Founders and Fundraising

What Are The Two Biggest Mistakes That You Can Avoid?

“Do you have a vesting schedule for your co-founders equity?” I asked the CEO I was talking to. “No, I don’t,” he answered. “And how much equity does your co-founder have again?” I asked. “Uh, fifty percent,” the CEO answered. Do you want to grow your business? Maybe I can help. Click here. I sighed…

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Why Should You Send Your Unsolicited Pitch Deck To Investors

“Do you know ‘George’ from Maxim (Integrated Products)?” Mike, the managing partner at Crosslink, the San Francisco based VC Fund where I was an Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR), asked me. “Yes, I know George,” I said. Do you want to grow your business? Maybe I can help. Click here. “He just sent his pitch deck…

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The Real Reason Your Startup Will Fail

There’s a CB Insights study that you’ve likely seen about why startups fail. Their list is the classic, greatest hits, of why startups fail: Run out of cash No market need Got outcompeted Flawed business model Regulatory/legal challenges Do you want to grow your business? Maybe I can help. Click here. I could go on…

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How Do You Prepare To Pitch Investors?

“You made things a lot easier for me,” Jim said to me, shaking my hand. My co-founder and VP Engineering, Jeroen, and I had flown to Boston to pitch Jim and his partners, and Jim’s reaction indicated the meeting went well. Do you want to grow your business? Maybe I can help. Click here. “That’s…

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What Are The Characteristics Of A Great Investor?

“Oh, Great God of Venture Capital,” I said, “Can you help me find a good VC or two for my new venture? I won’t even ask for a great VC, just a good VC will do. Do you want to grow your business? Maybe I can help. Click here. “Are you taking notes, oh Great…

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What Do You Do When An Investor Doesn’t Call You Back?

“God, do I hate radio silence,” I said to my friend and mentor, Dave. “Why don’t VCs just let me know they just don’t want to invest instead of leaving us hanging?” Do you want to grow your business? Maybe I can help. Click here. Dave smiled and nodded his head in agreement. He had…

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How Do You Reduce Risk As A Startup CEO?

I don’t why, but years ago, when I was in high school, my Dad got involved in a business building replicas of old classic cars. As I remember it, the company bought old VW? engines, put a classic car chassis around them and sold the cars at a profit. Do you want to grow your…

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How Ambitious Do You Need To Be To Attract Investors?

“Give us $11 million, and we’ll build you a billion dollar company,” I said to every investor we met when I was raising our initial funding. Do you want to grow your business? Maybe I can help. Click here. At the time we were raising our initial funding, the Venture Capital community in the Silicon…

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How Not To Create A Pitch Deck

There are some things that you just shouldn’t do when you’re developing a pitch deck for investors.  And, there’s one thing in particular that you shouldn’t do that can kill your chances of raising money.   Making matters worse, this one thing sounds like a great idea.   In fact, you’ll be tempted to pay a…

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