I always encourage start-up founders to prepare for the next stage of fundraising as quickly as possible. The pitching process can be complicated and can take time, so it’s great to be ready as quickly as you can. In some cases, entrepreneurs will be given an offer of funds before they are ready for their next fundraising round. This is called a pre-emptive offer. It’s a great sign that you, as an entrepreneur, are doing everything right, but it can also take people by surprise and result in less than desirable investment terms.
Rohit Paranjpe is now on his third company. He has learned a lot of critical business lessons on his journey. Those learnings appear set to enable him to bring connectivity to billions of new internet users worldwide. During our conversation on the DealMakers Podcast, Paranjpe shared his story of accidental entrepreneurship, how to fail hard, and just keep going, being resourceful, and his approach of going for big customers out of the gate.
What is the importance of financial projections in your pitch deck? Financial projections and models still play a crucial role in business plans and planning. You know you need them, but what should they include? What is the purpose and benefit for you and others? How might they have the power to rocket or wreck your business?
Dilip Goswami has raised almost $100 million to make clean air accessible around the world, through his startup Molekule. In our interview on the Dealmakers Show Dilip shared how he made the leap from academia to business, and why. As well as the value he found in startup accelerators, mentors. Plus, how to overcome the challenges of creating a hardware startup and the north star that will make all your decisions much easier.
With a lot of hard work and over $100 million in backing from Softbank and private equity firms in Brazil, Geraldo Thomaz is designing the future of e-commerce and the software that makes it possible. During our interview on the DealMakers Podcast, Geraldo shared his story of becoming an entrepreneur, the journey to being a real CEO, the real work that goes into it, the hustle trap, and how amazing things can happen if you keep sticking it out.
What is a cash burn rate in business? How do you calculate yours? What is its importance in your organization? How can you shrink yours if it is killing your company?
Jack Newton is a wealth of knowledge for other entrepreneurs trying to navigate the current market to startup, fund, and scale new companies. Newton hasn’t just built an incredible startup that employs 500 people. Or has simply raised hundreds of millions of dollars. He did this through some of the most trying economic moments in recent history. During our interview on the DealMakers podcast, Jack shared incredibly valuable insights on when to make the leap, a million-dollar blog post, why you should check your email spam folder, tips for successfully scaling your team, and managing a remote workforce. Plus, your most important job as a founder and fundraising in a downturn.
How do you perform a SWOT analysis to boost your strategic business planning? SWOT analysis is a foundational pillar of any business. From getting started with an idea through closing your exit, you’ll be using some form of SWOT at almost every turn. It’s expected, and done right is very valuable. How can you use it to aid in strategic planning that will improve everything else you do in your business?
Bill Powers has built companies, ridden them through to exits, and most recently raised half a billion dollars for a minority stake in his own startup. In our interview on the DealMakers podcast, Bill Powers shared his formative experiences, what he has learned about sales that led to a $500k pilot customer, the benefits of not raising money, and the foundation he is passionate about.
Are you wondering how to do a market analysis for your business? Market analysis is a key foundational part of starting up and growing a company. If you didn’t go to business school, this might be a new concept for you. That’s okay. It’s a great learning experience that will equip you for success.The big question is, how do you do one? What needs to be in it?
He Sold His First Business For $1.5 Billion And Now Raised $70 Million To Reinvent The Digital Workplace
Steven Kramer is a full-cycle entrepreneur who has built more than one substantial company. In our interview on the DealMakers podcast, Kramer detailed his first startup, the company he built and scaled through a $1.5B exit, reverse takeovers, negotiating tips, and how he picked the investors who helped fund his latest venture with $70M.
How to calculate your business break-even point and what are the steps to get there with your business? This is without a doubt the question that every entrepreneur faces. You are probably aiming for your business to do far better than just break-even, but you have to break through this milestone first. So, how do you get there? What’s the math? How can you speed it up, or get back there?
He Went From Door To Door Salesman To 5x Tech Entrepreneur To Raising Over $100 Million For His Latest Startup
Jeffrey Glass is a founder and investor who has started, built, exited, and invested in multiple companies. He’s gone all the way from selling door-to-door to being on the VC side of the table, and now raising over $100M to build a startup that could soon be a household name. During our interview on the DealMakers Podcast, Jeffrey Glass shared how his early years equipped him for entrepreneurship, how he got started in the business, and the factors which have fueled his incredible success.
Looking for new ideas to inspire you to start a business? Where do you find the inspiration for a great business idea? Where are they hiding? What can you do, and what questions can you ask to discover a successful business idea with the potential to really become a big, profitable, and impactful company? Try these…
Carlos Cashman is a real serial entrepreneur with more than half a dozen startups under his belt. His latest venture has already raised a quarter of a billion dollars and is growing fast.In his appearance on the DealMakers podcast, Carlos shared how he got hooked on technology and creating things, the lessons he’s learned through creating businesses, and what he’s up to now.
Are you wondering how to do market research for your business? Market research is one of the most important parts of going into business and staying in business. So, what should you be researching? How do you do it?
Oren Zaslansky has bootstrapped and raised tens of millions of dollars in VC money. Now on his third startup, he’s gained a lot of insight on how to scale and build teams. During our interview on the DealMakers podcast, Zaslansky shared his inspiration to go into entrepreneurship, how he managed to bootstrap his first startup, learning to pitch VCs and the future of shipping.
Are you wondering how syndicated rounds of funding work? Syndicated rounds are more complicated than standard funding rounds because large numbers of investors are expected to cooperate when offering capital. This inevitably leads to startup founders interacting with several investors, which increases the risk of share dilution and disagreement. However, when an entrepreneur negotiates a syndicated round correctly, it can prove lucrative.With this in mind, I’m going to show you how syndicated rounds of funding work and how they are structured.
Are you at the point where you are asking yourself how to write a mission statement that is powerful? A company’s mission statement describes what a business does and what its purpose is. This ranges from practical information to the ethics and values underpinning a company’s decision making. Let’s take a close look at what makes an effective mission statement, why it’s important, and how to construct one.
Are you wondering about the importance of board seats during fundraising? Your company’s Board of Directors will have a huge impact on current and future fundraising goals. If your boardroom is functioning well, then this will be a great advantage. However, even if your boardroom is well-intentioned, it can still have a detrimental influence on fundraising outcomes when not managed correctly.In this article, I’m going to outline why a startup’s boardroom, and who has a seat on it, is critical for successful fundraising.
Paul Taylor has built, founded, and successfully exited several companies. His newest startup could be his biggest yet. From an early love of math to launching several startups, working at Google, and taking on the banking industry, Paul Taylor has already done a lot, and he isn’t finished yet. He’s been in business through multiple crises already and just closed his latest funding round in the face of the COVD-19 pandemic. In our interview on the DealMakers podcast, we talked about new technology, picking the right factors to launch your own startup on, getting funded, selling your company, and more. Listen to the full podcast episode here.
Are you wondering how to write a great value proposition? Keep in mind this is the driving force behind catching the interest of your target demographic. Without a great one, your products will not engage with consumers. Learning how to write a good value proposition is therefore essential.In this article, I’m going to look at how you can transform your brand and the way it is perceived.
His First Business Got Acquired For $200 Million By Sun MicroSystems And His Most Recent Startup Was Sold For $225 Million To Citrix
Peter Yared has been involved in a mind-boggling number of startups. These are just those we know that he has turned into businesses and technologies which have been bought. In our recent interview on the Dealmakers Show Peter Yared shared his early experiences, how he has taken to coding just like any other form of communication, a number of his side projects turned sizable exits, why not to launch a startup in San Francisco, and the waste of being too early with an idea. Plus, what industries are booming in the wake of COVID-19.
Are you wondering how to raise startup capital through funding rounds? How should your startup be planning? Startups need capital. Especially those with big visions and hopes to grow fast and disrupt the world. So, how do you get funded?
Are you at the point where you are thinking about fundraising and wondering how to create a target list of investors? There are endless investors, capital, and financing sources out there right now. Fundraising for your startup can be a full-time job at the best of times. So, how do you narrow that down? Who should be on your list to pitch?
What are drag-along rights? Drag-along-rights allow majority shareholders to force minority shareholders to sell their stakes in a company. These rights are a provision, usually stipulated as part of a share issue or equity for capital deal. They allow the majority shareholders to control the direction of the company. Because drag-along-rights are used to force through a sale, they can create conflict both within the boardroom and within the ownership of the company. With this in mind, let’s look at simplifying how drag-along-rights work and how they affect startup founders.
Nick Huzar is on this second startup. By the time you read this, they’ve probably already closed on more than $300M in funding. This is a startup enjoying great traction right now. One that offers to take you on a fun treasure hunt as a consumer, and to remove friction and create more income as a seller. Nick recently appeared as a guest on the DealMakers podcast, where he shared the ups and downs of starting your own business, the art of startups, what he sees as one of the hottest real estate sectors today, and lessons he’s learned about creating the foundations of a highly successful company.
What are some of the ways to negotiate better as an entrepreneur? From even before day one as an entrepreneur you’ll be negotiating. The faster you get better at it, the better your startup will do.
From office space to hiring talent, bringing in cofounders, equipment, deals with suppliers, and sales with early customers, it’s all about negotiating. Obviously, those who are best at it, will have an incredible advantage over the competition. Perhaps one of the most important areas of negotiations for many of today’s startups is going to be in fundraising and with investors. So, how can you negotiate better as an entrepreneur?
Ariel Cohen’s latest startup has amassed $1 billion in funding to disrupt one of the biggest industries on the planet: corporate travel. A repeat founder and tech entrepreneur, Ariel Cohen has surrounded himself with an amazing team and group of advisors to navigate the virus and help others do the same when it comes to getting back to business and business travel, safely. In our exclusive interview on the Dealmakers Show, Cohen talks about the top tips for weathering the storms of entrepreneurship, as well as why must have a product-market fit for a long term business, and how to create accountability guardrails to make sure you keep it once you’ve got it. He and his team have been through the dot com bust, 9/11, the 2008 financial crisis, and now COVID-19.
Too many entrepreneurs focus on the quantity of capital they can raise rather than the quality of the investors at their disposal. This is no more apparent than when trying to find a lead investor for a start-up. With the right lead investor in place, start-up founders increase their chances of producing a successful end product. In this article, I’m going to describe exactly what a lead investor is, why entrepreneurs should care, and how to find a lead investor that works for you and your business.
This Entrepreneur Started Out Of A Broom Closet And Now Has Sold 7 Businesses For More Than $600 Million
Robin Richards is one of the most prolific, true serial entrepreneurs in modern American history. He has built, scaled, and exited at least half a dozen startups. His exits range from $30M to over $300M. It was a great honor to be graced with his presence on this recent episode of the Dealmakers Podcast. He generously shared how he has set tech IPO records, found ideas for new businesses, the value of good website domain names, the most important lessons he’s learned from each of these ventures, and his new company which has already raised $50M. Plus, the top advice he’d give his younger self before starting a company.
Are you at the point where you are wondering how to run a good fundraising process? How you approach and run your fundraising rounds can make a substantial difference in how smooth and enjoyable the process is, or not. Not to mention whether you actually hit the capital goals you’ve set, and on terms which will set you up for success. So, how can the founders run better campaigns?
Dean Sysman has been through the full cycle of launching and selling a startup and has raised almost $100M for his next venture, in less than 35 months. During our interview on the Dealmakers show Dean shared his experience fundraising, how VCs really work, what you need to know about cybersecurity, why you shouldn’t launch your own startup, and what really drives him to do it anyway.
Are you at the point where you are wondering how to capture the market size in a pitch deck? Market size is one of the most important data points in your pitch deck. This metric alone and how it is presented can be incredibly pivotal when it comes down to getting...
Chase Lochmiller has raised close to $100M for his innovative startup that combines AI, and cleaner energy, in one of the biggest industries on our planet. From a deep love of math at a young age to mountaineering and launching a unique startup that solved a decades-old problem, this entrepreneur has learned a lot about the journey and charting your own path. In our interview on the DealMakers Podcast Chase shared how his road to entrepreneurship has developed so far, how travel can give you new perspectives, his insights on startup fundraising, and the roles his company is hiring for now.
Are you at the point where you are thinking about how to share information with investors? Knowing how best to share information with investors can cause entrepreneurs a real headache. After all, the product designs, patents, and marketing materials you have developed are priceless resources for your business. While you may be ethical, some people are not. By gaining access to these materials, they may use your own business ideas against you in some capacity. Furthermore, how you share these materials with potential investors carries a security risk. Even when you do want to share the information, how can you do this safely? In this article, I’m going to explore how to share information with investors in a way that protects your business and yet helps potential investors understand more about the entrepreneurial opportunity you’re offering.
Are you wondering what goes into due diligence and also what are all the items that investors or perhaps potential acquirers would want to see as part of your due diligence package? Most entrepreneurs focus so heavily on meeting potential investors that they completely sidestep how to create a due diligence package. If you are pitching your business to investors, you should already have a due diligence package in place. Whether you are preparing for a future investment stage or you’re already immersed in the pitching process, let me take you through how to create a due diligence package during fundraising.
Are you wondering how to schedule meetings with investors? The investor meeting is often the make or break moment for getting your startup funded. How do you get these meetings? How do you ace them? Things have changed a lot over the past year when it comes to startup capital. Here’s what you need to know now…
After years of being the poster boy for the anti-VC movement, Mike McDerment has raised millions to provide one of the most important services needed by countless small business owners and other entrepreneurs in the wake of COVID-19. Mike McDerment knows how to run a lean business and face challenging times as an entrepreneur. He bootstrapped his venture for years before accepting institutional capital. His business may be one of the best positioned to survive and thrive during the 2020 pandemic and its aftermath. During our time together on the Dealmakers Show, he talked about surviving 2008, why you should leave room for Q&A when pitching investors, and finding and keeping product-market fit.
What pricing models are there for startups launching new businesses and products? How should you price your product or service? How do you arrive at that number? What might the challenges be?There are a variety of pricing models and strategies available to entrepreneurs today. We’ll probably see more emerge in the future too. Pricing can be everything in business. You can rise or fail on pricing alone. Early initial pricing can seem like the biggest challenge now. Yet, be cautious about plans to change pricing later. It could bring everything crashing down around you.
Stephan Schambach is a true serial entrepreneur. He has started, scaled and exited several ventures. He has raised millions of dollars in the process. He’s managed them through some of the roughest economic periods most of us have seen in our lifetimes. In our time together on the Dealmakers Podcast, we talked about making it through the tough years, when and who to raise funds from, his $100M hobby business, and the post coronavirus business landscape.
Are you wondering what is venture debt? Most successful businesses use forms of debt financing to help fund their operations and reach important milestones. Venture debt, also known as “venture lending” is one way of doing this. It’s important as an entrepreneur that you understand what venture debt is and how to use it.In this article, I’m going to explain the types of venture debt you may encounter and what’s usually included in such a deal.
This Entrepreneur Raised $240 Million To Create An Ipad Sized Device That Could Help Fight Coronavirus
Hesaam Esfandyarpour has been blending science and technology to take the world on a massive new leap. Having raised over $200M and spending years on R&D, this founder’s startup could lead to a completely new technological revolution that touches our daily lives in so many ways. During our interview on the Dealmakers Podcast, Hesaam shared his journey across the globe and through learning, to what it takes to build a true world-changing business.
Ready to start up your own business? Here’s how to do it fast… Whether compelled by need or just magnetically drawn by your passion for creating a solution, many people are in a position where they need to start a business today. One of the most pivotal keys to success is getting your own business up and running quickly. Some people spend years in the planning and mulling one idea after the other. They never get off the ground. Or at least miss out on the real opportunity. While there is wisdom in doing things well, there are many businesses which can be launched in just days. You can get going with one product, start selling, and use your profits to grow and expand to realizing your full vision. Here’s how to do it.
Laurin Hahn is creating a new world of mobility. His electric car startup is unique and well-timed to participate in the big changes happening out there. So, far they’ve raised tens of millions of dollars, and have become known for pulling off one of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns so far. During our recent interview on the DealMakers Podcast he shared how he got started, what’s different about his company’s solution, how they pulled together to create wins against the odds, and his top tips for other new founders.
Why startups should raise a Seed round of financing? Recently some startups have skipped raising a seed round. Some have done very well with this strategy and spending the first few years bootstrapping a startup. There is no doubt that there are tens of thousands of other attempted startups that you’ll never hear about again. They ran out of money and got vaporized. We are also dealing with the fact that our world has recently changed. At least we are in a new phase in terms of capital markets, the economy and startup ecosystem. Here’s why most startups should be raising a Seed Round. As well as why some shouldn’t, and the when, how and how much if you do.
Girish Mathrubootham has built an incredibly popular startup from the ground up. A company that fuels businesses of all sizes, and is probably becoming far more important in the wake of the big events of early 2020. He has raised hundreds of millions of dollars through a Series H fundraising round, been through rebranding, built cloud-based global software solutions, and has even created what he calls an alternative model for designing software. His company Freshworks has been valued at as much as $10B by PrivCo. and has even acquired 12 other organizations according to Crunchbase.
Are you at that point where you are asking yourself how to go from corporate to entrepreneur? There are many compelling reasons to make the switch from corporate to entrepreneurship today. In the wake of economic downturns or potential unemployment, many wake up to the fact that they can not rely on even the biggest and oldest companies for a bulletproof salary, benefits package, or retirement plans. Others have just been compelled to step up and serve the world and its new needs. Whatever your reasons for the shift, these tips will help you get the most out of it.
Gangesh Ganesan has experienced plenty on his entrepreneurial journey of building and selling companies. He has sold tech businesses to some of the biggest entities, raised tens of millions of dollars in startup funding, exited one venture to Twitter in just 18 months, and has found new applications for blockchain in the fintech space and beyond.In this episode of the DealMakers Podcast, he talks about his experiences, what he’d do differently and the best moves for startup fundraising when the world is falling apart.
Are you asking yourself how to prepare for investor meetings? Do you want to make the best impression during an investor meeting so that you can land a check to continue scaling up your business? It’s easy to have a great business idea and still fail to secure investment. Much of that is down to preparation. If you prepare well for an investor meeting, you need to maximize your chances of getting the investment you need.In this article, I’m going to share some of the advice I give to entrepreneurs on Inner Circle, which is the ultimate fundraising training where we help founders from A to Z with everything related to fundraising. There are essentially five things you should do to prepare for an investor meeting, so let’s look at these now in more detail and get you ready for that critical moment.
As a young teenager, Steve White had noble ideas about what it meant to be in politics and law. He’s now fighting for the legal cannabis industry and has raised hundreds of millions of dollars to create one of the largest companies in this space in the world. A lawyer turned founder, Steve White shared his journey into one of the fastest-growing industries during our interview on the Dealmakers Show. Plus, the challenges you’ll face going into any new emerging and controversial industry, how they do fundraising and financing, and the one big mistake they’ve now corrected.
Are you at that point when you are wondering how to pick the right partner at a venture capital firm? The individual partner you elect to work with can be far more impactful than anything else when it comes to raising and accepting capital from VC firms. Here’s why, and the questions you should be asking to be confident you are making a great choice.
Adam Jiwan has been a successful entrepreneur since he was a teenager. At his most recent company, Spring Labs, he has raised nearly $40 million to change the way companies store, exchange, and monetize data. By leveraging a decentralized network that allows financial institutions to exchange information directly and securely, Spring Labs will reduce fraud, limit data breaches, and finally allow consumers to have control over their personal data. Adam started his first company when he was only 13, and began investing in the stock market the same year. Adam credits his incredible track record over the decades in large part on his approach to building businesses and teams. In our exclusive interview on the DealMakers podcast, he shares his unconventional approach to entrepreneurship and growing companies, as well as his philosophy on company culture and recruiting.
Craig Unger started out living in a humble NYC garage turned apartment. He has since worked with Bill Gates and Satya Nadella. He has raised millions of dollars to build two startups. One already sold for over $50 million. In our interview on the Dealmakers Podcast, Unger shared the full cycle journey from finding ideas and cofounders to raising funds, building a company and exiting. We talked about the lessons he’s learned, and what you need to be successful as an entrepreneur.
Are you at the stage where you are wondering how to choose an investor for your business? While it can be tempting to rush to blast your pitch deck to as many money sources as possible, and scrape in any capital you can find from anyone, carefully selecting investors is actually one of the most important cornerstones of launching and developing a successful startup.
Pierre-François Thaler has been helping increase sustainability throughout our business ecosystem. He has built a sizable venture of his own in the process. During our exclusive interview on the Dealmakers podcast, he shared how he got into entrepreneurship, what he learned from his early adventures in business, and his unique approaches to structuring them. Plus, how to manage company culture in the new environment we are living and working in, and some of the differences in launching a startup in Europe versus the US.
Are you wondering how to transition from employee to business owner? If so, how do you do it?Moving from being an employee to a business owner used to be a big decision. At least it used to be harder to make when the overwhelming status quo and wisdom on achieving financial security was to go off to a good college and work in a big company or for the government in a steady, salary paying job. It is still going to take some courage and a mindset shift for some, but it is more attractive than ever. Here’s how to make the transition…
He Took His First Company Public In His 20s, Sold It For $300 Million, And Just Raised $120 Million For His Next Startup
Michael Katz has been one of the youngest CEOs on the NASDAQ, and clearly quite adept at raising funding and building companies. During our time on the Dealmakers Podcast Michael was generous enough to share how he got started, how he built and sold his first company with his brother in his early 20s, and the company he has raised millions for. Plus, company culture and how to keep growing as a leader in times of economic uncertainty.
Josh Genderson is one of the godfathers of today’s booming cannabis business. His company is now valued at significantly more than $500M. We got together for an episode of the DealMakers podcast. He shared his journey into legal weed, the process of scaling a massive nationwide company, and some of the secrets to building a highly successful venture.
Are you at the point where you are thinking about how to figure out how much capital to raise? Knowing how much you need and should ask for in a fundraising round is a critical part of being a founder. There is both art and science to it. Though go too far off base...
Roman Rittweger has raised $100M for his second startup and is disrupting how healthcare is delivered. This is a founder who has taken a startup full cycle and is now on his second big adventure. During our time on the DealMakers Podcast, Roman shared how he found his sweet spot in business, the differences between starting a company in your 20s vs 50s, the importance of having alternatives and enough capital for the journey, as well as what he has found the most important catalyst for scaling a successful company.
Winning at startup fundraising is all about building relationships with investors. How do you do it? In fact, building relationships with a variety of investors won’t just pave the way to winning in round after round of raising funds, it will open the doors to a great exit and resources, and will make navigating every day business easier. Especially when it comes to working with your board.
Deidre Paknad has raised tens of millions of dollars for her ventures. Today, her flourishing startup is helping large organizations get more done, and scale others to their own IPOs. In our interview on the DealMakers Podcast, Deidre shared the challenges of startup fundraising, how to turn around a company, what it’s like being a woman CEO today, the ingredients of a successful entrepreneur, and startup ideas that beautifully come together like peanut butter and chocolate.
What should you do now to ensure your startup can survive and thrive during the coronavirus pandemic, and its aftermath? It is very clear that the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus is serious. It is already delivering an impact more significant than we’ve seen in hundreds of years. We’ve barely seen the tip of the iceberg of what could happen. The time to act is now.
Charlie Bachtell has raised millions of dollars and took his cannabis company public as a leader in one of the fastest-growing consumer good spaces. In our recent episode of the Dealmakers Podcast, he shared the early role models that lead him into entrepreneurship, the challenges that prepared him for identifying great business opportunities and managing growth in challenging times. As well as what it takes to be an entrepreneur, create an industry leader and his most important tips for new founders.
Tom Livne’s latest startup has raised tens of millions of dollars to transform the world of transcriptions. From the rise of podcasts to the legal industry, medical, education, media and academics and journalism it is obvious that transcriptions are becoming more important and are growing in volume. If you’ve ever tried to get something transcribed, you already know the challenges. On one hand, you have AI and automated transcriptions that can churn out pretty raw and awkward text. Often too raw to be published online without tanking your credibility.
Ryan Disraeli has raised tens of millions of dollars and exited for over $230M. Yet, he ultimately found his business home in an unexpected place for an entrepreneur. During his recent guest appearance on the DealMakers podcast, Ryan Disraeli shared his journey into entrepreneurship at a young age, the fun of bootstrapping and raising millions, the process of having your company acquired, and what you do next.
Pro-rata rights are given to investors and describe investment rights during future fundraising rounds. Because they impact how founders can later raise capital, it’s critical that entrepreneurs and investors both understand how pro-rata rights work. In this article, I’m going to explore exactly what pro-rata rights are, how they work, and what entrepreneurs and investors need to know in order to get the most out of them.
David Richards is a true serial entrepreneur. He has raised well over $100M for his companies. He’s faced his fair amount of challenges on the way. Yet, he has consistently found alternative methods to create solutions and come out on top. In our recent episode of the Dealmakers Show David generously shared his passion for starting and building companies, his unique approaches to getting funding, overcoming being fired from his own startup, and investing in others.
Business plan vs. pitch deck? Which should you be focusing on first as a startup founder? For decades entrepreneurs and business owners believed they needed to focus on building a comprehensive business plan. All before taking real action. There were good reasons for that. More recently, many entrepreneurs have gone almost exclusively with pitch decks in place of a traditional business plan. Which of these two approaches is best? Does it depend on the type of business you are starting or if you plan any fundraising efforts? Is a hybrid approach the wisest move? Or should you stay intensely focused on one before the other?
Brothers Jonathan and Robert Sadow chose to leave behind steady careers at Google and Bain, respectively, to launch their own startup. Their venture Scoop, the largest commute solution in the United States, has already raised more than $100M. By addressing a key pain point for businesses and employees alike, Scoop solves for the third-largest driver of voluntary attrition: the commute. Through convenient and enjoyable carpooling, Scoop helps make employees happier, healthier, and more productive in their day-to-day lives. I recently hosted these two cofounder brothers on the Dealmakers Show. They shared how they brought themselves to leap into entrepreneurship, navigating the rollercoaster of startup life, what they learned at some of today’s top companies, how they raised millions in capital, and a new way to look at success.
What are the best approaches for communicating with investors as a startup founder and entrepreneur? Communicating with investors is one of the most important parts of being an entrepreneur, startup founder and CEO. It is one of the chief roles you are tasked with. One that few, if anyone else can do for you all the time. It will make all the difference in funding, the terms of investments, survival, growth, the outcomes of an exit, the ability to achieve the mission, and what is possible next. So, how do you do it well? The 8 Stages of Communicating With Investors
Mark Sears and his teams are empowering the the world’s most innovative startups by helping them get the most out of their data. After dropping out of college to work in tech, Sears found his travels took him around the world. What started out as a lifestyle business has turned into a hyper growth startup with real scale. They’ve already raised at least $70M. On our recent episode of the Dealmakers Podcast Mark shared how he fell in love with computers, how he wound up starting a company on the other side of the world, some of the crises which have strengthened their company culture and his magic formula for startup success.
Are you wondering what you don‘t want to include too much text in a pitch deck? You want to convey all the great stuff about your startup when pitching angel investors, but too much text in your pitch deck can kill your chances of getting funded. This might sound like a small detail. Yet, it continues to be one of the most common mistakes that entrepreneurs make. It is a huge pet peeve of professional investors and VCs.Here’s why you may not be getting funded, and how less text might get you more money, on better terms.
He Was Forced To Close Down His First Business And Now Raised $65 Million To Prepare Marketing Data For Better Reporting
Fredrik Skantze is a serial entrepreneur on a mission. He believes business intelligence and its adjacent markets could be 10 times bigger if business people had access to better tools and could make better use of their data without having to rely on technical teams and analysts. So, he’s building the foundation and solutions to make that a reality. In his guest appearance on the DealMakers podcast, Skantze broke down the good, the bad, and the ugly of entrepreneurship. We talked about failures and mistakes which don’t usually get shared with new aspiring entrepreneurs. As well as how to be successful in scaling and fundraising.
As a start-up founder, you have a number of potential equity deals available to you when negotiating with investors. Two of these are the SAFE note and convertible note. Both have much in common, but they also have their specific advantages and disadvantages. In this article, I’m going to explore exactly what a SAFE note and a convertible note is, how they differ, and what sort of advantages they hold over each other.
Idriss Al Rifai is helping us leap into a future where eCommerce businesses can serve everyone, and everyone can benefit from online shopping from their phones. His startup is well on the way to connecting four billion people who have been left sidelined by big industry incumbents and the old status quo. We got together for an episode of the Dealmakers Podcast. Al Rifai shared with our listeners how his time in the special forces prepared him for founding a startup, his thoughts on who to hire first, what the future of eCommerce looks like, and what’s different about launching a business in Dubai versus the USA.
There are many ways to fund a startup business. Since their inception in 2005, startup accelerator programs have become one of these options for entrepreneurs. Like any funding strategy, startup accelerators will be the perfect fit for some businesses, but not for others. How do you know when a startup accelerator is the best option for your business? In this ultimate guide to startup accelerators for entrepreneurs, I’m going to take you through the startup accelerator process so that you can best answer that question.
Jack Smith has believed in the ability to create your own destiny from a very young age. He has rolled that into raising $25 million for his own startup, helping others raise even more, and going through the full cycle to being an investor himself. We recently got together for an episode of the Dealmakers podcast. He shared his creative fundraising hacks, persistence, who he thinks makes the best startup hires, how to find product-market fit, what makes a fundable startup, and more.
Jason Tan’s startup is on a mission to help everyone trust the internet. He’s already raised $106M from some incredible investors. During our interview on the Dealmakers Podcast Jason shared his entrepreneurial journey of fundraising, building and scaling companies, managing teams, mental health for founders and overcoming the dark and depressing days.
Fully diluted shares are a measure of how many shares a company has at its disposal. This measurement is used to determine how much a business is worth. To calculate this, you need to know how many convertible securities a company has. Then, calculate how many shares would be created if these securities were converted into common stock. This is the first step in calculating the company value.
His First Business Was Acquired By Citrix, His Second By Dell, And Now Raised $50 Million For His Next Startup
Murli Thirumale has built and sold two startups and is no on his third. His formulas for success seem to have provided him a system for replicating this success at the highest levels. Together we recently hosted an episode of the Dealmakers Podcast where Murli Thirumale shared his journey, his models for proving product-market fit, how to raise startup funding, and his top tips for new founders.
What must your pitch deck answer in order for your startup to get funded? If the survival and ability to grow your startup depends on getting funds in, know that getting funded can all ride on your pitch deck. So, aside from the slide titles and number of slides, what must you convey an answer for potential investors to get from that first connection to money in the bank? You can bet investors have a lot of questions. If you leave the most important ones unanswered in your deck and presentation, you are already giving them a reason to move onto the next pitch. At a minimum, it puts the ball in their court and is going to make it a lot harder to convince them and come back from.
Brenden Millstein has already raised $133.5M for his climate change startup. They are just getting started and have lots of room to grow. In our recent interview on the Dealmakers Show Brenden shared how he got started, all the data they’ve been collecting, what the future looks like, and surviving the trying days of being a startup founder.
Seed round investment is the critical funding round for many startups. Without it, the foundation of a business cannot be created, making it more difficult to raise capital during subsequent investment rounds. The key question then is: How do you raise funds during a seed round? To answer this question, I’m going to explore what a seed round is, why it is important to startup founders, and the steps you should take to maximize your chances of securing seed round capital.
SAFE notes are a form of convertible security. They are used as a legally binding promise that, at a later date, an investor will be given the opportunity to buy shares at an agreed price. SAFE notes were developed in 2013 by the Silicon Valley accelerator, Y Combinator. As such, they are a relatively new option for investors and startup founders. However, they have become increasingly popular as a simple way to structure an investment for equity deal, especially during seed rounds.
Andrew Collins has raised tens of millions of dollars for his startup. One which tackles two of today’s most pressing problems in our big cities, and is doing it both on and offline. Andrew and I recently recorded a new episode of the Dealmakers Podcast together. He shared his journey and learnings about building a hyper growth company. Plus what inspired his co-living startup.
What are the successful strategies for negotiation that an entrepreneur could apply to their startup business? Negotiation can be everything for startup founders. Virtually everything you do is going to involve some negotiation. Learning a few classic negotiation strategies, and some more advanced and current tactics and approaches can make all the difference in getting launched, staying alive, and continuing to thrive. It will directly impact how you feel about all the time and energy you’ve invested when you exit and it’s over.
Will Glaser knows a few things about building and scaling companies and solving hard problems. You might even consider him the godfather of digital music. Soon, you’ll probably be using his technology every day if you aren’t already. Will and I recently recorded a new episode of the DealMakers podcast together. We talked about emerging technologies, fundraising for startups, patents, and new ways to think about selecting and pitching investors.
Your startup’s business model is essentially the way your business will generate income. This is often confused with business strategy, but both are subtly different from each other. In this article, I’m going to outline exactly what a business model is, along with examples of successful business models, and why a business model should be treated as separate from your business strategy.
This Entrepreneur Raised $100 Million To Build The First End-To-End Automated Software Delivery System
Sacha Labourey’s startup has raised at least $100M to help developers go full cycle fast, and have a real impact. He has enjoyed being a part of the full cycle of successful startups himself. He sees a future where we are even more reliant on the cloud and where developers can better measure and demonstrate the meaningful business impact they are delivering. Sacha and I recently got together to record an episode of the Dealmakers Podcast. We talked M&A deals, integrating companies, fundraising, the future of tech and business, and what he’s learned on his journey.
Derrick Fung has raised tens of millions of dollars for his second startup. He’s been the full cycle and knows how to build, scale and finance new ventures. We recently got together for an episode of the Dealmakers Show. Derrick shared the journey of his latest company, how finding and securing product-market fit has changed, the secrets to fundraising and how capital markets are evolving. As well as the next big shift in fintech and eCommerce.
Are you wondering how to title your pitch deck?
The title of your pitch deck is the first-moment potential investors get to see anything from your pitch. You have to make that moment count. A badly designed pitch deck title can immediately put investors on the wrong footing. In fact, it can completely derail your pitch.
His First Business Failed, Then He Sold His Second To Apple, And Just Sold His Third One To Rakuten For Millions
Jaron Waldman knows a thing or two about building startups. He has launched and scaled at least two ventures which have been acquired by some of the biggest giants that have ever existed. Jaron and I recorded an episode of the Dealmakers Show together. He told our audience about his experiences launching and growing companies. He shared insights on going full circle, learnings from working inside these enviable acquirers, the pitfalls to watch out for, and the pros and cons of both bootstrapping and raising VC money.
Female tech startup founder Yinglian Xie has raised millions of dollars for her global security startup to make it safer to do business online. Yinglian recently joined me for a special episode of the DealMakers Podcast. Our audience learned a lot about making the leap into entrepreneurship, and the full cycle of bringing your business to the US, and then expanding to raise money overseas and grow on a global scale.
The ideal pitch deck is the one catered to your audience. You need your pitch deck to convey why you are a great option for investment in a concise, powerful way that resonates with potential investors. But there’s much more to it than that! Today, I’m going to explore the elements that go into the ideal pitch deck. This will help you secure the investment your startup deserves.
Why a pitch deck? Pitch decks almost seem an obvious first step in launching a startup today. Still, it’s worth pausing and considering what it is really for. What are the various uses of a pitch deck? What should be included?
On August 5, 2017, the skies above New Orleans opened and dumped almost a foot of rain on the city in just a couple of hours. The streets flooded. More than 100,000 people were evacuated. A million people suffered property damage. That wasn’t even Hurricane Katrina. It was just a random rainstorm sweeping through the region. New Orleans relies on eight vital pumps to move water from the streets back to the ocean. On that day, four pumps were down for scheduled maintenance. Two others stopped working during that rainstorm. The failure of just those two pumps caused those 100,000 people to lose their homes and belongings. Fortunately, if Saar Yoskovitz’s vision is realized, that will never happen again. Saar and his cofounder have already raised $60M to save us from critical machine breakdowns.
Mitchell Kahn knows about building and scaling companies. His most recent startup raised over $220 million and was recently acquired for $875 million.Mitchell and I got together for an episode of the DealMakers Podcast. He shared with our listeners how he got started as an entrepreneur, what he’s learned about funding and capital, growing a business, plus the serious business of recreational cannabis.
How much does it cost to develop a pitch deck? The pitch deck is one of the most important tools you’ll have to bring your great business idea and big vision to life. So, can you DIY code it yourself for free? Or do you need to budget tens of thousands of dollars for one to be designed professionally?