any interested INVESTOR/S. please send me your funding proposal and PLEASE if your proposal includes any up front FEE or sort of EXPENSES before providing the funding, SAVE YOUR TIME. (Any Bond insurance or any other sort of legal expense once I have the funding).
Meanwhile I will send you a set of files as Summary and Business Strategic Plan therefore you get to know who the teams are, the ACR's and how the businesses provide MILLIONS OF JOBS AND WEALTH TO ALL ASSOCIATES. You will also find copy of my (Nando) Resume CV and a draft of PARTNER AGREEMENT with my best offering as PARTNER AHHHH! for the ones that ask how much SKIN I have in the project, the answer is very simple $5 million me and my CHESS88 team have spent in Market Research, Surveys, Contacts, (including politicians from local Government) and test all Teams that will join. Kind Regards Nando Pons, CEO & Consultantchess88@chess88.comSkype: tradebiz Guangzhou, Chinawww.chess88.com
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3 Things You Can Change to Go From Startup to Grown Up

3 Things You Can Change to Go From Startup to Grown Up | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

There are few things in life as rewarding as creating a business out of nothing. If you have any love of enterprise, it is hard not to be enamored with the excitement around tech startups.

It would be nice to see a few more startups stick around, so here are my three suggestions for how you can significantly improve your chances of success. Not asking much!

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



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great article. Stop defining yourself in a limiting way. Create value, make a great company. I would say: must-read for every 'start up'!

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Mark Cuban’s 12 rules for startups by Illumination Consulting

Mark Cuban’s 12 rules for startups by Illumination Consulting | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Over the weekend Mark Cuban published his thoughts about what it takes to be great in business, boiled down to six fundamental practices. But for startups in particular, Cuban has a few extra pointers.



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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Good advice for startups.

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Sixteen Year Old Anaya Tipins Wins First Place for Startup and an Award for One of the Three Most Powerful Women at MIT’s Launch Program | Articles | INDIA New England

Sixteen Year Old Anaya Tipins Wins First Place for Startup and an Award for One of the Three Most Powerful Women at MIT’s Launch Program | Articles | INDIA New England | Pitch it! | Scoop.it


Sixteen Year Old Anaya Tipins Wins First Place for Startup and an Award for One of the Three Most Powerful Women at MIT’s Launch Program

This summer, Anaya Tipnis, a 16 year old rising junior at Needham High School started a company with three other students at a prestigious MIT program called Launch. MIT Launch is a highly selective summer program where 40 talented high school students from all over the world are invited to stay on campus, go through a rigorous 4 week program to learn about entrepreneurship and launch businesses.

Tipnis co-founded Commisi, a web platform that bridges the divide between skilled high school developers and startup companies. Through her venture, teens can gain hands-on experience and earn money working on real world projects. In turn, budding startups utilize the next generation's creative minds to develop their company's products and services. In just 4 weeks, Commisi signed up 10+ interested high school developers and secured 5 letters of intent from local companies, including one affiliated with Museum of Science.


In Tipnis' session, eleven teams competed with one another. They brainstormed ideas, developed concepts, tested the customer and market needs, and executed within a short duration of four weeks. At the end of four weeks, eleven companies presented at the Kirsch auditorium to a panel of judges which included successful and influential business leaders and entrepreneurs. Tipnis's company Commisi was awarded first place for Startup with the Best Execution. Tipnis was the CEO of their team of four; along with Sohom Paul from India (CMO), David Yuan from Texas (CFO), and Alex Yu from Maryland (CTO). Tipnis was also a proud recipient of an award for One of the Three Most Powerful Women at the program.

Tipnis was interested in entrepreneurship from an early age. She would often tag along with her father to local WebInno conferences in Boston, where local startups presented their ventures to the community. Learning from her experience, Anaya believes entrepreneurship is a key skill all teens should have. She explains that it allows a student to harness their passion and creativity and solidify them into an actual business.

Through this experience and service, Tipnis hopes to inspire local students to pursue STEM-related activities and find exciting opportunities for work and experience while in school. Her vision is that Commisi would be used as a go-to academic platform for teens to find opportunities, ranging from research and data entry to video and song composition. She plans to bring Commisi to Needham High, in order to give teenagers the creative freedom to find opportunities suited to their interests.

Here is a brief Q-A with Tipnis:

INDIA New England News: How did you get interested in entrepreneurship?
ANAYA TIPINS:
I have always been intrigued by the start-up world. My dad himself is an entrepreneur, so I would frequently see him working in his basement when I was younger, developing a venture with his partners. I thought that his drive to get a company up and running himself was admirable, especially being in elementary school, when we were told without thought that becoming a doctor or lawyer was the best profession.

In addition, Boston is home to a diverse range of startups, and it was inspiring to see that people were able to turn a dream into a tangible company. It showed me that entrepreneurship allows a person to both work independently and contribute towards the community, and I think that this combination is liberating. Originally, I never saw myself as an entrepreneur; I dreamed of becoming a journalist or a neurologist. But once I realized I had the potential to shape my future by pursuing personal, innovative ideas, I decided to look into entrepreneurship as a potential career choice.

INE: What do you want to do after studies?
Tipins:
Although I enjoy entrepreneurship, I definitely want to be able to go to college and learn more about other fields of study. I especially love learning about aerospace and aviation, because I see that space travel is a growing market and an expansive field for innovative technologies. Working for a disruptive company like SpaceX would be a dream come true. In addition, I want to be able to apply the entrepreneurial skills I've learned after my studies. Teaching about the logistics of the startup process in India, Malaysia, and other parts of the world would be a humbling experience. I really believe that by learning how to maintain businesses, especially for young women, people can benefit tremendously in terms of self-sufficiency. I envision a world where everyone can do what they love, and I think entrepreneurship lends that freedom.

INE: What advise you will give to your other students?
Tipins:
My advice to other students is to find your passions. From a young age, we are told how the world works, and to squeeze ourselves inside those limitations and make do with what is available. I say that despite your age, you have the potential to broaden your horizons and do what you enjoy if you love to learn and soak up knowledge like a sponge. It is never too early to explore career opportunities and areas of interest; don't be afraid to put yourself out there and discover what you are happy doing. Steve Jobs once said, "If you don't love something, you're not going to go the extra mile, work the extra weekend, challenge the status quo as much". Go out and challenge the status quo!

INE: When you are not studying or working, what do you do? What are your hobbies?
Tipins:
When I am not studying/working, I love to play and compose music on the piano and guitar. During the Launch camp, we would frequently gather on late nights and pour ourselves into a song. Music is a wonderful means of de-stressing and showcasing passion, and it's definitely a hobby of mine. I also enjoy playing basketball, creative writing, and public speaking. In addition, the entrepreneurs I met during Launch also said that cooking is a great hobby to pursue - so I'm looking into that as well.



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3 Energy Companies Investing In Startups

3 Energy Companies Investing In Startups | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

As recently reported, NRG Energy (NYSE: NRG) is acquiring Goal Zero, a company that makes portable solar battery chargers.

The deal is just the latest in a growing trend of energy companies acquiring innovative startups, in an effort to diversify and expand their markets. Here are some recent examples.


Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A)

Back in 2010, Shell acquired a stake in Virent Energy Systems -– a Wisconsin-based company that creates chemicals and fuels from “biomass-derived” sugars.

In 2012, using technology licensed from Virent, Royal Dutch Shell built a next-generation biofuels pilot plant at Shell's Westhollow Technology Center in Houston.


The pilot plant “allows us to explore further biofuels options as we continue to actively manage our advanced biofuels pathways to identify a feasible set of commercial solutions,” Luis Scoffone, Vice President, Alternative Energies at Shell, said at the time.

Virent also has partnerships with Cargill, Coca-Cola, the U.S. Navy, the USDA and the U.S. Department of Energy.


SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY)

While Elon Musk is best known for the Tesla electric car and his SpaceX chimerical space venture, he's also chairman of Solar City, one of America's largest installers of rooftop solar power systems.

And this past June SolarCity announced its acquisition of Silevo, a solar panel technology and manufacturing company.

In a blog co-signed by Musk, SolarCity said the company was in discussions with New York officials regarding the construction of a manufacturing plant in the state, a facility that within the next two years “will be one of the largest solar panel production plants in the world.”

“If we don’t do this, we felt there was a risk of not being able to have the solar panels we need to expand the business in the long term,” Musk said during a June conference call.


Pacific Gas and Electric (NYSE: PCG)

Also known as PG&E, the company is one of the biggest combined natural gas/electric utilities in the country -- supplying natural gas and electricity to an estimated 15 million people in north and central California.

In 2009 PG&E signed a contract with BrightSource Energy, a designer, developer and distributor of solar thermal technology, to create seven solar power projects that would produce an overall total of 1,310 megawatts (MW) of solar thermal power.

But the relationship hasn't always been to plan. Last year, PG&E canceled a plan to purchase power from two BrightSource plants, citing “uncertainty around the timing of transmission upgrades,”



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Chinese startups get taste of Silicon Valley with TechCrunch

Chinese startups get taste of Silicon Valley with TechCrunch | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
San Francisco-based TechCrunch brought a taste of Silicon Valley to Beijing this week, with more than 50 startups showcasing their innovations to tech fans and investors at a two-day event in the Chinese capital.

Beijing (CNN) -- San Francisco-based TechCrunch brought a taste of Silicon Valley to Beijing this week, with more than 50 startups showcasing their innovations to tech fans and investors at a two-day event in the Chinese capital.

The conference attracted some of the most forward-thinking and dynamic Chinese technology wannabees, including ANTVR, a wearable gaming device company.

The startup attracted a long line of visitors eager try out its very first product, ANTVR kit.

Consisting of a headset and a controller, ANTVR claims the kit can provide a "fully immersive experience" by projecting a high-definition image onto users' retinas without distortion and provide an experience similar to an IMAX movie.

During the demo, the player is thrown into a pitch-dark room and told to find the source of a sound, which leads to a pale ghost with blood trickling down her face.

Qin Zheng, founder of ANTVR said the kit is compatible with all major gaming consoles and will hit both Chinese and overseas markets by the end of the year.

The 27-year-old said ANTVR went through the same difficulties as many startups in China — it was hard to find proper platforms to release products and raise funds.

Qin founded the company half a year ago, and to get started raised initial funding of $231,095 on U.S. crowdfunding site Kickstarter.

"Fund-raising is hard (here). I think this is why everybody rushes to crowdfunding sites," Qin said.

Lu Gang, head of Technote, TechCrunch's partner in China said that Chinese startups face a unique set of challenges.

"I think Chinese startups (face) much tougher competition, like copies," said Lu. "We've found so many copycats."

By bringing TechCrunch to China, Lu hopes to bring the originality and creativity that Silicon Valley is known for and inspire Chinese companies to invent something that "really makes a difference."

"I think the TechCrunch brand obviously stands for original work for entrepreneurs, and for creating something out of nothing, which is ideal. I think this is what everybody's striving for," says Lu.

"We want to encourage people here to be truly innovative instead of copying."


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9 startup companies perfect for your family

9 startup companies perfect for your family | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

It’s a new age for startup companies, and your family may reap some benefits from them.

Right now, the United States is adding 20 million new businesses every year, according to the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. And, according to The New York Times, many of these startups — between 25 and possibly even 40 of them — are worth more than $1 billion. So, yeah, they're big.

Which of these startups are the most relevant to your family? Here’s a list of nine startup companies that your family might find helpful:

Pley
For Pley, everything is awesome. The California-based startup company rents Lego sets out to families for minimum prices — ranging between $15 and $40 a month, according to Entrepreneur — giving kids a chance to test out their desired Lego set before making the full commitment with a purchase.

Hubert
This French-Romanian startup is all about helping families interact. Called Hubert, the company helps the elderly connect with their families from across the world, according to expatica.com. This is help for the 37 percent of people over the age of 80 who go online, as the Pew Research Center noted.

Frameri
Frameri is as startup as they come. It began as a Kickstarter campaign, but soon grew with the help of the co-founder of AOL. Now, the company is helping people swap their eyeglasses, according to The Cincinnati Business Courier. You change the frames, and they change the lenses. Simple.

ULTRA Testing
Though ULTRA Testing isn’t exactly helpful because it just tests software, it does accommodate families by hiring those with autism. Business Insider recently ran a rather popular piece about how the company hires employees who have autistic characteristics, since they have natural capabilities and aptitudes that others don't.

Automatic
Want to get rid of that weird sound in your car or figure out when you’ll need gas? The startup Automatic, based out of San Francisco, is helping people do just that. Fox News Business reported this month on how the app helps people save the $3,000 they spend annually on their cars just by informing them of their gas usage, braking and speeding habits.

Jibo
Jibo is just what your family needs to see those old photos or help out around the house. Deseret News National reported earlier this month about the robot that can help you tuck your kids in at night or even help you wash your clothes — perfect for any working parent.

KNO Clothing
KNO Clothing is good for families for two reasons. The first reason: It can get you the clothes you need. The other? Its aim is to help end homelessness. With each purchase, the company donates to a number of organizations that aid homeless people across the country. For the 75 percent of people who are donating, this startup makes giving all the easier.

Kurbo Health
Want to help your child fight obesity? Kurbo Health may be the key. This app helps kids keep track of the food they're snacking on by engaging them with fun and interactive games. This may be a good app for some families whose kids aren’t aware they’re actually overweight — which is a common trend, according to the Centers for Disease Control — and for those who are a part of the ongoing rise in obesity.

Dealflicks
Think movie theater prices are a drag? Well, instead of trying to save on snacks, you many want to try Dealflicks, which offers both tickets and concessions online for lesser prices. The company offers coupons and myriad offers to help you save at the box office.



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Startups don't always have to be tech companies. Here are some great ideas for products/services for families.

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The Importance of Timing and Luck for Your Startup

The Importance of Timing and Luck for Your Startup | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Time and luck are key elements for success but they are the hardest to identify and control. Here are the key drivers to consider when optimizing your odds.

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

Timing and luck are key elements for success, but they are the hardest to identify and control. Here are the key drivers to consider when trying to optimize your odds of success:


Market timing


Market timing is basically the old adage of being in the right place at the right time.

As an example, MediaRecall, my past company, had built the fastest, cheapest solution to digitize large archives of film and video content, for publishing on the Web. However, the business launched in 2006 – well before online video started to take off.

At the time, big film archives had not yet began to think about digitizing their archives. Subsequently, the company struggled to build a sales pipeline until 2009, when the rapid success of sites like YouTube and Hulu had film archives scrambling to find a way to monetizing online.

Had MediaRecall launched in 2008, it would have saved two years of burn rate. But, you are never that smart to time the market. The lesson here is to make sure there is solid customer interest for your product, before investing too heavily in your business (e.g., the lean startup principle). Many people like to think they are predicting the future of the market with their product, but be patient before putting all your eggs in one basket.


Economic conditions



Economic conditions are entirely out of your control once you get started. Another one of my company, travel startup iExplore, launched its site in February 2000 in the peak of the dot com boom. However, the dot com bubble burst one month later, making it immediately an uphill slog right out of the gate.

Had we launched three years earlier, riding the momentum of the dot com wave would have made it much easier to grow the business. Or, even worse, nobody could have predicted September 11 tragedy, and the negative impact that event would have on both the economy overall, and especially the travel industry.

The unfortunate timing almost took iExplore out of business entirely. All you can do here is to keep your business nimble, so it can easily scale up or down, based on external market conditions.

When times are good, run as fast as possible to build your coffers for the downtimes. And, when times are bad, defer all unnecessary investment. If you ever need to shut your business down, do it quick before burning through capital.


Execution speed


Execution speed simply means build your business at light speed, and where you can, be a first mover in your space. Continually distance yourself from your competitors. And, better yet, using Google or Amazon as an example, try to widen your lead over your competitors to make the gap insurmountable.

Never get “comfortable” with your success. Continually have a sense of “controlled paranoia,” pushing your research and development efforts and sales and marketing tactics to new heights in each year. The turtle never wins this race.

Keep a clear focus on continued and accelerating growth, holding your competitors further back in your rear-view mirrors.


Knowing how long to ride the wave


On the sell side of your venture, it is important you know how long to ride the wave. Don’t make the mistake of the riding the story too long. A wild factor may change to hurt the business (e.g., market conditions, competition) that will result in a much lower sale price, had you exited at an earlier time.

Equally important, the prospective buyer of your business will want to see upside on their investment. They will not want to buy a story that they perceive has reached its full potential.

And, overriding all of this? Luck! Carry your four leaf clovers and rabbit feet in your pocket at all times. Startup success is 80 percent timing and 20 percent luck – just make sure to put 101 in your hustle.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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




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How To Raise Venture Capital

How To Raise Venture Capital | Pitch it! | Scoop.it


It’s no secret that entrepreneurs need funding to launch or grow their nascent companies, and some will seek the support of venture capitalists (VCs) to fulfill their ambitions. For many entrepreneurs, myself included, pitching to potential investors is far from an enjoyable task; at times, it can even appear to be a wasted effort. According to this report, venture capitalists provided $29.5 billion in funding to 3,382 businesses in 2013, so they have earned an unfortunate reputation as a necessary evil in the startup world.

Part of the problem stems from the fact that aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly first-time founders, don’t know how to engage or attract potential investors. Inexperienced entrepreneurs employ a blanket approach by giving the same rehearsed spiel to any venture capitalist who is willing to listen. In the end, nobody wins.

My current company, Retention Science, is my third business endeavor, and through the course of raising money for three companies, I learned firsthand how arduous and difficult the fundraising process could be. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. The negative stigma associated with securing funding isn’t a given; it doesn’t have to be a nerve-racking ordeal, and it certainly doesn’t have to be a perpetual disappointment.

I’ve learned a few key tactics that can prove invaluable when pitching a company to prospective investors.

Don’t Talk To Everybody

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not wise to pitch to anybody who will listen (though it is understandably difficult to say no to meetings). Your time is just as valuable as the VCs and you should only meet with VCs who specialize in your field.

It is also critical to identify the right partner to pitch to within a VC. Every partner has different investment interests, styles and seniority within the firm. Start by targeting ones who are most likely to be interested in your company.

When I started Retention Science, we listed ourselves on AngelList, a popular funding platform for startups, and received around 25 intro requests, but we only took meetings with a select few that made sense for our company. For instance, I met with Katherine Barr at Mohr Davidow Ventures because of their proven track record with successful B2B enterprise companies like Rocket Fuel  and Rally Software. They also had a known venture partner, Geoffrey Moore, who authored Crossing the Chasm, a respected publication on selling and marketing high-tech products like ours.

Look Into Your Own Network

One way to filter the investors you should meet up with is to target people who you already know, either directly or indirectly. After all, it is much easier for VCs to take an aspiring entrepreneur seriously when introduced by someone they already trust or know.

For instance, Andy Rankin, one of our earliest Angel Investors, introduced me to Kirsten Green, the founder of Forerunner Ventures. At the time, I wasn’t actively seeking capital, and I had instead hoped to be given the opportunity to work with her impressive list of portfolio companies, including Bonobos, Warby Parker and Birchbox. As we continued discussions, however, Kirsten realized that many of her commerce-based portfolio companies had the exact same needs that Retention Science was addressing. Our conversation quickly shifted away from a sales angle to a fundraising one because Kirsten was interested in being a part of the company. The shift was very serendipitous and natural once we realized that we’d be great partners with each other. But if it weren’t for the initial connection by Andy, we’d have never met Kirsten in the first place.

Research, Research, and Research More

Pitching to investors involves making a personal connection and telling a story they can relate to from their own investment experiences. A successful pitch is not only about the idea; it is about helping the investors to see your vision, size up the market, and, most importantly, foresee a profitable business model. Assuming you already know everything there is about your industry, make sure you thoroughly research everyone you will be speaking to so you can identify ways to connect on a personal level.

Whenever I confirmed a meeting with prospective investors at VC firms, I would thoroughly research all the partners who I might speak to. I familiarized myself with their previous investments, their philosophies, and their LinkedIn profiles, and I drafted notes and questions based on this information.

By the time I actually arrived at the meeting, I was able to modify my pitch to reflect the specific investment and professional experiences of the partners who were present. By the time I pitched for Retention Science, I convinced four partners from Mohr Davidow to sign on with us within a 24 hour span, the quickest turnaround I’ve ever had.

Be Yourself

When pitching to investors, it can be all too easy to revert to a façade of no-nonsense professionalism. However, it is important to remember to be yourself and to act natural. After all, as much as partners invest in an idea, they also invest in people.

As the saying goes, you are only human, so relax. It will make it much easier to demonstrate your knowledge of the problem you are trying to solve, your expertise in the market you are trying to enter, and your genuine excitement to create a viable, profitable solution.

Investors are trained to see through the “smoke and mirrors” of superficiality. They are generally good judges of character regardless of how you present yourself. So the best bet is to go into a meeting as yourself. An advisor once recommended that I pitch myself and my business differently to compensate for my youth and my enthusiasm, which, I was told, made me seem inexperienced and desperate. I tried to modify my actions accordingly, but in the end, I realized that I wouldn’t want to partner with an investor who wasn’t willing to work with me as I am.

You Can’t Control Everything, Such As Timing & Luck

Timing is everything in life, and it no different for fundraising. The outcome of many interactions with investors will hinge on the timing of the meeting. Some factors are beyond your control. If a VC just concluded a successful investment with a company similar to your own, they are more likely to look favorably on your proposal. But if they just came out of a lengthy board meeting, you may have difficulty capturing their full attention. Though you have no way of knowing an investor’s state of mind, you can at least do a little casual probing to gauge their mind frame before you launch into your pitch, and adjust accordingly.

There are some factors that you can control. If a VC gets in touch with you about setting up a meeting, be prompt to respond. You’ll be more likely to guarantee yourself an optimal time slot. Also, make sure to show up earlier than your meeting time. With luck, you may be able to snag a few extra minutes of time to pitch your company.

It is also critical to remember that VCs are generally busy people with jobs and lives outside of their meetings, so it will likely be difficult for them all to gather in a single room and agree to place their money in a certain company. The decision-making process is often delayed, so remain patient. At the same time, while persistence is always good, avoid resorting to obsessive emails or phone calls, which can quickly morph into annoyance.

Follow Up and Perform Due Diligence

Fundraising is not rocket science, yet many entrepreneurs drop the ball when closing a deal. Remember that a verbal commitment is not the same as a signed agreement, so keep working with your partners until the money is in the bank.

Until the partnership is legally finalized, make sure you attentively and directly answer all of the requests that come your way—investors take everything into account when forming their impression of you, and they are probably taking notes on how well you respond to their additional requests when handling the final steps of the fundraising process. Expect to receive numerous follow-up requests of all types, and respond to them in a thorough, timely, and professional manner.

Final Thoughts

Fundraising has developed a negative stigma, possibly because entrepreneurs see it as a necessary evil and a stressful ordeal. But it does not have to be the case. Fundraising involves more than just securing financial support – it also entails working with the right partners who can take a company to new heights. So rather than fear the process of raising money, cherish the learning experience and revel in the opportunity to make new connections.

Though it may sound cliché, fundraising is much like getting married. Your partner provides not only financial support; they also lend you their expertise, time, and invaluable advice. Our investors at Retention Science visit our office frequently enough to be called honorary team members, and having them around constantly reminds me that they are so much more than sources of capital. When you can feel that way about your investors, you’ll know you’ve made the right partnership.



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The Aha Moment - How Entrepreneurs Realized What To Do In Life

The Aha Moment - How Entrepreneurs Realized What To Do In Life | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Before any entrepreneur became successful there was a time they did not know what to do. And then the aha moment happened. How?


About 2200 years ago Archimedes stepped into his bath and exclaimed, “Eureka!”

 

It was a moment of sudden discovery. The eureka effect. A moment of deep insight. It’s an epiphany which translates as “striking appearance.” In that moment a previously unsolvable problem becomes suddenly clear and obvious.


Before The Aha Moment

Life can be divided into two periods. Before you know why you are alive and after. In between there is just a single moment – the Aha! moment. One brainwave that turns a person into a person on a mission.

Here we show the moments that turned famous people onto their missions. Even though for them it was a process to get to that moment, there was a catalyst that one day made them say, “Aha!”

What Makes Us Aha

What brings the Aha moment?

Inconvenience. GoPro founder who struggled to take a picture of himself while surfing.

Limited resources. Ikea founder could not fit a table in his small car, so he thought to take off the legs.

Pain and tragedy. Samuel Morse received a letter about his wife’s illness after she was already buried. Letters took a long time back then. He raced to see her, but it was too late. Grief-stricken, he decided to forever change how people talk to each other and invented the telegraph.

The aha moment comes at different ages. Here are a few examples. Is it ever too late to have the aha moment? Some entrepreneurs had them well into their fifties. Were they thinking it was never too late?




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Via Justin Jones
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Nice chart and some interesting facts.

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Change Impetus's curator insight, August 1, 5:51 AM

With all of the resources available today, I believe more entrepreneurs  can pursue their AHA life forms than ever.

Barbara Alevras, PMP's curator insight, August 1, 6:40 AM

I think this is kinda fascinating. Have you had your "Eureka Moment" or are you still waiting? 

M. Philip Oliver's curator insight, August 1, 2:14 PM

Thanks to Justin Jones

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How to Ruin Your Company with One Bad Process

How to Ruin Your Company with One Bad Process | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Marc Kneepkens's insight:
Here's The Number One Mistake That Kills Startups, According To Ben Horowitz

"I am a giant advocate for technical founders running their own companies, but one consistent way that technical founders deeply harm their businesses is by screwing up the budgeting process. Yes, the budgeting process. How ridiculous is that? How does it happen and why is it particularly problematic for engineers?

I'll begin by describing how I screwed it up in my company. Our sales were growing so fast that the biggest problem that we faced was that we literally could not handle all the customers that wanted to sign up for Loudcloud. To combat this and enable us to grow, I worked diligently with my team to plan all the activities that we needed to accomplish to expand our capacity and capture the market before the competition. Next, I assigned sub-goals and activities to each functional head. In conjunction with my leadership team, I made sure that each goal was measurable and supported by paired metrics as well as lagging and leading indicators. I then told the team to figure out what it would take to accomplish those goals and return with their requirements for headcount and program dollars. Finally, I made adjustments to their requests based on industry benchmarks (mostly reductions) to get to a plan that I thought made sense.

Here’s the basic process:"

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




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How to start a startup?

How to start a startup? | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

"Success has a simple formula: do your best, and people may like it." (Sam Ewing) 

Why startup?

Not every new business is a startup. A newly opened café isn’t a startup, at least we don’t call it that way. Startups are usually dynamically developing companies all over the world with a high growth potential. Many think that mostly internet-related or technological developments fill this category, though there are innovative businesses working in the field of education, biotechnology, robotics, fashion, environmental management, energetics, renewable energy, green technologies, and manufacturing and packaging technologies too.

According to the basic definition, it’s a quickly developing business, based on a
good idea, usually younger than two years, in which the main value is represented by the innovative approach, the big idea or the technological innovation.

The innovation strategy planned until 2020 is separately dealing with the startups and the startup ecosystem growing from them, since the quickly growing starting businesses will be a significant part of the future’s economy.

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Via Tamás Turcsán
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

What makes you a start up? This brief article provides a good definition.

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4 Things Remarkable Startups Have In Common

4 Things Remarkable Startups Have In Common | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Why do some startups succeed and others don't? Here's a hint: It doesn't have to do with if an idea is good or bad. Indeed, the successful entrepreneurs are able to run with amazing concepts and pivot otherw when needing. There are a few more tried and true principles that can contribute to the success of your new company.

Among other things, these are four things remarkable startups have in common.

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Via Luis Costa
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Four good reasons.

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