Angels and VCs

Identifying them, making your pitch and managing your relationships.

Watch as a Silicon Valley Startup Pitches a VC

tagMap Pitch
If your dream is to start a company and make a fortune by taking it public, you’ve got to be thinking about how to pitch investors. After all, without money a fantastic idea, great market potential and talented team won’t amount to very much. The challenge is to grab the attention of high-powered VCs. They’re inundated with proposals that come at them through everything from email to phone calls to in-person pitches at live events. To break through the clutter,… continue…

For Funding, VCs May Not Be Your Best Choice

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According to one of their own, the problem with venture capitalists is their “never-ending search for the next-big thing.” In baseball terms, instead of going for singles and doubles, many VCs seek nothing but home runs. Sadly, what VCs identify as the next big thing rarely is. They often reflect either investments they have already made and want to pump up, or areas they don’t normally invest in but want to see overfunded to diminish a competing firms’ assets. Machiavellian… continue…

VC Funding Barrier Eases for Women

Woman Peeking Over the Fence
Although women stand a greater chance of getting venture funding than they did a decade ago, they’re by no means on equal footing with men when it comes to financing their startups, according to researchers and venture capitalists. The percentage of U.S. venture backing for startups with at least one woman founder reached 13 percent in 2013, dramatically higher than 2004’s 4 percent. Those numbers come from the private equity and venture capital researcher PitchBook. While the number of women… continue…

Angels Should Mentor, Not Just Provide Cash

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Tech entrepreneurs need mentors. No one questions that. But few consider the idea that angel investors – in addition to providing money – can offer coaching and advice. According to Brian S. Cohen, chairman of New York Angels and co-author of What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know: An Insider Reveals How to Get Smart Funding for Your Billion Dollar Idea,” entrepreneurs should seek out angels who can provide tech and business expertise. Having been both an entrepreneur and… continue…

Men, Women Make Different Pitches to VCs

His & Her Post-Its
Women and men have different styles when it comes to pitching venture capitalists on their businesses. Women rely on metrics, while men pitch broad visions, according to women VCs at MIT’s 16th Annual Venture Capital Conference. The Boston Business Journal reported that the topic was one of many at the Women in VC panel event, which also touched upon the challenges and solutions in the women-led VC space. While men tend to pitch a vision for the future, women have… continue…

7 Tips to Landing the Right Venture Deal

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In many ways, attracting venture capital isn’t that different from landing an angel round, says Matt Ehrlichman, a serial entrepreneur in Seattle whose latest venture is the home-improvement site Porch.com. It’s about your knowledge and experience in your business’s particular area, surrounding yourself with A-list co-founders and having a credible strategy for tackling a real market opportunity. However, the VC process is more formal. It involves much more scrutiny of your business and the market, many more meetings – and… continue…

Here’s How You Can Pitch VC Tim Draper

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Forget the 12 days of Christmas. If you’re an entrepreneur, Jan. 10, 2014, should be circled on your calendar. That’s the deadline to submit your business plan for an opportunity to pitch noted Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper, who’ll listen to and critique presentations from three entrepreneurs. Draper will sit down with these startup founders on Jan. 23, 2014, at his Draper University in San Mateo. While no one’s promising any funding, you’ll come away with valuable tips on how to improve… continue…

VCs Pump Cash Into Security Startups

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A significant rise in cybercrimes and corporate hacking means that cybersecurity equipment and software companies are enjoying a real upswing. Venture capital firms are taking note and pouring cash into startups in the sector, according to the Los Angeles Times. AlienVault of San Mateo, for instance, has raised $55 million in three rounds since January 2012. The company snagged seven top security executives from Hewlett-Packard, many of whom had worked at Fortify Software, a San Mateo security company HP bought… continue…

How Stock Options Work in VC-Backed Firms

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It’s good news when venture capital finds your company good enough to invest in. That’s when your boss will likely create an option pool for the employees she wants to keep. And since more tech firms are seeing venture capital investment, the likelihood of top talent receiving stock options is growing as well. The amount of venture money invested is rising, jumping 12 percent in the third quarter, and tech firms saw a big chunk of that money. Investment in… continue…