BLOG STARTUPS, VENTURE AND THE TECH BUSINESS

Posts Tagged ‘Startups’

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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June 2 2009
by John Backus

Top 5 Reasons No VC Will Read Your Email

Top 5 Reasons No VC Will Read Your Email You start your email “Dear Investor.”  At least pretend that you are only sending your idea to us! In the “to” filed, you copy include 100’s of VCs.  Again, make us feel special. We are an early stage fund and you are trying to raise $50M. […]

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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 13 2009
by Scott Johnson

The downturn feels different this time

Tonight is the MIT 100K finals.  So I thought I would muse on why I feel so much better today than I did in the aftermath of the last downturn. The 2001-2004 VC nuclear winter was brutal.  Valuations fell so far so fast – it was like being on a bullet train that suddenly stopped. […]

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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 9 2009
by Todd Hixon

Scott Derschlag, Skype COO: TLH notes from the Nantucket conference

Skype is a Ferrari that is running on 3 cylinders: [sounds like someone hyping a car company to me] huge success engaging users (400m) weak on monetization ($550m, $1.30/user) customer service is a challenge with a user base the size of the European union Fremium is a subtle strategy: different customers have different behaviors some […]

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May 9 2009
by Todd Hixon

Managing through the downturn: TLH notes from the Nantucket conference

First panel:  Managing through the downturnAron Ain, CEO, KronosJana Eggers, CEO, SpreadShirt (customized apparel), $10s m run rate, just raised growth capital (offers were shocking)Christia Lampe-Onnerud, Boston-Power, advanced lap-top batteries, H-P is lead customer, growing fastChris Zannetos, CEO, Courion, Info SW co, security business, manage provisioning of systems for employees (eg, 800 new interns at […]

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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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