Preparation and research are keys words when raising money
1226_ 6/18/12 -
At w3w3.com, the voice of the technology community, we link people and organizations to valuable resources and we've cornered a great resource today at the TiE Rockies Entrepreneurial Roundtable with Bob Goodman presenting, The VC Experience. Of course, Bob's background is loaded with experience and is very interesting. Bob says he's got all the scars and bruises from working with venture capital as well as working with government and universities. And he's seen a lot of things, some done correctly and some not so correct. He is fortunate to have a lot of experience with startups, but he started with big Fortune 500 companies and worked his way into the startup world. It's been exciting for him and something he personally has driven towards. During his keynote address at "The Venture Capital Experience - Finding the right VC and working through the due diligence experience" Bob discussed these topic areas...1) Finding the right VC - Rifle shot versus the shotgun approach. 2) What to expect (change in control, stock options, equity, valuation) when receiving funding from a VC. 3) The due diligence process is something that should be taken seriously and expeditiously. He's sold companies, he's been with startup companies that made it, some didn't make it. That's just the nature of the beast. Larry recognized those early in his career and calls them 'learning experiences'. Bob has also dealt with investor types - mostly on the venture capital side in the Northern California environment, the Sand Hill Road gang. Also the Boston gang, and he's worked with foreign investors as well. We asked Bob for the single most important piece of advice for an entrepreneur wanting to raise money. "Preparation and Research! Be sure, if you're raising money, you know why you are raising money. So prepare all the background information. It's important." ...there's much more...listen now...
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CrowdFunding for Colorado Entrepreneurs with the JOBS Act
1191_ 4/9/12 -
Larry sat down with Steve Reaser, a serial entrepreneur and seed-stage investor who recently came west to join the Boulder startup community. Steve pointed out, "When the legislation included in the JOBS Act (H.R. 3606) eventually goes into effect, crowdfunding will join friends & family, angel funding, and professional lending/investing sources as one more piece of the fundraising ecosystem. The biggest benefits include the ability to reach out to non-accredited investors and the freedom to use the internet to spread the word about your offering... This bill has naturally led to a lot of talk and excitement in entrepreneurial circles and has raised unanswered questions for many business owners... Is this for real? Is crowdfunding right for my company? How will crowdfunding actually work? Having followed this legislation through from the very beginning and having studied how crowdfunding already works abroad, Steve from Vim Funding is here to help bring some clarity to this new capital-raising option. Did you know that you can legally raise up to $1,000,000 from the crowd in the state of Colorado, today? There is no need to wait for the upcoming national crowdfunding legislation. Crowdfunding, at its core, requires two things: 1) The ability to tell lots of people about your offering. 2) The ability to involve non-accredited investors. It is possible to legally do both of these things today, once you have the proper registration in hand." Prior to moving to Colorado Steve co-founded an educational technology company in Raleigh, NC, and helped grow it to 150 employees, over one million users, and solid profitability. Over the eleven years there Steve built several internal teams from the ground up, and was responsible for user-experience design, project management, and executive duties. One of Steve's previous ventures was to co-found Arenal Outdoor Center, an eco-tourism and bungee jumping operation in Costa Rica. Get ready for the money...Listen for more...
Funding Launch Pad ||
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Jumpstart Our Business Startup Act ||
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Keywords: Steve Reaser, Entrepreneurs, CrowdFunding, Vim Funding, Jobs Act, H.R. 3606,
Advisor, Colorado, Entrepreneur, Brian Tsuchiya, Startup Guru - bytes=7544897 LISTEN TO: Steve Reaser, CEO Vim Funding
Feld and Mendelson - How venture capital deals work 1069_ 8/29/11 - When Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson sat down to write their book the goal was to aim it at every entrepreneur, to really help them understand how venture capital deals work. Brad Feld in Tuscany, Italy talks with Larry Nelson via Skype to tell us about his newest book, "Venture Deals...Be smarter than your lawyer and venture capitalist". The inspiration for the book came from the Term Sheet Series that Jason and Brad wrote about five-six years ago. This is a particularly valuable book for entrepreneurs looking for money... You'll get an insider's view of the venture deal process, the different players involved on the deal side including how venture firms are setup. And, they talk about how an entrepreneur should think about the fund raising process. The term sheet is a very complicated document and there are a lot of things that people negotiate. But there are essentially only two things that matter which are economics and control. Here they've spent a lot of time helping the reader understand which terms related to economics and which terms were related to control and how and what that meant. It's meant to be a guide not a text book with material that can be very dry and boring. They've made fun of lawyers, venture capitalists and themselves along the way, but there goal was to write something significant and enduring. Comments from readers include..."For a first time entrepreneur, it's a completely enlightening book." Dick Costolo, Twitter CEO wrote a very nice forward to the book where he talks about how useful it would have been to have this book at the beginning of his career, and throughout his career, to look back and reflect on all the deals he's been involved in. Brad tells us how his blog, Ask the VC works with this book. Number one piece of advice for a new entrepreneur from Brad is, "Pick something that you're incredibly passionate about. The thing you want to create, the business you want to start should be something that you're in love with. It's going to be hard. You're going to have lots of ups and downs, there will be lots of things that don't work. If the thing you're working on 18-20 hours a day isn't something you're incredibly passionate about, what's the point?" Second is surround yourself with mentors." ...don't miss the rest of Brad's advice, listen now! Related Links: Venture Deals - Amazon || Ask the VC || Feld Thoughts || Mendel'sMusings || Foundry Group || Feld-Weiser One-on-One || VC Channel || Keywords: Brad Feld, Jason Mendelson, Venture Deals, Venture Capitalist, Foundry Group,
Entrepreneur, Mentors, Dick Costolo, Twitter, Tuscany, Italy, Foundry Group’s Series A Documents - 8/29/11 Bytes: 13588587 LISTEN to Brad Feld, Author, Venture Deals
Brad Feld reveals his true beginning while getting Unplugged 1000_ 4/18/11 - Brad Feld was corralled and interviewed by Jill Van Matre, Associate Director of Atlas and co-moderates this last Entrepreneurs Unplugged event for Spring 2011 with Brad Bernthal (BB) who is Clinical Law Professor at the CU Law School and Director of the Silicon Flatirons Center Entrepreneurship Initiative. BB asked Feld, "In terms of getting things started, give us a little background. You have family here, grew up in Texas and some of the more interesting things I've seen in those interviews you've done is a list of influential business people including your grandfather. What did your grandfather do and what kind of influence did he have on you growing up?" (SPECIAL NOTE: Brad is his usual entertaining self - we have a two minute video - please watch. We're sure you'll enjoy!) Brad Feld said, "My grandfather was an immigrant, came here from Austria, (so my father is first generation American). He was an entrepreneur; he had his own clothing factory. The type of clothing that he made is the stuff that has rhinestones on it. The people who carried his clothing were like the knock-off of Marshalls. He had a factory in Florida, this bad, bad, kind of burnt out warehouse in the middle of the worst part of Miami. He was this salt of the earth kind of guy and he didn't believe in anything made after 1950. So every piece of machinery was pre 1950. When machines broke down he'd have to figure out what to do. When friends died, he'd go and buy their machinery for parts and replacements. So I think sort of growing up and watching him sort of make his own way in the world, be completely entrepreneurial was an early inspiration. My dad (Stanley Feld) had his own medical practice that was about a $10 million/year business at the peak. He had four partners and 30 or 40 employees. I remember also watching that grow from one person; he started out in private practice, to a real business. I never really thought hard about not doing my own thing from very early on." Feld shares so much more including in 1978 when he turned 13. "Gold was about $400/oz and Krugerrands were all the rage and when you got Bar Mitzvahed you took your Bar Mitzvah money and bought Krugerrands, that's what all my friends were doing. I thought that was stupid, I wanted a computer. I had about $1,600. a fortune, so I took my dad to a computer store." Part 2 is coming with Professor Bernthal‘s next query: Take us from the community college to MIT and the start of Feld Technologies. Tune in next week! Related Links: Silicon Flatirons, ATLAS, and ITP || Brad Feld Blog || Brad Feld Video || Foundry Group || Do More Faster Book || Economy Builders || Entrepreneurs Unplugged Photos || Keywords: Brad Feld, Jill Van Matre, Brad Bernthal, Silicon Flatirons Center,
Entrepreneurship Initiative, Atlas, Foundry Group, Do More Faster Book, Stanley Feld - 4/18/2011 Listen to: Brad Feld, Entrepreneurs Unplugged - Watch Two Minute Video
Brad Feld: Community college to MIT 1004_ 4/25/11 - This is part 2 of Brad Feld's Interrogation. Jill Van Matre, Associate Director of Atlas and co-moderates this last Entrepreneurs Unplugged event for Spring 2011 with Brad Bernthal (BB) who is a clinical law professor at the law school and Director of the Silicon Flatirons Center Entrepreneurship Initiative interviewed Brad panel style. Part 2 begins with Professor Bernthal’s query: "Take us from the community college to MIT and the start of Feld Technologies." Brad replied, "I was your typical high school kid in Dallas, I did well in school, ran track. I was moderately social when I wasn't reading or playing with my computer. I was a pretty good tennis player until, I discovered computers and girls. And those two things ruined my tennis career when I was about age 14. I never really thought about where to go to college." (Here we have the two-and-a-half minute video, View Video- the MIT experience.) It was the girlfriend... in 8th grade - she was fascinated with MIT. and that stuck in Brad's head so he applied. He got in early and threw away all his other college applications. So, he went to MIT and MIT was a fascinating place. Brad says he's glad he went there. It was the right place for him. "Because," he said, "MIT is a daily assault on your self-esteem. You realize there is no such thing as being the smartest guy in the room... forget it, there's just no way that's going to happen. So that dynamic plays forward in your life when you realize you don't have to be the smartest person in the room to be successful and accomplished. But, you have to work hard, you have to be focused, you have to go after something you really care about. and that's how I got to that place where I started what became Feld Technologies. Next week, Jill Van Matre asks Brad to talk about the beginning of Feld Technologies. Related Links: Silicon Flatirons, ATLAS, and ITP || Brad Feld Blog || Brad Feld Video || Foundry Group || Do More Faster Book || Entrepreneurs Unplugged Photos || Keywords: Brad Feld, Jill Van Matre, Brad Bernthal, Silicon
Flatirons Center, MIT, Entrepreneurship Initiative, Atlas, Foundry Group, Do More Faster Book, Stanley Feld
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Checks for $5,000 to $10,000 a month in college
1016_ 5/16/11 - This is part 3 of Brad Feld's saga, Jill Van Matre, Associate Director of ATLAS, co-moderates this last Entrepreneurs Unplugged event for Spring 2011 with Brad Bernthal who is a clinical law professor at the law school and Director of the Silicon Flatirons Center Entrepreneurship Initiative, interviewed Brad Feld panel style. Brad started out, "When I was in school, remember I had been tutoring... as a freshman, MIT had this program called UROP, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, and basically you can get jobs in research labs. I was in computer science and got a job in Seymour Papert's lab, the guy who created the Logo programming language. I spent a semester helping to put the logo language on a new computer coming out. When I say that, I was kind of the junior grunt on the team that was making sure that things kind of worked. And it was alright, but it paid $6/hr, not quite like my tutoring job. So, somehow, I started doing some consulting, spread sheet stuff... The path to starting my own business was, my senior year in high school I got a job, after tutoring, I got a job working for TechCom. This was an oil and gas software company in Dallas Texas in 1982, husband and wife team. I was their first employee. They grew in 83-84 to about 30 people. I wrote two of their products and got paid $10/hr and I got 5% of gross revenue. While I was a freshman in college, I was regularly getting checks for $5,000 to $10,000 a month." I bet Brad has some other on how to 'Do More Faster'...For more, watch and listen to the video...Next week, "What did you take from Martindale to Feld Technologies?" Related Links: Brad Feld Blog || Silicon Flatirons, ATLAS, and ITP || Brad Feld Video || Foundry Group || Do More Faster Book || Entrepreneurs Unplugged Photos || Keywords: Brad Feld, Jill Van Matre, Brad Bernthal, Silicon Flatirons Center, MIT,
Seymour Papert, Entrepreneurship Initiative, Atlas, Foundry Group, Do More Faster Book, 5/16/11
Part 3 of 5 - YouTube Video - Brad Feld, Entrepreneurs Unplugged
Part 2 of 5 - LISTEN to Brad 8 min. - Audio
Part 2, short video: Watch Short Video 'The MIT Experience'
Part 1 of 5 Brad Feld, Entrepreneurs Unplugged LISTEN - Audio
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Brad Feld before there was wireless networking 1024_ 5/31/11 - In this 4th Video segment, we get the 'great story teller' and his best friend/partner selling their business. Again Brad Feld is hilarious, we're sure you will enjoy this segment as much if not more than the first three. We will publish the entire two hour audio as we wrap up the five video segments...Brad says, "We never thought about an exit strategy. So we have this business; we're making pretty good money, we were paying ourselves $100,000, so it was pretty high margin for a consulting business. We knew to go from $2 Million to $4 Million we'd still make half-million dollars in profit. So we figured out we hit this inflection scale point that by doubling the business, I couldn't do all the selling - so we'd have to bring in some non-revenue selling people. He couldn't do all the management. We didn't have people in the business that could actually manage upper level... so we're in this kind of what should we do state. One of the companies we did some work with was a cable company. This was back before there was wireless networking. Like coaxial cabling, I mean it was really funny. There might be a problem and you'd tear down the walls in these first class office buildings to figure out where the cable had been chewed threw by a rat that wasn't supposed to be in a first-class office building. We ended up being approached by the people that had bought this cable company. This again not cable TV but cable wiring company. Here's another guy, Len Fassler, he's been an incredible mentor and partner of mine. I remember one day he came to Boston...watch and listen for more... Related Links: Brad Feld Blog || Silicon Flatirons, ATLAS, and ITP || Brad Feld Video || Foundry Group || Do More Faster Book || Entrepreneurs Unplugged Photos || Keywords: Brad Feld, Jill Van Matre, Brad Bernthal, Silicon Flatirons Center,
AmeriData, Len Fassler, Entrepreneurship Initiative, Atlas, Foundry Group, Do More Faster Book,
5/31/11 Bytes: 5365658 LISTEN to Brad Feld, Foundry Group - Entrepreneurs Unplugged Part 4
2010 was a pretty vibrant year for entrepreneurship 958_ 1/31/11 - Larry asks Brad Feld, founder and managing partner The Foundry Group to take out his crystal ball, but first a snapshot of 2010. Brad said, "2010 was a pretty vibrant year for entrepreneurship, certainly for software and tech entrepreneurship, around the country, but also especially for Boulder, Colorado. Programs like TechStars have helped on a national basis, they have lots of programs throughout the country now. This has really helped with early stage and first-time entrepreneurs. There's plenty of venture capital activity and plenty investments in young growing companies and there have been some very large investments in new leaders, companies like Twitter and Facebook, GroupOn, Zinga. Those companies have both raised a lot of money and they're very substantial business that are generating a lot of cash. We've had a great time together. David has been awesome to work with. He's living in New York right now, for the first quarter running the TechStars New York program, which is now the fourth city that TechStars is in, also Boulder, Boston, and Seattle. NYC is into week three now, off to a great start and he's having a blast. The premise behind TechStars initially, and the thing that David presented to me, that appealed to me so much was this notion of working with first-time entrepreneurs with a mentor driven approach. These types of companies have come to be knows as accelerators. It's a good word, a good description." Larry asked, "How is raising money, either angel or a larger VC investment, different in 2011 from 2010?" Brad replied, "Well, independent of when, raising money for a startup is hard. It's hard when you're at the very beginning and it's hard for 2nd or 3rd round it's even hard when you're raising expansion capital. The mistake that entrepreneurs make is they assume it's going to be straightforward - they expect it to be less difficult than it is. Then when it turns out to be a real slog, it's very difficult for them. So, I don't know that I have any good sense as to whether it'll be any easier or harder to raise money in 2011 because I think it's always hard." If someone is approaching the Foundry Group what shouldn't they do? Brad has advice for entrepreneurs who are seeking money...Listen now... Related Links: Foundry Group || Feld Thoughts || Do More Faster || VC Interviews || More VC Interviews || Keywords: Brad Feld, Foundry Group, Mobius Venture Capital, TechStars, David Cohen,
Defrag, Glue, Blur, Eric Norlin, Do More Faster 01/31/11 bytes=8910788
LISTEN to Brad Feld, Managing Partner, Foundry Group
Raising $21.6 million round of funding 1187_ 4/2/12 - Introducing the opening keynote speaker for the RVC Angel Capital Summit was Scott Yates, CEO of Blogmutt. The Angel Capital Summit is a three day event designed to connect investors with entrepreneurs while providing valuable workshops, speakers and networking events. Scott said, "It is because of Jim Franklin that I can stand here as the CEO of my third company to introduce Jim Franklin." Scott explained, "Jim knew that what defined me was not my most recent setback, but that I was a fellow traveler on this path called serial entrepreneur ism. He knew I'd bounce back because he'd bounced back."
As an insight, Scott tells us a story about Jim, beginning with the fact that Jim is an ultra-long distance runner. Last August, Jim had successfully completed a 100 mile foot race in Leadville the highest incorporated city in North America. In a rocky place with not much air to speak of, Jim ran for 100 miles. On the Monday following that race, Jim went to work, laying the ground work for a company he'd just taken over to close a $21.6 million round of funding. Tuesday night was the last night for the Founder Institute for 2011. And, on this night the first speaker was Jon Nordmark. Jon doesn't get to come out as often as he once did, and he went a bit long. About two hours. Then another speaker, and then it was Jim's turn. Jim stood in front of this group -- in flip-flops because his feet were battered -- and said, "You know those signs on I-70 coming back from the mountains, the ones that say 'Truckers, you are not home yet!'? Well, that's us, we still have a lot of ground to cover." And cover it he did. I still don't know how the guy could stand, let alone talk, let alone deliver some of the most important content imaginable to people hungry to understand the path that they were on. Delivering in spite of obstacles...
Jim Franklin has a long history with RVC. He moved to Colorado in 1992, with no job, a good education, no money, in debt, and one contact who saw that Jim was young and hungry and ambitious - and he said, "You need to go to the Rockies Venture Club". So Jim put on his suit and tie and went down to Rockies Venture Club, it was September of 1992... Listen to Jim in his own words. Related Links: Rockies Venture Club || Angel Capital Summit || SendGrid || Blogmutt || Venture Capital || Entrepreneur Channel || Podcast Directory || Photos, Angel Capital Summit || Keywords: Jim Franklin, Scott Yates, Peter Adams, Kirk Ryder, Rockies Venture Club, Angel
Capital Summit, Venture Capital, Angel Investors, Entrepreneurs, Boot camp, Investment Advisor, Colorado’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, Pitch
Academy - bytes=15065655 LISTEN TO: Scott Yates & Jim Franklin, Angel Capital Summit
Early stage capital and other challenges for startups 1166_ 2/20/12 - While talking with David Moll, founder of the VC firm, Infield Capital, he offered ideas (based on challenging experiences) that are seldom addressed when people are raising capital for their new venture. David said, "If an agreement is important to somebody than do it right, do it with an attorney. It's important if it's a patent number one. It's important if it's an investment - that's what somebody is expecting a return on. It's important if it's an employee or their options or a customer. These things are all fundamental and can't be done on cocktail napkins or self-lawyered agreements. It is fundamental for entrepreneurs to take the necessary time and money and get these things built right the first time. It can save you a whole lot of heartache, a lot of money and in the end may actually save your company because the tragedy avoided... those are really heartbreaking stories in our space." He offers numerous examples. David brings up a number of other points. Here's the one. In a deal they did not do, where understandably an entrepreneur was doing everything he could do to stretch cash, he decided to file the IP, the patents around his invention, on his own, without council. And there is no greater travesty in David's mind, "because this was a fabulous invention, absolutely mind bending to see it and watch it work and understand it. But the reality is that when you file a patent - you've scrambled an egg that won't easily unscramble. Patents that are filed for and not granted, not continued become prior art and confuse the opportunity for you to ever file again in the space. Patents that aren't artfully authored can create real problems with ultimately trying to get protection for an invention. And, venture investors, as a category tend to be technology based investors taking a lot of risk and expecting that innovation is the thing that we have found that wouldn't happen somewhere else... So when something like that happens, it's really sad because it's too late to undo what's already been done. So, I know cash is always so precious, especially when it's your own and that of family and friends, and in the earliest of days it is hard to spend on pricey attorneys. But, if you were only going to spend it in one place..." Listen for more important ideas... Related Links: Infield Capital || Venture Capital || Entrepreneur Channel || Blog || Keywords: David Moll, Infield Capital, Venture Capital, Angel Investors,
Entrepreneurs, Early Stage, Patents, Legal Council, VC Firm - bytes=8428881 LISTEN TO: David Moll, Founder, Infield Capital
Construction to Telecommunications to Investing
1195_ 4/16/12 -
We are at the TiE Rockies meeting today, this is a very excellent meeting. We've corralled a couple of people here, charter members and very involved with TiE. The TiE Charter Members: '...network and cultivate relationships with other Charter Members who are successful entrepreneurs, passionate about the mission of TiE, and are keen to mentor aspiring entrepreneurs'. Raouf Abdel has a very interesting background, we'll hear about that, but also get his perspective on some business issues. Raouf spent the early part of his career in the construction world applied in the telecom space. He was with Kiewit Corporation, a very large private construction company out of Omaha, Nebraska. They had two investments in large telecommunication companies, the first, MFS Communications. Raouf spent a number of years there and built telecom networks all over the U.S. and overseas where he built networks in Europe and Asia. Their second investment was in Level3 Communications. They invested the first $2.5 Billion. Not a lot of people actually remember this, but that's how Level3 got it's start. Jim Crowe the current CEO and Founder worked for Kiewit and was also the CEO of MFS Communications. That's what brought Raouf to Colorado, Level 3, and he spent eleven years there from the very beginning all the way to where they built a 20,000 mile network. He played a pretty big leadership role in the build out and then went on to do a number of general management, commercial roles, including lots of the M&A work that the company went through. Raouf's last role there was president of the Enterprise Business Unit. Raouf tells us he is now on the hunt for new opportunities, possibly a partnership with a private equity firm, new acquisitions here in town, continuing his ride on the 'entrepreneurial rollercoaster', and also pursuing other potential investments and opportunities here in Denver. "What are the greatest challenges and opportunities entrepreneurs face today?" He said, "I think to be an entrepreneur you have to have a lot of gumption, a lot of perseverance and usually some luck. It can be a tough ride, it can be very stressful in the beginning because you never know where it's going to go and whether you're going to actually have a successful venture. They don't all turn into companies or corporations. You have to have a good idea. You have to have the commitment and the perseverance..." There's much more, listen now...
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Keywords: Raouf Abdel, Level3, Enterprise Business Unit, Telecom, Telecommunications, Investing, Kiewit, MFS Communications, Entrepreneurs, Successful Venture, CereScan
bytes=5274543 LISTEN TO: Raouf Abdel
Today focused on the investor side, more Angel Investment
1197_ 4/16/12 -
We're talking with Rick Fort of The Fort Knocks Company here at the TiE Rockies Charter Members program. Rick's background is as an entrepreneur - he started a company in 1995 called Educational Sales Management. It was an organization that provided educational sales services in particular to colleges and universities, in their admissions process. They would be the out sourced admissions department. Rick grew the company over a 16 year period and last summer sold it to a division of Xerox Corp. We got to about 800 employees and $50 million and had a nice exit. Rick took most of the fall of 2011 off - he and his wife did some traveling, But then toward the end of the year, Rick started leaning more toward the investor side of business and started looking at young companies that needed both capital as well as perhaps some involvement from someone who's had 16 years market experience. Of course, Larry recalls having seen Rick at ACG Denver where he received an award. Rick said, "We did. It was in 2009. ESM was recognized and awarded the 'Emerging Growth Award' so that was a great honor." With all this experience, Larry wanted to know what Rick was focused on today. Today he's really focused on the investor side - more Angel Investment kinds of things, with bio-tech or life sciences. A company that he invested in and joined the board of directors is Cerescan. Cerescan is a brain imaging company. Rick says he is interested in bio science companies that are making a difference, advancing healthcare while using technologies, that may need some business help as Rick has a doctorate in organizational psychology. When asked about the greatest challenges and opportunities coming this year, Rick said, "One of the greatest challenges young companies have, in addition to raising capital, is finding the right people. Identifying the stars that you need to bring on to help advance the cause and grow the company. You really..." There's more about the opportunities...
The Fort Knocks Company ||
TiE Rockies Colorado ||
Charter Members ||
Venture Capital Channel ||
Entrepreneurs Channel ||
Keywords: Rick Fort, The Fort Knocks Company, TiE Rockies Colorado,
Charter Members, Entrepreneur, Educational Sales Management, Xerox, bytes=4879572
LISTEN to Rick Fort, The Fort Knocks Company, Ltd.
Balanced community: entrepreneurs,
service providers, investors
1172_ 3/5/12 -
Taking it to the next level, that's what co-executive directors, Peter Adams and Kirk Ryder plan to do with the Rockies Venture Club. The RVC 2.0 concept embraces the great 26 year history of Rockies Venture Club as an organization that supports Entrepreneurs in their search for capital to grow their business. RVC 2.0 takes that history and adds some new twists to make the process more effective and more fun. Larry asked them, "What are some of the new things we can hope to see from RVC 2.0?" Here are a few points about RVC 2.0. 1 Interactive: Audience Response System 2) “Venturetainment” 3) Balance Entrepreneur/Investor Focus a. Balance the Community: entrepreneurs, service providers, investors b. Programs to CREATE more investors i. Angel Bootcamp ii. Investment Advisor Recruitment and training 4) Focus on Results: Investor Forum a. Metric Driven 5) Connecting the players in Colorado’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem 6) Removing Friction: Education Entrepreneur, Education Investor, Connection, Investor Forum 7) Elevating the Quality of investment Opportunities and Presentations: Pitch Academy. Larry asked, "What new concepts can we expect to see at the Angel Capital Summit?" They replied with excitement, "The first day is comprised of a new Angel Investor Bootcamp where uninitiated investors can learn all of the fundamentals from analyzing deal quality to term sheets, syndication and portfolio strategies. The second day is filled with high quality pitches where each presenter has had between four and eight hours of one-on-one pitch coaching. The third day will be for accredited investors only, Angels and Venture capital firms. This is where experienced and new investors can work together to analyze deals, work out due diligence, negotiate term sheets together and make great investments. We’re providing professional facilitation services to help make this process work. Throughout the event we’ll have interactive features such as audience polling and a new concept called 'Venture Bucks' where each attendee gets $100, 000 to “invest” in the companies they like. The winners with the most investment will receive valuable prizes. Listen for more...
Angel Capital Summit ||
Rockies Venture Club ||
Venture Capital ||
Entrepreneurs Channel ||
Podcast Directory ||
Keywords: Peter Adams and Kirk Ryder, Rockies Venture Club, Venture Capital, Angel
Investors, Entrepreneurs, Bootcamp, Investment Advisor, Colorado’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem, Pitch Academy - bytes=6861952 LISTEN TO: Peter Adams & Kirk Ryder, Co Exec Dir, RVC
Really interesting phenomenon coming in transportation
1168_ 2/27/12 -
Take a look into the future phenomenon of transportation fuel and efficiency. Last week David Moll shared some important information relevant to early stage companies looking for capital. His past experience and success as Webroot CEO is enough to perk the ears of most folks. But there is much more to David than that. Today, we know David as the founder of Infield Capital a Boulder based venture capital fund that is focused on the clean technology space for the transportation industry. To David Moll, that's really important "...because as a smaller fund, and because it's our first fund, we wanted to make sure we had a high degree of focus to make sure we were deeply educated in this space." Today they have ten companies in their portfolio and are happy with nine. "I think we have as tight a focus as you're going to find for venture capital." A couple of weeks ago, David attended the Detroit auto show. It is such an important event... This year's show was really the 'foot forward show' in Dave's mind. What he saw this year, "first the feeling of the show was much more electric and second the offerings at the show were also more electric. It was fun to see that basically every auto manufacturer had a production electric vehicle on the floor." That speaks volumes to the new CAFE standards which push requirements into 54.5 miles per gallon, really do have an impact. Consumer voice is being heard, over one million Prius' have been sold worldwide. We're seeing, the hybrid is really the first wave, but it's definitely a consumer priority. We see a lot of smaller cars. We think there is a really interesting phenomenon coming in transportation. Cars for sure, but on a worldwide basis you can't help but look at motor cycles, scooters, rickshaws and cars as where the conversation is. We're seeing more and more emphasis around emissions around the world, and in North America the conversation around efficiency and that's going to continue." Listen for more...
Infield Capital ||
Venture Capital ||
Entrepreneurs Channel ||
Podcast Directory ||
Keywords: David Moll, Infield Capital, Venture Capital, Angel Investors,
Entrepreneurs, Early Stage, VC Firm, Fuel Efficiency, CNG, Compressed Natural Gas, Detroit bytes=6647957 LISTEN TO: David Moll, Founder, Infield Capital
Powered by Podbean.comm It's a great time for entrepreneurs; and here's 1019_ 5/23/11 - We're at the Colorado Capital Conference, co-sponsored by Rockies Venture Club and TiE Rockies and we've also cornered the president of TiE Rockies, Vic Ahmed and the keynote speaker, Saad Khan. Vic tells us not to go by Saad's youthful looks; the guy is experienced, brilliant. He's doing some very innovative things with his fund, CMEA Capital, which is over a billion dollars under management. Larry asked Saad, ": “What do you think are the biggest challenges today for entrepreneurs?” He replied, "Which company to start. I mean there are so many options today. I think it's a great time for entrepreneurs - more so than ever before because the means of production have come down so that everyone can be an entrepreneur and do it very cheaply, especially in the area that I look at, the web and software. Actually I'm pretty optimistic about what's going on for entrepreneurs. I think access to capital, is something I've heard here a lot. But there is a lot of stuff you can do without venture capital at all. And by the time you need it, those guys will be knocking at your door because things are going so great! So I'm excited about the prospects right now."
Larry asked, "What can entrepreneurs capitalize on today?" Saad replied, "So again, I tend to focus on web technology and in that world everything is free, infrastructure, software, data centers - none of those things you have to build anymore, or buy yourself, so really the only cost is you and your team. So if you are willing to eat Ramen and live and work in the same place, it turns out your costs are pretty low. I think that's a lot of leverage for people. I've actually seen companies that literally got profitable with no external dollars whatsoever. So there is a lot to capitalize on." Listen now...
... Related Links: CMEA Capital || Colorado Capital Conference || RVC Home || TiE Rockies || Venture Capital Channel || Keywords: Saad Khan, CMEA Capital, Colorado Capital Conference, Rockies Venture Club,
TiE Rockies, Entrepreneurs, Web Software, Technology, Access to Capital - 5/23/11 bytes=271788 LISTEN to Saad Khan, Partner, CMEA Capital
Incubator that's coming here to Colorado 963_ 2/7/11 - We're talking about an incubator that's coming here to Colorado. Vic Ahmed, amongst so many other positions, is CEO of the Colorado Plug & Play Tech Center. We wanted to know what this means, so Larry asked Vic for an overview. Vic is very excited, for himself to be involved personally, but also for what Plug and Play can do for the entrepreneurial system here in Colorado. "So Plug and Play is the most successful, I know for certain, incubator in the U.S. Not just in the U.S., in fact, it's the most successful incubator in the world!," said Vic. A few years ago, as Vic was working on his own virtual incubator, Captain Green, he had incubators researched. He discovered Plug and Play through that research process and discovered this absolutely incredible success. "Now you'll find these numbers amazing, I encourage you to go to the website, plugandplaytechcenter.com. In the last four to five years they've incubated over 600 companies and raised over $700 million for these companies. Right now, we are closing about five new investments a month." Plug and Play has a structured relationship with over 140 VC's, that come regularly to Plug and Play, look at the deal flow, and make various investment decisions. Plug and Play also has its own fund that they co-invest with these VC's. they have relationships with over 15 universities, including Harvard, Cornell, Stanford... They have programs in 15 countries in which they bring the best companies out of those countries to Silicon Valley for a few months and help them get funded. On top of all that they also have strategic relationships with top companies like BestBuy, PayPal. PayPal in fact has a mini incubator within Plug and Play where they're encouraging companies to build products layered on their platform. Very exciting stuff, and Vic says he is most excited to be working on setting up a Plug and Play Tech Center here in Colorado. They're targeting a Q3 timeframe for that. Vic has been working on this now for 6 to 8 months and has made great progress, meeting a lot of the stake holders in Colorado who are very, very supportive of this concept. There's more advice for entrepreneurs... Related Links: Plug and Play Tech Center || Podcasting Directory || In the News || TiE Rockies || Rockies Venture Club || Keywords: Vic Ahmed, TiE Rockies, Plug and Play Tech Center, Incubator, VC's,
Venture Capital, Entrepreneurs, Technology, PayPal - 2/7/11 bytes=7421181 LISTEN to Vic Ahmed, President & CEO, Colorado Plug and Play Tech Center
Strategic growth, marketing, sales and business development
1198_ 4/16/12 -
Here again at this very interesting TiE-Rockies program, we're talking to a newcomer to our community, Robert Smith of Axcelerate Worldwide. Bob tells us, Axcelerate Worldwide does equity based consulting and deals predominantly in the area of strategic growth and marketing, sales and business development. They take on different levels of participation in companies and grow with them. Axcelerate works in about 200 different industries all over the world from Brisbane, Australia to the UK. Bob said, they were invited to TiE to meet some new people and do some networking. Offline while talking, Bob told Larry about a bit of business advice he was once given. It's worth repeating.... this came from a gentleman named Jack Stack in St. Louis Missouri in addition to his business he has a program called the Great Game of Business, and Jack is the 'father of open book management'. The advice he offered to Bob was, "When we're making business decisions about acquiring a business or in the M&A area etc., whenever we make business decisions, always do the right thing in making sure you're taking good care of the people who are in that business. Always do the next right thing because that is where we have the impact on relative not only to the employees and the officers and stockholders, but as it impacts the community." "What are the biggest challenges and opportunities for entrepreneurs today?" Bob relied, "I think the biggest challenge is building your strategic growth models - that you actually know how to do that within the financial metrics. Before we had the ability to make a few mistakes here and there, I think it's much less forgiving in this economy right now. The greatest opportunity, to find those niche markets where we can serve, relative to whether it's healthcare or transportation or energy, and really focusing our energies on helping entrepreneurs to grow and expand within those fields."...listen for more...
Axcelerate Worldwide ||
Jack Stack ||
TiE Rockies Colorado ||
Charter Members ||
Entrepreneurs Channel ||
Keywords: Bob Smith, Axcelerate Worldwide, TiE Rockies Colorado, Charter
Members, Entrepreneur, Strategic Growth, Marketing, Sales, Business Development, bytes=3299686
LISTEN to Robert C. Smith, President, Axcelerate Worldwide
Connecting opportunities with money
1247_ 7/23/12 -
Quick overview of MSF Enterprises, Michael Fields, the managing partner, tells us at MSF Enterprises "We connect opportunities with money." They have four practice areas in their business: investment banking, merchant banking, capital raising for alternative investment firms and an advisory service practice for family offices. Larry recommends, if you haven't listened to part 1, go back and catch that. Larry's first question here is, "How long do you believe it will it take to achieve the $5 Trillion goal?" That is one very big goal. Michael explains this is the Galt's Gulch Initiative to really build the asset management community here in Colorado, so that we have better resources for capital, across the board. Michael said, “We currently have about $8 Billion here in Colorado. We think we can get to $5 Trillion, done in a proactive stance, by attracting firms and also building firms, within four to five years." With technology today and just the ability for people to talk globally you can be anywhere. Colorado just has wonderful assets for quality of life that can attract very good people. In the past seven years, 700,000 people have moved here for 425,000 jobs. When you realize people come here without jobs because they want to be here, that's already a great motivating factor. We have a great talent pool to draw from. Larry asks, what steps so you plan on taking in order to attract all these different people and organizations? "We're working on the Galt's Gulch Initiative, which is really working on a three legged approach in terms of the government, universities as well as the private sector..." Listen for more.
MSF Enterprises ||
DBJ Article ||
In the News ||
Venture Capital ||
Keywords: Michael Fields, MSF Enterprises, Multinational Strategic Financing, Investment
Banking, Merchant Banking, Capital Raising, Galt's Gulch Initiative > Channels: VC - bytes=4964835 LISTEN TO; Michael Fields, MSF Enterprises
Here is some good news for Colorado 1238_ 7/9/12 - Here is some good news for Colorado. We are talking with Michael Fields, managing partner at MSF Enterprises, a multinational strategic financing company and recent emigrant from New York. A quick overview of MSF, Michael said, "At the end of the day what we really do is connect opportunities with money and money with opportunities."The four major areas of their practice are, investment banking, merchant banking, capital raising for alternative investment trends and advisory services for family offices, working with a broad range of people and organizations, globally. Michael moved to Colorado about 18 months ago from New York after doing his research and recognizing a number of Colorado assets. We have a strong higher education network, multiple infrastructures from downtown, DTC, commercial buildings, a national / international airport as a hub and Colorado has a growing population of people that have been moving here, that choose the lifestyle and choose the assets that only Colorado has. What attracted MSF to Colorado is the fact that there really is a backbone to the asset management industry here and a lot of good talented people. All of these were critical factors in the decision to move the firm here. Now, Michael and MSF Enterprises based in Denver and New York has launched what it's dubbed "Galt's Gulch Initiative" aimed at attracting more asset managers and capital to the state. It's really a pet project and they're trying to get the local community involved, including government, universities and the private sector, working together to build the community here. Galt's Gulch mission statement is to build a consortium of business leaders that set the goal to attract, build & grow the asset management Industry in Colorado to manage $5 TRILLION by 2016. The increase of AUM to Colorado, will create a long term industry growth cycle that could contribute to as much as 20% of revenue to the annual budget. Listen for much more... . Related Links: MSF Enterprises || DBJ Article || In the News || PodCast Directory || Venture Capital || Keywords: Michael Fields, MSF Enterprises, Multinational Strategic Financing, Investment Banking, Merchant Banking, Capital Raising, Galt's Gulch Initiative > Channels: VC - bytes= 4933256 LISTEN TO Michael Fields, Managing Partner, MSF Enterprises
Private lenders rather than banks for raising money 1098_ 10/24/11 - We're here with a guy who does a great deal with money. He's the author of the book, "Where To Go When the Bank Says No" - from the 'Hard Money Series'. This is Steve Replin, CPA, MBA and JD at Replin & Rhoades, [their practice is] a pretty unique boutique walk through, between Chicago and Los Angeles, focusing on entertainment law, representing fashion designers, film makers, authors, publishers, musicians, record labels and the like. Representing them in their business formation issues, a bit in their tax planning, in their business structure, in the contracts they need to go out and grow - dealing with contractors, employees, agents and managers - to kind of just watch their career grow and to make sure they're legally protected.
For 30 years, Steve was a provider of alternative funding for people that have a very difficult time at a bank or for some reason they are not otherwise institutionally fundable. Steve's niche is: entrepreneurs who had terrific ideas, great dreams, passions, aspirations and nowhere to go to get financing. We got Steve's overview or Reader's Digest version of his book. He explained, "As the economy has become more problematic since 2008, banks have become more restrictive in their willingness to loan money, because loans have increasingly gone into default. So what this book discusses is the rather loose affiliation, across the country, of private lenders who will provide financing for entrepreneurs and small business that are in various stages of their growth strategies; for people that have opportunities but need to take advantage of fairly quickly; sadly sometimes for people who are in need of solving a problem fairly quickly and they don't have a relationship with the bank or they don't have the time to deal with the bank that in all probability is going to tell them no anyway. So it's kind of an overview of what that whole system is. I lead them from loan rejection to a loan approval in really a number of easy steps. Steve's goal is, at the end of this book, that people understand how to get financing in a matter of days without the aggravation of having to go through a bank." Listen for much more... Related Links: Replin & Rhoades || Amazon || Rockies Venture Club || Entrepreneurs Channel || Mastering Change || Podcasting Directory || Keywords: Steve Replin, Replin & Rhoades, LLC, Where To Go When the Bank Says No, Entrepreneurs, Hard Money Series, Banks, Rockies Venture Club, Private Lenders, Free Newsletter - bytes=6739072
Listen to: Steve Replin, Replin & Rhoades, LLC
Last year was a big year for some 961_ 1/31/11 - We're hearing so much about Colorado's venture capital business and the lack of new funds. We contacted Vipanj Patel, managing partner of iSherpa Capital for his take on the situation. A few years back when we talked with Vipanj they were just moving into their offices in Greenwood Village, today they were preparing to move out. That's actually up and out. They're expanding, moving up and taking additional space. Vipanj said, "We're actually going to be housing a couple of companies that we're going to be working with. Actively work in an operating fashion in some of the companies we are investing in and help get them off the ground." Last year was a big year for iSherpa. They expanded beyond wireless into media and entertainment, Internet type of play, a few years ago. There's one company out in San Diego called Taaz, (they do virtual makeovers) that iSherpa invested in about three years ago. Recently hired a new CEO (replacing Vipanj) Harry Lin. "Harry used to run Evite and before that abc.com. He actually was the first one to introduce video to the Internet, well before YouTube and all that. So he's on board full time and running the show day-to-day. He's doing a great job and Taaz is getting a lot of traction. "In the last year we've closed Clinique as a client; rolled out Estée Lauder across 13 countries; In Style magazine, People magazine, Revlon, and we've got quite a few exciting things coming out this year. So that's a company we're excited about." They've grown over 100% each of the last three years. Probably the biggest thing for iSherpa in 2010 was the sale of a company, Sequent, which was in the wireless caller and ID name space, based out of Seattle, WA. iSherpa sold Sequent to a publicly traded company and got a nice exit. Larry asked Vipanj what he saw for VC firms. "It's still an interesting time for the VC industry. The term you'll hear is, 'it's frothy out there right now. There's definitely frothiness in the market, but there are differences too. In other words, back in '99 everyone was chasing everything. The second thing I've seen is a fundamental shift in people's attitude and what it takes to build a business. In the last three years we've been approached by entrepreneurs that have a much more realistic view, in our opinion, of what it takes to build a business. That mind-shift to me has been huge." Vipanj has more to say about wireless...listen now... Related Links: iSherpa Capital || Taaz || Venture Capital || Podcasting Directory || Keywords: Vipanj Patel, iSherpa Capital, Wireless, Venture Capital, Taaz, Virtual
Makeovers, Sequent, Evite > 01/31/11 bytes=11217923
LISTEN to Vipanj Patel, Managing Partner, iSherpa Capital