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Lateral Thinking

Lateral Thinking Lateral thinking is solving problems using an indirect and creative approach via reasoning that is not immediately obvious according to Wikipedia. In your startup ideation process consider using lateral thinking. Here are some steps to implement it: Come up with a random word and apply it to the problem you are solving.  This […]

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Lead Users in Ideation

Lead Users in Ideation Lead users are the early pioneers looking to solve a problem. They face problems that need to be solved in advance of the general market providing a solution. Lead users start well ahead of the mainstream market so they create their own solutions. They can be a great source of inspiration […]

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Brainstorming in Ideation

Brainstorming in Ideation Brainstorming can be an effective tool in the ideation phase of a startup. It works best when focused on the right elements. The startup exists to solve a customer problem. Here are some steps to consider for your brainstorming in the ideation phase: Start with a list of customer pain points. Make […]

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Key Mental Models for Ideation

Key Mental Models for Ideation There are several approaches to ideation for a startup. Consider these mental models for your ideation: Solving a customer problem — focus on reducing the cost or increasing the convenience of the solution. Transfer a solution — this takes a solution from one industry and applies it to another. Disruption […]

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Startups Are Not Big Companies

Startups Are Not Big Companies Big companies are those who have found product-market fit and have encapsulated their repeatable and scalable business model into processes. Big companies who want to achieve innovation will find that they are not startups. Startup ideation creates new ideas that disrupt those existing processes. New business models, products, and concepts […]

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What Is Ideation for Startups?

What Is Ideation for Startups? Ideation is a thought process that takes conceptual ideas into implementation.   Founders launching a new startup go through the ideation process to generate the concept for the business. Ideation comes from the current knowledge of the problem to be solved molded by principles and convictions.  Ideation often comes from brainstorming […]

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How to Use Ideation in a Startup

How to Use Ideation in a Startup Ideation is a key stage in the startup process of developing a product or service. Founders use it to question the obvious and come up with a new solution. To pursue ideation in your startup, consider the following: Generate many ideas whether they are workable or not. Set […]

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Criteria for a Good Idea

Criteria for a Good Idea In ideating for a new product, there will be many ideas. Up front consider all ideas and then qualify each one. To judge the ideas consider the following: Put yourself in the place of a customer and ask if you would buy that product. Good ideas come from solving a […]

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Disrupt or Create

Disrupt or Create In ideating a new startup you can either disrupt an existing market or create a new one.   In disrupting an existing market consider the following: Move the transaction and delivery of the product online. Online capabilities generate network effects. One can create data sets and include fintech payments as part of the […]

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Signs of a Bad Startup Idea

Signs of a Bad Startup Idea In reviewing startup ideas for your business here is a list of signs pointing to bad ideas: You know absolutely nothing about the market, product, or community. While great startups come out of new domains, it’s helpful to have some experience with the space. You spread yourself across too […]

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Screening Startup Ideas

Screening Startup Ideas In reviewing startup ideas here is a list to screen them: Are you excited about the idea or just okay with it? You should have some sense of excitement about it. Does anyone else think it’s a good idea? It helps to have some validation from others, especially those on your team. […]

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Testing Your Ideas at Low Cost

Testing Your Ideas at Low Cost It’s important to validate your startup ideas. Here’s a list of low-cost methods to do so: Search the web for competitive solutions. Look at how they are positioned in the market relative to your idea. Do any of those solutions have recurring revenue? Research those competitors to learn more. […]

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The Acid Test of Startup Ideation

The Acid Test of Startup Ideation It’s easy to generate startup ideas. It takes work to research and validate them. Once you qualify an idea apply the acid test to it. The acid test is can you set up a repeatable process for generating revenue with it. Create a low-cost, simple version of the product […]

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Identify Your Startup Idea Advantages

Identify Your Startup Idea Advantages In validating your startup idea look for these advantages: Does your idea resonate with the potential buyer? Your buyers should be excited about it when you tell them. Is your idea perceived to be better than the competition? Buyers should see the advantages right off the bat without too much […]

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Start With the Problem

Start With the Problem Good startup ideas don’t come by looking for startup ideas. They come when you find yourself saying “that’s interesting” as you notice someone trying to solve a problem. To generate ideas for a startup, start with the problem to be solved. Choose a problem you have so you avoid the mistake […]

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Where to Focus Your Startup Ideas

Where to Focus Your Startup Ideas In searching for startup ideas here are some key points to consider: Start with a current solution to the problem you want to solve. Don’t change everything but instead only change one or a few things. Focus on one or two innovations such as the business model, the platform, […]

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Questions to Test Your Startup Idea

Questions to Test Your Startup Ideas After startup ideation comes to the testing phase. It’s important to test your startup idea with these questions: How many people need your solution? Is that enough people to make the business work? Consider how many customers you need at your chosen price point to make the business model […]

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Tracking Your Startup Ideation Progress

Tracking Your Startup Ideation Progress It’s important to track your progress in startup ideation. Metrics should be used from the very beginning to measure your progress. Here are some steps to take: Track the number of customers contacted and provided feedback. Measure the number of customers who try out the product.  Capture the amount of […]

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Signs of a Great Startup Idea

Signs of a Great Startup Idea In reviewing startup ideas for your business here is a list of signs pointing to good ones: 1. Growth — there’s a growing market around it. 2. Broad-based — a lot of people have the problem you are trying to solve. 3. Urgent — people need to solve the […]

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The False Pretenders

The False Pretenders Emerging technology markets bring several challenges to the investor. These markets are new and cutting edge but are also immature, unevenly distributed, and opaque. In the early days, it’s not clear what the real winner will look like. In many emerging markets, the false pretender precedes the winning solution. In the 1990s, […]

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Portfolio Tracking

Portfolio Tracking In running a VC fund, you’ll need to set up a system for portfolio management. You’ll need to provide quarterly and annual reports to the Limited Partners, so it’s important to set up a system for tracking the investments. Select a portfolio management tool that generates basic metrics such as IRR. For VC […]

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How to Find Startup Ideas

How to Find Startup Ideas There are several ways to find startup ideas. Here are three methods to consider for your ideation efforts: Look to the future and ask yourself the following questions: How are people changing? What long-term problems do they have to deal with? How have values shifted over time?  How has technology […]

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Impact Investing Metrics

Impact Investing Metrics Many VC funds have impact investing as a part of the investment thesis. Impact investing takes into account the social impact of the fund in addition to the financial return. For impact investing, include metrics showing the impact of each investment. There are several ways to measure impact. For startups in well-defined […]

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How Startup Ideation Works

How Startup Ideation Works Startup ideation is a key step to building a successful company. Here are the key steps to generate good startup ideas: Surround yourself with people who have a feel for the trends and what’s coming next. Look for disruptive innovations in technology. Follow platforms and applications that are gaining wide adoption. […]

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Key Performance Metrics

Key Performance Metrics In running a fund, you’ll need to track key performance metrics. Metrics should cover performance at all levels, including individual investments, the overall fund, and how it compares to other VC funds.  Investors will want to see the numbers at all levels, including the following: Fund’s investment cost and current valuation. Total […]

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Cost of Running a Fund

Cost of Running a Fund In running a VC fund, there will be costs to cover.  Here’s a list of key costs to include in your pro forma: 1. Salaries for the partners and other employees. 2. Benefits for the partners and employees. 3. Office rent and related expenses such as utilities. 4. Legal and […]

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Investment Returns on a VC Fund

Investment Returns on a VC Fund In a VC fund, limited partners look for greater returns. The risks are higher, and the hold times are much longer, so LPs look for better returns than the stock market. In general, they look for a 10-20% IRR better than the market index. Historically, top VC funds have […]

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Compensation

Compensation In setting up a VC fund, you’ll need to determine compensation for the partners and team members. Most funds use the 2% management fee with a 20% carry model. This means 2% of the funds raised will be used for salaries, along with 20% of any of the profits. In a $100M fund, $20M […]

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How Many Partners?

How Many Partners? In setting up a VC fund, it’s important to select the right number of general partners for the fund. Most funds have at least two partners to provide the necessary skills. Some funds have one founding partner and then several venture partners to help. Funds under $50M can afford only one partner […]

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Fund Managing Skills

Fund Managing Skills In choosing a manager for a VC fund, look for the following skills: Ability to raise funding from Limited Partners. This means the manager has a network of potential investors and knows how to pitch. Access to quality deal flow and the ability to vet potential investments. This means the manager knows […]

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Conflicts of Interest

Conflicts of Interest In setting up a VC fund, beware of conflicts of interest. Funds associated with other groups such as universities, accelerators, or incubators may find a conflict with other funding activities in that group. These groups are often focused on helping the startup launch. This leads to funding startups that may not qualify […]

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Communicating With LPs

Communicating With LPs In launching a VC fund, you’ll need to set up ongoing communication with the Limited Partners called LPs. It starts with setting expectations for the returns on the fund.   In many cases, it’s 20% to 30% per year, with most funds returning capital in years 7 to 10. For ongoing communications about […]

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Sourcing Deal Flow for the Fund

Sourcing Deal Flow for the Fund In running a VC fund, you’ll need to set up deal flow sources and run screening processes. First, set up three to five quality deal flow sources that provide a consistent flow of startups to review. Maintain those relationships and provide feedback to the deal flow source about what […]

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Team Skills Required

Team Skills Required In setting up your VC fund, you’ll need to build a team that can make it successful. Here are the critical skills required: 1. Business expertise and knowledge of the industry. 2. Basic finance related to startup investing. 3. Sales and marketing as it relates to startups.  4. Knowledge of the current […]

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Designing the Fund

Designing the Fund In setting up your VC Fund, you’ll need to consider the structure and philosophy behind it. Here are some key points to determine: 1. The fee structure and how it relates to the current market rates. 2. The size of the fund and the general partners’ investment amount. 3. The number of […]

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Fund Reporting

Fund Reporting In setting up your VC Fund, you’ll need legal and accounting support. Look for providers who have done the work before and bring experience to the project. You don’t want to pay people to learn on the job. You’ll need legal support to set up the fund documents. You’ll also need legal in […]

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Accounting and Governance

Accounting and Governance There are specific rules for the governance of a VC Fund. The limited partners must be accredited investors. There can be no more than 99 investors in the fund. There can be no “bad actors” in the fund.  Venture funds are different from companies in that they are partnerships. For accounting, fund […]

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How to Track and Report Results

How to Track and Report Results In running an angel group, it’s important to capture and report the investment results to the members. Here are some key points to consider: 1. Capture the investments made into a portfolio management system, so everything is in one place. 2. Keep the system up to date with all […]

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How to Manage the Diligence Teams

How to Manage the Diligence Teams In running an angel group, managing the diligence process is key to successfully funding deals.  Here are some points to consider in managing the diligence process: Write out the diligence process for others to use and include templates and key questions to answer. Setup a standard diligence process schedule […]

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VC Fund Core Documents

VC Fund Core Documents In raising a fund, you’ll need to set up the legal documents that define how and when the limited partners provide the funds, what the fund manager will do with those funds, and how they will return the funds back to the limited partners.  Here are some key details to include […]

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Investing in Startups

Startup Boards — Investing in Startups There’s an old angel saying, “Angels like to have a little fun, do a little good, and make a little money.” Investing is more than just about money. I’ve found my successful investments covered all three of the elements of the old angel saying. It was fun. The people […]

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3X in 3 Terms Sheets

Startup Boards — 3X in 3 Terms Sheets The biggest challenge in investing in startups is finding the exit.   Time value of money is important and should be part of your return metrics. Startup investors look for a 44% IRR.   IRR is Internal Rate of Return and represents the return on investment with respect to […]

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Foundation for Startup Investing

Startup Boards — Foundation for Startup Investing Startup investing is a risky business. Not all the investments will work out.   Know your risk tolerance and how much risk you want to take.   Most investors allocate 3 to 10 percent of their investments into startup investing. Allocate a specific amount of funding for your investments. You […]

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Becoming an Angel Investor

Startup Boards — Becoming an Angel Investor For those who want to become an angel investor to fund startups, here are some key steps: Meet accredited investor requirements. You must meet the SEC criteria for accredited investors. You can see the specifics on the SEC website. In short, you must have a $1M net worth, […]

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Where Does the Angel Play?

Where Does the Angel Play? So, what startups do angel investors pursue? Angel investors invest in high-growth startups, most often tech-enabled. Restaurants, retail, and service businesses are not necessarily a fit for angel investors. Angels seek a return on investment in the range of 44% IRR. While some angels are looking for home runs, most […]

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Startup Investor Skills — Managing the Portfolio

Startup Boards — Startup Investor Skills — Managing the Portfolio Startup investors need to hone their skills in order to succeed over the long run. Key skills include:  1. Evaluating teams. 2. Assessing products and markets. 3. Accessing financial capital not only for the current round of funding but for later stages. 4. Managing a […]

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Startup Investor Skills — Accessing Financial Capital

Startup Boards — Startup Investor Skills — Accessing Financial Capital Startup investors need to hone their skills in order to succeed over the long run. Key skills include: 1. Evaluating teams. 2. Assessing products and markets. 3. Accessing financial capital not only for the current round of funding but for later stages. 4. Managing a […]

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Startup Investor Skills — Evaluating the Product & Markets

Startup Investor Skills — Evaluating the Product & Markets Startup investors need to hone their skills in order to succeed over the long run. Key skills include:  1. Evaluating teams. 2. Assessing products and markets. 3. Accessing financial capital not only for the current round of funding but for later stages. 4. Managing a portfolio […]

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Startup Investor Skills — Evaluating the Team

Startup Boards — Startup Investor Skills — Evaluating the Team Startup investors need to hone their skills in order to succeed over the long run. Key skills include:  1. Evaluating teams. 2. Assessing products and markets. 3. Accessing financial capital, not only for the current round of funding but for later stages. 4. Managing a […]

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3X in 3 Term Sheet Walkthrough

Startup Boards — 3X in 3 Term Sheet Walkthrough The TEN Capital Early Exit term sheet includes a 3X redemption right, giving the investor the sole discretion over their right to 3X their investment at the three-year mark from the date of the investment.  A redemption right gives the investor or startup a right to […]

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How to Perform Diligence in a Group

Startup Boards — How to Perform Diligence in a Group In performing due diligence in a group of investors, it helps to assign roles and responsibilities. There are three phases to diligence: 1. Documentation diligence 2. Team diligence 3. Domain diligence The lead investor should take the three steps and assign each of these to […]

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Startup Boards – Know Your Why

Startup Boards — Know Your Why For startup investing, it’s important to know why you are investing beyond the monetary gain.  There’s an old saying among angel investors: “Angel investors want to make a little money, do a little good, and have a little fun.”   Successful investors, I know, not only want to make a […]

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Building Your Entrepreneur Ecosystem

Startup Boards — Building Your Entrepreneur Ecosystem I have found a number of investors want to build their entrepreneurial community as part of their investment thesis.   The most common lament from a startup investor is, ‘I invested my available funds and must wait ’til I see something return before investing more.’ This makes it difficult […]

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Early Exit FAQ

Startup Boards — Early Exit FAQ It’s easy to get into a startup investment, but it can be hard to get out.  An Early Exit deal structure gives the investor a way out. The TEN structure uses redemption rights. What is a Redemption Right, and how does it work? A Redemption Right gives the investor […]

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Why Use an Early Exit Deal Structure

Startup Boards — Why Use an Early Exit Deal Structure In startup funding, 65% of the investments after three years are still in business but are no longer on the venture track.  In most cases, they are growing businesses but are not going to be bought out for a significant return to the investor. The […]

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Early Exit Deal Structure

Startup Boards — Early Exit Deal Structure Investing in startups is risky. One way to reduce the risk is to define the exit.  TEN Capital’s Early Exit term sheet is a convertible note with a 3X in 3-year redemption right at ‘investor sole discretion’ to provide the investor an option for an early exit.  The […]

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Diligence Process – Domain

Startup Boards — Diligence Process – Team Before investing in a startup, it’s important to review the diligence documents, so you understand the business.  There are three phases to diligence: 1. Documentation diligence 2. Team diligence 3. Domain diligence Domain diligence is an important part.  Check the industry to see the conditions in which it […]

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Diligence Process – Team

Startup Boards — Diligence Process – Team Before investing in a startup, it’s important to review the diligence documents, so you understand the business.  There are three phases to diligence: 1. Documentation diligence 2. Team diligence 3. Domain diligence Team diligence is the most critical part.   Gather references for the CEO and call them up […]

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Diligence Process – Documentation

Startup Boards — Diligence Process – Documentation Before investing in a startup, it’s important to review the diligence documents, so you understand the business.  There are three phases to diligence: 1. Documentation diligence 2. Team diligence 3. Domain diligence For Documentation diligence, ask the startup for a list of key documents.  If it’s not in […]

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The Diligence Process

Startup Boards — Diligence Process For startup investing, it’s important to have a diligence process. In most cases, you’ll sign a term sheet with funding contingent on passing due diligence. It helps to tell the company about your diligence process, such as what documents are required, what steps you perform, and how long it typically […]

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Allocate Funds

Startup Boards — Allocate Funds In preparing for Startup investing, you should determine up front how much you are going to invest.  In general, it’s best to keep your startup investing to 3-5% of your discretionary investment funds.   These are funds you can lose and not impact your lifestyle or other investments.   Determine in advance […]

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Deal Flow Sources

Startup Boards — Deal Flow Sources For finding startups to invest in, set up a number of sources that fit your investment thesis. Track each deal that fits your requirements.   In general, you should spend some time networking with startups and investors to stay connected. Use your network of contacts to find deals. Join an […]

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Investment Thesis

Startup Boards — Investment Thesis In startup investing, you should have an investment thesis, which is what you invest in and why it will be successful. Here’s how you build your investment thesis if you haven’t done so already: Step one Look at 50 deals and write down what you like and don’t about each […]

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How to Find Deal Flow

How to Find Deal Flow In running an angel group, you’ll need to set up deal-flow sources to provide quality deals to the members. Here are some sources to consider: Ping the members of the group regularly for deals they recommend. Avoid the ones in which they say, “I’m not interested, but perhaps others are.” […]

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How to Recruit Members

How to Recruit Members In running an angel group, it’s important to recruit new members. The first step is to showcase the deals you have to prospective investors to see if they find them interesting. You can send them recently-funded deals so the prospective investor can see the types of deals your group offers. You […]

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Branding for Your Group

Branding for Your Group In running an angel network, it’s important to establish a brand for the group and promote it. A brand makes your group look bigger.   There are many funding sources in the market, and a brand helps your group stand out from the crowd. A brand helps build trust.   It is the […]

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Portfolio Analysis

Portfolio Analysis In running an angel network, it’s important to provide ongoing portfolio analysis for the members. Investors want to know how their current investments are doing. They also need to keep track of their current investments by sector and stage to allocate the remaining funds appropriately. In selecting the type of companies you can […]

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Best Practices for Running an Angel Network

Best Practices for Running an Angel Network For running an angel group, here are some best practices to consider: 1. Build processes and programs. The second time you say something put it into an email template, a procedure document, or a website and make it a part of your program. 2. Create an ideal investor […]

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Fundraising Challenge for a Benefit Corp

Fundraising Challenge for a Benefit Corp  There are many challenges in fundraising for a benefit corp. Here is a list of challenges: Because your company must demonstrate a public benefit, you must first set up a business that provides the benefit and can show the measured result. Many social impact sectors provide tight margins to […]

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How Angel Investors Engage Impact Investing

How Angel Investors Engage Impact Investing Angel investors fill the gap between family-and-friends funding and institutional funding. They engage with impact startups in several ways: They fund startups with early-stage capital to launch the business.  They provide mentorship to the startup founders to help the company. Some angels work as advisors providing services such as […]

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What Is a Benefits Corporation?

What Is a Benefits Corporation? A Benefits Corporation is a legal entity that is set up to provide a public benefit. The company using this entity must commit to producing a public benefit. The board of directors must consider the consequences of its decisions on the community. The company must provide a report on its […]

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Impact Investment Thesis

Impact Investment Thesis An investment thesis states what you will invest in, why it will be successful, and what outcome you anticipate.  It’s important to determine your investment thesis for impact investing. Here are some guidelines: Impact investing proposes to invest in innovative companies that seek to change the world. This change takes place in […]

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What Is Esg?

What Is Esg? ESG stands for environmental, social, and governance, and represents the area of focus for socially responsible investors.  This is often referred to as sustainable investing. ESG investing incorporates environmental, social, and governance factors as it relates to the mission of the business.  It’s a set of standards for company operations that come […]

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17 Sustainable Development Goals

17 Sustainable Development Goals Impact investing focuses on social and environmental causes. The United Nations provides 17 sustainable development goals which serve as the basis for impact investing as follows: 1. No poverty 2. Zero hunger 3. Good health and well-being 4. Quality education 5. Gender equality 6. Clean water and sanitation 7. Affordable and […]

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Investor Motivations for Impact Investing

Investor Motivations for Impact Investing Investors fund impact startups. Here’s a list of the primary reasons: The startup furthers social and environmental causes that align with the investor. Investors want to see their investment do more than just generate a return. The startup shows strong growth potential and targets a large market. Investors want to […]

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Indicators of a Successful Impact Investment

Indicators of a Successful Impact Investment Impact investing seeks to fund startups with social or environmental benefits. Those running impact companies must do so with the intention of providing a social or environmental impact with a measured result. The investment must provide a benefit that is more than what would have occurred otherwise.    This is […]

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How to Measure Impact

How to Measure Impact Impact startups provide not only a product or service but also a social or environmental impact. Impact startups need to know how to measure their impact in addition to their financial return. Here are some ways to measure it: The startup could measure the impact for each unit sold. This works […]

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How to Find Impact Investors

How to Find Impact Investors Impact investing continues to expand in scope. It covers many industries, including clean energy, food, education, healthcare, housing, clean water, and more. For startups looking for impact investors, here are some key steps: Determine your area of impact. This is important as many investors focus on specific industries and it […]

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Using Donor-Advised Funds for Impact Investing

Startup Boards — Using Donor-Advised Funds for Impact Investing Donor-Advised Funds (DAF) are funds you set up with your brokerage firm to make tax-deductible contributions to foundations and non-profit organizations you want to support.   You receive the tax deduction when you transfer money into your Donor-Advised Fund.  The funds continue to grow through investments you […]

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Impact Measurements

Startup Boards — Impact Measurements Impact is in the eye of the beholder.  What impact you see, may not be shared with the investor or company you are working with. You must measure your impact. There are several systems you can use, such as: GIIRS — stands for Global Impact Investing Rating System. It rates […]

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Primary vs. Secondary Impact Investing

Startup Boards —  Primary vs. Secondary Impact Investing In impact investing, there is primary impact and secondary impact. Primary impact comes from the company pursuing its mission.   You measure it based on the effect the business has on the cause it supports. For example, how many students improved their scores. Secondary impact measures how the […]

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The Challenge of Impact Investing

The Challenge of Impact Investing Impact investing seeks to make the world a better place through its investments. As with all investing, it comes with its own challenges. Most impact investments underperform the market.  The focus on providing social or environmental benefits degrades the financial return. Some researchers claim that impact investing receiving market returns […]

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Impact Metrics

Startup Boards — Impact Metrics In raising funding, you need to show your metrics.   Startups in the impact space should also show their impact metrics, as investors will look for your results there.  A common mistake by impact companies is to focus on the size of the market to be served and the needs in […]

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Key Terms in Impact Investing

Key Terms in Impact Investing There are key terms used in the impact investing world.   Here is a list of the ones to know: 1. Below market rate — an impact investment made with the expectation that the financial return will be less than the market rate of a startup’s investment. 2. Charitable purpose — […]

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What Is Impact Investing?

What Is Impact Investing? Impact investing is an investment in startups that can generate a social or environmental impact in addition to a financial return.   It can be done anywhere and at any stage of business. Impact investing includes not only angel investors, but also family offices, pension funds, wealth managers, foundations, and religious institutions.  […]

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Venture Fund Defaults

Venture Fund Defaults  In a market recession, it’s often the case that limited partners – called LPs – are unable to fulfill their capital commitments to venture funds.  For venture funds encountering this issue, the first step is to open a dialog with the LPs about the capital needs and the LP’s ability to provide […]

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Payback Period for the Product

Payback Period for the Product Investors look for strong margins on a startup’s product as it’s a positive indicator of customer interest and a profitable business.  One way to metric this is the payback period for your product.  It’s the amount of time it takes for a customer to repay the cost of customer acquisition.  […]

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How to Improve Your Valuation

How to Improve Your Valuation Valuation is a negotiation and not just a formula. Here are some key points to improve your valuation: Highlight the team and their contributions to the business. The team is often no more than one slide in the deck and rarely does their value come across to investors aside from […]

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Using Metrics in Your Valuation

Using Metrics in Your Valuation Metrics can help drive the valuation for your startup fundraise. Here is a list of key metrics to include: Number of visitors to your website and their conversion to paying customers. The higher the conversion rate, the lower the cost of sales and the greater the valuation. Average revenue per […]

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Maximizing Your Valuation

Maximizing Your Valuation Valuation is a negotiation and not a formula. While there are formulas and rules of thumb to help determine valuation, it comes down to positioning and negotiating. Here are some key points to maximize your valuation: Emphasize the team and show what they are doing to help your business. The investors see […]

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Justifying a Startup Valuation

Justifying a Startup Valuation Startup valuations differ from standard valuations in that they don’t solely rely on expected cash flows, book value, or other tangible aspects of the business. Intangibles such as quality of the team, intellectual property, product status, and customers are the driving factors. Most angel investors want 25% of the equity for […]

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Calculating Forward Multiples

Calculating Forward Multiples Valuations for software companies with recurring revenue are calculated using forward revenue multiples. While revenue is the primary factor in calculating the multiple, some companies can increase it by demonstrating excellence in other areas. Use these definitions to calculate it: Revenue growth – revenue this year over last year in a percentage.  […]

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5X Rule of Post-Money Valuation

5X Rule of Post Money-Valuation As an investor reviewing deals, you’ll hear a wide range of startups with various fundraises and pre-money valuations.   So, how can you screen the deals to find those who have ‘reasonable’ valuations? Try the 5X rule. The 5X rule says to take the post-money valuation and multiply times 5. If […]

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How to Make Your Data Valuable

How to Make Your Data Valuable Startups can make their business more valuable if they collect data and turn it into a revenue-generating product. Many startups providing a service can collect data about the process, the customer, the market, and more. Raw data is not of value. It must be refined and there needs to […]

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Startup Valuation Roadmaps

Startup Valuation Roadmaps Investors setting a valuation should review the cap table to understand how future rounds will cause dilution. A cap table tracks each shareholder and the amount of equity they own including the pre and post-money valuations. Key factors to consider are the following: Option pools — what has been set up or […]

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How to Negotiate Valuation With a Startup

How to Negotiate Valuation With a Startup The key to negotiating the valuation for a startup is to find and examine each value that is already in the business, as well as each value that must be built to achieve a successful exit. Start with the team and check to see how many of the […]

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Minimum Information an Investor Should Receive

Minimum Information an Investor Should Receive After closing an investment round, the startup should set up a monthly report to the investors. Here’s a list of information to send an investor: Customer wins — list out key sales successes. Celebrate every win. Key metrics — show the core 1-3 metrics that drive your business. Cash […]

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Investor, Advisor, Mentor, Board

Investor, Advisor, Mentor, Board There are four ways someone can help a startup outside of becoming an employee. You can be an investor, an advisor, a mentor, or a board member.  As an investor, you can fund the startup. As an advisor, you can guide the founder on strategy and make introductions. As a mentor, […]

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What You Should Do After You Sign the Check

What You Should Do After You Sign the Check An investor does a great deal of work before the investment is made and must also do work afterward. Here are some key points to consider: As an investor, you need to maintain contact with the startup. Make sure there’s control over the compensation of the […]

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Nine Types of Angel Investors

Nine Types of Angel Investors There are many types of angel investors. Here are nine types commonly seen in the startup community: 1. Networkers — they know a great number of people and can make introductions to them. They are helpful in finding more investors as well as team members for the startup. 2. Product-oriented […]

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