Value Inflection Points for Seed-Stage Startups

View from Seed

An easy way to think about it is that value over time doesn’t go up and to the right in a straight line like this: Instead, it’s more of a stair step like this: So, what are the value inflection points that create the stair steps, and how does one think about it at the earliest stages?

Should Seed-Stage VCs Pay Up for Great Teams or Great Traction?

View from Seed

“As a seed-stage investor, should you pay up for team or traction?” When you are thinking about joining an early stage company, how should you be evaluating the risk of the overall company? So, if you are going to pay up as a seed-stage investor, pay up for team.

Trending Sources

How a Seed-Stage Startup Should Think About Brand: A Conversation With Jesse Derris

View from Seed

Jesse recently sat down with NextView (I assume he was sitting anyway — we spoke on the phone) to talk seed-stage company branding, building a startup identity, and some of the most common mistakes founders make when establishing a name for their companies.

Accidental VC: When, Exactly, Should Seed-Stage Startups Look for Office Space?

View from Seed

So, when should a seed-stage founder — who, let’s face it, isn’t launching a business because they’re pumped to find corporate real estate — actually start looking for a legitimate office? Conversely, what would it look like if things go better or worse? (A

How much should a start-up CEO make?

Seth Levine's VC Adventure

Keep in mind that I’m talking about Seed and Series A stage businesses. - At the seed stage the modest amount of money you have raised is best spent on product and attracting initial customers than it is on paying yourself. It’s also true that generally founders and early employees own a large portion of the business at this stage and as a result, business progress at this stage disproportionately benefits founders.

How much should a start-up CEO make?

Seth Levine's VC Adventure

Keep in mind that I’m talking about Seed and Series A stage businesses. At the seed stage the modest amount of money you have raised is best spent on product and attracting initial customers than it is on paying yourself. It’s also true that generally founders and early employees own a large portion of the business at this stage and as a result, business progress at this stage disproportionately benefits founders.

An Alternative to Board Decks Some Seed VCs Actually Prefer

View from Seed

Over the summer, based on feedback from our portfolio and the broader startup community, NextView created pre-formatted board deck templates for seed-stage startups — part of our Growth Guides series. A Seed-Stage-Friendly Board Update Doc.

The State of NYC Seed: Startup Trends & VC Data [REPORT]

View from Seed

Today, we’re excited to launch the State of NYC Seed — a comprehensive report on the ecosystem, authored by our own Tim Devane. But our conversations at NextView have always ended in excited chatter about the New York opportunity.

When Should Startup Founders Discuss Valuation with Seed VCs?

View from Seed

As the seed-stage startup fundraise process has received more transparency in recent years, ranging from published advice on how to raise seed capital to increased availability through AngelList, Funders Club, and various accelerator programs, I’ve noticed another trend emerging.

Should Startups Blog? An Essay (with Data) to Decide Once and For All

View from Seed

So the question needs to be asked: Should seed-stage startups even blog in the first place? Today, I run this blog – The View From Seed ( you can subscribe here) , and my own blog, Sorry for Marketing , in addition to consulting or writing for several more.

How to Avoid a Cluttered Board Room

View from Seed

Here at NextView, we are strong proponents of creating a board at the seed stage. At the seed stage, we typically have three-person boards with two founders and one VC — though as companies grow at later stages, five-person boards and ultimately six- or seven-person boards become more common. I think having two or at most three VC board members is probably where this should cap out, even for later stage startups.

Seed Round Signaling Revisited: Myths, Truths, & Half-Lies

Genuine VC

It’s been five years now since large VC ‘signaling’ entered the seed stage entrepreneur’s lexicon. Yet even today, whether or not to take a (relatively) small check in a seed round syndicate from a multi-hundred million or even billion dollar fund is still a decision which takes quite a bit of consideration and sometimes consternation. more likely to succeed) entrepreneurs having the opportunity to take a larger VC’s capital at the seed round.

Free Templates for Great Startup Pitch Decks, Direct from VCs

View from Seed

Today, NextView Ventures is excited to release a pillar project in our Growth Guides series: pitch deck templates for raising seed capital. For context, last year, based on questions from our existing portfolio, we launched two board deck templates for seed-stage startups.

Short term clarity vs long term upside

The Equity Kicker

But it got me thinking about the trade off between short term clarity and long term upside in seed stage investing. Not when they’re at the seed stage. People are successful investing on either side of this trade off, but in our seed stage experience companies with relatively more clarity on the short term have better chances of success.

Traction vs. Product

Rob Go

I’ve had a couple conversations with other investors recently around what a seed stage company needs to achieve to raise a series A. The early stage of a business is when everything is a blank canvas and you have maximum agility.

7 Common Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make in VC Pitches & How to Fix Them

View from Seed

With plenty of resources available for entrepreneurs about how to craft an effective pitch deck for raising seed-stage capital from VCs, often what’s left out are some of the tactical components of an initial meeting.

Startups: Here’s How to Brainstorm Better, According to Science

View from Seed

Seed-stage startups lack a history of proof but offer plenty of promise. After all, there’s a long list of shortcomings that we’ve all experienced in these types of meetings: Talkative teammates monopolize the conversation.

Understanding Different Types of Angel Investors

View from Seed

We at NextView Ventures invest exclusively in a startup’s seed-stage round , meaning that many if not most of our deals are made alongside individual angel investors. The post Understanding Different Types of Angel Investors appeared first on The View From Seed

2 Challenges of Startup Customer Development & How to Get Great Feedback Instead

View from Seed

With that in the back of our minds, let’s dive into a few of those crucial first-step nuances as you look to gain traction and hold successful customer development conversations. But for a true seed-stage company or for folks just thinking about companies to start or products to build, I think surveys are generally terrible. Step one in building a new company is the YC adage: “Build something people want.”. But how do you go about figuring out what people want?

The Question of Scale

Mark Birch

I often hear some version of this quote from conversations with investors. In the day, VC’s used to issue $5 million Series A checks as seed funding for entrepreneurs to build out something based on little more than an idea. Problem was they were coming in with the late stage mentality.

What Early-Stage Investors Hate The Most

Mark Birch

Coupled with an founder not doing research on the focus of the investor’s investments are the thing(s) that early-stage investors hate the most. Nothing makes a conversation more uncomfortable however than when you meet an investor and do not know a thing about him or her.

Convertible Debt: Worst Form Of Seed Financing — Except For All The Others

Gust

How to finance a new seed-stage startup? ” Ressi in particular seems to be passionate about removing the “debt” component from convertible debt seed financing transactions. This is true, although interest is generally paid in stock upon conversion.

Do Your Own PR

Force of Good: a blog by Lance Weatherby

So I am spending more and more time these days advising concept stage and seed stage startups. And I had an interesting conversation with a pair of entrepreneurs the other day about press releases and marketing. They had reached a significant milestone and put a release on the wire. They were waiting for coverage. I had the break the news that you don''t really get coverage from putting a press release on the wire. You have to work it like this.

PR 17

Why Was Winter in Venture Capital Funding so Short?

Both Sides of the Table

billion in venture capital funds with one A-round fund and one late-stage fund. In case you’re keeping score at home — that’s approximately the size of 65 US seed-stage funds managed by one company.

Announcing NextView Ventures II

Rob Go

NextView Ventures II is $40M, twice the size of our first fund, and we continue to be exclusively focused on seed-stage companies pursuing internet-enabled innovation. We’ve often explained to entrepreneurs that the second fund of a venture firm is very much like the series A for an early stage company. For a seed stage venture capital firm, product/market fit comes down to two questions. First, the seed and early stage market continues to evolve.

Getting Value from Your Angel Investors

Rob Go

Nearly all seed rounds we are a part of include angel investors. I find that almost all seed stage companies start out sending updates to investors. In some cases, there are also smaller checks from funds as well that are playing a support role as opposed to a lead role.

What Do LPs Think of the Venture Capital Markets for 2016?

Both Sides of the Table

At the Upfront Summit in early February, we had a chance to have many off-the-record conversations with Limited Partners (LPs) who fund Venture Capital (VC) funds about their views of the market. The Biggest Area of Concern is Late Stage Investments.

Making Good Decisions Still Means You're Sometimes Wrong.

Agile VC

How to Evaluate Firms for a Seed VC. I recently was having one of these conversations with an entrepreneur I’ve known for a couple years. In NextView’s case that’s seed stage internet and software companies. My partners and I at NextView know we’ll be wrong a decent chunk of the time, especially as seed stage investors. I co-founded NextView Ventures , a seed-stage VC firm based in Boston, in 2010.

The Changing Structure of the VC Industry

Both Sides of the Table

The rise of “micro VCs” or seed-stage funds. Lower costs to start a business (95% reduction), many more companies created & funded by angels / seed. ” The new narrative is “will my seed funds be able to fund the prorata of their winners?”

The Truth About Convertible Debt at Startups and The Hidden Terms You Didn’t Understand

Both Sides of the Table

” And some seed stage investors told me, “I prefer not to fight over price now. You rarely find full ratchets in early-stage deals any more. Nobody I know accepts multiple liquidation preferences in early-stage deals.

Building your C Level Team

StartupCFO

Back when I was a seed stage VC I was always amazed to meet founding teams where every one of them had a C level title. We are at the growth stage, well beyond startup. As a growth stage company in a massive market there are many ways we can take the business.

Convertible Debt – The Discount

Ask The VC

Instead, it’s simply a loan that has the ability to convert to equity based on some future financing event (we’ll tackle the conversion mechanics in a later post.). Given some of the excited market conditions at the seed stage, we’ve heard of convertible deals with no discount, but view this as irregular and not sustainable over the long term. As we start our convertible debt series, we’ll focus on the discount.

Pull the Plug or Keep Searching for the Believer? When Fundraising is Tough.

Genuine VC

Because of this learning, we counsel our seed companies when raising a Series A to run a full & synchronized process with a broad array of firm sizes, types, and shades to determine what profile will become believers… and the same recommendation is true for seed stage startups raising their first round of capital, institutional or not. The fundraising process with almost all firms rarely proceeds past first or second meeting stage.

It’s Time to Rethink the Startup Pitch Deck (Here’s a Start)

View from Seed

What distinguishes this deck is that we think it’s designed for the way most seed stage fundraising conversations actually happen. In particular, this is very foreign when you are talking about pitching an angel investor or seed fund, especially if you have done your work to get a good, qualified intro. Even if that’s how a VC is wired, I think founders can kind of guide these conversations to seem more like discussions and not a pitch.

Google Engineer: How We Interview, How I’d Beat Us for Talent, & How Non-Technical Founders Should Approach Devs

View from Seed

It’s amazing how often people don’t get to that in the conversation. Takeaway 3: Identify your team’s current learning style (especially among any existing tech talent or leaders, but also more generally across your early-stage team).

Keep Term Sheets Simple for Quicker Cash to Spend

Gust

When a company is at its earliest seed stage, the terms tend to be the least complex. Investors may provide money in stages or tranches, based on defined milestones, to decrease investment risk. Remember a term sheet agreement is not a deal until the check clears.

A Choir of Angel Investors Sing Different Parts

Genuine VC

We at NextView Ventures often invest in a startup’s first round alongside other funds; either seed stage focused ones like ourselves or larger traditional firms. Addressing both of those issues can stem from the motivations as to why someone would want to put their hard-earned cash into a risky early-stage startup in the first place.

A Simple Approach to Startups Pitch Decks

Rob Go

What distinguishes this deck is that we think it’s designed for the way most seed stage fundraising conversations actually happen. In particular, this is very foreign when you are talking about pitching an angel investor or seed fund, especially if you have done your work to get a good, qualified intro. Even if that’s how a VC is wired, I think founders can kind of guide these conversations to seem more like discussions and not a pitch.

Values Build Startup Culture: A Founder’s Take on Getting Started

View from Seed

For seed-stage startups, when resources are tight, trying to consciously build startup culture can feel wasteful. But when being direct ran the risk of ruffling feathers, Derek would avoid the rough conversations and maintain decorous relationships at all costs.

SCRUM 34

Searching for the Kinect Killer App

Genuine VC

We at NextView have been thinking about and looking for investments in seed-stage startups which leverage the megatrend of transitioning computing away from a standard fixed-web PC world. Of course that includes “mobile-first” applications and companies which ride the adoption of tablet devices (more on those in upcoming posts). But this exploration also includes alternative user-interfaces and inputs, like gesture controls.