Investor Connect Podcast (general)

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

In setting up the board for a startup, it’s important to set the compensation policy for the directors.

While some candidates will join the board for no monetary compensation, most people will require some compensation.

Here are some key points to consider when setting the policy:

  • Tie the director’s compensation to an evaluation of performance
  • Use equity to conserve cash
  • Vest that equity over time.
  • Use option grants similar to employees which often have a 4-year vesting period
  • Grants are often in the ½% to 1% range of total outstanding shares
  • Consider market rates and keep the compensation within limits
  • Set rules around expense reimbursement
  • Write out the compensation so there’s no misunderstanding later
  • Include what happens in change-of-control and other situations

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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Compensation_of_the_Director.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:13am CDT

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

Board members have a fiduciary duty which means they must exercise good business judgment, put the company’s interest first, and act in good faith.

Board members work in the following areas:

  • They set policy for the company
  • Evaluate the CEO
  • Check the financial resources for sufficiency
  • Approve annual budgets
  • Provide updates to the investors for the company’s performance

If the company becomes insolvent then they must act on behalf of the creditors.

Board members are responsible for making sure taxes and employees are paid and may be held personally liable if they don’t.

Board members work under the protection of the business judgment rule.  

This means the board member is not liable unless they act in haste, are found to abuse their discretion, or breach their financial duty.

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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Board_Fiduciaries.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

This is Investor Perspectives. I’m the host of Investor Connect, Hall T Martin, where we connect startups and investors for funding.

In today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on COVID-19’s impact on education and on startups.

COVID-19 has changed the landscape for startups giving us a new normal. During the pandemic, it became clear the need for changes in our education system.

We have joining us, Jon Broscious,  an investor in the education space accelerating/investing in early-stage startups at Mucker Capital.

Prior to joining Mucker, Jon spent 3.5 years at Social Starts and Joyance Partners focusing on software broadly, alternative education, consumer brands, and healthcare software and new models of distribution across patients, insurers, and providers. Jon was a Director with the Advisory Board Company (acquired by Optum) and Education Advisory Board (acquired by Vista) in its internal Strategy and Operations team focusing on revenue maximization across new sales and renewals. He holds a BSE in Operations Research and Financial Engineering from Princeton University and an MBA from McCombs at the University of Texas at Austin. 

You can visit Mucker Capital at www.mucker.com.

Jon can be contacted via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/jonbroscious/, via Twitter at  https://twitter.com/jonbroscious?lang=en, and via email at jon@muckercapital.com. 

I hope you enjoy this episode.

________________________________

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: IP_Education_-_Jon_Broscious_of_Mucker_Capital_EDITED.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:39pm CDT

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

Board work brings potential liability for the director.

Directors & Officers Insurance protects the board members.

Most policies offer $1M to $2M of coverage.

Here are some key points to consider in choosing a policy:

  • The policy should indemnify the directors.
  • It should advance expenses at the point of need, rather than waiting for the directors to be absolved.
  • It should provide coverage for up to 2 years after the company stops paying the premiums.
  • It should be reasonably priced.
  • It should be backed by the company’s charter which should also indemnify the board member. 
  • It should be reviewed annually by the board.

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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For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group  

Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_DO_Insurance.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

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

In raising funding, the startup will meet with many investors to answer their questions.

So, how should the startup answer the investor’s questions?

First, listen to the question and answer it directly and to the point.

If the question requires a number, then give that number.

For example, if the investor asks how much revenue do you have, then answer with, “We have $200K of revenue so far this year”, or “We have $10K of monthly recurring revenue”.

Be careful with answering every question with a story, as this takes time and often misses the key information.

If the investor wants to hear the back story for a particular question they will ask. For example, “That sounds interesting. Tell me how you arrived at that model”.

The investor often has a list of questions to go through and a limited amount of time.

Not responding with direct and to-the-point answers lengthens the process.

Also, some investors may interpret the long and winding response as avoiding the answer which raises a red flag.

It’s best to be straight up.


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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_How_to_answer_the_investors_questions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

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

A common mistake made by startups is launching a company in an industry in which the founders know little or nothing about.

I find this happens often in the healthcare and financial industries.

The size and growth of those markets make it attractive to pursue but without a deep knowledge of how those industries work, is a recipe for disaster.

The first issue is regulatory. Both industries are highly regulated and impacts greatly what you can and cannot do.

The second issue is the current company landscape - a basic understanding of who does what in the industry is important.

The third issue is your contacts working in the space.  Who do you know that can help you as a customer, advisor, or employee? This becomes particularly important when you go to sell your product.

Before launching in a new industry, make sure you know the regulatory landscape and how it impacts your startup.

Build a network in the industry of partners and other contacts who can help you.

Finally, build a core group of people who can help you build or advise 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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/
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Direct download: EG_June_2020_Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Know_Your_Industry.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

In today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on the growing HR tech sector.  

This is Investor Perspectives, I’m the host of Investor Connect, Hall T Martin, where we connect startups and investors for funding.

HR Tech continues to grow and advance based on new technologies.

In today’s show, you’ll hear about a new company in the sector called Upskill. 

Our featured guests are:

Jenny Ervine, Lead Investor
Gary Cooper, Lead Investor
John Reynolds, Lead Investor
Stephen Rice, President and CEO of Upskill

I hope you enjoy this episode.
____________________________________________________________________________________

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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For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group 

Direct download: UpSkill_WEBINAR_to_IP.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:57am CDT

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

In pitching investors, you must have a competitive advantage and be able to demonstrate it. 

It’s not enough to say your product is better or your team will execute faster.

You must identify your core competitive advantage and show how it gives you at least a 30% cost reduction or a 30% revenue increase over the traditional methods.  

This could be through network effects, virality, channel access, or monetization.

If you are concerned about protecting your business idea, then focus on the benefits of your competitive advantage such as, “our software reduces cost by 30% through better algorithms than the competition.” 

You don’t have to go into the details.

In due diligence, investors can sign NDAs to see the detailed workings.


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: Demonstrate_Your_Competitive_Advantage.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes John Quinn, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of EXOS Aerospace Systems & Technologies.

Located in Greenville, Texas, EXOS Aerospace Systems & Technologies is a small Defense Department Trade Commission (DDTC) registered privately-owned space hardware and operations company. The EXOS team has developed hundreds of rocket engines, over a dozen reusable flying vehicles (a few for NASA), and has even developed manned propulsion systems used on Rocket Racers. Post-COVID 19 EXOS pivoted to Hypersonic Reusable Launch Vehicle Development as the USAF and MDA supported (and funded) the Phase I Small Business Innovation Research Project. 

At 18 years old, John enlisted in the US Navy serving in the Silent-Service on fast-attack and Trident submarines for a total of 14.5 years (including his reserve duty). In 1992 he started his civilian career as a power plant instrument technician and operator. In 2002 he completed his degree getting a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering with a Controls Specialty. John continued his career in the power industry for 21 years working in Engineering and Management, and finally specializing in cybersecurity and power plant controls. 

After seeing 72% of his retirement disappear in the stock market crashes in 2000 and 2008, he started to look into how he could educate himself so that would not ever happen again. On January 21, 2011, (after significant research of the competition) John attended a NeUventure on Wall Street Seminar 1 with his wife, where they first met David Mitchell. They signed up as a “Top Gun”, hit the books and committed to taking control of their financial future to be able to again plan to retire and fulfill the wisdom of Proverbs 13:22. Two and a half years later, John “Fired his Boss” to engage in stock trading and entrepreneurial endeavors. John now actively trades and teaches stock trading as well as managing several other corporations he has formed. This newly found time freedom (being his own boss) afforded him time to develop his own submarine invention for the U.S. Navy under one of his Corporations, Martin Systems and Technologies. John and his wife Teresa manage Martin Systems & Technologies, INC. (MST) because they Love America, and continue to have a commitment to "serve and protect against threats foreign and domestic". MST believes that there is no such thing as "X-Military" and as long as we have ideas and technology that can help keep our soldiers "further from harms way" we have a job to do.

John’s love of business drove him to develop the opportunity he recognized while working on an MST Project (with the brilliant Scientists at Blink Design and Manufacturing) in what we now officially call EXOS Aerospace Systems & Technologies, INC. (E.A.S.T.) In Feb of 2015, John became was promoted to Chief Operating Officer for E.A.S.T., and is driven to help make this company a guaranteed winner in the private commercial space race. E.A.S.T. is uniquely positioned to bridge the gap that exists between needed zero-G space testing and a somewhat “imperfect” ISS test that requires years of planning and severe monetary penalties for unforeseen test failures.

John shares with Hall how EXOS came into being. He advises investors and describes how he sees the space industry evolving. He also details some of the challenges the space sector faces.

You can visit  EXOS Aerospace Systems & Technologies at www.exosaero.com, and on their Twitter page at https://twitter.com/exosaerosystech.

John can be contacted via email at support@exosaero.com

Direct download: John_Quinn_of_Exos_Aerospace_Systems__Technologies_Inc.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

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

Startups are usually shy about discussing their current revenue when they are early in the process as the revenue is not large.

I tell the startup the investor doesn’t care about the size of revenue, but rather the predictability of it. 

Investors look for systems in startups regardless of the size.

Do you have a process for finding customers, introducing them to your product, and then closing?

If you have a sales funnel you are using, it’s helpful to share that with the investors so they see the traction you have in your sales prospecting process.

Use the funnel in multiple investor updates to show how prospects are moving through it.

After a few months, capture the metrics of that flow including the average number of leads turning into sales, and the average time from lead generation to client closing.  

You want to show a system that is up and running albeit with small numbers but emphasizing the predictability of the numbers.

In talking with investors, mention your process with phrases such as, “For every 10 leads, we generate 1 customer worth $5000 in revenue.”  This is the magic investors are looking for - a system with repeatable and predictable outcomes.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
-----
For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/
For Startups check out: https://tencapital.group/company-landing/
For eGuides check out: https://tencapital.group/education/
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For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group


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

If you are pre-revenue, you can show traction with your startup.

We’ll define traction as activity with customers, albeit without revenue.

Show customer engagement at all phases, even before you have a product.

You should have customers coaching you on what product to build.

First, when communicating with investors, always include customers in your discussions. Never engage an investor meeting, email, or conference call without new info about your customer and always mention it.

If you are pre-revenue, you can still talk about the prospective customers you are working with to build your product and what they are saying. 

The customer problem is the most important thing because it shows you are close to the source of revenue and you are working towards obtaining it.

Be able to name the customers, both the company and your contact. Never talk about the customers as a general group with vague and fuzzy references.

Talk specifically about the problem they want to solve and how much it is costing them.

Next, show how you're building your product to solve the customer's problem.

Discuss pilots, beta tests, MVP usage, and how the customers are engaging. 

Once you have a few customers closed, you have enough information to start building the Unit Economics story.

Show the cost of acquiring those customers, qualifying them, and then closing them and how it’s a profitable business. 

Next, place those customers in a sales funnel to show prospects moving through the funnel.  Place upcoming prospects at the top of the funnel to show more are on their way.

You now have a repeatable, predictable process. 

The secret here is that most investors don't look for big revenue, they look for repeatable revenue.

In your investor updates, show additional customers coming into the funnel and moving through it. 

Highlight that the cost and timeframes are the same, emphasizing it’s a repeatable process and you’re just “turning the crank.”

If you've decided you're not going to talk with customers until the product is complete, then you may want to rethink that strategy. 

Involve customers from the start and get their help on it and ALWAYS be talking about those interactions with your investors.


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


Let’s go startup something today.
-----
For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/
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In this episode, Hall welcomes Edward Dugger III, Founding Partner and President of Reinventure Capital.

Located in Boston, Massachusetts, Reinventure Capital is a high-impact, high-return venture practice proven to deliver nonconcessionary financial returns along with intentional, measurable, and meaningful racial/social justice impact. Reinventure Capital consists of a diverse team who invests in U.S.-based companies led and controlled by BIPOC — Black, Indigenous, and other people of color - founders, and/or womxn founders of all identities, companies that are at breakeven or so commercializing solutions to real problems, in fragmented industries, at the forefront of one or more shifts, and poised to grow profitably.

Edward was an early pioneer in impact investing, but also had careers as a real estate developer, business strategy consultant, and interim CFO. He has over 30 years of deep business development and venture capital experience, and a track record of notable achievements. At age 27 he became CEO of one of the larger venture capital firms in the nation, backed and mentored by such board directors as the CEO of Morgan Stanley and the Chairman of the Executive Committee of JP Morgan. As one of the earliest impact VC funds, they invested in growth industries to consciously expand business opportunities for entrepreneurs of color achieving an IRR of 32% during its last decade.

Edward also helped launch some of the most successful African American controlled companies, both private and public, and assisted them in attracting over $2 billion in conventional capital, while achieving 30% diversity among managers and employees and generating over 7,000 family-supporting jobs.

Although his investment practice was national, he leveraged his successes as a VC to build bridges among disparate local business communities as an early advocate for, and practitioner of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). As a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, I co-convened with the Bank several business leadership forums advocating more inclusive business practices. Expanding the effort after harvesting the venture funds, I partnered with the CEO of State Street Corporation to form The Business Collaborative (TBC), a unique business community initiative that dramatically increased the B2B sales volume among major corporations and businesses of color in Massachusetts.

Most recently he has responded to our nation's current challenges, stemming from persistent social and economic inequities, by forming Reinventure Capital. Once again he is targeting the vast, untapped reservoir of innovative, entrepreneurial talent, comprised of those of color and women consistently overlooked by the mainstream investment community. In so doing, he is pursuing a contrarian investment playbook as before, ensuring an impact-rich return on capital AND inclusion. Edward is a graduate of Harvard College and Princeton University (MPA-UP, School of Public and International Affairs).

Edward explains the role of social impact in Reinventure Capital’s investment thesis and shares with Hall his reasons for investing in diverse teams. 

You can visit Reinventure Capital at www.reinventurecapital.com, via their LinkedIn page at www.linkedin.com/company/reinventurecap, and via their Twitter page at https://twitter.com/ReinventureCap   

Edward can be contacted via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/edwardduggeriii/, and via email at ed@reinventurecapital.com

Direct download: Edward_Dugger_III_of_Reinventure_Capital.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:22pm CDT

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

In the deal process, there are always issues that give the investor cause to rethink pursuing the investment. 

Here is a short list of dealbreakers that indicate it’s time to break off the deal process.

  • There are major surprises, such as finding out the company has significant debt they did not disclose previously.
  • There are major holes, such as finding out a team member is not signing up to work on the project as previously mentioned.
  • There are integrity issues, such as a mismatch between what the founder tells you and what is actually there.
  • There is a significant change to the potential of the business, such as finding out the market is not as large as previously considered.
  • Finally, there’s the inability to come to terms as both sides are too far apart.


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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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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For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group

Direct download: EG_Sep_2020_Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Dealbreakers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

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

There are over 125 terms in the NVCA glossary for terms sheets. So which terms should the investor focus on?

Here are six terms that are key to consider for your startup investment:

  1. Valuation or the price you pay for the equity is the most important term that impacts the return to the investor.
  2. Participation rights define the investor’s right to invest in future rounds. Most startup investors invest a smaller amount at the seed level but invest larger amounts at the Series A.  It’s important to maintain your position in a successful startup.
  3. Board and Information rights give the investors a voice in the company and what information they can expect to receive.
  4. Liquidation preference pays back the holding investor first, and then the remaining funds are allocated to the investors based on their ownership percentage. This sets a floor on the investor’s return.
  5. Redemption rights give the investors the right to sell their shares back to the company if they want to exit before an acquisition.
  6. Unvesting founder’s shares require the founders to revest some of their shares. This provides equity to compensate the founder’s replacement in the event the founder leaves early.

There are many other terms that could be included, but specifically, consider these for your next investment.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
-----
For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/
For Startups check out: https://tencapital.group/company-landing/
For eGuides check out: https://tencapital.group/education/
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For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group

Direct download: EG_Sep_2020_Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Key_Terms_to_Focus_On.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

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

There are pros and cons to using convertible notes.

Startups use them primarily for seed rounds and bridge rounds.

They are lower in cost, as the documents are simpler than equity terms sheets.

They avoid setting a price, so they are easier to negotiate.

It keeps the cap table simple as they start in debt form and convert to equity later.

The downside is that they have few protective provisions found in equity terms sheets, such as board seats.

Valuation is not fixed.  A later-priced round will set it and there’s little control the investor has over it. 

There are no tax benefits for a Qualified Small Business 1202, which applies only to equity investments.

In summary, convertible notes are useful for launching a seed fundraise or even a Series A, as it lets the startup capture interest into the deal while searching for the lead investor.

An equity round should be done to set the valuation and provide tax benefits and protective provisions for the investor.


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

There are many terms used in terms sheets but there are only a few that have a significant impact.

Here are the key ones:

  • Liquidation Preference -- a liquidation preference gives the shareholder their initial investment back first, before splitting the rest of the proceeds. 
  • Non-Participating Preferred -- the investors receive preference over the common shareholders.
  • Anti-Dilution -- investors retain their ownership percentage through subsequent rounds of funding. 
    If they maintain their full ownership, then this is called Full-Ratchet Anti-Dilution.
  • In a Weighted Average Anti-Dilution, the founders get diluted but not as much.
  • Pay to Play -- a pay-to-play clause incentivizes investors to continue investing in subsequent rounds. If not, they lose some portion of their ownership stake.
  • Warrants -- a security that gives the holder the right to buy stock over a certain timeframe and at a specific price.

These are key terms to look for in a terms sheet.


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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For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group

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

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

There are many terms in a standard terms sheet for investing in a startup. 

Six terms have a direct impact on the return the investor receives. They are as follows:

  1. Pre-money valuation is the biggest factor in determining the investor’s return. This is often the term receiving the most attention in negotiations.
  2. Liquidation preference is increasingly being used to protect early investors as it gives them a return first before other investors.
  3. Options pool is a key consideration with regards to who pays for it. A founder-friendly terms sheet has the investors paying for it, while an investor-friendly terms sheet has the founders paying for it. 
  4. Protective provisions include electing board members who can influence operational decisions such as approving future fundraising rounds. 
  5. Co-sale rights and drag-along rights give the investor options for exiting early. 
  6. Finally, dividends -- not common in early-stage fundings, are a source of returns to the investors in long-term holdings.


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: EG_Sep_2020_Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Terms_Affecting_the_Returns.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

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

In negotiating the terms of a startup investment, the investor should develop a standard terms sheet and modify it for each deal.

In going into due diligence, send the terms sheet to the startup for their review. In some cases, they may be unfamiliar with terms sheets and need time to study it.

The key elements to consider in negotiating terms are as follows:

Valuation -- this is the most critical term to negotiate as it has the biggest impact on returns.

Vesting founders shares -- it’s important to unvest founders shares and have them revest over the next few years. If the founder leaves early, there are shares to compensate for the replacement.

Option pool -- set up to offer options to the employees. If you don’t have an option pool, then you have to provide all compensation out of cash which is a hard way to run a business. 

Board of directors -- set up a board with proper governance.

Liquidation preference -- consider including a liquidation preference to set a floor on your return.

Growth strategy -- gain consensus with the team and the investors on the growth strategy. Are we hitting the gas and going for the moon, or are we growing it carefully? This is often a sticking point that comes up after the investment is made.


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: EG_Sep_2020_Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Negotiating_the_terms.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

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

In setting the valuation for a startup, there are financial calculations, and then there are non-financial factors.

I call the non-financial factors the “soft side of valuations”.

These include the following:

Current market conditions -- as the market heats, up certain sectors turn ‘hot’ and therefore command a higher valuation than the numbers indicate.

Predictability - companies with recurring revenue streams and long-term contracts command a higher valuation because their revenue is much more predictable.

Customer concentration -- startups with a broader list of customers will survive longer. If a customer accounts for over half of the business, then this should be reflected in the valuation.

Pre-profitability -- for early-stage companies, those with profitability should command a higher valuation.

Pre-revenue -- for even earlier-stage businesses without revenue, intellectual property and customer forecasts come into play. 

Start with the financial calculation and then refine the valuation from there based on these issues.


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: EG_Sep_2020_Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_the_soft_side_of_valuations.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:10pm CDT

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

The terms sheet glossary contains over 125 terms that can be used. For every risk in the startup, there is a term to place in the terms sheet to mitigate that risk.

If you feel the valuation is too high, you can add a liquidation preference.

If you think the team needs oversight, you can add board seats and fill it with advisors who can help.

For maintaining an investor’s position in the deal, there are anti-dilution clauses, right to participate, and right-of-first-refusal terms.

For maintaining oversight over the operations, there are information right terms, board seats, and founder-vesting terms.

For achieving an exit, there are drag-along rights, redemption rights, and registration rights.

For the risks in the deal, engage the terms to mitigate those risks.


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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In today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on the growing space sector.  

This is Investor Perspectives, I’m the host of Investor Connect, Hall T Martin, where we connect startups and investors for funding.

Commercial exploration of space continues to advance in technology by SpaceX and other companies. 

In today’s show, you’ll hear about a new company in the space sector called EXOS.

Our featured guests are:

Scott Robinson, Lead Investor - https://in/scott-robinson-133588bb
Paula Robinson, Lead Investor
John Quinn, Co-Founder and COO of EXOS - https://in/john-quinn-39728718/

I hope you enjoy this episode.
____________________________________________________________________________________________

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

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For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group   

Direct download: Why_I_Invested_EXOS_WEBINAR_to_IP.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:56am CDT

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

For a startup to raise funding it must have a legal structure.

The two choices are LLCs, which is a Limited Liability Company, or a C-corp.

Most startups launch with an LLC and convert to a C-corp later due to the cost.

It’s very easy to move from an LLC to a C-corp, but it’s very hard to go back the other way.

C-corps are taxed at the corporate level, while LLCs are a pass-through structure allowing losses and profits to flow to the members.   

A Delaware C-corps is the venture capital standard. Most VCs have their terms sheets set up for Delaware C-corps and they won’t be changing it.

To accept their funding you must have a Delaware C-corp entity.

If you have a C-corp, your ownership will be stated in shares. If you have an LLC, your ownership will be stated in units. 

Upon exit, LLCs can be preferable to the owners as you can build up losses from the early days to reduce the tax burden upon selling the business. 

LLCs cannot take advantage of tax laws such as 1202, 1045, or 1244 which provide tax incentives to startups but only if it’s in a C-corp structure.

Setting up boards and providing stock options are more difficult for LLCs than C-corps. 

Start with an LLC and convert to C-corp when you raise institutional funding.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
-----
For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org

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Direct download: EG_Sep_2020_Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_LLC_vs_Corps.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

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

In launching your fundraise, you should always be in a position to take funding. There are many investors who want to join the deal but won’t take on a lead investor role in setting the terms.

A convertible note works well for this stage of the raise. It’s a debt instrument that converts to equity later, so there’s no valuation to negotiate.

Startups can accept investors into the deal with relative ease, given most notes have simple terms, rights, and conditions.

The note is on a rolling close. So the investor signs the check, the startup signs the note, and the funding goes into the business the next day.

One can use the note over several smaller fundraises to gather investor funds.

When setting up a convertible note, consider what will happen upon conversion to the cap table.

Startups should take care not to raise too much funding off convertible notes. 

In later stages, such as raising a Series A, investors are going to want a certain amount of ownership in the deal. If there is too much convertible debt, then it will be difficult to give the investor the ownership they want.


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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Using_Convertible_notes_wisely.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:34am CDT

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

After diligence, investors who want to move forward will sign the investment documents.

For a convertible note raise, the investor and CEO will sign the note. It’s a rolling close, so the funds go into the business the next day.

For an equity raise, there are several documents in addition to the terms sheet. Some Series A raises can contain up to 9 separate documents including a subscription agreement, an option pool agreement, investor accreditation status, and more.

It’s best to have an attorney help with these documents.

If the investors requested a minimum amount of funding before closing, then the investor funds will go into an escrow account until the minimum threshold is reached.

Some companies have the investors sign the documents before due diligence, in which case the funding is contingent on passing that due diligence.  

This screens out those who just want to see what you have without having to commit any funds. 


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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_how_to_paper_the_fundraise.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Albert Meyer, Founder & Chief Investment Officer at Bastiat Capital.

Headquartered in Plano, Texas, and established in 2006, Bastiat Capital is an asset management firm directing a concentrated and conservative large-cap equity portfolio. They apply unparalleled forensic accounting expertise, human insight and rich company-specific research as they seek to outperform the S&P 500 Total Return while mitigating downside risk.

Albert is a veteran investment manager and forensic accountant who received global attention for uncovering one of the largest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history, the “Foundation for New Era Philanthropy”. He published the research report on Tyco that ultimately led to the prosecution and imprisonment of Dennis Kozlowski. He has also uncovered noteworthy accounting irregularities at Enron, Lucent and Coca-Cola. His work on Coca-Cola and eBay became the basis of several Harvard Business School case studies.

Albert launched his career in corporate accounting with Deloitte & Touche, then dedicated 15 years to teaching accounting in academia. In 1996, he began applying his forensic accounting expertise to investment management on a professional basis, first at Martin Capital Management, and later with David Tice & Associates, and with Clark Hunt (current CEO of the Kansas City Chiefs) and the Hunt family office in Dallas, Texas.

In 2002, Albert established an investment research business school named 2nd Opinion Research and in 2005, he received the American Accounting Association’s highest honor, the Accounting Exemplar Award (previously awarded to former SEC commissioner Arthur Levitt), in recognition of his many contributions to the field of accounting.

Albert is a Chartered Accountant (the British Commonwealth equivalent of a CPA) and a Certified Public Accountant. He is a regular contributor to national financial media on investing and accounting topics.

He and his wife Melenie reside in Plano, Texas near their three sons and their spouses, as well as six grandchildren.

Albert shares with Hall what excites him right now in the industry, some of the challenges he sees investors facing in today's economy, and his company's thesis. He suggests some immediate opportunities for investors to pursue and those to avoid. Albert concludes the interview with his very detailed opinion on the benefits of the S&P 500 vs. Social Security.

You can visit Bastiat Capital at www.bastiatfunds.com, and via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/bastiat-capital-llc/

Albert can be contacted via email at ameyer@bastiatfunds.com

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

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

Startup fundraising requires investment documents.

Of course, you should seek counsel with your startup-friendly attorney before committing to an equity fundraise, but here are several sources of terms sheets on the web.

Ycombinator provides a set of terms sheets for SAFE documents used in seed raises.

The NVCA (National Venture Capital Association) provides a set of model legal documents that include terms sheets. 

Cooley provides the "Series Seed" set of documents on its website.

There are many online sources for convertible notes. Just Google it and you’ll find a wide range.

You can find the links on the Investor Connect Resources page.  

The link to the Investor Connect Resources page is below:
https://investorconnect.org/resources/


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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Sources_of_Terms_Sheets.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:15am CDT

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

Terms sheets can be founder-friendly or investor-friendly. The terms sheet provides terms in favor of the founder over the investor or vice versa. 

Here’s how you can tell which one you have.

In a founder-friendly terms sheet:

There is no expiration date on the investment offer

The option pool comes out of both the investor’s portion, as well as the founder’s portion.

There is no confidentiality agreement. The founders are free to talk about the deal.

There is no liquidation preference for the investors.

The startup does not pay investors legal fees.

In an investor-friendly terms sheet, these terms go the other way.


T
hank 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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Founder_vs_Investor-Friendly_Terms_Sheets.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

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

In negotiating a terms sheet, there are several key elements to keep in mind.

Valuation is the biggest hurdle as it sets equity ownership. 

Key terms that often come into play include the following:

Liquidation preferences - if the investors feel the pre-money valuation is too high, they may ask for a 1 or 2x liquidation preference.

Investing founders share - investors want to know the team will remain in place for the first few years and will require them to re-earn their shares.

Redemption rights - if the business goes sideways, some investors will look to prepare for an early exit.

Consider convertible debt for an initial terms sheet and move to equity when you find the right lead investor. 

There are many investors who want to be in the deal but aren’t going to do the work for leading the round.

A key criterion for a lead investor is an interest in equity and a willingness to invest greater than $100K. This generates enough motivation to properly develop the terms sheet.


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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Negotiating_a_Terms_Sheet.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

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

When I ask startups how much they are raising for investment, they often quote their total raise for the life of the startup.

We then talk about breaking the raise into smaller rounds so the founder doesn’t have to spend too much time on the fundraise process.

Here’s some guidance on how to breakdown your startup fundraise into tranches or what some call rounds.

Family and Friends funding:  $10K to $100K
This helps set up your legal entity, intellectual property, and basic prototype.

Pre-seed:  $250K
This raise is for the initial research and beta product development.

Seed:  $500K to $750K
This raise is for building out the product and closing initial customers.

Seed +:  $500K to $750K
This raise is for growing the sales and establishing repeatable sales and marketing processes.

Series A: $1.5M to $3M
This raise is for growing your sales up past the $1M annual revenue.

Series B: $5M to $15M
This raise is for growing your sales up past the $3M annual revenue.

If you raise too much money too early in the life of your startup, you will find yourself giving away too much equity so it’s important to raise in stages.


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


Let’s go startup something today.
-----
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Direct download: EG_Aug_2020_Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Standard_Raises_by_Stage.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

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

In determining your raise amount, consider what you need for the next 18-24 months and focus on that window rather than the entire life of the company.

Raise enough to accomplish the goals for that timeframe.

Consider any revenue you currently have coming in and by how much it will grow.

Estimate the amount of money you will burn through each month so you know how much runway funding will buy you.

Set an ideal raise amount and a fallback plan in case the fundraise comes up short of the ideal.

For every $1M of funding you need, it will take you one calendar year to raise it.

Based on this information, you can determine how much you need to raise and when you should start the campaign.


T
hank 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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Know_your_burn_rate.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Brendan Nugent, CEO of Adrenaline.

Adrenaline is the leading online supplier of awesome and unique gifts and they have sought out life-defining experiences for their clients for over 8 years. Adrenaline connects experience seekers and gift-givers with over 1,300 heart-pumping things to do across the United States.  The company enables real-time booking of experiences and gift options with a fully integrated CRM and support team. 

Adrenaline U.S. was an expansion from the proven Adrenaline.com.au platform, Australia’s leading activity aggregator. Since 2012, the business has built a product portfolio of experiences from land adventures, flying experiences, water sports, and driving experiences.​

Brendan is based in Austin, Texas, and he is the figurative head of Adrenaline’s online travel agency and gift marketplace. Prior to Adrenaline, Brendan spent 6 years at iFLY Indoor Skydiving Support Center and joined the company at the cusp of major growth; the company grew from 8 retail locations to 80 locations during those 6 years. Initially building sales training, teams, and procedures, Brendan built large-scale distribution and ticketing programs in the tourism, retail, and gifting sectors. He enjoys travel, watching Formula One Racing, and real estate.  

Brendan shares his thoughts on the rise of the travel-venture segment and explains what it takes for a company in this segment to be successful. He also describes some of the changes he expects to see in this segment in the coming 12 months.

You can visit Adrenaline at www.adrenaline.com, and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AdrenalineIncUS.    

Brendan can be contacted via email at brendan.nugent@adrenaline.com.

Direct download: Brendan_Nugent_of_Adrenaline.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:03am CDT

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

I often hear investors say if the company just had revenue then the risk would be gone. But once the startup achieves revenue, the next stage of risk comes up - will they be able to grow that revenue?

There’s a risk for the investor at each stage of startup funding.  

At the seed stage, the question is, can you sell the product?

At the Series-A stage, the question is, can you grow the product revenue?

At the Series B-stage, the question is, can you scale the product revenue?

At the Series-C/D stage, the question is, can you become a market leader?

Each stage brings a new risk.

For investing, the old risk is replaced with a new risk.


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: EG_Aug_2020_Startup_Funding_Espresso_-_The_Risk_at_Each_Stage.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

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

Startups raising funding should keep track of their cap table which shows who has ownership in the business.

If you have one, make sure to keep it up to date.  

If you don’t have one, then here are the steps to set up your cap table.

Identify all the founders and equity owners in the company.

Include anyone who has stock options or warrants.

Keep track of any special agreements you have with the founders, partners, or investors.

For each person or entity on the cap table,  list the class of stock, price paid for it, and how much of that stock they own.

Calculate the total amount of shares and the money paid for it. 

To create a fully diluted cap table, include all options and warrants even if they are not yet vested.

Also, track all convertible notes and SAFE notes that could convert into equity in the future.

During the fundraise, investors will want to see your cap table so they know who owns what and who they are investing with.


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: EG_July_2020_Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_How_to_setup_the_cap_table.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

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

Depreciation represents the reduced value of assets.

Each asset in your business has its own useful lifetime.  

Based on that useful lifetime, one can expense a portion of the value each year over the life of that asset.  

Depreciation goes on the profit and loss statement and also impacts the value of the asset listed on the balance sheet.

Computers for example are often depreciated over a four-year timeframe. If you spent $16,000 on computers and they last four years, then a straight-line depreciation will expense $4,000 per year. 

You’ll need to set up a separate worksheet for each asset to calculate and track the depreciation.  

You then place the expense on the profit and loss statement and show the reduced value of the asset on the balance sheet.

Based on the type of asset, you may be able to use other depreciation methods aside from straight-line depreciation.  

You’ll need to check the IRS rules for each asset as they have stated requirements for how you depreciate each type.


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

Your financial projections will be important for your fundraise.

Banks will want to see your projections when you apply for a loan. 

And investors will want to see them as well when you raise equity funding. 

There are two basic forms of capital:  debt and equity.

Debt is in the form of a loan with specific terms, including interest rate and payback plans. 

Debt has some advantages:

  • You maintain ownership over your business.
  • Interest is tax-deductible.
  • Debt can keep management focused on the core business, in particular cash flow and profits.

Equity has advantages:

  • You don’t have to pay it back immediately, only when you sell the business or go public.

Your financial projections will help you decide how much funding you should take from debt and equity.


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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In today's show, you'll hear investor perspectives on the COVID-19 impact on the chronic pain market.

This is Investor Perspectives, I'm the host of Investor Connect, Hall T Martin, where we connect startups and investors for funding.

It's the time of COVID-19. The healthcare industry is overwhelmed with patients from the pandemic. Medical conditions such as chronic pain continue to grow due to the opioid crisis.

We recently held an interview with experts and investors in the area of chronic pain. Our host is Ashley Matthysse.

Our featured guests are:

Brian Carrico, CEO with Innovative Health Solutions: https://i-h-s.com
Michio Painter, Pain Specialist, Investor with Joyance Partners:
www.bluetherapeutics.com; www.joyancepartners.com
Steve Shapiro, Partner eHealthVentures: www.ehealthventures.com

I hope you enjoy this episode.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/
For Startups check out: https://tencapital.group/company-landing/
For eGuides check out: https://tencapital.group/education/
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For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group


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

Operating expenses are the day to day expenses a business incurs. They support the operational side of the business covering sales, marketing, product development, and administration.

These expenses include legal, digital marketing, payroll for employees, accounting, rent, insurance, IT costs, office supplies, bookkeeping services, phones, computers, and more. 

Recurring expenses, such as sales and marketing expenses, are often defined as a percent of revenue.  These include software subscriptions, advertisements, promotional material, and dues.

Build an operating expense budget with a bottoms-up approach by costing out the individual components such as employee cost, administration, and IT, as each expense will be specific to your business. 

Over time, these costs will grow at a lesser rate than sales, which will increase the profit of the business. 


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

Let’s go startup something today.
-----
For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/
For Startups check out: https://tencapital.group/company-landing/
For eGuides check out: https://tencapital.group/education/
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Hello, this is Hall T. Martin with the Startup Funding Espresso -- your daily shot of startup funding and investing.

For later-stage startups with revenue, one can use the financial projections to estimate the company’s valuation for fundraising purposes. 

Discounted cash flows, called the DCF method, values the company based on future cash flow projections. 

This weights the value of the company on future revenues rather than today’s revenues.

The DCF method is purely a financial valuation method and does not take into account other factors such as the team, intellectual property, or sales activities that have not yet been realized with cash flows.

Your financial projections should have the key elements including projected cash flows, a chosen discount factor, and a net present valuation of the free cash flows to generate the DCF valuation.

It’s just one more valuation tool. Predicting cash flows in the future can be difficult given the sales process is not fully in your control.


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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In this episode, Hall welcomes Shawn Singh, Chief Executive Officer & Director at VistaGen Therapeutics, Inc.

Located in South San Francisco, California, known as the “Birthplace of Biotech”, VistaGen Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing new-generation medications for anxiety, depression, and other central nervous system, or “CNS,” diseases and disorders where current treatments are inadequate to address high, unmet needs. Their CNS portfolio includes three differentiated CNS drug candidates, PH94B, PH10, and AV-101, each with a novel mechanism of action, an exceptional safety profile, and therapeutic potential for multiple indications. 

Shawn has over 25 years of experience working with private and public biotechnology, medical device, and pharmaceutical companies, a venture capital firm, and a profitable contract research and development organization (CRO), serving in numerous senior management roles. Prior to joining VistaGen, he served as President of Artemis Neuroscience, and prior to VistaGen’s acquisition of that company, Managing Principal of Cato BioVentures, a healthcare-focused venture capital firm.  

Earlier, Shawn assisted with the IPO of SciClone Pharmaceuticals, a revenue-generating, China-focused specialty pharmaceutical company, and served as its Chief Business Officer before departing to form Cato BioVentures with the founders of Cato Research. He began his career as a corporate finance attorney in the Silicon Valley offices of Morrison & Foerster LLP, with a transaction-focused practice involving both emerging biotechnology and high technology companies. Shawn earned a B.A. degree, with honors, from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. degree from the University of Maryland School of Law. He is a member of the State Bar of California.

Shawn explains this domain in great detail and the work he and his team do, which is focusing on medications that address both neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders. He describes the current standard of care in this industry and how it can be improved. Shawn also shares with Hall a benefit of the COVID-19 pandemic, in that it has helped lessen the stigma attached to mental health illnesses.

You can visit VistaGen Therapeutics at www.vistagen.com/, or via their LinkedIn page at www.linkedin.com/company/vistagen-therapeutics, or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/vistagen.  

Shawn can be contacted via LinkedIn at https://in/shawnsingh/, and via email at ir@vistagen.com or ssingh@vistagen.com.

Direct download: Shawn_Singh_of_VistaGen_Therapeutics_Inc.__guests.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes back Shawn Flynn, Head of Incubation and Managing Director of Business Development at TechCode Accelerator - U.S. Shawn is also the host of The Silicon Valley Podcast.

Located in Sunnyvale, California, TechCode Accelerator - U.S. is a global innovation service operator focusing on helping technology startups scale up, and integrating global innovation resources.

Shawn spent over 4 years living and conducting business in Beijing, China. After successfully founding and growing a profitable education company, he has since moved back to San Francisco to invest his experience, connections, and resources back into the startup ecosystem. He regularly works with incubators, accelerators, angel groups, VCs, local governments, and institutions to promote economic growth. Shawn has helped several companies through his work with TechCode Accelerator and has set up operations in Silicon Valley. He has also set up offices, partnerships, and funding relationships overseas. Shawn is the founder of Silicon Valley Successes a television show that features entrepreneurs and the people that work with them and is the host of The Silicon Valley Podcast where he has interviewed some of the biggest names in tech. He is passionate about building a bridge that connects Silicon Valley and the rest of the world. Shawn lives in San Francisco and practices Brazilian Jujitsu, Salsa Dancing, and has a passion for learning about languages and cultures.

Shawn updates Hall on what he’s been doing since they last spoke. He shares his thoughts on the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare and EdTech, what the future of manufacturing looks like, new opportunities for entrepreneurs, and the multiple facets of the growing cannabis market.

You can visit TechCode Accelerator - U.S. at https://us.techcode.com/

Check out The Silicon Valley Podcast at www.theinvestorspodcast.com/silicon-valley/

Shawn can be contacted via LinkedIn at https://in/shawnpflynn/, via Twitter at https://twitter.com/shawnflynnsv, and via email at shawnpflynn@gmail.com.


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

Your financial statements will generate a wealth of metrics on your business.

Investors want to know these metrics - also called KPIs - which stands for Key Performance Indicators.

You can use the metrics to also manage the business and identify new opportunities for growing your sales and reducing costs.

Metrics also help you focus your efforts on the important things. 

Key metrics for the overall health of the business include sales growth, gross margin, and profitability.

For cash flow, you’ll find burn rate, runway, and fundraise requirements will be useful.

For recurring revenue, businesses measure cost of customer acquisition and track lifetime value of a customer, as well as churn rate. 


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

Let’s go startup something today.
-----
For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/
For Startups check out: https://tencapital.group/company-landing/
For eGuides check out: https://tencapital.group/education/
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For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group

Direct download: EG_July_2020_Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Key_metrics_to_capture.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:31am CDT

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

In preparing your financial projections, you’ll need to account for investments into assets, also called capital expenditures.

These include real estate, intellectual property, equipment, facilities, and buildings. 

Assets also include computers, servers, and office equipment.

Assets are listed separately, as you depreciate the cost over a period of time in the profit and loss statement.

The IRS has specific rules as to how you can depreciate each type of asset so you’ll need to check to see how to list the equipment in your financial projections. 


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

Let’s go startup something today.
-----
For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/
For Startups check out: https://tencapital.group/company-landing/
For eGuides check out: https://tencapital.group/education/
For upcoming Events, check out https://tencapital.group/events/

For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group


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

Working capital is the capital you need to run the daily operations of the business and includes anything that can be converted to cash.  

This includes cash, accounts receivables, and inventory.  

Accounts payable reduces your working capital as you must pay it out each month.

Payment terms and timing of cash inflows and outflows impact your working capital.

There’s typically a delay between the time you build and deliver a product/service and when payment of funds arrive.

As we discussed before, cash is king, and running out of cash can shut down a business. It’s important to know your working capital position at all times.

Working capital is calculated as the number of days your sales and payables are outstanding.  

To calculate your current working capital, take your annual revenue and divide by your payment terms.

Place this on the balance sheet. 

Also include the number of days you hold inventory before using it. 

If your working capital is insufficient, there are numerous financing options to fill the gap.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
-----
For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/
For Startups check out: https://tencapital.group/company-landing/
For eGuides check out: https://tencapital.group/education/
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For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group


In this episode, Hall welcomes Nathan Beckord, Founder & CEO of Foundersuite.

Foundersuite is a collection of tools, wizards, and templates that help startup founders execute more efficiently and effectively. Their goal is to streamline corporate housekeeping, finance, hiring, planning, and investor tasks so persons can focus more on product, sales, and team activities.

Their core product line includes: i) a searchable database of 120k+ investors for building your funnel; ii) a "kanban style"​ CRM for managing your investor pipeline; iii) pitch deck hosting with view tracking; iv) a collection of templates such as pitch decks, models, cap tables, term sheets, etc;  and, v) an Investor Update tool for reporting and relations.

Foundersuite also contains over 80 docs and templates and over 25 deals and discounts on other great products. Since launching in 2016, users have raised over $2 Bln in seed and venture capital.

Prior to starting Foundersuite, Nathan spent ten years working with over 150 startups as interim CFO, Business Developer, and Advisor. Nathan has an MBA in Entrepreneurship, a BSC in Finance, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). In his free time, he enjoys sailing, traveling, and riding motorcycles.

Nathan shares with Hall what excites him, how he sees the industry evolving, and some of the challenges startups and investors face.

You can visit Foundersuite at www.Foundersuite.com.  

Nathan can be reached via LinkedIn at  https://in/nathanbeckord/ and via email at nathan@foundersuite.com.  

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

In this episode, Hall welcomes Ziad Moukheiber, President & CEO of Boston Harbor Angels.

Founded around 2005, Boston Harbor Angels, like a lighthouse, helps entrepreneurs navigate and grow their startup businesses through the treacherous waters of an increasingly competitive environment in our global economy.

Boston Harbor Angels is a group of proven business leaders interested in investing a portion of their assets in high-growth, early-stage companies. Since 2004, they have made investments in companies in medical devices, IT, consumer products, business products, specialty materials, Internet, aviation, etc. They believe they contribute more than money to the companies they fund and welcome the opportunity to work with entrepreneurs who are open to taking advice, yet have the smarts and determination to make their company successful.

Ziad is the President and CEO of Boston Harbor Angels and is also Managing Partner at EQX Fund LLC, an angel and early-stage investment fund based in Boston, Massachusetts, focusing on Life Sciences and IT.

A business leader with over two decades of experience in building scalable organizations and advising companies in sales, marketing, operations, IT, service delivery, and customer service, Ziad founded SilverSword in 1998. He and his team built SilverSword into a leading IT consulting company that provides an outstanding customer service experience for their New England area clients. Silversword was acquired in 2015 by NSK Inc.

Ziad is an active angel investor and is on the board of businesses and nonprofit organizations with a special interest in technology. Ziad is also a mentor with BUILD, a nonprofit organization using entrepreneurship to help at-risk students in the Boston area.

Ziad earned his BA at the American University of Beirut (1992) and his Master's degree at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University (1996). Founded in 1979 as the first graduate education program in alternative media, ITP is internationally recognized as a unique and vital contributor of new ideas and talented individuals to the professional world of multimedia and interactivity.

Ziad speaks with Hall about how he sees the industry evolving for angel groups and angel networks, the biggest challenge he faces, and he shares some beneficial criteria for entrepreneurs. He explains the investment thesis of Boston Harbor Angels and cites some companies which fit their thesis.

You can visit Boston Harbor Angels at www.bostonharborangels.com/.  

Ziad can be reached via LinkedIn at https://in/ziad-henry-moukheiber-5b27b7/ and via email at ziad@bostonharborangels.com

Direct download: Ziad_Moukheiber_of_Boston_Harbor_Angels.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

In today’s show you’ll hear investor perspectives on the COVID-19 impact on the Future of Work.

This is Investor Perspectives, I’m the host of Investor Connect, Hall T Martin, where we connect startups and investors for funding. 

COVID-19 has changed the landscape for startups giving us a new normal. We have joining us today, Mireya Manigault of Foundation LLC/WeDemption, an investor in the future-of-work space talking about the impact.

Mireya is an innovation and brand strategist who is passionate about corporate culture and executive team development. She has helped large organizations, nonprofits and start-ups define their strategic goals and optimize their people, processes and infrastructure for relevancy.

You can visit Foundation LLC at https://bethefoundation.com/ and WeDemption at https://www.wedemption.co/

Mireya can be reached via LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mireyamanigault/ and via Twitter at https://twitter.com/mireyasunshine

For VCs wanting to identify and mitigate cultural risk in their portfolios, they can reach Mireya or her team at contact@bethefoundation.com.  

For angels, would-be angels and those preparing for funding, they can reach Mireya or her team at hello@wedemption.co.

Direct download: IP_July_2020_-_Mireya_Manigault_of_Foundation_LLC__WeDemption.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

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

There are two approaches to financial forecasting for startups.

The first is top-down forecasting.

Top down takes a macro perspective by using the overall market sizes and industry estimates for your type of business. 

The top-down approach uses market share. Market share is divided into three segments:

Total Available Market -- anyone you can sell to.

Serviceable market -- your target market.

Beachhead market -- your initial segment to pursue.

Base your financials as a percent of market share.

Look at similar companies in the space to identify the COGS, gross margin, and operating expenses.

Give yourself three years to ramp to profitability.


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


Let’s go startup something today.
-----
For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/
For Startups check out: https://tencapital.group/company-landing/
For eGuides check out: https://tencapital.group/education/
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For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group

Direct download: EG_July_2020_Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Top_Down_forecasting_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:56pm CDT

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

After completing the financial projections, you may want to create various scenarios of your financial model. 

Startups are often optimistic, while investors are pessimistic.

You may want to create a best-case scenario and a worst-case scenario.

For the worst-case scenario, keep your revenue at the current level or only with small increases.

Check your cash position and runway and adjust the expenses and fundraise plan accordingly.

For the best-case scenario, use the revenue targets you have in mind.

Check your cash position and runway and adjust the expenses and fundraise plan accordingly.

Here are several common errors:

  1. As sales grow, so do sales costs - in particular commissions. Make sure these costs are included with the revenue ramp.
  2. Fundraises typically take longer than expected. For every $1M of funding you seek, it will take you one calendar year to raise it.
  3. Include your working capital needs for your fundraise planning and its impact on cash position.
  4. Founders typically work long hours for little to no pay. This is not true with non-founders. Make sure you include reasonable salaries for the work you expect from others.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.
-----
For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/
For Startups check out: https://tencapital.group/company-landing/
For eGuides check out: https://tencapital.group/education/
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For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group


In this episode, Hall welcomes Chris Willis, Managing Director, Government Advisory & Programme Delivery, and Will Garner, U.S. Immigration Lawyer and Strategic Partner at Latitude Consultancy Limited.

Latitude's team of specialists offers leading insight and expertise to investors who are prepared to make an important economic contribution to gain residency or citizenship privileges in a selected country. They also provide government advisory services, helping nations to create residency and citizenship-by-investment programs that attract this privileged segment of the world population to their shores. Their internationally recognized team have over 100 years of combined experience in the Investment Migration industry. An unrivaled international network of clients and institutional relationships, combined with complementary ancillary services from their global financial services partner, provides a uniquely compelling proposition for their clients.

Chris has been involved in the immigration industry since 1995 and is a member of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC), the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC) and the Investment Migration Council (IMC). His office is the Regional Representative Office (RRO) for the Investment Migration Council in the Caribbean. He is a regular contributor to immigration specific newspapers and magazines as well as a speaker at immigration and industry conferences.

Chris has been educated in the United Kingdom and Canada and has owned and managed immigration firms in London, Montreal and the Caribbean. He is fluent in English and French and is involved in fundraising for philanthropic causes.

Will Garner is a U.S. immigration attorney and strategic partner with Latitude. Will also serves as a senior advisor to Vulpes Investment Management based in Singapore and is a strategic advisor to GreenWing Ventures based in Vancouver, BC.  Will has over ten years of ‘boots on the ground’ experience across Hong Kong, Singapore, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and New Zealand as a lawyer, entrepreneur and business development professional. 

Chris and Will discuss the benefits with Hall of having secondary citizenship, taking into consideration taxes, COVID-19 and the current travel ban to certain countries, the cost involved, the waiting periods, and the criteria that need to be met. 

You can visit Latitude Consultancy Ltd. at www.latitudeworld.com, on their LinkedIn page at https://in/latitude-world/, and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/latitudeworld

Chris can be contacted via LinkedIn at https://in/chrisnwillis/, and via email at christopher.willis@latitudeworld.com.

Will can be contacted via email at will.garner@latitudeworld.com.

Direct download: Chris_Willis__Will_Garner_of_Latitude.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:18pm CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Amrit Robbins of Axiom Exergy. Axiom Exergy's cloud-based platform provides active power management services for buildings with large thermal loads. Today, 60-70% of a typical building's electricity bill is driven by w it consumes power, and 28% of all electricity consumed by US commercial and industrial buildings is used for thermal services ($56 billion/year and growing in the US alone).

Amrit began his career wanting to accelerate the clean-energy future. As an entrepreneur and engineer, he realized that the most promising solutions would be economy-driven rather than policy-driven. Amrit talks in-depth about power management and refrigeration industry, and how it is traditionally a high-volume, low-margin space. He discusses how Axiom has approached this space by essentially putting unused data to good use, using AI techniques. Amrit also talks about some of the challenges Axiom overcame in building into this space. Finally, Amrit highlights how refrigeration technology could be part of the key to mitigating the climate crisis.

Direct download: Amrit_Robbins_of_Axiom.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:26pm CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Geraldo Melzer of A.B.Seed Ventures. A.B.Seed Ventures focuses on investing in startups that seek seed investment, with a SaaS B2B business model. Their proposal goes beyond capital and network. They support entrepreneurs with the best SaaS marketing and sales practices in areas such as inbound marketing, inside sales, channels and customer success.

In this episode, Hall and Geraldo talk about the quickly growing Brazilian market. According to Geraldo, in 2010 the investment was about 10 million dollars and in 2019 was up to 2.5 billion in venture capital. Latin America, specifically Brazil, is waking up for VC investment and the market is maturing.

 

Geraldo also shares his advice to investors before writing their first check. If you have uncertainty around the environment, the sector, the segment, and the business model that the company is working on, your capacity to evaluate, analyze, and help will be minimal. So Geraldo suggests investing in something that you can study. This will help you form educated opinions and mitigate the risk.

Direct download: Geraldo_Melzer_of_A.B.Seed_Ventures.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:40pm CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Gil Hernandez of GXH Capital. GXH Capital is a minority-owned venture capital firm to alter the diversity landscape in tech. They invest in startups with missions that will help the world. Their goal is to invest in diverse founders and founders that are committed to helping the underrepresented.

Hall and Gil speak about his background and what led him to GXH. Gil has an extensive background in finance, and accounting and has worked at both Apple and PwC. This has given him experience working in large corporations and working with start-ups. Gil also shares his advice to investors before writing their first check. According to Gil, the key is diversity. Look beyond your immediate circle because if you only invest in companies with warm intros and first connections you’ll miss out on amazing opportunities.

Direct download: Gil_Hernandez_of_GXH_Capital.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:45pm CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Wenyi Cai of Polymath Ventures. Polymath is a company builder focused on emerging markets, with offices in Mexico City and Bogota. They are specifically interested in sectors experiencing global disruption enabled by technology in an emerging market setting. Wenyi's background gave him experience with emerging markets, and he applies this familiarity to Polymath's approach to startups and investing.

Wenyi discusses the exciting state of venture capital in Latin America, as well as her advice to those wanting to invest in emerging markets. Wenyi also talks about some of the differences and similarities between established and emerging markets. Wenyi points out that, for many industries in emerging markets, there can be numerous problems throughout the value chain. She urges startups in emerging markets to stay focused on their core competencies, and not try to tackle a whole value chain at once. In addition, Wenyi explains venture-studio model, and how it works. Finally, she highlights fin-tech and ecommerce as areas of growth potential in emerging markets.

 

 

Direct download: 01_Wenyi_Cai_of_Polymath_Ventures.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:40pm CDT

Today, we’ll talk about whether you should be raising a Seed+ round.


In startup funding, you raise funding in stages. There’s the seed stage, when you have developed the product to some level and potentially have some users. Startups typically raise $500K to $750K for this round. You don’t want to raise more at this stage if you can help it, as you’ll be giving away too much equity due to your low valuation.


The next raise is the Series A raise, where you typically have an annual revenue run rate of $500K or more. At this point, you can raise $1.5M to $2M - or perhaps more if your growth rate justifies it.


If you find your startup has raised a Seed round but is not quite ready for a Series A, then you may want to consider a Seed+ round. A Seed+ round is essentially another raise at the Seed level, usually with the same terms.


The key to remember here is that each round of fundraising brings dilution, and too much fundraising will become a problem later.


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


Let’s go startup something today!

Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Should_You_Raise_a_Seed_Round.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:34pm CDT

Changing the product, the price or the promotion? Today, we’ll talk about What to do when the investor says no.

In raising funding you’ll hear “no” quite often. There are many reasons why investors do not invest. Sometimes, they are busy with other deals. Other times, they are looking for a deal in another sector or stage.

If they are saying no because they are interested in investing and want to invest in your sector and stage, but not your deal, then what should you do?

There’s an old saying in sales, “No good salesperson takes no for an answer.” Naive salespeople take this the wrong way and basically put their foot in the door till the customer buys something. A better salesperson pursues the opportunity by changing the pitch, the product or the price.

If investors are saying no and it’s not for reasons of timing or a good fit, then you could change the price, which in this case is the terms of the deal. Offer a better valuation, additional warrants, or other incentives.

You can also change the product by improving the business with increased sales, a higher-level team, or a better product.

You could also change the promotion by repositioning the deal from one type of business to another. For example, you could reposition a deal from the EdTech sector to the impact sector.

In summary, don’t take no for an answer but don’t just put your foot in the door and harangue the investor. Give them a better deal to invest in.

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

Let’s go startup something today!

Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_What_to_do_when_the_investor_says_No.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

Your One Key Metric: SaaS businesses

Every startup has one key metric to grow their business to the next level.

For a software as a service business it is the CAC: LTV ratio

CAC standards for Cost of Customer Acquisition and represents the cost of signing up the customer including marketing, sales, and any other related expenses.

Lifetime value and stands for the total amount of revenue from the customer. This is typically calculated by looking at the churn rate which is how many customers are dropping out each month.

The metric compares CAC to LTV.

A base ratio of 1:3 indicates a business model that is successful. In this example for every $1 spent on acquiring the customer the customer is spending $3 on the service.

For venture funded companies the ratio needs to be 1:5 or better

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!

Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Your_One_Key_Metric_for_SaaS_Businesses.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:11pm CDT

Every startup has one key metric to grow their business to the next level.

For consumer product companies selling through retail, the key metric is same-store sales.

You track ongoing sales by units per store each week or month.

This metric tracks your organic growth rate of the product and can range anywhere from 1 to 10% month over month.

If selling online the CAC: LTV ratio applies which is the cost of customer acquisition compared to the lifetime value. This is the same as recurring revenue companies.


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!

Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_One_Key_Metric_--_CPG_Sales.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:43pm CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Vickie Zisman, Owner at Bastet Communication. Vickie is a skilled corporate communications professional. She has led corporate activity in marketing, marcomm, events, as well as investor/partner/international relations. She has worked in corporate PR, digital media & social networks as well as the cross-cultural business environment in the private and non-profit sectors. Her background in marketing and communications has put her in contact with entrepreneurs and eventually led to her making introductions and connections between startups and investors.

Vickie speaks about her experiences with startups and investors and their contrasting points of view. She emphasizes that, for most investors, technology needs to be market-ready, and able to be translated into a solid business. She also highlights the importance of personal chemistry and shared vision between startup and investor, and a healthy partner relationship. Vicki also talks about the characteristics of the Israeli startup market and provides advice for investors looking into that space. Finally, Vickie explains how she achieves the best deals possible between both startups and investors, as well as what she sees as the biggest hurdles affecting today's startups.

Direct download: Vickie_Zisman_of_Bistet_Communications.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:36pm CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Ciarán Hynes, co-founder and Managing Partner at COSIMO Ventures, a deep technology firm specializing in Blockchain. With over ten years of deep tech market experience, Ciarán leverages his extensive network of investors, advisors, government agencies and business leaders throughout the U.S. to bring strategic benefits to these organizations.

In this episode, you’ll learn Ciarán's background before COSIMO Ventures. He has founded over seven companies, was the CEO of five and had several successful exits. In the process, Ciarán met Robert Frascar, and they worked on several startups together. Finding they had instant chemistry and worked well together, they formed COSIMO five years ago. As a reflection of the founders’ entrepreneurial background, COSIMO Ventures looks at companies from an entrepreneurial perspective and brings that knowledge to their portfolio

Direct download: Ciaran_Hynes_of_COSIMO_Ventures_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:39pm CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Manuela de Paula of Babel Ventures. BABEL Ventures is a VC firm based in Silicon Valley that focuses on investing in early-stage startups founded by antifragile entrepreneurs. They focus on innovation and technology, partnering with revolutionary startups.

In this episode, Manuela shares how she got into investing before Babel Ventures. She also shares what she finds most exciting at the moment. According to Manuela early-stage companies and their technology can change the world for good. They’re not only interested in profits. They have a focus on humanity. They're making and building to create solutions to help and to do something big that will improve people's lives.

 

Direct download: Manuela_de_Paula_of_Babel_Ventures.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:34pm CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Bader Alam of CAVU Venture Partners. CAVU Venture Partners is a consumer-focused investment firm founded by operators, that aims to partner with operators in building high-growth and disruptive businesses. They are partners and operators first, investors second. Bader is the Senior Vice President at CAVU and has over 10 years of private equity experience, focusing on growth equity and middle-market transactions primarily in the consumer sector.

In this episode, Bader shares his thoughts on how the consumer product sector is growing and his advice to those wanting to invest in consumer brands. According to Bader, as an investor, the consumer-product space is interesting because you have a product you can touch and feel, and it's very easy to just have an affinity for a product. It's important to base decisions on all factors, though, and not just on the product itself.

Direct download: Bader_Alam_of_CAVU_Venture_Partners.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:25pm CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes David Chaplin of Searchdex. SearchDex is a Dallas based SEO Service and Technology company with over 15 years in the eCommerce solutions space. They believe that every search should produce meaningful outcomes. No other company can identify and solve issues as SearchDex does. Today, businesses need a navigator to drive the best outcomes in this dynamic marketplace.

David has been CEO of SearchDex™, since December 2010. He led the efforts in pivoting SearchDex from a managed services company to a technology platform and solutions company.

Before SearchDex, David served as VP of Advanced SearchTechnologies. This position followed Kroll Ontrack’s acquisition of Engenium Corporation, which David founded in 1998. Dave was responsible for integrating Engenium’s advanced search products (AI based) throughout Kroll’s electronic discovery services business while growing outside sales of the Engenium product group. At Engenium, David grew the company from startup to recognized industry leader, earning multiple industry awards as one of the 100 most important companies in knowledge management and a leader in artificial intelligence solutions in the electronic discovery market.

Direct download: David_Chaplin_of_SearchDex.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:41am CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Dr. Suri Ganeriwala Founder and President of Spectra Quest Inc. Spectra Quest, Inc. is a leading developer and manufacturer of complete Turn-key Systems for training and diagnosis in Machine Vibration Analysis, Rotor Balancing, and Shaft/Coupling Alignment. The system includes Machinery Fault Simulators, Interactive Training Program, Data Acquisition Hardware/ Software, and Accessories. To accelerate the learning and design process SpectraQuest offers a series of interactive software CDs on Vibration Fundamentals and Calculations, Signal Processing, Alignment and Balancing.

Before founding Spectra Quest, Suri's background includes a bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. He has over thirty years of industrial and academic experience in machinery fault diagnosis, signal processing, vibration analysis and control, and viscoelastic material characterization. Suri has worked for Philip Morris, Firestone, and Martin Marietta Aerospace. He has developed a unique method of instruction using the SpectraQuest machinery fault simulator (MFS), which is his creation from concept to completion.

 

 

 

 

Direct download: Suri_Ganeriwala_of_SpectraQuest.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:28am CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Kirk Otis of Merger Partners. Hall and Eric talk about how companies can move their marketing function from a startup stage to a growth stage company. Merger Partners, a mid to lower market Investment bank, focuses on connecting entrepreneurs, business leaders, and management teams with the PE Capital market in order to fund acquisitions and growth initiatives. Kirk has a background in corporate finance at Fortune 100 firms, then 20 years in CorpDev. To date, Kirk has completed 52 transactions, totaling 13.5B, and has done transactions internationally in 10 countries. His deals fill product gaps, acquire customers, gain a position in entirely new markets and open up new market regions.

Direct download: Kirk_Otis_of_Exit_Partners_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:49pm CDT

On this episode, Hall welcomes Jeff Canin of E8 Angels and Element 8 Venture Fund. Element 8 Ventures is focused on entrepreneurial ideation, experimentation, research and education. They are investing in entrepreneurs that are tackling grand challenges, pushing the boundaries of innovation, and disrupting age-old practices, whilst creating new industries to drive socio-economic development.

After joining a large California-based VC firm, Jeff ended up in Bellevue, Washington working as a startup advisor. He then joined as a board member of E8 Angels, focusing on clean tech startups. Jeff gives advice for those looking to invest in the clean tech space and explains where he sees that industry evolving. He also discusses some of the challenges in the space, as well as highlights a few of the subsectors he feels are particularly promising.

Direct download: Jeffrey_Canin_of_Element_8_Venture_Fund.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:17pm CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Namek Zu'bi Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Silicon Badia. Before investing in early-stage companies, Namek has always been fascinated with technology. He moved to the US to pursue a degree in computer science at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh PA and fell into the general tech landscape. He eventually went into financial services and wanted to work with big banks to see how they use tech to solve their big problems including trading technologies. Namek worked at Deutsche Bank on enterprise B2B applications. In 2009, he was introduced to the Co-founder of Clove Hitch Partners and helped launch. Since then, Namek has personally led investments in over 70 different technology companies globally in over 15 different industries across all stages. He has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs and has been involved in every step of the life cycle of a startup from launch to exit.

Direct download: Namek_Zubi_of_Siliconbadia.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:51am CDT

On this episode, Hall welcomes Fran Maier of BabyQuip. BabyQuip is a sharing economy business that helps families pack light and travel happy to hundreds of destinations in the US and Canada. Powered by a trusted community of trained, insured and amazing independent Quality Providers, BabyQuip delivers and sets up clean, quality baby gear at a family’s hotel, vacation rental or private residence. Fran has been involved with internet startups since 1994, with BabyQuip being her fifth foray. You'll hear about how she got into the sharing economy space, what excites her about it, and where she sees the space evolving.

Direct download: Fran_Mair_of_BabyQuip.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30pm CDT

On this episode, Hall welcomes Chris Bystrom of Ruca. Before investing in early-stage companies, Chris has a background running UX design firms in Chicago, Tokyo, and New York. He built large enterprise-grade software for clients and then ran his startup for two years. During that period, he had a chance to see what worked in that space and what did not. Jake wanted to create a different model and founded Ruca, a founder-support system for early-stage capital and advisory. 

 

Direct download: Chris_Bystrom_of_Ruca.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:26pm CDT

On this episode, Hall welcomes Ash Kaluarachchi of StartEd Accelerator. Prior to entering early stage investing in the education technology space, Ash was focusing on helping executives learn from each other. Ash worked with Executive Board in DC, introducing peer groups and best practice research into the corporate learning environment.
Ash explains his advice for those looking to invest in education technology, as well as some of the trends he sees in the space. He also discusses his investment thesis, and how the focus on education technology brings another layer--creating learning outcomes--on top of the typical criteria (team, market, product). Finally, you'll hear about some of the challenges specific to education technology, as well as a few of the immediate opportunities in the space.

Direct download: 210_--_Ash_Kaluarachchi_of_Started_Accelerator.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:02pm CDT

On this episode, Hall welcomes Sajol Ghoshal of Advanced Telesensors. You'll learn about Sajol's beginning before Advanced Telesensors and what led him to where he is today.

Sajol developed his sensor career at Austrian Microsystems (AMS), a sensor company that acquired a startup he worked with called TAOS, Texas Advanced Optical Sensors. In that company, they developed multi-frequency optical sensing, initially just for the ambient light sensors market. However, later they migrated that technology into detecting of heart rate, SpO2, oxidation level in the body. In the process, Sajol learned a lot about wearable applications using optical sensors. This became his starting point in exploring sensor applications in the healthcare industry.

Sajol began his career with Level One Communications. Since then he has been working in startups.He focuses on driving value out of technology to intersect large markets, with $3 billion in total exits. Sajol has learned that you have to move fast while optimizing a design to target a critical market segment. You also have to be nimble enough to make changes so that you can address those market needs quickly.

Direct download: Sajol_Ghoshal_--_Advanced_Telesensors.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:56pm CDT

In this episode, Hall interviews Felipe Luna, CEO of Omniscient. Omniscient is a fintech data analytics and software development firm and developer of the fast-growing Omniscient CRM platform.  Felipe talks about his start in retail financial services and financial advising, and how he moved into the wealth tech space through the development of Omniscient CRM. He explains the focus of wealth tech, the direction the sector is evolving, and how it fits within the broader fintech space.

In addition, Felipe reviews some of the major players in the sector, and where he thinks the best opportunities and returns will be. He also focuses on some of the challenges, from legacy software and databases to cybersecurity. Finally, Felipe and Hall discuss the future of the wealth tech space and some of the transformation we can expect to take place there.

You can find Omniscient at https://omniscientcrm.com/

You can find Felipe on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/felipeluna/

Direct download: 220_--_Felipe_Luna_of_Omniscient.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:57pm CDT

In this episode, Hall is joined by Edward Corona of New York-based FinTech Merchant Accounts, a specialty firm providing the leading payment processing platform for the equity financing and crowdfunding industries. Edward touches on his extensive background in financial services and fintech, before explaining how FinTech Merchant Accounts came into being.

In addition, Edward talks about the current state of crowdfunding, and how crowd direct and blockchain will shape the future of that space. Edward and Hall also discuss some of the regulatory challenges on the horizon, how Reg A has widened the investor pool, and difficulties in managing payment processes. Finally, Edward speaks about some of the sectors he feels are especially promising.

Direct download: 219_--_Edward_Corona_of_FinTech_Group.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:12pm CDT

On this episode, Hall is joined by Dan Conner of St. Louis-based Ascend Venture Capital. Before coming into investing, Dan worked as an engineer, primarily in the oil, biofuel, and wind energy industries. After getting his MBA, Dan ended up in the VC world, in the enterprise sector. According to Dan, he owes his success to 'putting in the legwork', researching thousands of companies to find the select few he likes.

Dan talks about how the enterprise industry is evolving, how traction metrics are being looked at in earlier stages, and how corporate and strategic buyers are becoming more and more selective. Dan also explains his investment thesis, focusing on companies that are unique or approaching their space in a unique way, and provides some examples of the companies he's worked with. In addition, he discusses some of the challenges in the enterprise space, and some of the applications and sectors he thinks are particularly ripe with opportunity.

Direct download: 218_--_Dan_Connor_of_Ascend_Venture_Capital.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:23am CDT

In this episode, Hall is joined by Hélène Thibieroz, founder and senior managing partner of We Grow Green Tech.

We Grow Green Tech focuses on accelerating growth for green technology innovation and impact by partnering with early to late-stage companies.

Hélène has an extensive background in technology. She received her PHD in Electrical Engineering from Toulouse, France. For over 20 years, Hélène worked successively as a research engineer for advanced technologies at Motorola, in Austin. She then switched to large electronic design automation corporations where she evolved into marketing, sales, business strategy and management.

In this episode you’ll learn why Hélène shifted her carrier three years ago to enter the green technology space- she has a passion for the environment and a love of technology. She strongly believes technology can be successfully applied to create impactful practical business solutions while making an impact for our future.


Direct download: 215_--__Helene_Thibieroz__of_WeGrowGreentech_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:27am CDT

In this episode, Hall is joined by Damon Torgerson of Alludo. As the episode begins you’ll learn more about Damon's background prior to Alludo and what led him on the path to education. He began his career in enterprise IT consulting work, with a technical background and worked for Microsoft consulting both educational and Fortune 50 companies. While working with these companies, he and his partner decided to focus exclusively on K12 due to what some called an underserved market. 


Damon shares his thoughts and advice he’d give to investors wanting to jump into education. According to Damon, there's a tremendous amount of opportunity within the ed-tech space, but to be aware that sales cycles are a little bit longer, a little bit slower, so you don't see a fast takeoff. Although slow to start, you also see an opportunity for longer lifetime value, larger lifetime values, so it takes longer to get into education, but you typically can last within education and a lot longer as well.  

 

Hall and Damon also discuss challenges, including regulatory, market, and technology. Damon speaks about his company Alludo and how they fit into the grand scheme of things. 

 

Direct download: 211-_Damon_Torgerson_of_Alpenspruce.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:25pm CDT

On this episode, Hall is joined by James Wang of Creative Ventures. Before early stage investing, James started out at the hedge fund Brightwater Associates. His background in both finance and technology led him to really being able to focus on risk investing. At Creative Ventures, they tend to look at the biggest problems facing the world at the moment and go after those with the same focus. James highlights two risks that you can face when investing in early stage startups. First, there's the execution risk in terms of picking the right team. Second, there are the market risks--if you're trying to go after a market as an early stage investor, you need to look for something that's going to be around for an extended period. As James advises, it is important to have both a problem and a space as a starting point to really have the returns that you're looking for.

 

Hall and James also discuss his unique perspective on investing in the deep technology space, as well as some of the advice he’d give to others wanting to branch out into this space. Creative Ventures makes it a point to research and understand problems and challenges well, and then talk to like-minded startups that tackle those problems. In the deep technology space, James advises that it is important to know whether the technology you're investing in has a real-world market, rather than something that is in a research and development stage that may not pay off for many years. James talks about the current state of investing in deep tech, and how that space is evolving. In addition, James provides some examples of specific technologies, and some of the startups pursuing them, that Creative has invested in. Finally, James discusses how a lack of focus is something to look out for when investing in deep tech.

 

 

Direct download: 207-James.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:04pm CDT

On this episode, Hall is joined by Rodolfo Bellesi of Ikove Capital, a venture development company founded to pursue early-stage investments with an emphasis on technology commercialization in the Midwest. An engineer, Rodolfo actually started his career with real estate development out of Boston. He later returned to his alma mater, Ohio State, where he began investing in university technology.

Rodolfo shares his advice to people just starting to invest in startups. He stresses the importance of the team, and of ensuring each component of the team is focusing on their specialty. You’ll also learn Ikove’s venture development studio and how it works.

Rodolfo also talks about the venture capital industry, and how it has moved to a later stage in the process. In addition, he discusses the challenges of building an ‘ecosystem’ of companies within the venture studio model, and provides some examples of companies that fit particularly well with this model.

Direct download: 206_--_Rodolfo_Bellesi_of_Ikove_Capital.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:56pm CDT

On this episode, Hall is joined by Flavio Lobato of Ikove Capital, a venture development company founded to pursue early-stage investments with an emphasis on technology commercialization in the Midwest. Hailing from Brazil, Flavio started his career in investment banking after graduating business school. He then went to work with Goldman Sachs in the 90’s and then began to focus on alternative investments.

Flavio shares his advice to people just starting to invest in startups. He stresses how crucial due diligence is for the success of having a positive return profile. You’ll also learn his unique perspective on how the industry is evolving. In particular, Flavio points out the disproportionate amount of investing being focused on a few companies., and what this means in terms of early-stage strategy.

Flavio also talks about their venture development methodology, and why they’ve focused on the Midwest region. Finally, Flavio discusses some of the challenges in venture development, as well as a few of the opportunities or sectors he feels are worth exploring.

Direct download: 205_--_Flavio_Labato_of_Ikove_Capital.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:47pm CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Nathan Low of Raanana Ziontech Partners. With a background in semiconductor production, logistics, and manufacturing, Nathan started his angel investing career in Israel, eventually expanding to New York and Silicon Valley. Nathan first discusses the importance of diversification for Angel investors, before diving into his experience as an investing and consulting in Israel. Nathan goes into detail on the investing landscape in Israel, and why investments there often have better valuation.

Direct download: 192_--_Nathan_Low_of_Sunrise_Corp.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:56pm CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Dougal Cameron of Golden Section Ventures. Dougal came to investing through his family, which provided him operational insight into an investor perspective. Dougal talks about how he and Isaac Shi founded Golden Section Ventures and came into the B2B Enterprise SaaS space. Dougal provides advice investors in the B2B Enterprise space. He highlights the need for 'healthy skepticism', finding partners that know the end user market, and resisting the urge to chase investments down round. Finally, Dougal advises investors to seek out founders that are very invested, and that have no way out but to make the deal a success.

Direct download: 198_--_Dougal_Cameron_of_GoldenSectionVentures.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:51pm CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Skyler Fernandes of Venture University. Skyler has an extensive background in venture capital and private equity. Venture University, now over a year old, is a multistage venture fund, primarily focused on the seed and series A stage. Venture University sources deals from several areas, including consumer enterprise, Fintech, blockchain healthcare, and 'frontier tech'. Skyler talks about how Venture University fulfills the increasing need for a scalable funding model. In addition, Venture University is also part 'trade school', a competitive training program with a full-time admissions team for people to get into venture capital and private equity.

Direct download: 196_--_Skyler_Fernandez_of_Venture_University.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:41pm CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Steve Shapiro of eHealth Ventures. Before eHealth, Steve spent years in the cell phone industry before transitioning to a career in consulting and angel investing. He partnered with Israeli-based digital health investor Talor Sax in creating eHealth Ventures, a digital health incubator with a focus on Israeli innovation.

Steve explains how he came to focus on the digital health sector, and why and how Israel has been at the forefront of innovation, particularly in the healthcare space.

Steve goes on to give advice for potential investors in the space. To Steve, and new digital health technology must solve a problem. Secondly, in the healthcare sector, you must understand the sectors unique revenue and payment process. Finally, it is critical to grasp the strict regulatory processes.

In addition, Steve discusses how the health care industry is evolving, and what changes we can expect in the future. For example, Steve highlights the shift from traditional in-person healthcare to a telehealth ecosystem. He also discusses how the healthcare industry is leveraging applied analytics. Finally, Steve discusses eHealth's investment thesis, some of the companies they've funded, and why.

Direct download: 197_-_Steve_Shapiro_of_eHealthVentures.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:05pm CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Jake Moilanen of Seraph Group.

 

As we kick off, Jake talks about what he did prior to investing in early stage startups. A self described geek, Jake started out working in computer programming. After getting out of that space, and getting his MBA, he headed to Silicon Valley and began immersing himself in the startup world, which eventually led to investing.

 

Jake talks about the three advantages you can have as an investor - informational, analytical, and behavioral. He goes on to explain how he sees early stage investing as an opportunity to use all three, and why early stage investing appeals to him.

 

Jake explains how, to succeed in early stage funding, you really need to have an ‘edge’. As he puts it, “if you're going to start out in the area, [the] thing you need to do is go in an area that you know better than someone else.” In addition, Jake highlights the importance of diversification when it comes to early stage investing.

 

Jake discusses where he sees the startup investment world headed, particularly as it pertains to overvaluation. Additionally, Jake talks about some of the challenges of measuring long term risk with startups, and how quant algorithms can help. Finally, Jake highlights some of the sectors he feels are especially promising for investment in the near future.

Direct download: 194-_Jake_Moilanen_of_Seraph_Group.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:15am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Nicole Quinn of Lightspeed Venture Partners. Nicole focuses on early stage consumer technology companies, having invested in companies such as Zola, Rothy’s, Daily Harvest, Dote, Brandable, Girlboss and Goop.

Nicole spent nearly a decade at Morgan Stanley covering the European and US e-commerce, retail and consumer companies. In 2014, she went to Nutmeg, a London-based technology company, and completed a fund raise of $32m in their Series B. She’s passionate about angel investing in healthcare and consumer companies.

Hall and Nicole discuss the state of media investing. Nicole explains that, although some investors are cooling, there is still something there to be had. However, instead of just looking at media as ad revenue, Nicole highlights some of the other avenues that merit a look. Nicole also highlights which sectors in media she believes are gaining momentum and traction, and where she thinks the early wins will occur. In addition, Nicole provides expert advice for investors joining the media sector.



Direct download: 193--_Nicole_Quinn_of_Lightspeed_Venture_Partners_on_Media_Investing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm CDT

In this episode, Hall interviews John Pope and James Walker of WellDog, an energy-focused technical services company that provides practical engineering and business solutions in a high volume, cost effective manner with a remarkable customer focus.

Direct download: 216_--_John_Pope_and_James_Walker_of_WellDog.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:02pm CDT

Hall is joined by Donald Stalter of Global Founders Capital. After graduating from the University of Chicago, Donald started out as an investment banker at Credit Suisse in the MNA group in San Francisco. While there, he handled deals like Google/YouTube and Google/DoubleClick which led to the opportunity to do deals in Brazil and in Europe. This peaked his interest on the international side very early on. Donald then joined a growth fund out of London, a spinoff of Jefferies Investment Bank. In this episode, you’ll also learn about Donald's investment focus on consumer businesses and a little about what he is currently working on. Hall and Donald speak about emerging areas in the blockchain sector, his advice to those investing in the blockchain startup world as well as his views on where he sees it going and evolving.

Direct download: 188_--_Donald_Stalter_of_Global_founders_capital_EDITED.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:58am CDT

In this episode, Hall interviews John Fein of Firebrand Ventures, a Midwest-oriented venture fund focused on seed-stage software startups. John is an experienced entrepreneur and founder, who got into startup investing with Techstars in Kansas City.

Direct download: 182_--_John_Fein_of_Firebrand_Ventures.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:56pm CDT

In this episode, Hall interviews Michael Zavet of Canada-based Hyperion Exchange, a platform for trading tokenized financial instruments using blockchain technology.

Michael and Hall discuss the current state of the crypto market in general, and the cryptocurrency market for real estate applications. Michael talks about some of the current blockchain application investments going on in the real estate space. Michael and Hall go over some of the regulatory hurdles that companies are now facing, and Hyperion's strategies for unlocking secondary markets.

Direct download: 173_--_Michael_Zavel_of_Hyperion_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:13pm CDT

In this episode, Hall welcomes Travis Farese of Real AI. Before founding Real AI, Travis had a previous career in oil and gas services with an engineering and business degree. Travis and partners then founded a services company, which they successfully sold right before the downturn in 2015. That, in turn, led him into commercial real estate.

 

Direct download: 172_--_Travis_Fares_of_Real_AI.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:10am CDT

Hall is joined by Ben Bennett, COO of Omnitude. Ben’s background has always been in the commercial side of businesses - anything from telesales, field sales, product sales, all the way through to more strategic and development roles in business. He eventually launched his own company, a consultancy, which focused on startups, enabling businesses to understand their value proposition and then then take it to market. It was on that journey that he met Chris Painter, future CEO of Omnitude.

Direct download: 171_--_Ben_Bennett_of_Omnitude.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:58am CDT

In this episode, Hall interviews David Mes of Off the Grid Ventures. OTG focuses on early-stage investment in 'off the grid' entrepreneurs – women and foreign founders - specializing in B-to-B technology companies.

Direct download: 163_--_David_Mes_of_OTG_Ventures.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00pm CDT

In this episode, Hall T. Martin is joined by both Michael Gord and Rasheed El-Hindi of MLG Blockchain. MLG Blockchain is a global consulting and development firm that builds solutions using blockchains and smart contract technology. We are headquartered in Toronto and New York City with a decentralized team that provides end-to-end solutions for startups, enterprise and government clients. MLG is a blockchain agnostic firm with expertise that covers all aspects of the ecosystem. Our years of industry experience and international network will accelerate your understanding and implementation of blockchain technology to stay competitive. In this episode, you’ll learn about Michaels and Rasheeds backgrounds before entering the crypto sector and what advice they have for those investing in Crypto startups. They discuss the state of investing in blockchain, how the industry is evolving. Michael and Rasheed also offer their insight on the landscape for investing and how  it has changed in the Blockchain sector.

 

More from this episode:

 

Both Rasheed and Michaels  investment thesis for this sector

How they came to that thesis?

Challenges and Risks

What are the challenges in the blockchain space

They talk  about the risks they see in this space

And the immediate opportunities to pursue

Direct download: 146_--_Michael_Gord_and_Rasheed_ElHindi_of_MLG.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:43am CDT

Hall T. Martin is joined by Daniel Cawrey of Pactum Capital. In this episode, you’ll learn how Daniel got into investing and how he landed in the crypto sector. Daniel has been into cryptocurrency since 2013 and was previously a writer at CoinDesk. Daniel gives his advice on what investors should look for in the crypto and blockchain space as well as what they might expect. In this episode, you'll also learn Daniels thoughts on how the blockchain industry is changing and evolving and where he sees it moving. Hall and Daniel also talk about the state of investing in blockchain, Daniel’s investment thesis and how he got there and immediate opportunities to pursue.

 

A little about Pactum Capital- Pactum Capital is a financial services firm focused on cryptocurrencies. The company offers various services:

  • Over-the-counter trading to help large stakeholders buy, sell or convert cryptocurrency.
  • Risk management utilizing over-the-counter cryptocurrency forward derivatives.
  • Pactum Fund, LP., an arbitrage fund focused on opportunities in the ethereum and bitcoin markets.

About Daniel- Daniel earned his BS in Information Science from Central Michigan University. His background is information science, including work in power systems for Consumers Energy, a public utility providing natural gas and electricity to 6.6 million of Michigan's 10 million residents. Daniel first became involved with blockchain technology in 2013 as Contributing Editor for CoinDesk, the largest information resource for the blockchain and digital currency industry. He also co-wrote the Velocity whitepaper, a decentralized derivatives concept that was prototyped on the Ethereum protocol.  

Direct download: 143_--_Daniel_Cawrey_of_Pactum_Capital.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:47pm CDT

In this episode, Hall T. Martin is joined by James Sowers an Angel Investor, and Co-Host of Exploring the Block. Before James got into early stage investing, he was always interested in buying and selling, even as a child he was self proclaimed hustler. James jumped into investing after he purchased his first Bitcoin in 2013 and then moved into crowd funding. James gives his advice to people who want to jump into the ICO space and what they should keep their eye on. The crypto, blockchain and ICO world is rapidly growing and evolving and James give us his views on its evolution and where he sees it moving. In this episode, you’ll also get James’s take on the challenges in this space,

the risks he sees and immediate opportunities to pursue.

 

 

About James- James is An experienced angel Investor, featured speaker @ MIT Media labs and blockchain strategy advisor. Mentor @ alchemist Accelerator Director @ Greater  Good Society . He is a mentor for CS359B at Stanford University Designing Decentralized Applications on Blockchain. James believes in joining the best founders in projects that are creating the future as we know it .

 

He as been quoted saying:

"The key to redefining a category is to see possibly where others don't".

"Talent is hitting a target no one else can hit

“Genius is hitting a target no one else can see"

Direct download: 142_--_James_Sowers_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:56am CDT

Hall T. Martin is joined by Pedro Anderson of Winding Tree. In this episode, you’ll learn about Pedros background and what he did before Winding Tree, a decentralized distribution platform for the travel industry. Pedro speaks about his first hand experience raising funding and launching an ICO, the groundwork for building the application as well as getting ready for the token raise. Pedro speaks in depth about the process they went through from the start and they challenges, what worked and what didn't. Hall and Pedro also speak about challenges and risks in the crypto space and immediate opportunities to pursue.     

 

A little about Winding Tree- Winding Tree is a non-profit foundation that drives the development of open-source protocols to allow any company, big or small, or even an individual developer, to try them out and integrate with the platform in no time.



About Pedro- Pedro Anderson, Founder and COO of Winding Tree – Pedro is a social entrepreneur, fundraiser and proponent for decentralized systems. Prior to Winding Tree Pedro sold millions of dollars of SaaS products and raised funding for numerous non-profit projects including his foundation to help disadvantaged youth start careers in hospitality. Winding Tree is a non-profit foundation that drives the development of open-source protocols for the travel industry, to allow any company, big or

Direct download: 170_--_Pedro_Anderson_of_Winding_Tree.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:47am CDT

In this episode, Hall T. Martin conducts an interview with Jonathan Heiliger of Vertex Ventures. They kick off the interview learning how Jonathan got into early stage investing as well as what his fund focuses on. In this episode, Jonathan also shares his views on:

 

  • The continued landscape change in enterprise software
  • Outsourcing to the cloud and how it continues to progress
  • Data governance and data privacy is coming to the forefront as witnessed by the launch of GDPR
  • Industry 4.0--digitization across the heavy industries
  • $90B of direct spend on industrial IoT will be spent
  • Blockchain and 3D printers and other technologies will eliminate spare parts and provide them upon demand.


A little about Vertex Venture: They seek founders who want to tackle fundamental challenges. People who identify with a problem or concern that’s kept them up late at night — broken tools, broken lines of communication, broken processes, broken boundaries of trust.

Sometimes this will require new skills; sometimes it will require different processes. Sometimes, it will require a completely new organization.

Whichever of these is necessary is ultimately beside the point, because there is just one result when the solution is in place and the naysayers have bought in to the vision: Things will simply be better.

 

Direct download: 135_--_Jonathan_Heiliger_of_Vertex_Ventures.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:40am CDT

In this episode, Hall interviews Gaurav Chakravorty, co-founder and CIO of qplum, wealth management powered by A.I. Prior to qplum, Gaurav built one of the most profitable high-frequency trading operations at Tower Research Capital. He holds a Bachelor of Technology from IIT Kanpur, India and a Masters in Computer Science from University of Pennsylvania, and is Series 3 and Series 65 certified.

Direct download: 113_--_Gaurav_Chakravorty_of_qplum.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:07am CDT

In this episode, Hall T. Martin conducts an interview with Navroop Sahdev, a Connection Science Fellow at MIT. Navroop works at the cutting edge of the Financial Services industry, vertical technologies (like Blockchain) and Economic theory (drawing upon Innovation, Networks theory and Complex Systems), creating valuable Business Intelligence. Her experience includes scientific research, business development, team building and business strategy. She holds a host of leadership roles in the DLT space, both as a practitioner as well as a researcher, and speaks regularly at FinTech and blockchain conferences. She also serves on the advisory boards of a tech-driven companies, across industries. Hall and Navroop speak about Framework for valuing tokens, Impact of blockchain transparency on valuation as well as Implications of the SEC regulations on token valuations. We welcome Navroop as a guest speaker at our upcoming Emerge ICO Summit.

 

Direct download: 114_-_Navroop_Sahdev_a_Connection_Science_Fellow_at_MIT.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:41pm CDT

In this episode, Hall T. Martin conducts an interview with Andrew Heintzman of InvestEco. InvestEco’s main focus is investing in expansion-stage companies in North America that promote health and sustainability in the food and agricultural sector. Their companies typically have between $1 – 30M in revenue at the time of their initial investment, and they aim to hold their position for about seven years. Their goal is to make a strong financial return for their investors while supporting companies that are contributing to a healthier world. Hall and Andrew talk about how Andrew got started in early stage investing as well as what InvestEco looks for in a startup. Andrew also talks about some of the specific things he looks for when investing, trends in the industry as well as how health and sustainability are driving the trend in equal parts

Direct download: 109_--_Andrew_Heintzman_Of_Invest_Eco_Capital_Corp.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:24pm CDT

In this episode, Hall T. Martin conducts an interview with Isaac Baabs of Handmade Ventures

Handmade is a mobile and software executive advisory and angel investor group that assists great entrepreneurs and new start ups in a co-founding partnership. Handmade helps teams by adding expertise, relationships, and capital from inception through Series A funding and ultimately a liquidity event. Handmade specializes in companies with mobile platforms, systems, and services among the following areas: mobile VR, mobile SaaS, advertising, monetization, Boomers, cyber security, sensors/BTLE, productivity, entertainment, and cloud. Handmade is west coast focused and does a combo executive advisory/angel investing. In this episode you'll learn about Isaacs start in early stage investing, where he began and the journey thus far. They also speak about what Handmade focuses on as well as what they look for when investing in a company or an idea. Isaac also speaks about what he thinks is the next big big thing with mobile and in the ai industry.

Direct download: 108_--_Isaac_Babbs_of_Handmade_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:04pm CDT