Most Common Early Start-up Mistakes

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series “ Start-up Lessons. &# If you want to subscribe to my RSS feed please click here or to get my blog by email click here. Imagine you pour 5 years of your life into your next gig and it starts to become successful. Many times the answer is ‘no.&# The problem is that you’re opening yourself up to a claim by one of these people that you somehow stole their ideas. Starting with 25% is even harder.

Project cash flow – not just profit – during start-up.

Berkonomics

It’s entirely possible that Amazon could not be created and funded today with its planned seven years until profitability. There is no longer a guarantee that VCs and later stage investors will be waiting at the run-out point of the angel money to pick up and grow the company.

Financing a Start-Up

Tech Coast Venture Network

Virgina Lorimor There are several options for financing a start-up business that tend to follow a natural course in a business’ development: Personal Investment. This is where all entrepreneurs have to start. “OC’s Premier Incubator – Supporting Start-Up Businesses in Our Business Collective&#. Venture Capital, Business, Management, Funding, Money, SBA, Lending, Equity.

Start-ups are all Naked in the Mirror

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series Startup Lessons. I started my first company in 1999 in London at the height of the dot com craze. It didn’t add up to me. We’re all scared that the next round of funding won’t come. Bad morale is the enemy of any company let alone a start up.&#. Because I had started reaching out to competitor CEO’s. It’s OK to talk about fund raising challenges or customer losses.

Austin Start-up MailLift Joins 500 Startups

Tech Zulu Event

I met fellow hustler Brian Curliss about 2 years ago at a Startup Weekend event that I was covering. It came as no surprise whatsoever when I found out that his new company MailLift was called up to the big leagues to join the 500 Startups accelerator.

Wars and Start-ups

Alon Schwartz

I’ve been an entrepreneur and in the startup business for many years now. I’ve also been involved and/or interested in conflicts and wars in Israel and other places to the point I began to see similarities between these two worlds: Startups and Wars. For example, starting a startup is like starting a war. Yes, you’ll need resources and funding but you can start relatively small and grow. No wonder they call startups “an uphill battle”.

Wars and Start-ups

Alon Schwartz

I’ve been an entrepreneur and in the startup business for many years now. I’ve also been involved and/or interested in conflicts and wars in Israel and other places to the point I began to see similarities between these two worlds: Startups and Wars. For example, starting a startup is like starting a war. Yes, you’ll need resources and funding but you can start relatively small and grow. No wonder they call startups “an uphill battle”.

Startups and VCs Should Avoid “Pier” Funding

Both Sides of the Table

Often when startups who have raised venture capital need another round of financing they will turn to their existing investors to give them money before raising from outsiders. It starts as a debt instrument (e.g. And it adds up.

Are MBAs Necessary for Start-ups or VC?

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series called “ Start-up Lessons.&#. I came across this blog post about getting a computer science degree as the best degree for getting into venture capital or working at a VC-backed start up. Like Chris Dixon I grew up programing.

Calacanis Starts Up New Venture Fund

socalTECH

Not only is he running his own technology conference, Launch, he''s also making angel investments, and opening up his own coworking space , he''s also created a new venture capital fund, the Launch Fund. Jason Calacanis is busy.

2010 VC Funding Outlook for Startups – Prepare for Winter (Part 3/3)

Both Sides of the Table

It is also a result of pent-up demand. Consumer spending is 70% of the economy and will continue to be stretched – We can look all we want at tech innovation, VC funding cycles and hot M&A deals, but ultimately growth and therefore investment must be underpinned by revenue.

Should Your Startup Give Performance-Based Warrants?

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my ongoing series on Startup Advice. As startup entrepreneurs we all want to work with them because having their name as reference clients makes it so much easier for marketing, PR, selling to other customers, fund raising and even recruiting.

How to Work with Lawyers at a Startup

Both Sides of the Table

If you’re a startup and you don’t have a close relationship with a few law firms you’re really missing one of the most important relationships that any entrepreneur can have. Many people start companies arse backwards.

What would you do if told to “fail fast?”

Berkonomics

With the first round of funding, there should be agreed-upon milestones to be achieved. My favorite story of a fast failure was of a technology incubator started in the year 2000 with optimistic money from several angel investors, including me. Starting up Protecting the business

I Would Only Fund an Entrepreneur with High Integrity

Both Sides of the Table

When companies start to make huge sums of money it’s always easy for the media to question the integrity of the company. Tags: Entrepreneur Advice Start-up Advice Startup Advice

What is the Right Amount of Money to Raise at a Startup?

Both Sides of the Table

Recently I’ve been debating with a number of young startup companies that are raising money in the next few months, “what is the right about of capital to raise at a startup?&#. Who started this meme? 24 months for most tech startups is usually too much money. -

I Want My CIC! … The Benefits for Startups to Be Co-Located

Both Sides of the Table

I recently wrote a blog post about why I believe that startup teams in close proximity perform better. VCs constantly share cross fund information and are therefore always getting dialed into what is going on in the industry. In fact, this is the set up Jeff had as he was between gigs.

Alternative Accelerators and Start-Up Resources

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, June 30, 2016 -- Alternative Accelerators and Start-Up Resources. Today, start-ups have more choices for accessing business resources and seed funding than ever. The next Mobile LAVA will present some of these different equity partners available to start-ups in today’s rapidly evolving tech landscape.

Alternative Accelerators and Start-Up Resources

SoCal Tech Calendar

Thursday, June 23, 2016 -- Alternative Accelerators and Start-Up Resources. Today, start-ups have more choices for accessing business resources and seed funding than ever. The next Mobile LAVA will present some of these different equity partners available to start-ups in today’s rapidly evolving tech landscape.

Start-Up Funding In Southern California

SoCal Tech Calendar

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 -- Start-Up Funding In Southern California. Panel includes Ray Chan, Managing Partner at K5 Venture Partners; Anil Tammineedi, Vice President at Angeleno Group; Kiran Rao, Associate at Vicente Capital Partners; Al Schneider, Co-Founder and Past Chairman of Pasadena Angels. Moderator: Maneesh Goyal, General Partner at MergerTech Health Ventures. See [link] (more

Start-up Advisors

SoCal CTO

Andrew Warner from Mixergy posted - Before Looking for Funding, Get an Advisor. He recommends that early stage companies get input from people who know the funding process, know the vertical, etc. On the flip side, as a person who regularly advises early stage start-ups, I often have a hard time finding interesting start-ups. Actually, the friction is even higher trying to find a partner for a start-up.

The Power of “In Person” – Why Distributed Teams are Less Effective

Both Sides of the Table

In the era of Skype, web conferencing tools and collaboration software conventional wisdom says that distributed startup teams can be just as effective as those that are in person. There reality is that a certain magic that happens when you’re in person is critical in a startup.

The Right Way to Cancel a Meeting

Both Sides of the Table

A few days before the meeting the CEO asked me to change the meeting to 11:45 because “he was going to be wrapping up a meeting in Pasadena at 11am&# and it would take 45 minutes to get to Century City where my offices are. &# No problem,&# I replied.

Building Products for Mass Adoption

Both Sides of the Table

Start by defining the problem you’re solving – I see way too many early-stage entrepreneurs who start their companies with a product definition rather than a market problem. I covered this a bit in my post about the market definition slide in fund raising.

How to Not Suck at a Group Presentation

Both Sides of the Table

Francisco Dao came up with the idea of letting 10 companies that weren’t selected for Twiistup to do a presentation the night before to a group of people and let the audience pick one company to win the final slot at Twiistup. Stories have starts, middles and ends.

Never Hire Job Hoppers. Never. They Make Terrible Employees

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my startup advice series. It’s still important advice for startup founders and something that I’m passionate about. Tools like Identified.com haven’t existed for me to do this in an automated way as they are starting to emerge.

Geni 404

Good Judgment Comes with Experience, But Experience Comes from Bad Judgment

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of my Startup Advice series of posts. There is a folklore in Silicon Valley that you should fund first-time entrepreneurs. I’m fond of saying that I F’d up everything as a first time entrepreneur.

How to Deal with Skeletons in your Closet

Both Sides of the Table

My advice with Elephants was that you need to take them head on in your first VC meeting because the VC is already thinking about the issue whether you bring it up or not. Why shouldn’t you tell them up front? This is part of my series with Advice on Raising Venture Capital.

Asking Questions More Effectively

Both Sides of the Table

FUND RAISING: I was once in a fund raising meeting. We started presenting our company and talking about our views of the industry. I chalked this up as both a sign of nervousness, a certain social awkwardness / lack of confidence and a basic lack of interviewing skills.

Steven Blank Kills It at Greycroft CEO Summit

Both Sides of the Table

Greycroft is Alan’s venture capital firm that recently raised its second fund ($130 million) with offices in both New York and LA. Get your product/market fit working before you ramp up your costs (or raise too much money). Greycroft – Why Accountants Don’t Run Startups.

What Makes an Entrepreneur (5/11) – Inspiration

Both Sides of the Table

I started the series talking about what I consider the most important attribute of an entrepreneur : Tenacity. But in that moment of hearing the news, I tried to remind myself that dwelling in the negative never helps, that in fact every kick to the head provides motivation to crank it up.

Want to Start a Technology Company in LA?

Both Sides of the Table

I was recently interviewed for an article that appeared in Fast Company titled, “ Why you should start a business in LA.&# If you’re interested in the topic it’s worth a read, but I thought I’d elaborate on the topic since it comes up all the time. Los Angeles.

Inaugural Open Angel Forum Was a Success

Both Sides of the Table

Last night I attended the inaugural Open Angel Forum event started by Jason Calacanis , a fellow LA resident. Jason started the Open Angel Forum in response to his frustration that entrepreneurs were being charged by some angel organizations to present at their events.

Angel 308

Entrepreneurs Don’t “Noodle” They Do

Both Sides of the Table

I started with a “top 11″ list – only because I couldn’t fit them into a top 10. But in the end I ended up with 12. So he left and focused on starting companies. Should we ask for a credit card up front or after their free trial?

How To Communicate with your Investors between Board Meetings

Both Sides of the Table

Most early stage startups having monthly board meetings. A prominent startup CEO in NYC wrote me a private message telling me that this was an issue he was struggling with. I ran board meetings as a startup CEO for more than 8 years. Running the “Agile&# Board.