Investor Connect Podcast

What You Should Know About Whistleblowing

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

Whistleblowers provide information to the authorities to help stop fraud.

Here’s what you need to know about whistleblowing:

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

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

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

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

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

Anyone can be a whistleblower and not just US citizens.

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

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

Consider these points for any fraudulent activity you see.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

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

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

How To Report Fraud

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

Fraud sometimes arises in the startup world.

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

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

Collect the relevant information and documents.

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

Any information indicating the suspected fraud.

Report the fraud to the authorities.

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

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

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

Fraud often comes from those who you trust most.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

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

How Do Whistleblower Laws Protect You

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

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

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

Disclosures made to those engaging in bad acts.

Employees motive for reporting the bad acts.

Disclosures made while the employee was off duty.

Disclosures made while the employee was on duty.

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

Violation of laws and regulations.

Gross mismanagement.

Gross waste of funds.

Abuse of authority.

Substantial danger to the public.

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

Consider these conditions in reporting bad acts.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: 03.How_Do_Whistleblower_Laws_Protect_You.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Filing a Complaint With the SEC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fraudulent conduct associated with securities.

Report these to the SEC through their website or hotline.

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

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

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: 02.Filing_a_Complaint_With_the_SEC.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Claiming Whistleblower Status

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

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

One can file multiple claims under each of the programs.

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

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

The False Claims Act requires you to have an attorney. 

This gives anonymity to the filer.

This act covers fraud and waste to the Federal Government.

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

Once filed you cannot discuss the case with anyone.

For SEC Whistleblower cases you file a Form TCR.

For IRS Whistleblower cases you file a Form 211.

The government will determine whether to pursue or not.

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

The Department of Justice or SEC will lead the investigation.

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

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

Consider these steps in filing a whistleblower claim.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

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

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

VITALIZE is an early-stage VC firm founded in 2018 by Gale Wilkinson. Fund 1, with a total capital of $16.3M, is fully deployed with 26 portfolio companies, including notable names like The Mom Project, Elevate K-12, and Placer.ai.

Presently, VITALIZE invests out of a $23.4M Fund 2 and manages a 500+ member angel group. The firm specializes in WorkTech, focusing on B2B software that revolutionizes workflows and/or work outcomes, data-driven HR technology (hiring, learning & development, employee engagement), and infrastructure for the growing freelance economy.

Gale Wilkinson, a founder, angel, and venture capitalist, has a passion for investing in and supporting visionary founders. She has spearheaded 125 institutional deals and personally invested in 50 angel deals. As the founder of VITALIZE, Gale has cultivated a community of 500+ individuals enthusiastic about early-stage WorkTech software investments.

Beyond her professional pursuits, Gale is an advocate for diversity in angel and VC investing, aiming to bring more people to the table.

Gale discusses the current trends in work tech, including the push for hybrid work situations and software simplification. Gale highlights the massive potential, with the sector expected to approach $1 trillion in the next few years. She provides advice to founders in this space to think bigger and create truly revolutionary solutions. 

Connect with Gale Wilkinson and VITALIZE Venture Capital:

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Direct download: IC_Gale_Wilkinson.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:43am CST

Team by Stage of Funding

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

At each stage of funding the startup will need a team to accomplish the goals.

Here’s the team configuration at each stage:

PreSeed - Founder and technical cofounder.

The early-stage team needs someone building it and someone selling it.

Seed -- Founder and technical cofounder.

The founder sells the product or service and the cofounder builds the minimum viable product.

Seed+ -- Founder and technical cofounder.

The founder continues selling the product and the cofounder turns the MVP into a standard product.

Series A -- Founder, technical cofounder, and product person.

The founder continues selling the product alongside a product person managing direct sales and channel partners.

Series B -- Founder, CTO, CFO.

The founder works on scaling strategies and the chief technical officer and chief financial officer are hired to scale the business.

Series C -- Founder, CTO, CFO.

The founder works on building new products while the chief technical officer and chief financial officer continue to grow the business with new products and entering new geographies.

Series D -- Founder, CTO, CFO, and acquisition specialist.

The founder works on acquiring other businesses to fuel the scaling growth of the company with the help of the acquisition specialist.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_________________________________________________________

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

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

Success Rate by Stage of Funding

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

The success rate of startups declines as one moves from seed to Series A and so forth.

Success is defined as a successful exit for the investors through an acquisition of the company.

Here’s the rate of success of startups at each stage of funding.

Seed -- 9%

Series A-- 12%

Series B -- 14%

Series C -- 15%

Series D -- 16%

Many startups stop raising funding and turn into a steady state business before reaching an acquisition exit.

Here’s the rate at which companies go on to raise at the next stage of funding:

Series A -- 40%

Series B -- 25%

Series C -- 15%

Series D -- 5%

This shows the percent of startups still raising funding after each round.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_________________________________________________________

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

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Direct download: 04.Success_rate_by_stage_of_funding_Intro.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Primary Work by Stage of Funding

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

At each stage of funding the startup team takes on a new set of tasks.

Here’s the primary work at each stage:

PreSeed -- Define the market and identify the target customer.

The early-stage team researches the market and talks with potential customers about product needs.

Seed -- Build the initial MVP and test the market.

The team builds a minimum viable product and tests cohorts of prospective customers.

Seed+ -- Build and launch the initial product for the market.

The team takes the lessons learned from the MVP and builds a product to take to market.

Series A -- Grow product sales.

The team builds out the product features to accelerate the growth.

Series B -- Scale product sales.

The team builds out the distribution channels and product delivery to work at scale.

Series C -- Identify new products to build.

The team looks for strategic adjacencies and product extensions to build and sell.

Series D -- Identify target acquisitions.

The team looks for other companies to acquire to increase the sales growth.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_________________________________________________________

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

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Direct download: 03.Primary_work_by_stage_of_funding_Intro.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Investors by Stage of Funding

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

Each stage of funding brings a different set of investors.

Here’s a list of investors to pursue by stage.

Pre-Seed -- Founders fund their initial startup research and market development.

It’s too soon to take outside funding for what is not yet a formed business plan. 

Seed -- Family and friends and closely known angel investors.

Outside funding can begin once the market is understood and the customer is identified. 

Seed+ -- Angel investors and early stage venture capital investors.

There’s often another round of funding at the previous valuation to complete the product. 

Series A -- Venture capital and late stage angel investors.

Institutional capital comes into play at this stage.

Series B -- Later stage venture capital and growth equity investors.

Later stage venture capital carries the startup into scaling.

Series C -- Mezzanine debt and growth equity investors.

Debt investors as well as growth equity investors come into play.

IPO -- Pre-IPO investors fund the IPO.

This  usually starts two years in advance of going public.

Pursue these metrics at each stage of funding.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_________________________________________________________

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

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

Boards and Advisors by Stage of Funding

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

Each stage of funding brings a different set of advisors and board members.

Here’s a list of advisors and board members to pursue by stage.

Pre-Seed -- Informal advisors and board members.

They provide domain knowledge about target industries.

Seed -- Informal advisors and board members.

They provide basic business advice on forming and launching the business.

Seed+ -- Informal advisors and board members.

They provide sales and marketing expertise to help find product market fit.

Series A -- Formal board of directors.

The board consists of five members, two from the company, two from the investors and one independent who has domain knowledge.

They provide sales growth expertise.

Series B -- Formal board of directors and a few advisors.

The board consists of five members, two from the company, one from the Series A investors, and one from the Series B investors, and one independent who has domain knowledge.

They provide scaling expertise.

Series C -- Formal board of directors and several advisors.

The board consists of seven persons, two from the company, one from the Series A investors, one from the Series B investors, and one from the Series C investors, and two independent directors.

They provide expertise for expanding into new markets. 

Series D -- Formal board of directors and several advisors.

The board consists of seven persons, two from the company, three from the investors, and two independent directors.

They provide expertise for acquiring other companies.

Pursue these advisors and board members at each stage of funding.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_________________________________________________________

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

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

In this episode, Hall T. Martin engages with Cheryl from Torgan to explore effective fundraising strategies for startups. Torgan, part of the Keiretsu program, specializes in investor relations and introductions, with a focus on the life sciences sector.

Cheryl sheds light on Torgan's unique approach to fundraising, emphasizing the increasing interest in the biotech and AI markets. The discussion covers the duration of fundraising efforts based on different amounts sought and Torgan's monthly retainer model. The importance of transparent milestones and incentivizing early investors with favorable valuations is highlighted.

Hall T. Martin offers advice on incorporating an exit strategy into fundraising decks, focusing on potential buyers and exit valuations. The episode concludes with a discussion on angel groups, suggesting Keiretsu as an option for its extensive investor network. Torgan's experience provides valuable insights for startups navigating the complexities of fundraising.

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

Let's go startup something today.


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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
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Direct download: HTRF_16_V02.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:37am CST

Financial Work by Stage of Funding

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

Each stage of funding requires financial work to be done by the startup.

Here’s a list of financial goals to consider for your startups fundraise:

Pre-seed -- identify locked value in a customer segment.

The output of this stage is a target market that is ripe for disruption with revenue potential.

Seed -- identify a case for the business in unit economic terms.

The output of this stage is a revenue model that works on a unit economic basis.

Seed+ -- refine the business model.

The output of this stage is a business model that works consistently.

Series A -- build the business model that provides a 50% return on invested capital.

The output of this stage is a business model that not only sustains the business but also grows it.

Series B -- build the business model that scales the business. 

The output of this stage is a business model for rapid growth to scale.

Series C -- acquire other businesses.

The output of this stage is to identify businesses to acquire that maintain the  return on invested capital.

IPO -- build a war chest.

The output of this stage is funding that can take the business into new markets. 

Each stage of funding presents the startup with a financial challenge .

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: 05.Financial_Work_by_Stage_of_Funding.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Valuations by Stage of Funding

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

At each stage of funding there’s a valuation range for the startup.

This changes over time with fluctuations in the market and by sector.

Here’s a list of ranges to consider for your startups fundraise:

  1. Pre-seed -- $50K to $100K

The output of this stage is market research and an initial list of potential customers.

  1. Seed -- $1M to $5M

The output of this stage is an initial product.

  1. Seed+ -- $1M to $5M

The output of this stage is a refined product with better metrics.

  1. Series A -- $5M to 15M

The output of this stage is growing revenue for the main product.

The valuation varies based on the monetization model in the startup.

  1. Series B -- $20M to $50M

The output of this stage is a meaningful share of the market.

  1. Series C -- $50M to $200M

The output of this stage is new product lines.

  1. IPO -- $100M+

The output of this stage is an ongoing business on the public market.

Valuations will vary from one sector to the next and with the state of the market.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

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: 04.Valuations_by_Stage_of_Funding.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Fundraise Amount by Stage of Funding

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

At each stage of funding there’s a standard amount to raise.

Here are the fundraise amounts by stage:

Pre-seed -- $250K to $500K

This funding sets up the business and launches the customer discovery and product development process.

Seed -- $500K to $1M

This funding starts the MVP product build and takes it to the market.

Seed+ -- $500K to $750K

This funding is to complete the standard product and launch it into the market.

Series A -- $1M to $5M

This funding sets up the company for rapid growth.

Series B -- $3M to $15M

This funding sets up the company to scale the business.

Series C -- $5M to $20M

This funding sets up the company to expand into new markets and geographies.

IPO -- $25M to $100M+

This funding takes the company public and establishes it as an ongoing business.

Using the standard fundraise amounts simplifies the fundraise process and will be more familiar to investors. 

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: 03.Fundraise_Amount_by_Stage_of_Funding.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Product Work by Stage of Funding

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

The founder works on the product throughout the life of the business.

Here’s the product work to be done at each stage of funding:

Pre-seed -- research the market to identify the customer careabouts and product features.

Check the competition for their positioning and what market positions are left open.

Seed -- build a minimum viable product and test it with customers.

Run several iterations of the MVP to gather as much feedback as possible.

Seed+ -- turn the MVP into a standard product.

Take this product to market and start monetizing.

Series A -- find product-market fit with your product.

Begin the growth trajectory.

Series B -- set up the product for scaling the business.

Reduce the cost to build and deliver your product so that it has the right features and no more.

Series C -- Expand the product into new geographies and applications.

Take the product and extend it to other use cases.

Track your product development through each stage of funding.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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Direct download: 02.Product_Work_by_Stage_of_Funding.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Purpose of Family and Friends Funding

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

Family and friend's funding is often used to start a business.

Here are some key uses of funding at this stage:

File the legal entity paperwork for an LLC, not a Delaware C corporation. 

You can file for a Delaware C later if the business takes root.

This gives your business an EIN (entity identification number) with which you can open a bank account.

Set up the accounting books with a low-cost internal solution.

It’s important to track expenses and revenues from day one.

File a wordmark for your company name.

This prevents others from setting up a company with the same name.

Build a simple website.

In today’s world, if you don’t have a website, you don’t exist.

Keep the website to just a few pages so those who look for you and your company can find your website and get in contact with you.

Print business cards.

Start early promoting the company as it takes time for the word to spread.

Finally, file a number of provisional patent applications.  

The cost is low and it gives you a year to figure out which patents are going to be of value.

Set up the startup so it looks like a real business.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

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Direct download: 01.Purpose_of_Family_and_Friends_Funding.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

In this episode of Investor Connect: How to Raise Funding, Hall T. Martin explores the mission of Juggle Apps with founder John, tackling the pressing issue of social isolation. Juggle Apps aims to combat this challenge by fostering connections in a world influenced by social media and the effects of COVID-19.

John discusses the bootstrap approach and the decision to raise funds a year ago at a $10 million pre-money safe valuation. The conversation touches on potential additional fundraising, considerations of post-money safes, and the strategic approach to ensure optimal utilization of funds.

Hall provides insightful guidance on maintaining a lead funnel, systematic fundraising processes, and the importance of showcasing growth to attract investor interest.

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

Let's go startup something today.


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

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Direct download: HTRF_EP15.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:19am CST

Stages of Funding for Startups

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

Startups go through a series of stages from launch to growth to scale.

Each stage brings funding to the startup that serves the needs of its stage.

Here’s a list of stages for startup funding:

Pre-seed -- this funding helps develop an idea, research the market, and build a core team.

This is most often brought by the team and family and friends.

 

Seed -- this funding builds the minimum viable product and tests the market.  

 

Some companies join accelerators and incubators at this point for additional support.

Seed+ -- This funding provides more capital to move the product from MVP into a standard one.

This is often an additional round of capital at the previous valuation.

Angels are commonly sought after investors for this round which seeks to go to market with the product.

Series A -- this funding provides growth capital to the startup that has found product-market fit and is now growing fast.

Venture capital comes in at this stage to bring additional capital and expertise for business growth.

Mezzanine funding -- this is debt funding that covers additional expenses such as filing for IPOs and is used to continue the growth of the business.

As the company matures the team seeks to reduce the use of equity and moves to debt funding.

IPOs -- this funding comes from going public on the market to raise additional funds to scale the company.

Map out the path of your company using each of these funding stages.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

Thank you for joining your host Hall T. Martin with the Startup Funding Espresso -- your daily shot of startup funding and investing.

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

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Direct download: Stages_of_funding_for_startups.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:13am CST

What is a whistleblower?

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

Internal fraud is often caught by an employee.

The employee who sounds the alarm is called a whistle-blower.

The whistleblower is someone who reports fraud to the authorities.

Whistleblowers fear retaliation for outing a manager or other employee.

Those who want protections for keeping their job or avoiding criminal charges must follow these rules:

The whistleblower must have good reason to suspect the fraud.

The whistleblower must take steps to report the fraud to the authorities.

The whistleblower must refuse to join the fraud.

The whistleblower must testify against the fraudsters.

Cases involving the government can involve additional penalties.

If you suspect fraud then follow these steps:

Collect all the relevant information.

Protect yourself and your accounts.

Report the fraud to the authorities.

Check for any insurance coverage against fraud.

Fraud is often found by internal employees so beware of the activities of others.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_________________________________________________________

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

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Direct download: What_is_a_whistleblower.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:46am CST

More Ways To Prevent Fraud in a Startup

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

There are several types of online fraud.

Here is a list of attacks to watch out for:

Bots -- these automated tools can infect your website and emails with viruses.

Denial of service attack -- this disables your website by sending too many requests for service.

Cross-site scripting attack -- This type of fraud attacks the CSS section of the website in search of login details and credit card information.

SQL attacks -- this type of fraud breaks into online databases to steal the contents.

Phishing -- this type of attack sends an email from a supposedly friendly source but with the goal of capturing social security and bank account numbers.

Password capture -- this type of fraud seeks to capture the password of users by pretending to be a service provider that needs access to your accounts.

Tailgating -- this attack seeks access to key databases and other information by duping an internal contact to give access.

Pretexting -- this type of fraud fabricates a story about their identity and purpose to induce an employee to give sensitive information.

Diversion theft -- this fraud induces the employee to reroute information or funds to a new location at which point the fraudster captures the information or funds. 

Train your employees on how to detect this type of fraud and avoid it.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

Thank you for joining your host Hall T. Martin with the Startup Funding Espresso -- your daily shot of startup funding and investing.

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

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Direct download: More_Ways_To_Prevent_Fraud_in_a_Startup.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

How To Avoid Fraud

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

Fraud can be costly to a startup.

Take these steps to avoid fraud in your business.

Separate accounting duties -- have at least two people handling the accounting and separate their functions.

Know your team -- run background checks on new hires and know your business partners' history and background.  

Oftentimes it’s the most likable people who commit fraud.

Set up internal controls -- audit the accounting books and require sign-offs and approvals for expense payments.

Protect bank account and credit card information -- separate personal and business accounts and move bill payments online to avoid check fraud.

Review bank accounts regularly for unusual transactions.

Audit the books annually -- have an outside accountant review the books to prevent fraud.

Use certified fraud examiners to review suspected cases of fraud to help with the prosecution of the case. 

Train your team -- make sure key people in your organization know how to detect fraud and what to look out for.

Implement these steps to avoid fraud in your organization.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_________________________________________________________

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

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Direct download: How_to_avoid_fraud.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:42am CST

Types of Financial Fraud

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

There are several types of financial fraud related to startups in the investment industry.

Here’s a list to consider:

Misrepresentations -- fraudsters can lie about the value, risks, and costs of financial investments.

This also includes misrepresenting the financial condition and omitting key facts.

Regulatory violations -- this includes securities law violations such as insider trading, or selling securities without a license.

This also includes failing to register securities.

IPO fraud -- this includes misrepresentations in the offering of an IPO or SPAC by misstating accounting information or omitting key information.

Misappropriation of funds -- this includes Ponzi schemes and skimming money for personal use.

Trading violations -- this includes manipulating the market through pump and dump schemes and front running.

This also includes insider trading.

Cybersecurity fraud -- this includes data breaches and protection of investor data.

Money laundering -- this includes falsifying statements in accounting books and records.

Startups operating in the financial industry should watch out for this type of fraud.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

________________________________________________________________________

 

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

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Direct download: Types_of_Financial_Fraud.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:44am CST

In this Investor Connect episode, Hall T. Martin explores a medical device startup's journey with Marcus, a visionary founder.

Marcus, a medical school graduate, envisions a handheld device for diagnosing eye conditions, aiming to enhance at-home healthcare. The company, having validated demand, plans to kickstart production through a $300,000 Kickstarter campaign after a successful WeFunder round.

Marcus outlines a low-risk opportunity with a proof-of-concept device and validated demand, seeking potential funding or partnerships for mass production. 

You can find Marcus's WeFunder link here: https://wefunder.com/od.vision.inc

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

Let's go startup something today.


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Direct download: HTRF_14_Polished.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:53am CST

External Sources of Fraud

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

There are several sources of fraud from outside a business.

External sources of fraud pretend to be someone you trust.

They create a sense of urgency and then demand payments.

Here’s a list of common sources of external fraud:

Fake invoices -- the invoices show services rendered for work that was never done.

Advertising scams -- payment for ad services in a directory or book that was or never will be published.

Imposter scams -- callers who claim you owe them money or critical services will be turned off.

Tech security scams -- a warning screen pops up on your computer showing a critical virus has disabled your computer and you need to pay to remove the virus.

Phishing attacks -- calls or emails requesting personal information such as social security numbers for employees to verify their identity.

Ransomware -- the company’s data files are encrypted and the ransomers demand payment to unlock the company’s data.

Business coaching scams -- the scammer promises to provide business training and services but never delivers.

Train your employees on how to recognize this type of fraud.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

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Direct download: External._sources_of_fraud.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Internal Sources of Fraud

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

There are several sources of fraud within a business.

Here’s a list of internal sources to review:

Identity theft -- the capture and selling of personal information for illegal uses.

This is done by fraudsters capturing employee information through bank accounts and tax returns. 

Asset misappropriation -- this is basically theft.

This is often through forged checks.

Embezzlement -- this is the illegal use of the company’s funds.  

This is often done by charging personal expenses on the business account. 

Payroll fraud -- this is the misuse of payroll. 

One example is claiming hours that were not actually worked.

Employment fraud -- claiming work history that doesn’t actually exist.

This comes up in hiring people who claim to have experience that they don't actually have or omitting key information such as criminal history.

Set up internal controls in your company to prevent fraud.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

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Direct download: Internal_Sources_of_fraud.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Red Flags Indicating Fraud

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

Most fraud in businesses comes from employees and the management team.

Here’s a list of employee red flags to watch for:

Lifestyle changes show expensive new possessions such as new cars and homes.

Substantial personal debt

Addictions such as gambling or alcohol cause behavior change.

Employees who don’t take vacation or sick leave.

Employees in high turnover areas.

Here’s a list of management team red flags to watch for:

Failure to submit information to auditors.

Business units with weak internal controls.

Frequent changes in bank accounts.

Frequent changes in auditors.

Inexperienced accounting team.

Excessive use of loans.

Excessive compensation plans.

Look for these red flags in your business for potential sources of fraud.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

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Direct download: Red_flags_indicating_fraud.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

What Is Fraud?

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

Fraud is officially defined as 

“The use of one’s occupation for personal enrichment through the deliberate misuse or misapplication of the employing organization’s resources or assets.”

Fraud occurs in startups and small businesses and is usually through the action of a founder or employee.

There are five elements of a fraud as follows:

It represents a material fact which is false

That is made intentionally,

Which is believed by the victim

And acted on by the victim

To the harm of the victim.

For one to commit fraud there must be four elements:

Opportunity

Low chance of getting caught

Rationalization in the fraudster's mind that it is okay

And justifications that result from the rationalization.

Investors will find startups are particularly susceptible to fraud due to their lack of information and controls. 

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

________________________________________________________________________

 

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

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

How Does Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Work?

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

Chapter 13  bankruptcy reorganizes the debt and sets up a payment plan.

The debtor can keep their house as long as they make the payments.

The debtor has 3-5 years to pay off the debt in most cases.

To use Chapter 13, the debtor must submit a reorganization plan which asks for debt forgiveness for some debts and a repayment plan for the creditors.

Some debts are not dischargeable in any event such as child support payments, student loans, alimony payments, and taxes.

To use Chapter 13, you must be current with your taxes, have a steady income, and have debt below prescribed thresholds.

Chapter 13 puts a Stay on debt collections while the reorganization plan is developed.

To file Chapter 13, the debtor must show a list of creditors and what is owed monthly living expenses, and proof of income.

This type of bankruptcy is meant for individuals and not businesses. 

It is used to avoid liquidating personal assets such as a house.

 

Thank 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: How_Does_Chapter_13_Bankruptcy_Work.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:52am CST

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall T. Martin welcomes Ronan O'Hagan, President & CEO of Bectas Therapeutics Inc., a groundbreaking biotech company focused on revolutionizing precision oncology. Based in [City, State/Country], Bectas Therapeutics is committed to developing cancer therapies that target over 400,000 patients annually who do not benefit from the existing standard-of-care treatments.

Ronan O'Hagan boasts over two decades of experience in building biotech teams and businesses, contributing to the development of more than 20 Investigational New Drugs (INDs) and four approved drugs. As the President & CEO of Bectas Therapeutics, O'Hagan leads a team with a mission to provide personalized cancer therapies, increasing the probability of success by fivefold and significantly reducing both cost and time in clinical development. The Bectas advisory board includes luminaries such as Dr. James Allison, a Nobel Laureate for his work in immune oncology, and Dr. Keith Flaherty, a serial entrepreneur in precision oncology.

Bectas Therapeutics Inc. focuses on developing cancer therapies tailored for patients who do not benefit from existing standard treatments, a population exceeding 400,000 individuals annually. Their precision approach ensures each patient receives the right drug for their specific cancer, significantly improving the chances of success and reducing costs and time in clinical development.

Ronan discusses the company's precision cancer therapies, leveraging human patient data. Bectas aims to bring Best-In-Class therapies with a unique blood-based biomarker, promising rapid value creation and potential early exits for investors. O'Hagan emphasizes the significance of clinical proof of concept and highlights the company's mission-driven approach to cancer health equity.

Connect with Ronan O'Hagan and Bectas Therapeutics: LinkedIn: Ronan O'Hagan; Twitter: @ohaganr

 

_______________________________________________________

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Direct download: IC_Ronan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:34am CST

How Does Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Work?

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

Chapter 11  bankruptcy reorganizes the company and sets up a debt repayment plan.

Here is how Chapter 11 works:

It starts with filing a petition with the bankruptcy court.

The debtor must file a list of assets and liabilities and a list of income and expenses.

The debtor stays in possession of the company and assets during the bankruptcy.

The debtor creates a proposed plan for repayment of debts for review by the bankruptcy trustee.

If the plan asks for any debt forgiveness from the creditors, then the creditors must approve the plan as well.

The debtor continues to operate the business while awaiting approval from the creditors.

The company that is a debtor in possession acts as the trustee of the company.

The debtor in possession can retain accountants, attorneys and others to assist with the filings. 

For companies that are sole proprietors, the filings include both the assets of the owner as well as the business.

A subchapter 5 under the Chapter 11 bankruptcy can speed the process of plan approval.

The bankruptcy trustee monitors the progress of the plan filing and approval.

During the process, all creditors are given a Stay which suspends any debt collections.

The debtor has 18 months to file a plan. 

 

Thank 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: chapter_11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

How Does Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Work?

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

Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidates the company.

Here is how Chapter 7 works:

When a company goes into Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings, the bankruptcy trustee takes control of the company to liquidate the assets and pay the creditors.

A Chapter 7 proceeding starts with a creditor filing a petition with the bankruptcy court.

The debtor must provide a list of assets and liabilities along with tax returns.

In the case of involuntary bankruptcy, a creditor can file to move to bankruptcy.

The debtor must provide a list of all creditors and how much is owed, a listing of all properties, and all sources of income for the debtor.

All debt collectors' actions cease.

The debtor must provide all financial records and attend the hearings.

All creditors must file a proof of claim.

Once the bankruptcy trustee issues a discharge of the debts, the creditors can no longer pursue the debtor.

Any act of fraud could remove the discharge order.

Most bankruptcies take up to 180 days to complete. 

There are several alternatives to Chapter 7 bankruptcy which could be considered.

 

Thank 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: chapter_7.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

What is Bankruptcy?

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

Business bankruptcy is meant to protect the personal assets of the owners of a firm.

It gives your company a fresh start by relieving the business of debts.

There are several types of bankruptcies.

Consider these options for your business:

Chapter 7 -- Liquidation

This shuts the business down and pays the creditors from the assets remaining.

Use this type of bankruptcy if the business is no longer viable even with the debts removed.

Chapter 11 -- Reorganization

This reorganizes the business and shows a plan for how to repay the creditors.

In most cases, the creditors will lose a portion of what is owed them.

If they can recover a portion of the debt that is better than losing it all. 

Chapter 13 -- Personal bankruptcy

This reorganizes a sole proprietorship business in which the owner's personal assets are mixed with that of the business.

It creates a plan to repay the debt over the next three to five years.

Bankruptcy does go on the business owner's credit report.

Consider these options for your startup that is undergoing a turnaround.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

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Direct download: what_is_bankruptcy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Steps to Shutting Down a Startup

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

There are several steps to shutting down a startup.

Here’s a list of key steps to follow:

Pay what is owed to employees such as accrued vacation.

Pay all providers such as contractors, software vendors, and others.

Collect invoices from any outstanding accounts. 

Notify all customers, partners, and vendors about the shutdown.

Sell or distribute any assets leftover such as furniture and equipment.

If you cannot pay all providers you may need to consider filing bankruptcy.

If you can pay all outstanding debts then you can proceed with dissolution of the entity.

File your tax returns -- this includes federal and state and any state franchise taxes.  

Once taxes have been paid you can file a dissolution with the IRS.

You’ll need to report to the IRS any distributions made to investors.

Dissolve the legal entity -- if you have a Delaware C Corporation then you’ll need to file a Delaware certificate of dissolution.

If you have an LLC then you’ll need to file a dissolution of the LLC at the state level.

Shutting down a startup is difficult but when done right can save future headaches.

 

Thank 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: Steps_to_shutting_down_a_startup.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Preparing To Shut Down a Startup

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

Sometimes the startup you launched does not make it and must be shut down.

In shutting down a startup take the following steps:

Give an early warning signal to the employees.

Let them know what is happening such as we’re raising additional funding.

Give them a few month's notice but make clear if things don’t turn around a shutdown may ensue.

When it becomes clear a shutdown is going to happen, then set a closing date.

Give notice to the employees about the shutdown date.

The more notice you give employees the better.

Inform the investors of the shutdown.

Own the failure with investors and articulate the mistakes you made.

If you have any customers, notify them of the shutdown.  

If you have meaningful revenue then you should consider selling the company. 

If you can’t sell the company then you should transition the customers to other solutions.

Finally, close all contractors, bank accounts, and credit cards, and shut down the legal entity.

File your taxes and leave nothing left standing as it could come back to bite you.

It’s tough shutting down a business but there’s a proper way to do it.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

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Direct download: Preparing_To_Shut_Down_a_Startup.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:32am CST

In this episode of Investor Connect, Hall T. Martin engages in a lively discussion with a seasoned entrepreneur in the tech industry. We discuss the groundbreaking opportunity for a product: a system interpreting brain responses for diagnostic testing, initially designed for ALS patients.

We share the challenges and triumphs in securing funding as the guest shares insights into their Dutch company, which has secured 1.06 million in a syndicate at a 6 million valuation, with an additional need for 600,000. Gain a firsthand understanding of the financial landscape, including the initial investment procurement and preparations for future funding rounds.

Explore how Martin's extensive network of US-based investors, Angel networks, and family offices can contribute to supporting the fundraising efforts. Don't miss this insightful conversation on the challenges and strategies of raising funds for tech startups - tune in to Investor Connect now!

Thank 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: HTRF_EP13.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:27am CST

Shutting Down a Startup

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

Not all startups succeed.

For those that don’t, there may come a time to shut it down.

Here are some key points to consider in shutting down a startup:

Before announcing the shutdown collect all accounts receivables.

Sell any inventory left on hand.

Notify investors first so they are aware.

Notify employees and their last pay date.

Notify your customers with the transition to a new service or program.

Liquidate all assets.

Pay off outstanding debt as much as possible.

Pay taxes and payroll withholding.

File IRS forms related to employment tax.

Close the bank account.

Dispose of any remaining assets.

This may include patents, trademarks and other intellectual property as well as physical assets.

Dissolve the legal entity.

The shutdown process can take some time as each of the steps above requires time to process.

Consider these steps in shutting down a 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/ 
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Direct download: Shutting_down_a_Startup.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Best Practices for Building a Company Culture

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

In building your company culture consider these best practices:

Measure your company culture -- review indicators that show how the company culture is performing such as employee engagement.

Create rituals -- establish activities you repeat consistently throughout the year to foster employee engagement and have fun.

Storytelling -- use stories to share experiences and create a common history with the employees.

Demonstrate the values -- employees look at what you do for guidance and not just what you say.

Embrace the paradox of the startup world -- early-stage companies have tremendous work to do but with limited resources.

Focus on what is right not who is right -- there are many decisions to be made in a business environment so focus on fostering better decision-making.

Promote fairness -- make sure each decision is fair to all involved.

Involve others in decision-making -- give others the opportunity to weigh in on the discussion and use their input.

Build skills -- encourage the development of the employees through developing new skills.

Consider adding these steps to your company program to build a better culture.

 

Thank 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: Best_practices_for_building_a_company_culture.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

How To Foster Your Company Culture

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

A good company culture takes time and effort to build.

Here are some steps to build out your company culture:

Give outstanding benefits to the employees.

Run team-building activities to encourage employee interactions. 

Participate in community activities as a give-back.

Promote wellness among employees and make it a part of the benefits package.

Write down your company culture and promote it.

Gather feedback from the employees on how well the company is doing.

Show the importance of the company culture through leader activities.

Call out successful examples of the company culture having an impact.

Consider adding these to your company goals for the coming year to improve your company culture.

 

Thank 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: How_to_foster_your_company_culture.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Signs of a Good Company Culture

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

Company culture is important for the success of a startup.

Here are signs you have a good company culture:

Employees feel they are respected and are treated with dignity.

Leaders support the employees and help them succeed.

Poor leaders are called out and removed from the organization.

Leaders and employees act with integrity.

The company provides perks and benefits to its employees.

The company provides training and skills development.

The employee feels their job is safe from layoffs.

The organization maintains stability and avoids frequent reorganizations.

Look for these signs in your company culture.

 

Thank 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: Signs_of_a_good_company_culture.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

How To Setup a Company Culture

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

In building your company culture, realize you already have one for your startup.

The initial hires have brought a culture to the company. 

You can grow the company culture to a greater place.

Consider these steps to grow and develop your company culture:

Continue to hire people who share the values the company holds true.

Set goals for the company that tracks the vision.

Highlight the meaning behind the work to be done.

Align your brand with a cause.

Provide rewards to those who promote the values of the company culture.

Foster a fun working environment.

Promote flexibility in the workplace to foster work-life balance.

Recognize employees who demonstrate the values of the company culture.

Gather feedback from employees and customers about the company culture and act on the responses.

Consider these steps in building your company culture.

 

Thank 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: How_to_set_up_the_company_culture.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Welcome to Investor Connect! I'm Hall T. Martin, and today we dive into the world of fundraising with a candid conversation between a startup founder and me.

At Ten Capital, our expertise lies in investor relations, particularly in the thriving life sciences sector. Learn about our strategic approach, crafting impactful pitch materials, and targeted distribution to our extensive network of 20,000 investors.

In this episode, we embark on a fundraising journey. We navigate the competitive markets, engage with angel groups, and explore unconventional avenues like tapping into dentists' networks. We uncover the challenges and triumphs on their quest for $2 million in a Series A round.

Discover how we recommend involving physicians in fundraising efforts, leveraging their expertise and networks. From tailored events to continuous engagement strategies, we unveil key tactics to maintain and grow investor interest.

 

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

Let's go startup something today.


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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
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Direct download: HTRF_EP12_Polished.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:13am CST

Before Building Your Company Culture

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

Before building your company culture consider the following:

Know your purpose

Search for why your company exists.

Identify your values

Understand the core values of the company and what the company stands for.

Hire the right people.

Choose people who bring value to the company and fit the culture.

Establish positive communication.

Create a positive environment with good communication with employees, customers, and others.

Treat everyone with respect.

Make sure everyone is heard and understood.

Review your current company culture.

Know your company culture and where you stand.

With this in place, you have the building blocks to create a great company culture.

 

Thank 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: Before_building_your_company_culture.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Characteristics of a Good Company Culture

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

A good company culture will manifest itself in several ways.

Look for these signs of a good culture:

Stable workforce -- the employees stay with the company a long time and there’s minimal turnover.

Friendly atmosphere --  relationships among employees go beyond that of colleagues.

Engagement -- employees are engaged not only in their work but also in their workplace.

Mission buy-in-- the employees buy into the mission of the company and internalize it.

Celebratory -- the employees celebrate wins, new hires, and other positives.

Engaged leaders -- the leaders are engaged in the business and with the employees.

Minimal politics -- politics are kept to a minimum.

Employee growth -- employees are given the opportunity to increase their skills.

Transparency -- the organization and how it works is transparent to the employees.

Trust -- the employees trust the leadership and vice versa.

Fun -- the employees have fun in addition to being productive.

Look for these signs of a good company culture in your startup.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

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Direct download: Characteristics_of_a_good_company_culture.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

The Startup Company Culture

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

The startup company culture brings a unique set of characteristics.

Here’s a list of qualities to consider:

Passion -- the company is based on a driving passion to solve a problem or pursue a cause.

Startups exude passion and everyone strives to work towards it.

Personality -- each startup has its own unique personality based on the founders, their experiences, and their mission.

This gives the company a unique culture based purely on the founders.

Agility -- startups have speed and technology that large companies cannot match.

Startups can move fast and adopt new business models and technologies to pursue their goals.

Authenticity -- startups don’t have a long history or tradition to carry and so can pursue their mission unencumbered.

Large companies come with bureaucracy that distracts from their goals.

Energy -- startups give off energy and excitement.

Based on the potential of the idea and the newness of the company, startups energize the market with the promise of change and improvement.

The startup culture to some appears to lack rigor and accountability.

It can attract and retain employees for a period of time.

Eventually, the startup culture will be replaced with a big company culture as the startup moves to be an established business.

Consider the startup culture of your company. 

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

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Direct download: The_startup_company_culture.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Types of Company Culture

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

There are several types of company cultures.

Here is a list to consider in building out the culture at your startup:

Clan culture -- this puts the team first and places everyone on the same level.

This promotes equality rather than hierarchy.

Customer culture -- this puts the customer first.

This promotes strong customer relationships and experiences.

Hierarchy culture -- this puts the organization first.

This promotes tradition, structure, and ranking.

Market culture -- this puts the target market first.

This promotes getting products to market and leading the market.

Purpose culture -- this puts serving the community first.

This promotes a give back to a cause.

Innovation culture -- this puts innovation first.

This promotes generating new ideas and technologies to serve the customer.

Creative culture -- this puts creativity first.

This promotes generating new ideas and stories to create experiences.

Consider these approaches in setting your company culture.

 

Thank 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: Types_of_company.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Components of Company Culture

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

There are several components to building a company culture.

Consider these elements in building out the culture at your startup:

Purpose -- the purpose of the company is the foundational element.

The purpose motivates employees and drives the group toward a common goal.

Growth -- the company culture should provide for employee growth.

Employees should be able to learn new skills and acquire new experiences.

Success -- the company culture should foster and reward employee and company success.

The company culture should foster healthy competition.

Respect -- the company culture should ensure respect for all employees and customers. 

It should imbue a positive outlook for diversity.

Leadership -- the company culture should be driven by the top leaders.

The leadership sets the example for the rest of the company.

Consider how to build these components into your company culture.

 

Thank 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: Components_of_company_culture.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Welcome back to Investor Connect, and happy 2024! I'm Hall T. Martin, your host, and today we have two insightful segments lined up, exploring the practicalities and challenges startups encounter when seeking funds for their ventures.

In the first part, we explore the dynamic startup scene in India. Our guest shares his mission to revolutionize the Indian retail landscape through a mobile server cloud solution. We discuss the funding challenges, online-offline shopping dynamics, and strategies to navigate India's diverse retail market.

Shifting gears, our second segment focuses on climate tech. Keon, the founder of a climate tech startup, shares his experiences in raising funds, particularly from the National Science Foundation (NSF), and goals for additional private funding.

The funding journey is intricate but worthwhile. Stay tuned for more insights on Investor Connect. Until next time, happy investing!

 

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

Let's go startup something today.


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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: HTRF_11.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:22am CST

The Importance of Company Culture

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

Company culture shows the values, decisions, and behaviors of the founders and employees in a company.

It’s important for founders to actively build the company culture.

This is done primarily through the people you hire and the decisions you make.

Building the right culture will go a long way to achieving startup success.

Here are some key areas impacted by company culture:

Employee engagement -- employees in a strong company culture that matches their values have a higher level of engagement.

This translates into higher-quality work.

Productivity -- engaged employees generate a higher level of output.

This translates into higher profitability.

Reduced turnover -- engaged employees stay with the company longer and typically leave only for non-work reasons. 

This translates into a more stable workforce.

Recruiting -- engaged employees make it easier to recruit new employees as they look for those who match their values.

This translates into a lower cost of hiring.

Consider these benefits in fostering your company culture.

 

Thank 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: The_Importance_of_Company_Culture.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:12am CST

What Is Company Culture?

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

Company culture is the attitude and behavior of the employees and its leadership.

This comes out in the form of decisions the company makes and the values the people hold.

You can see it in the way the employees act and how they work.

In early-stage companies, the company culture is established by the founders and the first five hires.

In later-stage companies, the company culture is established by the decisions taken over time. 

A strong company culture will guide employees in decision-making.

Company culture helps attract and retain employees who share the same values.

Company culture can come together organically over time or the leadership and employees can foster it.

You can learn more about a company’s culture from their website and employee reviews.

Word of mouth also presents the company culture.

Check your company culture to see if it matches the values you hold true.

 

Thank 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: What_Is_Company_Culture.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:04am CST

Legal Issues Around Equity

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

There are several legal issues surrounding equity to consider:

You must have a legal entity to establish equity ownership.

There are several types of legal structures including LLC, C-Corp, and more.

The LLC is easy to set up and launch the business. 

Delaware C-Corporation is the preferred legal structure by investors.

Start with an LLC and move to a Delaware Corporation when investors require it.

Be careful promising equity as they will come back to claim it at a later date.

Issuing equity falls under the domain of securities law.  

It’s important to have a lawyer review terms sheets and other legal documents impacting equity issuances to ensure compliance.

Make sure options provided to employees are properly documented.

Review the tax implications of equity with your accountant so you understand the impact on the business. 

Be careful with convertible notes and other deal structures so you understand the impact of the fundraiser on your cap table.

Watch out for key terms in the terms sheet such as “most favored nation.”

This term can give investors the same terms as provided to other investors.

Watch out for these legal issues with your equity.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

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Direct download: Legal_Issues_Around_Equity.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:20am CST

Best Practices for Founders’ Equity

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

There are many decisions to be made with founder equity.

Here are some best practices in handling those decisions. 

The founder-co-founder split of equity can be anything except 50/50.

A 50/50 split leaves no one in a position to make a final decision for the company.

In splitting the equity between or among the founders, consider the business needs first. 

What skills and experience must be brought to bear on the business?

Who on the team will be responsible for each aspect of the business?

Put this discussion on the table early on.

Have an open and frank discussion among the founders about what each team member can contribute to the business.

It’s important to vest any equity offered so a founder leaving early doesn’t take an outsized number of shares.

Consider the tax implications and use IRS tax code 83B which gives the shareholder the right to pay tax on the options issued rather than when they vest. 

Consider whether or not to buy back the shares of any founder who leaves.  

This could be expensive for the company.

Gain agreement on the growth strategy of the company.  

Will it grow organically over time or will you raise funding to accelerate it?

Organic growth takes longer but offers less dilution.  

Funding will speed up the growth but will reduce the founders' ownership stake.

Alignment in the growth strategy is important for founders and co-founders.

 

Thank 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: Best_Practices_for_Founders_Equity.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

What it takes to turn a travel startup from zero income to a staggering $100,000 in just one year?

In this episode of How to Raise Funding, Hall T. Martin, the host of Investor Connect, engages in a detailed discussion with a travel startup founder.

They discuss the origin of the travel venture, the struggles against pandemic-induced challenges, the revenues so far in 2021 and 2022, and the plans to raise funds for the startup.

The travel startup has recovered from zero income in 2021 to 100,000 USD in 2022 and above 100,000 in 2023, while still in the pilot stage. They also discuss issues with traditional funding methods and aim to raise 250,000 USD in funding, primarily for product development. 

Hall advises the company to get a convertible note or safe note, primarily from friends, family, or angel investors and accentuates the importance of always having a new piece of info available from a customer that can be shared with investors. Their strategy aims at providing solutions to customers while continually developing new features of their product.

 

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

Let's go startup something today.


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

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For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: How_to_Raise_Funding_10.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:12am CST

Best Practices for Equity

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

Equity is a key component of startup compensation for founders and employees.

While cash may be king in the short term, equity will be worth more in the long run.

Here are some best practices for founders to follow:

Treat equity as the scarce commodity it is and deploy it strategically and carefully.

Avoid using equity for short-term goals such as upgrading websites or purchasing inventory.

Consider alternative forms of funding for anything related to cash flow and inventory.

Set aside equity to compensate the team and take on potential investors.

While it dilutes the founder, it gives the company the capability to grow larger.

A smaller percentage of a big number is better than 100% of a very small number.

Align your compensation with the employee's needs. 

Know who on the team values equity and will work for it and who prefers cash.

If equity is not worth it to them, then reduce their equity share and give it to others who find it motivating.

Map out your equity ownership through subsequent rounds of funding.

It’s important to know how much equity you are giving away on each round. 

By running a fully diluted cap table on each terms sheet you plan to use, you’ll know how much that raise will cost you.

Consider these points in managing equity for your startup.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

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Direct download: Best_Practices_for_Equity.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:08am CST

Equity Vesting

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

Vesting is conveying the ownership of equity to the holder.

Vesting schedules show the rate at which equity is vested over time.

It is used to ensure founders and employees stay with the company till the proposed milestones are achieved.

Investors will look for standard vesting schedules on all equity given to founders, co-founders, and employees.  

The standard vesting schedule for early-stage companies is a four-year vesting schedule with a one-year cliff for founders and employees.

The one-year cliff means the vesting starts after one year but conveys equity each month thereafter.

At the end of the first year, the holder receives one-quarter of the equity.

Fully vested means that all ownership has been conveyed to the holder. 

For founders and cofounders, the vesting schedules should be the same even if the equity percentages are different.

The standard vesting for advisors and directors is 2 years with a 3-month cliff.

In some cases, the founders can get double trigger acceleration.

This accelerates the vesting if two events happen at the same time such as the founder leaves and the company undergoes an acquisition.

Vesting is a key concept in equity that founders should understand.

 

Thank 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: Equity_Vesting.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:47am CST

Equity Dilution

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

In the early days of the startup, the founders should raise only the amount of funding necessary to achieve the next milestone.

The valuation of the company is low but will rise when adding products, revenue, and team members.

Raising too much early on will cause the founders to suffer dilution.

Pursue the bigger funding in later rounds when the valuation of the company is higher.

It’s important to define very specifically what you are trying to achieve and know what this will cost.

Here are some other ways to reduce equity dilution:

Keep the discount rates on convertible notes and safe notes to a minimum.

Set up an option pool for employees but keep it in bounds.

Look out for pro rata terms that give some investors an outsized position.

Test your proposed terms sheets by inputting them into your cap table and displaying it as a fully diluted version.

In the early stages think minimum -- minimum fundraise, minimum viable product, minimum team.

This will reduce the amount of equity you are giving away.

 

Thank 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: Equity_Dilution.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:08am CST

Equity Distribution Over Funding Rounds

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

As the startup raises funding the founder's and employees' ownership stake will fall and the investor's stake will rise. 

This is due to the fact that more investors are added to the cap table over each round of funding.

Both founders and employees undergo dilution throughout this process.

After a seed round the founders typically own 65% of the company, employees own 15%, and investors own 20%.

After a Series A round the founders typically own 45%, employees own 12%, and investors own 43%.

After a Series B round the founders typically own 35%, employees own 10% and investors own 55%.

After a Series C round the founders typically own 30%, employees own 5% and investors own 65%.

After a Series D round the founders typically own 20%, employees own 3% and investors own 77%.

In startups with more rounds of funding, it’s not uncommon for founders and employees to own single-digit percentages of the company.

Consider the impact of additional rounds of funding on both founder and employee ownership.

 

Thank 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: Equity_distribution_over_funding_rounds.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

In this episode, we dive into the world of fundraising, exploring different strategies for securing funds. We also talk about Ten Capital, a specialized firm in investor relations, and introductions, with a notable track record in life science and tech investments.

We unravel the nuances of 10 Capital's flat fee structure and extensive investor network, particularly in healthcare and women's and children's health.

Now, here's a question for you: How can blending convertible notes and preferred equity shape the future of fundraising strategies for innovative ventures?

Share your thoughts with us on social media, and don't forget to subscribe for more engaging episodes. Your journey in the world of funding continues – stay tuned!

 

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

Let's go startup something today.


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

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Direct download: HTRF_EP09.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:34pm CST

Why Give Equity to Employees

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

Employees are a key factor in the success of startups.

Here’s a list of reasons why you should give equity to employees:

Recruiting -- the market is competitive, especially for quality candidates.

A startup offering equity to employees will find it a competitive advantage over other companies.

Retention -- equity vested over time is a useful tool for retaining employees.

The employee must work a certain number of years before their shares vest.

This is a key factor in building a stable workforce.

Motivation -- employees who have an ownership interest in the company are more motivated than those who do not.

Tax benefits for the employee -- equity compensation is taxed at long-term gains rather than ordinary income rates that apply to payroll.

Tax benefits for the employer -- there’s no income tax cost to the company.

Consider these benefits in setting up an equity compensation plan for your startup.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

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Direct download: Why_Give_Equity_to_Employees.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:15am CST

How To Give Equity to Employees

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

Equity is an important compensation tool for employees.

Startups that don’t provide equity must provide all compensation from the cash flow in the form of salaries and bonuses.

This can be difficult on the finances of the business.

Equity compensation doesn’t require any cash outlay.

Consider these methods of compensating employees with equity:

New employees -- give equity as part of the compensation package and pay market rates.

Promoted employees -- give equity as part of the higher compensation package.

Performance compensation -- give equity as part of the compensation for outstanding performance.

Ongoing compensation -- provide annual distribution of equity to employees to create a ladder of vested shares. 

Avoid big gaps in the equity compensation so there’s a steady flow of vested shares coming up each year.

The market is competitive and equity compensation is a key factor for many employees.

 

Thank 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: How_to_give_equity_to_employees.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:06am CST

Evaluating Employee Equity

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

Employees joining a startup will often receive equity as part of the compensation package.

Investors know that only one out of ten startups will generate an outsized return.

The rest turn in a modest return or fail outright.

Employees should consider these factors in evaluating equity compensation:

What is the exit strategy for the firm and is it a reasonable plan?

Many businesses never reach an exit but turn into lifestyle businesses instead.

How much ownership do you have?

Divide your shares by the total number of shares outstanding to find out.

Are you receiving incentive shares or restricted shares?

The strike price shows the value you must pay to receive the shares and compare it to the current valuation.

Understand the tax implications of each.

How long is the vesting period?

The most common vesting is four years with a one-year cliff.

Can you sell your shares on the secondary market and does the company facilitate the sale?

Can you take the vested shares if you leave the company or do you have to sell the shares back?

Make sure the promised equity is formally documented.

 

Thank 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: Evaluating_Employee_Equity.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:30am CST

Employee Equity

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

Equity compensation for employees varies greatly based on the location, type of startup, and job to be done.

An overall allocation for employees is around 15% of the total equity.

The first five hires receive 1% to 2% each.

Later employees receive 0.25% to o.5% each.

You can also apply a multiplier against the employee’s salary.

This makes it easy to apply to employees across the board.

Director level and above receive 1% while those below receive 0.5%.

Employees seeking a higher salary receive a lower equity percentage.

Those accepting a lower salary receive a higher equity percentage.

Contractors typically don’t receive equity.

Other factors impacting the equity decision include the current market conditions.

You can use equity to compensate seed-stage employees with salaries well below market rate.

Vest the equity over four years with a one-year cliff.

This ensures the employee stays with the company for a meaningful period.

Capture all equity agreements into the cap table.

Remember, follow-on fundraises will dilute all the employee shareholders similar to the founder and co-founder. 



Thank 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: Employee_Equity.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:36am CST

Advisors Equity

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

Startup advisors can help a startup establish the business and find the right track to grow.

Some informal advisors help the business without any compensation.

Some formal advisors help the business but require compensation.

Advisors seeking compensation look for a small piece of equity.

Most advisors are not paid cash in the very early stages as there’s no revenue to draw from. 

Advisors typically receive 0.2% to 1.0% of a share of equity.

The range covers advisors on the low end who give advice.

Those who provide strategic value such as finding investors or C-level hires are in the mid-range.

Experts who provide domain knowledge are on the high end.

The startup undergoes many changes in the early days so an advisor is useful for two years in most cases. 

The equity is vested over two years with a three-month cliff in case the advisor doesn’t work out.

There are standard advisor agreements to paper the engagement.

Any agreement involving equity should be documented and incorporated into the cap table.

Spend time with the advisor before committing to a long-term relationship to make sure there’s a good fit.



Thank 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: Advisors_Equity.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:21am CST

Curious about the startup hustle? 

Embark on a journey through the intricacies of startup funding and business strategy in the latest episode featuring Hall T. Martin. In this insightful dialogue with a seasoned guest, we unravel the challenges and triumphs of the startup ecosystem, ranging from crowdfunding endeavors to the profound impact of AI on global education.

We delve into the essentials of safe notes, convertible notes, and the art of securing substantial investments. This segment offers a comprehensive understanding of setting valuation markers, creating urgency, and optimizing timing for fundraising campaigns.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_________________________________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: HOW_TO_RAise_funding_08.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Co-Founders Equity

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

Running a startup it requires a complete team.

Someone is building it and someone is selling it. 

In the early stages of a startup, the founder is doing one of these and the cofounder is doing the other.

Founders should look for cofounders whose skill complements their own.

Since there’s no revenue, equity is used to compensate the founder and cofounder for their early work.

Founders must split the equity with the cofounder. 

Here are some key points to consider in determining the equity split:

Keep the big picture in mind when determining the cofounder's value.

Startups take many years to build and then sell so decisions should be made on long-term value and not just short-term job duties.

The equity split must be compelling enough for both founder and co-founder to motivate a strong contribution. 

Investors will look at the equity split to see if the key players are adequately motivated.

Focus on skills and execution rather than ideas and hours worked.

Make sure you vest the cofounder’s shares over a four-year period.

I see many startups with only half the equity still engaged with the company as a cofounder left early and took their entire equity allocation with them.

Plan for the long term and split equity so everyone is motivated to see it through.

 

Thank 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: Co-founders_Equity.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Types of Equity

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

There are several types of equity in a business.

Here’s a list to consider when engaging a startup:

Authorized shares -- the maximum amount of shares the company can distribute.

Outstanding shares -- the number of shares actually distributed.

This determines the current valuation of the company.

Subscribed shares -- the number of shares exchanged for an investment into the company.

Rights shares -- the shares that investors have the right to purchase.

This is often in the form of warrants that give the investor additional shares at a specified price.

Sweat equity shares -- the shares given to those who provide value to the company through labor.

Treasury shares -- the shares repurchased from investors and employees and held by the company.

Options -- shares promised to employees in exchange for their work.

This is used as an incentive to retain employees.

Dividends -- shares of stock converted to cash and given to shareholders.

This is used to provide additional compensation to the shareholders. 

Equity can be used in multiple ways to compensate and incentivize shareholders and employees. 

 

Thank 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: Types_of_Equity.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:26am CST

Founders Equity

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

Founders of the startup receive equity to generate loyalty to the firm.

Cofounders also receive equity.

In splitting equity between the founder and cofounder, avoid the 50/50 split as this puts no one in a position to make final decisions.

There are many tough choices to make in a startup and one founder needs to take that role.

Equity should be set based on the contributions each one makes and vested over time.

Consider the following in splitting the equity:

Experience of the founder

Time commitment made

Responsibilities

Funding raised 

These are the key factors in an early-stage company.

Consider setting aside shares for employees and incentive stock options.

Initial employees receive equity after the first round of funding. 

This round of equity replaces salary which comes into play when revenue starts.

Also, consider that investors typically take 20-25% of the equity in each round of funding.  

This dilutes the founders and early employees.

Capture the decisions in writing and consider setting up a cap table as a proof of record.

 

Thank 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: Founders_Equity.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:55am CST

Key Equity Terms

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

Equity represents the ownership stake in a startup.

Here are some key terms to know about equity.

Vesting -- the transfer of equity ownership from the company to the employee.  

A typical vesting schedule is four years.

Each month a portion of the promised equity is vested which gives the employee ownership over that portion.

One-year cliff -- this term is used with vesting and indicates vesting starts after one year.

Companies do this to encourage employees to stay at least a year. 

Options -- a contract giving the holder the right to buy shares at a specified price later.

Strike price -- this is the price the holder will pay for the options. The difference between the strike price and the market price is the gain the holder receives.

Stock options -- for non-qualified stock options you’ll need to pay tax on the difference between the strike price and the market price. 

For incentive stock options, you’ll pay capital gains tax on the gains when you sell the shares.

Liquidity event -- this is an event such as selling the company or going public on the stock exchange.   It creates liquidity for the shareholders.

Preference stack -- this is the order of payout to the shareholders based on term sheet clauses.  This puts some shareholders first by way of a liquidity preference.  The remaining shareholders get paid from the remaining proceeds.

Consider these terms when dealing with equity negotiations at a startup.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:23am CST

Startup Equity Basics

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

Equity is an ownership stake in a company represented by shares.

The three stakeholders are the founders, the employees, and the investors.

Founders start with all the equity and then create and give shares to investors and employees in return for funding and labor.

This additional equity reduces the value of the founder's shares which is called dilution.

The value of a share of stock is the total value of the company divided by the total number of shares outstanding.  

The number of shares authorized doesn’t matter.

Stock options give the holder the right to convert to shares at a later date.

An incentive stock option gives the holder the right to buy shares at a discounted price.

A non-qualified stock option gives the holder the right to buy shares at the grant price.

In a startup you can calculate the value of your stock by taking the most recent valuation and dividing by the number of shares outstanding.

Stock options and founder’s shares are often placed on a vesting schedule.

This is the number of years it takes for the holder to gain ownership over the granted shares.

Vesting is a mechanism to retain employees and founders till the work is completed.

Additional funding dilutes the value of the holders’ shares as it generates more shares outstanding.

The capitalization table (also called the cap table) lists the owners of the company and their percent and shareholder value.

It’s important to know these terms in dealing with equity in a startup.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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Category:general -- posted at: 3:17am CST

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Joy Schoffler, Founder and Principal at Distinctive Edge Partners. Located in Austin, Texas, United States.

Distinctive Edge Partners is a full-service communications, marketing, and events management firm serving clients across the aerospace and defense industry.

They specialize in pairing deep aerospace and defense expertise with creative and digital strategies to help clients build and maximize value, improve operations, and turn risks and threats into opportunities.

Joy Schoffler is an award-winning global communications and investor relations strategist with decades of experience. Joy has a deep history of helping clients achieve business goals, from raising capital to scaling cutting-edge technologies. 

 Joy's experience includes founding and selling a strategic marketing and communications firm, serving on the investment committee at Ascendant Industries, and leading investor relations for Casoro Capital. She has also been involved in real estate acquisitions, growth strategies, and innovation promotion.

Joy shares the opportunities for technology firms to work with the federal government, the modernization efforts in the government, and the opportunities for companies to be part of these efforts. Joy also talks about the resources available for startups to learn more about government needs.

Applications for the Space and Defense Ignite Awards are due by January, 10th, 2024 companies can apply here: https://usg.valideval.com/teams/sdi-ignite-2024/signup 

To learn more about getting involved in the upcoming Space and Defense Showcase and VIP Reception please visit our website: https://www.sdireception.com/ 

To learn more about Distinctive Edge Partners visit: https://distinctiveedge.partners/ 

 

_______________________________________________________

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Direct download: Joy_Schoffler.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:46am CST

Brand Equity

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

Brand equity is the value that comes from customer recognition of the brand.

Startups with brand equity command a higher price for the product and differentiate from the competition.

Here are the key elements of brand equity:

Brand recognition

Customers recognize the visual identity of the brand and value it.

This differentiates your startup from the competition and reduces the cost of acquiring new business.

Brand perception

Customers understand what your startup does based on the brand.

Customers are aware of your promise, values, and mission.

Brand image

The brand generates an emotion when customers see the image.

It is the emotional component of the brand that connects with the customer.

Brand value

The brand stands for quality and helps the customer justify the cost of the product.

It is the logical component of the brand.

Brand equity impacts a startup's financial performance including revenue, cost of sales, and profitability.

Other benefits include lowering the cost of launching a new product, upselling and cross-selling, and lowering churn.

 

Thank 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: Brand_equity.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Common Branding Mistakes

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

In developing the brand for your startup avoid these common mistakes:

Spending too much on an agency.

Most of the work comes from you, your team, and a graphics design professional.

Take ownership of your brand building and outsource key elements of the project such as logo design.

Designing a logo that looks cool but is hard to read.

Choose a logo design that remains legible in small formats such as email footers and browser tabs.

Creating a brand identity based on this year’s strategic goals.

Goals change every year so focusing on one year’s goals can leave your brand out of date.

Build a brand based on your overall business strategy which will last for several years.

Failing to maintain the promise of the brand.

You must deliver on that promise consistently.

Failing to communicate your message.

Avoid obtuse wording and strained analogies and make sure the majority of your audience understands it.

Missing the why.

Make sure you include in your message why your business exists.

Avoid these mistakes in your branding efforts.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

Best Practices for Rebranding

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

Most startups will at some point need to rebrand their business.

In rebranding your startup consider these best practices:

Just as you start with a minimum viable product so you can start with a minimum viable brand.

This allows you to test out your brand to see what resonates with your audience.

Emphasize the values in your company that arise naturally as these will be conveyed more readily.

Inventory your brand assets so you have a complete picture of your current status.

Involve the team in the rebranding process by having each one capture images that reflect the brand and then review everyone’s contributions.

Check the readability of the brand in all forms of communication.  

Make sure your brand is legible as it oftentimes renders in a very small format making it difficult to read.

Connect your brand to your business strategy.

Create a wordmark using custom and unique typography.

Trademark your wordmark so others cannot copy it.

Focus on one brand for your company and not for every platform or product.

Finally, engage professional graphic designers to help.

 

Thank 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: Best_practices_for_rebranding.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

When To Rebrand Your Startup

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

There are times when you need to rebrand your startup.

Here’s a list of reasons:

You’re attracting a larger customer base.

You're changing the target market to reach a new audience.

You’re updating the brand to represent the current product offering.

Your startup is merging with another company.

Customers confuse your logo with other company logos.

The brand you chose does not stand out in the market and no one can remember it.

Your competition has changed and you need to differentiate better.

Your startup has gone through a crisis and needs a fresh start.

The startup has evolved into a new business and the brand no longer reflects the company.

The logo design is out of date and needs to be updated.

Consider these situations as a catalyst for rebranding your startup.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

How To Rebrand Your Startup

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

There are several reasons for rebranding your startup.

A new name may be required due to trademark issues.

You may need to differentiate the company from the competition.

Before rebranding your startup, build a team to review the brand and create a new one. 

In rebranding your startup there are several strategies to consider:

Review the current brand positioning in the market. 

Identify what is working and not working with your current brand.

Determine what needs to change and what should stay the same.

If you are reaching out to a new market segment, research customers in the new sector.

Inventory the use of the brand in all formats and media.

This could be quite extensive for companies with a long history.

Revisit the tone, voice, and positioning of the brand.

Reformulate your brand messaging based on your promise to the customer. 

Update your brand positioning statement to include the proposed changes.

Redesign the logo with the new brand elements.

Write out the brand guidelines for the use of the brand.

Relaunch the brand with the company’s story and the reason behind the rebrand.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

How to turn a startup idea into a multi-million dollar investment?

Welcome to another episode of Investor Connect - How to Raise Funding Series, with Hall T. Martin. In this episode, we venture into the world of genuine connections, funding strategies, and the transformative power of AI in healthcare. If you're a startup enthusiast or an investor seeking valuable insights, you're in for a treat.

We talk about the importance of building relationships, and how to break down funding targets into manageable rounds. This is the key to turning startup momentum into multi-million dollar investments.

 


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Direct download: How_to_raise_07.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:18am CST

Why Rebrand Your Startup

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

There are times when a startup should rebrand itself.

Here’s a list of good reasons:

Your current brand no longer reflects the values and mission of your startup.

Your startup changed position in the marketplace and the brand no longer matches the promise you made.

Your startup has grown and is now in a new market sector.

Your startup merged with another company and the new company’s mission statement is different.

The brand positioning statement is out of date with the market which may have shifted.

The company’s image needs a new voice that resonates with the market.

Your target customer has shifted and you need to follow the customer.

A crisis has transformed the company and is no longer the same.

Here’s a list of not-so-good reasons:

The logo looks tired and stale.

The company is looking for a short-term boost in sales. 

The leadership has changed and is taking the company in a new direction.

Consider these reasons for rebranding your company.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

Thank you for joining your host Hall T. Martin with the Startup Funding Espresso -- your daily shot of startup funding and investing.

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

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Direct download: Why_rebrand_your_startup.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Managing Your Brand

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

Once you have established your brand it’s important to manage it ongoing.

Here are some key steps to consider in managing your brand:

Assign a team member to manage the process.

Budget resources for managing the brand.

Review how well the brand is doing in recognition, awareness, and positioning.

Discuss the brand with the team on a regular basis for their assessment.

Remind the team as well as the market what your brand stands for.

Talk with customers to see how well you are delivering on the brand promise.

Find out from unhappy customers what you can do better.

The upside to unhappy customers is that they point the way to a better product or service.

Review the competition to see how you are positioned in the market as new entrants may have changed the landscape.

Review the current market to see what new needs and opportunities exist for fulfilling the brand promise.

Your review of the market may point to new areas for growing the business.

Take these steps to continually monitor your brand and its success.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

Thank you for joining your host Hall T. Martin with the Startup Funding Espresso -- your daily shot of startup funding and investing.

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

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Direct download: Managing_your_Brand.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Key Elements of a Brand

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

A strong brand that resonates with the audience has several key elements.

Here’s a list of elements to build into your brand:

Authenticity:

Customers look for brands that are trustworthy in that they deliver on the promise.

Decide what promise you make and stick to it.

Distinctiveness:

Your brand cannot be a me-too version of others in your sector.

Choose a characteristic of your company to build into the brand that sets it apart from the competition.

Relevance:

Your brand must be relevant to the customer.

This means your product connects with the customer’s needs.

Consistency:

It’s consistency over time that builds your brand.

You must consistently deliver on the promises you make to your customers.

Boldness:

Your brand must mean something which means taking a stand.

Take a position and advocate for it.

Follow these steps to create a brand identity for your company.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

Thank you for joining your host Hall T. Martin with the Startup Funding Espresso -- your daily shot of startup funding and investing.

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

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Direct download: Key_elements_of_a_brand.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Steps to Building Your Brand

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

In building a brand from scratch follow these steps:

Start with purpose.

Identify the reason behind the company and why it exists.

Research the competition.

Find out what other companies are doing to avoid duplicate messaging.

Identify the target customer.

Get specific about who you want to reach.

Choose a brand message.

Tie your company’s mission to solving the needs of the target audience.

Flesh out the values of the brand.

Define the supporting values the company stands for.

Find the voice.

Show how the brand relates to the audience.

Develop the story.

Tell the story of the company that supports the brand.

Design the logo.

Create the visual identity of the brand.

Promote the brand.

Embed the brand in every communication including email, social media, signage, and letterhead.

Follow these steps to create a brand identity for your company.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_________________________________________________________

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

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Direct download: Steps_to_building_your_brand.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:27am CST

Best Practices for Creating a Brand

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

In crafting your brand consider these best practices:

Research your competition to see what type of branding they use.

This gives you an idea of what customers are seeing now and what may be an opportunity to do something different.

Identify the buyer persona you serve.

This tells you the customer values and cares about.

Research the target market.

This tells you the trends in the market and what is coming up.

Understand your company culture.

This gives you traits to build into a brand that sets you apart from the others.

Use the brand consistently.

Embed it into all of your marketing.

Write out your brand message.

This helps clarify what style, graphics, and colors to use in building it.

Continually promote your brand.

From time to time remind your target audience what your brand stands for.

Showcase the benefits of your brand.

Tie success stories and testimonials to your brand.

Use these best practices in building and promoting your brand.

 

Thank 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: Best_Practices_for_Creating_a_Brand.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:53am CST

Welcome to another episode of Investor Connect: How to raise funding series, with Hall T. Martin.

In this in-depth conversation, a tech startup founder details their journey from idea to a flourishing business. They share their experience of raising capital, tackling market research, overcoming challenges, and reaching a revenue of close to $200K.

Along with a backstory of their personal journey, we also discuss advice on funding rounds, investor relations, and strategic fundraising.

But how do you turn the momentum of a startup into a multi-million dollar investment?

We talk about the importance of building relationships, breaking a funding target into smaller rounds, and the value of presenting investors with a clear structure.

 

_______________________________________________________

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Direct download: How_to_raise_06.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:08am CST

Types of Branding

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

There are several types of branding strategies.

Here’s a list to consider for your startup:

Company name -- this strategy builds the brand around the name of the company.

High-end products and luxury brands often use this strategy.

Individual products -- this strategy builds a brand around key products in addition to the company name.

Those companies with products that appeal to different customer types often use this to tune the brand to each customer group.

Attitude branding -- this strategy captures the attitude of the company.

This type of branding creates an emotional connection with the customer.

Brand extensions -- this strategy extends the brand to related products.

This type of branding is often used in the fashion world to extend the brand to different product types.

Private label branding -- this strategy extends the brand of the store to other company’s products.

This extends the product line of the company by using its name rather than creating the product themselves.

Consider the type of branding your company need.

 

Thank 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: Types_of_Branding.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Brand Metrics

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

After launching your brand, track the performance with metrics.

Here are some key metrics to consider:

Awareness -- use surveys to gauge how many people are aware of the brand.

Associations -- see what key attributes people associate with it.

Linkage -- see how many people associate your brand with a characteristic unaided.

Quality -- check how many people associate quality with the brand.  

Loyalty -- use the Net Promoter Score to gauge loyalty to the brand.

Preference -- use a survey to test customer’s preference for your brand over others.

Repeat customers -- see how many buyers turn into repeat users.

Visibility -- how prevalent is your brand in social media and other online channels?

Persuasiveness -- how many customers buy the product after reviewing the brand.

Retransmission -- how many customers pass the brand along to others.

Interaction rate -- check the number of people who interact with the brand in a campaign.

Favorability -- measure the number of people who hold a favorable view of the brand.

Sales -- track the increase in sales due to the brand.

Before launching the brand, consider which metrics are the most important for your startup.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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Direct download: Branding_metrics.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Branding Positioning Statement

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

A brand positioning statement describes your product, what it does, and how it’s different from your competitors.

In crafting your brand positioning statement consider the following:

Start with your ideal customer and address their needs.

Contrast your solution with products currently available.

Give your solution a product name.

Identify the key value proposition of your product.

In developing your brand positioning statement, keep it short and to the point.

Focus on your primary values.

Connect it with your mission statement.

Call out your main value proposition.

Show how your product is unique.

Make sure your brand positioning statement is clear, simple and easy to understand.

It needs to be realistic and achievable.

It needs to address the ideal customer’s problem.

Brand positioning shows how you're delivering on your mission statement.

 

Thank 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: Brand_positioning_statement.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Branding Positioning

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

Brand positioning is the place your brand holds in the customer’s mind.

It should associate your brand with a positive experience.

Here are some key strategies to consider for building your brand positioning:

Quality -- this showcases the quality of your product.  

Use customer success stories, a long history in the business, and craftsmanship for this strategy.

Price -- use the price of the product to position the product in the customer’s mind.

This could be either a high-end price which implies luxury or a low-end price which implies good value.

Differentiation -- call out a unique feature of the product.

This could be how the product works, or a feature that competitors don’t have.

Convenience -- highlight the convenience factor in your product.

Show how your product saves time.

Competition -- demonstrate your product’s superiority over competitors.

It’s important to have a sustainable competitive advantage in this strategy.

Consider these brand positioning strategies for your startup.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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Direct download: Brand_Positioning.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Branding Strategies

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

Branding sets your company apart from the competition.

In building your brand consider these strategies:

Start with your target market.

Identify the ideal customer that you want to attract.

Review the competition to see what they offer and how they relate to that ideal customer.

Choose a positioning that the competitors have not already taken.

Pick a company name that matches your company.

Create an image for your company around that unique positioning.

Craft a story that supports that image.

Define what you want the company to be.

Create a narrative that shows how your company is on the path to fulfilling the promise of the brand.

The brand must be simple and clear.

Build that backstory and narrative into your website and communications.

Remind the market what your company stands for.

Reinforce that promise through all customer interactions.

It takes time to build a brand.

Consistency and time will bring that brand to reality.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

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

What if starting a business was as easy as a few taps on your phone?

In this episode of Investor Connect, How to Raise Funding, Hall T. Martin engages in a dynamic conversation with Salem Njejimana, the visionary behind TranQuility Inc. – an app reshaping the way millennials and Gen Zers launch businesses. They dive into the app's origin story, tailored for those venturing into e-commerce and product-based ventures.

Discover Tranquility's game-changing features, from virtual coaching to a dedicated business coach and virtual assistant. Salim shares the exciting news of their funding journey, having already secured $5,000 in non-dilutive investment. Listeners are invited to become users, partners, or investors in the Tranquility movement.

Ready to transform your entrepreneurial aspirations? You can find Salim here: www.linkedin.com/in/sirsalemnjejimana/?originalSubdomain=ca  or TranQuility here: www.linkedin.com/company/tranquillityinc/ Don't just dream – make it happen with Tranquility! 🔥

_______________________________________________________

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Direct download: How_to_raise_funding_05.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:20am CST

Building a Brand

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

A brand brings benefits to the startup.

Investors find value in a brand and will reflect it in the valuation.

A strong brand differentiates your startup from the competition.

It will make your startup memorable.

Here are some key steps in building a brand for your business.

Start with the founder's story.

Identify the motivation for starting the business.

Find your voice and write out keywords or phrases that represent it.

Review your mission statement for the purpose behind your company.

If you don’t have one, then write it out now.

Gather images that represent your keywords and mission statement.

Choose a color scheme and font that matches the style of your company.

Craft a five to seven-word phrase that encapsulates the reason for your business.

Tie it all together into a logo design with the image, color, and key phrase with the font.

Use your logo with all communications.

 

Thank 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: Building_a_brand.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:06am CST

Purpose of a Brand

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

The purpose of a brand is to show why your company exists.

It’s your reason for being beyond making money.

Customers buy products based on both logic and emotion. 

The brand helps you tell your story in a way that connects with the audience’s emotions.

Good brands are easy to understand and remember.

Customers look for brands that match their view of the world.

They make buying decisions based on brands.

They want to join communities of like-minded people.

Brands make it easy for customers to identify what is relevant to them.

To use your brand most effectively, consider the following:

Be consistent with the use of the brand throughout the organization.

Include your brand in all your communications.

Maintain your branding over the long run as it helps anchor the company and maintain consistency through trends and fads.

Use it to show your company’s beliefs and convictions.

A strong brand gives the company legitimacy in the marketplace.

It creates a connection with your audience.

 

Thank 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: Purpose_of_a_brand.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:04am CST

What Is Not a Brand

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

The strength of a company’s brand is how much customers believe in the promise of the company.

Here’s a list of what the brand is not:

Marketing positioning

Market positioning is where you are positioned in the market while the brand is where you are positioned in the customer's mind.

Name of company

The company name draws meaning from the brand.

Logo

The logo is the visual representation of the brand of the company.

Tagline

The tagline expresses the promise of the brand.

Website

The website promotes the brand.

The brand exists in the minds of the customer and is fostered by all of the above.

Consider how to use these tools to promulgate your brand but don’t mistake them for the brand itself.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

Thank you for joining your host Hall T. Martin with the Startup Funding Espresso -- your daily shot of startup funding and investing.

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
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Direct download: What_is_not_a_brand.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:14am CST

Why Your Startup Needs a Brand

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

Branding is more than just a logo.

Your logo is your visual identity.

Your brand is the promise your startup makes to the market.

Here is a list of reasons to craft a brand for your startup:

It gives the startup a singular message that underpins all marketing.

Over time, the brand can become an asset to the company and make it more valuable in an exit.

Branding differentiates your startup from the competition.

It can generate more sales as customers prefer companies with brands over ones that don’t have one.

Branding generates repeat business as customers become loyal to brands.

Branding fosters social proof which motivates new customers to try your product.

Your startup needs a brand.

Consider what promise you are making to the market with your startup that sets it apart from all others. 

Craft a branding strategy for your startup with that promise in mind.

 

Thank 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: Why_your_startup_needs_a_brand.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

What is a brand?

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

Your brand is your promise to the customer.

It’s based on the mission of the company.

It appeals to people who share the same vision as you.

It gives the company a unique positioning over the competition.

Your brand impacts everyone in the company including investors, team members, partners, as well as the customer.

Here are some steps to establish your brand:

Start with your founder's story.

What led the founder to start and build the company?

Review your company’s mission statement.

Choose the primary value that your company stands for.

Create a list of words that represent the story, mission, and values of the company.

Create a five-word tagline that encapsulates the promise your company makes.

Select a color and typeface that represents your company style.

Design a logo with a tagline that combines these elements.

Include the logo in all company communications including email and social media.

 

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

Let’s go startup something today.

_______________________________________________________

Thank you for joining your host Hall T. Martin with the Startup Funding Espresso -- your daily shot of startup funding and investing.

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

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

Should you be an Advisor?

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

Investors are often tapped to advise startups.

Here are some key points to consider when asked to be an advisor:

Are you interested in the startup and what they are doing?

If you’re not interested then nothing else really matters.

What is the time commitment requested?

Make clear what time limitations you have upfront.

What exactly do they want?

Ask probing questions to find out what they want from you.

Do they want industry-specific advice or general startup advice?

Make sure you are the right person for what they need.

Do they want introductions to potential customers, partners, and others?

If so, make sure you have the contacts that will work.

Is there any compensation?

For the most part, there will be no cash compensation but equity is a potential option.  Ask about this upfront.

Do you think the team will succeed?

Choose startups that have a real shot at making it successful.

Turn the advisor role into a fairly specific project so there are no missed expectations on anyone’s part.

 

Thank 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: Should_you_be_an_advisor.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Arthur Petropoulos, founder of Hill View Partners, a mergers & acquisitions, business sales/exits, and capital advisory services firm specializing in middle-market and lower middle-market companies generating $1 million to $10 million in EBITDA. Based in Cranston, RI, USA, Hill View Partners has a track record of delivering exceptional results for their clients.

Arthur Petropoulos founded Hill View Partners in 2016 after a successful tenure on Wall Street as an Investment Banker, Private Equity Investor, and Head of Mergers and acquisitions and Corporate Development for a high-growth Operating Company. Of note, Arthur served as the Co-Head of the Internal Private Equity group at Cantor Fitzgerald / BGC Partners and was the Director of Corporate Development for a diversified Business Services Company.

Arthur is a Rhode Island native, having earned his undergraduate Business Degree from Providence College and his Juris Doctorate with a focus on Corporate Transactions and Finance from Roger Williams University School of Law.

For more information about Hill View Partners, visit their website at www.hillviewps.com. You can also connect with Arthur Petropoulos on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/arthur-petropoulos, or at arthur@hillviewps.com and follow Hill View Partners on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/hillviewpartners

 

_______________________________________________________

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

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Direct download: IC_Arthur.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Startup Advice for Those in College

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

For those in college who want to start their own business use your college days to prepare.

Here are some things you can do:

Set up the legal entity and the website for the business.

Identify the key websites and information resources about your industry and market.

Start tracking the competitors and key players in the industry.

Use your electives to take courses that can help you with basic business needs such as accounting and finance.

Start building your network of partners, suppliers, and other key contacts who will be useful to your business.

Start testing your market for the right price, product, and position.

Start learning about who your ideal customers are and where to find them.

Run customer acquisition tests to find the right channel for customers.

Read up on the industry to learn more about the technologies, companies, and key figures.

Don’t worry about fundraising yet. 

College is a great time to learn. 

Use it to learn about your industry, market, and customers.

 

Thank 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_advice_for_those_in_college.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Life After the Buyout

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

Life after a company buyout will be different for the founder.

Here are some key areas to prepare for:

In some cases, the founder will have an earnout that provides additional compensation for meeting revenue or earnings goals.

For those who gain stock in the new company, there may be revesting requirements.

This means the founder must stay for a time period as they revest their ownership in the new stock. 

This is similar to the vesting time for a startup in which the founders have to re-earn their shares in the company.

Most founders will be required to stay with the company for the integration phase.

For the integration, create a plan with a timeline and gain approval from the owners, employees, partners, and other stakeholders.

This includes setting up new communication channels, and organization charts, as well as removing redundant employees and suppliers.

Finally, the purchased company must meld into the acquiring company’s culture.

Most transitions take a minimum of one year to complete unless the acquired company is very small.

 

Thank 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: Life_after_the_buyout.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Legal issues in an acquisition

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

There are several legal issues involved in selling your business. 

Here is a list of key areas to review:

Liability -- the buyer assumes the liabilities of the acquired.

This includes any outstanding litigation as well as compliance issues.

Intellectual property -- the buyer will look for what has been filed, when, and what is the current status.

Make sure your documents and filings are in order. 

Escrow for liabilities -- the buyer may want to hold some of the funds in escrow for potential liabilities that may come in the first year.

Review your outstanding liabilities and working capital requirements.

Contracts -- the legal team will want to review all contracts to understand what responsibilities the acquired has.

Make sure all contracts are organized for review.

Investor agreements -- the legal team will review all investment documents to understand what legal requirements must be met.

Non-compete and non-disclosure agreements -- the buyer will require the founding team to sign non-compete and nondisclosure agreements to protect the business from additional competition.

Have your legal team review these areas before an acquisition.

 

Thank 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: Legal_issues_in_an_acquisition.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST

Strategic Acquisitions

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

There are strategic acquisitions and financial acquisitions.

Strategic acquisitions are made for factors other than financial considerations.

Here’s a list of strategic reasons buyers acquire companies:

The acquired company provides sales growth for the buyer.

Startups are often in emerging technology markets with the promise of future sales growth.

The buyer wants to roll up several companies to pursue a new market.

Collecting a group of startups into an acquisition can provide a competitive advantage.

The buyer wants to improve their competitive position.

By purchasing a startup they can build their competitive advantage.

The buyer may want to integrate vertically.

By buying their supplier, a company can build a stronger supply chain.

The buyer may want to gain access to a new market that requires a license.

By buying a company with a license, they overcome regulatory barriers.

The buyer may want to buy a company for the product it has already built.

This speeds up the buyer’s time to market.

The buyer may want to buy a startup for the team they have.

This helps the buyer obtain talent. 

Consider these reasons in selling your business to a company for strategic purposes.

 

Thank 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: Strategic_acqusitions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:00am CST