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Business Development for Early Stage Startups

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struck in the early days where newspapers would put a little “Tag this article” widget at the end of every story, and in return, they’d get a feed of the keywords used to take the articles, which helped them on search and ad targeting. If you’re a non-technical founder, while your team is building and refining your product, you’ve got to figure out what to do with your time. I find that first time CEOs often find themselves doing two things, neither of which is productive.

Paying Yourself is Not a Reason to Raise Early Stage Funding

Instigator Blog

Paying yourself isn’t a good enough reason to justify raising early stage funding. Founders at an early stage have to pay themselves below market value. Furthermore, if you get to the stage where belts need to be tightened, one of the first things you cut is your own salary. So how can you avoid the scenario described above, where you go unpaid for a long time and then need to raise early stage funding in order to pay yourself?

Roundtable For Entrepreneurs: Business Schools And Early Stage Entrepreneurship


Most business schools don't have much insight into what goes on in the pre-validation and validation stages of the business and fail to underscore a simple fact: you do not get financing unless you validate your business first. From 2008 to 2010, Mitra was a columnist for Forbes. I have written about this before on my Forbes column, but want to raise the question again: Are Business Schools Setting Up Entrepreneurs To Fail?

Startup Valuation: How Much Is Your Company Worth?

Seed Stage Capital

skip to main | skip to sidebar 19 January 2010 Startup Valuation: How Much Is Your Company Worth? But the challenge is that none of the traditionally-accepted valuation methods really apply to early stage startups. A much larger segment of investors are interested at this stage.

Want to Know How VC’s Calculate Valuation Differently from Founders?

Both Sides of the Table

In an early round of investment where there is not an extremely high price relative to normal valuations this is anything but benign. Privately some early-stage VC’s talk about participation helping them to “juice their returns&# on smaller exits.

Raising Money Using Customer Development

Steve Blank

Unfortunately in early stage startups the drive for financing hijacks the corporate DNA and becomes the raison d’etre of the company. The goal of their startup in this stage becomes “getting funded.” What are Early Stage VC’s Really Asking?

Lessons Learned: Don't launch

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Friday, March 13, 2009 Dont launch Heres a common question I get from startups, especially in the early stages: when should we launch? This is the usual reason given for a marketing launch, but for most early stage startups, its a failure. If you dont know who the partners are, what they pay attention to, or what kind of message they are open to receiving - its too early to launch. April 23, 2010 in San Francisco.

Startup Sales – Why Hiring Seasoned Reps May Not Work

Both Sides of the Table

One of the biggest mistakes I see early-stage startups making is hiring “seasoned&# sales professionals or hiring people too senior, too early. Early stage selling is way more “evangelical&# than process driven. But hire them too early at your peril.

Journeymen, Mavericks & Superstars: Understanding Salespeople at Startups

Both Sides of the Table

Very few of them are started, in my experience, by sales people and very few early stage companies really understand sales. a) they don’t tend to make great heads of sales departments and b) they aren’t the people you want early in your company.

How to Work with Lawyers at a Startup

Both Sides of the Table

Forget to get around to setting up that Employee Stock Option Plan and want to be able to give the early guys their options at a low strike price? They want to lock in future clients at an early stage.

The Four Main Things that Investors Look for in a Startup

Both Sides of the Table

But in my experience as an entrepreneur and now spending my time amongst investors I can generalize that almost all VC investments in early stage technology & Internet investments come down to just four key factors. It is probably the right thing for the stage of company.

Video of My Internet Week Session on Early Stage Entrepreneurship

Vinicius Vacanti

Home About Contact Me How To Make It as a First-Time Entrepreneur Vinicius Vacanti Video of My Internet Week Session on Early Stage Entrepreneurship June 14, 2010 | View Comments On Thursday, Owen Davis of SeedStart invited Amol Sarva , from Peek , and me to answer some questions on early stage entrepreneurship.

4 Ways to Align Startup Founder and Investor Interests

Instigator Blog

The relationship is made more challenging by the fact that it goes through an early honeymoon period shortly after an investment is made. Are investors and startup founders on the same side of the table, or the opposite side? A: Depends.

How to pick a co-founder

Breakups are hard If you’re going to fall out with your co-founder, do it early, recover the equity into the option pool to keep the company going, and recruit someone else great to fill the missing slot. Reply # Melanie Curtiss · May 5, 2010 Thank you for this blog post.

14 Ways To Be A Great Startup CEO


A good portion of early stage startups that raise money will have a board comprised of 3 people: the CEO founder, the investor, and an independent board member. It can also help lend some street cred with hiring early technical team members too.

The Power of “In Person” – Why Distributed Teams are Less Effective

Both Sides of the Table

I don’t like distributed development teams in early stage businesses. I often advise these CEOs to make the tough choices early in the company’s history – either move up North or build your tech team in LA.

A Postmortem Analysis of Standout Jobs

Instigator Blog

I’ve read a number of great (and heartfelt ) postmortems of late, and then read Eric Ries’ blog post: Stop lying on stage. I appreciate Eric’s point-of-view, and I’ve had similar experiences watching people on stage, publicly addressing an audience and omitting key points of their “startup’s story&#. In the future I’ll focus a lot more on a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and getting it into the hands of customers as early as possible.

Startup Killer: the Cost of Customer Acquisition | For Entrepreneurs

Lessons Learned – Business Planning Stage My advice to entrepreneurs working on a new business plan is to build a model similar to those above to estimate the cost of customer acquisition. Consider converting to a channel sales model at some stage in the lifecycle of the business.

Find a Growth Hacker for Your Startup

Startup Marketing Blog

Generally speaking, the job requirements/skills mentioned above are not paramount for startups in or before the early growth phase. 12 Responses to “Find a Growth Hacker for Your Startup&# Brittany Laughlin Jul 26, 2010 12:36 pm Great article. Brittany Gtrot Co-founder (& growth hacker) [link] @blocks8 Dena Stern Jul 26, 2010 1:14 pm This is so right on. next CEO of WorkingPoint | [link] Sean Jul 26, 2010 1:30 pm I agree.

Building Products for Mass Adoption

Both Sides of the Table

Chris Dixon wrote a blog post last week titled, “ Techies and Normals &# in which he defined “Techies&# as people who are not just “early adopters&# but also have more of a geeky, technical, product bent.

Launch: StartupList — a new way to reach angels

Venture Hacks

Yesterday, we launched AngelList , a curated list of angel investors, representing $80M going into early-stage startups this year. We look for the same things that early-stage investors look for: traction , social proof , and team.

The Importance of Revenue is Back - DShen's Blogs


Back in 2009, shortly after the 2008 crash, I wrote The Importance of Revenue at Early Stage, Now More Than Ever. 2.Valuations for startups still hang around $6-10M cap or pre-money at early stage for the hotter deals, sometimes even higher. However, practically NO startup I know raises for 24-30 months at the seed stage - well, practically none. Back in 2009, shortly after the 2008 crash, I wrote The Importance of Revenue at Early Stage, Now More Than Ever.

The 15 Mistakes of First Time Entrepreneurs

VC Cafe

Listening to customers is the best thing you can do in the early stages of your venture. E ntrepreneurship is like riding a bicycle. You are going to fall and get hurt before you learn to do it right.

NDA 47

A Startup is Not a Smaller Version of a Large Company

Steve Blank

This series of posts are going to offer a new three-stage model of how startups grow into large companies. Instead each is a unique stage of development with distinctive behavior, modes of thinking, physiology and more. Let’s take a closer look at the first two of these stages.

Laos 71

Founder DNA – How Investors Evaluate Startup Founders

Instigator Blog

I think it’s clear at this stage that investors are looking for big vision. Year One Labs is no exception, even if our model is focused on early exits. Early stage startups are driven by learning. Are entrepreneurs born or taught? I’d say a bit of both. Environmental and genetic influences are so intertwined for most things (diseases, our health, intelligence, etc.) there’s no simple answer.

How to Start a Startup

the seed stage, investors dont expect you to have an elaboratebusiness plan. At this stage,all most investors expect is a brief description of what you plan to do and how youre going to make money from it, and the resumes of the founders. As we were in the middle of getting bought, we discovered that oneof our people had, early on, been bound by an agreement that saidall his ideas belonged to the giant company that was paying for himto go to grad school.

Israeli Venture Capital Raising Flat in Q3, Seed Investments Decline

VC Cafe

T he latest IVC Online Report is out and Q3 results are in: 96 Israeli high-tech companies raised $341 million from venture capital funds and other venture investors – both local and foreign – in the third quarter of 2010. The average first investment by Israeli VC funds in Q3 2010 was $1.94

Going Down? Q3 VC Investments in US Tech Drop 14%

VC Cafe

billion in venture capital funding in Q3 2010, representing a 14% decline in total funding amount compared to the previous quarter. Amongst those, only about 30 deals were early stage (A round) totaling about $200 million in investments. The average early stage round was $6.7

Mitsui Ventures Invests $3 Million in MoMinis

VC Cafe

Mitsui Ventures is a global venture capital fund based in Japan, providing seed and early stage capital for startups interested in penetrating the lucrative Japanese market.

How to Fund a Startup

I say "in theory" because in early stageinvesting, valuations are voodoo. So if youre going to sell cheap stockto eminent angels, do it early, when its natural for the companyto have a low valuation. Sometimes angels deal terms are as fearsome as VCs.Other angels, particularly in the earliest stages, will invest basedon a two-page agreement. Angels and even VC firms occasionally do this, but they alsoinvest at later stages. Theres only common stock at this stage.

Misplaced Passion is Common for Early Stage Entrepreneurs

Instigator Blog

But what we see quite regularly at the early stages of startups is not too much passion but misplaced passion. Entrepreneurs at the beginning stages of their startups fall too in love with their solution (and their ideas), and that passion drives them down rabbit holes. When entrepreneurs are so driven by passion that they’re blind to the realities around them they often find themselves in big trouble.

Launching Year One Labs – An Early Stage Seed Accelerator

Instigator Blog

Year One Labs is an early stage seed accelerator that will help fund and build startups, primarily in the web and mobile spaces. Today is a big day. After 6 or so months, I’ve launched my new startup: Year One Labs. Although we’ll be in the business of helping others launch their startups, Year One Labs is most definitely a startup itself. I’m particularly excited about the team: Raymond Luk , Alistair Croll and Ian Rae.

Designing startup metrics to drive successful behavior | For Entrepreneurs

This will show us if we are succeeding in our efforts to improve things, and also give us early warning signs of any negative trends. VC Venture capital Viral growth Plugin by wordpress themes Copyright © David Skok 2009, 2010.

Essential Startup Funding Tips from 8 Seasoned Investors

For the first-time entrepreneur or founder looking for seed stage funding, this circle can be especially difficult to penetrate. Mashable Mashable reached out to angels, seed stage investors and VC firm partners and asked them to share their wisdom with the rest of us.

First Half of 2011 Showed Boost in Later Stage VC Deals in Israel

VC Cafe

285 companies raised $1.048 Billion in the first half of 2011, an 82% increase compared to the $577 million raised in the equivalent period in 2010. Seed stage investments are down almost by half, accounting for 3% of investments in the first half of 2011, compared to 5% last year.

How Much Equity a Technical Cofounder Should Get - Nathan Hurst's Blog

Nathan Hurst

6c] Non-technical cofounder has MBA -0%: (this is my opinion) In the early days of a startup, an MBA doesnt help much. 7] Non-technical cofounder invests money -5% per $10k: This is an approximation based on a very early stage valuation of $200k. Jul 19, 2010 Nathan Hurst said.

Venture Capitalists, Super Angels and the State of Startup Funding

All of this is according to Paul Graham, co-founder of the early-stage investment fund Ycombinator. We are coaching VCs and Angel Investors everyday who call us wanting to understand our Early Stage LPO versus late stage IPO approach to business.

Is Convertible Debt Preferable to Equity?

Both Sides of the Table

Funnily enough I just answered this question yesterday on Quora when somebody asked, “Why would an early-stage investor specifically NOT prefer a convertible note structure to straight equity (e.g. Why many early-stage investors DO price rounds (e.g.

Shana Tova from VC Cafe

VC Cafe

2) Help five deserving early stage startups get funding from qualified investors. V C Cafe wishes you, the Israeli start up and venture capital industries, a very healthy, successful and prosperous new year.

My Life as a CEO (and VC): Chief Psychologist

Both Sides of the Table

This is the failure of many early-stage companies when they try to scale. I’ve had a post in my head for months – maybe longer – about the role of a CEO. It originally appeared on TechCrunch as a guest post but just in case you missed it there.