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

Blog Archives

From Accelerators to Venture Capital: What is best for your startup?

With startup growth up 61% since 2014 and more investment programs emerging, it can be overwhelming for founders to know just where to jump in. As the most startup-friendly accelerator on the planet, MassChallenge has helped 835 startup companies around the world, who have raised over $1.1 billion in funding and created over 6,500 jobs. We have seen startups at

Read more >

Convertible Debt, Priced Equity Rounds and Deal Timing

An impromptu Twitter debate arose among Fred Wilson, Dave McClure, Mark Suster, Chris Dixon and others about convertible debt, priced equity rounds, and the nuances of early stage financing. It was such a good discussion that Fred asked that someone Storify it. I’ve done that here and expanded it with some additional references, background info and light commentary.

http://storify.com/antonejohnson/convertible-debt-priced-equity-rounds-and-timing

The reality of returns on angel investment

Editor’s note: This was originally a question and answer on Quora, but the community response was so significant we decided to syndicate it on our Gust blog.

Q: If I want to invest $5,000 as a new angel investor into a new company or companies as part of an angel syndicate, what chances do I have of making a profit in 5 years?

Read more >

The #1 Angel Investing Mistake

The list of angel investing mistakes is an awfully long one, equally as long as the list for liquid investments, plus a bunch more.  On the too-aggressive side: believing the hockey stick, ignoring the management holes, and overestimating product acceptance.  On the too-conservative side: my favorite startup myth, thinking that .

You Have Competition – Ellen Weber” href=”http://videos.gust.com/video/You-have-competition;search%3Atag%3A%22know-thy-market%22″>because competitors exist,

Read more >

No, I will not sign your non-disclosure agreement.

Entrepreneurs are often surprised when investors refuse to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) or confidentiality agreement when offered an opportunity to read the entrepreneurs’ new business plans.  After all, every new startup features secret ideas, partnerships, intellectual property and/or technology.

Here is Why You Need a Good Startup Exit Strategy

If you startup is your dream, why would you want to think about an exit? It’s going to be so successful and so much fun that you don’t need to think about what comes after. Wrong. There are two very real and practical reasons why you need to plan an exit:

Movies, not Snapshots

Stopping by the First Growth Venture Network session today, I saw the usual great collection of startups and industry experts. It’s about the best forum for practical advice, mentoring, and support that an entrepreneur could hope to find.  As usual, there were lots of quotable quotes, but my favorite one today was from Jeff Bussgang, co-founder of Flybridge, who said:

Read more >

Angel Investors on Burn Rate and Great Now or Great Later

Here’s an interesting question. It came up Tuesday night in an angel investment meeting:

My question is which looks better to investors: A higher burn rate with three great people on the business plan, or a lower burn rate with only two great people on the business plan? Two of the three want salary, not equity, and one of those

Read more >

Going to Raise VC? Here’s a Primer on Process, People & Powerpoint Deck

If you want a very quick primer on all the stuff nobody ever tells you about raising venture capital check out this video where Mark Jeffrey & I break it down on This Week in VC.  A summary of what we discussed is below:

Angel Investing: The Real Make-or-Break Issue

We’ll get there, but let’s start here: I don’t believe in “angel portfolio theory,” which applies Wall Street’s favorite myth to the early stage world. According to this approach, the “smart” way to do angel investing is massive diversification, with scores of early stage bets.

There are several reasons that this common wisdom is more the former than the latter,

Read more >