How Investors Look at Startup Forecasts
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by Tim Berry
1y ago
Investors look at startup forecasts for concepts, not accuracy. When investors look at your projections, they are looking not for just the numbers, but essential insight into the knowledge, experience, and goals of the founders. Important: you need to forecast to manage your business. Hard as it is to forecast, it’s much harder to run a business without forecasts. Forecasts become budgets and budgets become spending and you don’t have the luxury of not guessing. You go from guess to truth to revisions to management. However, this post isn’t about that. It’s about what investors look for. Inve ..read more
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How to Pitch a Startup Idea by Email.
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by Tim Berry
2y ago
How to pitch a startup idea by email? I scoffed a bit when I saw the question, on Quora. Nobody invests in ideas, I mumbled to myself. And pitching by email? Fat chance. But then I read the answer here, written by Bret Fox, former CEO of Touchstone Semiconductor, and now a CEO coach. Here is Bret’s answer: And the following is Bret Fox’s answer to how to pitch a startup idea by email, on Quora. Direct quote. When I was feeling really desperate (a common occurrence when I was raising our initial funding), I would build up a list of potential investors I had no way of getting a warm introductio ..read more
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10 Good Reasons Not to Seek Investors For Your Startup
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by Tim Berry
2y ago
Before you buy into the myths about startup investors, first consider whether you actually want startup investors for your new business at all. No, I’m not bitter … I had VC money in Palo Alto Software for a few years and they were helpful, collaborative, and good people. I’m not a bitter victim.  And I’ve invested in more than a dozen startups, so I don’t hate investors; I am one. But I try to tell the truth. Most businesses are better off without startup investors. Bootstrapping is underrated Which would you rather — steer by committee, with people looking over your shoulder? Or just do ..read more
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My Advice to Startups Seeking Angel Investment
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by Tim Berry
2y ago
Over the weekend I was asked what advice I’d give to founders of a startup seeking angel investment. Here’s my list. First, make sure you really want angel investment. Read 10 good reasons not to seek investors for your startup. Take it to heart. If you don’t need investment, really, you are better off without it. And also, read startup sweet spot too. If you do, then next, make sure your business is a good investment. Read up on what makes a business a good investment. It’s about the team, the growth potential, ability to scale, traction, etc. Many great businesses are not good investments ..read more
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Top 10 Pitch Fails
Bplans.com
by Tim Berry
2y ago
I was asked recently for a list of things that annoy me in angel investment pitches from startups. I’ve done this before, so there will be some duplication here. But here is my top 10 pitch fails list.  Profits. Talk of profits, overestimated profits, the failure to understand that investors make money on growth, not profits; startups with high growth rates are rarely profitable; profits in high-growth startups stunt growth and reduce the odds of successful exit. That’s why you need to spend other people’s money, right? “I don’t need no stinking projections.” Surprises me how often I’ve ..read more
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What Are the Normal Steps for Angel Investment?
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by Tim Berry
2y ago
Question: What are the normal steps for angel investment? What’s involved in submitting a business plan? I decided to answer this question here because I see it so often in email and in question and answer sites on the web, especially Quora, which is where I first saw it and answered it. Yes you do need a business plan In the U.S. market the business plan generally stays in the background while investors look at summaries first, then pitches, and only eventually, after a lot of screening, if they are interested enough to do the detailed study called due diligence, then the business plan. You w ..read more
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How to Raise Money and Succeed Long Term (Video)
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by Tim Berry
2y ago
Jess Lee (Partner at Sequoia Capital) and Aaron Harris (Partner at YC) discuss raising money as an early stage company, and how to think about the fundraising process. Ali Rowghani (CEO of YC Continuity, previously CFO, COO @ Twitter, CFO @ Pixar) shares his thoughts on how to be a great leader and succeed long-term. Thanks to Stanford Online. The direct link for the YouTube source is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZXU84_sGXo&feature=em-subs_digest The post How to Raise Money and Succeed Long Term (Video) appeared first on Planning, Startups, Stories ..read more
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Angel Investment Red Flags
Bplans.com
by Tim Berry
2y ago
Last week at an angel investment meeting one of our group members asked whether anybody had a list of red flag problems that would immediately eliminate a startup from consideration by angel investors. That seemed like a good idea to me then. And over the weekend somebody asked a similar question in Quora: what are some red flags for people new to angel investment when evaluating companies.  This blog post is a compilation of my own items and a lot of others contributed to the Quora question.  My big two:  Issues around trust or integrity. Alternative truths don’t fly. Lie ..read more
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Finding Dumb Investors is a Dumb Idea
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by Tim Berry
2y ago
Are you looking for dumb investors? investor money “How can I find investors who don’t take much equity?” “How can I find investors who don’t interfere with my running the business? I first posted my objections to this kind of thinking nine years ago in Dumb Investors Dumb Idea, one of the earliest posts on this blog. That was before I joined an angel investment group and became one of those investors. My objections then are a lot stronger now. And I still see a stream of this kind of thinking in blogs and at my favorite question and answer site, Quora.com. Valuation determines equity T ..read more
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How to Make Money on Your Brilliant Business Idea
Bplans.com
by Tim Berry
2y ago
So you have a brilliant business idea that will be very successful. My congratulations to you. Now read all ideas are brilliant and nobody is going to pay you for your ideas. Are you still sure? All right then, let’s continue.  And – this is important – do not even think about getting investors yet. Do a lean business plan. 1. Gather a team Can you execute on the brilliant business idea yourself? That does happen. I’m aware of several ventures built by one very smart hard-working person, on her or his own. They use their own money and paid the providers they needed, to get going ..read more
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