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Angel Investment & Venture Capital News

30 Under 30: The Top Young Investors Of Venture Capital

To build a transformative new company, entrepreneurs need more than a big idea. The job often takes years of focus and grueling work. So when founders look to raise money to help grow their businesses, they traditionally look to venture capitalists with battle scars, longtime investors who’ve built their own companies and seen it all before. A new crop of investors is poised to prove tradition wrong. Like the founders they support,...

How Startup Investing Will Change And Why

Title III is the widely anticipated component of the JOBS Act that I believe has the potential to liberalize and standardize startup investing across the board. Given this game changing legislation, which is ultimately responsible for the birth of equity crowdfunding, I suspect that investing platforms will become the new standard for early stage private equity investing. In the same way that ETFs have become in the last 20 years one o...

Corporate venture capital is hot again

Corporate venture capital is hot again. U.S. funding levels spiked in Q1 2014 to nearly $3 billion. Public tech companies are sitting on massive cash balance sheets and their venture groups are involved in some of the largest VC financings happening today (Cloudera’s $900M Series F rounds saw Intel Capital lead and Google Ventures participating). But as more corporate VCs jump into the tech investment landscape, the reality is that...

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Business Plans & Pitching

10 Simple Ways to Maximize Business Plan Impact

If you want people to invest in your idea, then my best advice is first write a business plan, and keep it simple. Don’t confuse your business plan with a doctoral thesis or the back of a napkin. Keep the wording and formatting straightforward, and keep the plan short. For minimum content, see my article “Investors Expect Ten Essentials in a Business Plan.” The overriding principle is that your business plan must be easy to rea...

The new elevator pitch

Someone recently asked me: "How do I squeeze a 30-minute pitch into three minutes?" To be blunt, you can't. The trick is to pitch to win the chance to pitch. Many presentation experts will offer you a language structure for the "Elevator Pitch", enabling you to cram your name, product, benefits and a call to action all into one sentence. That's not going to do you a ounce of good. Instead of trying to cram your sales pitch into as...

Tips For the Perfect Elevator Pitch

Whether you are pitching your business to venture capitalists, introducing yourself at a networking event or even trying to land a job, the elevator pitch has become a must-have professional skill. Individuals are more overwhelmed with information than ever, which shrinks attention spans. This means that you have less time than ever to make that critical first impression. I recently appeared in an elevator pitch segment with Bowlso...

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Fund Raising

The Art Of Valuing A Startup

Before investing in a startup, the first question many angels ask is: what is the company worth? Determining the valuation of a company before it has revenues is actually pretty difficult. Unlike valuing companies with revenues, assets and longer track records there is no agreed upon standards for startups. Valuation of a pre-revenue company is often one of the first points of contention that must be negotiated between angels and en...

7 factors that get angel investors to write a check

Although many people believe in spiritual angels, entrepreneurs tend to focus on the ones with large bank accounts, and they pray that some of that cash will go into their new enterprises. How hard is it to raise money for a new venture, especially if you are a first-time entrepreneur? If you are going to institutional venture capitalists, who basically have left this space at the end of the last century, you would have an easier tim...

40+ Startup Jargon Words You Need To Know To Raise Money

If your company is seeking venture capital (VC) investment, it is important that you not only have all the elements of a great pitch, but that the language you use is the same as that of the your potential investors. Of course, you will need to describe what your company does — your path and your plan for future growth. Nonetheless, a great pitch must recognize that the entrepreneurial start-up world is full of jargon: “After all we...

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Marketing & Social Media

Six Steps to an Effective Social Media Risk Management Strategy

Social media channels, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, represent an enormous opportunity for organizations to expand their global audience, build employee and brand loyalty and communicate with customers. However, with this opportunity comes increased risk. Crowe Horwath LLP, one of the largest public accounting and consulting firms in the U.S., offers recommendations for setting up an effective social media risk management stra...

10 Top Content Marketing Tips for Your Startup

These days every new entrepreneur understands that an innovative product or service is necessary, but not sufficient, to start a business. You have to build a web presence with marketing content to get visibility above the 50 million other new websites created every year, and attract the customers you need. But most entrepreneurs don’t know where to start. Of course, there is a plethora of “experts” emerging out there, who are ...

8 Essential Rules for Social Media and Business

Social Media is a complex and evolving medium that many businesses struggle to figure out. Few find quantifiable success with it, many have failed, and most have yet to truly form a social media strategy. Failure is often a result of using social media before taking time to understand it, including asking the questions why do people engage on it and what are the unwritten rules that govern its use. It's free exposure, and often organ...

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Start-Ups & Entrepreneurship

Emerging US Startup Cities Of 2015

When most people think about startups, the first two places that come to mind are Silicon Valley and New York City. Not only have some of the country's biggest success stories come out of these two locations, the areas are also saturated with money from venture capitalists. What most people don’t know is that there are other areas in the United States that have become very attractive for startups. Let’s take a look five of the co...

5 Big Problems to Look Out for in Your Startup's First 3 Years

According to the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau, the birthrate of startups and small businesses has lagged behind the death or closure rate. Four hundred thousand businesses were born against the 470,000 that shut shop, and economic strategists find this worrisome. In those crucial early days, startups have a zillion problems to counter and overcome -- the intense competition for customer, market and venture capital money,...

Why Most Startups Fail And How To Avoid The Same Fate

While 400,000 new businesses start every year, 470,000 small business will shut their doors in the same period. That’s a net loss of 70,000 businesses a year. Yet, the U.S. has one of the highest rates of entrepreneurship in the world, and has the highest confidence rankings by a decent margin. The statistics for web or tech startups in particular are even worse. According to multiple sources, the failure rate for new tech startups...

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