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Turning the Tables: How to Make Venture Capitalists Pitch You

I’m returning to Capital on Stage this fall in New York. Last year, 19 other VC fund Partners and I pitched to 170 attendees; this year the conference organizers expect a similar turnout. You can see online my own pitch and all the other VCs pitching last year in NY  . To attend, apply via the [...continue reading]

How Tech Startups Can Get Money and Support from the Fortune 500

How can a tech startup engage with a Fortune 500 company for mutual benefit? Fortune 500 corporations are stressed about where they can get growth and how to plug into the innovative and nimble entrepreneurial ecosystem. The chasm between the typical Fortune 500 company and a startup is typically [...continue reading]

How To Present So People will Hear

You probably have to make presentations, but does the audience hear what you’re saying?  And do they believe it? Based on my experience in investment banking and strategy consulting, I've put together a 3-part series on how to prepare memos and presentations that people will read and believe. [...continue reading]

How to Write a Memo That People Will Actually Read

I spent many late nights as an investment banker and strategy consultant early in my career.  My #1 learning from that experience (besides financial modeling) was how to communicate in an effective way, particularly with senior executives.  As  training now for my team at ff Venture Capital, I’ve [...continue reading]

Should Your Startup Pivot, Persevere, or Plank?

(I originally published this in Forbes.) It’s a cliché of the startup world that successful entrepreneurs persevere even when everyone else thinks their idea is doomed (see: Pandora). It’s a cliché of the startup world that successful entrepreneurs pivot when appropriate (see: Paypal, Apple [...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]

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 Salesforce.com.  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]

Free Government Money for Your Company

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]

The reality of Profitably raising money from angels and VCs in New York

Adam Neary wrote an unusually open post about his experience raising $1.1m for Profitably, a provider of small business analytics. (Disclosure: I'm a Mentor for Founder Institute. Adam was one of our star students from the first class in New York, when Profitably was just Adam, a Powerpoint, and a [...continue reading]

Buying private companies on marketplaces of primary and secondary interests

Congratulations to the team at AxialMarket on raising $2m from First Round Capital and Windcrest Investments. I take this as a sign that they're starting to gain traction among corporations and private equity funds, despite the fact they're threatening the lunch of lower-tier business brokers and [...continue reading]

Raising Fund X: Trends in Private Equity Fundraising and Fund Evaluation

I enjoyed listening to a panel this morning sponsored by Broadgate Consultants on "Raising Fund "x": Trends in Private Equity Fundraising and Fund Evaluation."  My rough notes follow:   Panelists were: Dr. Oliver Gottschalg, Assistant Professor of Strategy and Business Policy, < [...continue reading]

Ten things you must do in your next investing pitch

Via Laura Athavale Fitton: "Just in time for Spring Pitching season and all the venture fairs coming up, we've published a pair of tip sheets for startups to make their pitches [...continue reading]

Raising Capital with Online Networks

We just posted the draft of an article we're working on about how to raise capital with online networks. We're particularly interested in more success stories about institutional investors who have used online networks to raise capital successfully. We welcome feedback! Here's the article: [...continue reading]

Burt Alimansky–Smart Networking

On March 9, I attended a talk on "Smart Networking?? by Burt Alimansky. Following are my notes. Burt gave his approval to distribute these notes. Smart Networking: How to Win New Clients, New Jobs, & New Friends - Burt Alimansky Harvard MBA '77, Managing Director, Alimansky Capital Group Inc.Mr. [...continue reading]