Christena Reinhard, CEO and founder of philanthropic fashion company Union & Fifth, isn’t afraid to ask for money—a helpful trait that’s enabled her to raise over $1 million from 1100 donors, for 200 charities over the last three years.
But money hasn’t always been her forte.
The short answer: probably not. While fundraising may seem like an obligatory step in the life of every start-up, it is often an imaginary…
Every Startup is of course different, with its own challenges, its own wins, and its own rules. Anyone who tells you there are rules to startup success is lying. Period. Full stop. There are no rules to follow that will turn you into the next Facebook. There just aren’t. What there are, however, are rules, that if not followed, will prevent you from ever becoming the next Facebook. Two rules, to be precise. Let’s discuss those rules.
Absolut Art CEO Nahema Mehta turned her rent-to-own art startup into a profitable reality thanks to sheer persistence.
Mehta would build a passionate consumer base and network of galleries — enough to leave her Wall Street job and eventually catch the attention of Absolut, which was looking to launch fresh ventures beyond the world of vodka. The founder’s brainchild was purchased by the corporation in 2014 and evolved into Absolut Art, of which Mehta now serves as CEO. And though she’s still baffled by the fact that she’s leading this operation — “I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur until someone else called me that” — she knows how she got here: By never taking no for an answer.
Seed-stage companies, on the other hand, often don’t do much year-end planning because they feel fairly capital-constrained and focused on shorter-term milestones. While I agree seed-stage founders shouldn’t get too in-the-weeds of yearly budget and hiring planning, I do think they should use the end of the year as an opportunity to evaluate the business and focus for the following year.With that goal in mind, here are some suggested steps to guide the planning process for seed-stage companies thinking about the upcoming year.
Sputnik ATX co-founder Josef Merrill quoted below:
Yes, I’d Like $100,000, but What the Heck is a SAFE Note?
“There are two problems with early stage investing: telling how much a company is worth when truthfully, it is still worthless; and helping early-stage companies protect themselves from over dilution when they are, effectively, worthless. Two sides of the same intractable coin.
To solve this, VCs and entrepreneurs need a quick and easy way to provide seed funding, without a long, drawn out negotiation, onerous debt covenants, or a crazy valuation that could hurt the investor and/or the entrepreneur. YC came up with a novel way to do this in 2013 called the SAFE note.
When Sputnik ATX funds a company in our program, we give them $100,000 through a SAFE note. This begs the questions, what is a SAFE note, and why use it?
This article answers these two main questions, and summarizes a few of the terms of the Sputnik ATX SAFE note.
First, what is a SAFE Note?” – Josef Merrill, co-founder Sputnik ATX
What tells a VC that you are an amateur? originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Answer by Jason M. Lemkin, CEO/co-founder of EchoSign, on Quora:
Being an amateur is OK, even endearing — if it’s authentic.
But here are some things that say you aren’t ready to raise venture capital:
- You bring “weird” people to the pitch meetings. Do not bring “advisers”. Do not bring anyone that isn’t a key employee. Do not have a non-CEO/founder lead a meeting. CEO or CEO + co-founder only to start.
“An ICO is a virtual coin or token that is sold to investors in an effort to raise capital for a new company.”
Depending on the terms of the ICO, the token sold to an investor can represent either an investment security, or a form of currency within a company’s application. And while it might sound a little too futuristic, ICOs are a key tool for launching a business or entrepreneurial effort.
Is there such thing as taking bad money when working with venture capitalists?
Oh geez yes.
Venture capitalists are humans who work in their venture capital firm which is really just a business. Some humans are awesome. Some businesses are awesome. Some humans and businesses are not so awesome.
Things that make a VC’s money “bad” money:
Entrepreneurs often wonder what it takes to get VCs to fund their companies, and the answer is that — most of the time — we must believe you will succeed without us. Part of the thought process is that if an entrepreneur “can do all this without my money and help, just imagine what can be accomplished if we contribute.” At an even simpler level, VCs will often simply chase after a good deal that appears to be getting away.