Investor Connect Podcast

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

So how do you know when to pull the trigger and invest in a startup?

After applying the investment thesis, check for the following:

There’s a strong team with integrity, industry knowledge, and business experience.

They have product validation and market validation - the product works and people will pay for it.

They have the prospects for high growth and are demonstrating it at some level now.

Their business is scalable.

They are building a business that other companies will want to buy - eventually.

The potential return is large, so the investor can reach a 44% IRR or better.

Finally, you can help the startup in some way such as finding other investors, providing domain knowledge, or making other meaningful connections for the startup.

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

In this episode, Hall welcomes Luke Hohmann, CEO & Founder of FirstRoot.

Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, FirstRoot teaches financial literacy and budgeting - through a process known as Participatory Budgeting - and civics, as kids decide how to invest real money in their school. 

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which a group of students determines how to invest a shared budget to improve a school.

PB authentically motivates students to learn and practice the “Four Cs” of the 21st Century curriculum: creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration — all while teaching design thinking, civics and jump-starting their journey to increasing financial literacy. Students experience true agency and stewardship over their futures, learning through their own experiences how money really works.

A serial entrepreneur, Luke's last company, Conteneo, was an enterprise software company that helped global companies manage investment portfolios using Participatory Budgeting. Luke is now leveraging the experience he gained working with some of the world's largest companies to help prepare our children for their future by bringing Participatory Budgeting into schools to teach financial literacy, civics, and design thinking.

The author of four books, Luke has been cited as an inventor in more than a dozen patents and is an internationally recognized expert in Agile Software Development.

Luke discusses what led him to start working in the personal finance and personal literacy space, some of the challenges he has faced, and the evolution of the industry.

You can visit FirstRoot at, via LinkedIn at, and via Twitter at

Luke can be contacted via email at, via LinkedIn at, and via Twitter at  

Music courtesy of Bensound.

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