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Article

What Should I Never Say to an Investor?


  

More often than not, what we avoid saying to investors is as valuable as what we do say.

With our best intentions, we often shoot ourselves in the foot making lofty assumptions or declarations that investors hear all the time and just start shaking their heads.

Let's avoid that.

These are conservative forecasts

The moment we open ourselves up to saying our estimates are "conservative" we risk the conversation pointing to whether our assumptions are actually "conservative", "aggressive" or just "wild-ass guesses."

All estimates are guesses.

Let's avoid giving them a label at all, and instead say "These estimates are based on our best assumptions across our entire business." Investors would rather know the assumptions are based on what we ...



Article

Early Stage Fundraising with Boris Wertz


  

Boris Wertz is the founder of VersionOne Ventures, an early-stage fund that has made over 35 investments in consumer Internet, SaaS, and mobile companies across North America. Clarity sat down with Boris to discuss how to find funding sources, how (and how much) to ask, and crafting the perfect pitch.

In order to raise money, most startups go through the same process: create a pitch deck, and then pitch it to investors.There are many types of investors, such as institutional investors who invest other people’s money, angel investors who invest their own money, and venture capitalists who privately or publicly provide total capital for a new venture.

Where can you find funding?
First, you should think about what the right funding is. Everyon...



Article

Making Media Work: 5 Ways to Avoid Media Failures


  

Let’s face it: Media failures happen to the best of us. Sometimes they’re simple mistakes that go unnoticed, and sometimes they’re catastrophic failures that can ruin a business. The vast majority of the time, though, they’re preventable.

At its core, a media failure is when the value exchange between a marketer and a media company breaks down. This can happen because a marketing strategy was poorly planned, the implementation was rushed, or the media company was unable to actually deliver the audience it promised.

That’s why at New Brave World, I always caution the teams we advise to be careful to consider legal timelines and the time and cost exposure that’s connected to custom content creation. It’s also important to ensure you’ve ...



Article

Dreaming in Technicolor


  

It’s hard to decide who has changed the most in the last 12 years: Thrillist or its co-founder and CEO Ben Lerer.

Back in 2004, Thrillist was frequently described as the male equivalent of DailyCandy, a female oriented email newsletter that sold for $125 million only to be killed by Comcast. To be clear, that is still one of the largest content exits in the Web era, and it inspired plenty of envy at the time. Many expected Thrillist to be flip-bait as well.

Fast forward to today and Thrillist has raised more venture capital than that DailyCandy acquisition– much of it during a $100 million mega round announced last year. That deal rolled up Thrillist and three other media platforms into one company called Group Nine, and Discovery inv...



Article

These 4 Travel Startups Are Doing It Right


  

When you’re launching a travel business, there are many “what ifs” and “what nows” — especially if you’re a rookie. It’s almost too easy to get caught up in the excitement. Whether you’re trying to build out too many related products before perfecting your core business, struggling to gauge the strength of a potential partnership, or micromanaging your staff, it might be a good idea to take a step back and gain a little perspective from the pros.

After all, those pros started out where you are now, and many are willing and eager to help others get on their feet. So don’t be afraid to reach out within the tight-knit entrepreneurial community to seek advice because almost nothing is more valuable than help from someone who has been in the tre...



Article

Does it Matter if I Own 51% of my Company?


  

We all have heard that "just getting 51% of the company will help us control the board and rule the world!"

But in startup companies, that's often not the case.

A lot of our control actually lies within the agreements that we create within the company, regardless of our percentage of control.

The Difference between Common and Preferred Shares

Startups can have many classes of stock, but the two most often created are "Common" and "Preferred" shares. There are many variants, but the most classic usage is "Preferred" have controlling rights, "Common" does not.

Investors will almost always take Preferred shares, which entitle them to specific types of rights within the company, even if they do not have the majority of those shares.

Those c...



Article

Founders Discuss The Journey from Startup to Stable Business


  

“Without a clear vision to evolve, you will never break free of the ‘start-up’ mentality.”

–Hayley Winter, How to Evolve a Startup Into a Successful Business

How do you go from being a startup to a viable business to a very successful business? Where do we draw the lines between these classifications for companies? Founders from around the world set out to answer these sticky questions in Startups Live.

Haley Winter tried to lay the groundwork for erecting a successful venture. Some of the materials incorporated into her architectural scheme included a business plan, the startup mentality, making yourself visible and profitable, devoting resources properly.

Her article also covered the extremely difficult terrain of trying to d...



Article

What Startups Need to Know About SBA Loans


  

The SBA helps small businesses that may not be eligible for traditional bank loans by guaranteeing large portions of the loan on the entrepreneur’s behalf.

These loans are generally available through your local bank who relies on the SBA to back the loan in order to make it easier for them to take the risk of lending a new business without a significant amount of collateral.

Who’s eligible for a SBA loan?

Although the loans are backed by the SBA, they still require some basic underwriting by the bank to make sure the borrower can manage the loan similar to a standard bank loan.

What about poor credit?

The SBA may be underwriting the loan, but they still want to make sure it can be paid back. Standard credit risk factors (such as...



Article

A Little Revenue Is Worse Than No Revenue


  

In the startup world, payment is validation. If someone is willing to pay you for your service, you’re onto something. If no one will pay you, then you’ve got an issue with your message, your offer, product/market fit, something.

But payment can be misleading.

If you’re not selling at all, it’s clear that there is a problem. If you’re selling a ton, it’s clear that you’re validated.

But what if you’re just getting some orders?

I had a startup that provided feedback on online dating profiles that limped along for a couple years, never having great market fit. It was hard to market, and the model itself made it hard for customers to need to come back.

I should have taken it down it after a year. I eventually killed it after 2.5 years, after ...



crowdfunding

Question on crowdfunding investment into Bizplan.


DM
Dave Meyers

  

Hello, On Income Statement, are Owner Distributions included in Expenses? or come out of Net Income?

Hello, What would be the easiest way to reflect a equity crowdfunding round on here? I'm looking at Revenue Share 5-10% of revenue to 3x investment. Should that be listed under expense? debt? investment?



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