Investor Connect Podcast

The Four Rs To Turnaround a Business

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

A turnaround can take several forms based on the severity of the changes required.

Some businesses require a complete overhaul of their operations while others perform a repositioning or rebranding.

Here are the four Rs to turnaround your startup:

Retrenchment.

In retrenchment the business refocuses on the core business and exits non-core initiatives.

This is often used to move to cash flow positive or break even.

This comes about during downturns in the economy.

Repositioning.

In repositioning the business, it moves the company to a new place in the market landscape.

This comes from changing the price or promotion of the product.

This often happens when new competitors enter the market or the market changes.

Replacement.

In replacement the business replaces the team.

This often occurs as the company grows from seed to Series A and later Series B stages.

The skills required changes so the team must change.

Renewal.

In renewal the business refreshes the management team’s focus.

This often occurs when the business hits a plateau.

While the core business is solid, revenue appears to have stalled.

Renewal gives the business a new mantra and a fresh take on the market.

Consider these levels of restarting your business.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
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Direct download: 05.the_four_Rs_to_turnaround_a_business.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Key Tests of a Turnaround Process

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

In turning around a startup there are key tests you must pass to achieve success.

Here’s a list of tests:

Is the core business viable?

If the basic business won’t work then no amount of funding or strategy will save it.

Do the team and the investors buy into the turnaround?

If no one believes it will work then it won’t.

Does the leadership have credibility?

If the leader doesn’t have the credentials, then it’s going to be hard to motivate the team.

Can you get support from the lenders?

If they won’t give you room to try a turnaround then there’s no opportunity.

Can you raise more funding?

If you can raise additional capital you have another shot at the business.

Is there enough cash to run the business for at least a short period of time?

If you have some cash you can make a go of it.

Consider these key tests to determine if you can launch a turnaround.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
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Direct download: 04.key_tests_of_a_turnaround_process.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Best Practices for a Turnaround

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

There’s an old saying, ‘never let a good crisis go to waste’.

A turnaround is not only a crisis but also an opportunity to rebrand, redirect and reposition the company.

Here are some best practices in working on a business turnaround.

View each turnaround as unique and customize your approach to fixing it.

Set goals for the turnaround to ensure you are on the right track.

Apply the same standards to your turnaround as you would apply to other businesses.

Review the skills the company needs and adjust the team accordingly.

Review the team and recruit key players who can help with the turnaround.

Engage the board into the process and make sure they are working at their full potential.

Put cash as the central financial metric first and gear all decisions around it.

Just as you have a story for raising funding for the business so you need a story around how the turnaround will work.

Be action oriented and timely in doing so.

Look for some early wins to build momentum with the team for the turnaround.

Take the turnaround as an opportunity to rebuild compensation and incentive plans.

Consider these points in running a turnaround at your company.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
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Direct download: 03.best_practices_for_a_turnaround.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

More Best Practices in a Turnaround Process

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

Here are more best practices to apply in your turnaround process:

Consider options that go beyond the current resources in the business. 

Consider bringing in additional team members and outside funding.

Get multiple views of the company from the team and investors to build a more holistic plan.

Use multiple touch points and formats to gather information from the team.

This includes not only formal meetings but also informal meetings, calls, and offline discussions.

Review the customers’ situation to see if the company’s offering still meets their needs.

The customer’s requirements may have changed due to the market.

Look at competitors who are successful to see what can be learned from their pricing, positioning, marketing, and strategy.

Consider changing the business model to fit the customer better.

Recurring revenue and pre-payment business models can also improve the financial condition of the business.

Consider changing the product altogether to capture more revenue.

The product may be outdated or undifferentiated in the current market.

Consider initiatives to reduce the operational cost by going paperless and speeding up cash collections.

Automation and improved financial payment tools can decrease costs and improve cash flow.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
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Direct download: 02.more_best_practices_in_a_turnaround_process.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

How To Turnaround a Business

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

A business turnaround is just like any other aspect of running a business.

Here are some key steps in running a turnaround program for your startup:

Identify the problem to be solved.

There’s typically 2-3 major issues to address.

Develop a plan to move the business in a new direction.

Consider the stage of business and the resources available to it.

Gain commitment on the plan from the team and the investors.

It’s important to get the shareholders on board.

Implement the plan to stabilize the business.

Go for cash flow breakeven and a stable customer base first.

Move the business to profitability.

After stabilizing, start looking to increase profits first.

After achieving profitability, you can start to grow the business.

In the turnaround consider the following actions:

Review all budgets for expenses.

Review past customers to see who can be reactivated.

Reformulate the organization chart.

It’s important to be transparent about the condition of the business.

Be willing to drop favorite projects that no longer fit the core focus of the business.

Show commitment to the new plan and inspire others to support 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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 01.how_to_turnaround_a_business.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Hiring a Turnaround CEO

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

In many turnaround situations you’ll need to hire a new CEO.

Here are some key points to consider when hiring:

Track record -- look for someone with a proven track record in turning around businesses.

Cash management -- needs to monitor cash on a daily basis and manage all expenses closely.

Operations focus -- must have an operations mindset and the ability to apply it to the startup in a turnaround.

Financial literacy -- must be able to read the financial statements and understand the current state of the business.

Problem solving -- must be able to look at the situation and identify the problems to be solved and come up with initial solutions.

Transparent -- must be able to talk candidly about the business and the proposed solutions.  

Expeditious -- must be able to take action quickly and not get bogged down in consensus-building.

Change management -- must be able to hire and fire people as the needs of the turnaround business will be different from the previous business.

Consider these skills in hiring a turnaround CEO.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
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Direct download: 05.hiring_a_turnaround_ceo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

In this episode of Investor Connect, host Hall T. Martin speaks with Kyle, an entrepreneur in the consumer product goods (CPG) sector. They discuss the shift from traditional brand building to focusing on direct-to-consumer (DTC) channels like Amazon and Walmart. Both reflect on their experiences with SKU, a CPG accelerator, and how the market has evolved over the years.
 
Kyle shares insights from his 12 years in the CPG business, highlighting the increasing challenges in supply chain management and growth strategies. Despite these hurdles, his company has managed to navigate successfully. The conversation then shifts to Kyle's current efforts in raising funding, detailing the unique structure of their preferred redeemable investment model, which aims for a 2x payback over five to seven years.
 
The episode wraps up with a discussion on the value of hybrid pitch events and effective investor relations strategies. Hall highlights the importance of face-to-face interactions in closing deals and fostering investor confidence, offering valuable insights for entrepreneurs seeking to raise funding.
 
________________________________________________________________________
For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org  
Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
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Direct download: HTRF_E22.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Key Steps in a Turnaround

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

There are many sources of problems in a startup.

For each problem there is a key step to solve it.

Consider these problems to be solved.

Lack of funding.

This is one of the most common reasons businesses fail.  

They lack the capital to carry out the functions of the business.

The solution is to cut expenses and increase sales and consider raising funding.

Shrinking customer base. 

You’re losing customers faster than you're signing them up.

The solution is to identify the ideal customer and make a focused effort to sign up those clients.

Too many bad customers.

There are some customers who cost you more to support than they bring in revenue.

Set a plan to move bad customers out of your business.

Changing markets.

The markets are constantly changing and shifting which can put your business in a difficult position to grow.

The solution is to know your industry and move to update your position in the market when it changes. 

Bad employees.

You may have employees who are running off customers, misspending resources, and demoralizing the other employees.

The solution is to find replacements and move the bad employees out.

Consider these sources of problems and take steps to correct them.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
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Direct download: 04.key_steps_in_a_turnaround_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Stages of a Turnaround Process

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

There are several stages in a business turnaround.

Consider these phases for your startup:

Assessment:

This phase determines the crises and the impact on the business.

This can include both internal and external factors

Triage:

This phase sorts through the potential strategies to recover the business.

This can include reorganizing the company through filing bankruptcy.

Stabilize:

This phase sees actions to reduce losses and moves the business to a stable condition.

This involves reducing the employee count, selling assets, and reducing expenses.

Turnaround:

This phase establishes a plan for recovering the business so it’s profitable.

This involves reducing expenses dramatically and focusing all resources on increasing revenue.

Growth:

This phase establishes a new plan for growing the business.

This typically involves refocusing on the core business and reducing the number of non-core growth initiatives.

Consider these phases in your startup turnaround.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 03.stages_of_a_turnaround_process.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Key Strategies To Turnaround a Business

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

To turnaround a business you must take action early and not wait till it’s too late.

Here are some key strategies to take to turnaround your business:

Assess the situation.

Review the market to see if the company is still competitive in the current landscape.

Check to see if you have sufficient revenue, customers, support, and profit to maintain the business. 

Identify what revenue and cost structure you need to achieve break-even.

Review the outstanding debt to see who is owed and how much.

Solvency may determine the turnaround path and steps.

Check your cash runway to see how much time you have to recover.

Identify the core problem to be solved.

With this information write out a turnaround plan.

Make sure everyone knows the plan and buys into it.

If there are creditors who must be paid then show them the plan and work out a payment schedule.

Renegotiate outstanding debt to give you more time to rebuild the business.

Set up metrics to track the progress on achieving the plan.

Implement strict cash and expense controls.

Strive to hit break even and then profitability without increasing costs.

It’s important to execute on the plan in a timely manner.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 02.key_strategies_to_turn_around_a_business.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Signs the Startup Needs a Turnaround

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

Here are some signs your startup needs a turnaround:

You’re close to breaching loan covenants.

The financial performance is still below expectations.

The startup's revenue and profitability is below the industry average.

Cash flow continues to be a problem.

The startup has been running for a few years but still can’t find breakeven.

Here are some initial steps to take:

Check your top line revenue to see if there’s enough to cover the costs.

If not you may need more sales and marketing.

Are revenues flat or declining?

If so, have you decreased costs accordingly?

Check the cost of acquiring customers to see if it’s still in line with the business model.

If so, you may need to find lower cost channels for acquiring customers. 

Check the cost of goods sold.   

If it has grown recently then you may need to raise your prices. 

Check your pricing. 

If you’re the low-cost provider then you must have a low cost structure for the business.

Analyze the profitability by customer to see if some portion of your customer base is dragging the business down.

Analyze the expenses by category to see which factors are causing the losses.

It’s important to take action on problems found.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: 01.signs_the_startup_needs_a_turnaround_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Business Turnarounds

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

A business turnaround is taking a company that is underperforming and modifying its operations and strategy so that it recovers financially.

Startups who are candidates for a turnaround are not doing well.

They suffer from a lack of leadership, focus, strategy, or execution. 

Consider these steps in a turnaround situation:

Identify the problem. 

This could be lack of funding, missing leadership, little or no sales and marketing, incomplete products and more.

Set a goal.

Some businesses need years to recover while others can recover more quickly.

Gain consensus on the goal of the recovery.

Determine a strategy.

Focus on the core problem and write out a plan to solve it.

Implement strict financial controls.

Apply strong cash management and tight expense controls.

Work to achieve cash flow breakeven first and then move to profitability.

Increase sales by improving the product, raising the price and converting more leads into revenue.

In running a business, be candid and frank about the current situation.

Be willing to make tough choices around hiring and firing and what roles each one takes.

Everything is open to change including the management team, the product, the target market, and more.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
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Direct download: 05.business_turnarounds.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Welcome to this episode of Investor Connect, hosted by Hall T. Martin, featuring Gary Forni, the Chairman of the Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN). With a distinguished career in technology and venture capital, Gary has been pivotal in starting, mentoring, and investing in startups, particularly in Central Texas. He emphasizes innovation and disruptive technology in his investment strategy and supports entrepreneurs through his involvement with accelerators like Capital Factory and TechStars. Previously, Gary held executive roles at Intel Corp and Marvell Semiconductor, contributing to significant business ventures including Intel's flash memory business.
 
CTAN, under Gary's leadership, has become one of the most active angel investing groups in the U.S., having invested $129 million in 215 companies. Based in Austin, Texas, CTAN boasts over 120 accredited investors from diverse sectors, committed to fostering the growth of early-stage businesses. The network not only provides capital but also essential mentoring and business resources, enhancing the success rate of startups and contributing to the economic vitality of Texas.
 
During the interview, Gary discusses CTAN’s strategic approach to investments, balancing direct startup funding with a sidecar fund that allows for diversified investment portfolios. He shares insights on the challenges and strategies in angel investing, particularly how CTAN adapts to economic shifts to maximize investor and startup success.
 
For more information on CTAN’s initiatives or to get involved, visit [CTAN](http://www.ctan.com/). For the latest updates and news from CTAN, check out [CTAN News](https://www.ctan.com/ctan-news). To connect directly, you can email Katelyn at gkforni@gmail.com. Join us next time on Investor Connect for more expert insights into the investment landscape.
 
________________________________________________________________________
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Direct download: audio1351885969.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Data Models

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

A data model is a visualization of the data showing the structure, rules, and relationships for how it works.

Here’s a list of key data models to consider for your data program:

Concept -- shows at a high level the overview of the data blocks and what they do.

Logical -- shows the data structures and the attributes of the data held.

Physical -- shows the files structures and database layouts for holding the data.

Hierarchical -- shows the relationship between the data structures using a tree format.

Network -- shows the relationship of the data structures using a network diagram.

Entity relationship -- shows the entities of data being used, their attributes, and how each entity relates to the other.

Graph  -- shows the data using nodes to represent the entity and edges which show the relationship between the nodes.

Use the data model to plan out the capture, storage, and use of the data for your program.

Break the data model into logical subsets for development and maintenance.

Set up the data model to support the goals of the overall data project. 

Use it to educate the team on the data set and how it works.

Consider these points for setting up a data model for your company.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
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Direct download: 04.data_models.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Data Terms To Know

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

In working with data there are key terms used in the industry.

Here is a list of terms to know:

Data governance -- a set of rules and procedures for managing data for integrity, regulatory and security purposes.

Data warehouse -- a central repository for all the data.

Data mining -- process of extracting insights and identifying patterns in the data.

Machine learning -- the process of automatically learning and improving from experience.

Deep learning -- techniques for capturing large amounts of data and finding patterns in it. 

Diagnostic analytics -- explains why something happened.

Predictive analytics -- explains what is likely to happen.

Data visualization -- graphic representation of the data for communicating the insights of the data.

Data storytelling -- crafting a narrative to explain the insights found in the data and how it can be used.

Information design -- storing and presenting data in an understandable way.

Data literacy -- the ability to read and write data in context with reference to data sources and data analysis techniques.

Data culture -- the ability of a business to use data for informed decision making.

Know these data terms for use in your business.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 03.data_terms_to_know.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Data Champions

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

Moving your company into the data world can be a challenge as it’s a new space and many are not familiar with it.

Consider the Crossing the Chasm paradigm by Geoffrey Moore in which new technologies start with early adopters and technologists.

In building data activity into your business start with these two types before moving into the mainstream.

Take your early adopters and turn them into data champions.

Early adopters are often domain knowledge specialists.

They get excited about new technologies and new ways of doing things.

They have an innate curiosity that drives them to work on new areas.

They are often fast learners and pick up new skills quickly.

Bring them into the program to work on the initial projects.

Give them a voice in the decision-making process.

Make clear to everyone they are working on the project and making a valuable contribution.

It’s not necessary to give formal positions in the company although titles can be helpful.

Give them air time to showcase the results of the data project so everyone is aware of it.

By creating data champions you can encourage others in the group to join in. 

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 02.data_champions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Data Sources for Monetization

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

In a startup there are many sources of data to draw from for monetization.

You can capture primary data from your own systems.

Consider this list for gathering data from your startup:

Start with your customer database or CRM.

Review the webforms that capture inbound user traffic.

Review your online and mobile ads for data sources.

Research surveys your company has done.

Check your email subscription list.

If you have a community of users, review the constituency for affiliations.

Check social media follows, likes, and other interactions.

Review your financial payments system for sources of data.

If you have an e-commerce business, review the online traffic to the products page.

Look for purchase history information.

Review your customer support for service history.

Consider your customer reviews and comments.

Check your website analytics for additional information.

You can also capture secondary information which is data from outside sources.

This often comes in the form of publicly available data.

Most startups already have a rich set of data for monetization so start there.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 01.data_sources_for_monetization.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Privacy Issues With Data Monetization

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

Many startups collect data from users that is useful to other companies.

Those companies are not interested in the raw data but rather the insight into the behaviors of the users.

For example, users who use the app at the same time of day give an indication of their schedule.

This can be used by other companies such as providing ads to that user at that time.

In monetizing your data, consider the privacy issues that come with it.

Consider taking these steps to ensure the privacy of your users:

Make clear your data policy to users.

Collect only the data you need.

Anonymize the data so no one’s personal identity is made known.

Give the user the ability to opt out of the data sharing process.

Give the user the ability to delete their data.

Provide security around the data you are collecting to prevent unauthorized use of it by hackers.

Abide by the current regulations set forth by the industry, the state, and other authorities around data usage.

Data monetization can create new revenue streams for your company, but you must ensure the privacy of users. 

 

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.

_________________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 05.Privacy_Issues_With_Data_Monetization.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

In this episode of Investor Connect, host Hall T. Martin sits down with Fred Gumbinner, President and Managing Partner of Keiretsu Forum, a global investment community. Keiretsu Forum connects accredited private equity angel investors, venture capitalists, and corporate institutional investors across 53 chapters on four continents, fostering diverse investment opportunities.

Fred shares his journey from a legal background to entrepreneurship, specializing in alternative energy products. His transition to early-stage venture involvement aligned perfectly with Keiretsu Forum's interests, focusing on micro private equity, venture capital, and special situation funding.

Throughout the interview, Fred emphasizes the importance of key strategies in identifying promising early-stage investment opportunities, highlighting the critical role of strong management, competitive advantage, market size, and business plan.

As President of the Keiretsu Forum DC Metro chapter, Fred discusses the organization's contributions to fostering innovation in the local startup ecosystem. He emphasizes their involvement in partnering with various organizations and participating in panels to educate entrepreneurs and support the community.

Fred elaborates on the types of projects Keiretsu Forum typically supports, emphasizing their focus on providing "red zone capital" to ventures nearing significant milestones. He discusses their unique approach, resembling an old-time merchant bank, which allows for creative structuring of deals that traditional institutional investors might overlook.

To learn more about Keiretsu Forum or connect with Fred Gumbinner, visit http://www.keiretsuforum-midatlantic.com/, or via Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/fredric-gumbinner-915a986/ or reach out via email at fgumbinner@keiretsuforum.net.

_______________________________________________________
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Direct download: IC_Fred.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Building Trust With Data

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

In building a data business you’ll need to establish confidence in the data you are collecting and using.

It’s often the case, the team will not trust the data at first.

Here are some key steps to consider in building trust with data:

Establish a level of data literacy with the team so everyone understands the data.

The team may not know what to expect and therefore they mistrust it.

To overcome this, establish a baseline of data and metrics for your team and introduce new team members to that baseline data set.

The data may not match what the team expects.

To overcome this, show the data methodology and the results from the tests to establish trust in the data.

The team may not trust the data analyst.

To overcome this build rapport between the data analyst and the rest of the team. 

The current data set has too many holes in it.

To overcome this take the data set and rebuild it one component at a time.

Establish some overall data metrics to build the team’s trust in the data.

The data set will never be perfect but remember you are seeking excellence, not perfection.

 

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.

_________________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 04.Building_Trust_With_Data.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Key Factors in Building a Data Business

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

In building a data business here are some key factors to focus on:

Provide high quality data that provides value to the customer.

Low quality data commands a lower revenue rate.

Look for data that others don’t have.

The more unique the data the higher the monetization value.

Focus on critical needs in the data you build.

Nice to haves don’t command as much attention.

Must have data generates higher revenue rates.

Foster a culture of innovation.

Give employees the freedom to experiment and explore new opportunities.

Start with the data you have.

Mine the data in your customer/prospect database first.

Consider bundling the data with the product to make it more valuable.

Aim to be the leader in your space for data and data products.

Leadership brings additional value in the form of branding, exposure, and access.

Consider these factors in building your data business. 

 

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.

_________________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 03.Key_Factors_in_Building_a_Data_Business.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Using Data To Increase Sales

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

The market for data continues to grow providing an opportunity for startups to increase revenue by monetizing their data.

Consider these points for monetizing your data:

Sell your data directly to other companies. 

This could be customer behavior, customer preferences, market data and more.

Be careful with personalized data and know the regulatory requirements.

Partners, suppliers, and competitors are primary candidates to purchase your data.

Check the data industry to see what data markets are currently available.

If there are none for your industry, then consider starting a data market as it provides additional monetization opportunities.

In addition to increasing revenue by selling data directly, it can also help with sales indirectly.

Data can improve close rates with customer testimonials.

It can improve customer service by analyzing the questions asked and providing answers and solutions in various forms such as online websites, email campaigns, and more.

It can be used to enhance the customer experience by understanding the current situation and identifying ways to enhance it.

Consider these steps in increasing revenue from data for your organization.

 

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.

_________________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 02.Using_Data_To_Increase_Sales.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Data as a Service Business Model

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

Data as a service provides data both internally and externally to improve the functioning of the business.

Here are some key points to consider in setting up a data as a service function for your company:

Look for gaps in your data and find new data to fill the critical holes.

Consider setting up external data storage as the volume of data can overwhelm your internal servers.

After building data for an internal application, consider monetizing it by selling it to external entities.

Focus business applications on increasing revenue.

Look for ways to predict future outcomes not past results.

Look for existing revenue streams to see how to enhance the revenue.

Consider the regulatory issues around personalized data.

Mind the optics of public perception on collecting and using data.

Data as a service applications maintain Saas-like valuations and margins so it’s highly profitable.

Everything is moving online and will be digitized.

Look for that which has not yet moved online to focus your search for a new business application.

 

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.

_________________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 01.Data_as_a_Service_Business_Model.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Five Business Models for Linked Data

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

Linked data is structured data that is linked to other data making it more useful for searches and queries.

A wiki site often holds linked data sets.

Here’s a list of five business models around the use of linked data.

Subscription revenue such as monetizing the data directly.

This works well for users who need a continuous feed of new data.

Advertising revenue by placing ads around the data.

This works well for non-subscription applications such as one-time use data.

Authority revenue such as providing validation or compliance on the data.

This works well for users that need to verify the validity of the data.

Affiliate revenue such as including links in the data.

This can be used for ecommerce applications.

Value-add data revenue by combining multiple sources of data to create a new data set.

An example is adding demographics and purchase history on prospective customers.

This gives insight into what product the prospect may be interested in.

You can also combine one or more of these models into one application.

Consider these five monetization models for your linked data set.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 05.Five_Business_Models_for_Linked_Data.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

In this episode of Investor Connect, Hall T. Martin explores the challenges and strategies of fundraising in the diagnostics sector. The guest discusses engaging investors from the Middle East, highlighting the need for investor understanding of the diagnostic market dynamics.
 
The conversation delves into the guest's $6 million fundraising goal to launch their initial product line. Hall advises on structuring funding rounds with a staged valuation approach to attract investor interest gradually. He emphasizes the importance of showcasing concrete milestones and leveraging deadlines to foster investor commitment, particularly within angel investor networks.
 
Hall provides valuable guidance on refining pitch presentations to resonate with diverse investor audiences, stressing the need for a compelling business case and a clear path to a lucrative exit strategy tailored to the diagnostics industry landscape.
 
The episode concludes with Hall offering support through Ten Capital, specializing in investor relations and fundraising campaigns. He outlines upcoming hybrid and in-person networking events aimed at connecting startups with potential investors, providing valuable opportunities for the guest's fundraising endeavors.
 
________________________________________________________________________
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Direct download: HTRF_EP21.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Data-Driven Business Applications

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

Companies are growing their business using data to drive applications.

Here’s a list of driven-driven business applications to consider:

Streaming services use data to predict what customers want to watch.

By using a recommendation engine, they can provide a better quality of service.

This works particularly well when the customer needs discovery services before using the product.

Recruiting departments are using more data analytic tools to identify the right candidates for the job.  

One use case is the use of resume screening which searches for keywords on a candidate's resume and matches the job requirements.

Advertising departments continue to gather data to better understand and target their audience.

This is often used to find the right media outlet for their product.

Financial companies use data to match the right funding tool to the right candidate.

By looking at credit scores and other data sources, the financial company can determine how much to loan and at what price.

Ridesharing services use data to predict how long a ride will take.

By capturing data streams from traffic sources and reviewing historical data for the time of day and day of week, the ridesharing service can better estimate the time of a ride.

Consider how data can improve your product, sales, or service. 

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 04.Data-Driven_Business_Applications.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Data-Driven Business Models

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

A data-driven business uses data to drive business decisions and processes.

A data-driven business model is one in which the business is structured around data and changes price, costs, and responsibilities according to the incoming data.

Many companies already use some data to drive decision making but a data-driven business takes it to the next level and uses it for strategic decisions.

The benefits of a data-driven business model is that it brings greater productivity.

It can decrease costs.

It can speed up decision making. 

It can create better products and services.

It can increase revenue through new sources of income.

To implement a data-driven business start with a strategy about how data can drive the business.

Identify the key data sets needed.

Implement an analysis of the data to make the incoming data useful for decision making.

Install a process for using the data in the actual decision making program.

There are limits to data-driven decision making as the complexity of business often requires more than just a data set to determine the next steps.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 03.Data-Driven_Business_Models.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Business Model Examples for Data

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

There are several business models used for monetizing data.

Here are some of the more commonly used ones:

Brokerage -- this model matches data providers for data users for a fee.

There are thousands of data sets available and many of them are not easily found.

Bundling -- this model combines several data sets together to provide a new data set.

By combining multiple data sets from different sources, new value can be created.

Data as an asset -- this model sells data that is valuable by itself.

An example of this is a customer list of a specific product.  Companies selling similar products purchase it to promote their product.

Subscription -- this model provides a continuous stream of data.

An example of this is a weather data feed which is required by those providing weather apps.

Aggregation -- this model provides a list of sources for a product or service.

Sites providing home contractor services require a list of contractors as one example.

This is often used for advertising and promotion. 

Pay-per-use -- this model provides data as needed and charges for each unit.

An example is email generation which generates an email for each contact or verification of an email.

Consider these business models for your data set.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 02.Business_Model_Examples_for_Data.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Building a Data-Driven Business Model

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

A data-driven business model can accomplish a number of goals such as increasing brand awareness, understanding the customer better, and improving products and services.

Here are the key steps in building a data-driven business model:

First, determine the outcome of the business model.

Find clarity on the goal of it.

Second, what is the deliverable from the effort?

Is it a data set that shows how to improve customer satisfaction, increase awareness, or understand customers' perception of the product.

Third, what data is needed?

The data can come from the customer, partners, or generally available data sources.

Fourth, how do you analyze the data?

This could be applying prescriptive, descriptive, or predictive types of analysis.

Fifth, determine how to monetize the data.

This could be selling the data directly, using it to improve internal processes or providing the data to partners or customers to enhance the selling process.

Sixth, identify the challenge in capturing and analyzing the data.

This could be regulatory requirements, data quality issues, data quantity issues, or data analysis capabilities.

Start with your business goals.

Consider these steps in implementing a data driven business model in your organization.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 01.Building_a_Data-Driven_Business_Model.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Modern Data Stack

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

The modern data stack is the term for the tools used by tech companies to analyze and integrate data.

It’s cloud-based which alleviates many of the challenges in analyzing data with legacy systems.

Here are the components of the modern data stack:

Data sources -- this includes databases, company products that produce a stream of data, and event streams which log each action a user takes.

Data warehouse -- these are the tools used to store the voluminous amounts of data that come from data analysis work.

This includes data lakes and other large-scale formats for storing the data.

Data analytics -- this includes the ability to query into the data sets and apply analytics to the data.

Data transformation -- this moves the data into a format that end users can use for their own queries and analysis. 

Data monitoring -- this captures metrics about the data such as how often the data is being used and for what applications.

Data governance -- this monitors the use of the data to comply with government regulations.

Data applications -- the set of applications which use the data output from the system for applications such as business intelligence. 

In setting up a data analytics program at your company consider the modern data stack and its components.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 05.Modern_data_stack.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

In this episode of Investor Connect, Hall T. Martin engages with Marie Wise, Chief Innovation and Partner of WiGL, to explore the company's journey in wireless power and their shift towards saltwater-generated power batteries. Marie discusses the challenges faced in raising over $11 million in four years without launching a product and shares insights into redirecting the company's focus towards consumer markets like camping and disaster relief.
 
Marie highlights the obstacles encountered due to divergent opinions within the team, where ex-military members prioritize Department of Defense contracts over venture capital funding. This misalignment hindered product development and market entry. The discussion underscores the importance of focusing on consumer markets and engaging anchor clients to drive product development.
 
The conversation underscores Investor Connect's role in assisting startups like WiGL in refining market strategies, identifying anchor clients, and preparing for investor engagement. Hall outlines Investor Connect's approach to fundraising campaigns and the importance of aligning valuation with market realities, ultimately aiming to facilitate tangible progress and product launches within defined timelines.
 
 
 
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Direct download: HTRF_20_Part_I_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Internal Monetization of Data

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

In addition to selling your data to other companies, startups can monetize their own data internally.

This method uses data to lower costs and increase the revenue of your own startup.

Here’s a list of ways to monetize your data internally:

Reduce costs -- use it to save time and money in your startup.

This could be reducing inventory for items that rarely sell or it could be increasing the utilization of equipment.

Increase revenue through new products -- use data to make the product more valuable.

This could be taking a nutraceutical and adding software to capture the condition of the patient and then using the software to determine which product the user should take.

One can create premium products using data sets.

Enter new markets -- your data may reveal new market segments and customer types that were previously overlooked.

This could be taking your medical device into other use cases.

Increase revenue to current customer targets -- use data to help sell more products to known market segments.

This could be identifying the characteristics of the customer and where to find them.

Improve efficiency -- use data to reduce the cost of building and delivering the product.

This could be identifying redundant steps that don’t add value.

Consider these steps in monetizing your data for internal use. 

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
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Direct download: 04.Internal_monetization_of_data.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Data Monetization Requirements

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

Monetizing data requires several key components.

Here’s a list of components needed to monetize your startups data:

Ability to acquire the data -- the more you can source your own data versus relying on others the more valuable your data will be.

Ability to store the data acquired -- you’ll need a data platform to hold the data for analysis and processing.

Modeling and testing -- you’ll need to model the data captured and analyze it with databases and algorithms for the result sought.  

Customer requirements -- you’ll need to know the customer’s requirements in order to build data sets of value to them.

Compliance and regulatory -- you’ll need to know the current laws around the use of data based on regulatory requirements.

People who understand data and how to interpret it -- you’ll need a team that understands data and how to analyze, interpret, and present the results.

Consider these elements in building out your data analytics program.

 

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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Direct download: 03.Data_monetization_requirements.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Data Business Models

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

There are several ways to approach data monetization.

Here are four approaches to consider for your data:

Basic content -- this business model provides raw or analyzed data that can be used as is. 

An example is a customer list with contact information.

One can sell this list to other companies who have related products to your company.

Information about products -- this business model makes available information about the product.

An example is an online database of your past purchases indicating what was bought and when.

For companies tracking their use of a product, this can be helpful for budgeting purposes. 

Data search-- this business model matches a company’s need for data with a data source.

For example a company seeking a customer list for their trading product could find it through a “data broker” who can match them to another company with that list.

Data aggregation -- this business model has a company capturing data from several sources into one dataset to sell.   

For example, a company could capture all the products being sold for a specific application and then contrast and compare the products for price and quality.

This saves buyers time in finding the right product.

Consider these business models for your data monetization.

 

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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Direct download: 02.Data_business_models.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Data Strategy

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

In monetizing data for your startup, you’ll need a data strategy.

Here are the key components of a data strategy:

Identify the problem to solve -- the problem must be specific enough to indicate the type of data needed to present a solution.

Store the data -- you’ll need to capture raw data, analyze it and create final data sets. 

This requires a data platform for capturing and storing the data that everyone can access and share the results.

Format the data -- you’ll need to format your data into several forms so it can be used for multiple purposes by different groups.

Analyze the data -- you’ll need to analyze the data to create the result the customer wants.

Manage the data -- you’ll need to manage how the data will be used so you maintain compliance with government regulations.

There are several governing bodies including Europe, state-level, and industry level requirements around use of data.

Present the data -- you’ll need a process for turning the data into meaningful results for customers such as data sets and presentations.

In selling the data it’s important to tell a story about what the data says.  

Raw data is more valuable with an analysis of how a customer can use it. 

Consider these elements in building your data strategy.

 

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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Direct download: 01.Data_strategy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Why Monetize Data

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

Data brings another dimension to the startup in product, market size, and revenue.

Here are some reasons why you should monetize your startup’s data:

Give your company an additional competitive advantage over the competition.

Data sets you apart from the others. 

Generate new sources of revenue.

Data is another product you can package and sell.

Improve your operations.

Data can help you increase your efficiency and make your business run more effectively.

Create stronger ties to partners.

Providing data to partners can increase your strategic relationships.

In raising funding data gives your startup an additional advantage over other startups.

It increases your total available market size as it gives you more potential customers.

Investors find data highly attractive for the margins it brings.

Consider these points in pursuing data monetization for your 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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Direct download: 05.Why_monetize_data.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Kirk Otis, President of Keiretsu Forum - North Texas. Located in Plano, Texas, Keiretsu Forum is a global investment community that brings together accredited private equity investors, venture capitalists, and corporate/institutional investors.
 
Kirk Otis, with over 40 years of business development and investment experience, oversees the North Texas chapter of Keiretsu Forum. He has held leadership positions in startups and large corporations, closing over 50 transactions totaling $13.5 billion in enterprise value and raising $46 million in venture capital for startups.
 
As the Managing Director at Hawkeye Capital Partners Inc., Kirk advises on executive-led exits, acquisitions, roll-ups, and management buy-outs (MBOs), seeking private equity (PE) backing in a faster, lower-risk model than traditional investment banks provide. His strategic expertise and extensive experience in transaction-oriented strategy and corporate development make him a trusted C-level advisor and leader of cross-functional teams.
 
Kirk Otis emphasizes the forum's collaborative approach in fostering strategic partnerships and sharing knowledge among members to access diverse angel investment opportunities. They delve into the rigorous company vetting process employed by Keiretsu Forum, highlighting the importance of team quality and due diligence in early-stage investments. Otis also reflects on navigating cross-border deals and the emerging trends in North Texas's early-stage investment landscape.

To connect with Kirk Otis and learn more about Keiretsu Forum, visit https://www.keiretsuforum.com, https://www.linkedin.com/company/keiretsu-forum-north-texas/ or reach out via LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/kirkotis/.
 
_______________________________________________________
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Direct download: riverside_hall___apr_7_2024_001_kirk_otis_of_keiret.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

How To Monetize Your Data

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

There are several business models for monetizing data.

Consider these models for your startup:

Mining your own data -- this business model takes your own startups data and uses it to provide new services and products for the business.

This could be creating a resource list from your research to sell as an additional data product to existing and new customers.

For example, a business could provide a data product that lists other sources to buy key products.  

This becomes a content marketing tool for drawing more potential customers to your website.

Providing data sets for other businesses -- this business model captures a data set such as the current stock market prices and makes it available for other businesses to use in their product.

Another example is tracking the number of people walking down a specific street over time would be useful information to businesses selling in that location. 

It shows the best times for the most traffic.

Providing higher level information for other businesses -- this business model takes analyzed data and provides an answer to questions that other businesses have.

For example this could be an analysis of the characteristics of a customer buying a product and where they currently look for those products.

This answers the question, who should we target to sell more of our current product and where do we find them.

Each type of data is useful.

The more analysis often leads to higher monetization levels.

Consider how to use these in your business. 

 

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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Direct download: 04.How_to_monetize_your_data.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Type of Data Analytics

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

Finding data to monetize comes in steps and stages.

Each step leads to a more detailed understanding of what data can be monetized and how to generate it.

Here’s a list of key steps to consider:

Reactive analytics -- this data captures how customers find products and services.

This could be where customers find the product and how they access it.

Descriptive analytics -- this data captures how customers use products and services.

This could be how long they engage with it, what they do with it, and what they take from it.

Diagnostic analytics -- this is the core data that others find most useful.

For example, this could be characterizing what triggers a customer to buy a product or service.

Proactive analytics -- this is additional data that can be generated using what was learned before.

This could be setting up additional triggers to generate more customer purchases.

You can modify current products or create new ones to facilitate it.

Data evolves over time from raw data to analyzed data to products that make use of the data.

Consider these steps in identifying what data you can monetize in your product.

 

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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Direct download: 03.Types_of_data_analytics.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Data Monetization Models

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

There are several data monetization models for startups 

Sources of data come from a large network of customers, in depth content, or heavily trafficked websites.

Consider these for your startup.

Data as a service -- takes data generated by the startup and makes it available to other companies. 

For example, weather data captured by one startup can be sold to other companies.

The data is captured by the software and then made available in machine readable form to other companies’ websites. 

An automatic feed continuously generates the data and sends it to other sites.

Direct data transfer -- takes data directly from the startup and sells it to other companies.

This could be a customer list with email addresses.

This works well when you have a list of customers that others want to sell to.

Data augmentation -- taking other data sets and combining with your own to create a new data set that is more valuable.

A startup could take their customer list and augment it with data from other sources to provide a richer set of data to sell to other companies.

For example a startup could take their customer list and add contact and location information and sell it to other companies.

Automating this process makes the data more valuable as it reduces the friction between source and use cases.

Consider these data monetization models for your startup.

More analysis often leads to higher monetization levels.

 

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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Direct download: 02.Data_monetization_models.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

What Is a Data Strategy and Why Is It Important

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

A data strategy is a comprehensive plan to use data to drive business decisions.

You can use it to monetize data to achieve your business goals.

Data strategy has four components:

Story -- it tells the goals of your business and how data enables it to succeed.

This includes the vision, goals, and what success looks like.

Processes -- it shows the processes needed to use the data to accomplish the goals.

This includes the key roles and responsibilities and the deliverables to be achieved.

Transformation -- it shows how the business will change to implement the processes.

This includes the data requirements, data architecture, and methodology to be used. 

Culture -- it shows the values the company holds with regards to data and its usage.

This includes the organization structure, training, and practices to be used.

Data strategy is important for aligning the organization to include data into the process.

It creates new products for the company and additional revenue streams.

It requires a fundamental change to the business to incorporate 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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Direct download: 01.What_is_a_data_strategy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

UX Design

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

UX design provides the experience the user encounters when using a product.

This is different from the user interface which is simply how the information is rendered to the user.

The UI consists of the typography, color palettes, and navigation.

The UX is the customer journey with the product.

It consists of the experience strategy which meets the needs of the user and the company.

The interaction design is how the user interacts with the product.

This comes from user research which identifies what the user must accomplish and what tools are required.

It rests on an information architecture which structures the information for the work to be done.

Good UX design achieves the following benefits:

Anyone can use the product.

It is simple and intuitive to use.

It provides useful information to the user at the right time.

It can handle user mistakes and recover from errors.

It is easy to follow.

Products with good UX outsell products with poor UX as users have little patience for hard to use products. 

Ensure UX design is part of your product management duties.

 

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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Direct download: 05.UX_design.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Brian Cain, President Keiretsu, Philadelphia Chapter. Based in Philadelphia and Jacksonville, Keiretsu Forum is a global network of angel investors, venture capitalists, and business leaders focused on fostering strategic partnerships and accessing promising investment opportunities worldwide.
 
Brian Cain brings a wealth of experience to his role as President of Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic’s Philadelphia chapter. With a background in Market Research, Business Intelligence, and Commercial Analytics at major pharmaceutical companies such as J & J, BMS, Celgene, Merck, and smaller biotechs like Ironwood, Brian possesses a comprehensive understanding of the pharmaceutical landscape and strategic decision-making processes. His involvement as a board member for various early-stage life science companies further enhances his value to Keiretsu members and portfolio companies.
 
Brian shares his journey from the pharmaceutical sector to the early-stage investment community, highlighting the appeal of working with small biotech startups. He discusses the evolution of Keiretsu Forum's Philadelphia chapter under his leadership, emphasizing the importance of due diligence and collaboration among members.
 
Brian elaborates on the rigorous company vetting process at Keiretsu Forum, emphasizing the objective assessment of opportunities and risks. He also reflects on emerging trends in the early-stage investment landscape, particularly in AI, and offers advice for both investors and entrepreneurs to leverage networks and expertise. Finally, Brian encourages listeners to get involved with Keiretsu Forum and engage in discussions to enhance their understanding and portfolio strategies.
 
For more information about Brian Cain and Keiretsu Forum, visit their website at www.keiretsuforum.com. You can connect with Brian on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/brianecain/ and follow Keiretsu Forum on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/keiretsu-forum-philadelphia/. For inquiries, reach out to Brian via email at betra@keiretsuforum.net

_________________________________________________________

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Direct download: IC_795.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Product Engagement Metrics

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

Product engagement is a key metric to track as it can predict revenue growth and churn rates. 

To track product engagement metrics consider the following:

Build tracking metrics into the product that captures user activities.

Capture key metrics such as number of active daily/weekly/monthly users.

Capture trial to paying customer conversion rates.

Measure new feature adoption to see which features are actually being used and how often.

Capture the retention rate of users to see how long they stay with the product before leaving. 

Identify which features provide stickiness for retaining customers.

Feed the metrics back to the developers and the support team to improve the quality of the product.

Update your marketing with the results of the product engagement metrics.

Consider providing additional training and tools for features that are hard to use.

Track product engagement metrics by customer segment to see the different use cases. 

Product engagement metrics indicate the quality of the product by its user engagement.

 

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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Direct download: 04.Product_engagement_metrics.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Product Data

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

Product data refers to the data about a particular product or generated by that product. 

This is separate from version control which tracks each version of the product and the features it contains.

Product data refers to the brand name, product description, schematics, source code, cost to build, price to sell, sales forecasts and results and more.

This typically involves storing the product data in a central location that all stakeholders can access such as developers, marketers, sales, and others.

Product data managers often use product data for A/B testing by capturing the results of each test.

Product managers use the data to review past sales and make future forecasts.

It can also be used to map our product roadmaps.

Product data can also refer to the data the product captures and creates.

Customer usage can be a critical data element for some products as it can be monetized by itself.

Other companies will buy your product data as the customers or their data may be a good fit for their product.

Some companies seek product data that can be used for testing algorithms.

As data becomes more valuable, more companies will seek to monetize their data.

Consider the data running through your product to see how it can be used.

 

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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Direct download: 03.Product_data_usage.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Pre-Seed Product Work

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

In the early stages of the startup before the product is designed and launched, there’s product management work to be done.

Consider these points for the pre seed stage product work:

Focus on the problem the customer has.

Understand it very well. 

Don’t get your heart set on  a specific instantiation of the product.  

Early stage products will morph and change over time.

Set intermediate goals for customer research, MVP designs and customer feedback.

Adopt the fail forward attitude.

Look for fast failures so you can move the project forward more quickly.

Create a short list of customers you can contact and get immediate feedback.

Launch several MVPs and vary the scale and scope of them.

Not everything must be built into a product to get feedback.

Some MVPs can be small experiments such as a web page capturing the number of users landing and converting.

Other MVPs can be actual products the customer can use. 

Set up your team to capture customer input from all sides.

Share customer feedback with everyone on the team on a regular basis.

Product management in the early stages focuses on a core set of customers and problems to be solved.

 

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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Direct download: 02.Preseed_product_work_best_practices.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Gamification For Your Product

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

Gamification is adding game techniques in a software product to increase user engagement.

The content inspires the user to continue engaging with the product.

Consider adding these gamification techniques to your product:

Set up goals for the user to accomplish.  

This provides a challenge to the user to complete the task.

Assign points for completing the tasks.

Use leaderboards to show the status of the users compared to each other.

Organize users into teams to complete the tasks.

This builds community among the users. 

Embed educational information into the tasks to increase the skill of the user.

This could be tips, quizzes, and other techniques to provide information.

Offer rewards for completing tasks.

This could be virtual such as assigning points, avatars, and badges.

Gaming has proven techniques for fostering engagement.

Use those techniques to foster more engagement with your product. 

 

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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Direct download: 01.Gamification_for_your_product.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Product Management Best Practices

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

Product management is an ongoing process of analyzing the market and monitoring customer needs.

Here are some best practices for implementing product management at your startup:

Focus on your customer and not your product.

If every discussion with a customer starts with your product then you limit the feedback from the customer.

Start with the customer’s challenges to learn more and generate new ideas.

Create a mental model for the customer you are researching.

What is the problem they must solve and what is their workflow?

This opens up new applications for your product.

Observe the customer and their workflow to understand the problem better.

New applications often take a different approach in problem solving.

Capture the customer research into a form that everyone can access and contribute.

Organize the customer research into meaningful structures so one can make sense of the data and can generate potential solutions.

Set up collaborative meetings to review the data and brainstorm ideas for solutions.

Propose solutions for the rest of the team to review and comment on.

Involve the entire organization in customer research to get the best ideas.

 

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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Direct download: 05.Product_management_best_practices.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Barry Etra, President of Keiretsu Forum, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Keiretsu Forum is a global investment community of accredited private equity angel investors, venture capitalists, and corporate institutional investors. With over 2,000 accredited angel investor members dispersed throughout 53 Chapter cities on 4 continents, Keiretsu Forum is the world’s largest and most successful accredited investor–private equity community.
 
Since its founding in 2000, Keiretsu Forum members have invested more than $1 billion in 1400+ different companies from a myriad of industries, including software, telecommunications, health/life sciences, biotech, real estate, mobile applications, Internet, consumer products, and other high-growth areas.
 
Barry Etra is a seasoned professional whose career exemplifies a deep commitment to fostering growth and innovation within the early-stage landscape, particularly in the South Eastern United States. His journey began in the manufacturing sector, where he amassed experience over several years.
 
In 2014, Barry pivoted towards the entrepreneurial ecosystem and created the RAISE (Retention and Advanced Investment for the Southeast) Forum based in Atlanta. This move marked a significant shift in his career path toward the cultivation of a robust support system for early-stage companies in the region. In 2018, he was recruited to lead the Atlanta Chapter of the Keiretsu Forum, the world's largest and most successful accredited investor-private equity community. Under his guidance, the Atlanta Chapter has grown to become a key player in the local and regional early-stage investment community, providing a conduit for investors to access high-quality investment opportunities.
 
In this episode, Barry discusses his transition from the manufacturing sector to early-stage investment. He highlights the challenges faced by companies in securing funding and the emergence of Koretsu Forum as a solution. Etra emphasizes the comprehensive due diligence process conducted by Koretsu Forum, which benefits both investors and entrepreneurs. He describes the collaborative decision-making process within the Atlanta chapter and the diverse profile of investors involved. Etra also discusses emerging trends in early-stage investments in the Southeast, particularly in healthcare, and advises listeners on how to get involved with Koretsu Forum.
 
_______________________________________________________
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Direct download: IC_Sem_04_-_Barry_Etra.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Product Experience Best Practices

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

Product experience is the customer's journey with the product from adoption to trial to ongoing usage. 

This is separate from the customer experience which includes interactions with the company including buying the product, training, support, and more.

The better the product experience, the better the overall customer experience which results in lower churn and higher retention rates.

Build into the core product all the key elements such as purchasing the product, unsubscribing, support, training, and community.

The product becomes the central hub for the customer.

Use the product to train the customer about how to use it in particular new features.

Build access to support into the product so the user can share key information with the support team.

Design in metrics to capture the customer’s use of the product and make it available to the developers for product roadmap decisions.

Use it to capture feedback from the customer such as new product feature suggestions and complaints about current functionality.

The product is the ideal place for onboarding, training, and monitoring the customer’s experience with the product.

 

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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Direct download: 04.Product_experience_best_practices.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Product Differentiation Features

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

In product development, there are several types of features.

These include basic requirements, nice to haves and differentiators.

The basic requirements are table stakes. 

All products in the space have those features and customers expect them to be there.

These are must have features.

Then there are the nice to have features.

These are features the team found interesting or a customer or two requested.

They are not critical to the use of the product but it’s a nice plus.

Finally, there are differentiators.

These features add value and they help your product stand out from the competition.

These are the ones to push from a product management position as customers don’t necessarily ask for those features.

You must prioritize these on the product roadmap and overcome objections from the team who want to stick with the basic requirements.

It’s the differentiators that help you win new customers and stand out from the crowd.

Review your product roadmap for these features to make sure enough differentiators are making it into the roadmap.

 

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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Direct download: 03.Product_differentiation_features.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Product Adoption Steps

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

Product adoption is the process of increasing the customer’s awareness of the product so they try and then buy the product.

Product adoption increases revenue and retention and reduces churn. 

There are six stages of adoption as follows:

Awareness -- the customer becomes aware of the product and its capabilities.

A strong brand helps generate awareness.

Interest -- the customer finds something interesting about the product.

Interest usually comes from the specific problem they are trying to solve.

Evaluation -- the customer tests the product to see how it works.

Customers often try competitor products at the same time for comparison purposes.

Trial -- the customer signs up for a trial run of the product.

Trials are often free for a limited time.

Activation -- the customer signs up to use the product ongoing.

Customers should see immediate benefits when signing up.

Adoption -- the customer makes the product a part of their workflow. 

Build tools to facilitate the customer through these steps.

Remove friction from the process so customers can more easily engage the product.

Understand the customer journey of your product to build out this program. 

 

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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Direct download: 02.Product_adoption_steps.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Before Product Development

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

To ensure you are developing the right product for your target customer ask these questions first:

What are you losing customers over?

If customers choose another product because you don’t have a specific feature then this is worth putting into the product.

What are competitors doing that keeps you awake at night?

If the competition is working on features that you don’t have then this may be a candidate to include in your next product upgrade.

Have customers been asking for it for sometime now?

If you have customers that have asked for a feature but you haven’t put it in, then this is something to prioritize.

Do customers add this feature into your product by themselves?

If you have customers who hack a feature into your product, then it’s important to do this for them.

Can you sell them on the proposed feature?

If you have customers buying the product because they want to use that feature, then prioritize building it for them.

The rule is sell it first, build it second.

If you can’t sell it in the first place, you don’t need to build it in the second place.

Consider these questions in prioritizing the features to build into your product.

 

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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Direct download: 01.Before_product_development.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Product Research Practices

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

Most founders talk to ten or twenty prospective customers and then start building their product. 

It takes a minimum of fifty customer discussions to understand the problem and how to solve it.

If you know the space and come from the industry you’ll be in a better position to research it.

If you are new to the space then it’s best to recruit a domain knowledge person to join the research team.

This will speed up the process of understanding the basics of the industry.

It also helps in contacting potential customers for interviews and discussions.

In the discovery phase you’ll want to hear not only about the problem to be solved but also about the customer himself.

Ask questions such as how did you find the solution you are using now?

How did you choose this solution over other solutions?

What was unique about the product that led you to choose this one?

How important is the product in your overall workflow?

Look at the problem through the customer's eyes and with empathy for the customer.

Place yourself in as the customer and ask how else you can solve the problem.

It takes a substantial amount of time with customers to understand their problems and how it fits into the overall workflow. 

 

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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Direct download: 05.Product_research_practices.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

In this week's episode of Investor Connect, Hall T. Martin engages in a discussion with a startup representative from Indochina. The entrepreneur expresses their funding aspirations, aiming to secure between $500,000 to $1.5 million, with a deadline set for securing a lead investor by March.
 
They highlight the importance of conducting thorough due diligence walkthroughs and leveraging existing investor networks to expand their reach. They emphasize the significance of proactive engagement and strategic alignment with investor preferences as essential components for navigating the fundraising process successfully.
 
The episode provides valuable insights into the nuanced dynamics of fundraising, showcasing how startups can adapt their strategies to navigate challenges effectively. By fostering proactive engagement, leveraging networks, and exploring alternative funding sources, entrepreneurs can enhance their chances of securing the investment needed to fuel their growth and development.
 
_______________________________________________________
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.
 
 
For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 
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Direct download: HTRF_19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Product Lifecycle Management

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

The product goes through various stages over the life of the product.

So the role of the product manager will vary throughout the lifecycle of the product.

Here’s a list of stages to consider:

Planning -- the product manager spends time with customers and industry experts to understand the market.

A deep understanding of the market and customer needs is required.

Design -- the product manager spends time with the developers designing the product.

An understanding of the basic technology is required.

Building -- the product manager spends time with the development team building the product.

Project management skill to implement the technology is required.

Testing -- the product manager spends time with beta customers and lead users testing the product.

A knowledge of the customer and their application is required.

Launch -- the product manager spends time with initial customers promoting the product.

Marketing skills and promotion are required.

Maintenance -- the product manager spends time with new customers identifying new features to build into the product.  

Project management skills are required to keep the product moving forward.

The product manager’s job spans from research to building to selling the product. 

 

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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Direct download: 04.Product_lifecycle_management.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Product Challenges

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

There are many challenges in developing, launching and maintaining a product. 

Here’s a list of challenges to consider:

Choosing what product to build.

Look for customers with unmet needs and build for them.

Choosing your ideal customer.

The ideal customer is the one you chose with unmet needs.

Understanding customer requirements.

You need to talk with fifty customers to fully understand their needs.

Building the minimum viable product.

You should be able to build it in less than six months and sell it in six months.

If you cannot build it in that timeframe, then you are scoping it too large.

Finding product/market fit.

Look at the customer’s work to see what else your product should be doing for them.

Building the follow on product.

Look at the support issues coming in from the first product and use that as a basis for the second product.

There are many challenges in product development but these are the most common ones to look for.

 

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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Direct download: 03.Product_challenges.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

MVP Mistakes

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

In starting a business there comes the time to build the minimum viable product.

The most common mistake is planning a grand vision for the initial product.

The MVP will be much smaller than the vision.

MVPs often gather customer feedback on the usefulness of the product but not the actual careabouts of the customer. 

This often generates superficial feedback.

There needs to be more in depth research with the customer to spec out a final product.

Many try to take the MVP and with some additional work turn it into the first product.

This is typically a mistake because the findings from the MVP change not only the product but also how to position and monetize it. 

This requires an entire re-do of the product itself.

The MVP should validate your value proposition.

Your value proposition often changes after talking with numerous customers.

Finally, it’s important to use the MVP to test the key assumptions behind the business.

This includes the size of the market, how to execute it, and how much you can charge for it.

Avoid these mistakes in your MVP process. 

 

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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Direct download: 02.More_mvp_mistakes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Minimize the MVP

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

Many founders brainstorm a grand vision for their product.

While vision is a must have, realize you’ll need to start small.

Raising too much funding early in the business will cost the founder unnecessary dilution.

In building the MVP think minimum and not maximum.

Keep the team to a minimum.

Focus on the core problem.

Solve a piece of the problem and not the entire thing.

Put a deadline on the time to build to provide boundaries to the MVP.

Calculate the cost to maintain the product in addition to building it.

Design it so you can add more features later such as a software interface that allows for additional features.

Consider how it fits into your user’s workflow and exactly what it must do.

Check with your proposed initial customers to see if they would buy what you plan to build.

Building a new product is hard so it’s best to break it down into phases and steps.

Consider these points for building your MVP.

 

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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Direct download: 01.Minimize_the_mvp.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

What Is Product Management

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

Product management drives the development, launch, and ongoing support of the product.

Here’s a list of duties and responsibilities:

Research the market and customers for the proposed product.

Identify the customers' key care abouts and pain points. 

Size the potential market for the product. 

Develop a position in the market for the product given the competition.

Test the market with minimum viable products and test use cases.

Drive the development of the product by building out the features in a logical order.

Develop a roadmap for the life of the product.

Refine the vision for the product and its role in the market.

Continually review the product and refine the goals for it.

Product management is a strategic function in the business.

 

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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Direct download: 05.What_is_product_management.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

In this episode of Investor Connect, Hall T. Martin discusses the challenges of fundraising with guest Scott. Scott shares his struggles in closing deals for his startup, highlighting the common issues of finding a lead investor and facing shifting goalposts from potential investors. He explores the difficulties of meeting investor expectations regarding product development and traction.
 
Hall provides insights into the current fundraising landscape, emphasizing the importance of market-rate valuations, creating scarcity in deals, and showcasing a predictable customer acquisition funnel. Scott discusses his startup's valuation strategy, including a convertible safe note with a cap rate and tiered structure.
 
Hall offers valuable advice on refining the pitch deck by incorporating logos of potential partners, emphasizing the significance of proprietary data and the AI's speech recognition capabilities.
 
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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Direct download: HTRF_18.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Product Roadmap

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

The product roadmap lays out the vision of the product at a high level.

It shows where the product is going and what must be done at each stage.

It’s a visionary goal to share with potential investors and customers.

In building your product roadmap consider the following:

Each version of the product should have a goal.  

Who is it for and why are we building it?

Align the team with each version of the product which will change from one stage to the next.

Include marketing for product upgrade launches based on major changes in the product. 

Target new customer segments with new releases.

Use the product in sales meetings with large prospective customers to help close the sale as some customers are looking to the roadmap to make a buying decision.

In product development the product roadmap guides architecture decisions.

It shows what requirements may be needed in the future that should be put in place at the architecture level.

Features that don’t make into an upcoming version of the product can be done in a future version. 

The product roadmap can be used as a competitive advantage.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 04.Product_roadmap.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Product Management Tools

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

Product management requires many skills and tasks to complete.

There are tools that help accomplish these tasks.

Here’s a list of tools to consider:

User tracking and analysis – there is embedded software that tracks and analyzes user behavior. 

This tells you what part of the product users spend the most time on and what they don’t.

Roadmap tools –these tracks features and interdependencies between features and creates roadmap slides to foster collaboration.

This helps in the planning process in which multiple parties must come to agree.

Customer survey tools – these are online surveys that gather customer feedback.

This provides feedback for planning roadmaps.

Project management tools – these tools track the project by developer and function.

This helps in tracking the development of the project in the case that the product manager is also the project manager.

A/B testing software – these software tools turn features on and off for specific users.

This helps in running A/B tests.

Heatmap tools – these tools track the user through a user session.

This shows what the user saw and where they went through the product.

Flowchart tools – this helps build flowcharts for mapping the customer journey.

This shows what the customer must do to complete their job and how the product helps them at each step.

Customer feedback and idea capture – this captures feedback from the users and prospects.

This helps in developing future versions of the product.

Consider these tools for your product management work.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 03.Product_management_tools.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Product Management Skills

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

Product management requires several skills to succeed.

Here’s a list of skills to consider:

Communication skills -- the product manager communicates verbally and in writing with prospective users, customers, developers, and management.

This comes in the form of planning the product, gathering feedback on the current version, and proposing next step features.

Collaboration skills -- the product manager must align the objectives of several competing groups to come together.

This comes in the form of finalizing the specifications of the product, prioritizing features to include, and how to position the product in the market.

Technical skills -- the product manager must be able to understand the technology behind the product and its application.

This comes in the form of writing case studies, identifying new features to build, and talking with customers about feedback on the product.

Business skills -- the product manager must be able to perform basic business skills such as market research, analysis, and projections.  

This comes in the form of crafting a forecast for the product, analyzing customer usage, and calculating profit and loss on a product line basis.

These are the basic skills needed for product management. 

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
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Direct download: 02.Product_management_skills.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Product Management in the Launch

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

The product manager plays a key role in the launch of the product.

Before the launch the product manager prepares sales and marketing.

This includes product training, competition analysis, and website content.

The goal of the launch is to establish an initial set of customers and grow the user base.

After the launch the product manager guides customer support to resolve user issues with the product.

This requires making updates to the product to fix critical issues.

The product manager works with the developers to define an upgrade plan for the product showing what features to include in each version of the product.

In addition, the product manager looks to increase revenue from the product through more users and upsells.

Also, reducing churn in the product.

The product manager aligns the product goals with the company’s strategic goals.

This includes building a loyal following among customers that burnishes the brand of the company.

The ultimate goal is to find product-market fit with the customer in which demand outstrips supply.

The product manager function changes over time and throughout the life of the product.

 

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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Direct download: 01.Product_management_in_the_launch.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

What Is a Certified Fraud Examiner

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

A certified fraud examiner (CFE) is a professional with credentials in fraud detection, deterrence, and prevention.

A CFE performs fraud examinations and reviews compliance.

They gather evidence, capture statements from the persons involved, generate reports, and testify to the findings. 

They coordinate the investigation with the authorities and work with them to recover the missing funds. 

In addition CFEs can design anti-fraud programs. 

Many work as compliance specialists with companies.

Companies hire CFEs to identify causes of fraud and recover losses.

CFEs run fraud examinations to see if fraud occurred, who was responsible and how much money was stolen.

Actions from a fraud investigation begin when a complaint is filed.

The defendant is given a time frame to respond to the allegations.

Financial fraud is defined as an intentional act resulting in financial misstatements.

Examples include improper revenue recognition such as fictitious revenue. 

Fraud investigations take up to two months to run. 

Consider using a certified fraud examiner in your case.

 

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.

_________________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 05.What_is_a_certified_fraud_examiner.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

How to Raise Funding 17
 
In this episode, host Hall T. Martin engages with Sherry, a seasoned professional supporting startup fundraising efforts in Austin, Texas. Sherry shares her background working with Elemental Accelerator and Green Biz, shedding light on the startup scene in Hawaii. The discussion touches on the challenges and opportunities in smaller markets compared to major startup hubs like the Bay Area.
 
The conversation takes an insightful turn as Julia, another guest, joins from Florida, adding a dynamic element to the dialogue. Hall explores Julia's fundraising plans for her startup, emphasizing that Investor Connect is geared toward helping startups find more investors. He elaborates on their comprehensive program, providing valuable insights into the process, success rates, and strategies for optimizing fundraising efforts.
 
The episode serves as an informative guide for startups seeking funding and highlights Investor Connect's role in facilitating successful fundraising journeys.
 
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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Direct download: HTRF_17.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

How To Recover From a Bad Investment

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

If you invest long enough you’ll make a bad investment.

Here are some causes for a bad investment:

Overpaying for the startup through too high a valuation.

Making a snap decision on just a few factors such as the team or the market.

Failing to perform thorough due diligence.

Here are some tips for how to recover:

Let it go and move on.

Don’t let a bad startup investment get you down.  

Remember, it happens to the best of us.

Reflect on what went wrong and where did you make a mistake.

Reassess your process. 

What should you change to not make the same mistake again?

Finally, don’t beat yourself up.

Look to the future and remember the lessons learned from this experience.

 

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.

_________________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 04.How_to_recover_from_a_bad_investment.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

How To Manage Retaliation

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

Retaliation is when a manager takes adverse actions against a whistleblower.

This could be in the form of termination, reduction in salary or loss of benefits.

Retaliation laws make it illegal for a manager to retaliate against an employee who blew the whistle.

This includes potential, current and past employees.

Retaliation claims are separate from whistleblowing claims.

There are retaliation laws around each area of the business including fraud by employers, securities fraud, federal fraud and more.

You must prove that the whistleblower laws apply to your case. 

That the manager knew about your activities.

That your manager took adverse action because of it.

That you suffered from adverse actions.

One can claim adverse actions by the manager by either direct or indirect evidence.

Anti-retaliation laws vary depending on the type of fraud in question.

Time limits range from a few days to up to six years depending on the situation.

Each state provides a different path for filing for retaliation claims.

It’s best to use an attorney to navigate through the complex laws.

 

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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Direct download: 03.How_to_manage_retaliation.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

How To Keep Your Job After Whistleblowing

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

Keeping your job after whistleblowing can be a challenge. 

Consider these steps to protect yourself:

Retain an attorney to advise on the legal ramifications.

Keep notes about calls, meetings, actions, and any retaliations from managers.

Keep a copy of your performance reviews, work policies and procedures.

Capture evidence and keep it in a secure place offsite from work.

Make note of your treatment compared to the company policies.

Consider remaining anonymous before whistleblowing if that’s an option.

Find out if others are aware of the fraud and want to do something about it.

They could be witnesses in a trial case.

Retaliation claims have time limits so maintain awareness of those.

There are many protections to whistleblowers but it’s best to protect yourself with these steps.

 

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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Direct download: 02.How_to_keep_your_job_after_whistleblowing.pkf.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Best Practices for Whistleblowers

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

Many people have become whistleblowers.

Here’s a list of best practices based on their experience:

Find a lawyer before you become a whistleblower.

Choose one carefully after proper research and one that works on a contingency basis.

Maintain anonymity throughout the case and for as long as possible.

Gather as much information as you can about the case before submitting it.

Set aside time for the process as there will be many calls and meetings.

Keep the case confidential and don’t talk with anyone other than your attorney and the authorities about it.

It’s important to move quickly on cases as evidence can disappear.

The longer you wait the harder it will be to make the case stick.

Don’t let the size of the company or the status of the perpetrator dissuade you from blowing the whistle.  

Most often you have a strong case and the authorities have tools to bring about justice.

Consider these points in your whistleblower case.

 

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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Direct download: 01.Best_practices_for_whistleblowers.pkf.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

What You Should Know About Whistleblowing

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

Whistleblowers provide information to the authorities to help stop fraud.

Here’s what you need to know about whistleblowing:

There are multiple laws around whistleblowing so you should know the relevant laws for your situation.

Whistleblowers are portrayed as downtrodden outcasts by the media which is rarely the case in reality.

There’s no guarantee that your claim will win even if fraud actually occurred.

It’s best to use an attorney to file the claim and shield your identity from the public.

Whistleblower laws have statute of limitations so it’s important to know those limitations in your case.

Anyone can be a whistleblower and not just US citizens.

The laws continue to change and develop in this area so it’s important to keep up to date with the latest rules.

Winning a whistleblower case can provide monetary rewards which have increased over the past years.

Consider these points for any fraudulent activity you see.

 

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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Direct download: 05.What_You_Should_Know_About_Whistleblowing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Malkiat Judge, CEO and Founder of Roots Funding Inc, based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
 
Malkiat Judge leads Roots Funding Inc with over 20 years of experience in the financial and technology industry. His team at Roots Funding offers financial services at RBC Wealth Management, utilizing cutting-edge technology to assist High Net Worth clients in building and protecting wealth tax efficiently. Malkiat is recognized for his trustworthiness, honesty, and expertise in managing clients' assets and wealth planning.
 
Roots Funding is an online crowdfunding platform that provides value-added services on private equity and private lending opportunities through RootsFundMe.com. The company's goal is to offer diverse investment and lending opportunities for investors, enabling entrepreneurs to raise funds globally. Root Funding prioritizes customer protection, utilizing the latest technology for secure transactions. The company's diverse leadership team is committed to becoming the most trusted global investment platform.
 
In this episode, Malkiat Judge shares insights into his background, Roots Funding's services, challenges and rewards of crowdfunding entrepreneurship, and the company's future plans. He discusses the uniqueness of Roots Funding in the market and their vision to build a global financial ecosystem.
 
Connect with Malkiat and Roots Funding
For more information, follow Roots Funding on LinkedIn and Twitter.
 
_________________________________________________________
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Direct download: IC_Malkiat_Judge_Intro.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

How To Report Fraud

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

Fraud sometimes arises in the startup world.

Here’s how to report fraud should it happen to you.

If you discover fraud don’t pay any more money into it.

Collect the relevant information and documents.

This includes names of the suspected perpetrators and their contact details.

Any information indicating the suspected fraud.

Report the fraud to the authorities.

This includes the state Attorney General, Department of Justice, FINRA, and the FBI.

Check your insurance coverage to see if you have any fraud protection.

Get a second opinion from a coworker or other in your network about it.

Fraud often comes from those who you trust most.

 

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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Direct download: 04._How_To_Report_Fraud.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

How Do Whistleblower Laws Protect You

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

Whistleblower laws protect those who report fraud, waste, and abuse to the authorities.

Here’s a list of cases of protections provided to federal employees:

Disclosures made to those engaging in bad acts.

Employees motive for reporting the bad acts.

Disclosures made while the employee was off duty.

Disclosures made while the employee was on duty.

Whistleblower laws protect employees from the following in the event they report bad acts in the workplace .

Violation of laws and regulations.

Gross mismanagement.

Gross waste of funds.

Abuse of authority.

Substantial danger to the public.

The employee is protected from employees and their disclosures in reporting the bad acts of others. 

Consider these conditions in reporting bad acts.

 

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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Direct download: 03.How_Do_Whistleblower_Laws_Protect_You.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Filing a Complaint With the SEC

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

The Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC oversees the securities industry in the US.

Here’s a list of sources of fraud related to securities:

Ponzi and pyramid schemes in which funds collected from one investor are paid to another investor with no actual investment.

Theft or misappropriation of funds in which employees take money from the company.

Stock price manipulation in which one's activities increase or decrease the price to the gain of the manipulator.

Insider trading in which those with inside information make gains through stock trades.

Bribery in which employees pay bribes to others to accomplish their goals.

Fraudulent conduct associated with securities.

Report these to the SEC through their website or hotline.

There are whistleblower protections for those who provide information to the SEC.

Remember, there’s no such thing as a guaranteed investment.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 02.Filing_a_Complaint_With_the_SEC.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Claiming Whistleblower Status

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

There are three Whistleblower programs, False Claims, SEC Whistleblower, and IRS Whistleblower.

One can file multiple claims under each of the programs.

One must file within a time limit of the act of fraud which in most cases is 10 years.

Some IRS and SEC claims require a filing within three years.

The False Claims Act requires you to have an attorney. 

This gives anonymity to the filer.

This act covers fraud and waste to the Federal Government.

This includes healthcare, tax, defense, pharmaceutical, educational, financial and more.

Once filed you cannot discuss the case with anyone.

For SEC Whistleblower cases you file a Form TCR.

For IRS Whistleblower cases you file a Form 211.

The government will determine whether to pursue or not.

The filer can make another claim under a different act to gain a higher payout.

The Department of Justice or SEC will lead the investigation.

The faster you submit the claim, the better the chance of success.

The Whistleblower can receive a percent of any rewards collected which can range from 10% to 30% of the funds collected.

Consider these steps in filing a whistleblower claim.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 01.Claiming_Whistleblower_Status.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Gale Wilkinson, Managing Partner at VITALIZE Venture Capital located in Chicago, IL.

VITALIZE is an early-stage VC firm founded in 2018 by Gale Wilkinson. Fund 1, with a total capital of $16.3M, is fully deployed with 26 portfolio companies, including notable names like The Mom Project, Elevate K-12, and Placer.ai.

Presently, VITALIZE invests out of a $23.4M Fund 2 and manages a 500+ member angel group. The firm specializes in WorkTech, focusing on B2B software that revolutionizes workflows and/or work outcomes, data-driven HR technology (hiring, learning & development, employee engagement), and infrastructure for the growing freelance economy.

Gale Wilkinson, a founder, angel, and venture capitalist, has a passion for investing in and supporting visionary founders. She has spearheaded 125 institutional deals and personally invested in 50 angel deals. As the founder of VITALIZE, Gale has cultivated a community of 500+ individuals enthusiastic about early-stage WorkTech software investments.

Beyond her professional pursuits, Gale is an advocate for diversity in angel and VC investing, aiming to bring more people to the table.

Gale discusses the current trends in work tech, including the push for hybrid work situations and software simplification. Gale highlights the massive potential, with the sector expected to approach $1 trillion in the next few years. She provides advice to founders in this space to think bigger and create truly revolutionary solutions. 

Connect with Gale Wilkinson and VITALIZE Venture Capital:

_______________________________________________________

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Direct download: IC_Gale_Wilkinson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:43am CDT

Team by Stage of Funding

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

At each stage of funding the startup will need a team to accomplish the goals.

Here’s the team configuration at each stage:

PreSeed - Founder and technical cofounder.

The early-stage team needs someone building it and someone selling it.

Seed -- Founder and technical cofounder.

The founder sells the product or service and the cofounder builds the minimum viable product.

Seed+ -- Founder and technical cofounder.

The founder continues selling the product and the cofounder turns the MVP into a standard product.

Series A -- Founder, technical cofounder, and product person.

The founder continues selling the product alongside a product person managing direct sales and channel partners.

Series B -- Founder, CTO, CFO.

The founder works on scaling strategies and the chief technical officer and chief financial officer are hired to scale the business.

Series C -- Founder, CTO, CFO.

The founder works on building new products while the chief technical officer and chief financial officer continue to grow the business with new products and entering new geographies.

Series D -- Founder, CTO, CFO, and acquisition specialist.

The founder works on acquiring other businesses to fuel the scaling growth of the company with the help of the acquisition specialist.

 

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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Direct download: 05.Team_by_stage_of_funding_Intro.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Success Rate by Stage of Funding

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

The success rate of startups declines as one moves from seed to Series A and so forth.

Success is defined as a successful exit for the investors through an acquisition of the company.

Here’s the rate of success of startups at each stage of funding.

Seed -- 9%

Series A-- 12%

Series B -- 14%

Series C -- 15%

Series D -- 16%

Many startups stop raising funding and turn into a steady state business before reaching an acquisition exit.

Here’s the rate at which companies go on to raise at the next stage of funding:

Series A -- 40%

Series B -- 25%

Series C -- 15%

Series D -- 5%

This shows the percent of startups still raising funding after each round.

 

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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Direct download: 04.Success_rate_by_stage_of_funding_Intro.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Primary Work by Stage of Funding

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

At each stage of funding the startup team takes on a new set of tasks.

Here’s the primary work at each stage:

PreSeed -- Define the market and identify the target customer.

The early-stage team researches the market and talks with potential customers about product needs.

Seed -- Build the initial MVP and test the market.

The team builds a minimum viable product and tests cohorts of prospective customers.

Seed+ -- Build and launch the initial product for the market.

The team takes the lessons learned from the MVP and builds a product to take to market.

Series A -- Grow product sales.

The team builds out the product features to accelerate the growth.

Series B -- Scale product sales.

The team builds out the distribution channels and product delivery to work at scale.

Series C -- Identify new products to build.

The team looks for strategic adjacencies and product extensions to build and sell.

Series D -- Identify target acquisitions.

The team looks for other companies to acquire to increase the sales growth.

 

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.

_________________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 03.Primary_work_by_stage_of_funding_Intro.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Investors by Stage of Funding

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

Each stage of funding brings a different set of investors.

Here’s a list of investors to pursue by stage.

Pre-Seed -- Founders fund their initial startup research and market development.

It’s too soon to take outside funding for what is not yet a formed business plan. 

Seed -- Family and friends and closely known angel investors.

Outside funding can begin once the market is understood and the customer is identified. 

Seed+ -- Angel investors and early stage venture capital investors.

There’s often another round of funding at the previous valuation to complete the product. 

Series A -- Venture capital and late stage angel investors.

Institutional capital comes into play at this stage.

Series B -- Later stage venture capital and growth equity investors.

Later stage venture capital carries the startup into scaling.

Series C -- Mezzanine debt and growth equity investors.

Debt investors as well as growth equity investors come into play.

IPO -- Pre-IPO investors fund the IPO.

This  usually starts two years in advance of going public.

Pursue these metrics at each stage of funding.

 

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.

_________________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: 02.Investors_by_stage_of_funding_Intro.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Boards and Advisors by Stage of Funding

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

Each stage of funding brings a different set of advisors and board members.

Here’s a list of advisors and board members to pursue by stage.

Pre-Seed -- Informal advisors and board members.

They provide domain knowledge about target industries.

Seed -- Informal advisors and board members.

They provide basic business advice on forming and launching the business.

Seed+ -- Informal advisors and board members.

They provide sales and marketing expertise to help find product market fit.

Series A -- Formal board of directors.

The board consists of five members, two from the company, two from the investors and one independent who has domain knowledge.

They provide sales growth expertise.

Series B -- Formal board of directors and a few advisors.

The board consists of five members, two from the company, one from the Series A investors, and one from the Series B investors, and one independent who has domain knowledge.

They provide scaling expertise.

Series C -- Formal board of directors and several advisors.

The board consists of seven persons, two from the company, one from the Series A investors, one from the Series B investors, and one from the Series C investors, and two independent directors.

They provide expertise for expanding into new markets. 

Series D -- Formal board of directors and several advisors.

The board consists of seven persons, two from the company, three from the investors, and two independent directors.

They provide expertise for acquiring other companies.

Pursue these advisors and board members at each stage of funding.

 

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.

_________________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: 01.Boards_and_advisors_by_stage_of_funding_Intro.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

In this episode, Hall T. Martin engages with Cheryl from Torgan to explore effective fundraising strategies for startups. Torgan, part of the Keiretsu program, specializes in investor relations and introductions, with a focus on the life sciences sector.

Cheryl sheds light on Torgan's unique approach to fundraising, emphasizing the increasing interest in the biotech and AI markets. The discussion covers the duration of fundraising efforts based on different amounts sought and Torgan's monthly retainer model. The importance of transparent milestones and incentivizing early investors with favorable valuations is highlighted.

Hall T. Martin offers advice on incorporating an exit strategy into fundraising decks, focusing on potential buyers and exit valuations. The episode concludes with a discussion on angel groups, suggesting Keiretsu as an option for its extensive investor network. Torgan's experience provides valuable insights for startups navigating the complexities of fundraising.

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.


For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: HTRF_16_V02.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:37am CDT

Financial Work by Stage of Funding

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

Each stage of funding requires financial work to be done by the startup.

Here’s a list of financial goals to consider for your startups fundraise:

Pre-seed -- identify locked value in a customer segment.

The output of this stage is a target market that is ripe for disruption with revenue potential.

Seed -- identify a case for the business in unit economic terms.

The output of this stage is a revenue model that works on a unit economic basis.

Seed+ -- refine the business model.

The output of this stage is a business model that works consistently.

Series A -- build the business model that provides a 50% return on invested capital.

The output of this stage is a business model that not only sustains the business but also grows it.

Series B -- build the business model that scales the business. 

The output of this stage is a business model for rapid growth to scale.

Series C -- acquire other businesses.

The output of this stage is to identify businesses to acquire that maintain the  return on invested capital.

IPO -- build a war chest.

The output of this stage is funding that can take the business into new markets. 

Each stage of funding presents the startup with a financial challenge .

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 05.Financial_Work_by_Stage_of_Funding.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Valuations by Stage of Funding

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

At each stage of funding there’s a valuation range for the startup.

This changes over time with fluctuations in the market and by sector.

Here’s a list of ranges to consider for your startups fundraise:

  1. Pre-seed -- $50K to $100K

The output of this stage is market research and an initial list of potential customers.

  1. Seed -- $1M to $5M

The output of this stage is an initial product.

  1. Seed+ -- $1M to $5M

The output of this stage is a refined product with better metrics.

  1. Series A -- $5M to 15M

The output of this stage is growing revenue for the main product.

The valuation varies based on the monetization model in the startup.

  1. Series B -- $20M to $50M

The output of this stage is a meaningful share of the market.

  1. Series C -- $50M to $200M

The output of this stage is new product lines.

  1. IPO -- $100M+

The output of this stage is an ongoing business on the public market.

Valuations will vary from one sector to the next and with the state of the market.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 04.Valuations_by_Stage_of_Funding.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Fundraise Amount by Stage of Funding

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

At each stage of funding there’s a standard amount to raise.

Here are the fundraise amounts by stage:

Pre-seed -- $250K to $500K

This funding sets up the business and launches the customer discovery and product development process.

Seed -- $500K to $1M

This funding starts the MVP product build and takes it to the market.

Seed+ -- $500K to $750K

This funding is to complete the standard product and launch it into the market.

Series A -- $1M to $5M

This funding sets up the company for rapid growth.

Series B -- $3M to $15M

This funding sets up the company to scale the business.

Series C -- $5M to $20M

This funding sets up the company to expand into new markets and geographies.

IPO -- $25M to $100M+

This funding takes the company public and establishes it as an ongoing business.

Using the standard fundraise amounts simplifies the fundraise process and will be more familiar to investors. 

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 03.Fundraise_Amount_by_Stage_of_Funding.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Product Work by Stage of Funding

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

The founder works on the product throughout the life of the business.

Here’s the product work to be done at each stage of funding:

Pre-seed -- research the market to identify the customer careabouts and product features.

Check the competition for their positioning and what market positions are left open.

Seed -- build a minimum viable product and test it with customers.

Run several iterations of the MVP to gather as much feedback as possible.

Seed+ -- turn the MVP into a standard product.

Take this product to market and start monetizing.

Series A -- find product-market fit with your product.

Begin the growth trajectory.

Series B -- set up the product for scaling the business.

Reduce the cost to build and deliver your product so that it has the right features and no more.

Series C -- Expand the product into new geographies and applications.

Take the product and extend it to other use cases.

Track your product development through each stage of funding.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 02.Product_Work_by_Stage_of_Funding.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Purpose of Family and Friends Funding

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

Family and friend's funding is often used to start a business.

Here are some key uses of funding at this stage:

File the legal entity paperwork for an LLC, not a Delaware C corporation. 

You can file for a Delaware C later if the business takes root.

This gives your business an EIN (entity identification number) with which you can open a bank account.

Set up the accounting books with a low-cost internal solution.

It’s important to track expenses and revenues from day one.

File a wordmark for your company name.

This prevents others from setting up a company with the same name.

Build a simple website.

In today’s world, if you don’t have a website, you don’t exist.

Keep the website to just a few pages so those who look for you and your company can find your website and get in contact with you.

Print business cards.

Start early promoting the company as it takes time for the word to spread.

Finally, file a number of provisional patent applications.  

The cost is low and it gives you a year to figure out which patents are going to be of value.

Set up the startup so it looks like a real business.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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Direct download: 01.Purpose_of_Family_and_Friends_Funding.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

In this episode of Investor Connect: How to Raise Funding, Hall T. Martin explores the mission of Juggle Apps with founder John, tackling the pressing issue of social isolation. Juggle Apps aims to combat this challenge by fostering connections in a world influenced by social media and the effects of COVID-19.

John discusses the bootstrap approach and the decision to raise funds a year ago at a $10 million pre-money safe valuation. The conversation touches on potential additional fundraising, considerations of post-money safes, and the strategic approach to ensure optimal utilization of funds.

Hall provides insightful guidance on maintaining a lead funnel, systematic fundraising processes, and the importance of showcasing growth to attract investor interest.

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.


For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: HTRF_EP15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:19am CDT

Stages of Funding for Startups

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

Startups go through a series of stages from launch to growth to scale.

Each stage brings funding to the startup that serves the needs of its stage.

Here’s a list of stages for startup funding:

Pre-seed -- this funding helps develop an idea, research the market, and build a core team.

This is most often brought by the team and family and friends.

 

Seed -- this funding builds the minimum viable product and tests the market.  

 

Some companies join accelerators and incubators at this point for additional support.

Seed+ -- This funding provides more capital to move the product from MVP into a standard one.

This is often an additional round of capital at the previous valuation.

Angels are commonly sought after investors for this round which seeks to go to market with the product.

Series A -- this funding provides growth capital to the startup that has found product-market fit and is now growing fast.

Venture capital comes in at this stage to bring additional capital and expertise for business growth.

Mezzanine funding -- this is debt funding that covers additional expenses such as filing for IPOs and is used to continue the growth of the business.

As the company matures the team seeks to reduce the use of equity and moves to debt funding.

IPOs -- this funding comes from going public on the market to raise additional funds to scale the company.

Map out the path of your company using each of these funding stages.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

Thank you for joining your host Hall T. Martin with the Startup Funding Espresso -- your daily shot of startup funding and investing.

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org  

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: Stages_of_funding_for_startups.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:13am CDT

What is a whistleblower?

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

Internal fraud is often caught by an employee.

The employee who sounds the alarm is called a whistle-blower.

The whistleblower is someone who reports fraud to the authorities.

Whistleblowers fear retaliation for outing a manager or other employee.

Those who want protections for keeping their job or avoiding criminal charges must follow these rules:

The whistleblower must have good reason to suspect the fraud.

The whistleblower must take steps to report the fraud to the authorities.

The whistleblower must refuse to join the fraud.

The whistleblower must testify against the fraudsters.

Cases involving the government can involve additional penalties.

If you suspect fraud then follow these steps:

Collect all the relevant information.

Protect yourself and your accounts.

Report the fraud to the authorities.

Check for any insurance coverage against fraud.

Fraud is often found by internal employees so beware of the activities of others.

 

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.

_________________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
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Direct download: What_is_a_whistleblower.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:46am CDT

More Ways To Prevent Fraud in a Startup

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

There are several types of online fraud.

Here is a list of attacks to watch out for:

Bots -- these automated tools can infect your website and emails with viruses.

Denial of service attack -- this disables your website by sending too many requests for service.

Cross-site scripting attack -- This type of fraud attacks the CSS section of the website in search of login details and credit card information.

SQL attacks -- this type of fraud breaks into online databases to steal the contents.

Phishing -- this type of attack sends an email from a supposedly friendly source but with the goal of capturing social security and bank account numbers.

Password capture -- this type of fraud seeks to capture the password of users by pretending to be a service provider that needs access to your accounts.

Tailgating -- this attack seeks access to key databases and other information by duping an internal contact to give access.

Pretexting -- this type of fraud fabricates a story about their identity and purpose to induce an employee to give sensitive information.

Diversion theft -- this fraud induces the employee to reroute information or funds to a new location at which point the fraudster captures the information or funds. 

Train your employees on how to detect this type of fraud and avoid 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.

_______________________________________________________

Thank you for joining your host Hall T. Martin with the Startup Funding Espresso -- your daily shot of startup funding and investing.

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org  

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: More_Ways_To_Prevent_Fraud_in_a_Startup.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

How To Avoid Fraud

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

Fraud can be costly to a startup.

Take these steps to avoid fraud in your business.

Separate accounting duties -- have at least two people handling the accounting and separate their functions.

Know your team -- run background checks on new hires and know your business partners' history and background.  

Oftentimes it’s the most likable people who commit fraud.

Set up internal controls -- audit the accounting books and require sign-offs and approvals for expense payments.

Protect bank account and credit card information -- separate personal and business accounts and move bill payments online to avoid check fraud.

Review bank accounts regularly for unusual transactions.

Audit the books annually -- have an outside accountant review the books to prevent fraud.

Use certified fraud examiners to review suspected cases of fraud to help with the prosecution of the case. 

Train your team -- make sure key people in your organization know how to detect fraud and what to look out for.

Implement these steps to avoid fraud in your organization.

 

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.

_________________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: How_to_avoid_fraud.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:42am CDT

Types of Financial Fraud

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

There are several types of financial fraud related to startups in the investment industry.

Here’s a list to consider:

Misrepresentations -- fraudsters can lie about the value, risks, and costs of financial investments.

This also includes misrepresenting the financial condition and omitting key facts.

Regulatory violations -- this includes securities law violations such as insider trading, or selling securities without a license.

This also includes failing to register securities.

IPO fraud -- this includes misrepresentations in the offering of an IPO or SPAC by misstating accounting information or omitting key information.

Misappropriation of funds -- this includes Ponzi schemes and skimming money for personal use.

Trading violations -- this includes manipulating the market through pump and dump schemes and front running.

This also includes insider trading.

Cybersecurity fraud -- this includes data breaches and protection of investor data.

Money laundering -- this includes falsifying statements in accounting books and records.

Startups operating in the financial industry should watch out for this type of fraud.

 

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.

________________________________________________________________________

 

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: Types_of_Financial_Fraud.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:44am CDT

In this Investor Connect episode, Hall T. Martin explores a medical device startup's journey with Marcus, a visionary founder.

Marcus, a medical school graduate, envisions a handheld device for diagnosing eye conditions, aiming to enhance at-home healthcare. The company, having validated demand, plans to kickstart production through a $300,000 Kickstarter campaign after a successful WeFunder round.

Marcus outlines a low-risk opportunity with a proof-of-concept device and validated demand, seeking potential funding or partnerships for mass production. 

You can find Marcus's WeFunder link here: https://wefunder.com/od.vision.inc

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.


For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Music courtesy of Bensound.

Direct download: HTRF_14_Polished.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:53am CDT

External Sources of Fraud

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

There are several sources of fraud from outside a business.

External sources of fraud pretend to be someone you trust.

They create a sense of urgency and then demand payments.

Here’s a list of common sources of external fraud:

Fake invoices -- the invoices show services rendered for work that was never done.

Advertising scams -- payment for ad services in a directory or book that was or never will be published.

Imposter scams -- callers who claim you owe them money or critical services will be turned off.

Tech security scams -- a warning screen pops up on your computer showing a critical virus has disabled your computer and you need to pay to remove the virus.

Phishing attacks -- calls or emails requesting personal information such as social security numbers for employees to verify their identity.

Ransomware -- the company’s data files are encrypted and the ransomers demand payment to unlock the company’s data.

Business coaching scams -- the scammer promises to provide business training and services but never delivers.

Train your employees on how to recognize this type of fraud.

 

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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Direct download: External._sources_of_fraud.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Internal Sources of Fraud

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

There are several sources of fraud within a business.

Here’s a list of internal sources to review:

Identity theft -- the capture and selling of personal information for illegal uses.

This is done by fraudsters capturing employee information through bank accounts and tax returns. 

Asset misappropriation -- this is basically theft.

This is often through forged checks.

Embezzlement -- this is the illegal use of the company’s funds.  

This is often done by charging personal expenses on the business account. 

Payroll fraud -- this is the misuse of payroll. 

One example is claiming hours that were not actually worked.

Employment fraud -- claiming work history that doesn’t actually exist.

This comes up in hiring people who claim to have experience that they don't actually have or omitting key information such as criminal history.

Set up internal controls in your company to prevent fraud.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
For Startups check out: https://tencapital.group/company-landing/ 
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Direct download: Internal_Sources_of_fraud.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Red Flags Indicating Fraud

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

Most fraud in businesses comes from employees and the management team.

Here’s a list of employee red flags to watch for:

Lifestyle changes show expensive new possessions such as new cars and homes.

Substantial personal debt

Addictions such as gambling or alcohol cause behavior change.

Employees who don’t take vacation or sick leave.

Employees in high turnover areas.

Here’s a list of management team red flags to watch for:

Failure to submit information to auditors.

Business units with weak internal controls.

Frequent changes in bank accounts.

Frequent changes in auditors.

Inexperienced accounting team.

Excessive use of loans.

Excessive compensation plans.

Look for these red flags in your business for potential sources of fraud.

 

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.

_______________________________________________________

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
For Startups check out: https://tencapital.group/company-landing/ 
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Direct download: Red_flags_indicating_fraud.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

What Is Fraud?

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

Fraud is officially defined as 

“The use of one’s occupation for personal enrichment through the deliberate misuse or misapplication of the employing organization’s resources or assets.”

Fraud occurs in startups and small businesses and is usually through the action of a founder or employee.

There are five elements of a fraud as follows:

It represents a material fact which is false

That is made intentionally,

Which is believed by the victim

And acted on by the victim

To the harm of the victim.

For one to commit fraud there must be four elements:

Opportunity

Low chance of getting caught

Rationalization in the fraudster's mind that it is okay

And justifications that result from the rationalization.

Investors will find startups are particularly susceptible to fraud due to their lack of information and controls. 

 

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.

________________________________________________________________________

 

For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
For Startups check out: https://tencapital.group/company-landing/ 
For eGuides check out: https://tencapital.group/education/ 
For upcoming Events, check out https://tencapital.group/events/  

For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group   

Please follow, share, and leave a review.

Music courtesy of Bensound.

Direct download: Whats_fraud.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:50am CDT