What is VentureDeal?

Published: 1/30/2008 10:30:33 AM, comments: 0

VentureDeal is a database that tracks technology companies that are funded by traditional venture capital firms, and the firms and people doing the funding.  We also track when tech companies are involved in an M&A transaction.

What makes VentureDeal different?  Well, for one, we track the people that are involved in doing the financings of tech companies, such as the venture firm partners.

We track those people because if you are a tech company looking for funding, it's a good idea to know who the individual people are that you should be trying to talk to.  This is important because the venture capital business is a very people oriented business.

It doesn't matter that much if you know that a VC firm is active in your industry - it matters much more if you know who at the firm is active.  In that respect, you can then work on getting an introduction to that person.

The more you focus on the 'right' people, the better your chances of getting the funding you seek.

Don Jones


How To Find And Contact Venture Capitalists

Published: 1/23/2008 8:26:49 AM, comments: 2

As the CEO of VentureDeal, I get contacted a lot by entrepreneurs seeking information and advice on "the secret" to getting in touch with the right venture capitalists for their fledgling company.  My answer usually contains two parts:

1.  Find the right VCs to focus on.  This is where the VentureDeal database comes in handy.  It tells you the firms and most importantly, the individual partners who are active in your industry.  You can also find information about whom to approach by connecting with your network, people in your industry, etc.

2.  Contact the VCs.  The best way to contact VCs is through an introduction, by your well-connected attorney, accountant or consultant.  The next best way is to network heavily and find them at conferences or seminars.  The least best way is "over the transom", or contacting them directly with no introduction.  VCs will fund deals that come this way, though not as many as the deals they source through trusted contacts.

So that's the basic concept.  It's two steps:  first, define who your targets are and second, go after them in the most advantageous way possible.

Don Jones


Trust, but Verify

Published: 1/14/2008 5:23:29 PM, comments: 0

As an online publisher, I make my way around various prominent blogs and sites throughout the day.  I notice a seemingly ever-increasing amount of "link bait", or what used to be referred to as screaming headlines.

This is a general trend that isn't helpful to a reasoned understanding of events.  I won't single out any particular offenders, because it is so widespread, but the effect is that it blows events or analysis of them out of proportion.

With the explosion of media available to consumers, and the resulting competition for our attention, I expect this trend to continue.

What to do about it?  My approach is to be skeptical of everything I read.  The days when we put a lot of trust in large organizations to tell us "the way it is" are long gone. 

For me, the concept is "Trust, but Verify,"  That's why at VentureDeal, for every transaction in our database, there is a source URL letting subscribers know where the information came from.  And every contact record refers to the company website - for users to see for themselves.  Transparency is always a good thing!

In a world that increasingly runs on information, "Trust, but Verify" should be the default approach, no matter what the source is.

Don Jones


Angel Group Financing - A Venture Capital Guide For Entrepreneurs

Published: 1/9/2008 1:26:47 PM, comments: 1

I'm pleased to announce a complimentary E-book guide to working with angel groups.

Angel Group Financing (202 kb PDF) is designed to help entrepreneurs understand modern angel groups and how they operate, evaluate and invest in emerging technology companies.

Click here to download your free copy - there's no registration or other information required.

And while you're at it, feel free to pass it along to colleagues, friends or entrepreneurs you think might benefit from the information.


Don Jones


Microsoft vs. Google

Published: 1/8/2008 10:08:13 PM, comments: 0

I'm not an expert on consumer vs. enterprise in the software industry, but it sure seems to me that Microsoft has a very strong presence in the enterprise market that is going to be difficult for Google to gain much ground on.

Why?  Enterprises have a strong inertia, and as long as MSFT updates its products to take advantage of some of the newer technology concepts such as computing in the cloud where applicable, it will keep GOOG largely at bay.

Google's strength is definitely on the consumer side, and it has a huge uphill battle for the enterprise.

What do you think?

Don Jones


How To Work With Angel Groups

Published: 1/2/2008 11:29:19 AM, comments: 0

As part of an ongoing series about entrepreneurs working with angel groups, this post is a second part of the due diligence process: deal terms

Angel groups will usually begin discussing terms while they are performing due diligence on you and your company.  The reason is that they want to send out deal feelers to see if there is a basis for negotiating a deal before they spend too much time in due diligence. 

When discussing deal terms, many entrepreneurs get stuck on trying to be a tough negotiator.  It's understandable - you've worked hard to get your company to where it is, and you want to control the process as much as possible.  In addition, you want to keep as much of your company as you can.  Sophisticated angels understand this because they are usually entrepreneurs themselves!

I counsel entrepreneurs to focus more on getting the right angels as their investors, and less on squeezing the last nitpick deal term.  Reasonable negotiation is fine, and a good indicator of both parties' definition of a company's value, but if you find yourself spending in inordinate amount of time wrangling over negotiating points, it may be worthwhile to step back and ask yourself if you are focused too much on the fine points, to the detriment of moving forward and getting the financing done.

As for the various deal terms themselves, there are numerous books that can help you get a clearer understanding.  In any event, you should have competent legal counsel that is not conflicted representing your interests.

Don Jones


Don Jones
CEO, VentureDeal

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