7 Signs Your Startup Is Not Ready for Angel Investors & What To Do About It

By Doug Wendt and featured on his blog at Wendt Partners Do you have an exciting business concept? Perhaps it involves technology that will disrupt a market or change the world. Conventional wisdom says that, after putting in a few months of hard work on your part, designing some wireframes and mockups, writing multiple lines of code and creating a short PowerPoint pitch deck, it's time to go and seek angel investors. Or is it? Just like the seven deadly sins that can destroy the souls of those who fail to heed clear warnings, the siren song of angel investment can send even the most seasoned mariner steering his or her ship of opportunity straight into the rocky coast of failure at full speed. How can you be sure that your interest in pursuing angel capital is legitimately thought out, and not just a hallucination created by the illusion of billion-dollar valuations dancing in your head? You can start by learning how to identify and respond to warning signs that you're not ready. Here are seven clear and unambiguous signs that you and your business are not ready to pursue or pitch to angel investors: 1. You didn't really raise a friends & family...

Driven Forward & Microsoft’s Windows 7 Professional Young Entrepreneurs Contest

Calling all entrepreneurs who would you love to win significant technology that would help advance your enterprise to becoming the next great startup! Driven Forward and Microsoft have partnered to find the next great American entrepreneur.  There will be 4 prizes awarded with a combined retail value in excess of $5,000. The 4 Prizes Grand Prize: Samsung Series 900x-3B – Approximate Retail Value (ARV) $1,475 Known as the Word's Thinnest Laptop techradar.com Review First Prize: Dell XPS 13 – Approximate Retail Value (ARV) $1,285 Silver Clamshell Ultra-light Ultra-book techradar.com Review Second Prize: Toshiba Portege Z830 – Approximate Retail Value (ARV) $1,280 One of the lightest full power laptops at 2.425 lbs techradar.com Review Third Prize: HP Folio 13 – Approximate Retail Value (ARV) $$968  HPs latest serious entry into the Ultra-book category techradar.com Review What Do You Have To Do To Enter? All you have to do to qualify is to create, produce and post on a publicly accessible website, a video entry no longer than 2 minutes in length, which addresses the following three questions: What kind of entrepreneur are you? What is your big entrepreneurial idea? How can the right PC and cutting edge technology be a catalyst for turning your dream into a reality? Why are YOU...

DC Business Tech Online Reading List

Check out these blogs, newsletters and resources to keep up to date on the DC Startup and Tech Scene. They are ranked by their Alexa Global Ranking. Item Alexa Rank Link Facebook DC Tech 2 http://www.facebook.com/groups/washdctech/ Justin Thorpe's Moderated Facebook Group Capital Business 340 http://www.washingtonpost.com/capital_business Steven Overly and Other Washington Post Staffers Wash Biz Journal 1,856 http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/ Bill Flook makes this mostly Real Estate focused journal relevant to DC Tech. Tech Cocktail 27,923 http://www.techcocktail.com National Tech Blog HQd in DC InTheCapital 219,827 http://inthecapital.com/ In The Capital Tech Biznow 322,442 http://www.bisnow.com Local Tech primarily Government Tech Forward Thinking 380,900 http://www.drivenforward.com/blog Driven Forward's blog by me, Glen Hellman iStrategyLabs 468,850 http://istrategylabs.com/blog/ Peter Corbett and Crew's Blog Sisarina 801,588 http://sisarina.com/blog Melanie Spring and the Sisarina crew. New Atlantic Ventures 964,261 http://navfund.com/ John Backus and the NAV Team's blog FAKEGRIMLOCK 978,371 http://www.fakegrimlock.com DC's own treasure FAKEGRIMLOCK Social Matchbox 1,080,381 http://socialmatchbox.com/wp/ Robert Neelbauer's Mobile Tech blog Foster.ly 1,240,942 http://foster.ly/ Blogs by the Adam Zuckerman's Foster.ly crew Potomac Tech Wire 1,650,527 http://www.potomactechwire.com/ Paul Sherman's daily newsletter of local Tech and VC happenings. VC in DC 3,065,928 http://startups.typepad.com/ VC Grotech's Don Rainey's blog Winning Ideas 3,747,781 http://tienwong.wordpress.com/ Serial Entrepreneur and Angel Investor, Tien Wong's blog Amplifier Ventures 4,028,429 http://www.amplifierventures.com/ Local VC Jonathan Aberman DC Tech Events 5,083,913 http://www.dctechevents.com/ LA list of DC Tech Events Drinking Oatmeal Stout 5,169,663 http://drinkingoatmealstout.com/ Local Technorati Justin Thorpe Dingman Center 6,468,560 http://umddingman.wordpress.com/ Elana Fine, Dingman EIRs, Angels and Board Members blog Cheeky Fresh 7,123,794 http://www.markdrapeau.com/ Microsoft's Mark Drapeu General Business DC Blogs of Interest   CadreDC Blog 94,018 http://www.cadredc.com/blog/ Cadre's Derek and Melanie Coburn's blog about DC Busness and Business Networking VistageDC Blog 2,706,646 http://dc.vistage.com/blog/ Peer Advisory Vistage's Local business blog by local DC Chairs ...

Washington Executive: D.C.’s Role in the Technology Industry

WashingtonExec spoke with Glen Hellman, a Principle at Driven Forward LLC, about the role D.C. plays in the technology industry.  Hellman also reflects on the potential for start up businesses in the D.C. area. WashingtonExec: In what ways is D.C. poised to be the next hub of technology? Glen Hellman: The next hub is probably a misnomer for a couple of reasons. A) There is room for, and there are many, technology hubs today and B) The Washington Region has always been one of those hubs.

At one time, in the late 70s during the mainframe revolution, DC was Silicon Valley before there was a Silicon Valley. Mainframe software companies like VM Software, Morino Associates, and Landmark Systems, were DC’s contribution to the first software companies on the planet.  We currently have more early stage companies, many of high quality, than I’ve seen in my 30 years as a DC-Techie.  The ecosystem is heating up with more networking, cross-pollination, and education resources. There’s density, energy and support.  And there are some companies in our 3rd tech wave that have come off successful IPOs like Living Social and Millennial Media. There are private companies like Opower that are appearing to be achieving impressive scale. (Read...

Top 5 Deals of 2010

In 2010 I've seen, coached, and reviewed pitches for over 150 companies.  I've worked with companies pitching at Cooley Godward's Capital Call, University of Maryland's, Dingman Center's Angels Network, MAVA, Fashinvest. (Updated Dec 2017) This year I've seen everything from shale-oil extraction technology to bicycle carbon trading with a passel of high fashion designers thrown in for good measure.  Add to that your usual SAAS, mobile apps and web stuff and there were a lot of companies with a lot of ideas pitching for money in 2010.  Out of all of the deals I've seen this year, I've chosen my 5 favorite DC-based companies and one honorable mention. Here they are in no particular order: Optoro (Lanham, MD) – Specialist in direct-to-consumer (D2C) remarketing of distressed inventory through multiple online channels including their own etailer; e.spot, eBay and other websites.  Optoro received $150K of financing from Maryland DBED in addition to a major investment from two undisclosed angel investors.  This is a great young entrepreneurial team of pedigreed Ivy League graduates who were high school buddies from St Albans High School in DC. (Still Rocking It!) Ringio - SaaS-based rich calling service that intelligently routes calls to any phone along with background information about...