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

Blog Archives

How to Build a Unicorn From Scratch – and Walk Away with Nothing

This is a grim fairy tale about a mythical company and its mythical founder. While I concocted this story, I did so by drawing upon my sixteen years of experience as a venture capitalist, plus the fourteen years I spent before that as an entrepreneur.  I’m going to use some pretty simple math and some pretty basic terms to create

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Are You ‘Hands On’ Enough To Succeed In A Startup?

There is no substitute for diving into the key details of a new startup. Executives from large companies have sometimes long forgotten how to do this (“My people will contact your people to work out the details.”). Others hire consultants, or outsource much of the real work. These executives won’t survive long in a startup environment.

An obvious reason is

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8 Reasons All Angel Investor Money May Not Be Equal

A few angel investors have slipped or fallen from their lofty perch, so entrepreneurs must take great care to validate the character and reputation of every prospective investor. The entrepreneur’s tendency to be in a huge hurry to obtain the funding can end up being disastrous, and play into the hands of these less scrupulous investors.

Many entrepreneurs believe all

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7 Entrepreneur Attributes Imply Execution Ability

After the idea, it’s all about execution. In fact, it’s not clear that even the idea is all that important. Most investors tell me that an A entrepreneur with a B idea is much more fundable than a B entrepreneur with an A idea. It’s great to be a visionary, inventor, thinker, or a dreamer, but none of these matter

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10 Action Items to Keep Angel Investors Hovering

Every new startup I know dreams of being funded early by one of the 318,000 active Angel investors in the USA alone. But many entrepreneurs don’t realize that Angels are also extremely discerning in the projects that they will invest in, rejecting approximately 97% of the proposals submitted to them, according to the California Investment Network.

Most of these investors

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5 Reasons You Should Watch Shark Tank Before Pitching

I hear maybe 50 pitches a year as a member of an angel investment group and a judge of MBA-level business plan contests at the University of Oregon, Rice, and University of Texas.

Still, when caught having to lay down with my feet up for a full weekend (skiing accident), there I was watching Shark Tank, the show. I

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