Investor Connect

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Investor Connect: Patrick Ryan of Aardvark Research/PSR Lawfirm, LLC

In this episode, Hall welcomes Patrick Ryan, Founder of Aardvark Research/PSR Lawfirm, LLC. Patrick is the founder of Aardvark Research for angel investing. His day job is at Tik Tok, where he leads the team of Technical Program Managers for global network security. Before TikTok, Patrick was a Strategy and Operations Principal at Google for […]

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Managing a Startup in a Downturn

In running a startup there will be upturns and downturns. Managing a downturn takes a different approach from the upturns. First, seek advice and guidance from others such as investors, mentors, and CEOs. Don’t delude yourself into thinking it’s better than it is and that it will turn around soon. Acknowledge that it’s a bad […]

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Investor Connect: Stuart Titus of Medical Marijuana, Inc.

In this episode, Hall welcomes Dr. Stuart Titus, Chief Executive Officer and President at Medical Marijuana, Inc. Headquartered in Poway, California, Medical Marijuana, Inc. is a cannabis product research and development company. The Company offers various CBD oils and related products such as CBD tinctures, concentrates, beauty products and pet supplements. Medical Marijuana distributes its […]

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Varying the Terms of the Raise

In a fundraise, one typically uses the same term sheet throughout the raise. From time to time, investors will demand certain rights and conditions.   If there are no investor representations, then you may be able to do so. For some investors, you may need to vary the terms of the raise and use a different […]

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Investor Connect: Cam Houser of Actionworks

In this episode, Hall welcomes Cam Houser, Founder of Actionworks. Located in Austin, Texas, Actionworks mixes humans (from companies, universities, and governments) with algorithms trained on interesting topics (from business books to psychology textbooks to everything Paul Graham ever wrote) to create a process that helps organizations innovate.  For over a decade, Cam has used […]

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How to Use Comps to Value a Startup: Part 2

In valuing a startup for an investment, it’s useful to find valuations by looking at similar startups. This technique is referred to as ‘comps’ which stands for comparable. This method looks for companies in the same sector and analyzes both exits and investments to determine the current valuation for the segment. This is often a […]

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Investor Connect: Juan Alonso-Villalobos of Startup Wiseguys

In this episode, Hall welcomes Juan Alonso-Villalobos, Fintech Program Director at Startup Wiseguys. Headquartered in Tallinn, Harjumaa, Startup Wiseguys is a mentorship-driven accelerator program for early-stage B2B SaaS, Fintech, Cyber, and Sustainability startups, providing seed capital (€30K), office space, and most importantly – world-class mentors. The intensive 5-month accelerator program is focused on validating, developing […]

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How to Use Comps to Value a Startup: Part 1

In negotiating the valuation, the investor can use current market comps or comparables to set the initial price. By looking at companies in the same sector and stage, one can find the range of valuations. From there, the investor can raise the valuation based on the values the startup has built already and lower it […]

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Investor Connect: Ben Mackay of Evolve Capital

In this episode, Hall welcomes Ben Mackay, Principal at Evolve Capital. Based in Dallas, Texas, Evolve Capital is a private equity firm focused exclusively on leveraged recapitalizations of entrepreneurial businesses. They provide entrepreneurs with liquidity upfront and also upon exit through their retained equity stake. In between, they provide professional management and a strong partnership, […]

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Warning Signs That the Startup Is in Trouble

As an investor, you can often see warning signs of trouble in small ways before they become full-blown in the startup. Here are some of them: – The CFO quits unexpectedly – The paychecks to employees bounce and it’s called an “accounting error” – Information from the CEO becomes limited and they don’t return phone […]

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Investor Connect: Mike Smerklo reviews his new book, “Mr. Monkey and Me”

In this episode, Hall welcomes back Mike Smerklo, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Next Coast Ventures and author of “Mr. Monkey and Me”. “In Mr. Monkey and Me, Smerklo draws on his broad range of experiences and mistakes as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. Using lessons he learned from renowned entrepreneurs, he developed the SHAPE […]

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Focus on the Must Dos

In running a startup, it’s important to focus on the essentials of the business. In your strategy planning, identify the Must-Dos. The Must-Dos have to get done. Beware of the Nice-to-Haves. If you hear yourself saying “wouldn’t it be nice if we did this?”, it most likely will be taking you away from the essentials. […]

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Investor Connect: Martin Saenz of Bequest Funds

In this episode, Hall welcomes Martin Saenz, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Bequest Funds. Headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, Bequest Funds operates multiple residential mortgage funds designed to provide consistent income for qualified investors. The fund purchases and owns a diversified portfolio of income-producing mortgages. They purchase performing mortgages at a significant discount which produces above-market […]

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Employee Assessment

Running a startup is hard work. The team must work long hours and often at low pay. This can wear down the team. The CEO should monitor the employees for burnout. Burnout can be caused by several factors: – Work overload — too much work and too little time to do it leaves employees feeling […]

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Investor Connect: Tom Wallace of Florida Funders

In this episode, Hall welcomes Tom Wallace, Managing Partner at Florida Funders. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, Florida Funders is a hybrid between a venture capital fund and an angel investor network that discovers, funds and builds early-stage technology companies in Florida. They exist to evolve Florida from the Sunshine State to the Startup State by […]

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The Sales Learning Curve

Startups seek to grow as fast as possible. One of the key barriers to growth is the Sales Learning Curve. This learning curve is a combination of the product, marketing, and sales working together to create customer acquisition and a product-delivery system that achieves scale and can be maintained.  In seed-stage funding, the investor looks […]

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Choosing the Right Channel

In launching your startup, you’ll need to determine which sales channel is best for your business. The sales channel is how you reach prospects and then turn them into customers. Most first-time startup founders envision a channel and then assume that’s the best path. Experienced founders know you must research, test, and analyze the channels […]

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Investor Connect: Jonathan Spangler of Ciari Guitars

In this episode, Hall welcomes Jonathan Spangler, CEO & Founder of Ciari Guitars. Headquartered in San Diego, California, Ciari Guitars is the creator of the Ascender, the world’s first pro-play, gig-ready guitar with foldable convenience. It is also the only guitar company approved for in-airport experiential marketing via the “Music Oasis” free guitar lounge. A […]

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Choosing a Co-Founder

Choosing a co-founder is an important step in launching your startup. Consider these points before finalizing your decision: – First, understand what are the businesses’ needs and what skills must be recruited. – In the early stages of the startup, you need a complete team — someone building it and someone selling it.   – Choose […]

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Investor Perspectives: Expected Changes in the Consumer Product Goods Segment

In today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on COVID-19’s impact on the CPG sector. This is Investor Perspectives, I’m the host of Investor Connect, Hall T Martin, where we connect startups and investors for funding. It’s the time of COVID-19. The consumer product goods space is currently undergoing tremendous change across the U.S. The lockdown […]

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10X Your Startup

In planning your startup, consider the challenge you will have in converting users from their current solution to your solution. Customers don’t move to a new product because it’s 10% better. They move because it’s 10X better. Make sure you are positioning your startup to be competitive in the market. To do so, consider 10Xing […]

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Investor Connect: Rick Grinnell of Glasswing Ventures

In this episode, Hall welcomes Rick Grinnell, Founder and Managing Partner at Glasswing Ventures. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Glasswing Ventures is an early-stage venture capital firm investing in the next generation of AI and frontier technology startups that are enabling the rise of the intelligent enterprise. They are laser-focused on funding exceptional entrepreneurs who are […]

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Pricing Your Product

Pricing the product or service is a key step in running a startup. There are four pricing strategies to choose from: 1. Premium pricing is a price at the upper end of the scale and is used to attract higher-end users. The profit margins are greater here. 2. Low-cost pricing is a price at the […]

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Investor Perspectives: Participation in the Consumer Product Goods Segment

In today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on COVID-19’s impact on the CPG sector. This is Investor Perspectives, I’m the host of Investor Connect, Hall T Martin, where we connect startups and investors for funding. It’s the time of COVID-19. The consumer product goods space is currently undergoing tremendous change across the U.S. The lockdown […]

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Customer First, Tech Second

I often see founders begin work on their startup by building out their tech platform. Customers will come later they say. I recommend starting with the customer and have them guide you through to the tech platform you need. In the early days, hire a few people to run the process manually.  As the process […]

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Investor Connect: Akhilesh Pathipati of MVM Partners

In this episode, Hall welcomes Akhilesh Pathipati, Partner at MVM Partners. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, MVM Partners has been a life science investment fund for more than 20 years and invests broadly across the healthcare sector, including medical technology, specialty pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, life science tools, and digital health. MVM has a global perspective on healthcare […]

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Sell It First, Build It Second

Most startups envision a product and then proceed to build out an MVP. After they polish it enough they may show it to a customer.   In some cases, they try and take it all the way to a finished product because they want to show completeness to a customer. A customer should be involved before […]

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Investor Perspectives: What Does the Startup Have to Do to COVID-19-Proof Their Business?

In today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on the COVID-19 impact on the SaaS sector. This is Investor Perspectives, I’m the host of Investor Connect, Hall T Martin, where we connect startups and investors for funding. It’s the time of COVID-19. Software as a Service is currently undergoing tremendous change across the U.S. The lockdown […]

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Venture Capital Method for Valuation

The Venture Capital method of valuation uses a discounted cash flow combined with a multiples-based valuation.  The valuation takes into account cash flows in a best case, medium case, and worst-case scenario. It then uses an industry multiple to set the anticipated sell price. The cash flows and exit price are discounted giving three valuations […]

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Investor Connect: Annette Finsterbusch of EnPower, Inc.

In this episode, Hall welcomes Annette Finsterbusch, President & CEO of EnPower, Inc. Headquartered in Phoenix, AZ, EnPower is focused on developing scalable, engineering-based innovations that unlock the full potential of lithium-ion, high energy density cells with their patented electrode architectures deliver 3X faster charging, 70% more power, and longer service life than today’s best […]

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Role of the CEO: Managing vs Leading

The CEO must operate in two modes: managing and leading. As a manager, the CEO must define the strategy, recruit the team, and set goals for the company.  This requires strong organizational skills. As a leader, the CEO must set the vision, motivate the team, and create a culture.  This requires having a vision, caring […]

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Investor Connect: Alex Suarez of Door Capital Partners/Suarez Law Group

In this episode, Hall welcomes Alex Suarez, Co-founder and Chief Legal Officer at Door Capital Partners, LLC and Managing Partner at Suarez Law Group.  Door Capital Partners is a private equity firm investing in hospitality assets to increase its revenue and value through efficient management and a passionate vocation to service to their guests. Suarez […]

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Building the Company Culture – Part 2

Companies with a strong culture do better with investors, customers, and employees. Building a company culture is the long game, not a short one. From the beginning, focus on instilling core values into the business. As you recruit new team members, they too will have an impact on the culture. Here are some key points […]

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Investor Connect: Krista Morgan of Stage

In this episode, Hall welcomes Krista Morgan, General Partner at Stage and founding partner of the Stage Fund. With its headquarters in Denver, Colorado, Stage makes control-based investments in businesses that have proven market traction but need a new approach and capital partner to get to the next level. Stage is a turnaround venture fund […]

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Building the Company Culture Part 1

Having a strong company culture helps the startup succeed. Customers and partners are attracted to companies with strong cultures. It guides the employees on what is important. The CEO fosters the company culture. In general, CEOs build cultures they like to work in. It’s important to hire well throughout the life of the company. The […]

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Investor Connect: Abby Levy of Primetime Partners

In this episode, Hall welcomes Abby Levy, Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Primetime Partners. With its headquarters in New York, NY, Primetime Partners are an early-stage venture capital fund that invests in, and builds from the ground up, companies that can transform the quality of living for older adults. They support the founders and organizations […]

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The Value of Confidence

An entrepreneur raising funding must demonstrate confidence.   Investors will look for someone who has confidence in their plan, their team, and themselves. Oftentimes entrepreneurs fake confidence and come off looking cocky, which is unfounded confidence. True confidence inspires others and persuades them to support the company. Investors look for this in the founder as he […]

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Investor Connect: Jake Ryan of TRADECRAFT Capital, Book Review

In this episode, Hall welcomes back Jake Ryan, founder and CIO of TRADECRAFT Capital and author of “Crypto Asset Investing in the Age of Autonomy”. “Crypto Asset Investing in the Age of Autonomy is an indispensable handbook showing new and experienced investors how established financial strategies like valuation and asset allocation apply to these new […]

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The Quantitative and Qualitative Side of Due Diligence

There’s a quantitative side and a qualitative side to due diligence. The quantitative side includes checking the list of documents in the data room to verify the accuracy of those documents.   For example, do the entity filings match what the company said they have? Do the intellectual property documents match what they claim they have? […]

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Signing NDAs in Due Diligence

Entrepreneurs are often concerned about the confidentiality of their information.  During the initial engagement with the investor, it’s not common to sign NDAs (non-disclosure agreements) as the investor is still figuring out the basics of your business. At the introductory stage, keep the discussion on the general level. As you go further with the discussion […]

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Reps and Warranties

In startup investing, investors take in information from the startup about the product, team, financials, revenue, and more. This information does change rapidly in the startup phase of the business.  One method of assuring the investor the information provided is true and accurate is for the startup to sign a Reps and Warranties contract. This […]

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Investor Connect: Ashu Garg of Foundation Capital

In this episode, Hall welcomes Ashu Garg, General Partner at Foundation Capital. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, Foundation Capital was founded in 1995. As an early-stage venture capital firm, they have lived through the emergence of the World Wide Web, the IT war of the 90s, the dot-com bubble, Web 2.0, the mobile revolution, the […]

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How to Diligence the Market

In diligencing a startup, the size of the market is a key question. The larger the market, the greater the growth potential of the startup. There’s rarely a need to pay for research as so much exists on the web. In searching the web, you’ll find research reports giving market sizes, trends, analysis, and more.   […]

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Investor Connect: Kiyan Zandiyeh of Sturgeon Capital

In this episode, Hall welcomes Kiyan Zandiyeh, CIO at Sturgeon Capital. Headquartered in London, England, Sturgeon Capital is a leading frontier markets investment boutique. Since the establishment of Fund 1 in 2016, they have made nine investments. Sturgeon Capital focuses on technology-enabled businesses that offer a product or service which solves an unserved, acute pain […]

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Successful Deal Diligence

How can an investor group make the diligence process manageable?  Here are some steps: – Standardize the diligence process – Break it down into subtasks and define the process for each task – Assign the tasks to team members – Set target dates for completion and have periodic check-ins with each team member  – Focus […]

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How to Manage the Deal Process

Tools are important for running a deal-flow process.   You’ll need tools for managing deal flow, running diligence, and tracking the portfolio.   For deal flow, there needs to be an application process for capturing the essential information and pitch deck. Examples include Proseeder, Gust, and there are others. For diligence, you need checklists to share with […]

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Investor Connect: Archie Cheishvili of GenesisAI

In this episode, Hall welcomes Archie Cheishvili, CEO of GenesisAI. With its headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, GenesisAI is a Machine Learning protocol. On top of this protocol, they are building a marketplace for AI products and services – Amazon for AI. The marketplace connects companies in need of AI services, data, and models with companies […]

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How to Lead a Deal

In early-stage investing, someone needs to take the lead and screen the deals, diligence selected ones, and negotiate the valuation with the chosen ones. In most cases, the lead investor doesn’t want to be the only one in the deal and promotes other investors to join.  This promotion process is called syndication. Most investors are […]

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Investor Perspectives: What Makes for a Successful Company in the Consumer Product Goods Segment?

In today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on COVID-19’s impact on the CPG sector. This is Investor Perspectives, I’m the host of Investor Connect, Hall T Martin, where we connect startups and investors for funding. It’s the time of COVID-19. The consumer product goods space is currently undergoing tremendous change across the U.S. The lockdown […]

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Follow-up Calls

In running a diligence process it’s important to keep track of the progress of team members. Set up frequent follow-up calls to check progress and resolve issues. Follow-up calls should be scheduled and led by the deal lead. A check-in call should take no more than 30 minutes. In the follow-up calls, make sure the […]

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Financials, Team and Domain Diligence

Hello, this is Hall T. Martin with the Startup Funding Espresso — your daily shot of startup funding and investing. There are three phases to diligence before funding a startup: 1. Documentation diligence 2. Team diligence 3. Domain diligence For documentation diligence, ask the startup for a list of key documents for diligence. The key […]

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Investor Connect: Braden Barr and Charles Reinert of PostitPlayit

In this episode, Hall welcomes Braden Barr, seed investor and Board Member at PostitPlayit, and Charles Reinert, Co-founder of PostitPlayit. Based in Dallas, Texas, PostitPlayit Inc. is a startup offering a first of its kind alternative to fantasy sports and peer-to-peer gaming. With PostitPlayit, users are able to research and pick their favorite teams, set […]

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Managing the Deal Team

In running due diligence it’s important to build a team and bring others into the process.  A deal lead should take care of gathering the initial documents so the team doesn’t stall out waiting on the startup. Assign each team member a task and include the instructions for the task. Make clear that the goal […]

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Investor Perspectives: What Is the Updated Investment Thesis for the SaaS Sector?

In today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on the COVID-19 impact on the SaaS sector. This is Investor Perspectives, I’m the host of Investor Connect, Hall T Martin, where we connect startups and investors for funding. It’s the time of COVID-19. Software as a Service is currently undergoing tremendous change across the U.S. The lockdown […]

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Moving to Close

After the diligence is complete and the open questions answered, the team must decide whether or not to invest. It’s important to identify the risks and write them out in the report. The team should articulate an investment thesis that includes the opportunity in the deal such as how big it could become.   The team […]

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How the Startup Can Lead the Deal

Startups can raise funding even without a lead investor. In this situation, the startup acts as the lead. Here are three steps to take: First, the startup must present investor-friendly terms and conditions. There should be no push back on the terms. Second, the startup must supply a due diligence package already completed. Consider adding […]

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When to Stop Following up With an Investor

Startups who find an investor expressing interest often stop their fundraise as they believe – or sometimes hope – this will be the one who completes the rest of their raise. I tell entrepreneurs to continue the fundraise effort until the funds are in the bank account. I’ve seen deals blow up on the 1-yard […]

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Investor Connect: Adam Smith of Big Sky Partners

In this episode, Hall welcomes R. Adam Smith, Founder & CEO of Big Sky Partners. Headquartered in New York City, New York, Big Sky Partners collaborates with companies and their brands to develop, grow, and maximize their potential. Through expert advice and extensive networks, Big Sky Partners helps clients to build brands and businesses that […]

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Stages of the Deal Process

A startup investment goes through a series of stages. It starts with the pitch presentation in which the startup introduces the deal to the investors. Then there’s the first follow-up meeting in which the investors dig into the deal to learn the details. Investors want to think about it and also want to see the […]

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Investor Perspectives: Growth & the Primary Trend in the Functional Beverage Segment

In today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on COVID-19’s impact on the CPG sector. This is Investor Perspectives, I’m the host of Investor Connect, Hall T Martin, where we connect startups and investors for funding. It’s the time of COVID-19. The consumer product goods space is currently undergoing tremendous change across the U.S. The lockdown […]

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Signing NDAs With Investors (When and Why)

I’ve had startups approach me and give me one or two lines about their startup. When I start to ask questions, they say they can’t tell me anything more without signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement or NDA. I often find this puzzling, as investors don’t sign NDAs to find out what the startup business is.   They […]

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Investor Connect: Alpesh Patel, Global Entrepreneur Program, Department for International Trade (UK)

In this episode, Hall welcomes Alpesh Patel, part of the Global Entrepreneur Program (GEP) at the Department for International Trade in the UK. The UK Government’s Department for International Trade has under it the Global Entrepreneur Programme (GEP). In it, Dealmakers are business people who make deals with overseas outstanding tech scale-up companies to land […]

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Diligence Report

In running a deal follow-up process, you’ll need to create a diligence report. Here are some key points to consider: – Start with a template that lists the required information. – Include instructions in the original template for the team members to follow. – You may be cycling through many members so you should write […]

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Investor Perspectives: What New Applications Within the SaaS Sector Will We See Come Up?

In today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on the COVID-19 impact on the SaaS sector. This is Investor Perspectives, I’m the host of Investor Connect, Hall T Martin, where we connect startups and investors for funding. It’s the time of COVID-19. Software as a Service is currently undergoing tremendous change across the U.S. The lockdown […]

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How to Craft a Good Startup Story

To pitch an investor, you’ll need a carefully crafted startup story.  Just any old story won’t do.  Tell the story in your own words as if you’re talking with a friend at a bar. Show how the story is relevant to those in the audience, something everyone can relate to. Keep the story simple.  It […]

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Five Key Elements to a Startup Story: The Plot

There are five key elements to a startup story. Today we’ll talk about the Plot. After you establish the theme, hero, mission, and obstacle, you can start working on your plot. The plot is a series of events that leads to achieving the mission. Plots can be set up in several ways and choosing the […]

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Investor Connect: Ford Smith of Ultranative

In this episode, Hall welcomes back Ford Smith, Founder & CEO of Ultranative. Ultranative is the ultra level of alternative medicine. Ultranative is a cannabis investment firm with over 5 years of industry-specific experience. They are a venture studio focused on transformative healthcare and empower healers and entrepreneurs to innovate, disrupt, and scale in their […]

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Five Key Elements to a Startup Story: The Mission

There are five key elements to a startup story.    The Mission is the job to be done.  It’s the goal of the hero both now and beyond the story. For your startup story, focus on what the CEO is trying to accomplish and how he plans to solve it. Outline how hard the problem is […]

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Investor Perspectives: Which SaaS Sub-Sectors Are Seeing the Most Change Both Positively and Negatively?

In today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on the COVID-19 impact on the SaaS sector. This is Investor Perspectives, I’m the host of Investor Connect, Hall T Martin, where we connect startups and investors for funding. It’s the time of COVID-19. Software as a Service is currently undergoing tremendous change across the U.S. The lockdown […]

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Five Key Elements to a Startup Story: The Hero

There are five key elements to a startup story. The hero is the character whose journey the audience cares about the most.  In a startup fundraise story, this is the CEO. Most heroes are trusty and likable.   The audience empathizes with them in some way. Your story should focus on the hero and not just […]

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Investor Connect: Harold Lavender of ABQid@CNM Ingenuity

In this episode, Hall welcomes Harold Lavender, Director of Finance & Business Development at ABQid@CNM Ingenuity. ABQid, powered by CNM Ingenuity, is devoted to helping high-growth startups access the knowledge, resources, and connections they need to prosper. ABQid is a curriculum-based, investor-funded accelerator program focused on investor ROI and creating great scalable companies. Their efforts […]

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Investor Perspectives: How COVID-19 Accelerated the SaaS Sector

In today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on the COVID-19 impact on the SaaS sector. This is Investor Perspectives, I’m the host of Investor Connect, Hall T Martin, where we connect startups and investors for funding. It’s the time of COVID-19. Software as a Service is currently undergoing tremendous change across the U.S. The lockdown […]

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Five Key Elements to a Startup Story: Purpose

Your story is a critical part of your fundraise pitch. There are five key elements to a startup story.   The first is your theme or purpose. This comes from what inspired your startup. There’s something about the world that you want to change so you started the company to fix it. Next, connect your theme […]

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Five Key Elements to a Startup Story: The Obstacle

There are five key elements to a startup story. Today we’ll talk about the obstacle. The obstacle stands between the hero and the goal. All good stories have a conflict that must be overcome.   Obstacles could be competitors, lack of knowledge, regulations, and more. The obstacle creates tension which holds the audience’s attention and helps […]

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Investor Perspectives on Healthcare Trends: Eyal Lifschitz of Peregrine Ventures

This is Investor Perspectives. I’m the host of Investor Connect, Hall T Martin, where we connect startups and investors for funding. In today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on healthcare trends, post-COVID-19. COVID-19 has changed the landscape for startups giving us a new normal. During the pandemic, it became clear the need for changes in […]

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Three Key Stories to Tell for Your Startup

There are three stories every startup should be able to tell to investors.  The first is your origin story which tells why you started the business to begin with and how you got to where you are today.   This story answers the question, “Why are you doing this?” which usually comes from the storyline, “I […]

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Investor Connect: Ben Marans of Decko

In this episode, Hall welcomes Ben Marans, Partner at DECKO.  DECKO designs your presentation (s) to ensure investors and/or customers see the most important information upfront and remain engaged. DECKO works with you to tell your company’s story + make your metrics shine to investors and/or customers, captivating them quickly and leaving them excited to […]

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How Does Due Diligence Differ Between Angels and VCs?

How does due diligence vary between angels and venture capitalists? At a high level, the diligence is the same between angels and VCs. They both look for a good team, a strong market, and a quality product.  At a detailed level, the angels who come in earlier than many VCs will look at a deal […]

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Investor Perspectives: The Initial Impact of COVID-19 on Healthcare

In today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on the COVID-19 impact on the healthcare market. This is Investor Perspectives, I’m the host of Investor Connect, Hall T Martin, where we connect startups and investors for funding. It’s the time of COVID-19. Healthcare is currently undergoing tremendous change across the U.S. The lockdown has put the […]

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Investor Connect: Anne Glover of Amadeus Capital Partners

In this episode, Hall welcomes Anne Glover, Chief Executive and Co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners. Amadeus Capital Partners is a global technology investor. Since 1997, the firm has backed more than 130 companies and raised over $1bn for investment. They invest in consumer services, financial technology, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, medical technology, digital health, and digital […]

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Five Questions to Reach the Answer

In talking with startups, I find the investor must always probe for the final answer. A single question rarely reveals the full answer. I spoke with a startup recently who said, “We’re raising a million dollars and we have raised half of it already.” On the surface, it sounded like they had $500K invested in […]

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Investor Connect: Jane Zhang of Remmie

In this episode, Hall welcomes Jane Zhang Ph.D., Founder & CEO of Remmie. Remmie Health is a medical technology startup targeting the most common reason for a sick child visit – otitis media (ear infection), with 16 million episodes per year in the U.S. alone. Remmie’s first product is an at-home smart otoscope that enables […]

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Going Through Due Diligence

After an investor expresses interest in funding your deal, the first question to ask is, “What is your diligence process?”. While most diligence processes follow the same format of document review and analysis with follow-up questions, each investor has their own start time, timeframe of work, and specific documents they look for. It’s best to […]

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Own It

In raising funding just as in running your business, investors look to see if you own it. Do you own the challenging problems, or do you avoid them? Do you own the core business, or do you delegate it to someone else? Do you abide by the contracts you sign, or do you try and […]

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Investor Connect: Bob Morse of Strattam Capital

In this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes Bob Morse, Founding Managing Partner at Strattam Capital. Strattam Capital invests in founder-led independent B2B software and technology companies outside of Silicon Valley. They believe in aligning with founders and CEOs before signing, via their 5-Point Plan process to allow execution with purpose, excitement, and efficiency. Headquartered […]

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What’s Your Trigger for Fundraising?

In launching your startup, look for a trigger that indicates when to start a fundraise campaign. Common triggers include: – Closing a lighthouse customer account or achieving a revenue target. – Signing up a new team member or advisor. – Finishing a beta version of your software or an MVP version of your product. – […]

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Investor Perspectives: Impact of COVID-19 on the Healthcare Market, Updated Investment Thesis

In today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on the COVID-19 impact on the healthcare market. This is Investor Perspectives, I’m the host of Investor Connect, Hall T Martin, where we connect startups and investors for funding. It’s the time of COVID-19. Healthcare is currently undergoing tremendous change across the U.S. The lockdown has put the […]

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How to Pitch the Deal to the Investor

In pitching your deal to an investor, it helps to know your investor first. What type of investor are they — angel, family office, high net worth, or venture capital? What is their investment thesis? Are they swinging for the fences, or do they want to make a series of doubles and triples? In your […]

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Investor Connect: Bryan Hancock of RealStarter

In this episode, Hall welcomes Bryan Hancock, Founder of RealStarter. Founded in 2014, RealStarter is a real estate crowdfunding platform focused on Texas-based projects, but open to investors all over the U.S.  Bryan has participated in real estate ventures for over 14 years, including 7 years as a developer of over 50 Austin urban infill […]

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The Challenge of Seed, Series A, and Series B Fundraising

In raising funding, the challenge for each round of the raise is different.  At the seed round, the challenge is to convince the investor you can sell the product. At this stage, investors look for evidence that you can build and sell the product to customers.  Customer interactions are important because it demonstrates to investors […]

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Investor Perspectives: Impact of COVID-19 on the Healthcare Market & COVID-19-Proofing Your Business

In today’s show, you’ll hear investor perspectives on the COVID-19 impact on the healthcare market. This is Investor Perspectives, I’m the host of Investor Connect, Hall T Martin, where we connect startups and investors for funding. It’s the time of COVID-19. Healthcare is currently undergoing tremendous change across the U.S. The lockdown has put the […]

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Climbing the Valuation Wall

Negotiating the valuation of a startup between the CEO and the investors is a major step in funding. An equity terms sheet requires coming to an agreement on the valuation which determines how much ownership is given to the investor. Both startup and investor must now ‘climb the valuation wall.’ Be prepared for the ensuing […]

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Investor Connect: John B. Strong, angel investor

In this episode of Investor Connect, Hall welcomes John B. Strong, an Albuquerque angel investor.   John B. Strong is known throughout the technology industry as a passionate leader, entrepreneur, and innovator and admired for his exacting tactical execution to get startup companies up and running. He’s currently the Chief Executive Officer at Adaptive Medias, Inc., […]

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The Role of Humility

Humility plays an important role in your fundraise. Startups demonstrating arrogance and hubris are discounted quickly by investors. It’s not only a sign of disrespect, but also a sign of disregard for the future. Who knows what tomorrow will bring and who you will need? Both startups and investors need to keep the community in […]

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Investor Connect: Matthew Le Merle, co-author, “The Intelligent Investor: Silicon Valley”

In this episode, Hall welcomes back Matthew Le Merle, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Fifth Era and Keiretsu Capital to discuss early-stage investing and “The Intelligent Investor: Silicon Valley”,  a book Matthew and his wife Alison Davis have just authored. Matthew is a manager of Blockchain Coinvestors, the world’s leading blockchain venture fund of funds […]

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Are You Fundable Yet?

I talk with entrepreneurs every day about their fundraise. The most common question from the early-stage startup is, “Am I fundable?” The first question to ask is, “Do you have a growth story?”. Are things clicking forward on sales, team, and product development? I believe the prospective customer should be involved at every step and […]

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How to Prepare to Meet With a Prospective Investor

Hello, this is Hall T. Martin with the Startup Funding Espresso — your daily shot of startup funding and investing. In meeting with a prospective investor, come prepared to discuss the following: –  Sales — ALWAYS have something to say about customer interactions. Even at the pre-revenue stage, talk about prospective customers and their reaction […]

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Investor Connect: Bernard Vogel of Endeavour Vision

In this episode, Hall welcomes Bernard Vogel, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Endeavour Vision. Endeavour Vision is a leading private equity firm exclusively investing in medical technology. This singular focus requires deep sector knowledge and experience, so their team is made up of industry veterans and investment professionals who are experts in the medtech sector. […]

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Smart Money

In startup fundraising, there’s money and then there’s smart money. Smart money is an investor that can help your business beyond the dollars applied. A few questions will help identify smart money: 1. Can the investor help you in your specific industry segment? 2. Can the investor help you find additional funding? 3. Can the […]

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Investor Connect: Brandon Knicely of Xcite

In this episode, Hall welcomes Brandon Knicely, CEO of Xcite.  Recently headquartered in Austin, Texas, Xcite is a gamified engagement platform in pro sports and conferences that engages and monetizes online events. They are the only enterprise-class platform empowering both mobile apps and within a browser experience. It is a big data platform with AI […]

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