Startup Business Plan

Corporate Governance Requirements For Angel Investors

Angel Investing is inherently risky. Startups, in general, aren't for the weak at heart. It is even more perilous when investing with minimal leverage that comes with a small investment of $25 - $50 thousand. Over a 10 year period, I made 7 investments that returned 180 percent. Over the same period of time, the S&P returned 250 percent. Yes, I took 50 times the risk to get a fraction of the return. How could I have improved the returns? I should have insisted that companies followed certain corporate governance norms. And if I didn't have the leverage to dictate good governance, I should have invested alongside someone who had the power to mandate good corporate governance terms. Let's look at my investments to illustrate what I mean? Winners With Responsible Leadership Social Tables - Great Management Team, Frequent Credible Business Status, and Financial Reporting and Regular Board Supervision Veenome - Great Founder, Frequent Credible Business Status and regular investor conference calls seeking input. Sideways With Responsible Leadership TalkLocal - Great Management Team, Frequent Credible Business Status, and Financial Reporting and regular investor conference calls seeking input. Winners With Leadership Issues none Losers With Leadership Issues SpotFlux - Not sure, I invested...

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...

Startup Funding: Who To Blame for the Lack of #DCTech Cash?

Who should we blame for the lack of startup funding in DC? Angel Investors - Let's blame the Angel Investors! Why aren't people like Mr Cranky investing in startups anymore? After all, wasn't Glen Hellman the #1 Angel Investor in the United States according to Tech Cocktail (tech.co) readers? Actually, no he wasn't and he, who is I, never was the #1 angel anywhere. He who is I, is (or am) also no longer an Angel Investor and the rest of this article describes why. Venture Capitalists - Let's blame the lack of startup funding on all the VC's who just don't "get it." Which isn't true if "it" is not understanding the value of a groovy app like Sick Weather. There is no it to get with apps like Trustify and Sick Weather.  The it that VCs do get however is the actually it that is the problem.  The it that is keeping them from actively investing in this region is that too few its have proven themselves to be worth it in DC as of late. That's why there used to be over 40 active VC's in this town and now there's only 4 or 5 or 6. The Government...

Revisiting the 100 DC Tech Startups I Don’t Hate

Aww those  DC Tech Startups. Got to love them or hate them. In today's post, we ((we love calling me we) look back at the 100 #DCTech Startups we as in I don't Hate. Way back in April 2014 I made a friendly wager with the Washington Post's Steven Overly that I could name 100 DCTech companies that didn't make me want to vomit. Thusly (he said with the grand pomposity of one who refers to himself as we),  the 100 #DCTech Companies I Don’t Hate: The Steven Overly Challenge was born. I lost that wager because at the time I was only able to come up with 42 companies. Probably because most of the good companies aren't stupid enough to be constantly yelling, "Hey! Look at me!" at the local tech press like DCInno or Tech.co or Techally.Dc.(look for the upcoming Mr. Cranky post on the Buzz to Biz Ratio). Most of the good companies hide in the isolation of caves and come out when they've made it. Now 3 years after the challenge, I...

InaneCrapital

InTheCapital’s, Billy Mitchell recently posted an article regarding Social Tables  new feature which allows meeting planners to build seating...