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

Category Archives: Industry Experts

Will the most successful crowdfunding portals be restricted to accredited investors?

This is an interesting question, and one to which no one really has an answer yet. To some extent it will depend on what the SEC decides to do with the regulations surrounding the whole subject, which they have until the end of the year to write.

My personal guess is that the early stage funding world will likely trifurcate (or

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“Bored” of Directors Can Become Clash of Titans

Rhetoric has the power to engage or alienate, to enchant or disaffect.  Perhaps no better example exists than the term “Corporate Governance.”  Even the wonkiest law geeks like me find our eyes glazing over as soon as the term is mentioned.  Yet I’ve rarely seen entrepreneurs more fired up than when recounting war stories of startups whose founders

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Investors Don’t Know What They Want

Posted by on July 17th, 2012

Take a step back and be objective, and U.S. angel investors are hardly a diverse group. Not demographically diverse (sadly, we’re mostly older white men) but in opinions, preferences, and what we want in a deal, for sure.

I strongly recommend a quick tour of the ‘what investors want‘ collection of videos on this site. You’ll find 22 very short videos

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Copywrong Again: Founding the Next Pinterest or Napster?

As I wrote in Part I of this post, many of the most creative and disruptive startup businesses in recent years have involved the use of intellectual property in innovative, non-traditional ways that defy easy categorization and stretch the boundaries of concepts such as the fair use doctrine in copyright. When presented with a product or service in development, we often have to admit that there

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How do venture capitalists feel about following a crowdfunding capital raise?

This was one of the primary subjects for discussion at Venture Forward 2012 (ventureforwardconference.com). The answer to that question at the pre-conference speaker’s dinner implied unanimous agreement (from a group consisting of many of the top angels, VCs, lawyers, and pundits in the industry), that “direct, equity-based, common stock crowd funding as envisioned by the JOBS Act” would absolutely, positively

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Second-Class Investor Citizens: Facebook’s IPO and Dual-Class Equity Structures

Dual-class voting structures are receiving a lot of attention these days along with intense publicity related to the Facebook IPO, following in the wake of other recent tech IPOs with a similar structure such as Zynga and LinkedIn.  This is nothing new; long favored by family-controlled media empires such as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, among Internet firms alone, Google took

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5 Traits Investors Look for in Entrepreneurs

What do investors look for in an entrepreneur? This month I’ve been reviewing submissions for my local angel group. I found this excellent list of 14 Ways to be a Great Startup CEO, posted at OnStartups by Jason Baptiste. And that reminded me of my own list, 10 Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs, which I posted a few years ago, before I joined

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Forget Crowdfunding: Why JOBS Matters

Posted by on April 6th, 2012

Most all the talk about the JOBS bill is about crowdfunding, seeding, and the ability to advertise private placements.  In my mind, other provisions are the really big news for young companies.

Those are the expansion of the size limits for “Reg A” offerings, and the newly created “regulatory on-ramp.”  Together, these have re-opened a door to capital that’s been boarded

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Crowdfunding Back On Track — As Milk Train, Not TGV

Last week I penned an in-depth critique of the portion of the JOBS Act seeking to legalize crowdfunding in the United States.  The bill, which may have more to do with political grandstanding in an election year than with actual job creation, was approved by a strong bipartisan majority in the House of Representatives. As I argued last week, the

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Blogger About Angel Investment: “Confused, Scared, and More Than a Little Ashamed”

Now there’s a great title for a blog post. Writing about angel investment, on his Portland-based Silicon Forest entrepreneurship etc. blog, Rick Turozcy titled his post: I’m confused, scared, and more than a little ashamed. Don’t even try to tell me that doesn’t make you curious. Rick’s a smart guy, very well known in Portland (OR), and his blog matters. So

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