March 18, 2014 - Recently, I happened to be the third wheel of a conversation between two active angel investors who were talking about a particular company that was closing a round of funding (names will remain anonymous to protect the innocent). I was somewhat familiar with the company but not intimately; thus, I was able to listen to the debate –er, conversation – with a completely open mind.
March 5, 2014 - As a banker, I’ve spent far too much time in the weeds of Excel financial models for startup companies. Startup finance is not always the most fascinating work, and many founder CEOs are technologists who have no interest or experience with the “numbers” side of a startup. Yet, there are some very basic “Startup Finance” concepts that I think are imperative for entrepreneurial execs to grasp as they grow their businesses. Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting you understand all the inner workings of QuickBooks or GAAP revenue recognition – here are two key areas that will be crucial in growing your venture.
February 5, 2014 - The notion that it is cheaper and easier than ever to start a company is a widely accepted trend shaping the startup ecosystem. This is true for a variety of reasons.
December 18, 2013 - On the short list of items one must put together when pitching a startup is the financial model - the Excel workbook which contains formulas and variables predicting revenues and expenses and, ostensibly, a business model that could produce a big exit for the founders/shareholders.
November 14, 2013 - In my day-to-day role helping to run the Square Roots program for Square 1 Bank, one of my most important responsibilities is to be a connector. Often, this manifests itself in introductions between a company and a potential investor or service providers. From time-to-time, I’ll meet a job seeker who wants to break into the startup world. I usually ask a series of questions to understand exactly what the person wants to do, and then attempt some mental matching with companies that may be a fit for their profile and talents.
October 29, 2013 - It's no secret that building a company is hard work. While entrepreneurial ventures can be full of excitement and energizing in many respects, they are still work and run the risk that the strain could burn out employees. Well known (and well funded!) startups will experiment with various perks like ping pong tables, catered lunches and flexible work hours in an attempt to keep employees happy while providing attachments above and beyond a paycheck. Happy teams lead to happy customers!