Investor Connect Podcast

Hello, this is Hall T. Martin with the Startup Funding Espresso -- your daily shot of startup funding and investing.

In recruiting an advisor, check to see if they have what it takes to be a good one:

Have they been through the wringer?  

Those who have been tested, such as nearing bankruptcy or going bankrupt will have a deeper understanding of the challenges in running a startup.

Will their work with you put them in conflict with their current or past employer?

Those who want to compete against their previous employer may not be the best.

Are they all show and tell but haven’t built a company before?

They may not have created a unicorn but did they stand up a business and grow it?

Ask for something that they put together.

Are they invested in your business with their money in addition to their time?

Where they put their money says a great deal about their interest.

Will they learn something from the engagement just as you are learning from them?

This will make the project that much more interesting to the prospective advisor.

Can they relate to your situation directly?

Those who can only rehash past experiences may not appreciate the differences between their past and your needs.

Thank you for joining us for the Startup Funding Espresso where we help startups and investors connect for funding.

Let’s go startup something today.

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Music courtesy of Bensound.

Direct download: Does_Your_Advisor_Have_What_it_Takes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Don Rainey, General Partner at Grotech Ventures.

Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, Grotech Ventures is a team committed to helping creative and driven entrepreneurs build technology companies that last. Their strategy is simple: early investors in high-potential technology companies. They initially invest from $500,000 to $5 million and look to continue investing and building value throughout the growth of your enterprise. 

Grotech Ventures is committed to advancing a more diverse, equitable & inclusive venture capital ecosystem. As part of this commitment, they have signed the #VCHumanCapital Pledge to submit their firm’s demographic and talent management details to support the industry’s data collection and tracking efforts.

Don currently serves or has served on the boards of Grotech portfolio companies Booker Software, Ceterus, Clarabridge, Contactually, HelloWallet (acquired by Morningstar), ICX Media, Intellinote, LivingSocial, Passport, Payzer, Personal, PetScreening, Rent Ready, The Royalty Exchange, WiserTogether, and Zenoss.

Don is a strong proponent of technology transfer and education and devotes much time to both areas. In 2010, he was appointed to a third term as an emerging technology consultant to the Chief Information Officer of the US Department of Defense through the DeVenCi Program, which is tasked with researching and nominating companies to solve the DoD’s unmet technology needs. In 2011, Don was appointed to the JMU Board of Visitors by Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell. During this four year appointment, he and other board members are responsible for overseeing the effective governance of the university. He also serves on the Board of Directors of James Madison Innovations, Inc., a non-profit corporation which helps commercialize intellectual property produced at JMU. In 2012, he was named to the Board of Directors of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority, which is the parent authority for The Center for Innovative Technology.

Don earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from James Madison University and a Master of Science in Bioscience Management from George Mason University.

Click here to read Don’s complete bio.

Don discusses what excites him now in venture capital. He also advises investors and entrepreneurs and shares what he thinks are some good investment opportunities.

You can visit Grotech Ventures at, via LinkedIn at, and via Twitter at

Don can be contacted via email at, and via LinkedIn at

Music courtesy of Bensound

Direct download: Don_Rainey_of_Grotech_Ventures.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT