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Numerous factors affect how angels value a company. Primary are the strength of the management team and the size of the opportunity, or a company's potential to scale. Accompanying this article is a valuation worksheet that entrepreneurs can use to better understand what investors look for and to identify factors that can justify higher pre-money valuations. Investors will find it useful to compare companies and determine whether valuation should be higher or lower.
Investing in seed and startup companies is extremely risky: Angel investors typically realize about 85 percent of their total portfolio returns from 15 percent of their portfolio companies. Consequently, angels look only for companies that can grow rapidly. Entrepreneurs who pursue less aggressive growth are unlikely to attract angel investors.
This informative piece explains a well-known method that venture capitalists use to determine "post-money valuation," which is a company's valuation at the time of investment. Perhaps more important, it provides valuable insights into why the returns expected by investors are often perceived as "too high" by entrepreneurs.
The NVCA site provides eight legal-document templates as starting points to save significant amounts of time and money during VC deals. For example, it includes term sheet, stock purchase agreement, and management rights letter.
Have venture capitalists overlooked innovation in industries such as nanotech, biotech, medical devices, and semiconductors? A new generation of entrepreneur-innovators is succeeding in such arenas-with promises of more to come. VCs are beginning to take notice. The article offers an overview of industries and products with explanations by entrepreneurs.
Valuation negotiations between entrepreneurs and investors are often contentious. Such valuations rarely stray from the $1 million to $3 million range for seed/startup companies that angels expect to grow to $50 million to $100 million over five to eight years. Angels are most concerned about the management team's ability to rapidly grow the company and about helping the entrepreneur achieve these growth objectives.
As details regarding executive pay packages become more and more public, the best leaders are opting to make career choices that keep them out of the spotlight. This entrepreneur offers creative tips for finding and compensating the best executives in today's global marketplace.
Thinking about venture funding for your growing business? A VC lays out the steps and provides typical expectations on valuation.
J. Michael Cline is the founding Partner of Accretive LLC. Michael and other Accretive principals founded Exult, Xchanging, Fandango and Accretive Health. Before founding Accretive Michael spent 10 years as General
Partner at General Atlantic Partners helping build General Atlantic into the world's largest private investment firm focused on software and related investments. Prior to General Atlantic, Michael was an associate at McKinsey &
Company. Michael received his MBA from Harvard Business School where he was a Baker Scholar and he received a BS from Cornell University. He serves on the boards of Accretive Commerce, Fandango, Accretive Health and Willow. He is a Trustee
of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) where he chairs the Tigers Forever initiative - the world's largest effort in global tiger conservation and is a Trustee of the Brunswick School. He also serves on the board of the National Fish
and Wildlife Foundation, Endeavor Global and the Harvard Business School Rock Center for Entrepreneurship.
William Sahlman is the Dimitri V. d'Arbeloff - Class of 1955 Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. The d'Arbeloff Chair was established in 1986 to support teaching and research on the
entrepreneurial process. The Chair honors the late Dimitri d'Arbeloff (HBS '55), whose entrepreneurial skills helped make Millipore Corporation a world leader in its industry. Mr. Sahlman received an A.B. degree in Economics from Princeton
University, an M.B.A. from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Business Economics, also from Harvard. His research focuses on the investment and financing decisions made in entrepreneurial ventures at all stages in their development. Mr.
Sahlman was co-chair of the Entrepreneurship and Service Management Unit from 1999 to 2002. From 1991 to 1999, he was Senior Associate Dean, Director of Publishing Activities, and chairman of the board for Harvard Business School
Publishing Corporation. From 1990 to 1991, he was chairman of the Harvard University Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility. He is a member of the board of directors of several private companies.
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