Entrepreneurs need to know when to call it quits

Don't let your business success or failure define your worth as a person

Entrepreneurs need to know when to call it quitsJody Sherman founded several companies. Some got bought out for modest success and others failed. Ecomom was his last startup. Management and staff tried hard but Ecomom didn't work and it burned. When Sherman saw no hope for Ecomom, he saw no hope for himself so he ended his own life. But there is more…

Talk to your venture capitalist before you crash and burn

Open communication with your VC can help you, your company and your longer-term prospect of later support

Talk to your venture capitalist before you crash and burnEverything is positive when a new venture begins. There is a rush of excitement, people are fully committed, hours are long and creativity is cranked to its peak. The traction, media attention or buzz will soon bring you to the notice of venture capitalists. Cash comes in and everyone is pumped up. The founders are…

Getting an investor to move from “not now” to “yes”

Investing is a process and not a speed dating event. If you develop relationships with investors, you’ve got a much better shot of closing the deal

Getting an investor to move from “not now” to “yes”Getting a “no” from any prospective investor can be hard to take. At first glance, it’s insulting. You’ve poured heart and soul into an idea and after 10 minutes of pitching, the investor doesn’t want to hear more. For the entrepreneur who wears the success or failure of his company as a reflection of their…

Not much difference between angel investors and VCs anymore

The differences between angels and VCs used to be vast, but the variances are no longer quite so clearly visible

Not much difference between angel investors and VCs anymoreThe start-up is going well and now it’s time to pursue capital. The friends and family networks are running thin. Who are you going to call? Angel groups exist across the country and there are VCs (venture capitalists) you might want to see. The rule of thumb is to call them all: both angels and…

Beware of the revolving-door venture capitalist

What happens when your great VC buddy who helped you through so much is gone?

Beware of the revolving-door venture capitalistFor a start-up that takes its fundraising seriously, it has to allow its CEO to tackle the project full-time for up to a year. The founders have studied the due diligence requirements ahead of the process and they approach the investment community in an orderly and structured fashion. The founders and CEO work hard to…

What to do if your startup is suffering Founderitis

Founderitis rips a blade across the throat of opportunity and buries potential in the soft sand of ego

What to do if your startup is suffering FounderitisThink of entrepreneurs as explorers. To survive and thrive, they have to confront an ever-changing world and wrestle with the future. If they don't, they die. They often do not and cannot know the exact course that they must take to successfully realize their vision, but they have the courage to leave shore anyway. You…

Beware the bad investor

Here are a few warning signs that you may be falling into the clutches of a bad investor

Beware the bad investorIn an ideal scenario, your deal has attracted such interest that you have the luxury of choosing your investor. Most entrepreneurs are not afforded this luxury and will often need to take the investment dollar that is offered. This I understand. Raising money for emerging companies can be incredibly difficult, so when money is offered,…

All venture capitalists are not created equal

Some entrepreneurs who complain about their venture capitalists remind me of that guy who gets mad after buying a car without first performing his due diligence

All venture capitalists are not created equalMost times, raising capital is a tough haul. Endless pitching, grueling due diligence and an enormous commitment of time and money is usually required. But once in a while there is a company that rises up and grabs the attention and the imagination of a swarm of venture capitalists (VCs) in a relatively short period…

The necessary perils of entrepreneurship

Real value does not come from the idea alone. Great ideas without execution are empty roadside soda cans

The necessary perils of entrepreneurshipThere were nearly 900 people seated at round tables alternating small talk with bites of chicken. The ballroom was glamorous, the chicken was dry and few paid attention to the joke-telling emcee. "My wife says that if I don't give up golf, she's going to leave me. I'm really going to miss her! Har har!…

Friends rarely make the best business partners

Keeping things simple just might help keep you from getting burned

Friends rarely make the best business partnersA big part of entrepreneurship is choosing your partners. Over the life of the venture you will likely spend a great deal more of your waking hours with your business partners than you will with your spouse, or any significant other who cares to hang about in a non-paid capacity for that matter. A lot…