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

Blog Archives

What is the worst startup pitch ever?

Take your choice (these are both real, honest-to-God pitches, and I’ve got the originals in my possession):

Contestant A CluelessCo is an internet startup company seeking $2 million of equity financing to fund our company for at least one year. CluelessCo will become the main consumer outlet for the internet, digital cable and satellite TV, and cell phones and PDAs.

How does someone get a meeting with angel investor David S. Rose?

The most useful meetings with an investor are ones where going in everyone understands that there may actually be a rational reason for the investor to be interested. So even if my own mother asked me to meet with you, and you were pitching me a biotech opportunity for a $10 million investment at a $90 million valuation, I might

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What’s a typical day like for a full-time angel investor?

There is no such thing as a full-time angel investor (or if there is, I’ve never met one.)

If you mean someone investing mostly other people’s money through a seed fund, they are venture capitalists, and their days are spent like other VCs, meeting with prospective investments, mentoring portfolio companies, raising money from limited partners, negotiating deals, and so forth.

If

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What has been the highlight of your week and why does it stand out?

SIIA (the US Software and Information Industry Association) named Gust the Best Collaboration Solution of 2013, at the gala during the All About The Cloud annual conference in San Francisco on Thursday.

Is gust.com a difficult platform to replicate?

The answer is noyes, and it’s irrelevant. 🙂

Back in the days of the dinosaurs, my first software company was in the wireless communications space (when that meant “pagers”, not “smartphones”), and our product let you type a message on your computer and send it to a pager, using a very simple protocol known as “TAP”. We were—by far—the market leader in

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As an investor, what are the most important items that a startup must have for you to invest?

Large and growing market Real domain expertise Provable product need Scalable business model Competitive advantage Platform/partnership/bizdev/API strategy External validation (ideally traction and/or passionate customers) Viable business structure and cap table Reasonable valuation Proven team (tech/product/design/marketing/sales/domain/etc.)

But most important of all, it must have an entrepreneur on whom I’m willing to bet. And the attributes I look for in that entrepreneur are:

What are some ways you can keep track of startups you are evaluating/diligencing/investing in?

This is obviously a softball question that I’ve been Asked to Answer, as I’m the Founder/CEO of Gust. The answer, of course, is Gust—because that’s exactly the purpose behind the platform!

Gust is the infrastructure that underlies much of the professional world of early stage finance. It is used by hundreds of thousands of companies in 195 countries to organize all of

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TED Talk 2007: David S. Rose on Pitching to VCs

It’s pretty amazing that the video is from five years ago and has been viewed something like 500,000 times.

Even though in the years since, I’ve done a lot more pitch coaching with a lot higher production value, it turns out that there is not much I would change in the content all these years later. Good luck with your

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Getting Started With Gust

The World of Gust

Today’s unveiling of Gust, the global infrastructure for early stage entrepreneurial financing, is a milestone that has been seven years in the making. When we originally conceived of a single platform tying together the world’s entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists and supporting organizations, it quickly became apparent that the biggest challenge had nothing to do with technology. Instead it was

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