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VCs eating our own dog food: Using technology and analytics to make better investments

(To see the video above, please click the image, and then click on the Play button.) Private equity and venture capital investors are copying our sisters in the hedge fund world: we’re trying to automate more of our job.  When I was single, I registered for (a lot of) dating websites. When I met [...continue reading]

Use agile budgeting to manage your business

Instead of budget approvals, monitor key metrics and give managers more flexibility Traditional budgets can be destructive and a huge waste of time. How should a growth company manage their budget?  Does the annual budget approval process even make sense in a fast-moving firm? My friends who are [...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]

How to prepare for and run a board meeting

After spending quite a bit of time in board meetings, I worked with a NYU student team earlier in 2012-13 to prepare a template for board presentations to investors. In the deck below, I include our best practices on preparing for, running, and closing up on a board meeting, including what to [...continue reading]

Valuing Startup Employee Options

This is the third of three blog posts on financial modeling for startups.  The first was on best practices in building financial models, and the second was a template financial model for a startup. I've often found it helpful to have on hand a simple model showing the impact of each financing [...continue reading]

Template Startup Financial Model

(This is the second of three blog posts on financial models for startups.  Yesterday I wrote about best practices in spreadsheet design.) I couldn’t find a good template financial model online, so I decided to create one. We started with a sanitized version of a financial model I had developed [...continue reading]

Best Practices in Spreadsheet Design

(This is the first of three blog posts on financial modeling for startups.) While some entrepreneurs may think that financial models are just a formality that needs completing in order to placate straight-laced venture capital types, the reality is that models can be essential tools for creating [...continue reading]

Tax Credits for Startups in New York State

As our federal and state government continue to worry about job creation, they're trying their best to promote entrepreneurship.  Our CFO Alex Katz just sent out a memo to our portfolio, attached below, about 2 tax credits available to companies that do business in New York State. For background, [...continue reading]

How Startups Should Report Financial Results

I asked Rick Eaton, CFO of Hashable, to write for you a sanitized version of some of the detailed reports that Hashable provides to its investors (which includes us).  He’s provided below a template for both the cover email and the detailed report.  Rick was previously CFO of ffVC portfolio company [...continue reading]

Value of Soft Assets

The indefatigable and ubiquitous Auren Hoffman, CEO of Rapleaf, posts his slides from a presentation on the value of soft assets ("connections, knowledge, and reputation"). I particularly like his analogy between alternative assets in the hard and soft space. [...continue reading]

Dot-Com Bubble, Part II? Why It is So Hard to Value Social Networking Sites

Less than three years after emerging from nowhere, the hot social networking website MySpace is on pace to be worth a whopping $15 billion in just three more years. Or is it? And is the much smaller Facebook really worth the $900 million or more Yahoo is reported to have offered for it? The problem, [...continue reading]

CFO Magazine on How Corporations can use Social Network Software

CFO Magazine on How Corporations can use Social Network Software:Six Degrees of Cooperation - Winter 2004 Issue - [...continue reading]

Beating spreadsheet duplication blues

Don McDonough wrote in response to my blog post on tools to manage small project teams:It is interesting how we tend to always come back to the simple tools to get the job done. The ubiquitous spreadsheet is used in so many places where custom built software exists to do the job. The reason this is [...continue reading]

How a mathematical phenomenon can help you uncover financial fraud and other irregularities

How a mathematical phenomenon can help you uncover financial fraud and other irregularities: BENFORD'S LAW provides us with a simple data analysis method that can help us uncover possible input errors, potential fraud, manipulative biases, costly processing inefficiencies or other irregularities. [...continue reading]

How to Calculate Lifetime Customer Value

How to Calculate Lifetime Customer ValueSee for background, and for a very detailed calculator.courtesy of Jeremy KaganJeremy Kagan is a New York City-based entrepreneur and [...continue reading]

Financial Management Training Center—no cost courses

Check out Financial Management Training CenterThis is a collection of finance courses. All courses are free and accessible from the web page. Course 1: Evaluating Financial Performance pdf | exe file | word - A concise overview of using ratios to evaluate financial performance. Supplemental [...continue reading]