BLOG STARTUPS, VENTURE AND THE TECH BUSINESS

Author Archive

October 27 2009
by Thanasis Delistathis

YES on net neutrality!

The debate is raging on the merits and pitfalls of “net neutrality”.  The lobbyists are working overtime.  Both sides have employed semantics to try to appeal to the average citizen who may not be as versed on the nuances of policy in this area:  according to supporters it’s about innovation; about according to critics it is […]

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October 20 2009
by Thanasis Delistathis

Opportunity knocks: Yellow Pages move online

A number of industries are undergoing a kind of dislocation as the internet becomes a dominant medium for finding information and entertainment. One of those industries is the yellow pages industry. It is currently a $26BN global industry; $14BN in the US. The Kelsey Group projects that the portion of that market that is online […]

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September 11 2009
by Thanasis Delistathis

In search of the next “Rocket Ship”

How long does it take promising young startups with large potential markets to scale to $50MM?  Longer than you might think if you looked at the projections of the average startup that comes through our door. An article in the Wall Street Journal Blogs online discusses how long it took many well known public companies […]

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July 14 2009
by Thanasis Delistathis

Are we going to get our TV through the internet? Change is coming.

The internet is growing our entertainment choices and when we access it.  Many of the shows people watch on TV can now be found on the internet.  So why do I have a bill over $100 from Comcast for TV service in order to only watch 4-5 channels 90% of the time.  Many other people […]

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July 8 2009
by Thanasis Delistathis

New technology is not going to bring healthcare costs down

We are all used to thinking that newer technology makes things more efficient.  Computers have really increased productivity while reducing costs in a huge array of business systems.  That logic is being used in Washington these days to justify how we can reduce costs while also expanding coverage in the raging debate of healthcare reform. […]

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June 18 2009
by Thanasis Delistathis

Good time to start a business? History is on your side

While many facts and figures are all doom and gloom about the economy in general, it may be a good time to start a business if you have a good opportunity to make a difference.  I saw a new study by the Kaufman Foundation (http://www.kauffman.org/newsroom/the-economic-future-just-happened.aspx) that found that “more than half of the companies on […]

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May 14 2009
by Thanasis Delistathis

Tip No 3: Send the deck, not the business plan or the one-pager

We get dozens of proposals for investment every month.  The time to screen those  is limited so entrepreneurs need to make that easy.The first screen for VCs is: Is this a business that is a good fit for our fund and that I should pay attention to?  Sending the business plan requires a larger investment […]

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May 11 2009
by Thanasis Delistathis

Tip No 2: Financial models and projections : keep it simple

I had a discussion last week with a very successful entrepreneur which reminded me of some of the follies I have seen over the years with startups and financial models.   Here is the basic idea: keep it simple!   No one can predict the future.  Adding pages and pages of assumptions and complicated calculations doesn’t provide […]

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May 6 2009
by Thanasis Delistathis

Tip #1: Explain your business in simple terms

Memo to entrepreneurs: can you explain to your mother what your business does and what problem it solves?  Great.  Now explain to VCs the same way.  Here is a mythbuster for you:  VCs don’t need to hear buzzwords to think you are smart.  In fact, the more buzzwords they hear the more they think: (a) […]

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May 6 2009
by Thanasis Delistathis

Use of focus groups

There are many times in startup pitches where the entrepreneurs are trying to convince us that they have the product features figured out because they have conducted one or two focus groups and have incorporated potential “customer feedback.”   It is puzzling to me how frequently this happens.  Of course anyone who has worked in marketing […]

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