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Entrepreneurs must identify ways to exit a business at the onset, which enables efforts to be directed to a goal, writes the builder of two companies. The author, now a venture capitalist, outlines four steps for doing so.
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.
Don’t get Randal Charlton wrong. The executive director at the TechTown business incubator in Detroit is thankful for a recent announcement of $5 million coming his way to help graduates of his FastTrac business training program launch their companies. But, he says, look at it this way: The money, granted by the New Economy Initiative, a Detroit-area philanthropic partnership, is not being thrown at comfortable entrepreneurs. This is, essentially, aid to the unemployed. And, as such, $5 million barely scratches the surface.
Many of the entrepreneurs to be helped by the First Step Fund, the entity created by NEI’s $5 million investment, are not launching startups because it seems like a promising thing to do. They have nowhere else to go, Charlton says. Their former jobs in the auto industry are gone, never to return. Their choices are to leave the state or try to create their own jobs in Michigan.
Communication is the vital link in building a relationship with a business partner, in this case a mentor (angel) capitalist. Learn where and when to use the right presentation for the right audience whether it be an angel or venture capitalist.
Looking at ways to do a public offering, the founders of a biotech company chose a reverse merger, an alternative public offering that ultimately provided the company with access to more funding sources and higher valuation.
Angel financing - or funding from individuals with the time and money to invest in early-stage companies - is more accessible thanks to the gathering of such investors into networks, writes an erstwhile entrepreneur turned angel investor. The process is still arduous, but the author offers tips for easing the way.
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.
A highly successful angel investor and entrepreneur identifies and puts to the test a valuation calculator tool. He finds that it works very well, thank you. By answering twenty-five questions, entrepreneurs and investors arrive at valuations that can reasonably be used as a practical guide to investing.
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.
Convertible debt and a discreet amount of bank credit are available to entrepreneurs seeking substantial loan financing for early-stage ventures, says a company founder turned private investor.
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