Getting your Startup Funded

Cash is King: 8 tips for Optimizing your Startup Financing Strategy

Introduction This post aims to help startup CEOs optimize their funding strategy by examining how investors value startups, and explaining how to avoid the common cash management pitfalls. (Note: The concepts in this post will likely be obvious to experienced CEOs and entrepreneurs. Despite that, our experience indicates that entrepreneurs frequently make costly, avoidable mistakes […]

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Will your 2011 Plan stand up to investor scrutiny?

How to make sure your sales forecast has been properly validated so it will stand up to test of time (and investor scrutiny). This blog post looks at the process that I would use as a board member or investor to validate a bookings forecast, checking to see if the key elements that are needed to support that forecast have been thought through properly.

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6 things VCs look for in an investment

Alternative title:   “6 questions to help validate your startup idea” As a serial entrepreneur, I learned a lot of lessons from things that didn’t work. These lessons later on shaped my ideas on what would be needed to build a successful startup company. When I became a VC, I realized that these same lessons could […]

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About 

  • Tarunkakkar

    sir i have just started my It venture looking for Offshore clients and some funds to expand my horizon here in India.We are very small now .but we have the capability to expand and grow.Team is very innovative and dedicated.

    could be reached at
    tarunkakkar1991@gmail.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Micu-Bogdan/1317781241 Micu Bogdan

    Hi David. I see this post is blank.I really hope you will fill it up:).I am serching for some VC and it is not a straight forward road.If by the end of the process this will still be blank i will send you some ideas i will learn,so other will benefit faster from them.
    As a suggestion: On Matrix website it is written that if you wish to get in contact to them,you should get someone to introduce you.Is this not a limitation to the company’s chance of finding good deals?
    Thanks and look forward to new ideas.

  • Stef We

    HiWe are a team of researchers who have developed a technique that allows the computer processor to store data with unlimited stock. For example our 1 Gbyte hard drive has enabled us to retain data of 200 Gbytes, and there is still room, I even season series (6 Gbytes) on a memory card 32mbytes. It is an invention without precedent in the world. It can be used in all digital devices (computer, ipod, pictures player, DVDs, video games, satellite etc …).Thanks to this all networks around the world as the internet will be revolutionized. For example we can multiply by 30 the flow of our connection. 

  • Billy Carson

    We have locked a niche market worth over 1 Billion in revenues annually! We have a mobile application on iTunes and Android that are rated the #1 amateur sports app in the world by appadvice.com. Our message boards generate over 600,000 hits per month. We already have over 2000 NCAAW and NCAA prospects in our database. We have also produced the 1st ever created NCAA Prospect Apps in the world!!!

    We are ready to take this business to the next level. Please contact me. 
    Billy Carson, billy@shecanplay.org

    @SheCanPlay:twitter  - @ZenforceMedia:twitter  - @CoachCarson:twitter 

  • Ellio tasante

    hi David,i am Elliot from Ghana and i am endowed with great business ideas which i believe could be a very great hit if i get the needed funds for them.there are enormous amount of opportunity here in ghana and please help me

    i could be reached at
    elliotasante@yahoo:disqus .com
    00233-268-771277

  • Nperpa2ity

     Looking for some comparison company valuation metrics especially as it relates to first round VC/Strategic funding and ownership percentages.

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    Elliot, I am sorry to say that I cannot help you in Ghana. Our firm only invests in US, Chinese and Indian companies where we have local offices. I am sorry, but wish you the best of luck in finding a funding source.

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    I don’t personally know of anything that is publicly available. It’s a complex topic as there are many factors that go into valuing a private company, and a simple table will not provide insights into the full set of variables that go into each individual valuation.

  • Jeff (Sang Yin)

    Hello David.
    I am a Chinese student who studies at Bentley University right now. I created a business plan last year and brought it into Global-Final of MIT-CHIEF Business Contest; as the only undergraduate team, we did a great job in that competition. After hearing advice and suggestion from professional investors, we improved the plan and started it for real this year.
    This business is based on Chinese Market, and all my partners are deciding going back to start it this summer (probably take a couple of years off from college). It is a web-based business so the start-up cost is fairly small, but we still need it to be funded. Do you have any interest in this kind of start-up?
    If you feel somehow interested, could you give me your email address or email me at yin_sang@bentley.edu; I would send you the specific business plan by the end of the week (I am going to NY city to ask some bankers for some advice, so the edited version Business Plan would be ready then).
    Thank you very much!

    Best Regards,
    Jeff

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    I will email you directly.

  • Cyrus Sajna

    Written By : Cyrus Sajna 
    https://www.secondmarket.com/user/cyrus_sajna?t=hli 
    Ive learned a great deal about private equity… One thing is for sure. Offer registration rights to the underlying common securities and be sure to have a basic redemption preference. Also venture capitalist need liquidity like fish need water so have a clear exit strategy. it helps to anticipate what the VC’s want. Put yourself in there shoes. They must make money.. They need registration rights with a clear plan for going public. Aim for Nasdaq Capital Markets and you may see your dreams come true… 

  • Luke Beninga

    Hey David I am a current high school senior who has formed a team of college programmers and are in midterm production of a new mobile social game. We are forming a company as we plan to launch many games down the road. Obviously to fund this we would need start up cash after our first game launch. We are contemplating different roads to go down such as whether to go strait to a VC such as yourself with a prototype and market plan or to launch and show traction and then meet with VC’s?
    Thanks again,
    Luke

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    Hi Luke, I’d recommend launching and approaching VCs after you have traction. Unlike the B2B area where you can do diligence in advance of a launch, with consumer games it’s not at all clear which games are going to capture the users imagination and take off. So you have a much higher chance of getting funding if you can show traction.
    Best, David

  • http://www.phapsy.com/ Luke Beninga

    Alright thanks we are going to college campuses in Northern California to release the beta since they are the most social and vibrant communities. If users did start to take off would a VC generally come to us or would we still need to look for them?

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    I would set expectations that you had to go to them since there is a chance that they won’t find you.

  • http://www.phapsy.com/ Lukebeninga

    Alright thanks again!

  • Cyrus sajna

    Hey, Dave,

    what are your thoughts on kick starter 

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    I think it is great!

  • Nick S.

     Where’s the article gone?

  • Nick S.

    This article is missing!

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    Thanks for pointing that out Nick. I really need to update it before putting it back on the site. Will do as soon as I get a chance.

  • Cyrus Sajna

    Facebook IPO.. so according to the Facebook S-1 zuckerberg is expected to take a 2013 salary of one dollar.. given the 16 billion plus he is expected to make thats understandable. I was wondering. what sorts of sacrifices do venture capitalist look for in entrepreneurs. Is it a sacrifice of say… giving up more of a stake? what do you think of a company registering shares vs selling under regulation D 504-506. whats more preferable a PIPE’s transaction or simply purchasing restricted equity that has registration rights.?

  • Mickos

    Dear David,Thanks for your amazing posts. I have a question for you if possible? Which type of organizational structure is best suited for SaaS based companies?
    I know that this is also one of “it depends” question , you may want to think that this is GROWING SaaS startup with 10 employees and everything is made in-house, no outsourcing. 

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    Thanks Mickos. Regarding your question, I wasn’t sure what you meant by organizational structure. Are you looking for me to tell you what senior management roles would I expect to see, and what departments? Thanks, David

  • Mickos

    Dear David, thanks for your prompt response. Yes,exactly. Thanks again for your concern. Best Regards from Istanbul

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    The key roles are likely to be:

    - CEO

    - Product visionary (head of product management)

    - Head of engineering

    - CTO

    - Head of Marketing

    - Head of Sales (assuming there is a sales process required to close a customer)
    - Head of Support (assuming that there is significant human support interaction required)
    - Part time CFO

    - Later on: Head of Business Development (assuming there is an opportunity to use strategic partners, resellers, and OEMs)
    Many times, one person may be able to be more than one role. For example, you could have a technical founder who is Product Visionary, VP of Eng, and CTO, all in one person. You will not need all of these roles while you are still only 10 people, but it helps to know where you are going to.
    I hope this helps.
    Best, David

  • http://twitter.com/damicool7 damilola

    Dear David, My question that do you invest in Social website.

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    I will reply to you in a direct email.

  • WebZoid.info

    Any pointers for this:
    I want to build a business in the medical office solutions and electronic medical records space. When I talk to investors they always ask about my “gadget.” What I want to do is build a business that will have various software products. I do have a core product to start with but the gadgets are a small part of building a business. There are various streams of revenue related to the software.
    Where are the business people?

  • Paris Grey

    Will you be interested in investing in a startup that makes it easy for sports fans to re-live their sports moments. http://sportp.in email parisgrey87@gmail.com

  • Sannjay

    Dear David,
    Greetings!

    Success is what everyone dreams off be it any thing…
    exam, business, & everything..

    So, I got a wonderful plans which makes the success in Exam very much probable.
    may be thought to share the same, if you like to know more about the same.
    get in touch with me about our online educational venture in India.

    Regards,
    Sanjay Lalwani
    sanjaylalwani143@gmail.com

    Trust & Patience ! two keys for success

  • Sannjay

    It an Online Professional exam venture!

  • thomas duffy

    i am the CFO of a bunch of pre-revenue and a few growth companies that need funding to get to the next milestone you can check them out on my website http://venturecapital-advisors.com/investments

  • Nancy

    Hello David,

    Thank you for your commitment to helping budding entrepreneurs.

    I wonder if you will be interested in investing in something really unique from Africa that the whole world can benefit from?

    It’s beyond the idea phase, now and we have the website up and running but the features are not yet complete.

    Would you be interested?

  • oritsegev

    Dear David, We’re an uprising Startup going to launch our Beta version in Silicon Valley, SF, end of January.

    Our mission is to bring people together and connect them through their passion for food and company.
    Would you be interested to hear more?

  • http://www.facebook.com/sanjukidilam Sanju Mathew Kayalvarath

    Hi David,

    I am an entrepreneur and along with my friends I started a company few years back.

    Company is going in a good pace.

    We have an Research and Development section for Electronics Division.
    We need RnD funding for 2 of our high profile projects. So I thought I could seek some advice on-line.
    What are your suggestions.

  • Reginaldo

    David

    i’m a novice enterpreneur or Zero experience but willing to listen and learn my love is health and fitness will this be a good idea to start a business.?

    Reginaldo

    rgnldcrz53@gmail.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.joiner.9 Ben Joiner

    Mr. Skok,
    I am an inventor with no extra money. I want to start making and selling my product. I am hoping to find someone who wants to partner with me and make money off my idea. Marketing, Research, Patents, and Production all require money. I was wondering if there is any hope for someone like me?

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    Ben, take a look at AngelList.

  • Teodor

    How?
    Thanks!

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    Sorry – there was a bug in the page that I have now fixed. It shows the appropriate blog posts that fit in this category now. Thanks, David

  • http://www.forentrepreneurs.com David Skok

    Sorry – there was a bug. It is not fixed.