Investor Connect Podcast (general)

Purpose of Prototypes in Commercialization

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

In commercializing your technology one of the most important elements is building a prototype.

Prototypes provide several benefits and should be a high priority to complete as soon as possible. 

Many inventors use their resources to write another white paper or run another experiment.

The most important purpose of a prototype is to help raise funding.

Investors will find a prototype compelling as it shows you can take the invention and make a useful product out of it.

More white papers and experiments have little impact on the investor.

Additional benefits include testing and refining the design of your proposed product.

With a prototype, you can test different configurations, materials, and designs.

A prototype helps you sell the product.

A working version demonstrates to the potential customer that you can build it.

A prototype helps you define the patents to file as the unique aspects of the project are easier to identify.

It also helps the product development team define the final product better.

Consider these use cases for your prototype.

 

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.The_Purpose_of_prototypes_in_commercialization.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Best Practices for Grant Writing

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

Raising grant funding is a key step in commercializing your technology.

Here are some best practices for grant writing to consider:

Research the goals and objectives of grants to understand what is currently of interest.

Make sure you have set up a legal entity for your business before pursuing a grant as a grant goes to a business and not a university or individual.

Set aside sufficient time to write the grant as a proposal will take 200 to 400 hours to complete.

Communicate with the program managers to understand what they need to approve a grant.

Make clear in the summary what the project is and why it is important.

Avoid jargon and acronyms and use plain English.

Provide a complete set of materials including scientific papers, references, research strategy, and budgets.

Customize your proposal to the granting department as they each have different criteria.

Demonstrate how your proposal is unique and has solid research behind it.

Follow these guidelines in completing your proposal.

 

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: 03.Best_practices_for_grant_writing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Funding Options for Tech Commercialization

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

There are several options for funding the commercialization of technology.

Here’s a list of sources to consider:

Self-funding -- consider putting some of your own funds into the business.

This proves to others your commitment to the project.

Make sure this funding goes to key enablers such as filing provisional patents, building prototypes, and forming a team.

Your network -- pursue those you know to capture additional funding.

This includes people you work with, family members, and friends.

Use this money to establish a website, progress the prototype, and identify customers.

Angels and venture capitalists -- it may be too soon for many in the angel and VC world to fund your venture but some may support you with small amounts.

Government funding -- research available grants and contracts. 

The government supplies nearly half of the capital required to bring an innovation to the market through grants as well as contracts.

Corporate funding -- pursue contracts from corporations for custom versions

Corporations seek the benefits of new technology and will fund projects that apply the technology to solve their problems.

Customer funding -- pursue anchor customers.

Anchor customers have a specific need and will fund a project that provides a solution.

Consider these options for funding your commercialization project.

 

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.Funding_options_for_tech_commercialization.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Finding Anchor Customers

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

An anchor customer is one that provides a substantial amount of business on a recurring basis.

These customers are important as they give you a base level of business each month.

You save the time and cost of prospecting for the customer as they are already signed up.

They can be used to bring in new customers who see you working with the anchor customer.

Startups developing their product can use anchor customers to help fund their business.

By providing a customized version of the envisioned product, the startup can charge a customized fee which provides sufficient funding for the team.

With two to three anchor clients many startups can build out a platform that can be sold for a standard price.

The work from anchor customers provides several additional benefits as follows:

They provide a definition of the product they want.

They give feedback on design choices and help make tradeoff decisions between performance and price.

They can test the product and identify changes to be made.

They can provide a testimonial to other customers and investors.

Make sure you build the custom products on your standardized architecture and programming tools.  

Consider anchor customers as a part of your funding 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.

_______________________________________________________

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.Finding_anchor_customers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

When Should You License Your Technology Instead of Building a Startup

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

In commercializing your technology there are two primary paths:  building a startup or licensing the technology to others.

You should consider licensing your technology when the following conditions exist:

The development cost of bringing the final product to market is very high.

There’s a high level of risk to the startup from market conditions, product development, and sales execution.

There’s a great deal of competition in the market already.

There’s going to be a great deal of competition in the near future.

There may not be enough revenue to sustain a startup into a full-fledged business.

The inventor does not have sufficient time or financial resources to launch a startup.

The amount of funding required to launch the startup is high.

The technology is a minor value-add to the customer’s solution.

Licensing the technology is a better path for many technologies because there’s insufficient market demand, and high development costs to create the final product.

Consider licensing your technology.

 

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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In this episode of Investor Connect, Hall T. Martin chats with Mike VandenBos, VP of Business Development at KingsCrowd. KingsCrowd empowers everyone to invest in startups confidently through research, ratings, data analytics, founder interviews, and financial products. Mike shares his journey from discovering startups through Michael Lewis’s book "The New New Thing" to diving into the entrepreneurial world via Startup Weekend.

Mike discusses his transition from sales to business development and how KingsCrowd serves investors with robust due diligence tools. By tracking over 8,000 campaigns, KingsCrowd helps investors make informed decisions quickly. The platform offers a comprehensive suite of resources, enabling investors to discover promising startups efficiently.

Mike highlights the democratization of startup investments through the Jobs Act and the rise of equity crowdfunding. He envisions a future where investors can access real-time data on active raises, making the investment process seamless and integrated into daily routines. KingsCrowd's tools also facilitate direct engagement between investors and founders, fostering a more intimate investment ecosystem.

Mike advises aspiring crowdfunders on the importance of building an audience and leveraging available resources. He also outlines KingsCrowd’s future plans, including educational programs for founders and enhanced due diligence tools. Hall and Mike emphasize the need for continued investor education to support informed investment decisions.

Visit KingsCrowd here: https://kingscrowd.com/. To connect with Mike click here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikevandenbos/

________________________
For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org  
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Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

How To License Your Technology

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

Licensing your technology to another company provides another path to commercialization.

Here are some key steps to licensing your technology:

Prepare information about the technology including an introduction, product description, and manufacturing information.

Also document the product benefits, market research, and pricing.

The product information should provide sufficient information to show what the technology can do, how it will perform in various cases, and any limitations.

Make the license information available on your website and key sources of any related technology.

For those interested in using the technology, have the licensee sign a non-disclosure agreement.

The licensee will need to perform a feasibility study to determine if the technology will work for their application and how well it will work.

In this step trade secrets may be disclosed.

Upon completion of the feasibility study, ask the licensee to sign a letter of intent to confirm their interest in pursuing the license. 

Negotiate the final terms of the license agreement based on the use case of the licensee.

This can range from 1% to 10% of the revenue generated.

There are often minimum license fees to consider. 

Other key terms include any exclusivity, geographical coverage limitations, future improvements on the technology, transfer rights, and termination provisions. 

Finally, sign the contract to complete the agreement.

 

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.How_to_license_your_technology.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

What Is Licensing in Commercialization

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

Licensing in commercialization is the right to manufacture and sell a product with the technology of another company.  

In return for the right, the licensee pays a royalty fee for each unit sold.

Licensing brings the following advantages to the licensee:

You gain the know-how and experience of the company that created the technology.

It comes at a lower cost than buying the company.

There’s no cost for technology development.

You only pay when you sell something.

It reduces your risk in the event the product doesn’t sell.

You can draw from other markets to benefit your target market.

There are disadvantages:

The license is typically for the life of the technology which can be many years.

There may be a minimum licensing fee.

The license may require some restrictions on its use and target market.

There may be limits on further development of the technology.

Licensing works well in a rapidly changing marketplace in which products are replaced quickly due to new technologies coming into 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 

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

Key Legal Documents Used in Commercialization

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

There are several legal documents used in the commercialization process

Here’s a list of key documents to know:

Non-disclosure agreement -- referred to as an NDA, this document requires the signatories to confidentiality with regards to information about the project.

Material transfer agreement -- refers to physical materials such as biologics and chemicals that ensure transfer of possession but not legal title. 

Licensing agreement -- defines the terms and conditions of the use of technology by the licensee.

This also includes the financial terms and licensor’s obligations.

Contract research agreement -- this defines the research work to be done and the terms and conditions of the work.

Collaborative research agreement - this defines the work to be done by both parties in a joint project.

Participation agreement -- this defines the role and responsibilities of a researcher working in a project.

Consultation agreement -- this defines the consulting work to be done along with the rules and requirements.

Consider these documents in your commercialization 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.

_________________________________________________________

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.Key_legal_documents_used_in_commercialization.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Different Paths of Commercialization

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

There are different paths of commercialization.

These paths include startups and licensing.

Founders license the technology from the source and then establish a company to create a product to sell for a profit.

The startup requires a team to build, sell, and support the product.

The startup typically needs to raise funding from grants and later private investors to fund the early stages of the business.

There must be a market for the product and the company must be able to sell it in order to succeed.

Licensing takes the technology and packages it into a format that can be implemented into other products by third parties.

The user pays a royalty to the owner of the technology for its use.

Licensing requires the intellectual property to have awarded patents but can also include trade secrets.

A licensing agreement defines the scope of the license, as well as the financial and legal conditions.

The advantage of licensing is that it typically does not require funding to build and sell the technology.

The disadvantage is that it captures less revenue than a startup would.

Consider these paths for your technology.

 

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.Different_Paths_of_Commercialization.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Innovation Models

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

Technology commercialization applies new technologies to the formation of a business.

Innovation drives technology commercialization.

To grow your business you may need to foster the development of the technology and its supporting functions.

Here are several innovation models to consider to grow your technology.

Open innovation model.

Some technologies rely upon other technologies and so an open innovation model helps bring products to market through buying, selling and licensing related technologies.

Acquiring companies for their technology is also an option.

Disruptive innovation.

In this model, technologies are developed for new customers not currently served in the market. 

These customers are typically entering the market at the low end.

Over time, the technology increases in capability and expands up market, and disrupts the market.

Frugal innovation.

In this model, technologies are created and then iterated upon to increase the capabilities.

Over time, the technology gains a following and customers adapt to use it.

Innovation prizes.

In this model, a prize is given for the first one to create an innovation that achieves a milestone.  

The prize money incentivizes the innovation of new technologies and company formation.

Consider these innovation models for your technology.

 

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.Innovation_models.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Intellectual Property in Commercialization

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

A key component in commercialization is intellectual property.

Intellectual property refers to work or invention that comes from the creativity of the mind such as a design, literature, or artistic works. 

It comes in several forms including patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and industrial designs.

Government institutions carry out the screening and awarding of patents.  

This includes the US Patent Office for the US and the World Trade Organization for international cooperation and mutual recognition of country-specific intellectual property.

Before launching a product into the market, the founder should consider an intellectual property strategy.

Patents require full disclosure of the invention and documents how it works.

To file one must first do a search for prior art and gain a freedom to operate opinion.

Trade secrets keep the intellectual property undisclosed.   

An example of this is the formula for Coca-Cola.  

Only the inventors know the formula.  

A good intellectual property strategy contains most if not all of the various structures including patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.

Start your intellectual property strategy by filing provisional patents.  

Provisional patents give you one year to determine whether or not the patent should be pursued.  

At the end of the year, pursue the ones that give protection to the business and let go of the rest.

Intellectual property should be considered before fundraising as investors look for protection on the business before 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: 04.Intellectual_property_in_commercialization.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Testing Your Idea for Commercialization

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

Before commercializing your technology, test the idea with these questions:

What product should you build?

There are many ways to apply technology to a problem.

Who is the target customer and can they pay for it?

It’s important to gain clarity on your target audience and check to see if they have a budget to pay for your solution.

How big is the market?

It’s best to pursue a large target market so there’s ample opportunity to sell the product.

Who is the competition?

Even if there’s no product like yours on the market, customers are solving the problem already in some manner.

What intellectual property strategy should be applied?

There are multiple ways to protect a technology including not only patents but also trade secrets.

Can the product be manufactured for a cost that fits the customer's budget?

One can consider licensing the technology instead of creating a product.

What regulatory requirements must be met to sell the product?

It’s important to understand the regulatory landscape for your industry.

What is the ballpark cost to build the product?

This will determine your selling price.

Test your proposed product with these questions.

 

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: 03.Testing_your_idea_for_commercialization.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Key Steps in Commercialization

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

Once you start down the path of commercialization, there are some key steps to accomplish.

Determine patent strategy.

There are several ways to protect intellectual property including patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and more.

Review each option for your technology.

Gain a Freedom to Operate opinion.

This involves a patent attorney running a search on prior art to determine whether or not you can win a patent if filed.

This also includes a validity opinion on existing patents and whether or not they can prevent you from filing your own patent.

Consider product design.

This includes designing a product that solves the customer’s problem by developing a technology solution that is manufacturable at a reasonable cost.

Develop a regulatory strategy.

This includes reviewing the relevant regulatory requirements and considering the various regulatory pathways.

Consider manufacturing design.

This includes designing the product so it can be built in a cost-efficient manner.

Focus on usability.

This includes user interfaces and connectivity to other products so it’s easy to use.

Determine your supply chain.

Consider what to build and what to buy and make sure the suppliers can meet your requirements in a timely manner. 

Consider these steps for your project:

 

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.Key_steps_in_commercialization.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Elements of Commercialization

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

Commercialization is the process of transitioning technologies from the lab into products in the marketplace to create financial value.

Here are the key elements of the commercialization process:

Assessing the technology.

This includes identifying the commercial potential by examining multiple markets, applications, and use cases.

Checking feasibility.

This includes a review of the capabilities of the technology and its performance in a set of applications.

Building a prototype.

This includes making a minimum viable product to test capabilities and check interest with customers and investors.

Researching the market.

This includes identifying existing competitors and potential customers.

Setting up intellectual property.

This includes filing patents, trademarks, and copyrights in addition to setting up trade secrets.

This may also include licensing the technology from others.

Raising funding.

This includes sources such as grants, custom build contracts, angel investors, and other sources of capital.

Selling the product.

This includes negotiating the price and closing the sale of the product with customers.

Delivering the product.

This includes building the final product and shipping it to the customer.

Consider these steps in commercializing your technology.

 

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.Elements_of_Commercialization.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

What Is Commercialization

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

Commercialization is the process of transitioning technologies from the lab into products in the marketplace.

It is important because it brings new technologies to solve problems.

Technologies and products bring new capabilities and can also reduce costs of existing solutions.

Commercialization requires refactoring the technology into a product that can be reproduced in a cost-efficient manner.

Here are some key steps in commercialization:

Define the product to take to the market.

Identify the ideal customer. 

Test the product idea with the ideal customer to check for interest.

Sell the product to test the pricing and positioning.

Reformulate the product with the pricing and positioning for the customer.

Build a sales and marketing program to take the product to market.

It takes several iterations to find the right product with the right market. 

The first concept of a product and its customer will most often change as you talk with customers.

Be open to pivoting to a different product format and target customer. 

Consider these steps in commercializing your technology.

 

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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In this episode of Investor Connect, host Hall T. Martin shares essential strategies for raising funding, drawing from his extensive experience in the field. Hall engages with guests from McKee, discussing their smart home controller product and their journey in securing investments. He emphasizes the importance of investor relations and the various methods Ten Capital uses to connect startups with potential investors through online events, in-person roadshows, and dinner meetings.
 
Hall highlights the significance of structuring fundraising efforts into manageable stages, starting with a lower valuation to attract early investors. This approach helps build a successful track record, making subsequent funding rounds smoother. He also touches on the practical aspects of fundraising, such as preparing effective pitch decks and setting up comprehensive data rooms.
 
Throughout the conversation, Hall provides practical tips and insights, underscoring the importance of market validation and strategic planning. His approachable style and humor make the complex process of fundraising more accessible and less daunting for entrepreneurs. Tune in to gain valuable advice on navigating the fundraising landscape and learn how to effectively raise capital for your startup.
 
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Key Questions for Succession Planning

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

Succession planning is a key part of running a family office.

Here are some key questions to consider in planning your succession program.

Do you need a succession plan?

All family offices need a plan to help transition the business to the next management team.

That could be a family member or someone outside the family.

A succession plan in place prepares everyone for a transition.

When to start planning?

It’s best to start planning now if you have not already begun the process.

Succession planning will evolve over several months and sometimes years.

Where to start with the planning process?

Create a list of roles and responsibilities for the current leadership team.

Map out other resources and players including advisors and contractors.

This lays the groundwork for a succession planning process.

What to include in a succession plan?

Capture the jobs to be done now and in the future.

Create an emergency plan in case of a crisis.

How to find a successor?

The successor could be from within or outside the family.

Based on the family members’ interest in leading the family office and their skills will determine where the next stage of leadership will come from.

Consider these questions for your family office succession planning.

 

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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Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Succession Planning for Family Offices

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

In running a family office, succession planning is an important function.

Here are some key considerations in succession planning:

Understand the generational differences in the family and how it may impact the future leadership.

Some generations do not want to continue a family office but rather pursue their own passion.

For succession planning it’s important to know who wants to join the family office and who does not.

Investment strategy may differ as the next generation will want to consider new investment opportunities such as ESG.

Goals for the family office may diverge from one generation to the next.

Consider those who may lead and where they will take the family business.

Internal rivalry may become an issue.

The greater the amount of money at stake the higher the chance of sibling rivalry taking over the family dynamic.

Assess your skills in succession planning and engage assistance from others in setting up a plan.

Succession planning takes years to plan and execute.  

It will not come together in a day.

 

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.Succession_planning_for_family_offices.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

More Best Practices for Running a Family Office

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

In running a family office consider these additional best practices.

Document your family legacy.

Capture in writing the history of the family and its business.

Share the story with the entire family.

Educate the next generation of the family.

Assess the skills and education.

Build a program to prepare them for taking a role in the family business.

Identify the core values and culture of the family.

Capture those values into a document and communicate to the entire group.

This can also be used in evaluating investment opportunities.

Assess the healthcare needs of the family.

Engage services to assist with family members in need.

In many families there are distant relatives who are not familiar with the core family.

Reach out to meet them, and understand their situation and build a relationship.

Consider these best practices for your family office.

 

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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Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Best Practices for Running a Family Office

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

In running a family office here are some best practices to consider:

Set up a mission statement that captures the values of the family.

Tie that mission statement to the operational goals and financial results.

Set up the legal entity and the operations to match the goals of the business.

Look for tax-efficient entities and low-cost operational structures.

Focus on investments that fit the expertise of the family and their values.

This program should include generational transfer, tax, and reporting requirements.

Implement rigorous accounting and financial reporting from the start.

Publish quarterly and annual reports for tracking performance.

Seek out experienced professionals who can augment the skills of the family.

Setup up an organization structure so the rules of governance are clear.

Build an operations team that is efficient and cost-effective. 

Focus on the core business functions that need to get done.

Consider these best practices for your family 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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Best Practices for Setting Up a Family Office

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

In setting up a family office consider these best practices:

Build an investment strategy that leverages the strengths of the family including their skills, resources and network.

Setup a formal diligence process to screen incoming deals in a rigorous manner.

Assess the skills and capabilities of the current family members and then decide how to bring in outside skills to augment the group.

Set up communication channels and a centralized system for capturing communications, documents, and other information.

Look for advisors who are independent and can put the family office first rather than a brokerage or fund network.

Document the family office mission statement, values, goals, and investment objectives. 

Facilitate communication with the family members especially around generational issues.

Managing a family office takes a special set of skills.

These skills may be different from the skills used to create wealth in the first place.

Consider these best practices for your family 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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Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Welcome to another episode of Investor Connect! I'm Hall T. Martin, and today we explore funding strategies with Louise Yochi Klein and Merom Klein of Courage Growth Partners. Louise Yochi Klein, PsyD, and Merom Klein, PhD, are distinguished business psychologists and leadership experts. As Principals at Courage Growth Partners, Yochi and Merom specialize in equipping boards, management teams, and investors with the tools needed to maximize the value that promising innovations can generate. 
 
Courage Growth Partners' signature 5-part formula is designed to help leaders replace fear and risk-averse compromises with the courage needed to drive adoption and champion innovations. This methodology not only aids high-potential corporate leaders but also supports entrepreneurs in bringing breakthroughs to their corporate partners.
 
We kick off with insights from the Angel Capital Association Summit in Columbus, Ohio, highlighting a new model convertible note that enhances investor protections and startup success.
 
We discuss the rise of university-based angel networks, drawing from my experience at Baylor University and initiatives at UNC Charlotte. These networks prepare students for real-world investments and drive innovation, with a focus on alumni engagement and tech transfer to bridge academic research and commercial success.
 
Louise and Merom also share their thoughts on AI’s impact on investment, emphasizing the challenges of protecting intellectual property and the importance of strong partnerships and adoption strategies. This discussion underscores the need for startups to build robust networks and customer relationships. Finally, we delve into the role of courage and leadership in startups.
 
For more information, you can connect with Merom on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/meromklein/ and Louise: https://www.linkedin.com/in/louiseyocheeklein/. Visit their website at https://couragegrowthpartners.com/ or reach out via email at merom@couragegrowthpartners.com and louise@couragegrowthpartners.com.
 
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Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Drawbacks to Starting a Family Office

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

There are drawbacks in starting up a family office.

Consider these challenges in setting up your family office.

The upfront and ongoing costs can be considerable.

These costs include the following:

Hiring professionals and operational people can cost a great deal in today’s market.

This includes not only salary, but also healthcare, payroll taxes, and more.

This typically accounts for over half the cost of running a family office.

Other costs include investment advisory fees, insurance and trust fees.

Setting up the legal entity with a partnership, trust, and other entity structure also comes at a cost.

Some family offices use a fund structure for funding investment opportunities.

Funds typically come with a fee structure.

There are tax considerations for the entity and how to minimize them.

There are regulatory issues which vary from state to another.

In setting up a family, consider if there’s enough money to cover the costs and associated legal, and tax issues.

Check to see if you can identify and hire the necessary team to run it.

Finally, ask if  you have an investment or operations program for generating a profit.

 

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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Operational Objectives for a Family Office

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

In running a family office there are several key operational objectives for the family office to achieve.

Here’s a list of key areas to consider:

Governance.

This includes leadership, board management, communications and succession planning.

The leadership should continuously improve the operational efficiency of the family office.

Cost structure.

The cost structure should be no more than 1% of the assets under management.

Where possible use variable cost structures to match services to the volume of business in the family office.

Skills.

The family office should have access to the necessary skills to run the business.

This includes both hired professionals as well as outsourced services.

Technology.

The operations need basic IT infrastructure with email, data storage, and communications such as mobile phones, video conferencing, and more.

The rise of cloud computing provides more integration between communication channels and data storage.

Risk management.

Operations need to take into consideration risks from cyber hacking, identity theft, phishing attacks and more.

Fraud prevention is another aspect of risk management.

Consider these areas for setting operational goals for the family office to achieve.

 

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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Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Choosing a Leader for a Family Office

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

In setting up a family office, one must choose someone to lead it.

There are several types of leaders to consider:

Operations -- focuses on the day-to-day tasks of running the business.

This leader provides oversight over all aspects of the business including investments, tax and administration.

Specialist -- has expertise in one or two key areas such as investments or tax. 

This leader focuses on a few key areas and leaves the day-to-day operations to someone else.

Strategist -- has expertise in specific areas such as succession planning or investment strategy.

This leader focuses on a strategic goal and leaves the day-to-day operations to someone else.

Advisor -- coaches the members of the family office by providing advice and consultation.

This leader can help with challenging situations such as a crisis, or a major change in the family office.

The chosen leader must keep the family and its values and concerns at the forefront of the business.

Consider the type of leader your family business needs.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

Problems in Family Offices

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

There are challenges in running a family office.

Here are some key problems to watch out for:

Treating the family office as a hobby rather than a business.

The family office is a legal entity with employees, investments and tax filings.

It’s important to treat it as a business for everyone involved.

Not setting a clear goal or purpose for the family office.

There are many investment opportunities and interesting things to pursue in today’s world.

If there’s no clear goal it will be difficult to develop a focused business with a purpose.

Not having clear governance in the family office.

If there are no rules and regulations then it will be difficult to build a successful business.

In addition to rules there must be leadership.

Without people leading the family office it can fail to achieve the goals of the business.

Also, there must be succession planning to prepare the leadership.

These are just some of the problems that family offices must overcome to succeed.

Review your family office for these challenges. 

 

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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Costs of Running a Family Office

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

There are costs to running a family office.

Here’s a list of cost categories to budget for:

Professional costs including the services such as tax, accounting, and financial.

Family expenses such as living expenses, travel, healthcare, and taxes.

Facilities costs including communications, technology, and administrative overhead.

Financial costs including advisory management fees, research, and reporting.

Here are other factors to consider as well in estimating the cost:

Complexity of portfolio -- the greater the number and variety of investments, the greater the cost to manage.

Number of services -- the more services the family office provides, the greater the cost.

Number of tax jurisdictions -- the more jurisdictions, the higher the cost.

Number of legal entities -- the greater the number of legal entities, the higher the cost.

A rule of thumb is that the cost of investments and family office costs should be no more than 1% to 2% of the family office assets.

Check your family office to see how the costs compare to the assets.

 

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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Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

In this episode of Investor Connect, Hall T. Martin chats with Charles Albanese, a financial expert with over 30 years of experience across major corporations and startups. Charles shares his journey from AT&T Wireless to his current role at Keiretsu Forum, highlighting key strategies for raising funding. He discusses the importance of thorough planning, understanding investor needs, and effective communication.

Charles also provides insights into Keiretsu Forum, the world's largest network of angel investors. He explains how Keiretsu’s rigorous vetting process and collaborative due diligence help mitigate risks and support high-quality investments. With chapters worldwide, Keiretsu offers a robust platform for investors and entrepreneurs to connect and succeed.

Hall and Charles delve into the intricacies of financial management and strategic planning. Charles’s diverse background enables him to offer practical advice on maximizing profitability and building strong teams. The discussion is filled with relatable anecdotes and valuable lessons for both novice and seasoned investors.

Hall's engaging style and Charles’s expertise make this episode a must-listen for anyone interested in the world of angel investing. Whether you’re looking to raise funding or simply understand the investment landscape better, this episode provides actionable insights and strategies to help you succeed.

For more insights and to connect with Charles Albanese, visit his LinkedIn profile here https://www.linkedin.com/in/cdalbanese/, check out the Keiretsu Forum Mid-Atlantic website: https://keiretsuforum-midatlantic.com/, or reach out via email at calbanese@keiretsuforum.net.


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Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Functions of the Family Office

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

The family office provides many functions in a family business.

Here’s a list of functions to consider including in your family office:

Wealth management - this involves setting objectives, identifying investment opportunities and providing ongoing oversight.

Impact focus -- this includes pursuing investments and activities that promote a social, economic, or governance cause.

Investment management -- this includes designing an investment thesis and pursuing opportunities that meet that thesis.

Security and privacy -- this includes taking steps to secure the identity of the family members and mitigate cybersecurity threats.

Succession planning:  this includes preparing the next generation for leadership roles and transitioning functions from one generation to the next.

Tax management -- this includes managing tax returns and structuring investments for optimal tax outcomes.

Compliance -- this includes understanding and meeting compliance requirements for tax and other regulatory bodies.

Some of these functions can be outsourced to providers who offer such services.

Consider these functions for your family office. 

 

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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Types of Family Offices

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

Family offices vary in type and structure.

Here are three types of family office structures to consider.

Single-family office.

This structure provides services exclusively to one family.

It offers the most customized program.

It is the most expensive type of family office structure.

It works best for ultra-high net-worth families.

Multi-family office.

This structure provides services for a number of families.

It offers commonly used services such as accounting, tax, and investment advisory.

It provides a lower cost structure as the expenses are spread among several families.

It works best for high net-worth families.

Virtual family office.

This structure provides services primarily through online means.

It provides the lowest cost structure possible as it utilizes fractional services from professionals.

It works best for families who don’t need custom services.

Consider these structures in setting up a family office for your family 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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Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Benefits of a Family Office

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

There are several benefits to setting up a family office.

Here is a list of key benefits to consider:

Carry out the stated mission of the family business.

Optimize the wealth of the family through investment strategies.

Reduce taxes through tax advantaged structures.

Provide education to the family members who will one day succeed the current leadership.

Provide continuity in the management of the family business through succession planning.

Preserve the family wealth through ongoing management.

Organize services for running the family business.

Coordinate advisors into a group.

Provide better control of the family business through a coordinated program.

Manage trustee functions more effectively.

Provide investment oversight of the family business.

Provide estate planning for the family business. 

Create a legacy for the family through the creation of the family office to showcase its values.

Consider these benefits in setting up your family office.

 

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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Structuring a Family Office for Tax Benefits

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

Structuring a family office for tax benefits is a key consideration in setting up a family office. 

Consider these points in structuring your family business for tax purposes.

Because the family office is a separate legal entity, one can move additional costs from the family members to the family office.

Investment analysis expenses can be tax deductible under Section 162 of the US tax code.

The case of Lender Management set forth the following criteria for deducting investment management work as expenses in the family business.

The family business conducts its activities with regularity and continuity.

The ownership and control of the family business is not the same as the family holding companies.

The family members can fire or replace the family office or change its services.

The family office engages service providers who may or may not be family members.

The family office is compensated separately from its normal return on its assets.

The family office has an obligation to provide those services and does so.

The tax advantage comes from shifting the costs of investment work from the individual family member to the family office entity which can deduct those fees from the revenue generated.

 

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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Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Structuring a Family Office

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

Structuring a family office requires many decisions in order to find the optimal solution.

Consider these points in structuring your family business:

Who does the family business serve?

This typically includes the family and their offspring.  

What services should the family office provide?

There’s a cost to the business for providing services.

For those the family office serves, what specific services are performed?

It’s best to provide a core set of services that can be done cost effectively.

Are you using in-house or outsourced services?

The choice of internal or external support has a significant impact on the cost of running the business.

This is particularly important with financial investment work.

How much do you charge the family member for services rendered?

If everything is free then the cost can go through the roof.

Should the services generate a profit for the family business or just cover the costs?

There’s always overhead and uncovered expenses in a business that need to be paid for.

What oversight of expenses should be put in place?

There’s often the need for a controller function in the family business.

What legal structure should be used?

Most family offices use an LLC with S-Corp designation but there are benefits to C-Corp and other structures.

Consider these questions in structuring your family 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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Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

In this episode of Investor Connect, host Hall T. Martin sits down with Doug Willmore, Chief Executive Officer, and Cathy Key, President and Chief Business Development Officer of WorldTree. Join the conversation to explore the fascinating journey of a company that started small and now manages 300 tree farms across multiple countries. With a focus on nature-based solutions, WorldTree offers a unique perspective on scaling a green business.

Cathy shares her intriguing shift from anthropology to tech, leading her to redefine WorldTree's business model. Doug provides an update on their current fundraising efforts, shedding light on the progress they've made and the ambitious goals ahead. Their conversation touches on the challenges and strategies involved in raising capital in the eco-friendly sector.

The episode teases insights into the financial workings of WorldTree, including their revenue streams and valuation approach. Hall and Doug discuss attracting the right investors and balancing financial returns with impactful environmental benefits. The dialogue offers a peek into the strategic thinking behind successful fundraising campaigns.

Hall outlines the innovative approaches Ten Capital employs to connect with potential investors, blending online and in-person events. With hints at the unique tactics and experiences shared, this episode promises to be a treasure trove of valuable insights for anyone looking to navigate the complex world of startup funding.

About WorldTree
WorldTree is dedicated to nature-based solutions for some of our biggest global challenges, focusing on people, planet, and prosperity. They develop carbon forestry projects to protect native forests, produce renewable timber, and sequester carbon. By funneling private capital into the regeneration of undervalued farmland through Empress-based forestry, WorldTree is paving the way for sustainable solutions. Visit the company here: https://worldtree.eco/

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Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Goals of a Family Office

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

Family offices can pursue several goals.

Here’s a list of key goals to consider for your family office and their implications in setting up the business.

Investments -- the complexity of the investments determines the number and type of advisors to engage.

The simpler the investments the less support required.

Financial goals -- these include not only individual goals but also goals for the family office.

Pursuing ESG investments brings an additional layer of complexity to the process.

Households -- The family office also includes the houses and other personal property.

The number and geographic dispersion of the houses determines the complexity of managing the properties.

Legal entities -- The more legal entities the family has, the more work to be done in managing them.

This includes managing the entity, tax filings, and ongoing support.

Advisors -- This includes accounting, financial, legal, and other professionals who provide services to support the family office.

The greater the number of advisors, the greater the cost to the business.

The goals of the business determine the complexity of the family office structure.

In setting up a family office, consider these goals for 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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Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Do You Need a Family Office

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

Before setting up a family office, first consider if you need one.

Here are some key considerations to review:

Do you have the income to support a family office?

Aside from a high net worth on paper you’ll also need to fund the operations which require cash flow.

Consider the ongoing cash flow required to support a team.

There are virtual family offices which can provide the accounting and finance support without the cost of hiring full-time salaried professionals.

Avoid setting up a family office that requires outsized returns to succeed as this won’t be sustainable.

Do you have a complex set of assets and investments?

If so, you may need a family office structure to manage it.

If not, you can find a lower-cost solution through a financial advisor.

Do you have successors who can carry on the family office?

Without successors it can be difficult to maintain a family business over the long haul.

Is your estate in a high tax bracket?

A family office can reduce taxes through active management. 

Consider these points to see if you need to set up a family office.

 

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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Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Keys Steps in Setting Up a Family Office

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

In launching a family office there are several decisions to make.

Here are key steps in setting up a family office:

Choose a family office structure.

There are three types of family offices, single, multi, and virtual.

The single-family office serves one family while the multi-family office serves several families.  

The single-family office provides exclusive services while the multi-family office shares resources thus reducing costs.

There is also the virtual office structure which provides the accounting, financial and other resources primarily online. 

This reduces the costs even further.

To set up your family office first run a feasibility study to determine the cost based on your vision of that family office.

Next, define your program which includes what you will invest in and how you will manage those investments.

Next, build out the program with staff and procedures.

After that setup succession plans, tax reporting, and other functions to support the business.

Finally, launch the family office and measure the results. 

It’s often the case that the program and procedures will need to be modified.

Consider these steps in building your family office.

 

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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Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Before Setting Up a Family Office

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

A family office manages the wealth of a family.

Before starting a family office consider these points:

What is the asset level of the family office?

The fee is based on the assets under management.

The higher the asset level, the higher the fee.

What services does the family office provide?

The more services the higher the cost.

How much client service do you need?

The greater the client service required, the higher the cost.

Are you ready to start a business?

A family office is a business unto itself which requires attention from you now and your successors later.

What type of investing do you want to pursue?

Each investment category brings a set of risk factors and requires research and management.

Do you want to create a sustainable business?

This requires creating a succession plan and recruiting people who can carry on the business.

Before setting up a family office consider these points to determine if you should and how you should do so.

 

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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Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

What Is a Family Office?

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

A family office is an entity setup to manage the wealth and business activities of a family to promote its values and identity.

Here are some key activities found in many family offices:

Develops and implements the investment strategy of the family business.

This includes financial investments in the stock market, real estate, and other assets.

Identifies and implements tax strategies for the family business.

This could be research into investments with tax advantages.

Performs estate planning.

This includes identifying trusts and other entity structures to preserve the estate.

Implements the philanthropic mission of the family.

This includes identifying non-profits and initiatives that provide a community service and donating resources to that cause.

Develops and implements succession planning.

This provides a plan to pass the estate from one generation to the next.

Manages the physical assets of the family.

This includes overseeing the care of the property of the family including the house and possessions.

A family office structure helps manage the investment and operations of a family.

Consider setting up a family office to oversee these activities in your family.

 

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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Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

In this episode of Investor Connect, Hall T. Martin discusses the essentials of raising funding with a guest who has transitioned from consulting to entrepreneurship. Hall underscores the importance of planning the investor's exit strategy from the beginning, which can involve sales, revenue sharing, or customer prepayments. This approach helps structure an effective funding strategy and attract potential investors.

Hall introduces the idea of anchor clients as a way to fund initial development. By securing contracts with clients willing to pay a premium for custom solutions, startups can build and refine their products while generating early revenue. This method ensures the product meets market needs through real-time feedback.

Consulting work related to the startup's core business is highlighted as a valuable bootstrapping strategy. This not only generates necessary income but also provides insights into the industry and builds a network of potential clients and partners. The guest finds this advice particularly useful for generating revenue and understanding market demands.

The episode concludes with advice on managing equity and partnerships, especially when personal challenges arise. Hall shares strategies for negotiating buyouts and revenue-sharing agreements to ensure business continuity. His insights offer a practical roadmap for navigating the complex landscape of funding, emphasizing adaptability and strategic planning. This episode provides essential tips for entrepreneurs seeking to secure capital and position their startups for success.

________________________
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Direct download: HTRF_EP23.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

How the Board Can Help During a Turnaround

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

During a turnaround the board should help.

Here are some key steps to engage the board in the turnaround process.

Interview the board for their input on the turnaround plan.

Reconfirm the board's role in the company.

Define the specific activities the board should engage in.

Set up the board with goals and objectives with accountability.

Change the board’s operating process to meet the current needs of the company.

For businesses in a steady state a quarterly board meeting is fine.

During a turnaround the board should meet more often such as weekly.

Identify board members with key skills and contacts relevant to the turnaround.

For example, a board member that has a network of investors could be tasked with fundraising.

Another board member with financial expertise could oversee the financial activities.

And yet another board member with public relations experience can help with communicating the turnaround to the outside world. 

Set metrics to track the board’s progress.

Just as the company’s leadership and employees have metrics so too should the board.

Consider these points in engaging the board for 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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Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Why Turnarounds Fail

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

Just as not all startups succeed so not all turnarounds succeed either.

Here’s a list of reasons why turnarounds fail:

Failure to adapt.

The market continually changes so it’s important to keep up.

Make sure you are following the market and change to meet it.

Failure to embrace the challenge.

Turnarounds require major changes to the business.

Plan for these changes as small steps won’t cut it. 

Failure to raise funding.

Turnarounds require funding and lack of funding can kill it.

Check your funding requirements to see how much you need to execute on the plan.

Failure to innovate.

Technology can become obsolete.

Review your offering to see if you are innovating. 

Failure to gain buy-in.

Turnarounds require commitment from the investors, suppliers, employees and others.

Gain commitment for the turnaround from all the stakeholders. 

Failure to commit to the plan.

Everyone needs to contribute to the success of the turnaround through pay cuts and longer hours.

 

Watch out for these points of failure in your 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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Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Evaluating Your Startup for a Turnaround

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

If things are not going well at your startup you may want to consider implementing a turnaround program at some level.

Here are key points to evaluate your startup’s need for a turnaround:

What are the customers saying?

Review customer feedback to see where you are succeeding and failing.

Do you have a competitive advantage?

Your business needs to provide something unique.

Do you have the right team for the business?

Make sure everyone on the team fits the requirements and works toward a common goal.

Is the fundamental concept behind the business sound?

Review your value proposition to see if it’s resonating with the market.

Are you executing on the plan?

It takes more than a written business plan to succeed.   You must execute on it.

Does your brand mean something?

If it doesn’t then you need to rebrand or restart your current brand.

Do you have enough funding to accomplish the plan?

If not, you may need to raise additional capital.

Consider these points to see if your startup needs to pivot or make other changes.

 

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.Evaluating_your_startup_for_a_turnaround.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

Managing Employees in a Turnaround

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

During a turnaround it’s important to maintain team morale and involve everyone in the process.

Here are some key steps to managing the team.

Make clear the need for the turnaround.

Employees may not have visibility on the financials and don’t know how much the company is losing.

They also may not know the situation with competitors or see changes in the market.

Involve employees in the decision making.

Gather feedback from the employees on how to cut costs and improve revenue.

Update them on the progress of the business.

Measure performance.

Metric the company’s performance to show where gains are being made.

Give employees the ability to improve the company’s performance.

Recognize excellence.

Provide incentives to employees to achieve key metrics.

Track the metrics and provide rewards to those who achieve it.

Address concerns.

Some employees may not buy into the turnaround plan.

Address their concerns and work to bring them into the process.

Gain alignment.

Make sure employees understand the turnaround process and align with the goals.

Success will depend on employee buy-in for the turnaround process to 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: 01.Managing_employees_in_a_turnaround.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

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 

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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 

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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.

_______________________________________________________

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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.

_______________________________________________________

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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.

_______________________________________________________

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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.

_______________________________________________________

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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.
 
________________________________________________________________________
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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.

_______________________________________________________

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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.

_______________________________________________________

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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 

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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.

_______________________________________________________

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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.

_______________________________________________________

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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.

_______________________________________________________

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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.

_________________________________________________________

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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.

_________________________________________________________

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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.

_______________________________________________________

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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.

_______________________________________________________

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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.

_______________________________________________________

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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.

_______________________________________________________

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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 

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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.

_______________________________________________________

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

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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.

_______________________________________________________

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

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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.

_________________________________________________________

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

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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.

_________________________________________________________

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

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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.

_________________________________________________________

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

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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.

_________________________________________________________

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

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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.

_________________________________________________________

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

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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.

_______________________________________________________

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

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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 
Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Please follow, share, and leave a review.
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Direct download: HTRF_19.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CDT