This month 500 Startups and General Assembly teamed up to hold a pre-accelerator program. Last week, we had our mini Demo Day:
I led the final week of the program where, in addition to 60-second pitch workshops, Angel.co profile show-and-tell, and pitch deck review sessions, I organized mock accelerator interviews.
To help me, I called a few of my friends*, Ryan Jackson of Paid and Andrew Norris of Taplytics, both YCombinator alums, Mason Blake at UpCounsel and Tristan Pollock of Storefront (now EIR @500) who went through AngelPad, and Selcuk Atli and me from 500Startups (both of us with YC backgrounds from Boostable/inDinero).
We started with a panel introducing ourselves and the accelerator processes: YC does 10 minute interviews with a few partners and cares more about founders than ideas; 500 does a deeper dive over 20–30 min and focuses on people and growth. With Angelpad, you’ll be talking to Thomas and Carine, and there will be fewer companies in your cohort. Each pre-accelerator company then had a 5-minute mock interview with us.
Despite the differences between us and our accelerators, the six of us noticed very similar patterns in the founders. The following mistakes to avoid and advice will help you prepare for any accelerator interview (and some investor conversations, too!)
You’ve got an idea for something that will improve your company’s bottom line or make it a better place to work. Nice going. Now for the hard part: How do you get people on board? How do you get funding? And what should you do if your idea doesn’t catch on?
What the Experts Say In an ideal world, you’d come up with a genius new idea, tell your coworkers about it, and they’d immediately grasp its brilliance. Your boss would love it — and you! — and give you the resources you need to execute it. But that’s not reality. “It’s very hard to start a new initiative,” says John Butman, author of Breaking Out: How to Build Influence in a World of Competing Ideas. “It’s hard to get people to listen to your idea, to understand your idea, and to take action.” It may be difficult, but it’s also a vital skill to master. “Organizations need to keep changing, adapting, and innovating,” he says. “If they don’t, they stagnate and disappear.” But it’s not only the success of your company that’s at stake, says Susan Ashford, professor of management and organization at Michigan’s Ross School of Business. The ability to get new initiatives off the ground is also critical to your career. “You want to stand out, be visible, and get noticed as a leader,” she says. “And one of the ways to do this is by suggesting change ideas and implementing them.” Here are some pointers on how to get your idea moving. Read more: click image or title.
Seedrs, one of the largest crowdfunding firms in Europe focuses solely on equity investments, announced that peer-to-peer lender Assetz Capital has raised £3,179,750 from 731 investors through the Seedrs platform, the second largest campaign hosted by Seedrs to date.
With an endless combination of modern and legacy browsers for users to choose from (depending on their system capabilities), it's our responsibility as designers and developers to ensure the websites we build perform adequately.
To read the full article, click on the image or title.
Business management magazine, blogs, case studies, articles, books, and webinars from Harvard Business Review, addressing today's topics and challenges in business management. (A strongly recommended read!
“Entrepreneur Do You Have the Entrepreneurial 'X Factor?' Entrepreneur There's a mysterious "X factor" shared by entrepreneurs around the world. Fledgling entrepreneurs reach for it, while the successful seem to wear it effortlessly.”
Business Insider An Investor Reveals How To Land Your Startup's First Round Of Funding Business Insider Steve Schlafman has been a member of the New York City tech community for years, as both an entrepreneur and an investor.
Visit Amazon.com's Marty Koenig Page and shop for all Marty Koenig books and other Marty Koenig related products (DVD, CDs, Apparel). Check out pictures, bibliography, biography and community discussions about Marty Koenig
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.
"Great corporate storytellers do two things very well: First (obviously), they tell stories. Second, through their stories, they get people to take action.
You might be thinking, “That’s great if you’re Steve Jobs, but how do I even begin turning my dry, everyday material into a story…let alone a gripping one?”
Well today I’m going to help you out with 15 insanely actionable storytelling tips and tricks to get you into the storytelling mindset, regardless of what type of material you’re working with."
Read the full article to find out more about these tips:
Find Your Characters And Make Them The Focal Point Of Your PresentationSet The Stage By Describing Where You Are Now And Where You Want To Be In The FutureDescribe What Needs To Be Overcome And Highlight Why This Will Be DifficultEmotionally Invest Your Audience In The Struggle (Define Failure Or The Status Quo)Emotionally Invest Your Audience In The Outcome (Define What Success Looks like)Challenge Your Audience’s Assumptions By Adding A TwistOnboard Your Audience With An Interesting Metaphor THEY Can Relate ToShow Your Audience Exactly What You Are Talking AboutHighlight The Important By Cutting Out The UnimportantUse Sound Effects To Anchor Important Details In Your PresentationUse Silence To Create Emphasis And Draw Your Audience Into Your StoryCreate A Warm Fuzzy Feeling By Sharing A Personal Or Vulnerable ExperiencePace Out Your Story To Allow Your Audience To BreatheTurn Your Important Data Points Into Memory GlueEnd Your Story With A Bang And Then Shut Up
Via Kim Zinke (aka Gimli Goose)
Excerpt from the article by KISSmetrics: "Writing great copy is one of the most useful skills a marketer can develop. After all, copy is a key element of successful internet marketing across the board, from emails with sky-high open rates to blog posts that get shared hundreds or even thousands of times.
Masterful copywriting plays a big part in the difference between a website that converts like crazy and one that simply falls flat, failing to engage potential customers.
This resource guide provides links that will give you a strong foundation for writing great web copy. Here are the main sections of the article:
E-books, Articles, Infographics, and Guides to Get You Started with Web Copywriting;Must-Read Books on Direct Response Marketing and Copywriting;Copywriting Courses;The Best Websites and Blogs about Copywriting;How to Write Amazing Headlines;How to Write Phenomenal CTAs (Call to Actions);SEO Copywriting – How-To’s, Tips, and Best Practices;How to Write E-commerce Copy that Sells;Conversion Copywriting and Landing Pages;
These 75 resources should be enough to get you started on your way to becoming a web copy samurai..."
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
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Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.