Investor Connect Podcast

In this episode, Hall welcomes Jim Thomas, Partner at Kirenaga Partners.

Kirenaga is a Japanese term used to describe a knife or sword blade. It literally translates to the duration of sharpness or amount of edge retention.

Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, Kirenaga Partners is an early-stage venture capital firm focused on building great businesses from cutting-edge technologies. They invest in early-stage venture companies that have developed products and are on the verge of initial commercialization, at the stage they call “Post-Technical Validation and Pre-Commercialization.” 

Kirenaga Partners were drawn to the term Kirenaga because it represents the principles they aspire to embody as a company – to find and maintain a distinctive edge in everything they do. It takes a commitment to excellence and great craftsmanship to balance the metallic properties of hardness and toughness to create a blade with high “kirenaga.”

Jim has an extensive background working with non-profits, specifically those aligned with supporting new technologies in and around the Central Florida area. His focus at Kirenaga is enhancing investor relations, helping portfolio companies navigate pitch competitions, and spreading the word about the incredible growth of the Florida startup ecosystem.

Since moving to Orlando in 2011, Jim has been a staunch advocate and supporter of its ecosystem. He was the President of the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, one of the highest awarded COC's in the country, where he worked to shed light on how quickly the Orlando region was becoming a global leader in not only entertainment and tourism but the ideal place to start, grow, or relocate a business. After working with the Chamber for a few years, Jim left to become CEO of the Central Florida Tech Alliance, where he could focus on fostering the continued growth of the region’s tech ecosystem by advocating for the tech community as well as inspiring collaboration between established businesses and startups. 

Jim holds both a Bachelor of Science and a Masters Degree in Public Policy and Management from the University of Southern California. His current philanthropic efforts include being a Board Member of Project Opioid, a non-profit committed to curbing opioid misuse and deaths across the state of Florida.

Jim discusses the state of the venture capital industry and what he thinks will be the biggest change in how startups are funded. He shares his investment thesis and advises startups and investors.

You can visit Kirenaga Partners at, via LinkedIn at, and via Twitter at

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

Music courtesy of Bensound.

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

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

The Cap Table is an important part of any diligence process.

In reviewing a startup’s Cap Table, look for these signs of a problem:

  • The current team has little equity and thus little incentive to see it through to an exit.
  • The Cap Table is complicated with multiple share classes.
  • The early rounds came with complex rights and terms including liquidation preferences, ratchets, and clawbacks.
  • Founders who left the company still own substantial amounts of equity.
  • There’s no options pool which means all compensation will need to be paid out of cash.
  • There are too many individuals on the Cap Table.
  • Convertible notes, options, warrants, and other items are not listed in the Cap Table but exist in the business. 
  • Existing investors retain sign-off rights on additional funding.

The Cap Table is a standard due diligence document so don’t invest without first reviewing it.

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: Problem_Signs_in_a_Cap_Table.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT