Startups Must Get Creative as Early-Stage Investors Shift to Larger Deals

The swashbuckling masters of the universe of who fueled the early days of Silicon Valley have aged and it shows in their investment choices. July 11, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. It wasn’t so long ago — 10 or 15 years — that many venture capitalists were willing to make bets on early and even seed-stage startups. After hitting the jackpot on companies like Google, Facebook and Yahoo, the early generation of tech investors now have more money to spend — but they’re less likely to put it into young startups that require time and handholding to grow.   That shift into later-stage investments has created a more challenging landscape for entrepreneurs looking for someone to invest in their startups. But don’t despair. You can still find seed money if you know where to look. Investment in early-stage companies has entered a cooling-off period. […]

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How We Can Beat Venture Capital’s Diversity Problem

Minorities and females are yet to be fully integrated into the venture-backed technology world. So, what can we do? July 3, 2019 8 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The contrast between minority and majority startup founders is stark. It’s so stark that Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., made inequality a significant part of her presidential campaign in June when she cited University of California research showing that the typical black entrepreneur starts a business with just $35,000 in capital — a third of the startup capital for the typical white entrepreneur. Related: Out of $85 Billion in VC Funding Last Year, Only 2.2 Percent Went to Female Founders. And Every Year, Women of Color Get Less Than 1 Percent of Total Funding. The UC data backed up what is already evident in the venture capital world: that there seems to be little room for minorities. Take this report by Harlem […]

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How to Drive Growth — With or Without VC Funding

Funding is important but not as important as smart leadership. June 26, 2019 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Is venture capital funding becoming obsolete? As The New York Times reports, some entrepreneurs are starting to reject offers of funding, suggesting that founders are trending away from the traditional VC model. More than that, we’re seeing leaders in the startup space outwardly express the need to shift focus away from VC funding. Bryce Roberts, co-founder of O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, for example, suggests that startups reconsider VC funding or avoid it altogether, while MeUndies founder Jonathan Shokrian urges entrepreneurs to find alternate paths to success. In my experience as a founder, CEO and investor, I’ve found that the path to success is the middle ground between depending on VC funding and rejecting it altogether. Venture capital is valuable to a fledgling company, but even well-funded startups fail without smart leaders to guide […]

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The VC World Is Still a Boys’ Club — Here’s How to Change That

Women provide a unique perspective that is often missing in venture capital firms. October 26, 2018 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. According to a recent analysis by Axios, the venture capital (VC) world is overwhelmingly dominated by men, with women making up fewer than 9 percent of all decision-makers in the industry. What makes this even more shocking is the fact that this is an improvement over 2017, when only 7 percent of decision-makers were female, and 2016, when women made up just 5.7 percent. Related: How Coaching Can Help Women Get Ahead in the Tech Industry I’ve worked in the VC space for more than 20 years, and these figures actually seem generous. When I think of the breakdown in my home state of Utah, where even fewer executive-level positions are held by women, the gender gap can certainly feel like a barrier for […]

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98 Percent of VC Funding Goes to Men. Can Women Entrepreneurs Change a Sexist System?

Last year, the largest VC deal for a female team was $165 million — a stark contrast to that for males, which was $3 billion. June 29, 2018 12 min read It was January 2017. A 26-year-old Nadia Genevieve Masri made her way up to the second floor office of a venture capital fund in San Francisco. She was there to ask for $500,000. Masri already had four startups under her belt, and she was raising her first round of VC funding for Perksy, a market research company targeting millennial and Gen-Z audiences. She knew market research was a $45 billion industry and that there was no leading mobile solution — meaning companies like Pepsi were spending well over $50 million per year without certainty of directly reaching younger generations. Masri’s idea: an app where, in exchange for rewards at companies like Nordstrom, Sephora, Delta and Netflix, users would answer […]

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5 Common Mistakes That Keep Venture Capitalists From Investing

Want to attract venture capitalist funding? Make sure you aren’t making these five self-inflicted errors. May 10, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Entrepreneurs rely on support and funding from venture capitalists (VCs) to kickstart their businesses and take them to the next level. But the VC world is a cutthroat one, and vanilla presentations that lack value, potential profit and that “spark” VCs crave won’t result in anything more than a deleted email and ignored pitch deck. Entrepreneurs need to position their pitch decks in a way that creates the “perfect formula” — the combination of business idea and presentation that venture capitalists are looking for. Sean Brown is the founder and CEO of GO VC. Brown breaks down some of the top reasons why VCs aren’t responding to your pitch deck and what you can do to not only catch their eye, but also leave them wanting […]

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You’ve Raised Early-Stage Funding! Now What?

Four ways to set yourself up for success with your new high-maintenance stakeholders. Read_more Related posts: Seed Stage Founders Aren’t Getting Enough Guidance From Their Investors You Can’t Get VC Funding for Your Startup. Now, What? 5 Ways to Minimize Early-Stage Business Risk Looking for a Tech Job? Then Learn How to Recognize Early Stage Unicorns 3 Ways Women Owners of Early-Stage Companies Can Fight Adversity This Online Tool Will Tell You Whether You’re Ready for Funding Here’s How AI Is Changing VC Funding 98 Percent of VC Funding Goes to Men. Can Women Entrepreneurs Change a Sexist System?

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Here’s How AI Is Changing VC Funding

Venture capital firms are using machine learning to make their investment decisions. Here’s how to use AI for better business insights and better access to funds. February 23, 2018 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Any current discussion of artificial intelligence in the workforce centers on how it will impact — or outright replace — certain departments or even employees. But that’s not the most pragmatic conversation for venture capitalists. considering AI’s utility in identifying the most interesting startup investments. InReach Ventures co-founder Roberto Bonanzinga, for example, is investing $7 million on software that utilizes machine learning to find worthwhile European startups to pour capital into. Which raises the question: Why isn’t every venture capital firm already doing this? Well-established metrics are being used to assess startup potential, and one glance at the market unveils a trove of data points being used by AI algorithms to establish […]

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