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

Blog Archives

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

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Limiting the Number of Shareholders in Private Companies

The US Securities Exchange Act of 1934, section 12(g), generally limits a privately held company to fewer than 500 shareholders. The assumption has been that companies with 500 investors are quasi-public anyway, and for disclosure and other reasons should be forced to go public when the shareholder number approaches this limit.

IPOs, M&As, Liquidity, & You. (the entrepreneur)

In the “good old days,” angels invested in seed-stage startups and teed up promising companies for subsequent venture capital financing. If the company was successful, this quickly led to an IPO – a very happy ending for the entrepreneur, the angels, and the venture capitalists. My, my…how the world has changed.

Entrepreneurs: Due Diligence on Investors is Smart

Due diligence should always be a two-way street. A while back, I published an article on “Startup Due Diligence Is Not a Mysterious Black Art,” describing what investors do to validate your startup before they invest. Here is the inverse, sometimes called reverse due diligence, describing what you should do to validate your investor before signing up for an equity

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Crowd Funding and Job Creation

There seem to be two motivations behind the current buoyant enthusiasm in Congress over crowd funding for entrepreneurs:  1) the democratization of funding for startup companies (no longer requiring such investors be wealthy) and 2) the job creation that is expected to result from creating more startup ventures.  In my earlier post, Crowd Funding – A Critique for Entrepreneurs and

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Investors Fund Solutions Rather Than Technology

Too many entrepreneurs develop a new product without regard for market demand, then build an entire strategy based on creating a need, rather than acting on an existing market need. Investors characterize this approach as a “solution looking for a problem.” These don’t get funded.

The best startups find a way to drive the market with their technology, rather than

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Probable and Improbable Lobbying Wins: The 1,000-stockholder Rule

Talented entrepreneurs are nothing if not resilient in the face of change:  Market forces, competitive threats, technological shifts, you name it.  In recent years, government regulation has emerged as another such force to be reckoned with in the technology industry.  Startups and founders need to come to terms with the stark reality that the rules of the game may be

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Knowledge Is Power: Convertible Note Financing Terms, Part II

Last week, we gave some attention to the “why” behind convertible note financing for early stage startups.  In this installment, I’ll dig into the “how” by dissecting an example term sheet based on a real deal.  For those playing at home, you may find it helpful to download the sample term sheet from my firm’s website and follow along with

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Knowledge Is Power: Convertible Note Financing Terms, Part I

The most successful serial entrepreneurs in the world may found three or four, perhaps even eight or ten venture-backed startups over the course of their careers. By contrast, venture capitalists and angel investors typically make scores or even hundreds of investments over the course of their careers. It should therefore come as no surprise that an asymmetry of information exists,

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