Investor Connect Podcast (general)

In this episode, Hall welcomes Braden Barr, seed investor and Board Member at PostitPlayit, and Charles Reinert, Co-founder of PostitPlayit.

Based in Dallas, Texas, PostitPlayit Inc. is a startup offering a first of its kind alternative to fantasy sports and peer-to-peer gaming. With PostitPlayit, users are able to research and pick their favorite teams, set their own spread, and easily invite friends to compete in user-created competitions. As a user, not only can you create your own contests and face off against friends and family but you're also able to open up competitions and compete with all other users. PostItPlayIt takes the thrill of competition to a whole new level of skill, fun, and transparency. 

Braden has over 15 years of experience scaling capital-raising efforts in private equity and venture capital organizations. Most recently, he raised over $200 million in private real estate transactions.

Charles has more than twenty-five years of small business ownership and management experience. As a technology entrepreneur, he is the founding partner of DingMonkey, a nationwide warranty company (2004 - present), EAi Reinsurance, a reinsurance company (2017-present), and Elite Administration & Investment, a real estate and oil and gas investment company (2012-present). Charles has been a leader in five startups, responsible for innovative marketing strategies, business development, and execution of daily operations.

Braden and Charles discuss how they see the industry evolving, some of the challenges in the sector and how PostItPlayIt fits in the landscape.

You can visit PostitPlayit at www.postitplayit.com, and via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/postitplayit-inc

Braden can be contacted via email at braden@postitplayit.com, and via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/braden-barr-166ab6a/.   

Charles can be contacted via email at charles@postitplayit.com, and via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/charlesreinert/. 

Direct download: Braden_Barr__Charles_Reinert_of_PostItPlayIt.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:54am CST

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

In running due diligence it’s important to build a team and bring others into the process. 

A deal lead should take care of gathering the initial documents so the team doesn’t stall out waiting on the startup.

Assign each team member a task and include the instructions for the task.

Make clear that the goal is building a due diligence report.

Set up a timeline for completing the diligence including referrals, document analysis, etc.

Use online tools such as Google docs for sharing the information as the team members will be working remotely in most cases. 

It takes 4 to 8 hours to complete a task.

The overall diligence process takes from 20 to 40 hours of work. 

Set four weeks as a timeframe for completing the diligence. 

Keep the startup apprised of the progress and if there are any open questions. 


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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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 

Music courtesy of Bensound.

Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_-_Managing_the_Deal_Team.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

In today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on the COVID-19 impact on the SaaS sector.

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. Software as a Service is currently undergoing tremendous change across the U.S. The lockdown has disrupted many industries such as travel, hospitality, restaurants, and more. We have investors and startup founders describe the impact of COVID-19 on the SaaS market.

Our guests are:

  1. Matt Oguz, Chief Investment Officer, Iris Family Office and Founding Partner at Venture Science, 00:39
  2. George Spencer, Managing Partner, Seyen Capital, 02:00
  3. Chris Hall, Principal, Escalate Capital Partners, 02:57
  4. Nick Adams, Managing Partner, Differential Ventures,  04:14
  5. Jason Kraus, Partner, EQx Fund, 05:50
  6. Karey Barker, Founding Managing Director, Cross Creek, 09:32
  7. John Gu, Principal-Growth Equity Group, Spring Mountain Capital, 12:59
  8. JD Weinstein, Head, Global VC Practice, Oracle, 14:21
  9. Stuart Kime, Co-Founder, Chief Future Officer, hOp, 15:11

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/ 
For upcoming Events, check out https://tencapital.group/events/   

For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group

Direct download: Show_4_--_The_Impact_of_COVID-19_on_the_SaaS_sector.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:32am CST

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

After the diligence is complete and the open questions answered, the team must decide whether or not to invest.

It’s important to identify the risks and write them out in the report.

The team should articulate an investment thesis that includes the opportunity in the deal such as how big it could become.  

The team should include the potential exit value and how long it will take to reach it. 

The team should also clarify their assumptions around the deal and write it out as well.

To decide to go forward, take the temperature of the team. It’s either heating up or cooling off.

Monitor the company’s progress to see if it continues to demonstrate a growth story.

If enough investors want to move forward, then the investors should pursue it.

If not enough investors want to move forward, then it’s a pass.

It’s important to make a timely decision as the entrepreneur needs to know the group’s position.


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 

Music courtesy of Bensound.

Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_-_Moving_to_Close.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

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

Startups can raise funding even without a lead investor.

In this situation, the startup acts as the lead. Here are three steps to take:

First, the startup must present investor-friendly terms and conditions. There should be no push back on the terms.

Second, the startup must supply a due diligence package already completed. Consider adding a Reps and Warranties contract to the diligence report to show the startup stands behind it.

A Reps and Warranties contract states that the founder stands behind the due diligence provided and there is nothing omitted. It is a legally binding contract.

Third, standardize the investment amount, such as “each investment unit is $25K”.

Removing the various decision points - terms, investment amount, and diligence compiled - takes care of the lead investor’s role.

The drawback to this approach is that there is no one investor who “owns” the fundraise.

The startup most likely won’t get meaningful investor engagement after the check signing, and there will be little support from investors for helping raise the next round of funding. 

If you don’t need those things, then this method is a good way to raise your funding.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/
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 

Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_-_How_the_Startup_can_lead_the_deal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

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

Startups who find an investor expressing interest often stop their fundraise as they believe - or sometimes hope - this will be the one who completes the rest of their raise.

I tell entrepreneurs to continue the fundraise effort until the funds are in the bank account.

I’ve seen deals blow up on the 1-yard line. 

Even if you have an investor committing to the raise, don’t stop your updates to the other investor prospects.

Maintain your fundraise efforts at some level as it takes additional effort to restart your campaign. 

It’s not over ‘til the money is in your bank account.


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 

Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_-_When_to_stop_following_up_with_an_investor.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

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

A startup investment goes through a series of stages.

It starts with the pitch presentation in which the startup introduces the deal to the investors.

Then there’s the first follow-up meeting in which the investors dig into the deal to learn the details.

Investors want to think about it and also want to see the startup continue to make progress.

Then comes the Due Diligence phase in which the investors perform a more rigid review of the startup’s documents, team, and market.

If the terms sheet has been established by other investors, then the investors review those documents. If not, the investor must negotiate the terms including valuation.

Investors then check with their network to see who else may want to invest or put it out to other investors for syndication.

Finally, there’s the closing of the round with the signing of documents.

Not every startup makes it all the way through the process.

Here are some key challenges:

  • When the investors come together to dig into the deal, it must have enough traction and value propositions to maintain the investors’ interest before the investors commit significant time to it. 
  • Some deals stall because the diligence process didn’t continue because the investors were distracted.
  • Some deals stall because the startup and the investors cannot agree on valuation.
  • Finally, some deals stall out or come up with a lower investment amount because investors fell out at the closing stage. 

It’s important to keep the momentum going throughout the process both on the investor side and the startup side.

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

Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Stages_of_the_Deal_Process.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

In today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on COVID-19’s impact on the CPG sector.

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 consumer product goods space is currently undergoing tremendous change across the U.S. The lockdown has disrupted the supply chain, manufacturing, and distribution.  Retail is undergoing a transformation as consumer products move online and the market shifts to functional benefits prioritizing wellness. We have investors and startup founders describe the impact of COVID-19 on the consumer product goods market.

Our guests are:

Ronan McGovern, Founder, Point 5 Brewing, 00:45
Paul Janowitz, CEO & Founder, MANTRA Labs, 04:15
Sarah Foley, Partner, SWAT Equity Partners, 06:40
Richard G Riccardi, CEO, Riccardi Ventures, 10:51 
Cisco Sacasa, Operating Partner, Bee Cave Capital, 16:43

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/ 
For upcoming Events, check out https://tencapital.group/events/   

For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group

Direct download: CPG_Investor_Perspectives_-_Show_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:58am CST

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

I’ve had startups approach me and give me one or two lines about their startup.

When I start to ask questions, they say they can’t tell me anything more without signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement or NDA.

I often find this puzzling, as investors don’t sign NDAs to find out what the startup business is.  

They only sign when they understand the startup business and want to find out more about the proprietary details.

These details include specific clients, their contact information, details behind the intellectual property, in particular trade secrets, and more.

It’s best to have non-confidential information available to share with the investor to educate them about the business at a high level.

It’s best to ask for an NDA when the investor is going into diligence.

Startups should examine their business and tease apart what is general information and what is proprietary.

If the information is already on your website or could be obtained by a customer using your product, then it’s not proprietary.

It’s best to sign NDAs on information that is truly proprietary and only when the investor is interested in pursuing diligence. 


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

Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Signing_NDAs_with_investors.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

In this episode, Hall welcomes R. Adam Smith, Founder & CEO of Big Sky Partners.

Headquartered in New York City, New York, Big Sky Partners collaborates with companies and their brands to develop, grow, and maximize their potential. Through expert advice and extensive networks, Big Sky Partners helps clients to build brands and businesses that are respected, unique, global, profitable, and leave a legacy in today's crowded marketplace.

Big Sky Partners assists clients through brand positioning, executive and board resources, product distribution opportunities, corporate development, strategic partnerships, and capital and M&A affairs. Selective in its collaborations, Big Sky Partners takes a meritocratic approach to client relationships, utilizing traditional client/advisor engagements as well as revenue-sharing and equity upside arrangements.

Adam is an experienced investor, advisor, and builder of tens of startup, venture and private equity-backed companies in the U.S., and abroad, since the mid-1990s. Through private equity partnerships, he has led and/or sponsored since 2002, Adam has invested in over a dozen privately-held companies (including seven acquisitions) with a combined $600 million in sales and over $250 million of contributed equity invested capital, while also forming and serving on the Board of Directors, or Advisory Boards, of each company. 

Adam is the founder and manager of alternative investing holding company, RAS Capital Partners LLC. In 2002, Adam founded Circle Peak Capital LLC, a private investment merchant banking partnership based in NYC which he still manages today and which has served tens of limited partners with over $50 million of invested capital over time. 

To read Adam’s full bio, please click here.

Adam shares with Hall how he sees the industry evolving, what excites him as an investor, and discusses his investment thesis.

You can visit Big Sky Partners at www.bigskypartners.net, and via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/big-sky-partners-llc/.

Adam can be contacted via email at adam@bigskypartners.net, via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/radamsmith/, and via Twitter at https://twitter.com/rasvintage.  

Direct download: Adam_Smith_of_Big_Sky_Partners_LLC.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:33am CST

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

In running a deal follow-up process, you’ll need to create a diligence report.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • Start with a template that lists the required information.
  • Include instructions in the original template for the team members to follow.
  • You may be cycling through many members so you should write out the expectations for each task.
  • Keep the report short and to the point.
  • Build the report as you go and capture information in one place. 
  • The deal lead should edit the final report for readability and consistency. Everyone on the deal team has access to the report so the status is clear and what’s not yet done is obvious. 
  • Capture not only the data but also the deal team’s thoughts and impressions.
  • Store the diligence report in the folder or box account along with the supporting information.
  • Keep a list of all diligence reports for future review.
  • Finally, share the report with the investors interested in joining the deal.

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

Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Diligence_Report.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

In this episode, Hall welcomes Alpesh Patel, part of the Global Entrepreneur Program (GEP) at the Department for International Trade in the UK.

The UK Government’s Department for International Trade has under it the Global Entrepreneur Programme (GEP). In it, Dealmakers are business people who make deals with overseas outstanding tech scale-up companies to land their global HQ in the UK. They help companies with VCs, angels, potential customers, etc. 

Alpesh Patel OBE has represented the United Kingdom since 1999 when the then Prime Minister appointed Alpesh to advise on closer UK/India ties. Thereafter the Department for International Trade made Alpesh their Dealmaker since 2004 to bring outstanding tech companies to the UK, which solve the world’s biggest problems and create jobs here. (www.theeinsteinchallenge.com). Alpesh believes that trade underpins liberty.

An Oxford University Fellow in Business & Industry back in 2001, Alpesh won a competition in Financial Times against fund managers, journalists, analysts, using the investment software he created to forecast UK company performance. The ambition is to publicly list that fintech/edtech company as a disruptor to the global multi-trillion dollar fund management industry, so regular people can benefit from making better stock investments themselves.

Alpesh is a Financial Times author who being a Barrister to pursue investing and educating people on financial literacy for social mobility. As a firm believer in the power of mentoring, Alpesh co-founded the UK chapter of the world's largest entrepreneur mentoring organisation (Tie.org). As a founder of a hedge fund/private equity firm (the hardest easy money to make) – his focus is on cleantech, sustainability, and social impact, not self-enrichment.

Committed to public service, Alpesh uses his Barrister's training and TV presenter skills to raise funds for widows, orphans, under-fed school-children, victims of slavery. Alpesh has served as a Governor of Luton University and Council Member of Chatham House including on their Investment Committee.

Before all that, Alpesh worked in US Congress for Eliot Engel on anti-terrorism and nuclear proliferation. Degrees in Law and Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Oxon). 18 FT, Macmillan published books on global markets and online trading.

Alpesh’s BBC paper review for 10+ years to 300m shows his direct to the point, no nonsense analysis on issues such as technology for social change, and his principal cause, the unfair treatment by fund managers of pensioners and financial literacy: www.alpeshpatel.com/tv

TV presenter with a dedicated show on Bloomberg formerly, then Sky gave Alpesh his own  tech/politics show and CNBC asked him to co-host; and 5 years columnist for Financial Times. Born & raised in Leeds (no silver spoon). Co-Chair Loomba Trust which supports widows and orphans.

Alpesh gives advice to both investors and entrepreneurs. He shares with Hall some of the startups that fit his investment thesis and what excites him. 

For more information on the Global Entrepreneur Program (GEP), please visit https://www.great.gov.uk/international/content/invest/how-to-setup-in-the-uk/global-entrepreneur-program/.   

Alpesh can be contacted by visiting www.tech2great.com, via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/alpeshbpatel/, and via email at alpesh.patel@tradermind.com.

Direct download: Alpesh_Patel_of_Department_for_International_Trade.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:56am CST

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

To pitch an investor, you’ll need a carefully crafted startup story. 

Just any old story won’t do. 

Tell the story in your own words as if you’re talking with a friend at a bar.

Show how the story is relevant to those in the audience, something everyone can relate to.

Keep the story simple. 

It needs to be tight and keep the audience engaged.

Instead of starting at the beginning, start from the first big event whether it be a disaster or a success.  

Show the mistakes you made that others can learn from. 

Talk about your values and those of the company.

Demonstrate authenticity along the way.

Finally, have a message about your company’s brand that you want to communicate and use the story to build up to it.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

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

Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_How_to_craft_a_good_startup_story.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

In today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on the COVID-19 impact on the SaaS sector.

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. Software as a Service is currently undergoing tremendous change across the U.S. The lockdown has disrupted many industries such as travel, hospitality, restaurants, and more. We have investors and startup founders describe the impact of COVID-19 on the SaaS market.

Our guests are:

  1. Matt Oguz, Chief Investment Officer, Iris Family Office and Founding Partner at Venture Science, 0:39
  2. George Spencer, Managing Partner, Seyen Capital, 2:55
  3. Chris Hall, Principal, Escalate Capital Partners, 4:17
  4. Nick Adams, Managing Partner, Differential Ventures, 7:29
  5. Jason Kraus, Partner, EQx Fund, 11:10
  6. Karey Barker, Founding Managing Director, Cross Creek, 14:29
  7. John Gu, Principal-Growth Equity Group, Spring Mountain Capital, 18:05
  8. JD Weinstein, Head, Global VC Practice, Oracle, 20:03
  9. Stuart Kime, Co-Founder, Chief Future Officer, hOp, 20:43

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/ 
For upcoming Events, check out https://tencapital.group/events/   

For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group

Direct download: Show_3_-_What_New_Applications_Within_the_Sector_Will_We_See_Come_Up.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:53am CST

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

There are five key elements to a startup story. Today we’ll talk about the Plot.

After you establish the theme, hero, mission, and obstacle you can start work on your plot.

The plot is a series of events that leads to achieving the mission.

Plots can be set up in several ways and choosing the right model will help make the story more engaging.

You could play the David fighting Goliath, the small startup taking on the big corporation.

You could tell a Rags to Riches story - how a small startup hit upon a big idea.

You can also position it as a quest. Show the entrepreneur’s journey and the lessons learned.

From the story, the investor should see how you, the CEO had an idea that changed the world. 


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.

There are five key elements to a startup story.   

The Mission is the job to be done. 

It’s the goal of the hero both now and beyond the story.

For your startup story focus on what the CEO is trying to accomplish and how he plans to solve it.

Outline how hard the problem is for the customer and how it can be made easier.

Show how the proposed solution will save time and money for the customer. 

Talk about the steps to accomplish the mission. What must be done to bring the solution to the market. 

Finally, show how the product achieves the customer’s desired outcome. 

In telling the startup story, use the mission to set the direction.


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


In this episode, Hall welcomes back Ford Smith, Founder & CEO of Ultranative.

Ultranative is the ultra level of alternative medicine. Ultranative is a cannabis investment firm with over 5 years of industry-specific experience. They are a venture studio focused on transformative healthcare and empower healers and entrepreneurs to innovate, disrupt, and scale in their mission to build a better world.

With over 5 years of cannabis investment experience, Ford has raised and deployed $10M+ into the emerging market. As an early partner to the Eaze delivery platform, Ford has participated in structuring and deploying one of the most robust delivery systems in the California cannabis market. Ford lives in Los Angeles and sits as an advisor to Eaze, Chroma Exchange, Telos, and Ag-Tech. 

Ford shares with Hall how he sees the industry evolving and some of the challenges startups face. He also advises investors and entrepreneurs.

You can visit Ultranative at www.ultranative.com, and via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/ultranative/about/.  

Ford can be contacted via email at ford@ultranative.com, and via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/ford-smith-6b4ba6132/.    

Direct download: Ford_Smith_of_Ultranative.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CST

In today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on the COVID-19 impact on the SaaS sector.

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. Software as a Service is currently undergoing tremendous change across the U.S. The lockdown has disrupted many industries such as travel, hospitality, restaurants, and more. We have investors and startup founders describe the impact of COVID-19 on the SaaS market.

Our guests are:

  1. Matt Oguz, Chief Investment Officer, Iris Family Office and Founding Partner at Venture Science, 00:39
  2. Nick Adams, Managing Partner, Differential Ventures, 04:13
  3. Karey Barker, Founding Managing Director, Cross Creek, 06:56
  4. John Gu, Principal-Growth Equity Group, Spring Mountain Capital, 09:49
  5. JD Weinstein, Head, Global VC Practice, Oracle, 11:15

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

There are five key elements to a startup story.

The hero is the character whose journey the audience cares about the most. 

In a startup fundraise story, this is the CEO.

Most heroes are trusty and likable.  

The audience empathizes with them in some way.

Your story should focus on the hero and not just the product. 

Investors seek to build a relationship with people.

The company takes on the persona of the CEO.  

If the CEO is trustworthy then the company will be considered trustworthy.

In your startup fundraise story, consider how the CEO fills the role of the hero.


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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In this episode, Hall welcomes Harold Lavender, Director of Finance & Business Development at ABQid@CNM Ingenuity.

ABQid, powered by CNM Ingenuity, is devoted to helping high-growth startups access the knowledge, resources, and connections they need to prosper.

ABQid is a curriculum-based, investor-funded accelerator program focused on investor ROI and creating great scalable companies. Their efforts are aimed at supporting entrepreneurs and their programs range from introductory, the "Entrepreneurial Bootcamp"​ - that introduces customer validation methodologies, to the intermediate with the "Idea Hacks"​ based upon game-storming methodologies. They co-host these events with community partners and local entrepreneurial mentors. The ABQid Accelerator is based on Lean Startups methods and helps teams refine their ideas over an intensive 3-month process of mentoring ad customer validation that creates nimble companies with demonstrable success at acquiring customers.

Harold is a member of the New Mexico Bar and spent 34 years as a trader at the Chicago Board of Trade. After returning to New Mexico in 2010, after being Of Counsel to two NM law firms, he joined ABQid, a Lean Startup Accelerator as Director of Finance and Business Development. (ABQid merged with CNM Ingenuity in 2019.) He also serves on the NM State Investment Council.

Harold speaks about the investment thesis of the company and advises both entrepreneurs and investors. He shares with Hall how he sees the industry evolving and some of the challenges companies face. 

You can visit ABQid@CNM Ingenuity at www.abqid.com/, and via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/abqid/

Harold can be contacted via email at hlavender@cnm.edu, and via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/haroldlavender/.   

Direct download: Harold_Lavender_of_ABQidCNM_Ingenuity.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:49pm CST

In today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on the COVID-19 impact on the SaaS sector.

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. Software as a Service is currently undergoing tremendous change across the U.S. The lockdown has disrupted many industries such as travel, hospitality, restaurants, and more. We have investors and startup founders describe the impact of COVID-19 on the SaaS market.

Our guests are:

  1. Matt Oguz, Chief Investment Officer, Iris Family Office and Founding Partner at Venture Science, 0:39
  2. George Spencer, Managing Partner, Seyen Capital, 5:14
  3. Chris Hall, Principal, Escalate Capital Partners, 10:03
  4. Nick Adams, Managing Partner, Differential Ventures, 17:48
  5. Jason Kraus, Partner, EQx Fund, 20:27
  6. Karey Barker, Founding Managing Director, Cross Creek, 25:19
  7. John Gu, Principal-Growth Equity Group, Spring Mountain Capital, 28:24
  8. JD Weinstein, Head, Global VC Practice, Oracle, 29:57
  9. Stuart Kime, Co-Founder, Chief Future Officer, hOp, 32:32

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/
For upcoming Events, check out https://tencapital.group/events/    

For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group

Direct download: Show_1_--_How_COVID-19_accelerated_the_SaaS_sector.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:41am CST

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

Your story is a critical part of your fundraise pitch.

There are five key elements to a startup story.  

The first is your theme or purpose.

This comes from what inspired your startup. There’s something about the world that you want to change so you started the company to fix it.

Next, connect your theme to a universal principle or truth that everyone recognizes. 

Now,  build your story around that theme.

In your story, show how your startup’s mission reflects your core principles and values.

Along the way, avoid common mistakes such as trying to tell the investor how your product works in minute detail. It’s better to focus on the benefits of what your product does rather than the features.

Another mistake is spending time convincing the investor that there is a problem. We all know diabetes, cancer, and other ailments are a problem.


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

Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_5_key_Elements_to_a_Startup--Purpose_Story.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

There are five key elements to a startup story. Today we’ll talk about the obstacle.

The obstacle stands between the hero and the goal.

All good stories have a conflict that must be overcome.  

Obstacles could be competitors, lack of knowledge, regulations, and more.

The obstacle creates tension which holds the audience’s attention and helps them experience the story for themselves.

For your startup story, show the CEO facing the challenge in bringing the product to the market.  Investors will empathize with the plight as they have been there themselves.

Show how the CEO overcomes those challenges as the investors look for grit, determination, and persistence.


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

Direct download: Five_Key_Elements_to_a_Startup_Story_the_Obstacle.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

There are three stories every startup should be able to tell to investors. 

The first is your origin story which tells why you started the business to begin with and how you got to where you are today.  

This story answers the question, “Why are you doing this?” which usually comes from the storyline, “I had a problem. I couldn’t find a solution, so I created my own.” 

The second story is that of your customer and the problem they have.

This story starts with a “day in the life of a customer” and describes what they do, how they work, and what problems they face. The customer has this problem - it costs them this much each year and they are motivated to find a solution. You then drop your product in as the ideal solution.

The third story is the “We can make the world a better place”. 

In this story, you paint a big vision of a bold future where everything is better. 

It follows the “imagine if we had this problem solved and how much better everyone would be.” You then show how your solution gives everyone that better world.

Write out your version for each of these three stories and practice it before talking with an investor.


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.

How does due diligence vary between angels and venture capitalists?

At a high level, the diligence is the same between angels and VCs. They both look for a good team, a strong market, and a quality product. 

At a detailed level, the angels who come in earlier than many VCs will look at a deal differently. 

On the first pass, angels look for product validation and market validation. Does the product work and will someone pay it?  

On the second pass, angels look for a strong team that can take it all the way and a large market that the company can pursue.

VCs on the first pass look for a strong team, initial traction, and a large market. 

VCs on the second pass look for synergies in the team, KPIs that show growth, and scalability into the market. 

It’s important to understand who you are pitching and what they look for. 


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

Let’s go startup something today.
____________________________________

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 today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on the COVID-19 impact on the healthcare 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. Healthcare is currently undergoing tremendous change across the U.S. The lockdown has put the spotlight on the healthcare system as an essential service. We have investors and startup founders describe the impact of COVID-19 on the healthcare market.

Our featured guests are:

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/
For upcoming Events, check out https://tencapital.group/events/    

For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group

Direct download: Show_6_--_Initial_Impact_of_Covid_on_Healthcare.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:32pm CST

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

In talking with startups, I find the investor must always probe for the final answer.

A single question rarely reveals the full answer.

I spoke with a startup recently who said, “We’re raising a million dollars and we have raised half of it already.”

On the surface, it sounded like they had $500K invested in the business.

So I asked, “That’s great. You have $500K in the bank already from your raise?” to which they responded, “Well not exactly. We have several investors telling us they are interested in investing.”

After four more questions, it came out that they had $100K in the bank and around $300K in soft-circled commitments.  

It’s good progress, but not exactly the half a million we heard at the beginning.

Never take the first statement as the final answer. 

It takes at least 5 questions to get down to the real answer, and as an investor, you want to know the real answer.


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: 2019-08-26_--_Five_Questions_to_reach_the_answer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

In this episode, Hall welcomes Anne Glover, Chief Executive and Co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners.

Amadeus Capital Partners is a global technology investor. Since 1997, the firm has backed more than 130 companies and raised over $1bn for investment. They invest in consumer services, financial technology, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, medical technology, digital health, and digital media.

Anne has been an active venture capitalist for 30 years. A former Chairman of the BVCA and of Invest Europe, Anne is a member of the London Business School’s Private Equity Institute Advisory Board, is a Non-Executive Director of the Court of the Bank of England, and a member of the Investment Committee of Yale Corporation. Anne holds an MA from Clare College, Cambridge, and an MPPM from Yale School of Management. She was awarded a CBE for services to business and is an honorary fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Anne shares with Hall how she sees the industry evolving and some of the challenges companies face. She speaks about the investment thesis of the company and advises both entrepreneurs and investors.

You can visit Amadeus Capital Partners at www.amadeuscapital.com, and via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/amadeus-capital-partners-limited/about/.

Anne can be contacted via email at aglover@amadeuscapital.com, and via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/anglover/.    

Direct download: Anne_Glover_of_Amadeus_Capital_Partners.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

After an investor expresses interest in funding your deal, the first question to ask is, “What is your diligence process?”

While most diligence processes follow the same format of document review and analysis with follow-up questions, each investor has their own start time, timeframe of work, and specific documents they look for.

It’s best to ask for their process and then follow along with it.

Having a due diligence box with the standard documents helps a great deal. It shows you are prepared and there are usually only minor additions you need to make for each investor.

It’s helpful to make contact with the associate or analyst who will be doing the detailed work and have a direct line of communication with them. 

In some cases, if you build a rapport you may have the option of contacting them directly for progress status and updates.

Position your calls as opportunities to answer questions and help the associate find specific pieces of information.

If the investor does not have a specific process, then presenting the due diligence box should be enough.  

For new investors who are not sure what to do, you can offer to walk them through the diligence document by showing them all the relevant information.

The investors are busy and can get drawn away by other deals so it’s important to be timely with the follow-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_--_Going_through_due_diligence.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

In raising funding just as in running your business, investors look to see if you own it.

Do you own the challenging problems, or do you avoid them?

Do you own the core business, or do you delegate it to someone else?

Do you abide by the contracts you sign, or do you try and duck out when it goes against you?

Investors are looking at how you run your business to see if you own it.

So, in the fundraise, do you own the numbers?

Do you own the investor relationship?

Do you own the results you show them after the fundraise?

To raise funding now and succeed in business later, you must own it.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Own_it.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

In this episode, Hall welcomes Bob Morse, Founding Managing Partner at Strattam Capital.

Strattam Capital invests in founder-led independent B2B software and technology companies outside of Silicon Valley. They believe in aligning with founders and CEOs before signing, via their 5-Point Plan process to allow execution with purpose, excitement, and efficiency. Headquartered in Austin, TX, with roots in Silicon Valley, they connect companies with the people, process, and scale needed to reach their potential.

Bob founded Strattam Capital in 2013 along with Adrian Polak. Previously, Bob was a Partner at Oak Hill Capital Partners, where he led the Technology Vertical and was a member of the Investment Committee. From 1995 to 1999, he worked at GCC Investments, a growth private equity firm based in Boston. Before GCC, he worked at Morgan Stanley Capital Partners. He has served on numerous private and public boards over time and is currently a director of Acendre, Contegix, Rock Solid Technologies, SSB Data, and Trax Group. His former directorships include Doxim, Intermedia, MHC Software, Telecity Group, and ViaWest. Bob is also a member of the Advisory Board of the HMTF Center for Private Equity at McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, and a Board Member at Austin PBS, producer of Austin City Limits.

Bob attended Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude with a B.S.E., and Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he earned his M.B.A. and was an Arjay Miller Scholar.

Bob discusses with Hall how he sees the industry evolving and some of the challenges companies face. He speaks about the investment thesis of the company and advises both entrepreneurs and investors.

You can visit Strattam Capital at www.strattam.com, via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/strattam-capital-llc/, and via Twitter at www.twitter.com/strattamcapital.  

Bob can be contacted via email at rmorse@strattam.com.  

Direct download: 460_-_Bob_Morse_of_Strattam_Capital.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:41am CST

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

In launching your startup, look for a trigger that indicates when to start a fundraise campaign.

Common triggers include:

  • Closing a lighthouse customer account or achieving a revenue target.
  • Signing up a new team member or advisor.
  • Finishing a beta version of your software or an MVP version of your product.
  • Closing funding from a lead investor.

In short, investors look at sales, team, product, and fundraise as the four core areas for progress.

When you achieve a milestone in one or more of these areas, then it’s a trigger to consider launching a fundraise campaign.

In approaching an investor you should have a milestone completed AND a milestone to accomplish with the funds to be raised. 


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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Whats_your_trigger_for_fundraising.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

In pitching your deal to an investor, it helps to know your investor first.

What type of investor are they -- angel, family office, high net worth, or venture capital?

What is their investment thesis?  Are they swinging for the fences, or do they want to make a series of doubles and triples?

In your pitch, emphasize the return that is appropriate for that investor.

Have they invested in startups before? What deals have they done? Were they the same or different from your deal?

In your pitch, explain how your deal compares to other deals if they have experience.

How much do they know about your market or application?

In your pitch, spend time describing the market and how your product fits into the landscape.

What angle would be best for this investor? Should you focus on the market, the traction, or some other factor?

The best way to pitch an investor is to know something about them and adjust your pitch accordingly.

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 

Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_How_to_pitch_the_deal_to_the_investor.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

In this episode, Hall welcomes Bryan Hancock, Founder of RealStarter.

Founded in 2014, RealStarter is a real estate crowdfunding platform focused on Texas-based projects, but open to investors all over the U.S. 

Bryan has participated in real estate ventures for over 14 years, including 7 years as a developer of over 50 Austin urban infill projects with Inner 10 Development. Bryan's track record includes owning and operating apartment complexes, real estate coaching companies, and a portfolio of single-family homes.  Over the course of Bryan's career, he has generated approximately 30% return on equity to limited partners for projects he has managed on about $25M in sales. Bryan has been a guest speaker at over 20 events nationally including IMN, family office conferences, angel events, and apartment meetups.  

Bryan obtained his MBA from Texas Christian University in 2005 and a Bachelor Of Science in Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin in 2002. In addition to Bryan's real estate endeavors, he is the founder of RealStarter, a Funding as a Service (FaaS) company for real estate sponsors, and is a former member of The Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN).  Bryan has also worked in a leadership capacity at many technology companies including IBM, Lockheed Martin, Dell, CACI, and Charles Schwab.

Bryan shares with Hall how he started working in this industry and how he sees it evolving. He advises investors and discusses some of the challenges startups face.

You can visit RealStarter at www.realstarter.io, and via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/realstarter/

Bryan can be contacted via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/bryanhancock/, and via email at bryan.hancock@realstarter.io.  

Direct download: Bryan_Hancock_of_RealStarter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:47pm CST

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

In raising funding, the challenge for each round of the raise is different. 

At the seed round, the challenge is to convince the investor you can sell the product.

At this stage, investors look for evidence that you can build and sell the product to customers.  Customer interactions are important because it demonstrates to investors you are already in discussions learning about the customer’s needs.

It’s helpful to have a list of twenty such customers and highlight your interactions with them and show your plan to build the product and close them.

At the Series A round, you must convince the investor you can grow the business.

At this stage, investors look for evidence that you have systems in place for growing sales and building products. They look for processes that create a repeatable, predictable outcome. For example, your customer acquisition process shows a consistent conversion rate.

At the Series B round, you must convince the investor you can scale the business.

At this stage, investors look to see you are now working on programs and processes that take your customer acquisition, sales, and product building to a new level. 


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 


In today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on the COVID-19 impact on the healthcare 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. Healthcare is currently undergoing tremendous change across the U.S. The lockdown has put the spotlight on the healthcare system as an essential service. We have investors and startup founders describe the impact of COVID-19 on the healthcare market.

Our featured guests are:

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/ 
For upcoming Events, check out https://tencapital.group/events/    

For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group

Direct download: Show_4_--_Impact_of_Covid_on_the_Healthcare_Market.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:39pm CST

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

Negotiating the valuation of a startup between the CEO and the investors is a major step in funding.

An equity terms sheet requires coming to an agreement on the valuation which determines how much ownership is given to the investor.

Both startup and investor must now ‘climb the valuation wall.’

Be prepared for the ensuing negotiation and the back and forth.

It can be difficult to assign values when there is no product or revenue. 

One solution to this situation is to delay setting the valuation until you have the right investor AND the right time.

Switch to a convertible note -- a debt instrument that converts to equity later.  Because it’s in debt form, there’s no valuation.

Later when there’s a team in place, a product built, and a revenue stream defined, it will be much easier to negotiate the valuation.

Don’t put the valuation negotiation on the first step as it’s high a wall to climb.


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  

Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Climbing_the_Valuation_Wall.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

Humility plays an important role in your fundraise.

Startups demonstrating arrogance and hubris are discounted quickly by investors. It’s not only a sign of disrespect but also a sign of disregard for the future. Who knows what tomorrow will bring and who you will need?

Both startups and investors need to keep the community in mind.

The startup community is well-connected, so word DOES get around about how you treat others.

Humility is a form of empathy for others.

It’s an important part of fostering the startup community.


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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Humility.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

I talk with entrepreneurs every day about their fundraise. The most common question from the early-stage startup is, “Am I fundable?”

The first question to ask is, “Do you have a growth story?” Are things clicking forward on sales, team, and product development?

I believe the prospective customer should be involved at every step and not just the last one in buying the product. 

The customer should be in there talking about the problem they need solved. They should be guiding the product development at some level.

In every investor discussion, you should talk about the customers you are engaging and their interactions with your idea or product - even in the beta phase.

You should also have a core team. In the very early stages, someone is building it and someone is selling it. No fair, you’re both building it and no one is selling it.

If you can answer those questions with substance, then you are in the game to consider funding. 

It doesn’t matter where you are on the journey, you just need to show you are making consistent and meaningful progress.


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 

Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Are_you_fundable_yet.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

In meeting with a prospective investor, come prepared to discuss the following:

  1. Sales -- ALWAYS have something to say about customer interactions. Even at the pre-revenue stage, talk about prospective customers and their reaction to your product idea. If you have existing customers, talk about the value those customers receive from your product.
  2. Team -- talk about your team and how they are closing sales, generating leads, building product, and in general, how great they are.
  3. Product -- talk about the ROI the customer is receiving from the product. Don’t talk about how the product works in minute detail. Stay at the benefits level.
  4. Fundraise -- talk about how other investors are interested and demonstrate your fundraise traction.

If you’re not ready to raise funding, then use the following:

“I’m not raising funding now, but in six months I will launch a fundraise. Here are my results so far. May I keep you informed of our progress?”

Also, ask questions of the investor such as:

What do they invest in?
What can they do for their investments beyond the check writing?
What advice do they have for you based on what they see so far?Who else do they recommend you talk to?

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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_How_to_prepare_for_an_investor_meeting.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

In startup fundraising, there’s money and then there’s smart money.

Smart money is an investor that can help your business beyond the dollars applied.

A few questions will help identify smart money:

1. Can the investor help you in your specific industry segment?
2. Can the investor help you find additional funding?
3. Can the investor help you build your team?
4. Can the investor fill in domain knowledge?

To find smart money, first look for investors who can help you, and secondly, can they provide funding?


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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Smart_Money.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

In the movie The Godfather, Marlon Brando plays Don Corleon, the leader of the Corleon family.

At one point someone asks him why he made a certain decision.

The Godfather replied, “Everything is personal.”

In fundraising, ‘everything is personal.’

You must build a relationship with the investor.

Yes, there’s the pitch followed by questions.

Yes, there are the negotiations on valuation.

Yes, there’s the diligence that must be done, but in the end, a startup investment is based on a relationship.

You must have that to gain the investment.

Everything is personal.


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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_The_Godfathers_Advice_for_Fundraising.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

In closing an investor, you’ll need to provide basic documents about the business to prospective investors for their due diligence. 

There are several key documents you need for your diligence box or what some call a data room.

These include:

  • Income statements, balance sheets, cash flows, with assumptions outlined - this shows the current financial status of the business.
  • Discussion of distribution channels as the investor wants to know how you’ll distribute the product.
  • Historical and projected headcount by function and location which is the plan for hiring.
  • Summary biographies of senior management - who is currently on the team.
  • Entity fillings - are you an LLC or C-Corp?
  • List of material patents, copyrights, licenses, and trademarks - which is a summary of the intellectual property.
  • Cap Table - who are the current owners of the stock?
  • Three to five-year financial projections - what is your planned use of funds and projected outcome?

It’s best to gather these documents into one place before you launch your fundraise.


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.

Pitching a startup with complex technology or product can be challenging. This is especially important for those in the healthcare space explaining a new technology to those outside of healthcare.

So how do you describe the complex to the novice in a fundraise pitch?

Know your audience. In general, most investors are savvy business people who are up on current events but not specialists in your particular field.

Choose the core thing they should understand. Identify the core value proposition you have and focus on explaining the benefits of that technology and not how it works.

Give context to the problem with examples - describe the problem the technology solves, again focusing on the benefits and not how it works.

Use metaphors, examples, and analogies. Pick one analogy and use it to characterize what the technology does.

Use simple everyday language and not jargon. Avoid using acronyms as most of the investors may not be familiar with it.

In your pitch deck, use images to show the product/solution.

Try describing your product/solution in 5 words or less.

In conclusion, focus on the benefits of your solution and not how it works.

 

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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_how_to_pitch_a_complex_idea.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

In this episode, Hall welcomes Larry Uhl, a Vice Chairman of the Pasadena Angels.

The Pasadena Angels were founded in 2000 and are one of the longest-running angel investing groups in Southern California. Their mission is to create a unique investment community of successful business and professional leaders helping to identify promising start-up ventures and providing the capital and counsel necessary for success. The Pasadena Angels have invested more than $75 million dollars of early-stage capital in 195 companies in Southern California and their investments range from $100K up to $1.5 M in early-stage and seed funding. Additionally, they partner with a network of venture capital firms and angel investment groups through syndication to help support companies seeking $1M or more in funding.

Larry is a Vice Chairman of the Pasadena Angels and the Co-Chairman of the Outreach/Deal Sourcing Committee. He started his career in investment banking and was the Managing Director for Merrill Lynch, responsible for coverage of financial institutions in the Western United States. Larry spent 17 years working on numerous debt, equity, and merger and acquisition transactions. He transitioned to the private client group of Merrill Lynch in 1994 and UBS Financial in 1999. At UBS, he managed accounts aggregating over $500 million until his recent retirement.  

Larry began investing in startup enterprises in 2014, primarily through the Pasadena Angels. His portfolio of 40 plus companies spans a variety of industries from biotech, fintech and esports to clean technology. He has been the lead investor in over 10 investments resulting in $2M+ in funding. Larry is also an investor in the Cove II Fund, which invests in the burgeoning Southern California technology sector. He recently joined Tech Coast Angels Orange County as a virtual member and invested in their current fund.  He has also applied to be an investor in the new Wavemaker 360 fund.  

In his role with the Outreach/Deal Sourcing Committee, Larry actively engages and builds on the Pasadena Angels’ relationships with angel investors, accelerators, and early-stage VCs. These relationships provide syndication opportunities that can increase the funds raised by Pasadena Angels’ portfolio companies and provide capital and partnerships for follow-on funding.

Larry is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School.

Larry shares with Hall how he sees the industry evolving and what his biggest challenge has been. He discusses the investment thesis of the group and speaks about some of their portfolio companies. 

You can visit the Pasadena Angels at www.pasadenaangels.com/, via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/pasadena-angels, and via Twitter at www.twitter.com/pasadenaangels.  

Larry can be contacted via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/larry-uhl-baa80099/, and via email at leuhl1@gmail.com

Direct download: Larry_Uhl_of_Pasadena_Angels.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:17am CST

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

There’s an old saying:

If you tell me, it’s an essay. If you show me, it’s a story.

In raising funding you have to show, not just tell.

Forecasting alone doesn’t close the round. You must demonstrate progress towards it.

Never show up to an investor meeting or call without something new in hand to show your growth story.

Always talk about a customer and their engagement with your product or team.

Show how the team is making things happen.

Show how other investors are interested in committing funds.

Show how the product is working and what it is doing for the customer today.

In fundraising, it’s show, not tell.


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 

Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Its_show_not_tell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

I’m often asked how long it will take to raise a round of funding. 

It will take you one calendar year for every million dollars you are raising, that’s if you are working on it full-time. If you are part-time, then it will take longer.

You’ll need approximately two months to prepare for the raise. This includes preparing the company, the investor documents, and the initial investor list.

It takes another 2-3 months to engage investors and bring them up to speed on your deal. They’ll want to monitor it for a few months to see the traction in motion.

Then it takes a month to close.

After you close those investors, you’ll need to find another round of investors and repeat the process. 

For a million-dollar raise, you’ll need to do this three times on average.

Some companies don’t need all their funding in one go as most are based on recurring revenue and have the option of growing incrementally so they can raise funding the same way.


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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_how_long_will_it_take_to_raise_funding.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

In a follow-up to our recent episode featuring Optios’ CEO David Bach, M.D., today Hall welcomes both David and Paul Sajda, Ph.D. professor at Columbia University to discuss the science behind Optios.

Optios is a leader in the rapidly-emerging neuro-­performance industry. Based on more than a decade of work at DARPA, hundreds-of-millions of dollars of proprietary research, and close partnerships with the world’s most elite organizations, Optios’ guiding mission is to build an intellectual framework and platform that supports the next phase in human development. Neuroscience is the next frontier in management. Optimizing leaders’ brains will soon be a critical source of competitive advantage in the business world.

David Bach, M.D. is a Harvard-trained scientist. Prior to founding Optios, David was a serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist, management consultant, scientist, physician, martial artist, and professional cellist. As an entrepreneur, he founded and built three prior companies: Touchstone Health, Empyrean Benefit Solutions, and Leprechaun HCC Management. Each of these became a $200M+ enterprise. His venture capital experience was with TA Associates in Boston. 

After spending a decade maximizing his physical and mental performance, David created Optios to bring scientific rigor to, and create commercial applications in, the rapidly-expanding arena of applied neuroscience.

David attended Harvard College and Harvard Medical School. His scientific training was at The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Paul Sajda, Ph.D. is a Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Radiology at Columbia University and Director of the Laboratory for Intelligent Imaging and Neural Computing. Prior to joining the faculty at Columbia, Paul was the head of Image and Signal Processing at Sarnoff Corporation in Princeton, NJ. His areas of expertise include computational and experimental neuroscience, neuroimaging, neural engineering, and computational modeling. He has received numerous awards for his research, including an NSF CAREER Award, and has been elected a Fellow of the IEEE, a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers (AIMBE), and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

You can visit Optios at www.optios.com.   

David can be contacted via email at david@optios.com and Paul can be contacted via email at pauls@optios.com

Direct download: Behind_the_Science_-_Optios_sector_review.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:57am CST

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

Raising a fund is hard.  Aside from sales, this is one of the hardest things to do in a startup.

Here are a few points to remember in your fundraise:

  • Build relationships first and find investors second.
  • Divide your raise into tranches and give yourself a reasonable timeline for each tranche.
  • Investors will critique the business. Consider your business as an operational machine with the investor showing how to make it better. 
  • Perform as much diligence on the investor as they are performing on you.
  • Investors follow a common funding strategy and will run in a herd-like manner. Get a sense of which way it is going with your deal and adjust your approach.
  • Just as you tailor the sale to the customer, so tailor your pitch to the investor. For example, do they appreciate impact deals? Do they want to see strong traction? -- adjust accordingly.
  • Start meetings with those you know and can give you real feedback as this will be useful later with other investors.
  • If your deal is complex or in an unknown sector, then use analogies to help them understand the value of your deal.

It’s a process -- for every 10 prospects you’ll get 8 “Nos”, 1 maybe, and eventually 1 “Yes”.

Keep going ‘til the money is in the bank.  


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  

Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Raising_funding_is_hard.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

If you are pitching to a close friend or family member, you can use an informal approach to ask them for money.

Explain what your startup does in just a sentence or two, and tell the story of how you came up with the idea. Keep it brief.

Describe how your product or service works.

Show how the product or service solves a real problem.

If you have already tested your product or service with initial customers, discuss the details of your startup story by sharing actual customer feedback.

Recount your estimates for how many of these ideal customers exist and how you can reach them.

The more milestones and customer validations you can talk about, the better the pitch will go. 

You want to show the business is beyond the idea stage.

Finish your pitch with some simple estimates of sales revenue, costs, and ongoing expenses needed to run 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/
F
or 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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_how_to_pitch_to_family_friends.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

In this episode, Hall welcomes Kevin Keck, President of J.J. Pfister Distilling Company.

With its headquarters in Sacramento, California, J. J. Pfister is a fast-growing premium craft spirit producer in Sacramento that produces top-quality spirits. The company has been well established and has incredibly effective sales and marketing strategies.

The J.J. Pfister story spans more than 150 years, beginning with a humble knitting company. The J.J. Pfister logo, a combination of a knitting machine and a copper still, marries their past, present, and future as they carry on the tradition of excellence started by J.J. Pfister in the late 1800s. Their master distiller holds two degrees in chemistry and a Master’s degree in Viticulture and Enology from UC Davis, the premier program for winemaking. 

The craft spirit space is booming, mirroring the success of craft breweries as consumers seek a more individualized tasting experience. Currently, craft spirits represent a $2.7B market in the U.S. — and the market is slated to grow explosively to $20B by 2023. J.J. Pfister is uniquely positioned for success in this market as the ONLY craft spirit producer in the Greater Sacramento area. 

Kevin has 10 years of experience in the C Suite of two different billion-dollar companies. His leadership transformed one from money-losing to healthy margins. He has degrees in engineering and managed the creation of the distillery from idea to operations in 2 years. He is a Pfister and has the same entrepreneurial zest as his great grandfather, J.J. Pfister.

In this interview, Kevin shares with Hall the company's history, which spans over 170 years. He also discusses the growth rate and some of the challenges in the sector.

You can visit J.J. Pfister Distilling Company at www.jjpfister.com, and via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/jj-pfister-distilling-company-llc/about/.    

Kevin can be contacted via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/kevin-keck-b280611a6/, and via email at kevin.keck@jjpfister.com

Direct download: Kevin_Keck_of_JJ_Pfister_Distilling_Company.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

I often see CFOs and board members give the investor pitch instead of the CEO. In an emergency this is okay, but by and large, the CEO should be giving the pitch.

The investors want to size up the CEO and know who is running the business.

I find the CEO stand-ins can deliver the information, but they rarely close the deal.  

As a CEO, you need to give the pitch and deliver the vision with a compelling narrative.  

You need to know your numbers well and how the business model works.

In short, you need to be able to answer all the questions AND sell it.

You can get help from others to build the financial model and put a good design on the pitch deck. 

Team members can also help with identifying investors, developing key metrics, and other support functions. 

But ultimately, there’s no one like the CEO to pitch investors as that is what it will take to close the 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/ 
For upcoming Events, check out https://tencapital.group/events/ 

For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group  

Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_The_CEO_Should_Pitch_the_Investor.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

In pitching an investor, the key presenter is the CEO.  

While board members, CFOs, and others can make the pitch, that’s a second-best choice.

The investor wants to meet the CEO and size them up for their communication skills, passion for the project, and expertise in the domain.

An in-person meeting is a must for most venture investments outside of crowdfunding.

It’s important to bring the CEO and maybe one other person from the team to the pitch.

Do not bring the entire team, this is a distraction that will dilute your efforts. 

The presence of the team leads the investors to wonder about the CEO.

If the team is simply present in the room but not actively engaged, it distracts the investors and undersells the team’s abilities.

In the due diligence phase, the investor will meet the team and more importantly engage with each one to understand better their contribution to the company.


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


Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/
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  


In this episode, Hall welcomes Adam Weiler, CEO of Sunken Stone.

Headquartered in San Diego, California, Sunken Stone is a turnkey performance-based Amazon marketing solution that handles everything from marketing, to brand launch, content, inventory, and customer service on the platform. 

Sunken Stone’s proven four-pillar process gives sellers the ability to dramatically increase sales and ROI without adding to their workload. Since opening their doors in 2017, Sunken Stone has helped more than 100 7-8 figure brands generate over $100M in sales.

When it comes to Amazon, Adam gets it. He’s always been an entrepreneur and marketer, but it was about 12 years ago when he jumped headfirst into the Amazon game. Since that time, the accomplishments and milestones have piled up. Today his company, Sunken Stone, is a Top-500 Amazon seller, has shipped over 2 million orders on the platform, and now helps over 80 brands successfully grow and scale their business by using the Amazon sales channel.

Adam received both his Bachelor’s in Political Science and MBA from San Diego State University and still volunteers at the University’s Lavin Entrepreneurship Center to help young entrepreneurs launch their ideas and businesses.

When he’s not helping companies expand on Amazon, there’s a good chance you’ll find him at a local coffee shop (pre-COVID), cooking up a favorite dish at home, or hanging with his family at the numerous Seattle dog parks. Unless of course, it’s football season. Then you’ll find him meticulously tracking his Jets and fantasy football team(s)!

In this interview, Adam explains what led him to start working in this sector. He shares his thoughts on how he sees the industry evolving and advises investors in the space.

You can visit Sunken Stone at www.sunkenstone.com.

Adam can be contacted via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/adamweiler1/, and via email at adam@sunkenstone.com.

Direct download: Adam_Weiler_of_Sunken_Stone.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:37pm CST

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

Most of the work in a standard board meeting are perfunctory duties such as approving minutes and reviewing financials and metrics.

The board also weighs in on key decisions around fundraising, strategy, and other topics.

Board members will discuss whatever you put on the agenda.  

Make sure the agenda items are of strategic importance and are prioritized, as the top items get the most attention while the lower items often get rushed. 

The more preparation you do before the meeting, the better outcome you’ll have. 

It takes time for board members to come up-to-speed on issues, so it’s best to send out background information before the meeting so they have an opportunity to prepare.

Sending the board meeting slides and financials in advance will reduce the number of board members reading through the materials during the meeting.

Calling a few key members beforehand to discuss any concerns or issues will reduce the number of queries in the meeting.

Board members in an effort to “do their duty”, will often ask for information and numbers that require special attention.

To keep this from getting out of control, ask what decisions will be made from it and try and get a follow-up commitment from the board member about their plan for it. 


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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

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_--_What_to_Expect.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

This is Investor Perspectives, I’m the host of Investor Connect, Hall T Martin, where we connect startups and investors for funding. In this episode, you’ll hear about a new company in the gifting sector called Gesture.

Our featured guests are Paul Capon, Managing Partner & Portfolio Manager at LunaCap Ventures, as well as Ivan Alo and LaDante McMillon, Managing Partners at New Age Capital, all investors in Gesture, and Ben Labra, Co-Founder & CEO of Gesture.

Gesture is an on-demand gifting platform used to send gifts in a simple way through a mobile application. It is tackling the problem of unreliable delivery, overpriced gifting, and horrible customer service using advanced technology the same way Uber took on the yellow cab industry, and Netflix took over Blockbuster.  

Since January 2019, Gesture has delivered thousands of gifts, grown more than 245%, is now available in more than 35+ cities, launched new products and revenue channels, and helped thousands of people stay connected in these unfortunate times. Gesture is a company that believes in connecting people using emotional tangibility to make the world smaller and more personal again.

Our host today is Ashley Matthysse. 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: Why_I_Invested_in_Gesture_Webinar_TO_IP.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:23pm CST

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

Board members are a key part of a growing startup.

Building out the board is an important step in setting up the company for success.

Here are some characteristics of an ideal board member:

  • They come prepared to the meetings having read the material and done their research.
  • They have an open dialog with the CEO and other board members in between the board meetings.
  • They understand the CEO and adjust their approach accordingly.
  • They make efficient use of time with short and to-the-point questions and discussions.
  • They prioritize and focus on the important things.
  • They encourage others to participate and speak.
  • They follow up after the board meeting to make things happen.
  • Finally, they have experience and steadiness in times of crisis.

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_--_Ideal_Board_Member.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

The board is a key part of the team that makes the startup successful.

When you are in the early stage, using family and friends funding creates an informal advisory board. Try and meet with them monthly in a coffee shop and keep it to three members.

After you launch your product and start raising funding from outside of family and friends, create a formal board with three members, two members from the team and one investor.  

Most of the focus is on the core team and the essentials that must get done by the founder. 

As you grow into a Series A raise in which you seek institutional capital, consider increasing the board to five members, two from the team, two from the investors, and one from the industry that is independent.  

The board expands to include a domain knowledge expert and investors who can help with the growth issues.

As you start to scale and raise Series B funding, expand to seven members with two from the team, three from the investors, and two from the industry. Later-stage investors are putting in large sums and will demand a board seat for their 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/ 
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For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group  

Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Who_to_put_on_the_board.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

You may want to add independent board members to your board.

The independent board member may add value to your company by bringing domain knowledge and operating expertise.

Look for someone who has run a company of your size and industry in the not-too-distant past.

The independent often brings a new perspective to the company that can be helpful.

Investors often look at independents as a sign of transparency. 

In times of conflict, the independent can bring neutrality to the discussion to help resolve conflicts. 

Check to see if they have time to commit to the board work.

And choose someone who is close to the startup or where the meetings will be held, so it’s not a burden on them.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
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 back William Santana Li, Chairman and CEO of Knightscope.

Knightscope builds Autonomous Security Robots in Silicon Valley (Made in the USA!) and their long-term ambition is to make the United States of America the safest country in the world, changing everything for everyone. Their vision is to develop a technology stack to predict and prevent crime utilizing autonomous robots, analytics, and engagement utilizing a "Hardware + Software + Humans"​ approach. Their solution includes providing an autonomous physical presence, gathering data from the environment in real-time, and pushing anomalies to their user interface - the Knightscope Security Operations Center (KSOC) - providing their clients across the U.S. a 24/7 force multiplier effect.

These robots are patrolling across the country 24/7/365 to secure the places you live, study, work, and visit. With over 16,000 investors and over $70M raised since inception, including $10M+ in lifetime revenue, Knightscope is reimagining public safety at a time when the nation needs it most.

Bill is an American entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience and has a broad and deep range of expertise gained from several global assignments in the automotive sector and a number of startups. 

At Ford Motor Company, Bill held over 12 business and technical positions, focused on 4 continents, cutting across each functional area. These positions ranged from component, systems, and vehicle engineering with Visteon, Mazda, and Lincoln, to business & product strategy on the US youth market, India, and the emerging markets in Asia-Pacific and South America as well as the financial turnaround of Ford of Europe. In addition, he was on the AMAZON team, which established an all-new modular plant in Brazil. Subsequently, he served as Director of Mergers & Acquisitions.

After internally securing $250 million, Bill founded and was COO of GreenLeaf, a Ford subsidiary that became the world’s 2nd largest automotive recycler. Under his leadership, GreenLeaf grew to a 600-employee operation with 20 locations and $150 million in sales. At the age of 28, Bill was the youngest senior executive at Ford worldwide.

Bill was then recruited by SOFTBANK Venture Capital to establish Model E Corporation as its President and CEO, a new car company where the "Subscribe and Drive" philosophy was first pioneered in California. He subsequently co-founded Build-To-Order Inc. (BTO) as its President and CEO, a new car company based on the direct distribution of build-to-order products. Bill also founded Carbon Motors, and as its Chairman and CEO, focused it on developing the world's first purpose-built law enforcement patrol vehicle. He also built a world-class advisory board comprised of senior officials that had worked directly for 3 different U.S. Presidents.

Bill earned a BSEE from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from the University of Detroit Mercy.

In this interview, Bill updates Hall on the growth of the company since their last interview, taking into account COVID-19’s specific impact on the company. Bill shares what has surprised him most about the sector and gives use cases for the robots to include fighting crime.

You can visit Knightscope at www.knightscope.com, www.securityrobot.com, and via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/knightscope-inc-/.  

Bill can be contacted via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/williamsantanali/, via Twitter at www.twitter.com/WSantanaLi, via email at wsl@knightscope.com, and via instant messaging on the website.

Direct download: William_Santana_Li_of_Knightscope.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:26pm CST

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

So, what is a board observer?

In general, the board observer is just that, an observer. Someone who listens to the discussion but doesn’t actively participate unless called on to join in.

Some investors negotiate a ‘board observer’ position as part of their investment so they can monitor the progress of the company.

Most board decisions are perfunctory, such as signing off on the 409A valuation, stock options plans, etc.

The board observer attends your board meetings but does not have voting rights.

They gain access to the board documents but don’t have a legal say in any of the decisions.

They may be asked to leave during discussions of a sensitive nature.

Angel investors, corporate VCs, and others will use this as a means of staying connected.


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_--_What_is_a_board_observer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

Board meetings are important for gaining input and advice on how to run the business.

To get the most out of your board meeting, start with an objective for the meeting including agenda and preparation documents such as financials. 

It’s helpful to get feedback from the participants before the meeting so you can adjust the agenda if necessary.  

This type of prep also ensures everyone comes prepared to tackle the objective.

Maintain the time allowed for each topic and create an offline conference call/meeting to handle topics that go over. 

Recruit a board member to help you keep things on track by watching the clock and reminding the group when the time limit is up on a topic.

Watch for tangents and cut the discussion short by taking it offline after the meeting.

Board meetings can be an invaluable resource to the CEO, but only if you manage it well. 


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  


In this episode, we welcome Beau Flowers, Chief Executive Officer of Flowtex Energy. 

Flowtex Energy is an Austin, Texas independent oil & gas producer. They maximize the unique tax benefits and tremendous cash-on-cash returns available through private oil & gas production. Utilizing today’s science and technology, they have built a track record of success that their investing partners appreciate and participate in over and over again. Their conservative, environmentally responsible approach has been making them good friends, good neighbors, and profitable partners since 2015.

Beau is a native of Southeast Texas and a graduate of Texas State University. He has over fifteen years experience in the oil and gas industry, and for the last five years has served as Vice President for some of the top oil and gas firms in the United States.

In that capacity, Beau has had the opportunity to work with private investors and investment firms from across the country to assemble and execute numerous successful oil and gas drilling programs.

During the course of his career, he has played a key role in the development and production of over thirty oil and gas joint ventures, similar to the projects currently being offered by Flowtex.

In this interview, Beau introduces Flowtex Energy to the listeners.

You can visit Flowtex Energy at www.flowtexenergy.com.

Beau can be contacted via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/beau-flowers-39a4178/, and via email at bflowers@flowtexenergy.com.    

Direct download: Beau_Flowers_Intro_to_Flowtex_Interview.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:59am CST

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

Board members can help the company in many ways.

Here’s a list of potential support: 

  • They can help recruit employees for the company as many board members have extensive networks
  • They can help with the fundraise as they know investors
  • They can help with strategy since most will come from the company’s industry
  • They can help with identifying and contacting customers 
  • They can help find service providers for legal, accounting, and others 
  • They can help the CEO with gaps in their knowledge or skillset
  • They can help lead the company through a successful exit

Many have expertise in different areas including sales, marketing, engineering, and more.  

It’s important to identify how best the board can help your company and engage them for it.


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


Let’s go startup something today.
____________________________________

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

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_--_How_board_members_can_help.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

Startups with product-market fit that are generating revenue should consider installing a board.

The board of directors provides oversight for the company.

Early-stage boards should have an audit and compensation committee.

The audit committee sets the policy regarding the finances including control, expenses, and reviews.

The compensation committee sets pay for the company’s employees and ties the compensation to performance with a view to market standards.

Compensation committees should approve all salaries, raises, options, and equity grants.

Finally, the board performs governance which provides oversight to the company’s operations.  

The board should have a lead director who sets up the meetings and drives the agenda with input from the board members.

Lead directors run the board meetings and manage the CEO review process. 

Finally, there are board observers.  

They represent an investor group who has the right to sit in on the board meetings to gather information for the 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/ 
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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Role_of_the_Board.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

In growing your startup, one of the best assets you can have is a strong and engaged board of directors.

The board should have members who collectively cover a range of skills, network, and experience.

They should be connected to your startup and its industry in some way.

A good board is on the same page as the management team with regards to growth, strategy, and the exit.

Key skills to recruit include domain knowledge - someone who knows the space well. 

Financial skills - someone who knows the financial world and how it works.

CEO Advisor - someone who can work with the CEO to help fill in the gaps.

Exits - someone who knows the market for buying the company and can help facilitate introductions.

Most boards consist of five people for Series A companies - two are from the company, one is an independent, and two are from the investor’s side.

If you already have a board, then analyze the skills currently on the board. 

If your company needs new skills on the board, then consider changing board members or adding new seats.

It’s not unusual to rotate board members every 2-3 years as the needs of the company change. 

Assess the board each year and discuss the needs of the company with 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/ 
For eGuides check out: https://tencapital.group/education/ 
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For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group  

Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Building_a_board.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

The startup board is typically led by the CEO. Some boards fall into formal roles to tackle specific tasks such as compensation or exit planning.

Many boards see members fall into informal roles.

The most common roles are the domain expert, the advocate, and the critic.

The domain expert looks at everything from the industry perspective and provides basic feedback on the technical execution of the business and compares it to standard business practice. 

The advocate is typically an investor who is close to the team, highlights the positives, and provides encouragement to the team.

The critic is often an investor who is not close to the team and looks critically at the business encouraging solutions.

All three provide valuable feedback, but it’s the critic that draws the most attention. Winning the praise of the critic is the sought after goal.

This creates an interesting dynamic in the board where each one provides value but in a unique way. 

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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Informal_board_member_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

In running a board, there will be conflicts and bad behavior.

Here are some to watch out for:

  • The board member who disrupts the group and takes the discussion off-track from the agenda.
  • The member who must have it their own way every time.
  • The member who doesn’t know the topic well but must weigh-in as a thought leader nevertheless.
  • The member who rambles and repeats the same topics and questions and cannot move forward.
  • The member who disrespects the group and talks down to others.

You can modify those bad behaviors during or just after the meeting noting the behavior.

For major problems, there may need to be a more substantial discussion outside the meeting. 

It’s important to intervene when you see these behaviors as they will continue.

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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Managing_Conflict.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

There are several types of board members. 

Each provides a contribution to the board dynamic.

Here are the types you may see in your board room:

  • The Cheerleader. Always optimistic and sees the upside to every proposal or situation.
  • The Pessimist. Always pessimistic and sees the backside to every proposal and situation. 
  • The Analyst. Always analyzing the situation and commenting on the implications.
  • The Skeptic. Always questioning the data and the implications of proposed solutions.

If you have a board that is all cheerleaders, then there may be little scrutiny given to plans.

If you have a board that is all pessimists, then no solution will ever be good enough.

If you have a board that is all analysts, then there will be no decisions taken.

If you have a board that is all skeptics, then there will be no progress.

A healthy mix of all of the above is desired.


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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_The_Board_Types.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

Board directors can help the company in many ways beyond governance.

Here are some key areas:

  • Provide strategy and direction for the company at a high level.  
  • Make introductions to customers and partners.
  • Provide helpful tips on how to run the business.
  • Help recruit other board members.
  • Put in place proper controls and management of the finances.
  • Make introductions to investors for upcoming fundraises.
  • Coach the CEO in areas that are new to the company.
  • Help drive the company to a successful exit.

Board members have worked in other companies in the industry and can bring those experiences, connections, and leadership to the company.


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


Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Duties_of_the_Director.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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

The board leader can make the board meetings more effective.

Here are some points to consider: 

  • Set up meetings that don’t conflict with holidays or heavy travel schedules.
  • Send out the board package in time for review.
  • Focus the agenda on the top issues.
  • Demand the attention of the board members and discourage distractions.
  • Facilitate the discussions to ensure the topic is well covered.
  • Make sure everyone gets their say.
  • Extract an action plan from the meeting so the company can move forward.
  • Board members have a fiduciary duty to the company.
  • They must put the board’s interest above their own.
  • They must act in good faith with no ulterior motives.
  • Finally, the board member must exercise good business judgment.

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_--_Making_the_board_effective.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

In this episode, Hall welcomes Dylan Penebre, CEO and investor of PointOS.

Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, PointOS is a restaurant management platform designed to help restaurants and bars operate more efficiently and profitably. PointOS stands out in the SaaS restaurant POS space by offering its entire platform at one competitive and all-inclusive rate.

The PointOS Platform combines optimized POS, cloud-based restaurant management features, payment processing, and online ordering to offer a complete solution that helps maximize restaurant profits. Their competitive monthly pay options and ultra-competitive processing rates make PointOS the most cost-effective and complete restaurant management platform out there.

Dylan has a background in go-to-market strategy and executive management, specifically focused on customer acquisition and revenue generation. He continues to operate in the payments and fintech space, where he brings this experience to his current role as CEO of PointOS.

Dylan speaks with Hall about how the company was formed, some of the challenges it has overcome, and what investors should know about the company.

You can visit PointOS at www.pointos.com

Dylan can be contacted via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/dylan-penebre-97b67321/, and via email at management@pointos.com.  

Direct download: Dylan_Penebre_of_PointOS.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:41pm CST

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

For board meetings, it’s important to prepare properly.

Set the meeting schedule well in advance, such as a year.

Prepare documents far enough in advance so the members have time to read the materials and prepare for the meeting.

Use a standard format for the board package so the members can find things more easily.

Use the board package to give the status updates and focus the meeting on the key decisions to take.

Set up the meeting agenda to cover the most important topics first.

Include the company financials including cash position.

Include a slide deck for the talking points.

In crisis situations, you may need to call additional board meetings such as when the company runs out of cash unexpectedly or gets hit with a lawsuit.     


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


Let’s go startup something today.
____________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
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Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Preparing_for_a_board_meeting.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:27am CST

In this episode, Hall welcomes Nish Krishna, CEO of Lend-Grow.

Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Lend-Grow is a complete digital growth platform for local lenders. Lend-Grow aims to connect consumers with 1000+ local lenders that are often harder-to-find online and usually have better deals on loans. Lend-Grow was founded by executives that successfully built multi-billion dollar portfolios at both big banks and credit unions.  

Lend-Grow's platform consists of (i) RateBunni, a rate aggregator that has information on rate competitiveness and trends from 300+ local lenders, (ii) Lend-Grow marketplace to pre-qualify and route borrowers to local lenders in real-time, and (iii) Ask Lend-Grow recommendation engine to help local lenders take smart, data-driven decisions.

Nish has spent the past decade at both large banks (Capital One, E*Trade) and mid-sized ones (M&T Bank, PenFed Credit Union). At Capital One, Nish managed growth for a $600 million co-brand card business and $2.5 billion small business lending. Before starting Lend-Grow, Nish set up the Consumer Loans business at PenFed and grew this business to $1.2 billion in loans over two years. Nish is an MBA graduate from Darden Business School and an IIT alum.

Nish discusses investing in FinTech, broad trends in lending, challenges and opportunities for FinTech startups, and the thesis for Lend-Grow. He advises investors and entrepreneurs and shares resources for anyone interested in the fintech sector.

You can visit Lend-Grow at www.lendgrow.com.  

Nish can be contacted via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/nishithkrishna/ and via email at nkrishna@lendgrow.com. 

Direct download: Nish_Krishna_of_Lend_Grow_Inc.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:17pm CST

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

One of the key roles of a board member is coaching the CEO.

Here are some key points to consider:

  • Focus on the team, the financials, and the strategy of the company
  • Avoid the minutiae of day-to-day operations
  • For the team, work on building the company’s culture
  • The CEO may need help in identifying the need and timing for new hires  
  • The right CFO can be very helpful to a CEO in a growing company
  • For finances, discuss the use of cash, cash-burn rates, and the next round of fundraising

There are many choices here and the CEO needs support to sort it out.

For strategy, make sure the company has figured out their North Star metric - the one metric that drives the company in the right direction.

In the early days, the CEO will be working in the company as do employees, but over time you can help them move into a coaching position which better enables them to run 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 

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Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Coaching_the_CEO.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:50am CST

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

The board can help the company with building the team.

Here are some key points to consider in helping with recruiting:

  • Identify candidates to fill the C-level positions that are available
  • Set up a recruiting and hiring process as startups often have ad hoc procedures in place
  • Help foster the company’s culture which should be at the core of the hiring process
  • Involve others in the interviewing process to gain a broader perspective on potential new hires
  • Set the bar high for hiring by focusing on A players
  • Keep in mind the stage of the company and recruit accordingly
  • What works well for a Seed company is not necessarily the same for a Series-A company

In the event the CEO’s performance is not satisfactory, you can either work with the CEO to improve performance, or replace the CEO.

If you replace the CEO, then you’ll need to identify an interim CEO who can run the company for the short term. 

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

Let’s go startup something today.
____________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/
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Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Building_the_Team.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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 

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
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Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Compensation_of_the_Director.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:13am CST

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/ 
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Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Board_Fiduciaries.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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 CST

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/ 
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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 CST

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/
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Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_How_to_answer_the_investors_questions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am CST

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 CST

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

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 CST

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 CST

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/
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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/
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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 CST

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

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

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

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

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 CST

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 CST

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

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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 CST

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

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 CST

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 CST