Your Best Roadmap for Successful Funding

Get Sustainable First

“How much will you need to raise to get to profitability?” I asked the entrepreneur. He said, “We can get to profitability on a million or less, but that’s not the plan. I plan to raise a million to a million and a half and build out the concept. Then I’ll raise an additional three […]

What Big Companies Expect When They Invest in Your Startup

This is the second in a three-part series on strategic investors and startups. “When we cut this deal, we will have money, distribution and credibility. It is going to be fantastic!” exclaimed the entrepreneur. “Hold on a minute,” I said. “Big companies move slowly. Just because they have everything you need doesn’t mean it will be […]

How Perfect Start-Up Pitches Are Born

The Story of Brock Control Systems

“They are stuffing my gold into their desk drawers!” said Richard Brock. “What are you talking about?” I asked. “Our direct mail campaigns are generating an incredible number of qualified leads. We sort them by sales territory and then give them to the reps.” Peril of Low-Hanging Fruit Brock said, “Yes, they are working on the […]

Find the Right Investor for Your Stage of Business

Difference Between Family, Angel, VC, and Private Equity

“I am raising money,” said the entrepreneur. “How much are you looking to raise?” I asked. “We are after a very large market opportunity, so I think we’ll need at least three million on this first round,” he said. “What has the business achieved?” I asked. “We have almost finished the first version of the […]

3 Critical Ingredients to a Successful Seed Funding Round

“I am looking for advice on raising money for my new company,” said Eli Sethre, the founder of aFundia, a member company at the ATDC. At 34 years old, Eli is an impressive first-time entrepreneur. He is intelligent, well spoken and clear on how his company will serve his market. He has a little over […]

The Mistake that Makes Your First Round of Investors the Last

“What do you mean by screwed up?” I said. I had just asked Wells Burke, one of the newer ATDC Entrepreneurs in Residence, what surprised him most in his new job. Instantly he said, “How screwed up the cap tables are for some startups. Some startups raised money with poor to no qualified advice. Inexperienced angels […]

What Can Crush the Entrepreneur on the Brink of Success?

I was contacted by the daughter of an entrepreneur who worked with me in the 1980’s. The last time I saw her she was just about to graduate from the University of Georgia. She is now married with two kids and, this past January, started a new business called Swatchpop. Swatchpop helps consumers solve decorating dilemmas. […]

Discover Your Market’s Secret Nuances

I met yesterday with three Georgia Tech executive MBA students. They are all in their late twenties with careers in F500 companies and are working on an assignment to create a new business. They chose to create a business plan for a crowd funding platform believing there is a gap in the marketplace between entrepreneurs […]

The Gift Of Raising Money

Do You Have It?

I met Scott Tanksley about three years ago. He was pitching a non-profit, Meals with a Mission. We talked about his new business for two hours. I was so taken by him and his vision that I chose to support him right on the spot. Since then he participated in two different startup accelerators and sold […]

You Can’t Stand Alone

I met an entrepreneur whose story reminded me right relationships are the foundation of success. The guy is brilliant, he’s overcome many obstacles and he continues to make great personal sacrifices in his quest for funding. In his early 50’s, he has a Phd in mathematics. He’s a naturalized U.S. citizen from an eastern block country, and […]