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

Category Archives: Investors’ Insights

The Smartest Entrepreneurs Bootstrap Their Startup

There is so much written these days about how to attract investors that most entrepreneurs “assume” they need funding, and don’t even consider a plan for “bootstrapping,” or self-financing their startup. Yet, according to many sources, over 90 percent of all businesses are started and grown with no equity financing, and many others would have been better off without it.

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What exactly is an API team?

I believe this question is conflating two completely separate concepts:

An API is an Application Programming Interface, a set of computer instructions that allow different programs or systems to communicate with each other. That’s how Quora can post your answers to Twitter, or allow you to log in to Quora with your LinkedIn account.

An API Team is simply the group of people (typically

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8 Tips on How Much Money to Ask for from Investors

Startups ask me “How much money should I ask for?” The simple answer is the absolute minimum amount you need to make your plan work. Some entrepreneurs try to start with a huge number, hoping they can negotiate and close on a smaller one, while others understate their requirements, in hopes of getting their foot in the door with an

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How does a startup replace an executive?

This is one of the trickiest situations, and for a tech-based startup where the Founder/CEO is not him- or herself a tech person, it may well be THE trickiest situation.

In large part it comes down to the integrity and personality of the CTO, and the quality of the relationship with the CEO. If both are straight-shooting professionals, then a

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Investors Look First At The Founder, Then The Idea

Investors are people too. They evaluate you like you should assess a possible co-founder or first employee. What are your credentials? What have you done that would convince me that my money is safe in your hands? Only after they see you as fundable, do they want to assess your plan for fundability, not the other way around.

Even with

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What’s the best financial structure for an active Angel investor in the US?

I believe that you’re over-complicating the issue. In the US, taxes are taxes, and the only question about income is whether you have held the asset for over one year, in order to qualify for capital gains treatment

Can I find an Angel Investor for a European goldmine business?

Realistically it is highly, highly unlikely that you would be able to find an angel investor for any such venture, here or elsewhere. And, speaking to you as an active angel who has personally invested in over 80 companies, I can tell you that if anyone claiming to be an angel investor even hints at offering you funding for it, it

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Real Entrepreneurs Need to Accentuate The Positive

Entrepreneurs need to listen to constructive criticism, but ignore negative vibes and complainers at all costs. If you are a complainer, and you are thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, think again. The world of an entrepreneur is tough, unpredictable, and fraught with risk. Most importantly, the buck stops with you, so there is no room for excuses and negativity.

Even

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Which equity based crowdfunding startups hold the most promise / have the highest growth potential at this point?

Since no equity crowdfunding platforms under the JOBS Act will be able to even begin operations for another six to nine months, it is impossible for any of them to be “the market leader” at this point…even though every single one of them—as in a drawing room farce—is claiming the title.

And since the three logical big players (KickStarter, Gust

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Sayings From My Father

It is safe to say that my father has been, by far, the most important influence on my life as an entrepreneur. Back in the days of the dotcom boom, when I was in my 30s, I was delighted to be named a finalist for the prestigious Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” Award in New York. It was

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