Arlington County and Culpeper Garden $12K Pitch Contest

Arlington County Economic Development and Culpeper Gardens, a seniors living housing company, are holding a Pitch Contest called the Innovation in Healthy Aging Challenge with applications to pitch due by October 11, 2019. The contest is targeted to companies that have products that improve the health, mobility, and quality of life for senior citizens like me. The sponsors describe the contest as a unique competition to provide funding and pilot program opportunities for innovative companies and technologies focused on improving the lives of low-income seniors. The announcement states that three companies will be selected to pilot their products and receive $12 thousand in funding. The contest is open to companies of all stages from startup seed to established companies from anywhere in the world. You can apply to compete in the Healthy Aging Challenge with this link. The Schedule for the contest. Application Submission Deadline - October 11, 2019 Contestant Selection Notification - November 4, 2019 Pitch Contest and Award - November 18, 2019 While I'm usually against pitch contests that are just vanity gong-show Jersey Shore-ish trash. This contest is an exception. It is for a good cause and $12,000 for 3 winners is not chump change!      ...

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...