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Should you Raise Funding?

Should you raise funding and if so, how much should you seek? Funding helps accelerate what you already have going into your business. You should have a core process for acquiring customers and providing a service. If you don’t have it then funding at this stage will only hurt your business. It’s best to continue…

What to Do When You Hear No From the Investor

In raising funding you hear no most of the time. It reminds me of  a saying, “A good salesman never takes ‘no’ for an answer.” I worked as a salesman for several years and saw how others used this statement. It played out in several different ways. The rookie salesman harangues the prospect with the…

Ronald Lemay of Main Street Data

Main Street Data was formed in 2017 to bring precise data to the agriculture world. While data has improved in many other industries, agriculture remains behind the curve – and Main Street Data is here to change that. Just as a surgeon might use a laser rather than a scalpel, the agriculture industry can use…

When You Should Get a Broker for Your Fundraise

TEN Capital is not a broker/dealer but rather a Funding as a Service program. Here at TEN, we help startups raise their own funding rather than raising funding for them. Other groups such as broker/dealers (which requires a license) raise money for startups. TEN Capital is a good fit if you want to raise your…

3x is Pure Alpha

In the financial world of investment, there’s alpha and beta. Alpha is a measure of return on investment with a comparison to the market. Beta is a measure of volatility and how the investment moves relative to the rest of the market. In short, alpha is how well your investment performed on its own while…

You Have to Ask 5 Questions to Get to the Answer

You have to ask five questions to get to the full answer. Ask one question, and you get the idea. Ask four more questions, and you will get you the answer you want. In talking with startups, I find the investor must always probe for the final answer. A single question rarely reveals the full…

The ICO Refugees

2017 was a banner year for ICOs. The money was flowing. Startups with nothing more than a whitepaper were raising millions of dollars. The events around ICO’s were extravagant affairs at high-end hotels and on cruise ships. Then it came crashing down by the end of Q1 2018 when it came out that 42% of…

I’m not Raising Funding Now But in Six Months I Will Be . . .

While unforeseen events can overtake a startup, most CEOs simply don’t plan ahead. For every $1M you want to raise, it will take you one calendar year to raise it. Most of the time, an entrepreneur who approaches me is raising funding today and is looking for a check now.  In some cases, they need…

Tomorrow’s Valuation for Today’s Fundraise

I recently saw a pitch deck from a seed-stage startup which had a small amount of revenue. The deck claimed a valuation of $50M because a similar company exited at that valuation. I asked his valuation and he claimed $50M because “that’s what my company will be worth.” I reminded him that the example company…

Five Competitive Advantages:Virality

Competitive advantage increases revenue by 30% over the competition or decreases cost by 30%. Virality is different from Network Effects. Virality has users inviting other users to join.  Network Effects has the platform increasing in value based on more users participating. I once had a CEO tell me “I wish I had designed for virality rather…

Five Competitive Advantages : Network Effects

Competitive advantage increases revenue by 30% over the competition or decreases cost by 30%. Here are five sources of competitive advantage: -Recurring revenue -Channel access -Platform based solution instead of singular products. -Network effects in action–the value of the product increases with the number of users -Virality (not the same as network effects) (users invite…

Eric Smith of AppBrilliance

At AppBrilliance, they believe that the next-big-thing in tech is the disruption of the trillion-dollar financial industry by nimble technology companies and major platform providers such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple. Their platform unlocks the future of money by removing the barriers between technology companies and the financial institutions where people bank today. Excerpts…

Five CompetitiveAdvantages: Platform Based Solution

Competitive advantage increases revenue by 30% over the competition or decreases cost by 30%. Here are five sources of competitive advantage: Recurring revenue Channel access Platform based solution instead of singular products. Network effects in action–the value of the product increases with the number of users Virality (not the same as network effects) (users invite…

Five Competitive Advantages: Channel Access

Competitive advantage increases revenue by 30% over the competition or decreases cost by 30%. Here are five sources of competitive advantage: Recurring revenue Channel access Platform based solution instead of singular products. Network effects in action–the value of the product increases with the number of users Virality (not the same as network effects) (users invite…

Five Competitive Advantages: Recurring Revenue

Competitive advantage increases revenue by 30% over the competition or decreases cost by 30%. Here are five sources of competitive advantage: –Recurring revenue –Channel access –Platform-based solution instead of singular products. –Network effects in action–the value of the product increases with the number of users –Virality (not the same as network effects) (users invite other…

Five Competitive Advantages for Building a Winning Business Model

When I ask an entrepreneur what their competitive advantage is, most point to their product and say it’s better. Of course, they spend ten minutes citing anecdotal stories to “prove” it. My definition of a competitive advantage is that it increases in revenue by 30% over the competition or a decrease in cost by 30%….

5 More Reasons you Should Join a TEN Capital Network Investor Reverse Pitch and Startup Pitch

This year as TEN Capital Group turns 10 we’ve decided to branch out and hold events across the US. This year we’ve had events in Austin, New York City, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Seattle and upcoming in Chicago, Orange County, Sunnyvale and Washington DC. We’ll also be circling back to Houston, San Francisco, New York…

How Does the TEN Capital Funding Program Compare to Revenue-Based Funding?

Revenue-based funding provides a return from the revenue rather than from equity ownership. It works well for businesses where there’s no anticipated sale of the business and investors receive a return in the form of a revenue share. It works well for companies with uneven revenue as it provides a payout based on a monthly…

The Liquidity Challenge in the Startup Funding World

I remember the last ACA (Angel Capital Association) meeting I attended. The theme was exits and how to achieve them. It seemed like every angel or angel group had a list of the deals they’ve been in for more than ten years. The sessions focused on helping the entrepreneur achieve an exit. More than a…

Reducing the Fees in Startup Investing

I’m a big fan of index investing as it’s a great way to reduce the cost of investing in publicly traded stocks and bonds. Index funds have less than 1% fees which compare favorably to some brokerages which charge 1% of assets under management or more. In the startup space the cost of investing is…

How Fundraising is Like Fishing

I meet a great number of entrepreneurs and have seen numerous approaches to raising funding. Some approach it as an opportunity to meet new people and explore another part of the entrepreneur ecosystem.  Others see it as a chore that distracts from the real business such as product development, selling customers, creating the next unicorn…

Chris Rawlings of JudoLaunch

When Chris Rawlings started Judolaunch his goal was to find the best ways to sell more on Amazon. Since then, Chris and Judolaunch have grown to help a tribe of more than 250 companies and sellers launch more than 1,000 products on Amazon. Whether you are just starting your Amazon journey or you are an…

How to Innovate and Manage Large Data Sets and More

At the Baylor Angel Network Analyst dinner, the student analysts asked the Angel members how they managed large, complex data sets. In my response, I explained that the solution to the large complex data set problem is to build models. In the startup world, there are many types of startups, but if you categorize them…

The Growth Story- To Raise Funding you Must First Have One

Many entrepreneurs approach me for funding for their startup. The biggest misconception most have is that they must first raise funding and then they can launch and grow their business. In reality, the ones who raise funding already have a growth story and can communicate it effectively to the investors. Investors funding startups seek market…

Top 5 Reasons You Should Join a TEN Capital Network Investor Reverse Pitch and Startup Pitch Event

This year as TEN Capital Network turns 10 we’ve decided to branch out and hold events across the US. This year we’ve had events in Austin, New York City, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston and upcoming in Seattle and Chicago. We are passionate about what we do and these events are a great way to keep…

John Pope and James Walker of Welldog

Founded in 1999, WellDog’s mission is to drive global sustainability through georesource innovation.  Welldog strives to achieve this mission by excelling in three areas: Technical Innovation Business Model Innovation World Class Customer Focus WellDog was founded on the premise that innovative technologies can facilitate a future of sustainable energy resource development. Responsible, efficient exploration and production…

What We’ve Learned Over the Years: How to Tell if Your Investor is Really Invested

In today’s startup world every fifth person is an investor in some form or fashion. Startup investors call to discuss deal structures, valuations, or serial entrepreneurs. I can tell the difference between a serious investor and  a not so serious investor. A pretend-startup-investor likes the title of startup investment but won’t commit the time or…

Mick Connors of Anytime Pediatrics

Anytime Pediatrics is a part of Anytime Telehealth, a company committed to connecting patients to the healthcare providers they trust most – at any time and from anywhere – using its simple, affordable telehealth software solution. Anytime Pediatrics and Anytime Telehealth were founded in 2016 and 2018, respectively, by Dr. Mick Connors, MD, a long-time pediatrician…

What We’ve Learned Over the Years- How You Can Tell you are Talking to a Pretend-preneur

The startup world is open to anybody and it seems like everybody comes through it at some time or another. I receive calls daily from entrepreneurs who are seeking to start a business, raise funding, or hire a team member. I can always tell who is the serious entrepreneur and who is the pretend-preneur –…

What We’ve Learned Over the Years- Venture Capitalists Engage in Brand Marketing

In the past VCs stood in the shadows of their successful portfolio companies, hinting about their contribution and using veiled wording in Twitter posts. Today we see VCs stepping up to take more credit for their contribution. There are numerous examples of VCs using successful exits as validation for their investment thesis. With the explosion…

What We’ve Learned Over the Years- In the Startup World Everyone Talks a Big Game

In the startup world, everyone talks a big game and investors are  looking for those who can do it. I love startup stories. In the startup world everyone has a grand idea and big plans to make it happen. It’s the venture world so you better have an idea that can be big. The talk…

What We’ve Learned Over the Years- Everyone is a VC

When I look through my LinkedIn network these days it appears every fifth contact is a venture capitalist of one kind or another. When I started in the early stage funding world 20 years ago, the VC was a rare breed since they had access to venture funding. Most of them were in a handful…

What We’ve Learned Over the Years- Startups Raising Funding

TEN Capital is ten years old now. We’ve picked up a few lessons along the way in helping startups raise funding and helping investors fund those startups. Here are some key principles for startups raising funding. Key Principles Launching a startup and growing a business is hard. It’s supposed to be hard. Funding is an…

What We’ve Learned Over the Years- Investing in Startups

Now that TEN Capital is ten years old, we’ve picked up a few lessons along the way in helping startups raise funding and helping investors fund those startups. Here are some key principles for investors funding startups. Key Principles   The team is the most important part of a startup. Diligence should focus first on…

Mike Krilivsky of RageOn!

RageOn has pioneered the art of made-to-order dye-sublimation, also known as all-over-printing, which enables print and design of any colors across the entirety of a product; essentially limitless! By printing on a made-to-order basis, RageOn saves money on inventory and storage, and is 100% green with zero waste. In 2015, RageOn gave the “freedom of…

Performance Based Valuations

In negotiating a startup investment there’s always a tension between the startup and the investors in placing a value on the equity in the deal.  The entrepreneur is pushing up the valuation pointing to the opportunity in the deal while the investor pushes the valuation down pointing to the risk. Most view valuation as a…

TEN Capital Network- Funding as a Service (FaaS)

As the business world moves to a service economy, everything becomes a service – even fundraising. Traditionally, those who start a business must raise their own funding. At later stages of the company, service firms provide investor relations programs but the cost is high and their services are targeted at investors in publicly traded stocks…

Travis Farese 0f Real AI

Real AI is an Austin based commercial real estate acquisitions platform. They leverage big data and artificial intelligence (AI) to source, evaluate and close investment opportunities for their clients. In combination with their organizational specialization and team based approach, their technology enables account executives to cover 10X more territory remotely. Travis is a successful entrepreneur, multifamily…

The Fundraising Process- How to Close an Investor for your Startup Raise

Once the fundraise is going you’ll need to progress investor prospects through the “funnel.”  Some investors are transactional – they look at the deal and make a decision. Most investor are not transactional – they look at the deal and continue to study it for evidence of traction and momentum. That’s why it’s important to…

The Fundraising Process- How to Build a Relationship with an Investor

The key to raising funding from an angel investor is to establish trust and demonstrate competence. In the process you are able to build a relationship. You need to have multiple interactions and an ongoing dialog. The interactions lead to familiarity.  When I led angel networks in the early 2000’s I witnessed many an entrepreneur…

The Fundraising Process- How to get a Lead Investor for your Deal

How to get a Lead Investor for your Deal I often have startups come to me saying they have five investors interested in their deal but no one wants to lead the deal. Leading the deal means taking responsibility for the initial due diligence and terms negotiations. There are syndicates in which investors will lead…

The Fundraising Process- How to find Investors for your Startup from your Network

Investors for your startup come from your personal network. This includes family, friends, coworkers, past coworkers, and those you know through 1 to 2 degrees of separation. For most contacts, this comes to about 15 to 20 accredited investors. Your Network The first place to start is with those in your network so you’ll get…

The Fundraising Process- How to be Successful at Raising Funding for your Startup

The key to raising funding is consistency and persistence. Most startups spend time with investors and then fail to follow up and keep them informed. In your fundraise, when you meet an investor and pitch him, you must have a plan for follow up and keeping them informed. It could be as simple as adding…

The Fundraising Process- What it Takes to Raise Funding for your Startup

When startups run out of cash and need dollars, they often seek funding. They can find it difficult to get interest from investors. Investors are on the lookout for good companies and what you need to raise funding comes down to two words: team and traction. Traction Investors look for teams that are achieving traction at…

The Fundraising Process- How it Really Works

There are a million articles on how to pitch a VC and negotiate a valuation. There are a million more on how to ask for funding from family and friends. Unfortunately, this is not how you start a fundraise. Getting Started   The real work starts weeks in advance. Build up a network of investor prospects…

TEN is 10!

TEN Capital Network is 10! As we enter our tenth year, here is look back at how it all started. Early Days In early 2000, I started angel investing when the company I worked at for 24 years went IPO. I lost all my money in my first investment. I shared my story with other…

The Many Startup Investor Types and Who is Right for Your Deal?

There are many kinds of startup investors today. Venture Capital, MicroVC Funds, Corporate Venture funds, Family Offices,  Angels, High Net worth Individuals (HNI), and crowdfunders to name some of the current types  of investors. Venture Capital- most startups think of venture capital when they start their fundraise. The reality is that venture capital is only…

Startup Investor Trends- Fundraising is Moving Online

When I started angel investing, there were venture capitalists, and angel investors. VCs were the “professional” money that was usually provided by someone else and Angels were the “novice” money and were provided by the investor himself. VCs had access to larger amounts of capital and were the go to group for later stage funding….

How to Learn About Sectors and Invest in Them

Many startup investors begin with a portfolio theory approach in which one makes a few investments across a broad range of sectors. I often hear, “My strategy is to invest in good deals.” This is easier said than done. A broad-based investing approach requires the investor to come up to speed on each and every…

How to Invest in Startups: What is the Real Due Diligence Work

I’m always surprised by how many investors say the team is the most important element of a startup but how little the due diligence focuses on the team. I can look back on successes and failures in my startup investing career and almost all failures can be traced back to the “team wasn’t up to…

How to Invest in Startups- Learn From Other Investors

As an investor, I helped launch three angel networks in Texas. In the process, I setup training programs, attended conferences, and talked with many other investors. Hearing and speaking to other investors was a wonderful learning tool. One of the best resources I found was a podcast by Frank Peters. Frank was an angel investor out of…

How to Invest in Startups: ​Invest at an Available or Opportune Time

As an investor you want to monitor the progress of the business to see how fast they are iterating on the business and how well they do with customers. After you are convinced this is a business you want to join as an investor, you look for an opportune time to invest. Some companies are…

How to Invest in Startups: Monitor for Progress Before Investing

On first blush, all investment opportunities look attractive.  As the investigation progresses, the warts, blemishes, and challenges become clear. It’s important to monitor deals for a few months before investing as it takes at least three months to surface all the relevant details about the deal. It’s also important to assess the capability of the…

How to Invest in Startups: How to use Analytical Tools for Startup Investing

Some investors believe the rise of data analytics will take over the decision making process for funding startups and that most venture capitalists will be out of a job in the next five years. Data analytics works well in some sectors such as consumer product goods because the business models are clearly defined and analytics…

How to Invest in Startups- How to Identify Quality Companies

In funding startups, investors need to find a source of deal flow that provides venture-fundable deals: Venture funded companies typically share these characteristics:   recurring or repeat revenue business model   doubling revenue year over year   tech enabled   strong team with industry experience   large target market allowing the firm to scale In searching for a startup…

8 Takeaways from the Emerge ICO Summit

TEN Capital recently held its annual tech event in Austin called the Emerge ICO Summit. This year the theme of the conference focused on blockchain applications and how to raise funding for your blockchain startup. To view the agenda, speakers and topics, you can visit the Emerge ICO Summit page. This was a wonderful event…

How to Raise Funding – A Little at a Time

Traditionally fundraising takes a tremendous amount of time on the part of the startup CEO. Some CEOs drop everything to run the fundraise.  I advise against spending too much time fundraising but rather set up a system to help with the fundraise. With the right use of online tools (analytics, CRM, Drip campaigns, etc) the…

A New Model for Startup Funding- Recurring Funding for Recurring Revenue Businesses

The rise of the recurring revenue business as a standard business model has implications for financiers. Just as it changed how customers made payment so it changes the way funding providers are changing the way they fund startups. Recurring revenue businesses don’t necessarily need large discrete funding rounds. Today we see funding ongoing throughout the…

How to Raise Funding Step 7: Closing the Investment

After initial interest the investor often proceeds through due diligence and will ask for documents on your business including legal entity filings, articles of incorporation, patent filings, tax returns, and so forth. In any due diligence exercise ninety five percent of the documents will come from the startup any way therefore, it makes sense to…

How to Raise Funding Step 6: How to Engage the Investor for Calls and Meetings

Contacting investors online is the first step. After several mailers you should be able to assess who is engaging with your deal and who is not. For those who are opening and your mailer and viewing your deck, you now take them to the next level which is a conference call and later a meeting….

How to Raise Funding Step 5: Develop a Rapport with the Investor

When I ran angel networks using the dinner club model, I had entrepreneurs come in to pitch my investors. Ninety percent of them would go away and we would never hear from them again. We had no idea what happened to them. About ten percent of them, though, would come back and give us updates…

How to Raise Funding Step 4: Research the Prospective Investors for Fit

In a fundraise, most startups think it’s the startups who pitch and it’s the investors who ask questions and run due diligence. The reality is that startups should be asking as many questions as the investors and should also be running due diligence on the investor. It’s important to research the prospective investors and qualify them for…

How to Raise Funding Step 3: Educate the Investor About Your Deal

They say it takes seven touches to close a sale – so it takes seven touches to close an investor. Some startups pitch to a group of investors and if they don’t see checkbooks coming out at the end, then in their mind it’s a failed meeting. I tell the startup, the investor doesn’t yet know…

How to Raise Funding Step 2: Run at Least 4 Mailers Against the List to Identify Who is Engaging

You have a good list.  Next, you need to introduce your deal to the investors and demonstrate why it’s a good deal. The operative word here is “DEMONSTRATE”.  Most startups tell the investor why it’s going to be a good deal – great product, great team, great market, great future, etc. The key is you have to…

How to Raise Funding Step 1: Build a List of Investor Prospects – You Need Several Hundred Not Just a Dozen or So

A New Model for Startup Funding By now you probably have your pitch deck and financial projections ready and your due diligence box (some call it a data room) is coming together. The first step in a fundraise is to build the list of potential investors. You’ve go through your contact list, your LinkedIn connections, and…

How to Raise Funding- The New Normal for Fundraising- It’s Now Online

A New Model for Startup Funding. Fundraising like everything else is moving online, almost all of it. Traditionally, those who wanted to raise funding would meet everyone in their local area. You would pitch to the local angel network or investment group, meet with the local venture capitalist, and of course canvas all your family…

Pitch Exercises

Entrepreneurs know the importance of the pitch to investors. There are many blog posts explaining tips and techniques on how to communicate your vision, passion, and story to the investor. Most pitches tell a story and some entrepreneurs use their entrepreneurial journey as the format which goes something like this: I had a problem I…

ICO Funding is No Doubt a Security Offering

Last year ICO promoters focused on how to get around the SEC by calling their offering a “utility token” maintaining it was not a security. As I’ve written before the SEC views tokens for what one can do with them, rather than how the promoter intended them to be used.  The SEC appears to have…

Don’t Show Up Empty Handed

I often read “How I raised it” stories from entrepreneurs who recently raised their funding. Most are filled with a (journey to hell and back) saga about persevering against all odds. The entrepreneur’s journey is hard but it doesn’t have to be a fiery march through hell and back. There are steps you can take…

How Fast Do You Have to Grow to be Fundable?

Startups ask me daily if they are fundable and I tell them one of the key factors is their growth rate. To raise funding you must be able to tell a growth story to the investors. Seed stage companies are growing from $0 to $1M in revenue proving product/market fit. Series A companies are growing…

Blockchain on the Gartner Hype Curve

There are many parallels between the blockchain/crypto world of today and that of the Dotcom era of the 90s. I often hear comments such as “It’s 1994 and it’s deja vu- all over again”. The hype, hysteria, and ultimate bubble popping of 2001 still remain a vivid memory for many. Crypto and blockchain are on…

How to Invest in an ICO

Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) continue to attract large sums of investment dollars. With investor interest comes a volume of deals to sort through. My four rules for investing in an ICO are: The team is always the first criteria. The project needs a capable team, preferably one that has already built something successful.  Just about…

The TEN Consumer Product Goods (CPG) Syndicate

At TEN Capital we continue to see a strong flow of consumer product good investments. The shifting landscape in the food and beverage industry brings new opportunities for investors. Food and beverage predominate but health and beauty products and other categories continue to raise funding. Investors give some sectors more attention than others. The move…

The GDPR- “They’re here”

Just as the little girl in the Poltergeist movie stared into the TV screen of white noise and proclaimed, “They’re here.” so now comes the long awaited regulation from Europe on data protection. As a user, it’s great to have control back of your data. If you’re a provider of software platform that involves user…

The TEN ICO Syndicate –Search for the Proven and Dealing with the SEC

In 2017, two guys with a whitepaper could raise substantial funding through Initial Coin Offerings. As the dust settles on those days we now find over 40% of the ICOs from 2017 are already dead. As the ICO market matures, investors in ICOs demand a great deal more than just a whitepaper. They look for…

5 More Blogs for Cryptocurrency Investors

If we are learning anything about the crypto world, it’s that it is continually evolving and growing, and that we always have more to learn. Previously, we shared the Top 5 Blogs for Cryptocurrency Investors, but with so much information available we’ve decided to give you five more to keep you in the know. CryptoTicker:…

TEN Investors Income Syndicate

Angel groups in the 1990s were based on the sponsor model. In the 2000s they moved to the membership model. Today, they operate on the syndicate model.  Investors line up around deals by sector and stage to share the funding round. TEN Capital now has a series of syndicates and one of the most popular…

TEN Investors- The Healthcare Syndicate

I receive calls daily about the TEN Investor Syndicates- in particular the healthcare syndicate. For those raising funding or interested in investing in healthcare startups and growth companies, here’s more information about their investing criteria. Revenue- The company needs to have more than a $500K annual revenue run rate. Typically, the investors want $1M revenue…

Blockchain and ICOs on the Crossing the Chasm Curve

Crossing the Chasm teaches us that the initial users of a new product (called innovators and early adopters) are separated by a gap from the majority of users and what works for the users on the left side of the gap will not work for users on the right hand side of the gap. Clearly…

No Answer Means Zero

In funding, it’s important to answer the investor’s question. For example, when I ask a startup what their revenue is, I often get their story instead. That’s okay-I like stories. But when the story ends and there’s no indication of revenue, I often ask again. If I still don’t get the answer, I ask one…

The DAICO- ​An ICO Version of Milestone Funding

The DAICO is a combination of a DAO (Distributed Autonomous Organization) and an ICO (Initial Coin Offering). In this variation on an ICO, a development team setups a DAICO contract and lets investors contribute funds to the contract in exchange for tokens. Once the contribution phase stops, the token balances are fixed and at that…

ICO Valuations Merit Higher Valuation for Their Integrated Ecosystems

Valuing cryptocurrencies is quite difficult. There are numerous articles demonstrating how token valuations are coming up short. Tokens don’t follow traditional valuation metrics such as discounted cash flows or net asset value. The startup world faced the same problem in pricing seed stage startups. For those companies we looked at the team, the status of…

The GOOSE Society Transitions to a Formal Organization

The GOOSE Society has been funding startups since 2005 when it was formed by Jack Gill, a legendary Silicon Valley venture capitalist, and Rod Canion, the founder and CEO of Compaq computers.   GOOSE stands for the Grand Order of Successful Entrepreneurs and every member has either started or ran a highly successful business.  The Rice Business…

ICO Tokens – It’s a Concept That’s Been Around for Some Time

For some people tokens appear to be a brand new concept that they’ve never seen before. But in reality, we all have seen use cases for tokens. Frequent flyer miles is an example of tokenizing a network. Airlines came up with the frequent flyer program many years ago by giving “miles” to those who flew…

Later Stage Companies Shifting Their Fundraise to ICOs & Blockchain

As the ICO industry starts to mature, we’re now seeing the end of the beginning. The regulators are rushing in shutting down the scams and raising the bar for entry. Today just the legal work for an ICO costs $100K+ for the Whitepaper and reviews of the website. ICOs are shifting into the domain of…

Building a Company an Add-on or an Ecosystem

In the startup world, an entrepreneur could be building a platform, a point application or an add-on tool to other systems. So in the blockchain world, one could be building an entire digital ecosystem, a standalone application, or an add-on to another system. I see ICO candidates daily who want to mint their own coin…

Should You Pursue an ICO for Your Fundraise?

Every day I receive questions from prospective entrepreneurs from both startup and  growth companies asking if they should run an ICO. I respond with two questions:     Does a blockchain-based system improve the product/service you offer?     How would a token improve the use and access of your product/service? With the first question we explore how blockchain provides…

How to Estimate the Cost of an ICO

The ICO continues to generate huge sums of funding now surpassing venture capital. In raising funding from the entire world, there will be costs to achieve the funds raised. ICOs are now splitting into two categories – those raising less than $25M and those raising more than $200M. Here’s a cost estimate with a range…

ICO Business Models – Time to Push the Envelope Forward

As ICOs continue to increase in number and funds raised on an exponential scale, it’s interesting to step back and look at the ICOs from a business perspective. While the technology is fast coming up the curve improving on scalability (still a long ways to go), it’s the business models that appear to be trailing…

ICOs – It’s Not Just for Seed Stage Startups Anymore

The Initial Coin Offering (ICO) is a new way of raising funding. Currently, it’s almost exclusively the domain of new startups. We’re now seeing existing companies use it for their next round of funding. The ICO brings with it the promise of high levels of funding as one is raising from across the world, not…

How to Run an ICO After the Crowd Sale Is Over

After the ICO is completed one should wrap up with a program to close out the campaign and prepare for the ongoing development work. This typically includes the following: Convert enough of your crypto holdings into fiat currency to give yourself at least a two-year runway.   Setup to deliver regular reports to the investors…

How to Run an ICO—Advisors

In running an ICO, the presence of advisors on the team can help burnish the image of the project and increase the chance of success. Currently, many advisors are recruited based on their previous experience with an ICO. As the industry progresses this will become less important and skills related to launching and growing the…

How to Run an ICO-Cybersecurity Best Practices

Cybersecurity is now a key part of business operations across all industries, especially so for Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).  It has become a concern for ICOs because of recent, high profile hacks – in particular the loss of approximately $40 million worth of digital currency for the DAO, a decentralized venture capital firm built on…

Top 5 YouTube Channels for Cryptocurrency Investors

Though Bitcoin was first launched in 2009, cryptocurrency remains a hot topic on the rise. As of November 2017, there are approximately 1,324 types of cryptocurrency available online. If you are new to the ICO world or already an investor, there is a lot to learn and keep up with. We’ve come up with a…

Top 5 YouTube Channels for Family Offices

Since the first family office was pioneered in the late 19th century, technology has grown leaps and bounds, and information is at the touch of our fingertips. Though there are many social networks and information sharing sites available, YouTube is at the top with 5 billion views daily—and it’s safe to say YouTube has something…

Pre-Sale Campaign for Your Initial Coin Offering (ICO)

In developing your Initial Coin Offering (ICO), the marketing campaign in advance of the pre-sale or crowd-sale of the token is important for building awareness and growing the network of supporters. The key is to identify your target audience and post in the forums that reach that audience. The campaign should run at least two…

The ICO Bounty Program

One of the key components of any ICO is the bounty program. It’s an incentive program to encourage others to promote your ICO to the community. It compensates those who promote an ICO project via social media, websites, and other forms of outbound media. A bounty program can increase your raise by 50%. In addition…

VC Profile: Greg Colella of Susquehanna Growth Equity

Headquarters: Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania Sectors: SaaS, Information Services, Software, Payments, Transaction Processing Description: Susquehanna Growth Equity, LLC is a private equity and venture capital firm focused on growth and expansion stage companies. The firm primarily invests in software and tech-enabled businesses in North America, Israel and Western Europe. Areas of focus include: enterprise software/SaaS, financial technology,…

Top 5 LinkedIn Groups for VCs

If you’re looking for a place to find like-minded individuals in a business setting, then LinkedIn groups are a good place to start. It’s a great spot to get and share information, get answers, and even search for or post jobs and business opportunities. As a venture capitalist it’s important to stay connected and on…

VC Profile: Chris Pacitti of AVX Partners

Headquarters: Austin, Texas Sectors: Software, Cloud Description: AVX Partners is an Austin-based venture capital firm focused on growth-stage software and cloud investments. AVX’s limited partners are a unique mix of successful entrepreneurs, emerging company operating executives, professional investors, influential community members and large family offices. A subset of the limited partners (LPs) actively engages in each AVX investment,…

Token Design for an ICO

The Initial Coin Offering (ICO) uses the blockchain as a new organization unit – a decentralized and self contained mini-economy.  The token is the key access point into the system as the middleman has been cut out.  Designing the token becomes a key part of the new system as it determines the flow of payments…

Whitepaper

In the world of the Initial Coin Offering, the primary document is called the Whitepaper which covers the key elements of a blockchain-based, tokenized system and associated token sale. Since most projects are in the early phase – conceptual/prototyping, the whitepaper contains not only the business fundamentals, but also the technical underpinnings to the project….

VC Profile: Chris Shonk of ATX Seed Ventures

Headquarters: Austin, Texas Sectors: Software, Enterprise Software, Consulting Description: Founded in 2014, ATX Seed Ventures is an early-stage venture capital fund created by expert entrepreneurs serving emerging entrepreneurs. ATX Seed Ventures gives founders what they need most: access to capital, contacts and experience at the seed stage, in the context of hands-on support that sets the…

Top 5 Twitter Accounts for Cryptocurrency Investors

Though cryptocurrency entered the scene back in 2009 with the launch of Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies and ICO’s are still an unknown subject to many.  To get you up to speed, we previously published a list of the top cryptocurrency blogs.  But in case that didn’t satisfy your cravings for information on Bitcoin and its successors and…

Learn how to mitigate fraud at the Texas Venture Forum

Fraud is an increasing challenge for small business owners. One type of fraud occurs when a new customer or client signs up for your online service, and then later turns out not to be who they said they were. This type of fraud costs small businesses every year. As business transactions have moved online, we…

Top 5 Twitter Accounts for Family Offices to Follow

The Rockefeller family pioneered the first family office in the late 19th century, since then family and multiple-family offices started popping up more and more. The family office is usually run by and for an individual family, to help spread their wealth through investing while managing the family’s best interests. To help you tap into…

5 Key Terms in the Blockchain World

Blockchain is a digital currency used by both Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and is currently gaining momentum around the world. Investors as well as people in the technology industry are all abuzz about how it will change the way we invest. Blockchain works not only with Bitcoin but also embraces other cryptocurrencies that followed. Although…

NSS Labs Raises Funding From Texas Venture Growth Forum

A critical step for companies seeking growth-stage investment is making connections with venture capital firms and other investment groups who are looking to get involved in promising businesses. That’s been especially true for companies in Texas for years, as the lack of a conference that could bring founders concentrated in Texas together with potential funders….

Top 5 Twitter Accounts for VC Reading

Being a venture capitalist is not for the faint of heart. To be successful, it’s good to stay on top of news and trends in the industry. To keep you up-to-date on-the-go, we’ve compiled the top 5 VC Twitter accounts to follow to get a wealth of information—and inspiration! Mark Cuban: It’s hard to think…

VC Profile: David Cusimano of Accel KKR

Headquarters: Menlo Park,California Sectors: Software, Enterprise Software, Consulting Description: Founded in 2000, Accel-KKR is a technology-focused investment firm with $4.0 billion in capital commitments. The firm invests in software and IT enabled businesses well-positioned for top line and bottom-line growth. At the core of Accel-KKR’s investment strategy is a commitment to developing strong partnerships with the management…

Top 5 Podcasts for Investors

With so much information out there for investors, it’s good to stay on top of your game and learn any new and fascinating trends in investing. We’ve searched for a few of the top podcast to keep your ears on. We hope you enjoy! The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The…

Top Investors in Texas HR Technology

Technology is changing the way HR operates in the modern world. Here are the top 10 investors in Texas HR Technology companies. The top 10 companies are Accel Partners, Techstars, Right Side Capital Management, Greylock Partners, Austin Ventures, Social Starts, TCV, Salesforce Ventures, IDG Ventures USA and Silverton Partners. Company Name Description Headquarters Location Accel Partners Accel is a leading early and growth-stage venture capital…

Top 5 Blogs for Cryptocurrency Investors

Without a doubt, interest in cryptocurrency is on the rise, and to that end we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 cryptocurrency blogs you should keep your eye on. Whether you are newbie or an expert, these blogs can give you insight on where this trend is heading. CoinDesk: Digital currency is rapidly evolving…

The Top Ten HR Technology Companies in Texas

HR Technology is changing the way HR operates in the modern world. Here are the top 10 Texas companies to keep your eye on. These companies include OneSource Virtual, YouEarnedIt, BountyJobs, Pingboard, Workify, Insperity, BullseyeEngagement, SafeGuard World International, BenefitMall and Clearview Staffing Software. Company Name Description Headquarters Location OneSource Virtual OneSource Virtual is a Workday Services Partner and global leader…

Initial Coin Offering (ICO) – A New Way of Funding Your Startup

The Initial Coin Offering is a new method of funding for startups and growth companies. Instead of raising funding for a project, you can now raise money for a token or coin which gives the purchaser the future right to use your product. An ICO is the cryptocurrency version of crowdfunding. ICOs are not equity fund…

VC Profile: Seth Snyder of LiveOak Venture Partners

Headquarters: Austin, Texas Sectors: Enterprise Software, Social Media, Digital Media Description: LiveOak Venture Partners is an Austin-based, early-stage venture capital firm that partners with visionary entrepreneurs who use disruptive technologies and business models to challenge the status quo. While many of their investments begin at the seed stage, LiveOak is a full life-cycle investor focused on technology…

The Top Ten Security Companies in Texas

As technology advances, so does the need for security, here we list the top ten security companies in Texas. These companies include Alert Logic, Huawei Technologies, Armor,Eagle Eye Networks, iSIGHT Partners, AllClear ID,Giant Gray, Edgile Inc.,CSID and Click Security. Company Name Description Headquarters Location Alert Logic Alert Logic provides Security-as-a-Service solutions that secure the application and…

VC Profile: Christine Primmer of SJF Ventures

Headquarters: Durham, North Carolina Description: SJF Ventures is a venture capital partnership with offices in Durham, New York and San Francisco. Through its investment funds, the firm provides equity financings from $1MM to $10MM, solo or in syndicates, to companies seeking growth capital. As a venture fund, SJF Ventures focuses on the resource efficiency, sustainability and technology-enhanced…

Top 5 Blogs and Sites for Family Offices

Family offices are a type of venture investor whose roots go way back. Pioneered by the Rockefellers back in the late 1800’s, family offices began as a way for very wealthy families to centralize the management and investment of their fortunes. With the increasing number of millionaires and billionaires in the world, and driven by…

How to Achieve Market Positioning

When investors look at a startup, the one thing they want to see more than anything is revenue traction, or momentum.  The first step to building excitement in your startup is often to… Get the word out- While a traditional PR route can certainly help generate interest in your startup, investing big money may not be…

VC Profile: Shane Walsh of Arena Growth Partners

Headquarters: Austin, Texas Description: Founded in 2015, Arena Growth Partners, teams up with the leaders of early-stage growth businesses to help them successfully scale their enterprises and break through the growth ceiling. Their combination of deep operational experience, outstanding networks, diverse backgrounds, and our servant leadership approach enables them to bring significant and sustainable value to the…

Top 5 Blogs for Angel Investors

Whether you’re an angel investor or a startup, there is nothing more valuable than knowing firsthand the fundamentals of the business. Knowledge is power, so here are a few blogs to keep your eye on! Venture Hacks: This blog is run by AngelList and offers advice from various angel investors, on topics ranging from their…

Top 5 AI Investors in Texas

As computer technology continues to grow, so do AI companies and investors. Take a look at the top 5 AI investors in Texas! These include SURGE Accelerator, Stage One Capital, Pepperwood Partners, Fluid Innovation Group and Discovery Alliance LLC. They have collectively invested in 72 AI companies.   Company Name Description Number of Investments Location SURGE Accelerator…

Courtney Turich and Christie Barany describe using Shark Tank to help launch Monkey Mat

Courtney Turich and Christie Barany met in Michigan where they both worked for Stryker, a medical device company.  They worked well together and decided to start their own business. They co-founded Monkey Mat after Christie unexpectedly got stuck at the airport for six hours and desperately wanted something to cover the floor – but had…

The Top Ten AI Companies in Texas

With artificial intelligence on the rise, it’s no surprise that Austin is home to some of the top companies! The top ten AI companies in Texas include CognitiveScale, Continuum Analytics, Omni Ai, Inc., NarrativeDx, UnaliWear, NEXD, Cerebri Ai, Querium Corporation, Convessa and Panamplify. Company Name Description Headquarters Location CognitiveScale CognitiveScale provides industry-specific enterprise cognitive cloud…

VC Profile: Venu Shamapant of Liveoak Venture Partners

Headquarters: Austin, Texas Description: LiveOak Venture Partners is an Austin-based, early-stage venture capital firm that partners with visionary entrepreneurs who use disruptive technologies and business models to challenge the status quo. While many of their investments begin at the seed stage, LiveOak is a full life-cycle investor focused on technology and technology-driven service companies primary based in…

TEN Capital Company Monitoring

My father was a buy and hold public stock investor. He would choose stocks that were in a sector he had some knowledge of, had either worked in or had some connection to. He would then track the progress of the stock each month –looking at revenue, earnings, major news announcements among other things. Those that stayed…

5 More Resources Angel Investors Should Be Using

As an Angel Investor in startup companies there are many tools used to vet startups. In a previous post, we discussed five useful vetting tools: Crunchbase, LinkedIn, AngelList, Mattermark, and online background checks.  But there are numerous other helpful resources and techniques out there that can make the investment process easier and jump start your…

VC Profile: River Cities Capital Funding

Headquarters: Cincinnati, Ohio Description: River Cities invests in world-class management teams − backing progressive, proven leaders of healthcare and information technology companies. A consistent, cohesive team has honed its strategy over four prior funds with compelling performance. River Cities seeks to be a business partner first and a capital provider second, investing significant human capital…

The Top Ten Fintech Investors in Texas

The top ten fin-tech investors in Texas include Austin Ventures, Seven Rosen Funds, Houston Angel Network, Mercury Fund, Mark Cuban, Silverton Partners,TPG (formerly Texas Pacific Group), Texas Venture Labs, Maverick Capital and Capital Factory. These companies have invested in over 1,362 deals collectively. Company Name Number of Investments Headquarters Location Austin Ventures 363 Austin , Texas  Sevin Rosen…

Top 5 Virtual Reality Companies in Texas

Check out the top 5 Texas Virtual Reality companies to raise funding in 2016! These Texas companies raised over $27M in 2016. Merge Labs led the field with the most funding at $10M followed by Virtuix, and Owlchemy Labs.   The top 5 have raised over $36M in total funding since inception of their companies. Company…

VC Profile: Limestone Capital Advisors

Headquarters: Austin, Texas Description: Limestone Capital Advisors is an investment advisory firm based in Austin, Texas. We provide a full spectrum of investment advisory services, ranging from deal sourcing and due diligence to investment monitoring and management. We specialize in a wide variety of transaction types from direct private equity investments to asset sales and joint…

How to Run Technical Due Diligence

It is important for potential investors to gather detailed information about a prospective company to highlight any potential risks associated with their investment.  Technical Due Diligence (TDD) is a detailed evaluation of the company’s technical side, including both existing software and hardware products and those in development.  While the TDD process may seem intimidating to…

Top Companies Founded by Texas A&M Alumni

The top 10 companies founded by Baylor Alumni include Sunnova, Roku, Turin Networks, Spiceworks, and others who have collectively raised over $1.76B in equity funding. Check out our full list of the top companies founded by Texas A&M Alumni. Company Name Headquarters Location Sectors Last Funding Amount Total Equity Funding Amount Sunnova Houston, Texas, United States Natural Resources, Energy, Sustainability…

How Much Should you Invest in a Startup?

In the past, angel investors wrote $50K to $100K checks in the deals that looked promising.  If the deal went well, they would write another $50K or $100K check to add on to their investment.  In today’s world there are so many deals, it’s hard to invest that much into each deal unless you know…

Top Companies Founded by Baylor Alumni

The top 10 companies founded by Baylor Alumni include LifeLock, Formlabs, Nanosys, Integrated Diagnostics, and others who have collectively raised over $546M in equity funding. Check out our full list of the top 25 companies founded by Baylor Alumni. Name Headquarters Location Sectors Last Funding Amount Total Equity Funding Amount LifeLock Tempe, Arizona, United States Privacy and Security $201,340,000 Formlabs Somerville,…

VC Profile: Hunter Witherington of SSM Partners

Headquarters: Memphis, Tennessee Sectors: Software, Analytics, K-12 Education Description: SSM Partners is one of the largest and most experienced private equity firms in the Southeast. Having invested in more than 50 companies across four private equity funds, our successful record is the result of the partnerships we have formed with gifted entrepreneurial managers. Starting with a…

Five Online Resources Angel Investors Should be Using to Vet Startups

As fundraising moves online so the investor will find these five tools useful for vetting startups. Early stage startups don’t typically have a great deal of history so the focus is primarily on the team. 1. Crunchbase Data analytics resource on companies and investors with a focus on funding history.  You can see if the startup…

Top Companies Founded by UT Alumni

The top 10 companies founded by UT Alumni include HotelTonight, Icertis, Poshmark, ThoughtSpot, and others who have collectively raised over $389M in equity funding. Check out our list of the top 100 companies founded by UT Alumni.   Name Headquarters Location Sectors Last Funding Amount Total Equity Funding Amount HotelTonight San Francisco, California, United States Travel and Tourism,…

VC Profile: Warren Weiss of Foundation Capital

Headquarters: Menlo Park, California Sectors: Marketing Technology, Financial Technology, Consumer, Energy, Software, Enterprise Software, Clean Technology, Design Description: Foundation Capital was founded in 1995. This venture capital firm is dedicated the proposition that one entrepreneur’s idea, with the right support, can become a business that changes the world. Their current total funds raised are at…

How to Prepare for Investing in Early Stage Companies

Here are five tips for new angel investors on how to prepare for investing in startups.  1. Budget Your Time & Money  Set a budget for how much money and time to invest — allocate 5% of investable capital.  This is money you may never see again and if you do see it again, it will be…

Better Care at a Lower Cost, by Mark McClellan

Better care at a lower cost.  That’s been health policy expert, Mark McClellan’s mantra for years. Finding ways to get payment and regulatory policies to support better care and a lower cost is what McClellan does. “That’s very much part of the current expansion of efforts to move to payment models that are based more…

Are You Ready for an Advisor? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself

There are many resources for startup and growth company CEOs today.  Here are five tips to determine if you are ready for an advisor for your business. 1. Do you know enough about the company and its current state to know what problem you need help with most? In the early stage of the business…

8 Reasons Why You Want to be an Advisor

Startups and growth companies need help to find their path forward.  Experienced CEOs and entrepreneurial executives can provide mentorship and coaching to those companies.  There are many reasons to sign up as an advisor and help those startup CEOs.  There will be some financial gain to working as an advisor but don’t go into it…

Top Investors in Texas Therapeutics Companies

The top ten investors in Texas Therapeutics companies include New Enterprise Associates, Venrock, Canaan Partners, and Silicon Valley Bank and others who have collectively done 3,996 deals. The top 20 VC firms also include StartUp Health, Novartis Venture Fund, Morningside Group and their collective deals reach 5,064. The top 50 VC firms dealflow total 6,229 and include other…

VC Profile: Danny Despot of New Capital Partners

Headquarters: Birmingham, Alabama Sectors: Healthcare Services, Healthcare IT, Financial Services, FinTech, Business Services Description: Founded in 2001 New Capital Partners is a private equity firm that focuses on high growth companies in the healthcare and financial sectors located primarily in the Southeastern U.S. and Texas. While New Capital is headquartered in Birmingham they have opened a…

5 Questions to Ask a Potential Advisor

Business advisors can bring a wealth of experience to your startup.   It’s more important to find the right advisor than to find someone with plenty of time on their hands.   Here are five questions every entrepreneur should ask a potential advisor: 1. What business experience have you had that is similar to my situation? You…

VC Profile: Krishna Srinivasan of LiveOak Venture Partners

Headquarters: Austin, Texas Sectors: Enterprise Software, Social Media, Digital Media Description: LiveOak Venture Partners is an Austin-based, early-stage venture capital firm that partners with visionary entrepreneurs who use disruptive technologies and business models to challenge the status quo. While many of their investments begin at the seed stage, LiveOak is a full life-cycle investor focused…

How to Get the Most from an Advisor

Advisors provide insight into growing your business as well as burnishing the team both of which are important in the fund raising process.  To get the most out of your advisor here are some key points: 1. Set Clear and Specific Goals Most CEOs who sign up advisors initially plan to use them as a general…

Top 50 Investors in Texas Medical Devices

The top ten investors in Texas medical device companies include Sequoia, Battery Ventures, Venrock, Silicon Valley Bank and others who have collectively done 4,414 deals. The top 20 VC firms also include Sofinnova Ventures, Houston Angel network, MPM Capital and their collective deals reach 6,042. The top 50 VC firms dealflow total 8,768 and include…

Setting up an Advisory Board for your Company

In onboarding an advisor there are several key points to consider. First, a board advisor is not the exact same thing as a board director but rather acts more like a board observer.  They are entitled to receive the same information as provided board members and like board observers, they have no voting rights.  A contract…

Exclusive TEN Interview with Chris Kersey, Founder of Camden Partners

How long have you been affiliated with Johns Hopkins? First of all, thank you for the invitation to the conference, Hall. This is a great event, and I’m excited about participating in it. To answer your question, I joined the Johns Hopkins Medicine board of trustees in July 2010 and became chairman of the board…

VC Profile: Volition Capital

Headquarters: Boston, MA Sectors: Software, Enterprise Software, E-Commerce, Internet, Mobile, Data Services Description: Volition Capital, a growth equity firm that focuses on founder owned companies in the technology sector and holds true to just that. With 75 years of collective investing experience and assets invested in a portfolio made up of 22 companies that are approximately…

VC Profile: Updata Partners

Headquarters: Washington, DC Sectors: Software, Analytics, Advertising Description: Updata Partners provides growth equity and growth experience to the next generation of technology market leaders. Led by an investment team averaging more than 25 years of experience in the technology industries, Updata works with growth stage companies where the combination of our financial backing and our partners’…

Three Ways to Know Your Market Better

One of the key criteria in funding startups is the entrepreneur’s knowledge of the target market and customer. Size of market, growth rates, and segmentation are key components the entrepreneur should know well. In this post we’ll look at three ways to know your market better. The first place to look is on the web….

VC Profile: FF Venture Capital

Headquarters: New York, NY Sectors: cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, machine learning, hardware, drones, enterprise cloud software, and crowdfunding Description:  ff Venture Capital was founded in 2008 and since then has invested in 90+ companies and helped to create aggregate market value exceeding $4 billion. They were founded by John Frankel and Alex Katz, who are general partners at…

Company Spotlight: Ryan Austin of Synapse

Check out our exclusive interview with Ryan Austin, Founder & CEO of Synapse. Where are you from originally? I am originally from Toronto, Canada. In 2015, I moved to Houston, TX to participate in SURGE Ventures to build our product with a few large enterprise clients. What university did you go to? I went to…

Food & Beverage Investments by Quarter

The Food and Beverage industry has seen a slow down in the quarterly investments.  Peaking in the second quarter of 2015, the investments dollars have dropped substantially although the number of deals continue to remain constant if not slightly upward.  You can see the investments and deals by quarter here: Quarter Funding (Food & Beverages)…

Company Spotlight: Jac Saltzgiver of Trago

Check out our exclusive interview with Trago CEO, Jac Saltzgiver. Where are you from originally? Colorado Springs, CO What university did you go to? Wake Forest University – Go Deacs! What is the idea behind your startup? Two main ideas behind Trago: Hydration data is a valuable data set that is currently missing from the…

VC Profile: Mercato Partners

Headquarters: Salt Lake City, Utah Sectors: Enterprise Software, Software, Hardware + Software, Ad Tech, Healthcare, Consumer Description: Founded in 2006 Mercato Partners is a Utah-based growth equity fund that pursues investments in high technology and consumer businesses nationwide. They are looking for companies that are on the path to sustainable cash flow with $10 to…

Top Investors in Food and Beverage Companies Over the Last 5 Years

The top investors for the last five years by number of deals puts Circle Up at the top of the list with 96 deals, followed by Accel Foods at 29, Food-X at 17, MassChallenge at 16, and 14 by Indie.Bio.  The list contains not only venture capital but funding portals, angel networks, and accelerator groups….

Company Spotlight: CancerGene Connect

Richard Burghardt wasn’t walking into the unknown when he grabbed onto the opportunity to shake up the genetic counseling world with CancerGene Connect – in his younger years he’d spent long hours in the laboratory with his father, who was a reproductive cell biologist. “I was comfortable in that world, at least I knew enough…

Food & Beverage Investments in Q4 2016

The Food and Beverage Industry has seen over $2.8B in funding in nearly 270 deals in Q4 2016. The Ingredients and Flavorings industry leads the way with over $2B worth of funding in 19 deals, followed by Candy & Snack Foods at $221M in 62 deals. Meat, Fish, and Seafood follow with $185M in funding. Check…

VC Profile: GE Ventures

Headquarters: Menlo Park, California Sectors: Energy, Enterprise, Health Care, SaaS, Health Diagnostics, Information Technology, Manufacturing Description: GE Ventures combines capital, technical and commercial expertise to scale great ideas that drive growth for partners and GE. Focused on the areas of software, healthcare, advanced manufacturing and energy, GE Ventures helps entrepreneurs and startups accelerate their ideas…

How a Convertible Note Works

A commonly used investment tool for funding startups is the convertible note.  It’s a short term debt instrument that converts into equity later.  If the issuer wants a debt instrument without conversion to equity, a promissory note would be a better option.  With a convertible note, the investor receives accruing interest while holding the note….

Venture Capital Seeks Food and Beverage Investments

The food and beverage space is seeing tremendous innovation.  Venture capitalists are now making investments into innovative food and beverage companies.   Target investments must bring innovation and offer a scalable business model.  Their food & beverage investments nearly all focus on replacing common food items.  Investments typically target technologies around plant-based protein.  Often, startups raising…

NDAs, Not on the First Conversation

Everyone once in awhile I’ll come across an entrepreneur who wants to tell me about his deal but before giving me any details wants me to sign an NDA which is a Non-Disclosure Agreement that requires the signer not divulge the details of the subject matter to anyone for a certain period of time (usually…

Top 20 Investors in Drones

Drones continue to attract investor interest from venture capital, corporate VCs, and other funding sources.   Here’s the list of the top drone investors by number of investments.  While VCs dominate the investing category by dollars, angels, and accelerators account for a large number of funded deals. Investor Name Investor Type Number of Investments Sequoia Capital…

Company Spotlight: Bractlet

What is the problem you are solving? Commercial buildings account for approximately 20% of US energy consumption, equating to an energy spend of $150 billion annually. According to research conducted by McKinsey, commercial buildings could save 30%, roughly $45 billion, of their annual energy consumption by implementing NPV-positive energy efficiency measures. Becoming more energy efficient…

Non-Starters in Angel Investing

When the Conversation is Over Before it Begins I have an espresso each morning at the Trianon coffee shop in Westlake. It’s part of my daily routine. I often meet entrepreneurs and angels during that time to hear their story. In this blog you read about the up and coming companies and the story behind…

VC Profile: Accel Partners

Headquarters: Palo Alto, California Sectors: Software, Mobile, Enterprise Software, Financial Technology, Design, Big Data, Internet of Things, Security, Media Description: Founded in 1983, Accel brings more than three decades of experience building and supporting hundreds of companies. Accel’s vision for entrepreneurship and business enables it to identify and invest in the companies that will be…

Top 5 Big Data Investors in 2016

The 5 Big Data investors of 2016 include Highway1, Microsoft, Alphabet, Mercedes Benz, and Benoit Marrel with a combined number of investments of 161.  Microsoft  and Alphabet led 15 of the rounds.  The top 5 held a portfolio of 146 companies with the difference being exits.   Investor Name Number of Investments Number of Lead…

Top 10 Texas Big Data Ventures from 2016

Big Data continues to see strong growth.  In 2015 there 462 deals funded at $5.6B. Big Data companies in Texas raised $284M in 2016.   Of the top 10, Austin has 6 companies totaling $210M as follows: Company Name Total Funding Headquarters Location Civitas Learning $88,949,999 Austin, Texas, United States Continuum Analytics $45,000,000 Austin, Texas,…

Company Spotlight: Edgecase

Edgecase is redesigning the way product data is looked at in the massive ecommerce market. Creating a unique shopping experience with their ability to combine big data with Product Intelligence Platform. By combining these two elements they are able to do away with retailers missing over 50% of the product data that they believe is…

VC Profile: Fraser McCombs Capital

Headquarters: San Antonio, Texas Sectors: E-Commerce, Social Commerce, Finance Description: Fraser McCombs Capital (FMC) is a leading automotive-focused investment firm. Founded in 2012 by an automotive entrepreneur and a longtime automotive investor, we have roots in the automotive sector going back decades across all three tiers of the industry. FMC was created to bring capital…

The Importance of Monitoring Startup Deals

by Hall Martin Investors in startups need to monitor the candidate startup before investing so as to better understand the company and to see some consistent progress. As an angel investor, I hear pitches every day.  It’s been a while since I heard a software pitch that WASN’T going to market in two months.  In…

Top Texas Seed Ventures from Q4 2016

Top fundings for Q4 of 2016 were led by CognitiveScale, Medici Technologies, Phunware, Twyla, and Trendkite with the top ten fundings totaling $176M. Company Name Money Raised Announced On Date CognitiveScale $25,000,000 10/4/2016 Medici Technologies $24,000,000 11/28/2016 Phunware, Inc. $22,000,000 11/1/2016 Twyla Inc $19,000,000 10/13/2016 TrendKite $16,300,000 11/4/2016 DiCentral $15,000,000 10/4/2016 Ranzure Networks $13,000,000 10/11/2016…

Top 10 Texas CPG Deals from 2016

The Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) Industry has experienced a lot of change in the past several years, with in-store sales stagnating, and e-commerce sales gaining impressive traction, but the future of CPG companies looks to be bright.  And with a thriving support community, and even a CPG-focused accelerator, SKU (formerly known as Incubation Station), Texas…

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