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How Star Wars Will Help You Raise Capital for Your Company

When you’re raising money, you’re telling a story.  So who are some of the best stories and storytellers?   Greek mythology, the Bible, and in modern times, George Lucas and the Wachowski siblings. Star Wars and the Matrix are both modeled on Joseph Campbell’s wildly influential book, The Hero [...continue reading]

18 Ways to Make Your Financial Model Stand Out to Investors

The median investor looking at your proposal is in her 40s.  Her eyes are going, not to mention her brain.  I look at a lot of spreadsheets and analytic reports, and way too many are difficult to read and therefore hard to understand. In an effort to make my life easier, I’ve summarized here the [...continue reading]

Please Don’t Pitch A Venture Capitalist Without This Checklist

I’m surprised at how many funding pitches I get which lack some of the basic information which investors require before funding.  I think this stems from two causes: 1) Lack of basic knowledge of the information investors require.  But I would hope that a reasonably competent founder could easily [...continue reading]

Raise Capital With The Skin You’re In: Blunt Truth from Don Charlton, CEO, The Resumator

How do you raise capital for your company when you’re not in the traditional social circles of the money people?  In particular, the VC industry is 76% white male and overwhelmingly straight; what if you do not fit into that bucket? I’m speaking on a panel this afternoon on fundraising for [...continue reading]

How To Pitch An Entrepreneur And Persuade Her To Take Your Cash

With the rise of a trillion-dollar crowdfunding market, angel investors bundling their investment offerings, and family offices doing more direct investments, venture capitalists are no longer the only available source for entrepreneurs seeking funding. Now that anyone can benefit from the global [...continue reading]

Helping Women And Minorities Raise Angel Capital

In early 2012, my HBS Alumni Angels colleagues and I launched the Venture Capital Access Program (VCAP), an initiative to help women and minority-led businesses to raise capital from the Harvard alumni angel community.  This is a partnership between HBS Alumni Angels of Greater NY (HBSAANY) and the [...continue reading]

How to Judge an Investment Proposal

I periodically serve as a judge at pitch events for companies raising funding. In every case, I'm assessing each company against ffVC's standard criteria for investing. You can see a video of a recent pitch contest where I served as a judge here. For some of the new employees at ffVC, I put [...continue reading]

A VC Just Cold-Called You; Now What?

One of our founders called me.  “An analyst just called me.  He works for a VC fund tied to an investment bank.  He’s interested in our company and is keen to know more. How much information should I share? “ CEOs need to know what they’re getting into when they talk with VCs, particularly if [...continue reading]

Teach your computer to read your mind

InteraXon, a leader in thought controlled computing and a ffVC portfolio company, launched an Indiegogo campaign today to support production of Muse, a multi-sensor brainwave measuring headband. For the last year, InteraXon has been deep in development of Muse, which will allow users to see how [...continue reading]

Best Practices of VCs and Private Equity Funds in Deal Sourcing

I have a presentation coming up in August on best practices of VCs and private equity funds in deal origination. You've surely seen lots of talks on how entrepreneurs can raise capital; the question I'm exploring is the reverse, which is how investors can find potential investments. If you have [...continue reading]

Why We Chose Salesforce CRM Over Zoho

I finally did it: I've moved my contact database over to the web.  After extensive research of different CRM solutions (thanks BestVendor), we're working with  We also used Salesforce heavily at one of my prior companies, Circle of Experts. I've been a loyal Act user for my [...continue reading]

More Cash for Entrepreneurs, Crowdfunding, and Indiegogo

As Steve Case has said, it’s ridiculous that anyone can gamble and be guaranteed to lose money, but there are strict regulations around who can invest in early-stage private companies and earn (in some cases) a 27% IRR on their capital. * The Entrepreneurs Access to Capital Act helps to redress [...continue reading]

Founder Institute Startup Fundraising Hacks

The Founder Institute recently posted a video from a talk I gave a little while ago on Startup Fundraising Hacks. Although my focus in this talk is raising capital, the ideas and technologies I discuss will also help you in recruiting star developers, sales, and even dating. The talk is dated in [...continue reading]

Free Government Money for Startups

A few weeks ago, Fred Wilson discussed the role of government grants in helping launch tech companies. Fred is not a fan and argues that evaluating and aiding early-stage companies is not a core competency of government organizations. He concludes by asking his readers to look into grant programs [...continue reading]