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Rescooped by Jose Gonzalez from Angel Investors Funding!

New Rules Allow Early Adopters to Become Early Investors

New Rules Allow Early Adopters to Become Early Investors | Startups |
Were you one of the first to identify Uber as a game changer?  What about being one of the first to use Amazon or Google in the early days? If you had..

Were you one of the first to identify Uber as a game changer?  What about being one of the first to use Amazon or Google in the early days?

If you had invested in Uber (now valued at $40B) in 2011, you would currently be sitting on a 600x return. Unfortunately, unless you were already very wealthy, securities laws would have prevented you from being able to invest in the these companies.

Early adopters have historically been prevented from crossing the threshold from customer to investor. However, a fundamental shift in the relationship between consumers and companies has been set in motion by new SEC regulations set to go into effect on June 19th.

Most early adopters interested in supporting private companies have been limited to rewards-based crowdfunding. This type of crowdfunding has proven to be a poor substitute for true early stage investing. Rewards-based crowdfunding websites such as Kickstarter allow individuals to pre-order products or donate towards something that they want to exist in the world. These “backers” do not get shares or equity in the company. Although these backers take on significant risk, they do not get any significant upside.

The story of Oculus VR is apt. Nearly two years after its celebrated rewards-based crowdfunding raise, Oculus was acquired by Facebook for $2B. Oculus’ early Kickstarter backers felt angered and betrayed. Though they had a sense of ownership in the company, they reaped no benefits from the transaction. Meanwhile, the institutional and accredited investors who invested in Oculus after the Kickstarter campaign (and in large part because of the Kickstarter campaign) made a large amount of money in a short period of time. $300 in equity in Oculus at the time of the Kickstarter campaign would have been worth approximately $45,000, a 145x return.

Successful technology startups owe it to their early adopters to let them participate in the company’s financial success.  These are the people who realized the company’s potential before the public and provided the momentum to turn that potential into a reality. Read more: click on image or title.

Need funding?

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

Via Marc Kneepkens
Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, June 21, 2015 11:24 AM

Early adopters are part of the success of a startup and should be rewarded for their input and commitment. This article digests the new opportunities.

Richard Platt's curator insight, June 21, 2015 1:01 PM

Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • EMV cards are being rolled out with an embedded microchip for added security. The microchip carries out real-time risk assessments on a person’s card purchase activity based on the card user’s profile. The chip also generates dynamic cryptograms when the card is inserted into a payment terminal. Because these cryptograms change with every purchase, it makes it difficult for fraudsters to make counterfeit cards that can be used for in-store transactions.
  • To bolster security throughout the payments chain encryption of payments data is being widely implemented. Encryption degrades valuable data by using an algorithm to translate card numbers into new values. This makes it difficult for fraudsters to harvest the payments data for use in future transactions.
  • Point-to-point encryption is the most tightly defined form of payments encryption. In this scheme, sensitive payment data is encrypted from the point of capture at the payments terminal all the way through to the gateway or acquirer. This makes it much more difficult for fraudsters to harvest usable data from transactions in stores and online. 
  • Tokenization increases the security of transactions made online and in stores. Tokenization schemes assign a random value to payment data, making it effectively impossible for hackers to access the sensitive data from the token itself. Tokens are often “multiuse,” meaning merchants don’t have to force consumers to re-enter their payment details. Apple Pay uses an emerging form of tokenization. 
  • 3D Secure is an imperfect answer to user authentication online. One difficulty in fighting online fraud is that it is hard to tell whether the person using card data is actually the cardholder. 3D Secure adds a level of user authentication by requiring the customer to enter a passcode or biometric data in addition to payment data to complete a transaction online. Merchants who implement 3D Secure risk higher shopping-cart abandonment.
Rescooped by Jose Gonzalez from Angel Investors Funding!

20 Reasons Why You Need a Business Plan

20 Reasons Why You Need a Business Plan | Startups |

20 Reasons Why You Need a Business Plan

Written by Pete Kennedy on Wednesday, April 9, 2008

1. To prove that you’re serious about your business. A formal business plan is necessary to show all interested parties -- employees, investors, partners and yourself -- that you are committed to building the business.

2. To establish business milestones. The business plan should clearly lay out the long-term milestones that are most important to the success of your business. To paraphrase Guy Kawasaki, a milestone is something significant enough to come home and tell your spouse about (without boring him or her to death). Would you tell your spouse that you tweaked the company brochure? Probably not. But you'd certainly share the news that you launched your new website or reached $1M in annual revenues.

3. To better understand your competition. Creating the business plan forces you to analyze the competition. All companies have competition in the form of either direct or indirect competitors, and it is critical to understand your company's competitive advantages.

4. To better understand your customer. Why do they buy when they buy? Why don’t they when they don't? An in-depth customer analysis is essential to an effective business plan and to a successful business.

5. To enunciate previously unstated assumptions. The process of actually writing the business plan helps to bring previously "hidden" assumptions to the foreground. By writing them down and assessing them, you can test them and analyze their validity.

6. To assess the feasibility of your venture. How good is this opportunity? The business plan process involves researching your target market, as well as the competitive landscape, and serves as a feasibility study for the success of your venture.

7. To document your revenue model. How exactly will your business make money? This is a critical question to answer in writing, for yourself and your investors. Documenting the revenue model helps to address challenges and assumptions associated with the model.

8. To determine your financial needs. Does your business need to raise capital? How much? The business plan creation process helps you to determine exactly how much capital you need and what you will use it for. This process is essential for raising capital for business and for effectively employing the capital.

9. To attract investors. A formal business plan is the basis for financing proposals. The business plan answers investors' questions such as: Is there a need for this product/service? What are the financial projections? What is the company's exit strategy?

10. To reduce the risk of pursuing the wrong opportunity. The process of creating the business plan helps to minimize opportunity costs. Writing the business plan helps you assess the attractiveness of this particular opportunity, versus other opportunities.

11. To force you to research and really know your market. What are the most important trends in your industry? What are the greatest threats to your industry? Is the market growing or shrinking? What is the size of the target market for your product/service? Creating the business plan will help you to gain a wider, deeper, and more nuanced understanding of your marketplace.

12. To attract employees and a management team. To attract and retain top quality talent, a business plan is necessary. The business plan inspires employees and management that the idea is sound and that the business is poised to achieve its strategic goals.

13. To plot your course and focus your efforts. The business plan provides a roadmap from which to operate, and to look to for direction in times of doubt. Without a business plan, you may shift your short-term strategies constantly without a view to your long-term milestones.

14. To attract partners. Partners also want to see a business plan, in order to determine whether it is worth partnering with your business. Establishing partnerships often requires time and capital, and companies will be more likely to partner with your venture if they can read a detailed explanation of your company.

15. To position your brand. Creating the business plan helps to define your company's role in the marketplace. This definition allows you to succinctly describe the business and position the brand to customers, investors, and partners.

16. To judge the success of your business. A formal business plan allows you to compare actual operational results versus the business plan itself. In this way, it allows you to clearly see whether you have achieved your strategic, financing, and operational goals (and why you have or have not).

17. To reposition your business to deal with changing conditions. For example, during difficult economic conditions, if your current sales and operational models aren’t working, you can rewrite your business plan to define, try, and validate new ideas and strategies.

18. To document your marketing plan. How are you going to reach your customers? How will you retain them? What is your advertising budget? What price will you charge? A well-documented marketing plan is essential to the growth of a business.

19. To understand and forecast your company’s staffing needs. After completing your business plan, you will not be surprised when you are suddenly short-handed. Rather, your business plan provides a roadmap for your staffing needs, and thus helps to ensure smoother expansion.

20. To uncover new opportunities. Through the process of brainstorming, white-boarding and creative interviewing, you will likely see your business in a different light. As a result, you will often come up with new ideas for marketing your product/service and running your business.





About Growthink

Since 1999, Growthink's business plan experts have assisted more than 1,500 clients in launching and growing their businesses, and raising more than $2 billion in growth financing.

Need help with your business plan? 

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Or, if you're creating your own PPM, you can save time and money with Growthink's new private placement memorandum template.


Dj Baker says

I find this a very simple, yet effective, breakdown of the reasons why a business plan is absolutely essential. From personal experience these 20 reasons our very much the truth. It is also very reassuring to know that there are trustworthy sites out there who do contain valuable information. Much appreciated, DjPosted at 5:24 pmdan says

thanks for the news letter, we are in the air cooling business. using air conditioners. we supply LG units. our major challanges has for the last 6 months been reliable suppliers of LG products at a competitives price. we do not have enough money to qualify as dealers hence we depend on thers, when i read the 20 reasons , i reflected to find out why our clients buy from us , and why others do not. thank you.Posted at 5:19 amSindi says

Thanks for this article. It is indeed a great eye opener for me. Didn't realise there's so much a business plan can reveal about any enterprise.Posted at 1:49 pmMohammed Ajmal says

Thanks for the all this valuable info free of cost.Posted at 11:22 ammanas says

hi all this site such a wonder full i would like to thanks to all of u those who operating this websitePosted at 1:53 amSuzanne Muusers says

Just found this post. What a great list of reasons to write a business plan. I particularly like: 13. To plot your course and focus your efforts. All too often I meet entrepreneurs who have been running their business for years without a business plan, and their business shows it. Writing a business plan creates the INTENTIONS and structure for success. Thank you, SuzannePosted at 11:41 amprivate placement memorandum says

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I'm preparing on opening a flavored coffee bar in San Diego and my company companion is heading to leave his work and operate the business, even though I ongoing to operate my day time job. Would it be much better for each of us to leave our careers in dive in mind first? Or mainly because I possess a company companion prepared to operate it entire time to remain at my present work and never arrive right up until the company is established?Posted at 8:45 pmSamantha says

I think if you are looking forward to have a business then you must have a very well structured plan otherwise your business might not bring any good to you. Sam from Calgary ListingsPosted at 2:35 pmMia says

A good plan is a must for everyone who is going to make some mark in the business. It should be implemented too. I'm currently finding out some herniated disc treatments and I think I'll get some help soonPosted at 4:18 pmSamantha says

Sometimes I wonder how can someone start a business without a plan but there are people who actually do that but I'm sure their business doesn't last for long. The things that you mentioned above are absolutely necessary. Thanks - hemorrojderPosted at 6:42 amSamantha says

That is a great post! I missed few of the points that you have mentioned above but I'm going to be a little more watchful next time. Thanks! Samantha from Cat Health TipsPosted at 6:14 amjenny says

I would like to thank you for bringing this forward as this information is gold - fastighetsmäklarePosted at 12:45 pmJoyce says

Wouldn't it be nice if everybody knew all this before they start out. nikon d3100 reviewPosted at 8:09 amPhillipa says

You have brought forward a very good explanation for the things and I would like tyo thank you for that - diatomaceous earth food gradePosted at 8:30 pmEva says

I like the first 5 ones. This article is a good insight for people related to this field. video clips onlinePosted at 5:20 amAmanda says

Business plan is a must to succeed, whether it is offline or online. On My Blog I talk about factors that are required for online success.Posted at 6:43 am
Via Marc Kneepkens
Jose Gonzalez's insight:

Very true !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, July 21, 2013 10:35 AM

Excellent reasons for writing a Business Plan

Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, July 21, 2013 11:07 AM

Check this "Review of Growthink's Business Plan Template":

Get your Free Business Plan Template here:

Melissa Terrazola's curator insight, October 29, 2014 4:44 AM

This article is great. Business plan is a must to succeed

Rescooped by Jose Gonzalez from Crowdfunding Startups!

Crowdfunding's Disruptive DNA: The Why, How and Who

Crowdfunding's Disruptive DNA: The Why, How and Who | Startups |
Investment crowdfunding is going to disrupt and re-shape early stage capital markets. But not only for the reasons you’ve likely heard. There’s more to it. Crowdfunding is the product of not one, but two, strands of disruptive DNA.

Via Marc Kneepkens
Jose Gonzalez's insight:

Amazing !


Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, May 3, 2013 9:46 AM

It's definitely evolving this way. Crowdfunding is internet based and has caused many paradigms to change or bust already. Good read.

Check out 'crowdfunding formula, newmoneysource' to grasp the full meaning of the concept and use it to your advantage:

Rescooped by Jose Gonzalez from Angel Investors Funding!

"Growing your Empire" newsletter

"Growing your Empire" newsletter | Startups |

"Stay updated with the best tips to get funded, grow your business, and exit your business profitably."

Get your free copy of Growthink’s “The 10X Blueprint.” Plus receive our free daily “Growing Your Empire” newsletter.

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How to turn ideas into successful products and businessesThe 1 critical ingredient EVERY business needs in order to growThe 4 steps to exploding your revenuesHow to create a business that runs without youThe keys to building a business you can sell for millionsAnd much more...


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Via Marc Kneepkens
Jose Gonzalez's insight:

Love it !


Marc Kneepkens's comment, April 29, 2013 7:54 AM
I always look forward receiving Dave's email every day. So much value, great ideas, new perspectives, good resources.
Rescooped by Jose Gonzalez from Crowdfunding Startups!

13 Most Effective Crowd Funding Tips For Startups

13 Most Effective Crowd Funding Tips For Startups | Startups |

All startups need money, unless the owners are loaded. Where does that money come from? From fundraising efforts, both offline and online. Online fundraising is a lot more effective because of its sheer reach. Here are several tips for startups on how to obtain crowd funding for their projects.


Get your Free Business Plan Template here:


The full recipe for success? Try 'Crowdfunding formula,' a presentation by Growthink's CEO, affordable too.

Via The Fish Firm II, Martin (Marty) Smith, Marc Kneepkens
Jose Gonzalez's insight:

Thanks for the vital tips.

Happy Holidays!!!

Angela Heath's curator insight, December 11, 2013 1:57 PM

Crowd  funding opportunities are expanding for small businesses.  It is important to stay on top of this subject.

mohammed lakhlili's curator insight, January 7, 2014 3:53 PM


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Silvia Aris's curator insight, March 5, 2014 6:11 AM

Seguire questi 13 passaggi è un ottimo modo per gestire il crowdfunding della vostra startup. Se avete in mente di finanziarla con questo metodo, i consigli di Art Of The Start fanno al caso vostro.

Rescooped by Jose Gonzalez from Competitive Edge!

Hacking Kickstarter: How to Raise $100,000 in 10 Days (Includes Successful Templates, E-mails, etc.)

Hacking Kickstarter: How to Raise $100,000 in 10 Days (Includes Successful Templates, E-mails, etc.) | Startups |
Mike Del Ponte co-founded Soma, which raised more than $100,000 on Kickstarter using virtual assistants and free apps. I first met Mike Del Ponte two years ago when he was running marketing at Bran...

Via Marc Kneepkens
Jose Gonzalez's insight:

Exactly my point !


Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, May 5, 2013 9:37 AM

Fabulous advice from Tim Ferris. Check out this strategy if you're serious about a succesful crowdfunding campaign.

Some basics about crowdfunding:

Use the Crowdfunding Pitch Formula from Dave Lavinsky to top it all off, watch the presentation video:

Rescooped by Jose Gonzalez from Crowdfunding Startups!

'Crowdfunding' trend poised to make mark on US investing landscape - Washington Post

'Crowdfunding' trend poised to make mark on US investing landscape - Washington Post | Startups |
'Crowdfunding' trend poised to make mark on US investing landscape Washington Post Gathering small sums of money from a large number of people online — known as “crowdfunding” — is poised to take off in the investing world, with backing from...

Via Marc Kneepkens
Jose Gonzalez's insight:

Wow !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, April 30, 2013 2:08 AM

It's happening. Expect another huge wave as soon as the SEC publishes the new rules.

Some basics for startups:

Philip Cardwell's comment, May 7, 2013 5:47 PM
You are right, Marc. That is the message that we are trying to get to those who may want to utilize EQ CF., by having them attend:
Marc Kneepkens's comment, May 8, 2013 12:37 AM
Good information, let's get the word out.