Thoughts on startups by investors that
fund them & entrepreneurs that run them

Viewing all posts by David S. Rose

user David S. Rose Founder and CEO,
Gust

David has been described as "the Father of Angel Investing in New York" by Crain's New York Business, & a "world conquering entrepreneur" by BusinessWeek. He is a serial entrepreneur & Inc 500 CEO who chairs New York Angels, one of the most active angel investment groups. David is also CEO of Gust.

Is making Equity Crowdfunding available to all a good thing?

Part of the challenge is the enormous amount of ignorance surrounding this suddenly hot topic. There are thousands of companies that “the crowd” can fund without restriction, including Apple, Google and Facebook. These are “publicly tradable companies”, and what makes them so are the extensive rules surrounding disclosure, transparency, trading and other aspects of their corporate existence.

But since there

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How do I get in touch with investors/funds with just an idea and no product?

There are many wonderful ideas, and they are not necessarily easy to come up with. So congratulations on having thought of one!

However…

“Having value” and “Being fundable” are two completely different things. What the more experienced responders here are saying is completely accurate: while a good idea is usually a necessary ingredient for the formation of a good company, it is

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Is there an incubator for aspiring Angel Investors or VCs?

No, but there are several sets of courses on angel investing that can provide a good base from which to start. The most comprehensive and best known is the Power of Angel Investing seminar series developed by the Angel Resource Institute (formerly known as the Angel Capital Education Foundation, and prior to that part of the Angel Capital Association). It

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What are the most valuable recommendations in order to raise money from VCs connected via Gust?

To begin with, it is important to understand some basic facts about the world of entrepreneurial finance:

There are many more entrepreneurs than there are investors, with the result that only one company out of every 400 that seeks venture funding actually receives it. As such, the competition from an entrepreneur’s standpoint is very, very tough. In order to be

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What are some of the keys to assembling a great board of directors at a company?

There is a saying in the not-for-profit world that your board members should all fall into one or more of three categories in which they can deliver: Wealth, Work or Wisdom.

In my experience, those same qualities also apply to for-profit boards:

Wealth, as in investors who can write checks and help with fundraising in future rounds;

Work, as in

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Are there any websites or blogs where I can find many different authors/enterpreneurs/CEOs/etc sharing their insightful business experience in one place?

There are several good answers here. Another multi-blogger site is the Gust.com/blog, which has lots of consolidated advice and experiences from some of your favorite Quora startup bloggers, including Tim Berry, Antone Johnson, Martin Zwilling, Bob Rice, Ilana Grossman and, of course, Yours Truly.

And as long as you’re there (or if you don’t feel like reading :-), there are also many hundreds of short video talks from a large selection

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Who is the most important person in a tech/web startup (visionary, programmer, etc.)?

Since Bill Hewlett joined with Dave Packard in 1939 to create what is today the world’s largest personal computer company, there has arisen an evergreen debate as to who is more important in starting a tech company: the techie or the business guy? Steve Jobs or Steve Wozniak? Bill Gates or Steve Ballmer? Jim Clark or Marc Andreessen?

I propose

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What are the advantages of stationing your startup in New York City opposed to Silicon Valley / SF?

The world’s fastest growing tech startup ecosystem A much more tightly knit startup community, compared to the larger but more diffuse West Coast community Access to many, many more world market centers (advertising, finance, fashion, media, food, etc.) A city that from the Mayor on down is devoted to helping the tech startup community expand exponentially The world’s largest Tech Meetup (not

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How long does it take for investors to approve the idea and to grant the necessary investment?

The question is based on a misunderstanding of how venture capital investment works.

First of all, VC funds do not invest in ideas. What VCs invest in are operating  companies that are ready (or almost ready) to scale. There are many wonderful ideas, all of which are not fundable. Only companies get funded.

Next, VCs don’t have an unlimited amount of money

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There seems to be a lack of long-term investment in startups. Why is the 3-5 year exit strategy more desirable than a 10-20+ year timeframe?

Precisely because seed stage investments in private startup companies are NOT Warren Buffet’s types of investments. Early venture and angel investments are much, much riskier than Buffett’s, with more than half of them typically failing completely and losing the entire investment. As such, the returns on an early stage portfolio typically come from only one or two investments out of

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