Entrepreneur Corner - How to Pitch the Full VC Partnership

Published: 6/30/2011 10:07:44 AM, comments: 0

There's a good, short post by Guarav Tewari, principal at Highland Capital Partners on 5 suggestions for how to nail the full partnership pitch stage of your presentation to a VC firm.

View post here

I thought the fifth suggestion, "Keep Your Team Members Engaged", particularly stood out. I have been on many presentations where the team members seem to be just window dressing and were not involved in the presentation. It looked to us as investors as though the team was not very strong and left everything to the CEO.


Venture Capital Industry and Software Changing?

Published: 6/29/2011 10:54:30 AM, comments: 0

Noted VC Mark Suster of GRP Partners has a long and engaging post over at PE Hub about the changes of the venture capital industry.

View post here

We can certainly confirm a number of these changes, especially the drop in active VC firms, since VentureDeal tracks transactions for each firm.

The upshot is that I think the venture capital industry is getting back to its optimum size and will ultimately see healthier returns.


Sweden Is Great for Internet Startups

Published: 6/28/2011 9:18:12 AM, comments: 0

Interesting blog post on 8 reasons why Sweden is a great country for Web startups.

View post here

I can't say that any one reason sticks out, but the writer makes a compelling case for why Sweden has been giving birth to a number of popular online services.


VC Book Recommendation

Published: 6/27/2011 10:11:21 AM, comments: 0

Noted Internet VC Brad Feld gives a definite thumbs up to the forthcoming book by Eric Ries, The Lean Startup.   

The Lean Startup  

The book, which is due out on September 13, promises to provide a "scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups" through continual testing and feedback about a particular service or product.

Should be an interesting read.


Security vs. Hackers

Published: 6/23/2011 9:25:24 AM, comments: 0

There is a good interview of Steve Blank, a successful software entrepreneur, on the subject of the recent, high-profile hacker attacks on commercial networks.

View interview here

Not only do we have independent hacker groups who seem to be focused on commercial enterprises, but we also suspect government-backed hacker networks are focusing on infrastructure targets of potential adversaries.

The issue of security is only going to become more important in the future.

Mobile Ready to Pass PCs?

Published: 6/21/2011 1:11:21 PM, comments: 0

There is an interesting post up by Internet VC Nic Brisbourne that cites a variety of data indicating that mobile Internet usage is close to passing desktop PCs.

View post here

While he says that a lot of mobile application activity is gaming-based and not true Internet access, it is just a matter of time before mobile is king.


Is Medical Device Venture Capital Getting Riskier?

Published: 6/20/2011 10:55:14 AM, comments: 0

There are a number of indications that the regulatory environment for medical device technology companies is getting tougher.

A few medical device companies have publicly stated that they will move their operations to other regions of the world where they are able to get their products approved for sale.

It is getting more difficult to obtain medical device venture capital.

While safety is always of paramount importance, expansion of the "Regulatory State" will only serve to kill future development, or push it offshore.


Venture Capital and Royalty to Mix at Summit

Published: 6/16/2011 3:56:49 PM, comments: 0

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, more commonly known as Prince William and his new wife Kate, will attend the upcoming Venture Capital and New Media Summit on July 8 in Los Angeles.

Organized by media company Variety, the event will be held at the Beverly Hilton and will feature a keynote speech by Shari Redstone.

The Royals are attending the event in order to highlight the London Tech City initiative, which was launched by the UK government to build on the cluster of high tech companies already in East London.


Venture Capital Executives Are Optimistic

Published: 6/15/2011 10:34:21 AM, comments: 0

Executive search firm Polachi has released the results of its third annual venture capital survey.

View release here

The headline of the survey indicated that 77% of venture capital executives, i.e. Partners or Managing Partners, are more optimistic about the industry compared to a year ago.

In addition, 54% of the partners indicated that they are "very optimistic about exit markets." 93% said that there are plans to hire at their portfolio companies throughout the rest of this year.


Positive Q4 2010 Venture Capital Returns

Published: 6/14/2011 10:01:06 AM, comments: 0

Investment returns for U.S. venture capital funds finished 2010 with positive gains, according to a recent report by Cambridge Associates.

View release here

Venture capital funds posted an 8.4% return, which was the best quarterly performance since Q4 2006. 2010 was also the best year for VC industry returns since 2007.

Cambridge Managing Director Peter Mooradian said that improved offering prices for IPOs helped increase venture capital returns for the period.


New York Venture Summit

Published: 6/13/2011 9:13:55 AM, comments: 0

VentureDeal is proud to be a media partner for the upcoming 11th Annual New York Venture Summit by youngStartup Ventures, being held July 20-21, 2011 at the Digital Sandbox in New York City.

Click here to find out more

The venture capital conference promises to bring together more than 400 venture capital firms, private investors and CEOs of early-stage growth companies.

There will be numerous panel discussions over the two day conference and will include more than 40 individual venture capitalists and presentations by 50 emerging technology companies.  

A partial list of VCs confirmed to speak includes:  JohnAlbright, Co-Managing Partner, BlackBerry Partners Fund | Managing Partner, JLAVentures | Omar Amirana, MD, Partner, Oxford Bioscience Partners | SteveBrotman, Managing Partner, GSA Venture Partners | Don Butler, ManagingDirector, Thomvest Ventures | Bill Coleman, Partner, Alsop Louie Partners |Dixon R. Doll, Co-founder and General Partner, DCM | Scott English, Senior VicePresident - Strategic Investments, Hearst Interactive Media | David Lane,Partner, Onset Ventures | Charles R. Lax, Managing General Partner, GrandBanksCapital  | Mary Lincoln Campbell, Managing Director, EDF Ventures |Douglas Lind, Managing Partner, GBP Capital | Lucy McQuilken, Investment Manager,Intel Capital | Jeffrey B. Moore, DPhil, MBA, Vice President, MP HealthcareVenture Management | Diana Propper de Callejon, General Partner, ExpansionCapital Partners | Gary Rubinoff, Managing Director, Summerhill VenturePartners | Reese Schroeder, Managing Director, Motorola Solutions VentureCapital | Alexander B. Suh, Founding Managing Director, California TechnologyVentures | Jeanne M. Sullivan, Co-Chair and Founder, StarVest Partners | EileenM. Tanghal, Investment Director, Applied Ventures | Gaurav Tewari, Principal,Highland Capital Partners | Ryan Ziegler, Principal, Edison Venture Fund.


Venture Capital Debt - The Basics

Published: 6/10/2011 9:38:03 AM, comments: 0

Venture capital debt firm Silicon Valley Bank has a five-minute video that explains the basics about what venture debt is and how it works.

View video here

The video was created by Oscar Jazdowski based in London, but it is applicable to all startups who want to consider debt financing on top of an existing equity round.


Venture Capital Financing Trends

Published: 6/9/2011 9:30:48 AM, comments: 0

Silicon Valley law firm Fenwick & West has published a survey of venture financings for the first quarter of 2011.

View survey here

The survey noted that up rounds compared to down rounds comprised 67% and 16% of transactions respectively. This was roughly similar to the fourth quarter of 2010.

But was even more interesting is that the survey showed an average price increase of 52%, when compared to a typical 30-40% range in a normal healthy venture capital environment.

The report surveyed a total of 122 companies.


Venture Capital Quarterly Funding Reports by VentureDeal

Published: 6/7/2011 9:27:30 AM, comments: 0

VentureDeal is pleased to announce the release of its complimentary Quarterly Funding Reports:

Alternative Energy - Clean Tech      PDF

Biotech - Pharma - Medical Devices  PDF

Internet - eCommerce - Software    PDF

Telecom - Wireless - Mobile            PDF

The reports combine notable transactions, aggregated data tables and historical graphics to provide a concise overview of activity in 15 industries.

View all reports here


How to Find Your VC

Published: 6/6/2011 9:41:54 AM, comments: 0

Small businesses are slowly but surely reviving the economy from from it’s economic doldrums. Subsequently, many investors have been doing their part to help the small business succeed. And the good news is, it doesn’t take much to get venture capitalists to pitch in. Here are some tips and business solutions to help you get your venture fix.

Finding your VC:

Guy Kawasaki, co-founder of, founding partner at Garage Technology Ventures, and former chief evangelist of Apple, suggests finding a venture capitalist by getting introductions from people with connections such as partner-level lawyers, professors of engineering, or founders of companies who are already in a venture capitalist’s portfolio.

You don’t always have to know someone who knows someone to get in touch with a venture capitalist. President Obama’s “Startup America” initiative has made it possible to find financing through the U.S. Small Business Administration in a program called the SBIC, or Small Business Investment Company.

Stand out of the Crowd:

Of course, in order to get some money, you will need to prove that your company is worthy of capital, a high potential growth business. Paul Lee of Lightbank, a chicago-based firm focused on early-stage technology companies, explains what he looks for in a prospective investment: “Right off the bat, a passionate and intelligent management team.” “Also,” he continues, “is the sector they are attacking really a large market? At times, business owners’ original theses are flat-out wrong.”

You can also show the potential growth of your company by showcasing your success now. Leaving a voicemail or sending an email that explains your current growth will flaunt your ability to make money with very little financing (i.e. resourcefulness).

Find the right VC for your company:

Lastly, make sure that you are contacting the right venture capitalist for your company. Different VCs specialize in different industries. Additionally, VCs differ in their scope (national vs local). Get online and research the VC firm before you attempt to do business with them. If you keep these tips in mind, you’ll surely grab a venture capitalist in no time. Happy hunting.

James Kim is a writer for ChooseWhat is a company that provides product reviews and test data for business services and products.  Their goal is to help small companies make informed buying decisions on business solutions that help their business.


Foley & Lardner Launches Venture Capital Fund

Published: 6/3/2011 9:05:22 AM, comments: 0
International law firm Foley & Lardner has announced the launch of a new $4 million venture capital fund.

The purpose of the fund will be to invest alongside institutional venture capital firms and Angel groups.  It plans to invest in portfolio companies if the company is projected to have adequate cash flow for at least one year.

Typical funding size will initially be in the $50,000-$100,000 range across all industry sectors that Foley's clients participate in and will be a national fund, i.e., will invest wherever Foley's clients are.

This isn't the first example of a law firm investment fund - silicon Valley-based Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has long invested in selected startups.

My take is that this is a "bullish" signal from a law firm that is active in the technology sector. Thumbs up.


7 Failure Signs of Internet Startups

Published: 6/2/2011 9:41:49 AM, comments: 0

This is a very good feature length article on the seven signs of failure for Internet startups by Bjoern Herrmann, who is part of Blackbox seed accelerator and Startup Genome, an R&D project focused on learning from the successes and failures of startups.

View article here

I found the 4th failure sign particularly interesting, because they identified three major types of Internet startups segmented based on how they perform customer development and acquisition and related this information to the makeup of the founding team.


14 Metrics That Make an Internet Startup Successful

Published: 6/1/2011 10:35:29 AM, comments: 0

The Startup Genome has published a great survey of data from over 650 Internet startups.

As a result of the survey, the group highlighted 14 indicators of success for innovative early-stage companies.

View post here

It's a bit of a long read, but includes a list of 14 metrics and also a large infographic to help visualize the data.


Don Jones
CEO, VentureDeal

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