How to know if your startup actually offers what the market wants

Developing a solution first, then looking for a problem to solve rarely leads to success

How to know if your startup actually offers what the market wantsThere once was a highly motivated developer who worked at a bank. One day, he figured out a way to automatically round up decimals in banking transactions to the nearest whole number in bank accounts. He reasoned that the difference could be either taken as additional revenue to the bank or paid back to the…

Do you have the right tools to run a successful business?

Without the right tools, we can’t build a house. Without the right people, things will get broken

Do you have the right tools to run a successful business?“You are fired!” John yelled at me as I was lying on the ground after falling off the roof of the house. John was mad because his sawhorses had been broken in half because of my stupidity. I was stunned and just wondering if I had broken anything in my body as a result of…

Raising capital while working on your startup

Always be raising, always be closing, always be talking about the business

Raising capital while working on your startupBeing a startup CEO is tough. Work life balance, as nice as it is, is not easy. Many leadership gurus – who invest in or mentor startup founders – often find CEOs struggle with the pace. One of the biggest challenges startup founders faces is balancing the continuous need to raise capital while running the…

Startup 101: I’ve been funded… what now?

The journey for your startup is just beginning

Startup 101: I’ve been funded… what now?Yipee! Your startup has been funded. You suddenly have sufficient capital to put in motion the plans your pitch deck promised your new investors. Term sheets negotiated, first wired funds received, shares issued. So, now what? The world of startups is filled with cautionary tales of startups which can’t seem to navigate the new world…

How a venture capitalist knows your deal is weak

The venture capitalist is actually looking for a reason not to invest in your company

How a venture capitalist knows your deal is weakIt is an industry accepted standard that venture capitalists will fund one of 100 deals. Some entrepreneurs will not be given more than a few minutes to pitch; others will get a longer meeting, while a lucky few will move into a process of successive interviews and discussions. But, in the end, only one deal…

5 facts to know before approaching venture capitalists

Learning these five facts will save you time and frustration

5 facts to know before approaching venture capitalistsEvery year hundreds of entrepreneurs and investors congregate at the base of the mountains at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta. Over the course of two days, approximately 50 IT, life science, and cleantech companies make their pitch to an audience of venture capitalists and angel investors. (This year's event is combining virtual and…

Raising capital is not always the only option

Instead, start focusing on pitching for revenue

Raising capital is not always the only optionMost of us in the entrepreneurial space, whether building, supporting or funding early-stage companies, assume attracting investor capital is just the normal course of business. We have been conditioned to believe or accept that once an entrepreneur gets a business underway, raising investor capital is just part of the plan. Some entrepreneurs begin crafting their…

There is only one way to meet a venture capitalist

If you can't make your pitch within 10 minutes, however, you're not ready

There is only one way to meet a venture capitalistHow you approach a venture capitalist (VC) can be the difference between receiving a quick glance or gaining direct attention. It can be very tempting to cold call venture capital via web search results or chase down a harried VC at an entrepreneur event. While those attempts may work, it's a low probability tactic and…

How to put a value on your technology startup

Attributing value is a source of countless rolled eyes, smacked foreheads and arguments

How to put a value on your technology startupWhen a new company is launched, the odds are stacked heavily against the entrepreneur. It is stacked especially high against the tech entrepreneur. University of Tennessee Research tells us that more than half of all new businesses fail by the end of year four but only 37 per cent of technology businesses remain operable by…

All venture capitalists are not created equal

Don't be that guy who gets mad after buying a car without first performing a test drive

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