Published: 9/25/2007 7:33:06 AM, comments: 0
There's an idea floating around the VC world these days - the need to
simplify legal documentation for angel rounds or smaller series A
rounds of $1 million or less.
I would be a big fan of this idea, and I believe other angel investors as well as entrepreneurs would be supporters as well.
from the angel investor standpoint: no one likes having to go through
several turns (versions) of a stack of documents. Angel investors
usually don't do this sort of thing for a living, they want to get down
to the business of helping the company, or having a passive role. So,
they have little patience for this type of work.
entrepreneurs, most of them passionately dislike the idea of having to
PAY for the stack of documents, since that is typically what happens.
The dislike it because here they are going hat in hand to get financing
from VCs or wealthy individuals, and its the poor entrepreneur that
must pay for the documents? If a deal doesn't happen, they're stuck
with the bill and no financing.
I can't speak for anyone else,
but I bet there will be more frequent calls for simpler documentation,
especially as the prevalence of web 2.0 type companies persists.
Published: 9/18/2007 9:44:08 PM, comments: 0
As part of a continuing series on getting financing for your venture
startup from angel groups, this post deals with the all-important full
presentation in front of the angel group.
Different angel groups
have different formats, but one that is common is a 20-30 minute time
slot alloted for your presentation, usually in a dinner setting in
front of a few dozen to 60 angels. At the angel group I'm a member of,
the Band of Angels, you get 30 minutes total time. We usually
recommend that you limit your formal presentation to 20 minutes and
allow 10 minutes at the end for question and answer.
Band, we also provide presentation coaching free of charge, and we
highly recommend that as a presenter, you get the proper coaching you
need, so that your "delivery" doesn't get in the way of your
opportunity. We used to see many company founders who didn't have good
presentation skills - and their prospects for getting financing dropped
accordingly, since their poor or unorganized method of delivering the
message got in the way of the angel group members trying to decipher
what the opportunity was.
There are many books written about the
subject of presentations - but you need to be succinct, clear, and
obvious in the market pain, how your company alleviates that pain and
how you intend to go to market and actually sell the technology.
Whatever you do, never say that your business opportunity is "the next
Google." That will likely immediately end your chances of raising money from
that angel group. I've seen it happen.
In the Q&A period,
expect to be hammered with tough questions. Make sure you repeat the
question for everyone to hear, and don't dodge it! I've seen many
cases where the presenter didn't answer the question directly, leaving
the impression that she either didn't know the answer or didn't want to
tell us. Be clear and candid, and you'll have the best chance for
Published: 9/11/2007 7:59:10 AM, comments: 0
As part of a series on pursuing funding sources with angel groups, the
next stop on the way to a successful financing is when the angel group
has received your initial information and invites you to a short, in-person meeting.
meeting is set up to have you provide a 5 or 10 minute pitch about your
offering and the remainder of the time is spent with various angel
asking you broad-scope questions about you and other company
management, the product or service status, the market, your proposed
milestones with the financing amount and other topics. Expect a very
intense "grilling" at this meeting, since the group is looking for any
signs that you aren't ready to present to the entire angel group at
their next meeting. I suggest being extremely well-prepared for this
opportunity, bringing your business partners along to add their
comments to yours.
Based on this meeting, you will either be
asked to formally present to the angel group or not. In a few cases,
if it was a close call, you may be put in the queue for next month's
process, and if you keep in touch with the angel group throughout that
time and avoid letting the concept "stale out" in the group's mind, you
may get the opportunity next time.
Published: 9/4/2007 9:21:52 AM, comments: 0
As I previously mentioned in a blog post, we've been rolling out a number
of new features and capabilities within the VentureDeal database. One
of the most powerful is our new "People Search."
We've now added
the ability to search the thousands of senior management personnel at
the technology companies in the database. You can search by name,
title, company and other versatile ways to obtain information on
decision makers at the senior level of venture-backed technology
This added capability can help many users of the
database, from venture investors seeking to perform due diligence, to
service firms wanting information about whom to target their services,
and tech companies looking for additional contacts.
Let us know what you think. We hope you find it useful.