Written by Growthink on Friday, December 18, 2009
Looking for venture capital? Or looking for great insights to grow your business?
1. Ed Sim (Dawntreader Ventures)
Inspirational video for entrepreneurs
"Without a bigger sense of purpose, it is hard to be an entrepreneur and stick through the inevitable tough times that will come your way."
2. Josh Kopelman (First Round Capital)
Board Transparency - and the Implicit Web
Discusses the repurcussions of accessible data and the necessity of transparency with your Board of Directors.
3. Jeremy Liew (Lightspeed Venture Partners)
Why the Economics of Social Gaming are So Attractive to Investors
Trend to watch for in 2010: Social Gaming, this article tells you why.
4. Seth Levine (Foundry Group)
Want more jobs? Support Entrepreneurship
Levine recommends taking the steps included in his blog article to boost the economy and create jobs.
5. Chistopher Allen (Alacrity Ventures)
Community by the Numbers, Part III: Power Laws
What defines the success of a community and how can we predict this?
6. Fred Wilson (Union Square Ventures)
Some Thoughts on Email After Dealing with 500 Emails
An inside peak into VC email response.
7. Bill Gurley (Benchmark Capital)
What is Really Happening to the Venture Capital Industry
VC Bill Gurley takes readers through an overview of the ups and downs of 2009.
8. Paul Graham (Y Combinator)
Startups in 13 Sentences
If VC Paul Graham could tell startups 13 things, these would be them.
9. Dave Hornik (August Capital)
Innovation Doesn't take a Vacation in an Economic Downturn
Innovation isn't dependent upon finance.
10. Brad Feld (Foundry Group)
VC Behavior in Board Meetings
Advice on putting the phone down, and paying attention at board meetings.
11. David McClure (Founders Fund)
Startup Metrics that Matter
This vlog teaches new entreprenuers what metrics really matter in the early stages of their development.
12. Erick Schonfeld (Techcrunch)
Venture Funds Raise Only $1.6 billion in 3rd Quarter. Most of That Went to Vinod Khosla
A quarterly overview on VC funds raised from Q3 2007 - Q3 2009. $750 million of the $1.6 billion raised went to Khosla ventures.
13. MG Siegler (Techcrunch)
The Cost of FriendFeed: Roughly $50 million in Cash and Stock
A successful exit for a small social media startup; FriendFeed was purchased in August 2009 for $50 million. Highlights the payout for initial investors.
14. Steve Fredrick and Don Rainey (VentureBeat)
Venture Capital 2009: The Year in Review
Highlights included 3 venture-backed IPOs in Q3 2009, an expanding start-up world and the reduced cash required to start companies.
15. Marc Andreessen (Andreessen Horowitz)
Introducing Our New Venture Capital Firm Andreessen Horowitz
Announcing a new $300 million fund for technology startups. Investing between $50,000 and $50 million, this blog post outlines EXACTLY Andreessen Horowitz's requirements.
16. Laura Grimmer (VentureBeat)
5 Ways VC firms Can Stop Shooting Themselves in the Foot
Excellent advice for VCs looking to grow their business and expand the pipeline of deals.
17. Peter Rip (Crosslink Capital)
What's Broken - Venture Capital or Venture Perceptions?
Refutes the idea that venture capital is the worst place to be because the "old model doesn't work."
18. Rick Segal (JLA Ventures)
The "Take the Deal or Not" Debate
Questions every person should ask themselves before they take a deal with a venture capital firm.
19. Mike Hirshland (Polaris Venture Partners)
More on the Founder/CEO Question
When should the founder step aside as CEO for the greater good of the company?
20. Jeff Bussgang (Flybridge Capital Partners)
Should Entrepreneurs Be More Like Teenage Girls?
Recommendations for a growth mindset and success for reaching goals as an entrepreneur.
21. Tim Oren (Pacifica Fund)
Silicon Valley's Dirty Little Secret
What are the long term social and political impacts of Silicon Valley? Some insightful thoughts into Silicon Valley culture.
22. Eric Friedman (Union Square Ventures)
99.99% (Or It's Totally Going to Happen But Isn't Signed Yet)
Until a contract is signed - it's not a done deal.
23. Mike Speiser (SutterHill Ventures)
Better Incentives Can Improve Online Advertising
Publishers should incentivize advertisers to create good content. Brings up the idea of ad content that enhances, rather than diminishes, user experience.
24. Matt McCall (DFJ Portage Venture Partners)
Do You Need to Be in the Valley?
Addresses the age old question of whether entreprenuers in the tech space need to be in Silicon Valley to succeed.
25. Stu Phillips (Ridgelift Ventures)
Venture Capital - Time for V3.0
Stu Phillips raises an important point - VC2.0 which began with the Internet and resulting bubble - is out. A new system needs to be created.
26. Jason Caplain (Southern Capitol Ventures)
Include Sales in your Strategy
Entreprenuers need to connect with their buyers early on; sales is an integral part of EVERY company.
27. Jason Mendelson (Foundry Group)
Senator Dodd - Making it harder for small businesses to get funded
A VC outlook on the legislation changes proposed that will alter the ability for companies to get financed.
28. Nic Brisbourne (Esprit Capital Partners)
Financial Forecasts in a Business Plan
"Any business plan that has financial forecasts under year 1, year 2, etc. rather than 2009, 2010, etc. is too early stage for us." Brisbourne urges entrepreneurs to be precise in their projections and have a definitive timeline for revenue.
29. Albert Wenger (Union Square Ventures)
Hiring: Lack of Diversity Becomes Self-reinforcing
Historical hiring practices may affect the ability to bring on diverse, younger talent.
30. David B. Lerner (Totius Group, Columbia Venture Lab)
Getting from Zero to One in Your Startup: Founder Compensation Should be Slim to None
An important point for every founder to konw - your investment is on the back end - not from annual salary.
31. Larry Cheng (Fidelity Ventures)
Succeeding with a Potential Single Point of Failure
Two success stories of companies who exited in spite of single point of failure possibilities.
32. Raj Kapoor (Mayfield Fund)
Prediction: Social Nets Will Make More Money Off-site vs On-site their Websites
Interesting take on how social networks will continue to monetize.
33. Will Price (Hummer Winblad)
The importance of being present in the moment AND enjoying it.
34. Howard Morgan (First Round Capital)
UNI- Acquired Tastes in Food and Investing
Morgan talks about business plans that excite him as a potential user - not as an investor.
35. Mark Suster (GRP Partners)
How to (re)Approach People (Advice on the Eve of LeWeb)
"Business etiquette tips for dealing with VCs and Corporates at Conferences"
36. Christine Herron (First Round Capital)
What's the Secret Success of Mint.com? The Real Numbers Behind Aaron Patzer's Growth Strategy
How much does it take to get started? When should you raise money? Interview with Mint.com CEO opens up and answers these questions.
37. Fred Destin (Atlas Ventures)
The Arrogant VC: A View from the Trenches (full length version)
Destin posts the answers to "tell me why VCs are disliked by entrepreneurs"
38. Rob Day (@Ventures)
Conventional Wisdom and Cleantech Venture Capital
Day clears up what Cleantech is, and in which firms "Cleantech VCS" invest.
39. David Feinleib (Mohr Davidow Ventures)
When You Are the Product
A reminder that, regardless of the technology or device, when pitching investors you are pitching yourself.
40. Bijan Sabet (Spark Capital)
Creating an Operating Plan for 2010
Advice for any year really, on creating an operating plan that works.
41. Phillippe Botteri (Bessemer Venture Partners)
Impact of the Recession on SaaS Sales & Marketing Productivity
How has the recession affected SaaS? Not much.
42. Andrew Parker (Union Square Ventures)
How does Microsoft's Bing plan to compete? By paying customers not to compete.
43. Mark Peter Davis (DFJ Gotham Ventures)
Bootstrapping vs. Venture Funding
The pros and cons of two finance methods for startups.
44. Allen Morgan (Mayfield Fund)
Co-Founders vs. Early Employees
Quick thoughts on the differences between the co-founders and early employees.
45. James Chen (CXO Ventures)
Don't Bite the Hand that Feeds
This lesson applies to both business and government: Don't bite the hand that feeds you.
46. David Aronoff (Flybridge Capital Partners)
Why do companies fail?
47. Max Bleyleben (Kennet Partners)
The Hunt for Growth Is On
Tech success is creeping into Europe and other markets as the US emerges from recession.
48. Jason Ball (Qualcomm Ventures Europe)
Pitch your startup: VCIC 2009
2009 awards have been given, but 2010 awards are just around the corner.
49. Don Rainey (Grotech Ventures)
The 7 Troublemakers you meet in a Startup
7 personality archetypes an entrepreneur can expect to meet when starting a company.
50. Peter Haas (Founder, AIDG)
In Social Enterprise, Force Yourself to be an Entrepreneur First
Ten rules for starting an international service organization.
Written by Growthink on Tuesday, August 4, 2009
We just published a new series of capital-raising articles on the Growthink website, within our new "Capital Raising Resource Center."
Angel Funding Articles
Bank & SBA Loan Articles
Creative & Alternative Financing Articles
Venture Capital Articles
Stay tuned! In the coming weeks and months, we'll be adding new articles and videos.
Are there any specific capital-raising topics you'd like us to cover? Let us know by leaving a comment below.
Written by Dave Lavinsky on Monday, July 27, 2009
Here is a video that explains precisely why raising capital is so important to your business.
And, importantly, it includes details regarding why it’s critical that you understand how to raise capital from multiple sources, even if you currently are only seeking one particular type of capital...
Near the end, I reveal a fantastic (and perhaps my favorite) tip, which is the single most controllable factor that you have to improve your success in both fundraising and successfully growing you business.
Written by Jacklyn Rome on Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Israel, more fondly nicknamed as the “Silicon Valley of the East”, is the largest recipient of United States venture capital, absorbing 7.7% of outbound investment dollars. For a small and relatively new country, Israel has jumped into the limelight as one of the largest producers of new technologies. The country is responsible for some of the most prominent inventions over the past several decades, including drip irrigation, instant messaging (ICQ), Intel’s Centrino computer chip, and voicemail technology.
Israel also holds the second greatest number of foreign companies on the NASDAQ, second only to Canada. Some of the more prominent multi-billion dollar corporations listed on the exchange include TEVA Pharmaceuticals (market cap: $41 billion), the world’s largest generic drug manufacturer, and Gilead Sciences (market cap: $43 billion), which develops therapies for viral diseases, infectious diseases, and cancer.
In 2008, over $2 billion was invested in 480+ Israeli high-tech companies, an increase of 18% over the prior year. Roughly 50% of funds came from outside of Israel, primarily from the United States, which has also shown significant investment in Israel by building Israeli satellite offices for American companies. In 1974, Intel chose Israel as the location for its first design and development center outside the United States, and thereafter opened 8 locations, employing over 5,300 employees. International companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Nokia, and Motorola have also followed in the footsteps of Intel Corporation by opening offices in Israel.
So why has Israel drawn so much VC funding and attention from the international business community?
Israel has the highest number of university degrees relative to the population and the largest number of scientists per capita in the world, with 145 scientists per 10,000 citizens, in comparison with the United States at 85 per 10,000. Additionally, Israel has the highest number of start-up companies in the world outside of the United States.
Israelis also receive extensive technical training through their compulsory military service and have adapted several advanced military technologies to other applications. For example, Given Imaging, which in 1998 came out with the first ingestible disposable video camera for viewing and diagnosing the small intestine, developed and adapted their product from an electro-optical device for military missiles.
The enormous pool of talented workers in Israel is also much more affordable for technology companies than those in Silicon Valley, and the government has been a strong supporter of growth in the hi-tech sector. The Israeli government provides incentives and grants to encourage capital investment and scientific research within the country.
Growthink has worked with dozens of Israeli entrepreneurs throughout its ten years of operations and has several strategic alliances with individuals within the Israeli Venture Capital community.
Written by Jacklyn Rome on Monday, June 29, 2009
Many entrepreneurs and investors have been capitalizing on developing internet capabilities and the increased usage of social networks around the world by creating a new wave of social networks and Web 2.0 websites. Over the last few years, the Web 2.0 sector has seen a number of acquisitions for companies including Bebo, Blogger, Cork’d, Del.icio.us, Flickr, Jaiku, Last.fm, Picasa, Rojo, Skype, Sphere, StumbleUpon, and Webshots. Entrepreneurs have been encouraged by large scale transactions including YouTube selling for $1.7 billion, Facebook’s valuation at $15 billion based on Microsoft’s recent investment, and MySpace’s sale for $580 million.
Written by Dave Lavinsky on Tuesday, June 23, 2009
When entrepreneurs ask me what sources of capital to tap to fund their businesses, my answer is generally "as many as you can."
I often point to companies like Google, who relied on credit cards, angels and venture capitalists in its early days.
Recently Animoto heeded my advice. In it's most recent round of funding, Animoto raised $4.4 million from a venture capitalist (Madrona Venture Group), a corporate/strategic investor (Amazon.com), and two angel investors: iStockphoto founder Bruce Livingstone and angel investor Jeff Clavier (Clavier is also the founder and managing partner of SoftTech VC, a seed-stage venture capital firm).
What's even more interesting is what Animoto is. Animoto is a website where you can quickly and easily turn photos into videos. Why is this interesting? Because you can use Animoto to create a video about your company to market it to investors.
So not only is Animoto teaching each of us about how to best raise capital to fund our growth, but is offering a tool to help us market ourselves to investors.
To see how it worked, I created an Animoto account (doesn't cost anything and is quick to do) and created a quick video. I was home at the time with my daughter, so we did it together and created one with a few of her recent horseback riding pictures.
The good news is that it was really simple to create the video. The negatives were that 1) rendering time was slow (plan to wait at least 5 minutes before the video is ready to be viewed for a 30-second clip), and 2) the non-paid version only allows your video to last 30 seconds. Fortunately for $3 per video, or $30 for a year, you can create full-length videos.
Overall, Animoto is a great lesson in capital raising and a great tool to use when raising capital for your business!
Written by Dave Lavinsky on Thursday, May 7, 2009
Yesterday I had the opportunity to interview Brad Feld, who is considered among the elite investors in privately held companies.
Many first-time entrepreneurs view VCs simply as providers of capital. In actuality, VCs are partners. They exert control over your company. They have experience in product development or scaling companies, or both, and can provide significant value beyond the money they infuse in companies.
Written by Jacklyn Rome on Tuesday, April 28, 2009
While you probably have heard about the Stimulus Package and President Barack Obama’s push toward increased usage of renewable energies, you may not be aware of how this initiative can help your business and where the money is in fact going. The following information will explore the specific allocations of the Energy Stimulus and how you, as a business or as a consumer, can take advantage of this unique opportunity.
The following outlines the specific initiatives the energy stimulus money will be dispersed to:
Historically, companies have been reluctant to invest in renewable and clean energy technologies, because they require tremendous economies of scale to be profitable. Since these systems require large capital outlays upfront, it takes a long time to see return on investment. The Stimulus Package aims to combat these hesitations toward switching to renewable energy systems. The initiative will benefit various members of the energy sector from large utility companies upgrading energy grids to small businesses installing solar panels. It also benefits end consumers striving to make their homes more energy efficient through tax breaks and government subsidies.
Federal Involvement will Spur Investment, Growth, and Job Creation
The influence of government grants, loans, and tax breaks, will help encourage progress for both the supply and demand side of this sector. On the supply side, the government will provide research grants and funds for investing in promising existing and new technologies. On the demand side, the Stimulus Package will help companies and homeowners purchase new green energy systems by making them more affordable. The Stimulus Package will also create thousands of new jobs across the nation fulfilling these initiatives, helping to fuel unemployment and the overall status of the economy. According to Nancy Pelosi, investment in the green sector will create close to 500,000 jobs in 2009, 67,000 of which will be in the solar and wind power installation sector. Ultimately, the energy portion of the stimulus package will reduce American reliance on foreign nations for fossil fuels, generate domestic jobs, and promote innovation and adoption of new renewable energy technologies nationwide.
Access to the Allotted Funds
Whereas other areas of the stimulus package will be distributed through company applications and competitions to receive the funds, the money attributed to the energy sector will be primarily dispersed through tax credits and purchase incentives. For example, within solar and wind energy, the government is now offering a 30% tax credit to offset the cost of installing a solar energy system or wind farm, whereas previously the tax credits had a cap of $2,000 and $4,000, respectively. Some additional credits include up to $7,500 for buying a plug-in hybrid electric car or a 50% tax credit for gas stations or other businesses that install alternative fueling pumps. For more information on the specific types of grants or tax credits offered, please find more information at the following website: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/obama-signs-stimulus-package-5736.html.
So What Does This Mean for You?
If you are involved in the clean energy sector, Growthink recommends additional research into the specific provisions of the stimulus to see if your business will qualify for federal subsidies or research grants. Additionally, Growthink suggests putting together a strong marketing campaign that highlights government support and tax credits for purchasing your products. This will educate the many unaware businesses and consumers that believe switching to alternative energies is outside of their affordability. Additionally, it is a wonderful way to draw positive publicity for your business. Growthink is happy to provide you with complimentary feedback on your current marketing program. We can also assist you by utilizing our expert group of marketing professionals to work with you on creating a Marketing Plan to target your customers in the most effective way possible.
Contracting, Construction, Eco-Friendly Transportation, and Electrical Infrastructure Companies
If you own a contracting, construction, eco-friendly transportation, or electrical infrastructure company, Growthink recommends seeking additional information on how you may bid for funds allocated to electricity grid design, weatherization, environmentally friendly transportation development, energy efficient housing, and building renovations. Growthink can help you with conducting this research and help articulate how your business is the most suited to perform the specified work or receive a government grant.
As a consumer, you can reap the benefits of the energy sector stimulus by utilizing the tax incentives to switch to renewable energy systems, such as installation of a solar or wind energy system in your home. The government is also offering customer rebates for those who purchase energy efficient appliances for their homes.
The Obama Stimulus Plan is an unprecedented program that has created unique opportunities for tremendous innovation and growth within energy efficiency. Please contact Growthink for more information on how we can help you position your company to benefit from the billions of dollars allocated to this sector and within your reach.
Written by Jay Turo on Thursday, March 12, 2009