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Valuation Estimator

William H. (Bill) Payne, Senior Program Consultant, Kauffman Foundation

Created by Akira Hirai, managing director of the Phoenix office of Cayenne Consulting, this valuation calculator tool consists of twenty-five questions for establishing the pre-money valuation for high-tech, seed- (startup) and early-stage companies looking for angel or venture capital investment. It provides useful insights for entrepreneurs and investors alike and can be found at http://www.caycon.com/valuation.php.

Each question can be answered at four response levels, which measure progression from immature ventures to more developed companies and larger market opportunities. In my experience, the minimum answers required to calculate a valuation using this tool are the second level of response for all questions except one through six, eleven, eighteen, and twenty-four. Each of these requires at least a third-level response to calculate a valuation. Higher-level responses to these nine questions are very important to estimating higher valuations.

The minimum valuation I could determine with this tool was about $0.5 million and the maximum was more than $40 million (all level-four answers). Based on my experience, investing in more than forty startup companies over twenty-five years, this valuation estimator produced reasonable valuations.

© 2007 Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. All rights reserved.

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