Pitching Aspirin Inc

Raising Capital

The other day, I did a class on raising capital and pitching for money to a group of Ph.D. Students, Researchers, and Professors at the University of Maryland. As I went through the pitch, I kept referring to material that they could find on my blog that could prove useful. Here's a recap of curated articles I've written on raising money. Raising Capital Strategy - Getting ready to raise capital for your startup Are You Venture Capital Fundable - Do you really have an idea that will interest investors? The Best Time To Raise Capital - When is the right time to raise money? Six Hurdles To Getting Investors - The more milestones you've successfully completed the lower the risk of executing your plan. Reducing risk raises the odds of raising around at an attractive valuation. A Construct For Thinking About Startup Risk-Reward- A construct to help you decide if now is the time to raise money Targeting Investors - How do you find the right people who might invest in your startup Strategy for pitching to investors - Preparing your pitch Driving Investors On To The Bus - Understanding how investors look at investments Do Venture Capitalists Have Feelings?- Don't just pitch the numbers, pitch the feeling...

How To Invest in Startups

This is Mr. Cranky's Official Guide on How To Invest in Startups. Now a better topic than How To Invest in Startups would be Why The Hell Would You Want to Invest In Startups but that's another article. Also, a warning. These are my opinions, based on experience as a limited partner in Venture Fund and an Angel Investor. Do not make investment decisions based on this article! Got that? It's just observations of the various choices and the relative benefits and pitfalls of multiple investment methodologies. No primer on how to invest in startups would be complete without a primer on the state of Venture Capital. Venture Capital Investment today is divided into the Haves and the Have Nots: The Haves (THs) - a group of venture funds who raise money from top financial institutions and endowment funds. The THs don't have to actively go out and raise money, there's a long line of Limited Partners ready to invest well over $1 million dollars in the fund to get access to the "best deals." If you're reading this to learn something, you can't invest in any of THs. THs get access to the best deals and in order to limit competition...

Death By Venture Capital – Angel & Venture Capital Part III

Many Startups fail caused by Death by Venture Capital. Here's the deal. Imagine you are a parent. You have three kids. You don't give a crap about the kids as individuals. You take a portfolio approach to the family.  It doesn't matter what happens to any of the kids individually as long as one of them grows up to cure cancer, it's a win! The other two could wind up dead or in jail, but the portfolio of kids is highly profitable. Venture Capital is like that, except VC's eat their children...

Open Letter to Whiny Jason Feimster

Poor little whiny Jason Feimster. He's being bullied! I know this because I just read his comment on a LinkedIn post.  It went like this: What are we at again? Speaking of conducting due diligence, have we ever spoke? I find your negative press and borderline lies almost amusing. However, your cyber bullying rhetoric is getting a little over played. It sounds like the ex-Marine, and big-time VC, who runs a $70 million Venture Fund (according to Feimster) is being bullied by a little old man who isn't a VC running a $70 million fund. Either Mr. Cranky is a bully or whiny Jason Feimster thinks you can be bullied by facts. Jason was responding to this post on LinkedIn that linked to this post. So I want to respond to this complaint in an open letter: Dear Whiny Jason Feimster, It is true we have never spoken. It is also true that I have only presented facts and from those facts, made several assertions. I'm concerned that you believe that there are borderline lies. I assure you that if there are any lies in my posts, and you can prove to me I am in error, I will remove the posts and sing your praises!!!! Let's address...

Startup Business Plan

Get Investors to Read Your Startup Business Plan

How do you get investors to read your startup business plan? Well short of walking into their offices and holding a gun on them, there's no guaranteed way to get them to read a business plan. There are however several ways to get them to not read your startup business plan and they include: Send it to investors who don't invest in your space - You're a pre-revenue media entertainment startup located in Washington DC seeking seed funding and you send the plan to a later-stage investor that doesn't focus in media and entertainment. Wrong Stage. Wrong Geography. Wrong Investor. Blind Unsolicited - Send in an unsolicited blind plan. Why waste a stamp. If you're sending in a blind, unsolicited business plan to an investor, save yourself a stamp. Just put it in an envelope, address the envelope and place it in your recycle bin. Maybe you should shred it first so no one else will find out how stupid you are. Technology - Make it all about the tech. Tell them every thing about the inner workings of your technology and ignore why anyone would want it. Use lots and lots of big words - Forget graphics, bullets and a narrative....

Mr Cranky Investment Pitch Advice

The first 3 slides in every investment pitch presentation should always be the same. What is the Pain? Describe your best prospective targeted customer and the pain they feel - without pain, there is no change. What is the Solution? Describe how you solve that target customer's pain. How Big Is The Market? Describe how many are there in your target market and how much they're willing to pay to fix the pain. Want to learn how to pitch like a pro? Schedule a complimentary coaching session and we'll see if you have it in you. Press the little red button to schedule your session now. ...