Pitch it!
Follow
Find
17.6K views | +18 today
 
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Startup , Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Acquisitions
onto Pitch it!
Scoop.it!

4 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Venture Capital

4 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Venture Capital | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Venture capital plays a pivotal role in the startup economy, providing vital funds to high-potential early-stage companies. Not surprisingly, it’s also a constant topic of conversation within the startup community — who’s receiving it, how much they’re getting, and how long it took them to capture the interest of VCs.

During my 19 years of experience as an entrepreneur, I have founded 3 venture-backed companies, and I know firsthand that navigating venture funding can be incredibly confusing. As the founder of Fundable, I talk to startups daily about their approach to investors. I’ve put together answers to some of the most frequently asked questions and topics of discussion amongst our community of founders. If you’re thinking about raising capital, here are a few things to keep in mind before you dive headfirst into the venture funding pool.

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



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


Via Ivan Berlocher
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Before thinking about Venture Capital, try to understand what it can do for you. This article explains a few important points.

more...
No comment yet.
Pitch it!
Startups, Entrepreneurs, be better informed before you 'Pitch it'!
Curated by Marc Kneepkens
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

16 Common Questions About Fundraising | Andreessen Horowitz

http://snip.ly/vlS6

by Stephen McDermid


For most companies, fundraising isn’t about $100-million rounds and “unicorns”. It’s often an anxiety-ridden, lonely, frustrating process filled with uncertainty and self doubt. Despite the stories out there, raising venture capital isn’t easy for most startups.

Entrepreneurs are always evaluating tradeoffs, such as valuation and structure (which we’ve written about before here). But there’s much more, so we’re sharing the below list of questions we often hear to help shed light on the realities of raising capital.

1. When should we raise capital; how do we time it right?

You should only raise capital when you’re “ready” to execute a process, but determining when you’re “ready” is the hard part. You’re never actually ready: There’s always another close milestone that’s going to increase your valuation, there’s never enough time to prepare. At some point you just have to push yourself out there and begin.

In the best case scenario, raise capital when these three criteria are true:

1) You have sufficient cash runway to provide you flexibility in the fundraising process so your back isn’t up against the wall (yes, that old adage ‘raise money when you don’t need it’ is true!). Runway = negotiating leverage.

2) You’ve achieved the necessary milestones to get the valuation you think you deserve.

3) You’re thoroughly prepared to deliver a knock-out pitch and efficiently respond to diligence requests.

 Read more here: http://snip.ly/vlS6



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

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

.

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Here is a funding insider from the VC company Andreessen Horowitz describing what the fundraising process is like by answering 16 questions. Excellent stuff! Read it, please.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from MarketingHits
Scoop.it!

The Anatomy of a Compelling Elevator Pitch #Infographic

The Anatomy of a Compelling Elevator Pitch #Infographic | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
Master the art of the 60-second elevator pitch and watch your sales go up.

As organizations flatten out, employees don't have to corner senior management in an elevator to get their thoughts heard. They could just schedule a meeting, or even walk up to a leader's office or desk. So is there even a need to have an elevator pitch at the ready?

Absolutely. Although accessibility to managers has increased, the amount of time those managers have at their disposal has decreased. And that means the clearer, crisper, and more concise you can make your idea, the more likely it is that your senior-level listener will tune in.

Salespeople trying to connect with C-level prospects should have a variety of pitches at their disposal, but each should adhere to the principles of the classic elevator pitch. This infographic from Bplans explains each component of an elevator pitch to ensure you hit the highs and provide all the necessary information. Just remember that brevity is a virtue -- according to the graphic, an ideal elevator pitch should clock in at a minute or less.


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

Growthink really understands how to create compelling business plans and raise capital, and Growthink's Capital Raising Products succeed in infusing this knowledge.
-John Morris
Managing Director, GKM Ventures,
Board of Governors, Tech Coast Angels


Via Brian Yanish - MarketingHits.com
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

7 Leading Accelerators For Overseas Startups Coming To Silicon Valley

7 Leading Accelerators For Overseas Startups Coming To Silicon Valley | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Silicon Valley has become the epicenter of the startup universe, and with that comes a virtual tsunami of startups from all parts of the globe.  These young companies are flocking to the home of Uber, Snapchat and Airbnb for a chance to change the world.  They need venture funding, business relationships, mentorship, A-list talent and most of all strategic guidance.

Many of these startups seek out incubators and accelerators to help them plug into the Silicon Valley ecosystem, make connections and move fast.  But how does a startup choose from the hundreds of accelerators out there?  What makes one accelerator better suited for overseas startups than another?

We’ve taken an in-depth look at how accelerators operate in the Valley and come up with a short list of key factors that determine their success in dealing with foreign startups:

....

     Pitch & Presentation Training — The majority of overseas startups need help communicating their ideas.  English isn’t necessarily their first language, and they must be able to articulate their vision and plan to investors.  Also, Silicon Valley has a certain style of pitching.  Short, concise pitches that are laser focused on the big opportunity, product market fit, team, traction and market size.  Many overseas startups simply don’t understand how to do this correctly.

...

Read more here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhendricks/2015/02/17/7-leading-accelerators-for-overseas-startups-coming-to-silicon-valley/



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

Growthink really understands how to create compelling business plans and raise capital, and Growthink's Capital Raising Products succeed in infusing this knowledge.
-John Morris
Managing Director, GKM Ventures,
Board of Governors, Tech Coast Angels

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The best list of accelerators/incubators in Silicon Valley. The article describes all the reasons for working with these accelerators and names the best seven of them. I highlighted one of the mean reasons for foreign startups above, the "Pitch & Presentation Training", but there are many more. Excellent piece of information.

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

What do I need to do to launch a tech startup that will be acquired by a top tech company? - Fortune

What do I need to do to launch a tech startup that will be acquired by a top tech company? - Fortune | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/mzLp

Their ideas often are counter-intuitive and don’t seem likely to work at first.

I highly recommend this essay by Paul Graham: How to Get Startup Ideas. One of Paul’s best thoughts is:

The verb you want to be using with respect to startup ideas is not “think up” but “notice.” At YC we call ideas that grow naturally out of the founders’ own experiences “organic” startup ideas. The most successful startups almost all begin this way.”

Read More: http://snip.ly/mzLp



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

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


Craig Heppell
Nambour, Queensland

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

This comes from a question answered by Michael Wolfe on Quora, great insight.

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

How This Founder Turned Slow Burn Rate into a Big Exit

How This Founder Turned Slow Burn Rate into a Big Exit | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/rKYH

“Imagine your mom and dad needing to sell their home so that you can pay back your investors. Suddenly, that money seems very real.”

When Tasso Roumeliotis started Location Labs in 2001, the dot-com collapse had left a smoking, desolate venture capital landscape in its wake. The founder, whose mobile security app business was acquired this past September for an estimated $220 million, remembers the carnage well. In fact, his first go at fundraising was so difficult that Roumeliotis made a vow that he wouldn't make the rounds again unless he absolutely had to — and that meant curbing burn rate.
“It was so dire, it took us so long, and the terms were so onerous, I didn’t want to raise money ever again,” he says. “We viewed every dollar as something sacred. That was our mindset from very early on.”
With his very tight-knit early team, Roumeliotis turned his conservative, cost-conscious approach to spending into a hallmark of Location Labs' culture. For the many startups trying to do the same thing today, he provides a template for the low-burn strategy that not only yielded a huge return, but made the company stronger in the process

Read more: http://snip.ly/rKYH



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

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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Wow! Amazing approach that really caught the attention of investors. Incredibly responsible (does that exist?). What an example. Read if you look for or get any kind of funding. Must read.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from start up
Scoop.it!

How to start a startup without a technical person - Oxygen Accelerator

How to start a startup without a technical person - Oxygen Accelerator | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

The most common question we receive from budding entrepreneurs is how to find a technical co-founder. However, finding a CTO in an active tech hub such as London is anything but simple.

There is a common perception that one cannot start an innovative company in this day and age without a developer and consequently the demand for them is insatiable – which is even giving breeding ground for new practices such as acqui-hires. As a result, the surprise in our community was widespread when we recently accepted a company to our accelerator programme consisting only of “business people.” Naturally, this begged for the question: How do you get a startup accelerator ready without a technical person? We sat down with Vidsy OA14 to find out. Read more by clicking on image or title.



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

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


Via marcduke
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Smart solution, before hiring that expensive developer/CTO. Create customers, prove it.

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

YC for Hardware

YC for Hardware | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/gQq2

As YC has grown, we’ve funded more and more hardware companies.  Hardware companies have very different needs from pure software companies, and we’re delighted to announce a number of new resources for YC hardware companies. 

First, we’re excited to announce a partnership with Bolt, which we kicked off a couple of days ago.  Bolt’s partners and engineering staff will advise YC hardware companies on product development and manufacturing, and YC hardware startups will be able to work with Bolt’s staff at Autodesk’s Pier 9 Workshop facility with no cost to our companies as part of the partnership. Their facility is the the best prototyping shop I’ve ever seen.  Also, Bolt's partners are some of the best hardware people I've ever met.

Second, we’re also happy to announce a number of new deals for our hardware startups--across-the-board discounts & expedited services, free consultations and prototyping, and volume pricing for YC startups.  These range from 3D printing and rapid injection molding, to PCB fab & assembly, metalworking, design expertise, RF and carrier testing, early access to dev kits, product photography & international scaling.

Some of our deal partners include Novatel, Proto Services, The Build Shop, Jatco, Studio Fathom, Fictiv, DIX Metals, The Collaborationist, and Tempo Automation, and YC startups CircuitHub, Octopart, Tilt and Upverter.  YC hardware startups Pebble, SoundFocus, MadeSolid, Cruise and Rigetti Computing have offered to help out with machine & equipment needs.  And we’ll be working on many more deals for YC hardware startups in the coming months; please get in touch with if you can help our startups make better hardware faster.

Third, we’re building a mini-electronics prototyping shop in Mountain View, to supplement the much larger Pier 9 lab on the Embarcadero.  This way, hardware startups can do some quick PCB rework as needed, or make a 3D print anytime during the week. Read more: http://snip.ly/gQq2


Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great resources for hardware startups.

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

6 Great Business Models to Consider for a Startup

6 Great Business Models to Consider for a Startup | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/e4ma

Be sure to describe the consumer pain to be relieved by the enterprise and how big a wedge can be driven between what customers are willing to pay and the costs.

People often throw around the term business model in discussing startups.
But just what is a business model? Which ones work best and why? How do you know if your startup has the right one?
A business model explains which consumer pain your startup chooses to relieve, why your solution works better than competing ones and how big a wedge a company can drive between what customers are willing to pay and the costs.
I recently spent three hours with some clients, executives from Beijing, to discuss these questions: I presented several business models and their financial benefits.
After sharing the idea of the business model canvas, developed by Alexander Osterwalder to help entrepreneurs design a customized business model, I gave the Chinese executives an hour to "paint" a new business idea. (We did not use the interactive tool; they wrote their choices on a white board and addressed the class in Chinese. With the help of a translator, I asked follow-up questions.)
They did so brilliantly, picking two business ideas that clearly passed these three tests.
Read on for a quick review of the six most interesting business models I presented, some of which they found inspiring.

Read more here: http://snip.ly/e4ma



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

Growthink really understands how to create compelling business plans and raise capital, and Growthink's Capital Raising Products succeed in infusing this knowledge.
-John Morris
Managing Director, GKM Ventures,
Board of Governors, Tech Coast Angels

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Study business models and pick the right one for your business. Starting out the right way is essential.

more...
Ian Harris's curator insight, February 7, 8:47 PM

A really insightful expose' of several business models that may help you to configure a new business. Excellent!

Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Competitive Edge
Scoop.it!

What Is a Business Model? - HBR

What Is a Business Model? - HBR | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/NJnr

A history, from Drucker to Christensen.

...Introducing a better business model into an existing market is the definition of a disruptive innovation. To help strategists understand how that works Clay Christensen presented a particular take on the matter in “In Reinventing Your Business Model” designed to make it easier to work out how a new entrant’s business model might disrupt yours. This approach begins by focusing on the customer value proposition — what Christensen calls the customer’s “job-to-be-done.” It then identifies those aspects of the profit formula, the processes, and the resources that make the rival offering not only better, but harder to copy or respond to —  a different distribution system, perhaps (the iTunes store); or faster inventory turns (Kmart);  or maybe a different manufacturing approach (steel minimills)...

To read the whole article and see a summary of business models click here:

http://snip.ly/NJnr



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

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


Craig Heppell
Nambour, Queensland

more...
Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, January 24, 9:35 AM

Excellent article and overview of many business models. Must read for any entrepreneur and business developer.

Ian Harris's curator insight, February 8, 7:50 PM

A good refresher on exactly what a business model is and how they have developed.

Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

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

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

http://snip.ly/qLPH

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

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

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

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

http://snip.ly/qLPH


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

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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from start up
Scoop.it!

The Seed Bubble Has Popped

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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


Via marcduke
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

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

Xiaomi Will Invest in More Startups to Capitalize on Smart Homes

Xiaomi Will Invest in More Startups to Capitalize on Smart Homes | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
http://snip.ly/x0CD

Xiaomi Corp. will invest in “a lot more” startups this year, President Bin Lin said, as the Chinese phone maker seeks software and services to capitalize on the burgeoning business of smart homes. The investments will include appliances and hardware that complement Xiaomi’s existing devices, Lin said during an interview at the company’s Beijing headquarters. Xiaomi took stakes in more than 20 startups in the past 18 months, Lin said, and the company has introduced products including air purifiers and light bulbs that can be controlled by smartphones.

More here: http://snip.ly/x0CD



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

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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

A new corporate entry for startups in Asia. Xiaomi is going for the Internet of Things trend and carving out their positions.

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

18 Ways to Sink Your Startup (Infographic)

18 Ways to Sink Your Startup (Infographic) | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/QQUG

If you're making any of these mistakes, your business will pay the price.

Successfully building a startup can feel like the sort of thing that requires planets aligning. Screwing up a startup, however, is incredibly simple.

Some entrepreneurs try to do it all on their own. Some don’t get along with their co-founders. Both of these mistakes can stop a company before it starts. Other things to avoid: hiring bad computer programmers, raising too little or too much money and, of course, a half-hearted effort.

These are just a few of the fatal mistakes that can befall startups, as illustrated in the infographic by Anna Vital, information designer at Funders and Founders. Take a look and see if you’re in danger of falling into these traps. See infographic here: http://snip.ly/QQUG



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

"I appreciate beyond measure all the information you provide ~ so many inside tips, w/o which I wouldn't have access to. There is so much to consider, and I've passed this particular email along to others for their respective ideas, and the foundation on which they may be built."
 "I like the style of presentation, the breadth of information given, and the myriad ways to apply the information. Great stuff ~ thanks so much!!"
--TL Elliott

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great infographic.

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

5 Global Cities of the Future

5 Global Cities of the Future | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/BoBH


Look to these five emerging startup hubs for opportunities to launch or expand internationally, so your reach can finally match your ambitions.

If you're still pondering whether to head to Silicon Valley for your next startup, you're not thinking big enough or far enough. Over the coming decade, the 600 largest and best-connected cities on the planet will contain a fifth of the world's population, capture almost two-thirds of its economic growth, and encompass more than half of global GDP, according to the McKinsey Global Institute. And, as great as the Bay Area and Boulder and Austin are for launching a startup, you'd be only scratching the surface here when it comes to corralling talent, tapping the world's next big market (hint: they speak Arabic), or being present for the next tech breakthrough.

America's entrepreneurial spirit is too big to be contained by borders. Here, we present five global alternatives to traditional hotbeds of startup creation and growth. Each city offers unique advantages to American entrepreneurs, and each is a regional--or even global--hub in its own right. Some are great places to launch a business or expand into new markets. Others offer access to expertise or technologies that may not yet be available in the U.S. Many are home to some of the world's best workers, as well as to partners who will help you scale.

For example, Istanbul and Dubai are gateways to the modern Middle East, a market that is growing faster than (and is younger and bigger than) that of the United States. Santiago, Chile, has made a name for itself as one of the most foreign-entrepreneur-friendly cities on the planet, and as a test bed for launching into Latin America. Tallinn, Estonia, is one of the world's most internet-connected cities, with a deep pool of technical talent thanks to all the Skype alumni running around. Shenzhen, China, aspires to be the Silicon Valley for hardware makers, a place where accelerators are eager to help you build, test, refine, and make a million of something all in the same day. If these cities aren't already on your radar as lands of opportunity for your company, let this serve as notice that they should be. Read more: http://snip.ly/BoBH



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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

The world is changing dramatically. Centers of innovation are being created all over the globe. Here is a great article, with a beautiful pictorial and facts of 5 cities that are truly exceptional. Don't think anymore that the US or Europe are the only places where innovation or growth are taking place. There is an awesome world out there. Travel and go look for yourself.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Business Tips
Scoop.it!

The 6 Key Components of Writing a Business Plan

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

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


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

Growthink really understands how to create compelling business plans and raise capital, and Growthink's Capital Raising Products succeed in infusing this knowledge.
-John Morris
Managing Director, GKM Ventures,
Board of Governors, Tech Coast Angels



Via TechinBiz
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Entrepreneurs
Scoop.it!

Advice for inventors: turning your bright idea into a business

Advice for inventors: turning your bright idea into a business | Pitch it! | Scoop.it
The journey from great idea to commercial product can be long and costly – but help is available

It was 2008, when the late inventor John Reid and entrepreneur Arpana Gandhi got talking at a fundraising event for landmine victims. In a long career, Reid had invented, among other things, the plastic security tag used to deter shoplifters.

Reid told Gandhi about the Dragon torch, a product he had developed to disable landmines. Despite its promise, problems such as a lack of raw materials meant it had never come to market. “I explained that I’ve got a good track record and a commercial background, and that was one of the things, unfortunately, that John was not very good at,” Gandhi says now. The two decided to combine their strengths – and that is how Disarmco was born.

There are 120m landmines worldwide, and the principal method of disposal is to blow them up. But that requires carrying explosives across borders, which naturally attracts suspicion. “Because of these conflicts in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, everybody is awfully twitchy,” says Gandhi.

 
Reid – who, sadly, died in 2014 – was very good, says Gandhi, at taking technology used in one area of life and applying it to another. The Dragon torch works like a firework: it directs a very hot flame at the munitions so that the landmine is burnt rather than exploded.
Both Gandhi and Reid had put money into the company but needed more funding to test the product. Attempts to attract venture capital failed, says Gandhi: “People are risk-averse, especially within a sector that they don’t understand, and nobody is prepared to do the due diligence to understand that we’re not going to be using this in a detrimental way, we’re using it for a humanitarian purpose.”
So Disarmco used a very modern method of raising funds: it put a request on crowdfunding platform Crowdcube and within six months had raised just under £150,000 (£30,000 more than the original target). The torch has been tested and should be commercially available later this year – though the company also has other products on the market.
Disarmco’s story demonstrates that the journey between having a good idea and creating a commercially viable product can be long, bumpy and costly: half of UK startups fail within five years, and that is partly down to the difficulty of attracting investment.

Read more, click on title or image.


Get your Free #BusinessPlanTemplate here: http://bit.ly/1aKy7km

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


Via Zonata
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Crowdfunding to test new ideas is a great platform.

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

500 Startups Keeps Its Commitment To Invest In Women In Tech | TechCrunch

500 Startups Keeps Its Commitment To Invest In Women In Tech  |  TechCrunch | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/20aP

The best thing women in tech can do is to invest in other women,” 500 Startups managing partner Christine Tsai told me by phone earlier today. That’s exactly what the early-stage investment firm has been trying to do over the last five years, and it seems to be succeeding.

Its commitment starts with the makeup of the organization itself, but extends into the portfolio companies that 500 backs, as well. Half the managing partners and staff at 500 Startups are women, and at least one-third of the investing team are women. More than a quarter of the companies in the 500 portfolio are led by female CEOs, according to the firm.

Read More: http://snip.ly/20aP


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

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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

“"We are committed to working with women. We are investing in women because we want to make money and we feel they have been overlooked. Others have been touting it, but we haven’t really been publicizing it,” he told me. “Is this self-promotional? Sure as hell is. But the numbers speak for themselves.”

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

Startups, A Rich Man’s Game | TechCrunch

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

http://snip.ly/aWLW

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

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

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



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

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

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

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

The Smart Way to Start a Successful Company While Keeping Your Job

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

http://snip.ly/16Zh

Moonlighting isn't your only option.

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

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

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

http://snip.ly/16Zh



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

Growthink really understands how to create compelling business plans and raise capital, and Growthink's Capital Raising Products succeed in infusing this knowledge.
-John Morris
Managing Director, GKM Ventures,
Board of Governors, Tech Coast Angels

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great idea!

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

17 Venture Capital and Angel Investors to Follow on Twitter

17 Venture Capital and Angel Investors to Follow on Twitter | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/44QO

Follow these super knowledgeable startup investors for insight and advice.

Do you keep a list of venture capitalists on Twitter? You need to add these people now. Social VCs are an incredible source of insight for all entrepreneurs and investors, but particularly for early-stage founders. The VCs listed below have seen the companies they work with face countless different scenarios and situations. They work with dozens of portfolio companies and get pitched hundreds (even thousands) of times a year. Some have been investing in and advising companies for decades; others for just a short time, but with enough huge wins that the rest of us need to sit up and take notice. If you want to learn more about the VC game or even get funded yourself, tune in to these Twitter accounts: Read more here: http://snip.ly/44QO




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

Nobody has compared to Growthink. We've gotten interest from angel investors and venture capitalists already.
 And Dave's emails... I love them. They're short and to the point. It's just been a great, great thing.
 Thanks."
 Nancy Hollencamp
The Aubrey Rose Foundation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Phil Marcu

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

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

...and Incubators are on the rise!

Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

How to Determine the Value of Your Pre-Revenue Startup

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

http://snip.ly/XEGo

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

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

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

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


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

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


Phil Marcu

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

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

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

Free Helicopter Ride, Anyone? 40 Awesome and Absurd Tech Company Perks. (Infographic)

Free Helicopter Ride, Anyone? 40 Awesome and Absurd Tech Company Perks. (Infographic) | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/OQy1

While many of these benefits are just good policy, others definitely fall into the 'over-the-top' camp.

We've heard it before, and we'll hear it again: Working at a tech company has definite upsides.Competitive salaries aside, by this point, it's old news that some of the tech industry's hottest companies offer their employees' cushy benefits. Many of these policies – such as Foursquare's decision to subsidize nightly dinners for its employees, Twitter's schedule of free, in-office yoga sessions, and Microsoft's offer of paid parental leave for new mothers and fathers – make real, strategic sense. It's easy to see how free meals can incite longer work hours, wellness programs can lead to a healthier, more productive workforce, and paid parental leave can reduce turnover.But as companies continue to try and one-up each other, the perks are getting a little out of hand. Take, for instance, Asana's policy of giving each employee $10,000 to spend on desk decor, Zynga's arcade and video-game packed lounges, Dropcam's tradition of taking every new hire on a free helicopter ride, or Google's complimentary concierge service for its employees. While each of these perks may arguably translate into a more productive, unified workspace, after a certain point, the justifications begin to stretch a little thin.Regardless of their actual usefulness for attracting and retaining top talent, all of these plush benefits make for fascinating reading. Unum, a financial protection insurer based in the U.K., has compiled an infographic that showcases 40 alternatively useful, over-the-top, and down-right bizarre tech company benefits.From 'Free Massage Fridays' to team trips to Hawaii, check them out below. Read more and see the infographic: http://snip.ly/OQy1




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

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

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from MarketingHits
Scoop.it!

Twitter Announces Worldwide Startup Contest, ‘Hatch’

Twitter Announces Worldwide Startup Contest, ‘Hatch’ | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

Are you building an industry-disrupting app or innovative solution? Is your app powered by Fabric, the Twitter mobile SDK? Are you leveraging the Twitter API to make your solution even more powerful?
If you can answer “yes” to these questions, then Twitter wants you to enter Hatch, its first global startup competition.
And with a grand prize of $25,000 at stake, it’s sure to attract some quality developers.
Other prizes include mentor sessions with Twitter execs, ad credits and VIP access to developer events.
Click on image or title for more information.


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

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


Via Brian Yanish - MarketingHits.com
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Marc Kneepkens
Scoop.it!

Here's the Advice I Give All of Our First Time Founders

Here's the Advice I Give All of Our First Time Founders | Pitch it! | Scoop.it

http://snip.ly/wD01

First Round is a seed-stage venture firm focused on building a vibrant community of technology entrepreneurs and companies.

Aaron Patzer had come to a crossroads. He knew he was onto something with Mint — but he realized he couldn’t be a successful CEO and also run product for the company. “He's one of the very few founders I've seen who knew it was time to let go and hand things to someone new,” says First Round Partner Rob Hayes, who worked closely with Mint. “He wound up hiring this great guy Aaron Forth, and it helped move the company to the next level. That moment when a CEO gives up their core competency to someone else so they can focus on running the company is the moment they become a great leader.”
Hayes started investing in early-stage startup founders a decade ago, and he always gets the same question: “What should I be doing right now?” Through this experience, he's narrowed down his answer to three things. Patzer did a brilliant job at all three, and notably the most important thing on the list: Hiring the right people. “The other two are don't run out of money and always have a North Star,” says Hayes.
While each of these pieces presents a huge challenge, this framework can be very powerful. “Founders who achieve these goals always succeed,” says Hayes, citing Mint's lucrative sale to Intuit. “If they're constantly thinking to themselves, 'Okay this work in front of me... am I actively achieving one of these three things?' they don't fail.” We recently sat down with Hayes to delve into these three areas of focus and tactics to win at each one.

http://snip.ly/wD01


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

Growthink really understands how to create compelling business plans and raise capital, and Growthink's Capital Raising Products succeed in infusing this knowledge.
-John Morris
Managing Director, GKM Ventures,
Board of Governors, Tech Coast Angels

Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Wise advice directly from the insiders of FirstRound.

I can help with hiring, specialty: tech people for startups; fibonaccisequencerecruiting.com

more...
No comment yet.