Investor Connect Podcast

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Candy Messer, President at Affordable Bookkeeping and Payroll, and Host of the Biz Help For You radio show.

Affordable Bookkeeping and Payroll is different than other payroll services. They offer options to best suit the client's needs as well as schedule tax payments based on the tax filing schedule - according to the IRS’ requirements - rather than debiting taxes when payroll is processed, giving clients access to their cash for longer. Affordable Bookkeeping and Payroll also bundles all typical tasks in the monthly fee, so clients always know what they will pay without any nickel and dime charges added in. And with bookkeeping and payroll services handled in one place, it’s easy for entrepreneurs to have everything managed by one company, and all financial information can be provided to the business tax preparers each year.

Affordable Bookkeeping and Payroll Services has built a strong reputation as one of Southern California’s most trusted bookkeeping and payroll companies. Hard work, attention to detail, mutual respect for others, solid business practice, and high ethical standards have helped their company grow year over year.

Biz Help for You is an education-based podcast that gives information to entrepreneurs offering tips for success in various areas including marketing, website design, budgeting, understanding information on financial reports, and more. 

Candy is a profitability and growth advisor working with entrepreneurs in service-based industries to help them have successful businesses. With experience in the bookkeeping industry since 1998, Candy understands the stresses business owners face and offers customized services to meet their varying needs.

Candy was named Woman of the Year for 2009-2010 by the Peninsula Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association, and 2011 Entrepreneur Mom of the Year by Today’s Innovative Woman magazine. In 2012, the El Camino College Foundation honored her as a Distinguished Alumni of the Year. Affordable Bookkeeping and Payroll was named 2016 Small Business of the Year by the Torrance Chamber and Intuit’s (creator of QuickBooks software) 2016 Firm of the Future.

Candy has been married since 1992 to her husband Garth and they have a son, daughter, son-in-law, and two grandsons. When not running her company, Candy enjoys reading, crocheting, logic puzzles, and spending time with friends and family.

Visit Affordable Bookkeeping and Payroll at www.abandp.com, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AffordableBP.  

Listen to the Biz Help For You radio show at https://affordablebookkeepingandpayroll.com/biz-help-for-you-with-candy-messer/

Reach out to Candy at contact@abandp.com, and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/candymesser.
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Startup Boards -- Impact Measurements

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

Impact is in the eye of the beholder. 

What impact you see, may not be shared with the investor or company you are working with.

You must measure your impact. There are several systems you can use, such as:

GIIRS -- stands for Global Impact Investing Rating System. It rates companies based on social and impact performance metrics and is considered one of the primary standards.  

IRIS -- stands for Impact Reporting and Investment Standards and provides metrics for social, environmental, and financial performance of a company. 

B Analytics -- developed by B Lab, it provides a tool to assess, compare, and improve impact.

SASB Standards -- stands for Sustainable Accounting Standards Board and provides sustainability standards for over 70 industries.

GRI Standards -- one of the first to provide standards for sustainability reporting.

International Integrated Reporting Council -- provides reporting to bring cohesion and efficiency to the reporting process. 

Within the world of impact investing, there are many sectors. Comparing metrics between sectors can be difficult.

These tools can 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.
___________________________________

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: Impact_Measurements.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Startup Boards --  Primary vs. Secondary Impact Investing

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

In impact investing, there is primary impact and secondary impact.

Primary impact comes from the company pursuing its mission.  

You measure it based on the effect the business has on the cause it supports.

For example, how many students improved their scores.

Secondary impact measures how the company carries out its mission.

Certified “B” Corporations are an example of this. For a company to qualify as a “B” Corporation, it must achieve metrics in green practices, diversity, pay, and more.

These companies often use secondary impact data to show their performance in environmental activities or community activities.

It is often manipulated data that hides the true mission of the company.

Focus on the primary impact and check the metrics for companies you want to fund for their impact on the cause.


Thank 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: Primary_vs_Second_Impact_Investing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

The Challenge of Impact Investing

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

Impact investing seeks to make the world a better place through its investments.

As with all investing, it comes with its own challenges.

Most impact investments underperform the market. 

The focus on providing social or environmental benefits degrades the financial return.

Some researchers claim that impact investing receiving market returns is not having an impact, and those delivering an impact end up with below-market returns.

The challenge is finding an impact investment opportunity that provides enough of an impact to offset the lower return.

It’s important to measure the impact the company provides and follow it over time to know that it is making a real difference.

In many impact startups, the social or environmental impact is not clearly defined. 

The impact investor must identify a company actually providing the stated impact, then the investment must actually increase the company’s measured impact.

Impact investing encourages companies to provide a social impact, but there must be a measured result to determine how effective it is.


Thank 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: The_Challenge_of_Impact_Investing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Justin Breen, Founder, and CEO of BrEpic Communications LLC and BrEpic Network, and author of the No. 1 International Best-Selling Book, “Epic Business”.

Headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois, and founded in 2017, BrEpic Communications LLC will run your social media sites, write clicky stories that highlight you or your business, and find the right pitch for multiple media outlets. 

BrEpic Network is an invitation-only, premium connecting platform for the who’s who in business, philanthropy, and global leadership. BrEpic Network will bring simple yet powerful technology to this network of visionary leaders and connectors. Leaders want instant, credible, vetted access to other leaders, and they want results in a deliverable fashion. BrEpic Network will allow that to happen at an exponential rate.

Justin is an extremely active member of Strategic Coach 10x, Abundance 360, and Entrepreneurs' Organization, and he has an incredible global network of visionaries and exceptional businesses.

Justin reviews his book by telling us the inspiration behind it, the primary audience, the most important takeaway he found, and more.

Visit BrEpic Communications LLC and BrEpic Network at www.BrEpicLLC.com and www.BrEpicNetwork.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/brepiccommunicationsllc/, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BrEpicComm

Reach out to Justin at justin@brepicllc.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/justinbreen1, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BrEpicBreen
____________________________________________________________________

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: Justin_Breen_of_BrEpic_and_BrEpic_Network_Book_Review.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Startup Boards -- Impact Metrics

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

In raising funding, you need to show your metrics.  

Startups in the impact space should also show their impact metrics, as investors will look for your results there. 

A common mistake by impact companies is to focus on the size of the market to be served and the needs in those markets.  

Instead, you should measure the actual impact results of your business on the market you are serving and show those results.

For example, how many students graduated, how many bottles of plastics were removed from the waste stream, how many students improved their test scores? 

Focus on the primary impact which is on the customer, rather than the secondary impact which is on the employee of the business.

There are several metric systems, including GIIN’s IRIS+ metrics (https://iris.thegiin.org/metrics/), the IRIS Thematic Taxonomy (https://iris.thegiin.org/document/iris-thematic-taxonomy/), and the Impact Management Project (https://impactmanagementproject.com/impact-management/impact-management-norms/).

In short, no one system covers all impact sectors.  

Check out the Sustainable Development Goals site (https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300) for the categories of impact metrics to see where your deal fits. 


Thank 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: Impact_Metrics.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Key Terms in Impact Investing

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

There are key terms used in the impact investing world.  

Here is a list of the ones to know:

  1. Below market rate -- an impact investment made with the expectation that the financial return will be less than the market rate of a startup’s investment.
  2. Charitable purpose -- the investment’s purpose has a charitable contribution that aligns with the foundation's purpose.
  3. Mission-related investments -- an investment for social or environmental reasons with a financial return.
  4. Program-related investments -- a specific type of investment made by the foundation that aligns with its mission.
  5. Divest/invest movement -- investors using their investments to achieve social goals.
  6. Due diligence -- an in-depth evaluation of an investment.
  7. Environmental, social, and governance -- incorporates environmental, social, and corporate governance criteria into an investment analysis.
  8. Market rate -- the standard financial return an investor expects.
  9. Socially responsible investing -- an investment strategy that seeks investments that are considered socially responsible based on the business.

It’s important to know the difference between impact investing and non-impact 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/ 
For Startups check out: https://tencapital.group/company-landing/ 
For eGuides check out: https://tencapital.group/education/ 
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Direct download: Key_Terms_in_Impact_Investing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Robert Samuelsen, President and CEO at SmallStart Ventures. 

SmallStart Ventures identifies high-potential entrepreneurs and provides a structured launchpad for their small business dreams. SmallStart Ventures expects to add $315.9M to GDP and 5,500 jobs to the economy.

A study published in the International Journal of Humanities & Social Studies claims the failure rate of a traditional incubator is 90%. According to www.corporatefinanceinstitute.com, the success rate for a VC-backed startup is only 8%.

SmallStart’s one-on-one guidance (Success Coaching) is a 3-year journey and the goal is an 80% success rate. SmallStart’s model is superior to traditional VC startups because they know from the start, the following:

The buyer – the General Manager/Entrepreneur

The time frame – At the end of three years

The selling price – The appraised price

SmallStart offers opportunities for a diversity of individuals who may find it complicated to start a business or who may feel at a disadvantage by societal situations. Their Success Coaches specialize in assisting immigrants, all races, women, single parents, ex-cons, and other demographic groups.

Robert has held positions as the CEO, CFO, and COO for more than 20 years. He has worked for three Fortune 500 Corporations including NCR Corporation, AT&T, and Roper Industries, and was the Founder of Square Knot Ventures, eVine, AvaLAN Wireless, Navibase, and SEE Consultants.  Robert has executed three business turnarounds and has raised approximately $450 million.

Robert discusses his background, starting a business in the area of financial services, potential rewards, how SmallStart Ventures differs from his competitors, and more.

Visit SmallStart Ventures at www.smallstartventures.com

Reach out to Robert at rsamuelsen@smallstartventures.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/robert-rob-samuelsen-7605051, and via telephone at (520)820-8006.
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For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org  

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: Robert_Samuelsen_of_SmallStart_Ventures.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

What Is Impact Investing?

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

Impact investing is an investment in startups that can generate a social or environmental impact in addition to a financial return.  

It can be done anywhere and at any stage of business.

Impact investing includes not only angel investors, but also family offices, pension funds, wealth managers, foundations, and religious institutions. 

Impact investments provide market-rate returns or sometimes less than the market.

It seeks to solve challenges in areas such as renewable energy, microfinance, climate change, housing, education, and more.

Impact investors look for their investment to make a measurable difference.

Impact startups need to show their performance goals related to the industry standards.

Monitor the performance against the targets and report the results to the investors.

Startups should have not only financial metrics but also impact metrics.

Impact metrics show the social or environmental results.

Many impact startups appear to be non-profits showing a social cause but no investment return.

Impact startups need to show both.


Thank 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: What_is_Impact_Investing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Venture Fund Defaults 

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

In a market recession, it’s often the case that limited partners - called LPs - are unable to fulfill their capital commitments to venture funds. 

For venture funds encountering this issue, the first step is to open a dialog with the LPs about the capital needs and the LP’s ability to provide the funds.

Explore potential options such as lines of credit both for the fund and the LP.

Fund managers should discuss with the LPs about the strategy tradeoffs between investing in new startups and supporting existing investments.

Fund managers should reconsider the valuation methods as the market environment has changed. 

Fund managers could also approach the LPs about extending the fund timelines given the new market situation. 

For those still raising funds, consider updating existing offering documents to adjust the financial projections and risks. 

Fund managers should also consider the pace of new investments in light of committed follow-on investments. 

Finally, fund managers should review any potential clawback situations and adjust accordingly.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
For Startups check out: https://tencapital.group/company-landing/ 
For eGuides check out: https://tencapital.group/education/ 
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Direct download: Venture_Fund_Defaults.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Payback Period for the Product

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

Investors look for strong margins on a startup's product as it’s a positive indicator of customer interest and a profitable business. 

One way to metric this is the payback period for your product. 

It’s the amount of time it takes for a customer to repay the cost of customer acquisition. 

To calculate, use the marginal gross profit and the sales and marketing expenses.

If you take the quarterly or annual numbers, you should be able to smooth out the minor variations that come from discounts.

Many companies start with a low price and, over time, raise the price. This forces the company to create an efficient go-to-market strategy from the get-go.

As you grow your business, you can raise your prices, so the revenue flows to the bottom line. 

Calculate your payback period and use the metric with investors.

This demonstrates you know your numbers and are improving margins and efficiency over time. 


Thank 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: Payback_period_for_your_product.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

This is the Investor Connect KiwiTech 2022 podcast series. In this series, we discuss trends and topics in the startup world. I hope you enjoy this episode.

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Thank you for joining us for the Investor Connect KiwiTech 2022 podcast series. 

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

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

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How to Improve Your Valuation

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

Valuation is a negotiation and not just a formula.

Here are some key points to improve your valuation:

Highlight the team and their contributions to the business.

The team is often no more than one slide in the deck and rarely does their value come across to investors aside from that of the CEO.

Discuss what each team member is doing to make the business successful.

Show previous business successes. 

Demonstrate past accomplishments of the team, in particular exits.

Highlight milestones accomplished so far in the business.

Most fundraises kick off with a successfully completed milestone such as launching the product.

Focus on milestones that show value to the business such as new hires for the team, closing a key customer, or finding a lead investor.

Reduce your burn rate.  

This shows you can sustain longer with less funding. 

In fact, if you can move the business to profitability then your company will be more attractive as it can survive market downturns.

Let the investors propose the valuation and consider the one which gives you the best deal.

Valuation is a negotiation which means everything counts.


Thank 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: How_to_improve_your_valuation.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Using Metrics in Your Valuation

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

Metrics can help drive the valuation for your startup fundraise.

Here is a list of key metrics to include:

Number of visitors to your website and their conversion to paying customers. The higher the conversion rate, the lower the cost of sales and the greater the valuation.

Average revenue per customer. The higher the average revenue, the easier it will be to achieve scale.

Monthly or annual recurring revenue. This is the key driver for calculating forward multiples of a valuation.

Revenue run rate. If your revenue is still ramping up, consider taking the current monthly revenue and multiplying it by 12 to give you an annualized revenue run rate.  

This will make your annualized revenue bigger than a look-back method.

Contribution margin. If you have high gross margins, include this in your valuation calculation as this will translate into more dollars going back into the business.

Customer acquisition vs. lifetime value. This ratio should be at least 1:3, but if it’s 1:5 or better, it can improve your valuation.

Churn rate. This is the rate at which customers stop using your product or service. The lower the rate, the better the valuation.

Viral coefficient. This measures how fast your product moves from one customer to the next through referrals. A highly viral product will garner a much higher valuation.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

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

For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group   

Please follow, share, and leave a review.

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

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Henry Lopez, Managing Partner at Levante Business Group, and Host of the How of Business podcast.

Levante Business Group provides business consulting and services and is the producer of the How of Business podcast.

The How of Business is a weekly show for aspiring entrepreneurs and existing small business owners. If you are looking for actionable advice, tips, and techniques on how to start, run and grow your small business, this is the podcast for you! In each episode, they either discuss a business topic or interview an existing business owner or business service provider. 

The podcast reaches an engaged audience of aspiring entrepreneurs and existing small business owners worldwide. Their popular and top-rated business podcast averages over 72,000 unique monthly downloads, 774,000 unique downloads in 2020, and over 2,200,000 all-time downloads.

Henry is a serial entrepreneur, small business coach, and consultant. He has over 35 years of diverse business experience, including successful careers in the information technology industry, sales, sales training, and business ownership. 

Henry has been involved in 12 different businesses since buying his first business in 1991. Henry has bought and sold businesses and has also developed his own new businesses, including franchises. His businesses span various industries including restaurants, real estate investments, salon suites, software, travel, shared office space and coworking, car washing, and small business coaching and consulting. Henry currently resides in Jensen Beach, Florida with his wife Pam.

Henry speaks about the great resignation, remote work, online sources of information that he finds useful, tips for a successful podcast, what business he would start tomorrow, and much more.

Visit Levante Business Group at www.linkedin.com/company/levante-business-group and listen to the How of Business podcast at www.thehowofbusiness.com/how-of-business-podcast/

Reach out to Henry at henry@levantebg.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/henry-lopez-9758524/, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/HenryLuvsBiz

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: Henry_Lopez_of_Levante_Business_GroupThe_How_of_Business_podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Maximizing Your Valuation

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

Valuation is a negotiation and not a formula.

While there are formulas and rules of thumb to help determine valuation, it comes down to positioning and negotiating.

Here are some key points to maximize your valuation:

Emphasize the team and show what they are doing to help your business.

The investors see the CEO often and rarely see the team and so may undervalue them.

Highlight the repeatable, predictable nature of your revenue rather than the absolute value of it.

Investors look for predictability in the revenue, so focus on the factors that generate revenue and show how they are repeatable.

Most fundraises kick-off after achieving a milestone such as a product launch, revenue traction achieved, or a patent filed.

Emphasize your most recent milestones showing customer demand and past market success.

Calculate your valuation with various models to find the one that puts your deal in the best light with the highest valuation.

Consider the market in timing your fundraise. The hotter the stock market, the higher the valuation you can demand.

Connect your startup to a technology trend. Investors will pay more for a hot, new technology, so associate your deal with it.

Positioning your deal properly will earn you a higher valuation.


Thank 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: Maximizing_your_valuation.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Justifying a Startup Valuation

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

Startup valuations differ from standard valuations in that they don’t solely rely on expected cash flows, book value, or other tangible aspects of the business.

Intangibles such as quality of the team, intellectual property, product status, and customers are the driving factors.

Most angel investors want 25% of the equity for an initial round of investment.

In addition, they want to have a say in the business through a board of directors or advisory role.

To justify your startup value, focus on articulating the values that are already in the business as follows:

Highlight the team you have built so far and their experience.

Show what the team is doing to make the company successful.

Show the current product development and highlight what has been done so far.

Outline the intellectual property you have, including provisional patents. 

Make sure you file your provisional patents in advance of launching a fundraise so you can point to having patent-pending technology.

Always note customers even if they are not yet paying for your product.  

If you do have some revenue use it to prove market validation showing customers will pay for it. 

Customer involvement will generate a higher valuation. 

If you cannot sell the proposed valuation for the raise, consider cutting the fundraise target in half.  

While the valuation will be the same, the risk will appear lower.



Thank 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: Justifying_a_startup_valuation.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Calculating Forward Multiples

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

Valuations for software companies with recurring revenue are calculated using forward revenue multiples.

While revenue is the primary factor in calculating the multiple, some companies can increase it by demonstrating excellence in other areas.

Use these definitions to calculate it:

Revenue growth – revenue this year over last year in a percentage. 

Sales efficiency -- take your increase in gross profit and divide by last year's sales and marketing expenses.

Cash flow margins -- divide your cash flow by revenues.

Net income margin -- divide net income by revenue.

Gross margin -- divide gross margin by revenue.

To calculate forward multiples for companies going public, use the following formula:

Forward Multiple = 6.3 + 38 x Revenue_Growth + 2 x Sales Efficiency.

Revenue growth and sales efficiency provide the most impact.  

If you have additional value through your margins, you can add them in as well. 


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

Let’s go startup something today.
____________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: Calculating_forward_multiples.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Alejandra Slatapolsky, Co-founder at Scalto and host of The Biz of Wealth podcast.

Founded in 2020 and headquartered in Miami, Florida, Scalto knows how hard it is for service-based businesses to attain real scalability; exponentially increasing revenues without incurring significant costs. They are here to help Hispanic and Latin American B2B service businesses design truly scalable business models to grow over time.

Scalto focuses on enabling firms to jump ahead of the competition by designing all aspects of a truly scalable business: the offering, the client experience, the brand, and the communications and lead-generation process. It all starts with their xAlto Program, where they help you gain clarity on the problem you solve for your target audience and design scalable business solutions, from a branding and communications perspective.

The Biz of Wealth podcast talks to veterans, newcomers, innovators, and everyone in between about the evolution, future, and struggles of the wealth industry.

Alejandra is a communications and marketing leader with over 20 years of experience in B2B financial services, fintech, and technology. She has helped dozens of companies expand their businesses and create awareness through thought leadership strategies. She has designed and implemented successful communication strategies drawing from a background in marketing, strategic event planning, journalism, public relations, digital strategies, and education. 

Alejandra speaks about the startup scene in Miami, scaling your startup and the challenges faced, common mistakes people make, and more.

Visit Scalto at www.scalto.com, and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/scaltoconsultancy

Listen to The Biz of Wealth podcast at https://thebizofwealth.com/.   

Reach out to Alejandra at alejandras@scalto.com, and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/alejandraslatapolsky
__________________________________________________________________

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: Alejandra_Slatapolsky_of_Scalto.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

5X Rule of Post Money-Valuation

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

As an investor reviewing deals, you’ll hear a wide range of startups with various fundraises and pre-money valuations.  

So, how can you screen the deals to find those who have ‘reasonable’ valuations?

Try the 5X rule.

The 5X rule says to take the post-money valuation and multiply times 5. If the company sells for that price, then the investors will do well.  

If you don’t think the company will be able to sell for that price, then the company is overvalued and will most likely not provide a return to the investor.

Entrepreneurs usually quote their fundraise target and their pre-money valuation. 

To find the post-money valuation, add the fundraise amount to the pre-money valuation.

Here’s a recent example. The company is raising $2M on a pre-money valuation of $10M yielding a $12M post-money.  

By multiplying 5*12, we see a target exit value of $60M. Most companies in the space were exiting at $25M to $30M, so this one was overvalued.


Thank 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: 5X_rule_of_Post_Valuation.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

How to Make Your Data Valuable

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

Startups can make their business more valuable if they collect data and turn it into a revenue-generating product.

Many startups providing a service can collect data about the process, the customer, the market, and more.

Raw data is not of value. It must be refined and there needs to be a market for it.

In your startup, look at the process you are running to see what data can be mined.

For example, if you provide microloans to businesses, what is the credit rating of those who pay back consistently?

Others will pay for this information.

Here are some key points to consider for mining data from your business:

Aggregating customer data can prove to be valuable information.

Look for applications where you can capture data automatically.

Network effects can increase the value of the data too.

The more unique your data set the more valuable it will be.

Having a large data set can be used to market your product or service as it increases the perceived value to the customer.

Data sets can provide a competitive advantage for your business.

Finally, you can glean insights from the data to create AI algorithms.

In fundraising, communicate your data strategy and show it as a competitive advantage and a potential revenue stream.


Thank 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_Make_Your_Data_Valuable.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Startup Valuation Roadmaps

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

Investors setting a valuation should review the cap table to understand how future rounds will cause dilution.

A cap table tracks each shareholder and the amount of equity they own including the pre and post-money valuations.

Key factors to consider are the following:

Option pools -- what has been set up or will be set up.

Liquidation preferences -- does any other investor have a right to a liquidation preference that gives them a portion of the proceeds before other investors?

Future rounds of funding -- how many more rounds of funding will be required?

Most startups will need additional funding so some dilution is to be expected.

Map out the proposed follow-on rounds of funding to see the effects of dilution on the investors' equity position.

Consider the impact of venture capital on the cap table which can have a major impact on earlier investors.

It’s often the case the startup must raise additional capital beyond the plan, due to unforeseen circumstances so any proposal shows the best-case scenario.

By mapping the cap table from the current investment to the exit, the investor can understand their position at an exit and what return to expect.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
____________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: Startup_Valuation_Roadmaps.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Khalil Shalabi, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Wyth. 

Headquartered in Lemont, Illinois, and founded in 2018, Wyth is a new carpool and rideshare app and service exclusively for university students. It is a closed-loop system, whereby drivers and riders are from the university community (i.e.. students, faculty, or staff) making it a safer option than current services.

Wyth is a mobility solution for rides around college campuses (rideshare services for housing, campus, athletic events, and business district) and long-distance solutions during holidays and breaks (carpool services for students going home, school, or other places). Product-market fit is resounding with twenty-one (21) major universities interested. The market analysis of usage of “rides around campus” from 2 universities is UCLA  with 11,000 rides/week and the University of Alabama with 40,000 rides/week. Wyth is a safer alternative to Uber/Lyft due to its closed-loop system whereby all users are vetted as part of the university community. The market potential for rideshare is $9B and carpool $4B. The university community is fully vested in saving the environment and their carpool solution can save the planet 5-10 billion pounds of CO2 emissions.

Khalil is an entrepreneur of over 40 years in multiple business sectors. He has started over 10 businesses and graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a degree in BioChemistry. Khalil has 4 daughters who graduated from major universities and like millions of parents had to pick them up and drop them at their universities hence why he started Wyth.   

He is interested in civic engagement and socially responsible corporate practices.

Khalil discusses his background, his main reason for starting Wyth, challenges faced in this industry, potential rewards, and how Wyth differs from competitors.

Visit Wyth at www.Gowyth.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/seatus-technologies-llc/, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gowyth

Reach out to Khalil at khalil.shalabi@gowyth.com, and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/khalil-shalabi-ba7149149.  

_____________________________________________________________________

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: Khalil_Shalabi_of_Wyth.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

How to Negotiate Valuation With a Startup

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

The key to negotiating the valuation for a startup is to find and examine each value that is already in the business, as well as each value that must be built to achieve a successful exit.

Start with the team and check to see how many of the necessary skills are already onboarded, versus the skills that need to be recruited.

Second, look at the product to see what has been built and what must be done to bring the product to the market.

Third, look at the leads and revenue and how much has been done to build a pipeline of customers and turn on a repeatable, predictable revenue stream.

Fourth, look at the status of the intellectual property. Ask what has been filed and when?

It takes three years for patents to be awarded, so in most cases, the startup will have filed provisional patents or has filed a utility patent and must now wait for official actions.

Investors look for working systems in the business for lead generation, closing customers, fulfilling the service, or providing the product.  

Estimate the work done so far and what is left to be done to meet the proposed forecast.

Add to the valuation any other factors that enhance the business and subtract factors that must be overcome to arrive at a valuation.

The key is to set today’s valuation based on what is in the business today -- not tomorrow.


Thank 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: How_to_Negotiate_Valuation_with_a_Startup.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Minimum Information an Investor Should Receive

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

After closing an investment round, the startup should set up a monthly report to the investors.

Here’s a list of information to send an investor:

Customer wins -- list out key sales successes. Celebrate every win.

Key metrics -- show the core 1-3 metrics that drive your business.

Cash on hand -- show the cash balance and runway based on current burn.

Employee status -- show changes and open positions you are trying to fill.

Challenges -- include a short list of challenges you currently face and what help you need.

Set up a template so you maintain the format and make the report easy to build each time.

Set expectations with the investors about the frequency -- monthly, quarterly, or other.

Include a set of financials showing the detailed picture so investors can find answers to detailed questions about the numbers. 


Thank 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: Minimum_information_an_investor_should_receive.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Investor, Advisor, Mentor, Board

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

There are four ways someone can help a startup outside of becoming an employee.

You can be an investor, an advisor, a mentor, or a board member. 

As an investor, you can fund the startup.

As an advisor, you can guide the founder on strategy and make introductions.

As a mentor, you can coach the startup on various aspects of running the business such as hiring, planning, selling, and more.

As a board member, you can provide governance and oversight over the company.

Each role takes a certain amount of time.

The investor role can take little time with just monthly or quarterly check-ins.

The advisor role could take more time with two to four calls per month.

The mentor role could be two lunches a month or more.

The board member role could take ten hours a month or more.

Consider your time availability before committing to 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: Investor_Advisor_Mentor_Board.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Daran Herrman, CEO at Goboto and the Host of Establishing Your Empire Podcast.

Headquartered in Austin, Texas, and founded in 2018, Goboto is a full-service marketing company with 100+ clients all over the world including China, Australia, UK, Indonesia, Singapore, and Kansas. Clients range from nonprofits that provide life- saving heart surgery (heartgift.org), to a company with a $3 Billion investment fund to acquire businesses.

Establishing Your Empire is a filmed podcast that inspires entrepreneurs, creatives and future business owners to pursue their passions, grow their organizations and build their empire. Guests are interesting people doing interesting things and range from founders, to musicians, to film directors.

At the ripe age of 13 years old, Daran’s professional career started by washing dishes and getting paid $3 per hour… cash. While in high school, his resumé was already filling up with everything from selling shoes to IT support. Before his 21st birthday, he co-founded his first company, and within a year, his team orchestrated a merger with a complementary retail business and exited before receiving his college diploma.

Daran is creatively best known for his photography, but business wise, his claim to fame is growing a company from $15K per month in online sales to breaking the one million dollar a month barrier. 

Daran speaks about current happenings in his startup world, driving trends, the ecosystem in Austin, the online information source he finds most helpful and much more.

Visit Goboto at www.goboto.com and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/goboto/

Reach out to Daran at daran@goboto.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/daranherrman, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/daran.  

Listen to Establishing Your Empire Podcast at https://establishingyourempire.com/

______________________________________________________________________

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

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

What You Should Do After You Sign the Check

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

An investor does a great deal of work before the investment is made and must also do work afterward.

Here are some key points to consider:

As an investor, you need to maintain contact with the startup.

Make sure there’s control over the compensation of the CEO.  

Their compensation is the exit and not the payroll.

Make sure the company has sufficient cash runway.

Losing too much runway can throw the company into a fundraise with ‘fire sale’ terms.

Monitor your list of what must be done from the diligence report to see how the company is progressing.

Keep those items on the top of the CEO list. 

Make sure the board remains focused on their duties and sees that they spend their time well.   

I’ve found many startup boards become co-complicit with the CEO and fail to maintain accountability for results.

Talk with other investors in the deal and share information as the startup may not keep everyone up to date consistently.


Thank 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_you_should_do_after_you_sign_the_check.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Dan Gonzales, Executive Producer and Host of Startup Mindsets Podcast.

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, and founded in 2020,
Startup Mindsets has interviewed more than 50 entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and innovation leaders since April 2020 and has inspired people to take entrepreneurial action across the world. Week in and week out they will dive into how founders across technology and innovation leaders think about running their business and why innovation now is more important than ever.

Dan was born and raised in San Francisco, California he completed his undergrad at UC Riverside and worked at various startups and corporations including Flux Technology and Google. 

He’s worked as a venture capital analyst at VU Venture Partners, a $100M fund in San Francisco, and led investments in the frontier tech space. Some deals he’s been a part of are Akash Systems, Fan Controlled Football, Contraline, and CreditStacks. 

Dan discusses the “great resignation”, the long-term implications of remote work, producing and hosting a podcast, and more.

You can reach out to Dan at startupmindsets@gmail.com and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/dangonzales1.

Listen to Startup Mindsets Podcast at www.startupmindsets.com/, visit their LinkedIn page at www.linkedin.com/company/startupmindsets/, and contact them on Twitter at www.twitter.com/startupmindsets

______________________________________________________________________

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: Dan_Gonzales_of_Startup_Mindsets.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Nine Types of Angel Investors

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

There are many types of angel investors.

Here are nine types commonly seen in the startup community:

  1. Networkers -- they know a great number of people and can make introductions to them. They are helpful in finding more investors as well as team members for the startup.
  2. Product-oriented -- they worked in a company managing a product line and can provide feedback on the product you are building.
  3. Finance oriented -- they have a finance background and get involved in the details of revenue recognition, forecasts, and other aspects of the accounts.
  4. Domain knowledge -- these people work in the startup’s industry and provide guidance on the current trends, and can make introductions to key people. 
  5. Marketing oriented -- they have a marketing background and can provide feedback on the branding, positioning, and marketing of the startup. 
  6. Big names -- these are people who have a big name in town but don’t necessarily know much about the business you may be running. They can help attract additional investors to your business.
  7. Operators -- these are people who run businesses and can advise on who to hire, how to implement projects and negotiate contracts.
  8. Challenger -- these people challenge you in board meetings and put questions to you to consider.  This can be helpful in making sure you’re thinking about everything that needs to be done.
  9. The rest -- these are investors who helped fill out the round but don’t have any relevant skills to bring to your startup. It’s okay that they joined the team, just don’t demand too much of them.



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


Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: NIne_types_of_angel_investors.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Angel Investing Best Practices Continued

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

Angel investing is fun but difficult especially if you want to make a return on your investment.

Here are more best practices to keep in mind:

Take ownership of your due diligence and don’t rely solely on others.

Work with angel investors both within your group and from other groups.

Look carefully at the go-to-market strategy and not just the idea.

For the final investment decision, look carefully at the founder.

Make sure you do your research on the market and competitors.

Save funds for the winners so you can increase your investment with those.

When they are asking for advice, they actually want your money.

Invest in companies you can help.

Build your own investment thesis and stick with it.

Look hard at the exit strategy.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
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Direct download: Angel_Investing_Best_Practices_Continued.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Scott (Shalom) Klein, Host of the Get Down to Business radio show and podcast. 

Dr. Scott (Shalom) Klein is a well-regarded community activist and entrepreneur. Shalom is a published author who hosts the popular "Get Down to Business" radio show in Chicago and serves as an Officer in the US Army Reserves (Military Police) as well as the Chairman of the Village of Skokie Economic Development Commission.

Shalom holds a doctorate in educational leadership and a master's degree in Jewish Professional Studies with a concentration in non-profit management. He is on the executive committee and active leader for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).

An avid networker and dedicated entrepreneur, Scott will share the advice you need, the strategies that work, and the stories of success to help you with both business and jobs.

Scott discusses the impact and service industries, globalization, remote work, and more.

Visit Scott’s website at www.shalomklein.com, or reach out to him on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/jewish-business-news/ and www.linkedin.com/in/shalomklein, Twitter at www.twitter.com/shalomklein, and via email at sk@shalomklein.com.  

_____________________________________________________________________

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: Scott_Shalom_Klein_of_Get_Down_to_Business.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Angel Investing Best Practices

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

Angel investing is fun but difficult, especially if you want to make a return on your investment.

Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

Treat entrepreneurs well because word travels fast in the startup community.

No matter how hard you study, the real learning is in the doing. 

You can lose all your money in a deal at any time so it’s best to consider the money gone once you write the check.

The best learning comes from other angel investors.

Valuation is a negotiation, not a formula.

You need a large number of deals to review to be successful as an angel investor.

It’s best to diversify your investments and have enough to hit a winner. 

Just as in running a startup, it’s all about the startup team -- so in angel investing, it’s all about the investment team. 

Just as startups need expertise, so angel investors need expertise, whether it be a network, mentorship, experience, or other.

Finally, invest in what you know.


Thank 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: Angel_Investing_Best_Practices.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Know Your Why

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

In funding startups, it’s important to know your why.

This goes beyond making money, saving for retirement, and financial goals. 

What is your mission or cause that you are passionate about?

Start with your passion and what drives you.

Consider what impact your investment will have on the community, the technology sector, or in general.

You could focus on your local startup ecosystem.

By investing locally you can build it up through your time and funds.

You could focus on a technology sector you believe will further its progress, or you could focus on social impact in which case you find a specific cause that benefits the larger community you want to support.

Whatever it is, consider focusing on that cause and make it a part of your investment thesis.

A focused effort will bring a greater result.

Those with a Why will find the work of finding startups, diligencing them, and investing to be a much more rewarding experience.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: Know_Your_Why2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Jaime Moreno de Los Rios, Chief Operating Officer at Secfi.

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, and founded in 2017, Secfi is trusted by thousands of startup employees for equity planning and financing. Secfi is the first to provide a proprietary suite of equity planning tools, 1:1 guidance with licensed equity strategists, and a set of financing products that enable employees to own a stake in the company they helped build. They also provide company-wide education for startups at all stages to help their team make the best decision for their own situation. Currently, they have worked with employees from more than 80% of all U.S. unicorns.

Jaime’s career spans across investment banking and five years of building startups. Prior to Secfi, he was VP of Corporate Development & Investor Relations at Flexport, where he was also Head of Flexport Capital, the lending business.

In the past, he spent ten years in investment banking at J.P. Morgan in San Francisco, London, and Hong Kong, where he advised tech startups on more than $20bn worth of capital raisings, M&A, debt offerings, and IPOs. Jaime also spent two years working for the German venture builder Rocket Internet as Country Manager for Spain and Nigeria.

Jaime holds a double major in Law and Business Administration from the University of ICADE in Madrid.

Jaime discusses the most important lesson he’s learned in helping companies and employees get the maximum value out of their equity, what online information source he finds most helpful in his work, and if he were to start a new business what it would be.

You can visit Secfi at www.secfi.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/secfiinc/, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AskSecfi

Jaime can be contacted at jaime@secfi.com, and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/jaimemorenodelosrios. _____________________________________________________________________

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: Jaime_Moreno_de_Los_Rios_of_Secfi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Powerball vs. Moneyball

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

There are two approaches to venture investing: Powerball and Moneyball.

Powerball looks for startups that will be unicorns and pay outsized returns upon an exit.

These are called home runs.

Moneyball looks for startups that will return a decent amount to the investor but not outsized returns.

These are called singles and doubles.

Powerball takes outsized risks for outsized returns.  

Startups in this category must be working in a large market that is growing fast and under disruption.

The startup must have a compelling technology, recurring revenue, and a platform-based business.

This category is ‘winner takes all.’

Moneyball takes smaller risks for smaller returns that are more obtainable.

Startups in this category should also be working in a large market that has some growth and is undergoing transition.

The startup must have a strong team, healthy margins, and a clear path to an exit.

This category has multiple winners.

Know which type of startup you are building as it greatly impacts the amount and timing of funding you will 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.
___________________________________

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: Powerball_vs_Moneyball.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes John Livesay, aka “The Pitch Whisperer”, best-selling author, host of The Successful Pitch podcast, and sales keynote speaker. 

The Successful Pitch is heard in over 60 countries, and interviews successful thought leaders and entrepreneurs who share their stories so you can have a road map to success. John provides insights on how to make your pitch compelling, clear, and concise.

John shows companies’ sales teams how to turn mundane case studies into compelling case stories so they win more new business. From his award-winning career at Conde Nast, he shares the lessons he learned that turn sales teams into revenue rock stars. His TEDx talk, “Be The Lifeguard of Your Own Life”, has over 1,000,000 views.

Clients love working with John because of his ongoing support after his talk which includes implementing the storytelling skills from his best-selling book and online course “Better Selling Through Storytelling.”

John is a guest lecturer on how to leverage the power of storytelling in sales at multiple universities including the University of Texas at Austin, Pepperdine Graziadio Business school, and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and his book is now required reading for the UTLA (the University of Texas in LA) course on Entertainment and Media studies.

John speaks about his latest book and the inspiration behind it. He explains the 5, 5, 5 method, great suggestions for pitching to investors, and much more.

You can visit John’s website at https://johnlivesay.com/, contact him on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/jlivesay, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/John_Livesay/, or email him at john@johnlivesay.com.

You can listen to his podcast at https://johnlivesay.com/john-livesay-podcast/.

John’s latest book "The Sale is in the Tale: 5 Storytelling Secrets to Keep From Drowning in a Sea of Sameness" can be purchased from Amazon and other major booksellers.

Text the word “PITCH” to 66866, and John will send you a free chapter of his book!

_____________________________________________________________________

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: John_Livesay_author_and_podcaster_The_Successful_Pitch_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Evaluating the Startup’s Metrics

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

In reviewing a startup, ask the founder or CEO for the metrics they use to guide the business.

Check for these points in their metrics:

  1. Do they have a key set of metrics? Many startups aren’t tracking anything.
  2. Is the metric appropriate for their type and stage of business?  
  3. Do they have too many metrics? If there are too many, then it will be hard to gain traction on any one of them.
  4. Is the metric specific or general? The metrics should be specific.
  5. Are the metrics actionable? One should be able to make decisions on them.
  6. Are the metrics realistic? You should be able to implement programs and activities based on them.
  7. Do the metrics cover a specific timeframe? Metrics without a timeframe are meaningless.
  8. Do the metrics compare with industry standards or the competition? Performance will vary based on the sector and stage you are at.

Use the startup’s metrics as part of your investment decision.


Thank 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: Evaluating_the_Startups_Metrics.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Devin Miller, Founder of Miller IP Law and Host of The Inventive Journey Podcast.

Headquartered in Mountain Green, Utah, and founded in 2019, Miller IP Law is a law firm that assists startups and small businesses with patents and trademarks across the US and worldwide. Miller IP Law is changing the law firm model to make patents and trademarks approachable, affordable, and understandable by providing transparent flat-fee pricing, easy-to-reach attorneys, and easy processes.

Headquartered in Morgan, Utah, guests on The Inventive Journey Podcast share the journey that led up to the founding/co-founding of the startup or small business. The show focuses on the journey rather than a pitch for the services/products the startup/small business may offer. 

In addition to his law firm, Devin also founded his first startup while earning his Law & MBA degrees (for a total of 4 degrees). Since then, he has founded several 7 & 8-figure startups in wearables, product development, website design, and religious products.

Devin speaks about the role of intellectual property in the startup world, the driving trend in this space, and if he could start a company today, what it would be.

You can visit Miller IP Law at www.lawwithmiller.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/miller-ip-law, and set up a meeting with an attorney at www.strategicmeeting.com

You can listen to The Inventive Journey Podcast at https://milleripl.com/blogs/inventive-journey, and visit its LinkedIn page at www.linkedin.com/company/the-inventive-journey

You can contact Devin at devin@milleripl.com and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/millerip. _____________________________________________________________________

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: Devin_Miller_of_Miller_IP_Law_The_Inventive_Journey_Podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

This is the Investor Connect KiwiTech 2022 podcast series. In this series, we discuss trends and topics in the startup world.

I hope you enjoy this episode.
________________________________

Thank you for joining us for the Investor Connect KiwiTech 2022 podcast series.

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
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Direct download: 2022-04-13_KiwiTech_AIP_Investment_Opportunities_in_Foodtech.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Beyond the Growth Story

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

In raising funding it’s important to demonstrate the growth story -- sales, team, product, and fundraise are in motion.

These are the core four things investors look for to judge the startup’s traction and momentum.

Here are additional proof points to highlight to the investor:

  1. Market size – show a market that is big and growing fast.
  2. Novel approach to the problem – show how your approach is unique and different.
  3. Execution capability – show how your team can execute beyond the standard.
  4. Customer demand – show a list of customers who are ready to buy your product.
  5. Strong unit economics – show how your business is profitable on a unit economic basis.
  6. Scalable – show how you have scalability built into the business.
  7. Current investors – showcase your current investor list.
  8. Stickiness – show how your product is sticky and yields a high lifetime value
  9. Network effects – show how you’ve built network effects into your business and will continue to generate value as you grow.
  10. Fast growth – show a high growth rate of 100% YoY or better.

If you have any of these points then bring them up in your fundraise to help make your case. 


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

Let’s go startup something today.
____________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: Beyond_the_Growth_Story.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Competitive Advantages

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

In the pitch, investors look for the startup’s competitive advantage.

"Me too" companies are more difficult to fund because they have few if any competitive advantages.

A true competitive advantage increases your revenue by 30% or reduces your cost by the same amount.

Here’s a short list of potential competitive advantages you can build into your startup:

  • Unique and compelling technology. This gives your product or service additional features and capabilities.
  • Intellectual property including patents, trade secrets, and trademarks. This provides legal protection for your product.
  • Network effects. This can come from a platform approach, data collection, or marketplace creation which both reduces costs and increases awareness.
  • Strong brand. This provides better name recognition resulting in a lower cost of customer acquisition.
  • Virality. This increases sales without an equivalent increase in costs.
  • Exclusive channel access. Access to customers that competitors do not have is also a competitive advantage.

Consider how you can incorporate one of these into your startup.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: Competitive_Advantages.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Drawbacks to Convertible Notes

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

Convertible notes are often used by startups in the early stages of fundraising as they are fairly simple to use and need little legal work compared to equity agreements.

There are drawbacks one should know. 

Here’s a short list to consider:

Convertible notes are not equity agreements and do not qualify for tax deductions such as Section 1202.

Most investors prefer equity over convertible notes and will be more willing to sign up for an equity deal structure.

The note is a form of debt that could be used to reclaim the funds in case of default.

The interest that accumulates from the note should be reported on the investor's tax return and taxes paid, even though the interest was never paid out.

Convertible notes without valuation caps can be a problem for investors down the road as the conversion will be set by the follow-on equity funding.

Finally, most convertible notes don’t define all the terms as a standard equity agreement which includes board seats, voting rights, and more. 

Convertible notes are often used as a placeholder for fundraising ‘til the lead investor is secured, at which point the convertible note for investors convert to equity.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: Drawbacks_to_Convertible_Notes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Matt DeCoursey, Co-founder and CEO of Full Scale, the Host of the Startup Hustle podcast, top-selling author of "Million Dollar Bedroom" and "Balance Me", as well as the co-author of "The Realist’s Guide to a Successful Music Career".

Headquartered in Kansas City, Kansas, and founded in 2018, Full Scale is a tech services company that helps businesses build teams of software engineers. Their goal is to make finding and retaining highly experienced software engineers fast, easy and affordable.

With over 2.8 million downloads and counting, Startup Hustle is a podcast for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs. With the mission of telling the real story of startups and entrepreneurs, topics range from funding to failure and beyond. 

Matt discusses the “Great Resignation” and how it’s playing out in the startup world, common myths about his field of expertise, what online information source he finds most helpful, and what he attributes to the success of his podcast.

You can visit Full Scale at www.fullscale.io, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/fullscale-io, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/fullscalekc.  

You can listen to the Startup Hustle podcast at www.startuphustle.xyz, visit its LinkedIn page at www.linkedin.com/company/startup-hustle-podcast, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/startupsxyz

Matt’s books "Million Dollar Bedroom", "Balance Me: A Realist's Guide to a Successful Life", and "The Realist’s Guide to a Successful Music Career" are available on www.Amazon.com and other major bookstores.

Matt can be contacted at deco@fullscale.io, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/matt-decoursey/, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/decourseymatt.  

_____________________________________________________________________

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: Matt_DeCoursey_of_Full_Scale-Startup_Hustle_podcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Build Your Community

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

In funding startups, it’s important to build out your startup ecosystem.

A stronger startup scene will bring better funding opportunities.

Here are some key points for building your startup ecosystem:

  • The startup world goes through cycles every 3-5 years with new technologies, companies, and programs, so it’s important to keep up to date.
  • Identify the new technologies and programs that startups need.
  • Foster the culture around startups and help others find their place in it, even if they are not starting up a company but rather providing services or support.
  • Follow your curiosity about new technologies and introduce experts and speakers in those niches to your startup community.
  • Encourage those who are working on startups to maintain the faith and keep up the good work.
  • Set a vision for the future of the startup community and rally others around it.
  • Foster connections within the community through networking platforms, meetings, and other activities that bring people together.
  • Take the lead in setting up programs and promoting the startup community to the outside world.



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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: Build_Your_Community.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Coss Marte, Founder, and CEO at CONBODY.

Headquartered in New York, NY, and founded in 2014, CONBODY is a prison-style boot camp that employs formerly incarcerated individuals as fitness instructors. 

CONBODY was founded by Coss Marte, a former drug kingpin who created the CONBODY method while serving time in prison. Now, CONBODY uses fitness to raise awareness for criminal justice reform and provide opportunities for this marginalized group. CONBODY has hired over 50 former inmates and has a 0% recidivism rate.

Its mission is to bridge a gap between two communities: young professionals and formerly incarcerated individuals and to normalize their reentry into society.

While serving prison time, Coss developed a unique and effective exercise program that doesn't rely on equipment. Having battled weight issues, he faced life-threatening complications associated with obesity. Coss is ardently committed to supporting people in making changes to their lifestyle that results in individuals reaching and maintaining their fitness goals.

Coss discusses how he sees the fitness industry evolving, and some of the challenges he has faced in running his company. He speaks about the benefits of hiring incarcerated individuals and his internship program.

You can visit CONBODY at www.conbody.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/conbody, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/conbodynyc.  

Coss can be contacted at cossmarte@conbody.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/cossmarte/, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cossmarte

___________________________________________________________________

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: Coss_Marte_of_CONBODY.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Testing the Serial Entrepreneur

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

Entrepreneurs who have failed are often strong leaders in their next venture.

To know if a serial entrepreneur is on track to success after their first failure, check these points:

  • Character -- if they don’t have character, then nothing else will matter.
  • Passion -- burnout cases won’t make it the second time around.
  • Risk-taking -- do they continue to step up to the risks?
  • Team building -- do they know how to recruit a team and organize them?
  • Tech -- are they up on the latest technology in their space?
  • Motivation -- are they still motivated to take on the challenge of a startup?
  • Experience -- did their first startup gain traction and grow, or did it blow up on the runway?  Those with several years of growth will have more experience to use in their second startup.
  • Teachable -- did they learn from their first startup, or do they seem to repeat the same mistakes?
  • Responsibility -- do they take responsibility for their first startup failure? If not, they won’t take responsibility for the next one.
  • Retrospective -- did they analyze their first startup failure and understand thoroughly what happened, both good and bad?

Failed entrepreneurs are experienced entrepreneurs. Look for the ones who captured the most from their first failure.


Thank 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: 6:00am CDT

This is the TEN Capital AMA show. I'm Hall T. Martin, the host of the show in which we interview investors and founders on current topics. 

Our guest is:

Jeff Erickson of Forecastr

I hope you enjoy this episode.
________________________________

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

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

In funding startups, it’s important to look at not just the current product, but the roadmap overall.

Some technology markets have a long, rich future ahead while other markets do not.

Look for the technologies that have a broad future with a clear trajectory.

Startups propose products to take to market. 

While that first product may be a winner, the succession of products will most likely be the bigger story.

Ask for the startup’s roadmap. Be careful not to take away their focus from the current product.

For example, many startups propose a service.

Some capture the data from their service and start building large datasets.

With a sufficient number of datasets, they can then sell the data.

By moving from a service company to a data company, their value goes up by 10X.

With sufficient experience with the data, the company can build artificial intelligence algorithms.

By moving from a data company to an AI company, their value goes up by another 10X.

Consider the roadmap of the market and the company in your investment decisions.


Thank 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: Roadmap_Investing.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Jeff Erickson, Founder of The Startup Stack, Angel Investor, and Director of Partnerships at Forecastr.

Headquartered in San Francisco, California, and founded in 2020, The Startup Stack was created to help early-stage companies build a successful foundation by making the best operational tech offers available in one place. The Startup Stack scours the SaaS ecosystem to uncover the best tools to help founders scale and succeed. Each member of The Startup Stack is carefully vetted for both the quality of their product and the startup offering they provide.

The Startup Stack currently offers early-stage founders over $170,000 worth of perks on operational tech tools to help their businesses grow.

Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, and founded in 2018, Forecastr provides a software platform to help early-stage startups easily create, track and manage their financial projections in preparation for raising capital. Using Forecastr, founders are able to confidently forecast their cash flow, helping determine how much capital they should raise and when. Forecastr makes it easy to conduct, manage and modify financial forecasts all with the click of a button and gives founders confidence when talking with investors without having to incur the deep financial cost of a CFO.

Jeff currently serves on the advisory boards of several startup companies and is an active angel investor. Jeff is an experienced entrepreneur and was the founder and CEO of a successful consumer goods company that was ranked #138 on the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing companies. He is passionate about startups and enjoys working with founders and mentoring entrepreneurs.

Jeff speaks about the state of startup investing, how he sees the industry evolving from here, and the biggest change he thinks we will see. He also advises investors and entrepreneurs.

You can visit The Startup Stack at www.mystartupstack.com, and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/the-startup-stack.   

You can visit Forecastr at www.forecastr.co, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/forecastr, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/forecastr

Jeff can be contacted at jeff@forecastr.co, and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/jeff-erickson

_____________________________________________________________________

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: Jeff_Erickson_of_Startup_StackForecastr.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Best Practices for Startups Raising Funding

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

Raising funding is difficult. Here are some best practices for startups raising their next round:

Investors are busy, so organize your fundraise around their schedule, not yours.

Focus on investors who fund your stage and type of startup.

Provide updates about your business and progress, and be proactive about it.

Highlight the success of the business and not your personal success.

Accept feedback and consider it carefully.

Never talk negatively about an investor as the community is small and word travels fast.

Focus on building a relationship with the investor first. 

Do not take rejection personally; it’s part of the game.

Treat people with respect at all times. 

Be clear with the investor about your expectations, as it will ultimately come out. 

Thank 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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Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

How to Become an Accredited Investor

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

To invest in startups directly, one must be an accredited investor. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission sets the criteria for who is accredited.

Here’s a list of those who meet the criteria:

Individuals who have a net worth exceeding $1M.

Individuals who have earned income exceeding $200K per year for the last three years.

Individuals with a spouse who has earned income exceeding $300K per year for the last three years.

Also, there are Family Offices.

Entities that own $5M of investments

Individuals who have achieved a professional license such as a Series 65.  

Series 65 is a license for individuals to act as investment advisors.  

This certificate allows the individual to buy securities not registered with the SEC.

If you don’t meet the income or net worth requirement, you can study for an exam and use the Series 65 to gain access to accredited investor investments.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: How_to_become_an_Accredited_Investor.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Regula Schegg, Managing Director, Asia, at Circulate Capital.

Headquartered in Singapore and founded in 2018, Circulate Capital is an investment management firm dedicated to the development of a circular economy to combat plastic pollution through investments in high-growth opportunities at the nexus of climate-tech and plastics recycling infrastructure. In 2019 Circulate Capital launched the Circulate Capital Ocean Fund (CCOF I), the world’s first investment fund dedicated to preventing ocean plastic waste in South and Southeast Asia through investments in catalytic opportunities in recycling and the circular economy that can generate competitive returns. Their new strategy, Circulate Capital Disrupt, is a companion venture and private equity fund to CCOF that invests in disruptive technologies. We were created in collaboration with Ocean Conservancy, and our founding investors include PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, Dow, Danone, Chanel, Unilever, The Coca-Cola Company, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC, and Mondelēz International.

Regula is an experienced global professional with over 20 years of leadership, business development, project management, finance, and social enterprise/start-up expertise. Throughout her corporate career, she held positions in corporate strategy, M&A, private equity, financial control, and business development.

She was further engaged in the microfinance industry, establishing a growth guarantee fund, and financing microfinancing institutions. She also established a social enterprise in the Philippines, developing sustainable housing technologies, and establishing the production and construction of affordable housing solutions in collaboration with urban poor communities and civil society organizations in Southeast Asia.

Regula discusses the huge environmental problem the world is facing with plastic waste and some of the startups that are addressing the issue. She speaks about the state of investing in the circular economy and some of the challenges entrepreneurs and investors face.

You can visit Circulate Capital and sign up for their newsletter at www.circulatecapital.com/, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/circulatecapital/, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CirculateCap.    

Regula can be contacted at rschegg@circulatecapital.com, and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/regula-m-schegg.  

_____________________________________________________________________

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: Regula_Schegg_of_Circulate_Capital.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

How Investors Can Help Their Companies

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

In funding startups, it’s important to choose companies you can help. 

If you only write a check and nothing more, then the investing experience will be minimal.

It’s only a return and nothing more. 

It’s best to choose startups that you can help by adding value.

Here are some key ways you can add value to your startup investment:

  • Help the startup recruit team members by leveraging your network to find qualified candidates.
  • Help them raise additional funds from other investors through your network.
  • Help them find debt financing for the smaller needs, such as a line of credit, as many startups are not familiar with the available options.
  • Make introductions for the CEO to connect with prospects, partners, and others who can help in generating revenue.
  • Provide advice on the technology landscape as many investors have a broader view of the market and have a wider range of experiences.
  • Save the CEO’s time by pointing out the best options for handling payroll, office leasing, and other basic functions that must be done.
  • Help the CEO learn more by networking them with others who are running companies.  
  • Connect them with the right people to generate word of mouth about the company.
  • Finally, help the company with the exit by making introductions to potential acquirers and coaching through the process. 



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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: How_Investors_Can_Help_their_Companies.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

After You Write the Check

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

After you write the check, it’s important to remain engaged.

Here are some key steps to follow:

Stay in touch with the CEO and keep up-to-date on their status.

Track the progress of the company to determine if it’s worth a follow-on investment.

Review the financials regularly to stay up on the company’s progress.

Open a communication channel with the board of directors as well as the CEO, so you can add value where possible.

Watch C-level compensation so it stays aligned with the investors' compensation which is an exit.

Investigate possible alternative exits from companies that don’t make it.  

For example, could it be sold to another company for the assets? Could a new team turn it around?

Open a dialog with other investors as they may have additional information that you do not.

Offer other investors information when you receive it to build an informed network.


Thank 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: After_you_write_the_check.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Asset Allocation

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

In angel investing, it’s important to set aside funds for startup investments.

In most cases, investors dedicate 5%-15% of their discretionary funds to angel investing.

There are several issues with asset allocation for angel investing compared to publicly-traded stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

Startup investments are illiquid as there’s no market for reselling.

Transferring stock is greatly limited due to SEC rules.

To achieve a gain, you must hold the stock for up to 7-10 years in most cases.

Many startups fail completely and are tax write-offs.

Determine upfront how much you want to invest based on 5%-15% of your portfolio.

Divide by ten to get the total number of startups you can invest in. 

Divide the investment amount by 2 to get the initial investment per startup, leaving the second half for a follow-on round. 

Here’s an example:

Let’s say I have a portfolio of $3.5M 

15% of $3.5M yields $525K to invest in startups

Dividing $525K by 10 gives me $52K per startup that I can invest in.

Dividing the $52,500 by 2 means I can invest $26K for each startup leaving another $26K for each follow on investment.

Start with 3 investments per year.   

It’s important to be selective.

After a few years and some gains, you can re-invest some of the profits into more startups.  

There are tax laws that make it attractive to roll your gains from one startup investment into another. 


Thank 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: Asset_Allocation.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Pete Mohr, Founder of Simplifying Entrepreneurship and host of the Simplifying Entrepreneurship Podcast.

Headquartered in Elora, Ontario, Pete helps entrepreneurs transform their frustrations into freedoms by using a variety of frameworks that help them cut through the chaos of running a business. Being a business owner isn’t easy. That’s why he coaches entrepreneurs using tools and systems that he’s developed for Simplifying Entrepreneurship.

With over 27 years as a business owner, he's refined many of his tips, tools, and techniques in the trenches within his own businesses. 

Pete bought a bathroom remodeling franchise fresh out of university in 1994 and has been virtually unemployable since! He has owned and operated more than one business for almost his entire career. He’s bought businesses, built businesses, sold businesses, and closed businesses. He has owned service-based businesses as well as retail (and for the last dozen years has owned shoe stores in Ontario called Shoetopia).

Last year, Pete started the Simplifying Entrepreneurship Podcast. They’re short 20-minute episodes that help entrepreneurs tackle some of their worries and transform them into wins! There’s always a great takeaway to make their lives or businesses even better.

Pete discusses the 5 Ps of business, some of the most important lessons he has learned over the years, a common myth amongst some entrepreneurs, and more.

You can visit Simplifying Entrepreneurship at https://simplifyingentrepreneurship.com/, and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/simplifyingentrepreneurship.  

You can listen to the Simplifying Entrepreneurship podcast at https://simplifyingentrepreneurship.com/simplifying-entrepreneurship-podcast/  

Pete can be contacted at pete@mohr.coach, and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/petermohr/

_________________________________________________________________________

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: Pete_Mohr_of_Simplifying_Entrepreneurship.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

State Tax Credits

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

Many states offer tax credits for startup investments.

Those states with a state income tax will reduce your capital gains tax burden.

The typical requirements are as follows:

  1. The business must be a C-Corp or an LLC entity.
  2. The entity was organized no more than 3 years before the investment.
  3. It must have less than $500K of revenue.
  4. You must hold some operations of the business within the state.
  5. The business must have at least two full-time employees, but less than 20 total employees.
  6. The business must be a growth startup that excludes restaurants, retail, and other lifestyle businesses.
  7. The business must be able to increase jobs in the area for some number of years after investment.
  8. You cannot have more than $10M in assets.

Each state has a unique set of rules but most follow these guidelines. 

Check your state’s website for applicable laws regarding tax breaks for startup investments.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
____________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
For Startups check out: https://tencapital.group/company-landing/ 
For eGuides check out: https://tencapital.group/education/ 
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Direct download: State_Tax_Credits.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Stock Options

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

Stock options are a key part of the compensation of employees.

These are called Incentive Stock Options or ISOs.

If you exercise and sell the shares immediately, the proceeds will be taxed at the ordinary tax rates for the difference between the exercise price and the fair market value.

For ISOs, your options must qualify as an incentive option when it was granted and you must hold it long enough to be eligible for ISO tax treatment.

There are also non-qualified stock options for directors and stockholders. 

The holder also pays the exercise price when sold and then pays taxes on the difference between the exercise price and the fair market value.

If you have 1000 options at an exercise price of $1 and the fair market value is $10, then you will pay the company $1000 to exercise the options and pay tax on the difference between the exercise price and the fair market value.  

In this case $9 per share or $9,000 in total. 

If the shares continue to rise in value, then it may be prudent to sell the options sooner when the value is lower rather than later when the value has risen. You’ll pay less in taxes.

Also, remember that most options have an expiration date so you must keep track of it.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
____________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
For Startups check out: https://tencapital.group/company-landing/ 
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Direct download: Stock_Options.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Lawrence Chavez, CEO at EveryDay Contacts. 

EveryDay Contacts is a premium daily disposable contact lens, doctor-enabled, subscription-based, direct-to-consumer company designed for both patients and eye care professionals. Built around a unique technology that enhances the wettability of the silicone hydrogel daily disposable lenses, EveryDay Contacts is coming to market with a model that supports proper eye health by ensuring the eye care professional is part of the value chain.

Contact lens users receive the benefit of a premium daily disposable contact lens with all the advantages of a D2C model. The independent eye doctor benefits by reconnecting with their patient and recapturing the $500M of lost contact lens revenue that “walk” to other retail channels.

Lawrence has 20+ years of finance, operations management, and strategic marketing experience in a variety of entrepreneurial businesses. Lawrence has been involved with a number of startups as both an entrepreneur and investor. He serves on the Board of ABQid, a startup accelerator working at the intersection of entrepreneurship and economic development. In addition, he serves as Venture Partner at Flywheel Ventures and previously managed Flywheel’s New Mexico Gap Fund I, seed fund. Lawrence also advises Startup Teen, an organization created to promote entrepreneur education for mid and high school students. Past boards include the New Mexico Venture Capital Association, Coronado Ventures Forum, and Innovate El Paso. Lawrence has a Bachelor’s of Accounting from New Mexico State University and Master’s in Marketing from Texas A&M University.

Lawrence speaks about starting a business in the contact lens industry and some of the challenges startups face. He shares what information sources have helped him the most and discusses one thing his business did that he never expected.

You can visit EveryDay Contacts at www.everydaycontacts.com, and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/everyday-contacts.

Lawrence can be contacted at lawrence.chavez@everydaycontacts.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/lawrencetchavez, on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lawrencechavez, and via telephone at (505)459-8212. 

_____________________________________________________________________

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: Lawrence_Chavez_of_EveryDay_Contacts.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Gains and Losses

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

There’s an old saying, it’s not how much you make, it’s how much you keep that counts. 

Tax management is an important topic for angel investors. 

There are specific laws that give tax breaks to investors for startup investments.

The first is called Section 1244 which gives the investor the ability to take ordinary income deductions on losses rather than capital gains deductions.  

Since many startup investments result in a loss, Section 1244 helps offset those losses.

For successful exits, Section 1202 reduces or eliminates taxes on gains from an exit. 

For stock acquired after 9/28/2010, there is a 100% exclusion on the gains for tax purposes. 

Before that date, there is a 50%-75% exclusion depending on the date. 

You must hold the stock for 5 years.

Then there is the 1045 rollover which lets the investor rollover proceeds from the sale of stock from one startup to a new one without paying capital gains on the first one.  

You must do so within 60 days.

If you have restricted stock, then 83(b) election lets you pay the taxes when the options vest, rather than when you exercise them. 

This lets you pay taxes when the value is lower and exercise the options later when the value is higher.

These rules have been in place for a while now, so it’s important to check with your accountant about any changes.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
____________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
For Startups check out: https://tencapital.group/company-landing/ 
For eGuides check out: https://tencapital.group/education/ 
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Direct download: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_Gains_and_Losses.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

In this our 700th episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes David Narrow, CEO at Sonavex.

Sonavex is a venture-backed clinical stage Medtech company spun out from Johns Hopkins with two FDA clearances. The company’s technology uses deep learning to improve arteriovenous fistula (AVF) maturation times for patients with end-stage renal disease. Despite the fact that the superior method of AV access for the 4.9M patients projected to be on dialysis by 2025 is an AVF, they fail to mature in >30% of procedures and are rendered unsuitable for dialysis. Those that do mature take a median time of 6-9 months until they are used. This results in significant catheter-based dialysis and associated bloodstream infections, costly hospitalizations, and increased mortality. Every additional catheter day costs more than $160 per patient per day to CMS, or $30,000+ per patient. 

Volumetric flow rate, diameter, and depth have been proven to determine AVF maturation status. However, the specialized skill set required to operate conventional ultrasound prevents its use in the dialysis clinic, and the additional travel needed to see a trained sonographer limits its use in this patient population. Due to a variety of factors including socioeconomic status, compliance with non-dialysis appointments is 12-33%. Sonavex’s technology enables staff at the dialysis clinic to rapidly collect volumetric flow rate, diameter, and depth in just seconds during existing visits via a bioresorbable implant (EchoMark) with >90% margins and an automated 3D ultrasound (EchoSure) to enable early decision-making and reduce catheter time.

Sonavex has secured a multimillion-dollar NIH grant to fund a large prospective randomized controlled clinical trial for EchoMark & EchoSure, and another NIH grant to advance its pipeline product EchoGuide to improve AVF cannulation. The company is currently raising a Series A-2 financing to support the non-dilutive funding. Comps in this space have exited for $225M - $1.1B in the last three years, ranging from clinical to early commercial stages. 

David previously worked with multinational medical device companies to commercialize their technologies and provide long-term business strategies as a healthcare consultant at Health Advances LLC. David earned his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering with the highest distinction from the University of Rochester before receiving his Master’s from Johns Hopkins University. He was named “30 Under 30 in Healthcare” by Forbes in 2016 and “40 Under 40” by the Baltimore Business Journal in 2017.

David shares his background with Hall and discusses the differences between Sonavex and other companies in the industry. He advises entrepreneurs who are thinking about entering the space and mentions some of the challenges they may face.

You can visit Sonavex at www.sonavex.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/sonavex, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Sonavex

David can be contacted at dnarrow@sonavex.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/david-narrow-a4454023, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/davidnarrow

______________________________________________________________________

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

When to Follow On

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

In most startup funding, there will be a need for additional rounds of funding.

Here are some questions to ask before making that follow-on investment:

  1. Does the team demonstrate integrity?
  2. Do they have traction in the market yet?
  3. Do they hit milestones and are they good to work with?
  4. Is the follow-on round part of a plan, or did they just run out of money?
  5. Does their original plan still hold, or is it now a whole new ballgame?
  6. Does the startup have a board that is driving the plan, or does the startup seem rudderless?
  7. Will the follow-on funding take them to the next level, or will they be back asking for more in six months regardless of this raise?
  8. Do you feel like you understand the business and what is going on, or do you feel puzzled and concerned about it?

Add up the responses to these questions to determine if you should follow on with more 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: Startup_Funding_Espresso_--_When_to_Follow_On.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Apply Your Investment Thesis to a Startup

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

Before investing in a startup, apply your investment thesis to it to see if it makes sense.

Write out the company’s strategy and how it fits into the overall market.  

Review their position relative to the competition.

For the target company, look for a material event that recently occurred, such as a jump in sales or the hiring of a new CEO.

Write out what is significant about the change and why. Include any challenges the company may face.

Consider what factors may impact their performance -- the economy, a new competitor, etc.

Writing it out helps you think through the investment thesis and gives you a document to reference later to check your thinking. 

Reviewing your writeup in light of the outcome may update your investment thesis.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Luis Rivera, Managing Director at HEXA Global Ventures.

Founded in 2019 and headquartered in Richardson, Texas, HEXA Global Ventures is a seed capital investment firm that brings more than just capital. They have created an ecosystem consisting of resources, experience, talent, and specific service companies to help visionary entrepreneurs shape the best ideas into great companies. HEXA believes all companies are different and do not provide a standard program with a fixed end date. They work with the company and its founders on an ongoing basis to ensure that they stay focused, grow their companies, and anticipate any issues that might prevent them from achieving their dreams.

Luis is originally from Caracas, Venezuela, and came to the US at the age of 13 when he moved to New Hampshire to go to high school. Needless to say, he had a rude awakening his first winter there! Seeking warmer weather, he moved to California where he attended Claremont McKenna College. After graduating, he moved to the Bay Area and started his career in tech. 

Luis joined HEXA Ventures at the beginning of 2021, after more than 25 years of sales and operational experience in the world of tech. He has guided technology companies through major transitions, such as initial public offerings, acquisitions, and rapid global growth. Before HEXA, he was Chief Revenue Officer at Aptology Corp where he helped the company penetrate accounts such as ADP, Atlassian, Google Cloud, and others. Prior to Aptology, Luis was SVP of Strategy and Growth at TalentGuard Inc. He also served as Senior VP of Sales at Saba Software where he led the global go-to-market strategy for all HR sales-related products. Luis has held several global executive and sales leadership positions, including 10 years at Lyris, where he led the company from $4M to $55M dollars in revenue. During his tenure, Lyris acquired multiple companies and became public. 

Luis discusses his investment thesis and some of the companies HEXA has invested in. He also advises startups and investors and shares some of the challenges they face.

You can visit HEXA Global Ventures at www.hexagv.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/hexavc/, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/hexagv

Luis can be contacted at lrivera@hexagv.com, and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/luisrivera1

_____________________________________________________________________

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

Building Your Investment Thesis -- View of the Future

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

For investing in a startup, consider the future and what will be needed then.

Don’t just look at the world as it is today.  

It takes several years to build a business and what you see now will inevitably change.

Map the trends and extrapolate out and consider what will be needed five years from now based on the direction of technology, the markets, and other factors.

With that view in mind, look for startups that fill what is missing.

The startup will need to shift or pivot as the trajectories of the market and technology progress. 

Stay in touch with those in the space about what is driving the market and why.

From this, you can build a view of the future and inform your investment thesis.


Thank 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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Invest Early-Stage or Late-Stage - What’s the Challenge?

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

Venture capital has two choices in funding startups. 

They can go for early-stage companies or late-stage companies.

So, which stage to focus on?

The risks are higher for early-stage companies, but the valuations are lower. Any meaningful acquisition typically leads to a successful investment outcome.

Later-stage companies come with less startup risk, but valuations are typically high. The company must sell for a substantial valuation to give the investors a return.

As the rule of 5 tells us, a good investment requires an exit of 5 times the post-money valuation.  Later-stage companies often come with $20M to $30M post-money valuations which means they would need to exit at $100M to $150M to be a successful investment.

Early-stage startups simply need to launch and grow reasonably well. 

Later-stage startups need to become the leader in their category as acquisitions usually focus on the leader and not the various followers.

In conclusion, the early-stage company comes with high risk for startup failure but an easier time to reach a successful investment exit.

The later stage startup has a lower risk for startup failure but a more challenging time to reach a successful investment exit.

Thank 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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On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Gustaf Brandberg, General Partner at Gullspång Re:food. 

Founded in 2020 and headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Gullspång Re:food makes enduring investments in entrepreneurs solving the food system’s structural problems for generations to come. Portfolio companies such as Oatly, NICK’S, Planted, Motatos, and Stockeld Dreamery are all driving sustainability shifts in the food system, and Gullspång Re:food backs them with capital, contacts, and competence. By applying systems thinking, they invest in solutions addressing the underlying problems of the food system as opposed to its symptoms. Their investments seek to reverse the food system’s pressure on our planetary boundaries while ensuring an ethical foundation for everyone.

Gustaf is a tech guy turned food system investor on a mission to support the sustainable transformation of the most fundamental system for human civilization. In 1996, he co-founded and ran a software consulting firm helping companies scale from zero to becoming global leaders of the internet era. After 14 years, he joined his family office Gullspång Invest, as a tech investor (with Klarna being one of their investments). After attending a program at Stockholm Resilience Center, Gustaf realized the urgent need for a sustainable shift in the food system. The following year he invested in Oatly and NICK’s et al. In 2020, he co-founded Gullspång Re:food with a 100% focus on backing entrepreneurs developing sustainable food system solutions on a global scale.

Gustaf shares what excites him in the sustainable food industry, and discusses its evolution. He advises investors and entrepreneurs and speaks about some of the challenges they face.

You can visit Gullspång Re:food at www.refood.vc, and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/gullspangrefoodinvest/.

Gustaf can be contacted at gustaf@refood.vc and gustaf.brandberg@gullspanginvest.se, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/gustafbrandberg, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gustafbrandberg

_____________________________________________________________________

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

Diligencing the Exit

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

In diligencing the startup’s exit strategy, check the following:

  • Do they have a list of potential buyers?
  • What companies are on the list?
  • What milestones must be met to qualify for a buyout?
  • What price is the going rate for buyouts in this sector?
  • Will the acquirer be buying the team?
  • Will they be buying the technology?
  • Will they be buying a specific product, or will they be buying the entire business?

The further down this list you go, the bigger the buyout factor.

It’s important to understand the exit upfront as it will inform the founders on decisions around funding, hiring, filing patents, and more.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
__________________________________

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

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

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Gregory Dewerpe, Founder at A/O Proptech.

Headquartered in London, England, A/O Proptech is Europe’s largest proptech VC firm. They are stage agnostic, investing permanent capital to support entrepreneurs and companies from Series A to later-stage growth and they enable founders to create, iterate and scale disruptive products and platforms by leveraging their unique access to large RE owners and managers, corporates, governments, and industry stakeholders. 

A/O Proptech’s mission is to transform real estate into a more digital, efficient, and accessible asset class by applying innovative technologies and business models.

Their vision is to improve the quality of life, accelerate sustainable living, and enable the decarbonization of the largest asset class in the world.

Greg is a long-standing prominent voice promoting the acceleration of positive transformation in the real estate industry. Having worked with and invested heavily in the sector (directly and indirectly), Greg founded A/O after running his own specialist real estate investment and advisory firm, AMD Capital, on the back of a deep understanding of the industry’s shortcomings as well as the realisation that the built world can be one of the most powerful vectors for change. 

Previously, Greg worked in investment banking at Credit Suisse and Citigroup, where he originated and structured over $30bn of new investments globally. Gregory holds an MSc in Business and Finance from HEC Lausanne, and has attended the London School of Economics and Harvard Business School’s executive education program.

Greg shares how he sees the real estate investing industry evolving and what he thinks will be the biggest change in the next 12-24 months. He discusses his investment thesis and some companies that fit the thesis.

You can visit A/O Proptech at www.aoproptech.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/aoproptech, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AOProptech

Greg can be contacted at gd@aoproptech.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/gregory-dewerpe-456b47/, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gdewerpe.  

_____________________________________________________________________

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

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

Diligencing the Use of Funds

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

In diligencing the startup’s use of funds, check the following points:

  • How much is spent on compensation?
  • Is it appropriate for an early-stage company?
  • How much is spent on sales, and does it align with the company’s sales strategies?
  • How much is spent on marketing, and what assurance is there that the funds will be well deployed?
  • How many new hires are being brought on, and when?
  • How does this affect the company’s cash position?
  • Does the plan miss any important requirements, such as filing full patents on the provisionals?
  • Does the spend match with the growth strategy, and are the investors and team aligned on that strategy?

It’s often the case the investors want one growth plan, and the startup wants to pursue a different one.

Gaining alignment upfront on these issues prevents problems in the future.


Thank 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: Diligencing_the_Use_of_Funds.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Diligencing the Terms 

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

In diligencing the startup’s term sheet, check the following points:

Is the valuation or cap rate appropriate for the stage of the company? 

If it’s out of line, then other terms such as liquidation preferences may be needed.

What dilution will the investors go through, such as options pools and follow-on funding?

It’s important to understand who pays for the options pool -- the founders, the investors, or both.

What rights do the investors have over employee compensation, follow on funding, exits, and other major decisions?

The investors need a say in how the company is managed with regards to compensation and raising additional capital. 

What rights do the investors have for participating in future rounds of funding?

For the deals with big return potential, the investors need the right to participate in follow-on rounds.

Are there any redemption rights or dividends in the deal by other investors?

It’s important to know what rights other investors may have over the company’s cash.

Check these points and how they will impact the return.


Thank 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: Diligencing_the_Terms.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Donna Harris, Founder and CEO at Builders + Backers. 

Founded in 2020 and headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, Builders + Backers invests in exceptional entrepreneurs who are building global-scale ventures to power an entirely different future - one where technology creates value for many instead of capturing it for a few. Builders + Backers invests in and helps create a future of Buildership™, where technologies disrupt to democratize.

With three ways to invest, their goal is to put the power of technology in the hands of more people, build up communities and create things that lead to the kind of society where prosperity is widely shared. 

Donna is the General Partner at 1776 Ventures, and a Venture Partner at Praxis. She was formerly Managing Director of the Startup America Partnership and she is on the Board of the Global Entrepreneurship Network and the Policy Council of the Economic Innovation Group. Harris holds a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University, an MBA from The University Michigan, and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from American University.

Donna discusses the state of startup investing, her investment thesis, and some of the challenges startups and investors face.

You can visit Builders + Backers at www.buildersandbackers.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/builders-backers, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/buildersbackers

Donna can be contacted at donna@buildersandbackers.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/dharrisindc, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dharrisindc

_____________________________________________________________________

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

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

Diligencing the Legal Issues

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

In diligencing the startup’s legal documents, ask the following questions:

For the intellectual property, ask what was filed and when?

Did they file a provisional patent or a utility patent?

It takes three years from the date of filing for the patent to be approved, so it most likely will not have been awarded yet. 

Have there been any office actions yet?

The Cap Table represents the result of the term sheet and other documents related to ownership.

Review the term sheet to see if there are any unusual clauses.

What third-party contracts have been signed?

What obligations do those agreements require?

Check the employment agreements. 

Has every employee signed a non-disclosure and non-compete agreement?

Are there any outstanding lawsuits against the company? 

If so, what is the dollar amount involved?

Most startups do not focus much time on the legal aspects, so it’s important to check.


Thank 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: Diligencing_the_Legal_Issues.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Diligencing the Team for Skills

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

In diligencing the team, here are some key areas to check:

Sales skills -- the CEO and others must be able to sell their product or service.  

In the early stages of a startup, there won’t be a dedicated sales force, and everyone on the team must be able to sell.

Technical skills -- the CEO and the team must be tech-savvy as they will be building products and selling customers around that technology.

Those who don’t understand their technology will have a hard time convincing others of its worth.

Customer awareness -- the CEO and the team must know their customers well, including their problems, their budgets, and their careabouts.

I find one of the biggest indicators of success is how well the team knows their customer. 

Market awareness -- the CEO and the team must know their market well.  

This goes beyond just the general size and growth rates of the market and includes knowledge of key players in the market.

Competition awareness -- the CEO and the team must know who their direct competitors are and have some idea of the competitors’ strengths and weaknesses.

Before investing in a startup, check on these points.

Thank 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: Diligencing_the_Team_for_skills.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Alexander Borschow, Managing Partner at Semillero Partners.

Founded in 2015, and located in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Semillero Partners is an early-stage venture capital firm investing in purpose-driven sustainable food and food tech companies. Investing in these sectors will empower a new generation of entrepreneurs working to create the companies of our future while generating long-term value for society and stakeholders. Our current food system is neither sustainable, equitable, or healthy. Semillero Partners are committed to changing that. The team has been managing investments together for 6+ years, has $50MM+ in AUM, and is investing from its second fund.

Alex comes from a family of successful and visionary entrepreneurs, with his father, Jon, leading Puerto Rico’s largest healthcare logistics and distribution company for over 35 years and his brother, Jason, founding Abarca Health, the leading healthcare IT company on the island since 2008.

Alex started his career as an analyst on the equity derivatives institutional sales team at BNP Paribas in 2006, and in just five years, he rose to become the youngest Director in the history of the New York office and head of OTC sales for the US and Canada. Prior to co-founding Semillero Partners, Alex was the Director of Finance for Eataly USA.

Alex has been evaluating and investing in food and food tech ventures for the past 10+ years, investing in over 10 companies. 

A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Alex earned an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management along with a Certificate in Sustainability with a focus on Food Systems. He also holds a degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering from MIT with a Minor in Management. Alex serves on the Board of Directors of Seal the Seasons, Gfree Foods, Biomass Green Fuels, and the Board of Foundation for Puerto Rico, a non-profit dedicated to developing sustainable economic development strategies for Puerto Rico.

On a personal note, Alex is married to Mariella Danspeckgruber. They met when she was the manager at Cherry Grove Farm, an award-winning cheese farm in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. They are passionate foodies who love to cook, surf, travel, and ski together. They have two daughters and live together in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Alex shares what excites him now in the sustainable food industry, advises entrepreneurs and investors, and shares his investment thesis.

You can visit Semillero Partners at www.semilleropartners.com, and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/semillero-partners-llc.

Alex can be contacted at alex@semilleropartners.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/alexanderborschow, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/alexborschow

________________________________________________________________

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Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Diligencing the Financials

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

In diligencing the startup’s financials, ask the following questions:

What is the key assumption behind the financials?

Does it assume a product will reach the market at a specific time?

Does it assume we’ll have hired new team members by a certain date?

What funding does the plan assume?

What price and unit volume were used to set the sales forecast?

How do the margins compare to similar companies? Are they in the same ballpark?

What salaries are forecasted, and are they reasonable for this stage of business?

How will the funds be used?

How detailed are the numbers? Is everything rounded up to the nearest thousand dollars, or does it demonstrate specific knowledge of costs?

Big round numbers signal a swag.

What is the cash runway shown by the financials?  

What does the debt, credit card debt, and unpaid expenses add up to?

The financials tell you, the investor, what the startup knows and is thinking. 


Thank 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: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes James Wagoner, CEO at Joule Case.

Joule Case is a portable power station that replaces gas generators and provides power wherever the power grid is unavailable or unreliable. Joule Case has developed a patented alternative energy technology solution that will make it the standard oil of the green revolution. 

Joule Case provides innovation in a largely stagnant battery market, replacing noxious generators with clean, safe, cost-efficient renewable power in the fast-growing event-power industry with music festival partners like Burning Man and Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC). 

James builds teams, manages resources, and aligns with the long-term vision. As a licensed professional engineer with years of developing technical projects and products, he comes from a technical background and understands the importance of people for any large technical project, product, or organization. James excels at building rapport and aligning incentives to unify diverse teams and organizations. Throughout his career, he drives for a better, greener world through technology development and implementation. He enjoys both professional and personal challenges, such as climbing Mt. Rainier and cycling from San Francisco to LA.

James discusses running a business in the energy industry and shares some of the challenges startups face. He speaks about potential rewards and mentions the differences between his company and competitors.

You can visit Joule Case at www.joulecase.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/joule-case/, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/joulecase.  

James can be contacted at jamesw@joulecase.com, and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/jameswagoner3

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Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Diligencing the Customers in the Market

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

In diligencing the customers in the market, check for the following:

  1. Who is the target customer?  
  2. What is the ideal customer profile?
  3. What is the customer acquisition strategy and cost?
  4. Do they have a standard process for acquiring customers?
  5. For pre-revenue companies, what is their go-to-market strategy?
  6. Have they priced their product appropriately for the target market and channel?
  7. Check their Cost of Customer Acquisition vs. Lifetime Value number. Is it better than 1:3?
  8. How many new potential customers are coming into the market?
  9. Are there high switching costs that must be overcome for customers to engage the company’s product?
  10. Does the ideal customer already have a budget set aside for the product, or do they need to find a budget for it?
  11. Is there any virality built into the product or the business model?
  12. What is the channel through which the company contacts customers -- web, direct, partners, or other?

From these points, you can learn more about the customers for the target startup and how strong they are.


Thank 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: 6:00am CDT

Diligencing the Competition

In diligencing the competition, check to see how well the startup knows its competitors.  

Do they know what the competitors offer, how they price it, and what their advantage is over that competitor?

Even if the startup tells you there's no competition, rest assured there is.

Sometimes competition is for the customer to do nothing or do it themselves.

The company's product must be compelling enough to cause the customer to switch.

Research the competitors for size of company, position in the market, as well as the price they offer.

Check to see how fast competitors bring new technologies and products to the market.  

Check to see if the intellectual property of the startup provides a true competitive advantage.

I define competitive advantage as it gives the company 30% more revenue or 30% reduced cost over the competition.

Check to see how easy it is to move from the startup's product to a competitor's product.  

For startups who claim a "first-mover advantage", ask what prevents the customer from switching later.

In talking with customers of the company's product, you can learn what feature caused them to buy the company's product which tells you the company's positioning.

Competitors are a good indicator of the market, and much can be learned from them.



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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

This is the Investor Connect KiwiTech 2022 podcast series. In this series, we discuss trends and topics in the startup world.

I hope you enjoy this episode.
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Diligencing the Demand

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

In diligencing the demand for a startup’s product, here are some key points to check:

Is the product a nice to have or a must-have?

For customers buying the product, assess their budgets. Do they have deep pockets, or do they have average pockets?

Assess their place on the technology curve. Do they lead the way, or do they follow the masses?

Ask similar companies what they think about the product and if they would buy it. If no, ask why?

From this information, you gain an understanding of how well the product works and how customers view it for their business. 

You can then estimate the serviceable market size for the product. 

Contact existing customers and ask about their need for the product and how well it works for them.

This is particularly important for freemium products in which the user is not a paying customer. 


Thank 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: 6:00am CDT

Diligencing the Technology

Diligencing the Technology

In diligencing the technology in a startup, here are some key questions to ask:

How many of the tech modules have been completed and how many more must be completed before going to market?

Does the technology provide a substantial advantage over the competition?

One way to check this is to see if it provides a 10X improvement over the current technologies.

Does the technology architecture scale?

Is there a roadmap for the technology and how to grow it?

Who on the team owns the technology and the roadmap? 

Do they work in the company, or is that outsourced?

What other platforms does the startup's technology rely on? Does it rely on Google, Facebook, or other platforms that can change?

How does the startup protect their technology -- trade secrets, patents, or others?

A new technology wave comes out every 3 to 5 years. How long before this technology is obsolete?


Thank 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: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Olivia Kim, Principal at GingerBread Capital.

GingerBread Capital invests in the next generation of female founders leading high-growth businesses and aims to encourage and support other women in doing the same.

They invest across a variety of industries and business models and are generally stage-agnostic, typically investing at the Series A-C stages, but also looking to selectively and opportunistically make earlier bets as well. They seek to co-invest and participate in deals alongside a lead investor and will typically continue to follow on in subsequent rounds. Additionally, GingerBread Capital has also invested in a number of funds that are led by a female and/or diverse GP, as the team firmly believes that increasing the diversity of both the founder and funder communities is necessary for creating a more equitable, efficient, and successful venture ecosystem. 

Olivia joined the GingerBread Capital team in 2019. She strongly believes that increasing diversity in both the founder and funder communities is vital to fostering ideas and businesses that can help solve the evolving challenges facing consumers and businesses today.

Previously, Olivia served on the investment team at Luminate Capital Partners, a San Francisco-based private equity firm focused on enterprise software investing. She began her career in the Technology, Media, and Telecom Investment Banking group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York City. Outside of work, Olivia previously served as the Chair of the Vetting Committee of Spark SF, a non-profit organization committed to advancing gender equality by engaging its members in accessible forms of philanthropy. Spark SF awarded small grants to grassroots women’s organizations globally, before being acquired by Global Fund for Women.

Olivia is a San Francisco native and graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University with a BA in Economics and a minor in Political Science.

Olivia delves into what excites her now and discusses the state of startup investing. She speaks about some of the startups that fit her investment thesis and some of the challenges they face. 

You can visit GingerBread Capital at www.gingerbreadcap.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/gingerbreadcapital, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GingerBreadCap

Olivia can be contacted at olivia@gingerbreadcap.com, and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/olivia-kim

____________________________________________________________________

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Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Diligencing the Team

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

In diligencing a startup for investment, the team is one of the most critical factors and the one that is most often overlooked by investors.

I see investors focus on the product, the market, and the competition and ignore the team assuming every skill is at the ready.

The first and most important characteristic to look for in the team is integrity.

If the team doesn’t have integrity, then nothing else will matter.

The next is tenacity. Most startups fail because the team got bored with the project and found some other shiny new thing to work on.

Next, assess their knowledge of the market. I see many CEOs pursue startups in a “hot” space in which they know very little.

The ones who succeed know the market well and in particular, know the customer very well. 

This is important because it accelerates the path to product-market fit. 

Finally, look for a CEO who can inspire confidence and has more than just confidence in himself.

Startups require confidence such that they can recruit employees and convert 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.
___________________________________

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Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Gerald Gallagher, Venture Capital Manager at Healthworx.

Healthworx is a $100M healthcare fund that operates at the intersection of healthcare and innovation by creating, co-creating, and investing in Series A and B startups to improve healthcare quality, accessibility, and affordability. As the innovation and investment arm of CareFirst of Maryland, Inc., Healthworx envisions a healthier future for all people by changing the way health works.  

Gerald is a venture capital investor and attorney and has been on all three sides of the venture ecosystem: startup, investor, LP. He invests in fintech, insurtech, and digital health and is Interested in helping brilliant people solve big, complicated problems. Gerald is experienced in managing teams, projects, and accounts in client-facing roles. 

Gerald advises investors and entrepreneurs and shares some of the challenges they face. He discusses his investment thesis and the state of startup investing.

You can visit Healthworx at www.healthworx.com, and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/hwx.

Gerald can be contacted at gallaghgsc@gmail.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/gerald-gallagher, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/thatgerald

_____________________________________________________________________

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Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Sizing the Market

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

In diligencing the market, look for a market that is large and has strong growth potential.

If a new technology has spurred the growth of the market, then this may be a good time to invest.

Markets that are behind on the latest technology are ripe for growth.

The Total Available Market for venture-funded deals needs to be at least $1B in size.

This is referred to as the TAM, which is everyone who could ever buy your product.

The Service Available Market or SAM is the target market within your geographical area. 

The Beachhead Market is the first 20 customers you are targeting.

The TAM and SAM are top-down numbers you find through research.

The Beachhead Market is a bottoms-up number you find through your sales and marketing efforts.

The presence of competition verifies the market. If there are no competitors, then there’s most likely not a market there. 

The presence of acquirers is another key verifier of the market. If no one is buying companies in that market, then there’s no reason to build a business to be sold.


Thank 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: 6:00am CDT

The A Team With the B Plan

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

In funding startups, look for the A team working on the B plan.

In this situation, the team can clearly accomplish the task at hand because they’ve done it before and the task is not that hard.

The opposite of this is the team that has little experience and is now taking on a major new challenge.  

The A team makes for a better startup investment.

They know the market well and can see small changes coming up that will impact their business.

They know the industry players well and can contact them easily to form partnerships, recruit team members, and sell the product.

They work well together and have probably done for so many years.

The B project is very well-defined.

In diligencing startups, check to see how close the deal is to the A team working on a B project.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
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Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Nasir Ali, Managing Partner at StartFast Ventures.

StartFast is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in recurring revenue software businesses outside the major start-up hubs. StartFast Fund II invests at the Seed/A Round stages in B2B SaaS companies. Their geographic focus enables them to invest at attractive valuations; their companies can scale cost-effectively, and their exits command high return multiples. StartFast likes to invest in diverse teams with first-hand experience of the problems they are solving.

Nasir has been building a high-growth entrepreneurial ecosystem across Upstate New York for the past 18 years and investing as an early-stage VC since 2007. Nasir launched The Syracuse Technology Garden incubator in 2004, followed in 2007 by the Seed Capital Fund of CNY, Upstate NY’s first angel investor fund. In 2010, Nasir joined with TriNet founder Martin Babinec to form Upstate Venture Connect, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that has helped organize six angel funds in Upstate New York; built an online communications platform that reaches more than 15,000 startup community members; created the UNY50 Entrepreneur Leadership group; and established the Upstate Venture Ecosystem Awards.

Nasir also co-founded and is the Managing Director of StartFast Fund I, Upstate NY’s only private capital-backed startup accelerator program. Nasir’s 60 portfolio companies have raised over $300MM. He is a board member and highly sought out advisor to numerous entities including the NYS Innovation Venture Capital Fund, Next Gen Venture Partners, Fitzgate Ventures, and multiple portfolio companies. Nasir received his undergraduate degree in Physics from Princeton University. He also holds an MBA from Yale University and resides in Rochester, NY.

Nasir discusses the state of startup investing and his investment thesis. He advises investors and entrepreneurs and shares some of the challenges they face.

You can visit StartFast Ventures at www.startfastventures.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/startfast/, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Start_Fast.  

Nasir can be contacted at nasir@startfastventures.com and nasir@uvc.org, and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/snasirali/.

_____________________________________________________________________

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Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Financial Analysis

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

In diligencing a startup, analyze the financial statements to understand the business better.

Here are key items to check:

  • Where does the revenue come from?
  • What could stop or halt the revenue?
  • How far is the company from profitability?
  • How much cash is on hand and, given the burn rate, how much runway is available?
  • What costs can be variablized down in case of a drop in business?
  • Check the accounts receivables to see how fast customers are paying their bills.
  • How much debt is on the balance sheet and what does it cost or when will it come due?
  • In each category, start with the big numbers and then work your way down.
  • For items that look out of the norm, ask the founder or CEO.
  • See how much the team knows about their numbers and if they have a strategy for improving them.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Business Model Analysis

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

The business model shows where the company incurs costs in order to generate revenue. 

In diligencing a startup, spend some time analyzing the business model to determine how robust and profitable it is.

Check the revenue to see how much is recurring, repeating, or one-off.

The more revenue that is recurring based on contracts, the stronger the cash flow. 

Check the costs for customer acquisition and lifetime value of customers, even if it’s not a recurring revenue business. 

There needs to be a healthy delta between the cost of acquisition and the total revenue from the customer. 

Revenue per customer should be at least 3X the cost of acquiring that customer. 

Map out the gross margins and profit margins of the current business and near-term projections.

The healthier the margins, the less funding the company will need to raise and the faster the company can reach profitability.

Check the overhead costs and any other regular expenditure to determine the capital efficiency of the business.

Finally, look for unusually high general and administrative expenses.


Thank 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: 6:00am CDT

This is the Investor Connect Crowdfunding Launch Program. I'm Hall T Martin, the host of the show, in which we take questions from startups and investors on crowdfunding topics. 

I hope you enjoy this episode.
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Thank you for joining us for the Investor Connect Crowdfunding Launch Program where we help startups prepare for a fundraise. 

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Direct download: PODCAST_2022-02-23_TEN_Capital_Future_of_Funding_Series.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

Due Diligence Mistakes

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

There are several mistakes one can make in the due diligence process.

Here are a few points to check:

Focusing on every potential risk in the deal and not the primary risks.

In this case, diligence turns into a never-ending slog with no endpoint.

Many CEOs are successful entrepreneurs who did well elsewhere and are now working in a new area. 

The CEO must be experienced in the domain of the startup.  

Does the company have real traction in the market?

It’s often the case they have a few key customers who jump-started sales, but there’s no real momentum.

Will customers buy the product in sufficient numbers?

The market demand must be great enough to grow the business. 

Does the team have a focus on the exit strategy?

Make sure the team knows their exit and has a strong sense of it. 


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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
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Direct download: Due_Diligence_Mistakes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Michael G. Hiles, Founder, and CEO at 10XTS.

10XTS helps capital markets participants leverage the emerging global decentralized capital market infrastructure. Their solutions are built upon XDEX, an institutional-grade asset tokenization platform and network that puts the power of holistic data ownership back into the hands of asset owners, securities issuers, and their investors.

Michael began his career in the early 1990s as a software developer for government information systems platforms. In 2000, Michael’s team won a Smithsonian Laureate Award for being the first to ever connect a judicial system to the worldwide web. He is regarded as an expert in information governance, risk, and compliance.

Michael discusses security token offerings, how to set up a fund, common mistakes people make, and more.

You can visit 10XTS at www.10xts.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/10xts/, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/go10xts/

Michael can be contacted at michael@10xts.com, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/michaelhiles/, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/michaelhiles

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
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Direct download: Michael_G._Hiles_of_10XTS.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

The Risks in the Deal

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

In diligencing a startup, focus on the key risks. Here’s a short list to review:

The team -- do they have the skills and will they remain committed to the company?

The market -- will the market continue to grow?

The competition -- will there be new competitors that come on the scene we did not count on?

The technology -- will the technology landscape change, obsoleting the company’s tech?

The funding -- will the company be able to continue to raise funding?

The intellectual property -- will your IP adequately protect your position in the market?

The regulatory environment -- will new regulations come up that negatively impact the company?

This often comes up in the life sciences space in which FDA regulations must be achieved.

Consider each of these risks in a potential investment.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

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

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

Risks and Assumptions

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

In diligencing a startup, it’s important to articulate the risks and the assumptions you have about the startup.

Start by identifying the risks in the deal.

The team, product, market, technology, and competition are key sources of risk. 

List out each one and what risks the company faces. Prioritize the most important at the top and list in descending order.

Write out the assumptions you are making about the deal. 

I find new information often comes to light through the due diligence process, so it’s important to track what you believe to be true about the deal.

Articulate the investment thesis for how this will become a successful investment and not just a successful company.

Writing out the investment thesis forces you to think it through more carefully.

Seeing it written out gives you a sanity check.

For the investment thesis, estimate the potential size of the company, the probability of success, and the return that can be achieved.

Will this become a billion-dollar company or just a few million dollars?

Are there a handful of competitors in the market or thousands?

Are the buyouts in the space in 9-figure exits, 8-figure exits, or less?

Writing out the risks and assumptions will help you gain a better understanding of the deal.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

Check out our other podcasts here: https://investorconnect.org/ 
For Investors check out: https://tencapital.group/investor-landing/ 
For Startups check out: https://tencapital.group/company-landing/ 
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Direct download: Risks_and_Assumptions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

On this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Stefano Gurciullo, Partner at Redstone VC.

Redstone is a Berlin-based venture capital firm managing multiple VC funds and working with corporate venture funds. They reinvented corporate venture capital through their VC-as-a-Service model, which connects industry leaders with ambitious founders.

Together with their industry partners, they activate corporate capital, knowledge, and network to support their entrepreneurs in growing their businesses. In addition to their investment service, they provide tailored intelligence that empowers partners to make better-informed strategic decisions and stay informed about future digital trends.

Redstone is run by experienced entrepreneurs and investors with deep roots in the German and European technology ecosystem. Their founding partners have built and advised some of Europe's largest technology companies over the last two decades.

Stefano leads the Future Industry Ventures, the firm’s industrial technology and sustainability fund. He invests in European entrepreneurs building solutions making manufacturing more energy-efficient, more secure, and decarbonised. Prior to Redstone, Stefano held various positions as a data scientist and investor in sustainable finance. He has also consulted public institutions such as the European Commission, UNDP, and EU Climate KIC at the intersection of technology and climate. Stefano holds a Ph.D. in Financial Computing from University College London, where, as a complex systems scientist, he worked on the use of data to understand and prevent financial and climate-related economic shocks. 

Stefano shares with Hall what excites him now and advises startups and investors. He discusses the state of startup investing and the biggest change he thinks we will see in the next 12-24 months.

You can visit Redstone VC at https://redstone.vc/, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/redstone-venture-capital/, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/redstonevc.

Stefano can be contacted at stefano@redstone.vc, on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/etste/, and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/etste

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

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

For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group   

Please follow, share, and leave a review.

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

Key Factors in Diligence

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

There are several factors to achieve success in running a due diligence process.

First, dedicate at least 20 hours to due diligence.  

Many investors dedicate less than 20 minutes.

Share your diligence findings with other investor groups in return for their findings.

Apply your skills and network to the process where possible.

Due diligence can be an endless game, so you need to prioritize your efforts.

Focus on the key risks in the deal.

Spend the majority of your time on the management team.  

This is the critical success factor in most startups.

Check the deal structure to make sure you understand it and how it works for you.

Make sure you talk with the users of the product.

Write out your findings and assumptions to refer back to later.  

Consider having the startup sign a Reps and Warranties contract for the diligence they provided.

This can give you recourse in the event key information was left out.


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

Let’s go startup something today.
___________________________________

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

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

For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group  

Please follow, share, and leave a review.

Music courtesy of Bensound.

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

Form C Disclosures for Crowdfunding

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

Equity crowdfunding is a regulated fundraise by FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

A company can raise up to $5M on equity crowdfunding.

Anyone can invest. Those who are not accredited investors are limited to $2,200 per year per company.

Those raising funding must file a Form C with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company raising funding must be based in the US.

The Form C requires the following information:

  • The biographies of officers and directors and anyone owning more than 20% of the company.
  • A description of the business and what it does.
  • How the raised funds will be used.
  • The method for calculating the price of the security.
  • The target fundraise amount and the deadline for raising it.
  • A description of the company’s financial condition.
  • Financial statements of the company.

In preparing for an equity crowdfunding raise, you’ll need to provide this information for compliance 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 

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

For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group  

Please follow, share, and leave a review.

Music courtesy of Bensound.

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

This is the TEN Capital AMA show. I'm Hall T. Martin, the host of the show in which we interview investors and founders on current topics. 

Our guest is:

Jeff Eversmann of Long View Technology Ventures

I hope you enjoy this episode.
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For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at: http://investorconnect.org 

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

For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group 

Music courtesy of Bensound.