So many entrepreneurs rush the startup fundraising process. Even the most senior people seem to think it happens faster than it really does. And so they have this sense of urgency both from a “we’re running out of time” perspective and a “we have something great, this will be quick” rationale.
But rushing the process is not one of the ways to raise startup funding. And I can’t stress enough how important it is to establish a solid foundation in your startup fundraising strategy. You have to trust the process.
At the start of that process is what every sales…
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” — Peter Drucker
In the early 1950s, Peter Drucker developed a concept called Management by Objectives (MBO). It’s basically a way to develop goals, which connect a company’s bigger vision to the immediate tasks that help achieve that vision.
This management process has since evolved.
When Andy Grove founded Intel, he built on Drucker’s concept into Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). Since then, companies like Google, Amazon, and task management software company, Asana, have been using OKRs at every stage of their growth.
The tools that encompass OKRs have…
People who’ve fallen in love with the entrepreneurial life have a condition. I have it too. It’s the kind of sickness that makes us persevere in the face of market obstacles. We call it passion.
Others call it craze. Yet, those people probably haven’t experienced the joys of succeeding at taking a risk no one else would. I’ve seen too many entrepreneurs give up before trying.
I’ve seen even more make financial decisions hastily, and as a result, fail at running their startups.
What separates an entrepreneur, in my opinion, is the ability to adapt to stressful situations. This…
One of the biggest challenges we overcame at Skylift was getting product-market fit to prove to investors we had a viable business.
At Skylift, we helped firefighters cut half the time in extinguishing wildfires. We did this by enabling them to focus all their attention on extinguishing the fires and letting us handle the short-range logistics. As a result, we helped save millions of dollars in economic loss and firefighting costs for the nation.
You’ll notice I don’t have to tell you about our product for you to understand the impact it has on the world. …
“In building technology companies, often the difference between success and failure is the incredible power of a great narrative.”
Zack Schildhorn, Partner at Lux Capital
If it wasn’t enough to hear it from a successful venture fund, let me share with you others who agree. I interviewed investors and entrepreneurs in my professional network and received over 800 responses to my question:
“What challenges do entrepreneurs face raising capital?”
20% said “telling their story.”
The problem many technology entrepreneurs have is getting out of the engineering mindset. They struggle with identifying very narrow problems in the market. They struggle with…
Going into 2020, major entertainment companies like Disney and Warner Brothers have been laying out billions of dollars to compete with Netflix’s movie streaming business. Even Apple has gotten in the game, and it alone has dropped a billion into new video content.
Startups, however, don’t have billions of dollars to spend creating new content and stealing market share. Yet, I see too many entrepreneurs pursuing competitive strategies they can’t afford. For example, they spend money on ads before doing market research and without an aim to learn about the customer.
The problem starts with the way early entrepreneurs analyze…
The most common term entrepreneurs use when negotiating an investment term sheet is dilution (or the anti-dilution clause). It’s the clause that dictates how much ownership an entrepreneur retains as he sells off pieces of his startup’s equity.
I remember talking to a startup founder who raised money from someone who called himself “a billionaire.” No one really knew if this guy was an actual billionaire. But when the founder said the billionaire requested a 51% stake in the company for a small influx of cash, I couldn’t believe it.
I prefer to believe the guy wasn’t a successful investor…
Earlier this year, a catering company out of San Diego asked me to take a look at mobile marketing efforts for its new BBQ restaurant.
The owners were solely in the catering business for many years, but they looked at the seating area in the new building and thought “why not?” They had been in the restaurant business before. From owning over 20 Little Caesars franchises to award-winning fine dining restaurants, they brought enough experience to run food operations.
But marketing — specifically mobile marketing — was a new feat.
The results of our discussions revealed the need to build…
It’s hard to find good investors for your startup. That’s why only .05% of startups raise venture capital funding. Of the entrepreneurs I’ve spoken with who have raised startup capital, almost all of them complain about having investors they can’t manage.
But the definition of a “manageable investor” is relative to the entrepreneur’s needs.
One entrepreneur told me he only wanted the money. He preferred investors to stay silent and hidden because his experience proved that investors only got in the way of business growth.
Another entrepreneur told me her investors always argued about the direction of the company despite…
Only 10% of what you see on SAM.gov is actually available for you to bid. This is because most businesses already have relationships with procurement officers before the opportunity goes online.
I didn’t know this as an entrepreneur. I pushed my business through this never-ending cycle of bidding on government applications with no results. I would apply to every opportunity that seemed to match my business services, only to be disheartened by an unresponsive agent. So I blamed it on the system, saying, “the government is slow.”
But there’s no denying how our country spends more than the amount of…
Serial drone entrepreneur and co-founder of Toofon, an aerial logistics startup spun out of Caltech. All social: @amirmemadi