How to talk about valuation when a VC asks

Raising money for your startup involves a lot of work and the process can be lengthy, frustrating and—especially for first-time entrepreneurs—it can be intimidating. You need to be thoroughly prepared with all the relevant facts and figures to hand because questions will be asked and you need to have suitable answers. To "give you some sense of what might be on the mind of the person considering funding you," entrepreneur and venture capitalists shares some of the questions VCs may ask, why they...
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Every potential investor will ask you about these 3 things. Here's how to be prepared

Entrepreneurs looking to raise money from venture capitalists (VCs) know they face a formidable and often demoralizing challenge. It isn't just a case of preparing and presenting your pitch, then waiting with bated breath for an investor to say 'yes.' There'll be meetings and discussions, and there'll be questions. And some of those questions can easily trip up a founder going through the fundraising process for the first time. Here, Mark Suster reveals how a typical conversation with a VC ...
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Advice for VCs from a serial founder

Building a successful startup isn't easy and fundraising is one of the first major challenges first-time founders have to get to grips with. It's a daunting process and getting the right advice is crucial. Fortunately there are plenty of founders willing to share the fundraising lessons they've learned. And there's no shortage of advice from Venture Capitalists (VCs) either. What seems to be lacking though is founder advice for VCs. Inspired by a tweet from Bryan Birsic notin...
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Investors don't ask women founders the same questions as men. Here’s why that's a problem

Gender bias in the questions investors ask entrepreneurs impacts the level of funding they receive, with men typically receiving higher levels of funding than women, according to research. When Dana Kanze and her colleagues analyzed question and answer sessions between investors and entrepreneurs, they discovered the venture capitalists were asking male entrepreneurs questions about the potential for gains while asking female entrepreneurs about the potential for losses. And because their a...
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Three non-business ingredients of the perfect investor pitch

When you're raising money for your business you need an impressive pitch that captivates your audience of angel investors or venture capitalists. Time is limited when delivering your pitch and you mustn't overlook any of the essential business ingredients, such as vision, problem, target market, solution, business model, marketing strategy, competition, team, financials, and so on. To make your pitch truly compelling however, you need to add some extra ingredients. This blog post focuses on...
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What to do (and what to avoid) when negotiating with venture capitalists

Fundraising for your startup can be a lengthy, time-consuming and challenging process and finding the right investor is crucial. While the money itself is undoubtedly important, it's even more important to make sure you're not so focused on the cash that you feel pressured to accept terms you're not totally happy with. "Investors often come to the negotiating table with more power than founders have—but there's a way you can increase your leverage," writes Annalyn Kurtz. Here, she shares so...
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Here’s what VCs look for the first time they meet a founder

First impressions are everything when you're meeting potential investors for the first time and those first impressions, whether they're accurate or not, can be almost impossible to reverse or undo. Getting to know as much as possible about the VCs you're pitching to and understanding what makes them tick helps you to adapt your approach accordingly. Apart from a few idiosyncrasies or inherent biases however, VCs generally have a lot in common when it comes to deciding if they can build a succes...
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15 common mistakes startups make when pitching to investors (as told by VCs themselves)

Although the percentage varies from one data source to another, the mortality rate among early stage startups is undeniably high. And it's not for lack of effort. Entrepreneurs are known to be persistent in pursuit of their goals and passionate about solving a problem or improving people's lives. No matter how promising your startup is though, lack of funding can leave it dead in the water. Pitching to potential investors is never easy. It can be a demanding, time-consuming process wit...
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A $300m VC fund for early stage tech startups has launched

A new $300 million (€254 million) venture capital (VC) fund is committed to supporting advances in technology and the growth of digital startups in the UK. Athlone Ventures, founded by British businessman Jojar Dhinsa, in partnership with former Irish rock musician turned serial entrepreneur Brendan Morrissey, is an early stage VC firm dedicated to "accelerating disruptive innovations and trends." The company is now seeking to accelerate the growth of up to 15 startups each year with fundin...
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What I learned about building a successful startup hub from visiting 12 cities in 12 weeks

Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area have long been the world leaders in high-tech startups and venture capital investment. Nevertheless, recent years have seen a rise in significant startup ecosystem in cities both elsewhere in the United States and globally. While there are plenty of government-sponsored initiatives to create technology and innovation centres, their top-down approach tends not to produce lasting results. Building the infrastructure of talent, knowledge, entrepreneurs,...
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