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Normally, if you ever wanted to invest in a startup, you need to be an accredited investor and/or have heaps of cash to play with. But what if you don’t really care about the money and just want to join in for fun and learn about investing?

Today, veteran entrepreneur and investor Josh Jones released Exchangel, the first fantasy angel investment exchange that allows people to interact with and learn about the startup market without the risk.

Jones told NextShark:

“It’s essentially ‘fantasy angel investing,’ like the old Hollywood Stock Exchange (hsx.com, if anybody remembers it?), but it lets people who aren’t accredited investors (or are, but aren’t as into lighting piles of money on fire as some of us) to at least play and follow along with the crazy world of early-stage startup investing.

In terms of how it works more specifically, when a new company is added to the site it starts in a “seed” stage where it’s more or less an auction to get the first shares. Then, after the seed stage ends, the company shares just float on a free exchange where people buy and sell them at whatever price the market will bear. Whenever there’s some external, real-world financing news (fundraising, acquisition, IPO), the company will switch to a one-week period of buying and selling at that fixed price and then go back to floating (unless it was an acquisition or IPO, in which case current holders are just cashed out).

And, there is currently a 1 bitcoin (~$250) a month prize for the top performers (ROI) each month!”

Signing up for Exchangel is pretty easy but requires you to click on a different link emailed to you each time you sign back in, which could be a pain.

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Jones told NextShark that the idea came about when a friend made a comment that “Angel investing is just fantasy football for millionaires.” That, combined with going to demo day and wanting to attract people to his Angel List syndicates (a service that allows investors to co-invest with other notable investors) gave him the idea for Exchangel.

The site has been picking up a lot of attention since launching today and is now on the front page of Hacker News. Jones says he’s getting about 200 people signing up per hour.

When we asked which startups investors should put their money in right now based on his site’s data, Jones said:

“Well, the most popular so far are getmeadow.com, getmagicnow.com and gitlab.com! I am working on revealing all this data publicly on the site right as soon as I’m done with this interview too!”

Jones is a programmer and co-founded web hosting provider and domain name registrar DreamHost back in 1996. He then sold it in 2013 and got into Bitcoin. He’s now an angel investor and advisor to multiple startups.

Article source: http://nextshark.com/veteran-entrepreneur-creates-the-worlds-first-fantasy-angel-investing-platform/

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Imlay








Urvaksh Karkaria
Staff Writer- Atlanta Business Chronicle

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John P. Imlay Jr., Atlanta’s Godfather of angel investing, has died, Atlanta Business Chronicle has learned.

Imlay, who was 78, suffered a massive heart attack at home on Wednesday morning.

Imlay, an avid golfer and minority owner of the Atlanta Falcons NFL franchise, is credited with helping create two of Atlanta’s biggest tech industries — software and Internet security.

Until the end, Imlay was a favorite candidate for tech event keynotes, where his folksy wit and stories about Atlanta’s tech history and its characters left audiences cracking up.

“Atlanta would not have had a technology industry without John,” said Tom Noonan, who has known Imlay for decades. “John was the person that inspired all of us to dig deeper and reach higher. He’d back it up not only with his investment, but with his friendship and mentoring.”

Imlay’s legacy lies in building one of the most successful software companies — Management Science America Inc. (MSA) — which proved to be an incubator for technology executives and startup companies in Atlanta. Indeed. MSA is credited with birthing more than 300 CEOs and nearly 100 companies.

“(Imlay) had a unique ability to motivate, inspire and entertain entrepreneurs, athletes and audiences,” said John Yates, partner at Morris, Manning Martin and Atlanta tech industry kingmaker. “John’s legacy will live on through hundreds of entrepreneurs, executives and friends who will remember his kindness, generosity and remarkable leadership talents.”

Imlay, who dreamed of one day owning a business in Georgia, started out as a computer salesman working for several companies, including Honeywell.

Urvaksh Karkaria covers Technology.



Article source: http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/blog/atlantech/2015/03/atlantas-godfather-of-angel-investing-john-imlay.html

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Between the parade of wet suits and abundant seafood and yoga joints, Manhattan Beach, just south of Los Angeles, tries to cling fast to its surf town roots. It’s a tough battle. Strolling the boardwalk, I pass beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings practicing spikes close by glitzy homes locals say belong to Mark Cuban and former Oracle boss Ray Lane.

My guide, tech investor Chris Sacca, represents another evolution: The beach serves as his de facto office, and the 39-year-old eagerly points out spots more notable for his startup stakes than surf breaks. Here’s where Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom pedaled beach cruisers with Sacca as he wrestled with fundraising options for his photo-sharing app. Nearby, Twitter cofounder Evan Williams pondered the future of social media. There’s the beach house from Beverly Hills, 90210 , past which WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg and Sacca biked toward Redondo Beach. And that’s the spot where Twitter CEO Dick Costolo and Sacca endured an early morning workout. “Kevin Rose did half of it and told me I was crazy and he wouldn’t come anymore,” Sacca says, mentioning, unprompted, the founder of Digg.

All these boastful highlights have an underlying number: $1.2 billion, the amount of money that FORBES estimates Sacca is now personally worth, up from pretty much nothing just nine years ago. The young former Google employee suddenly finds himself in the same financial league as veteran venture billionaires such as Jim Breyer, John Doerr and Michael Moritz. And in terms of a hot streak he rates even higher. Sacca has already had two ground-floor bonanzas: Twitter, in which his funds held more at its IPO than any outside investor, and Uber, in which they hold 4% of a company valued at $41 billion. And he’s sitting on investments in billion-dollar startups Stripe, Lookout and WordPress parent Automattic.

“Chris has found every hot startup in the Valley and found them all during angel rounds,” says Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who has invested in Sacca’s funds. “This is completely without precedent or equivalent.” The 39-year-old ranks third on FORBES’ 14th annual Midas List of tech’s 100 top investors.

Sacca didn’t study business or engineering, doesn’t know how to program a computer, never started a company of his own or worked at a big venture firm. What he does is buddy up with well-chosen founders, console them when they’re down and cajole them when they’re wary of big risks. “I don’t feel like I have a big institution to protect,” says Sacca. “That’s made me faster than the big investors.”

But his track record is also flecked with broken friendships and hard feelings. While he keeps a relatively low media profile–this story marks the first time he’s cooperating for a major story–his big mouth, incessant name-dropping and blunt elbows cause eyes to roll. “He’s got a bit of a hero complex,” says a peer who knows him well. “He’s an amazing investor, but that’s not enough–he has to do this heroic stuff.” At Google he crashed every meeting he could and then wouldn’t shut up. Twitter eventually had to pass a rule, driven in part by Sacca, barring nonemployees from showing up at all-staff meetings. He and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, once close friends, now barely speak, despite Sacca’s major stake in the company.

“Chris is brutally honest about everything,” says mentor Steve Anderson of Baseline Ventures, an Instagram backer and No. 5 on the Midas List. “And he’s aware that he’s insecure.” But don’t mistake insecurity for timidity. “I get close to people easily,” says Sacca. “But do something to me, I will light that bridge on fire.”

As we’re talking on the Manhattan Beach pier, Sacca’s iPhone buzzes. It’s a Twitter direct message from Ben Rubin, CEO of Meerkat, a white-hot new app for live-streaming video. Sacca is not going to invest in Meerkat but had been playing with it ahead of its early challenge at the popular conference, South by Southwest. He rapidly types back with a thumb and forefinger combination. “I told Ben that the festival is the first big test, and if you keep the stream up, you win,” Sacca says, thrusting the DM thread toward my face quickly, then back away. “You have to offer value without expecting anything in return.” Such is how new bridges are built, amid the smoldering embers of the old ones.

Sacca is busy building what will be one of the premier houses in Manhattan Beach, a terraced 5,000-square-foot place powered by solar panels. It should be ready by August, but until then, he, his wife, Crystal, and their two young daughters (a third child is on the way) have been camping out at a nearby guesthouse.

Due at a board meeting, Sacca bounds in, ripping off his beach T-shirt to get into his investor uniform. Steve Jobs had his black turtleneck. Chris Sacca has his embroidered cowboy shirt. He bought his first one, impulsively, at the Reno airport en route to a speech, and the reaction prompted him to buy out half the store on his return. He now owns almost 70, in various flavors, which he keeps near his front door and in the trunk of his car in case of emergency. “Entrepreneurs get disappointed when I show up without one of these,” he says, donning a black shirt with silver stitching.

The Howdy Doody look is just one more of Sacca’s incongruities. He’s only from the West if you define it as western New York. He grew up in a suburb of Buffalo, the son of a college professor and a lawyer. A top student, he wound up at his father’s alma mater, Georgetown, and then Georgetown Law.

Sacca did not, however, make for a natural lawyer. As an associate at Fenwick West’s Silicon Valley office he sat in on a meeting one day with John Doerr, the famed partner at venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers. “It became obvious to me that the investing side was where the action was.” Let go during the dot-com bust, Sacca wound up cold-calling members of the FORBES Midas List for a job, with no luck. Finally he landed at a startup, Speedera Networks, helping to fend off continual lawsuits from its larger rival Akamai.

In November 2003 he jumped to Google, where he got a job on the legal and business development team going undercover to scout locations with low taxes–and cheap electricity–for Google’s new data centers and then creating nondescript holding companies to buy up the land.

Sacca started sponging up intel in whatever senior executive meetings he could muscle into. Former Google manager turned investor Hunter Walk remembers walking into a meeting with Larry Page one day to update him on AdSense. Sacca, with no advertising role or background, chimed in with advice. “Google then was a culture that rewarded people who got things done,” says Susan Wojcicki, a longtime Google executive who is now the CEO of YouTube. “He gravitated toward interesting projects and the new important ideas, always trying to work on the next big thing.”

He sometimes put his foot in his mouth. Sacca was on a fellowship at the University of Oxford when, speaking publicly at a conference, he blamed wireless carriers for Google Maps not appearing on U.K. phones, sparking a headline that embarrassed the Google Android group. His boss, general counsel David Drummond, told him to start prepping his résumé. Instead, Page reassigned Sacca to work on wireless projects, including an ambitious but ultimately failed effort to bring free Wi-Fi to San Francisco. “During one of our meetings Chris volunteered to drive around the city and rubber-band routers to street lamps,” says Mayer, who got to know Sacca at Google because of the project.

Sacca tried other projects as well, such as head-faking a multibillion-dollar bid in a spectrum auction (a ploy that succeeded in driving up the price for carriers), but hit a wall with Eric Schmidt when his group pushed to acquire two satellite companies. Schmidt, then the CEO, wanted Google to hoard cash and brace for a downturn. In December 2007, with most of his options vested, Sacca quit.

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For the next 18 months Sacca took his spectrum project and helped execute it on behalf of Philip Falcone’s investment firm Harbinger Capital, netting several million dollars in fees for himself. While he spent an increasing amount of time at a house in Truckee, a town that sits atop Lake Tahoe, he decided to focus on angel investing in Silicon Valley.

He’d done a bit of it at Google, but it was somewhat rogue. One of Sacca’s Google friends had gone off to launch a podcasting startup called Odeo. By 2006 the guy, Evan Williams, had decided instead to start a new microblogging service called Twttr and asked Sacca if he wanted in. Sacca wrote a check for $25,000 and started tweeting madly, intrigued by the service’s revenue and data potential. Sacca even caused one of the service’s first gaffes, when he privately messaged graphic details of a fatal car accident he had witnessed in San Francisco and Twitter posted it unintentionally on a public feed.

“He became an investor, an advisor, a friend,” says Williams. “But the most helpful thing was that he’s such an enthusiast. He made us believe in our own product more.” When early celebrity adopter Shaquille O’Neal sent out a viral tweet or when a Twitter handle appeared on a TV talk show, Williams and his core team would get a one-word note from Sacca: “BIG.”

Through 2009 Sacca continued to make savvy individual investments in companies like Kickstarter, Twilio and Lookout, until he started running out of cash. He’d joined Google too late to make tens of millions. Hans Swildens, an old contact from his Speedera days, was running a firm called Industry Ventures in town. Swildens liked what he saw in Sacca’s angel investments and suggested he raise a fund. Industry would sign the first check for Lowercase Capital, joined by Google friends like Mayer and, improbably, Schmidt. “It’s easy to forget now, but in 2009 or 2010 early-stage stuff was still risky-feeling, and the market was still a big question mark,” says investor Brad Feld, a mentor and eventual investor in the fund.

His bet on Instagram, started by another ex-Googler, Kevin Systrom, would follow, but in late 2009 he scaled up his investing to another level when he decided to deepen his position in Twitter. “I wasted months trying to get others to believe it could be a real business, not just a toy,” he says. “And I decided to just buy it all myself.” Emulating his Google land-buying, he created four funds with generic names to buy up privately held Twitter shares from former employees. He wasn’t the only one. Ron Conway, a former mentor and the cofounder of SV Angel, began raising tens of millions with much the same goal.

Sacca had been content to raise a few million more, but a little-known friend with billions under management named Suhail Rizvi convinced him to go big. The coup came when Ev Williams approached Sacca to sell $400 million of his Twitter shares. Sacca then went traveling in Southeast Asia, with a secret plot to propose to his girlfriend (now wife) in the place where her parents had gotten married. That accomplished, he rolled up his sleeves on the Williams deal.

Sacca secretly secured commitments for up to $1 billion in 30 days from J.P. Morgan and municipal endowments. He and Rizvi spent it over the next 18 months, buying out former employees and other investors right up until the cap table closed in May 2013, before the IPO. When the positions became known, other investors were ticked off to see Sacca’s camp had accumulated the largest outside position in Twitter right under their noses. “He was an innovator with that secondary, structuring a number of vehicles that didn’t really exist like that before,” says Anderson at Baseline. “He saw the chance before other people saw, so they asked: ‘How did this no-name dude come up with all this capital?’ ”

The person who gave up the most potential upside in raw dollars, Williams, sees no problem with what Sacca did. “
In retrospect, if I had perfect knowledge I wouldn’t have sold any stock then,” Williams says. “Some people didn’t like what he was doing, but he did what anyone would.” The value of Sacca’s first Twitter fund, Lowercase Industry, has soared about 1,500%. All told, his various Twitter deals have returned $5 billion to investors.

Jamel Toppin for Forbes

Well before the Twitter machination came to light, Sacca was cementing his reputation as a reliable friend to startups post-financial-crisis. A group of San Francisco entrepreneurs and investors would often soak for hours in Sacca’s hot tub at the Truckee house, drinking and laughing and talking. The so-called Jam Tub had its own check-in on Foursquare, and serial entrepreneur Travis Kalanick was its unofficial mayor.

The Jam Tub was an annex to Kalanick’s Jam Pad, his home in the Mission district of San Francisco, where a rotating crew of techies would brainstorm, party and enjoy a home-cooked meal. Sacca went at times, but Kalanick’s friend Garrett Camp, the founder of the website discovery tool StumbleUpon, was a fixture. Camp, who sold StumbleUpon to eBay for $75 million in 2007, had the idea to make an app so his friends could book a black car to take them around town. He first called it UberCab. Camp’s friend and early advisor, the author Tim Ferriss, remembers that the idea seemed “ridiculous” to many outside the Jam Pad circle. “People who had the opportunity to invest laughed it off as this one-percenter vanity service,” Ferriss says. “Chris was not one of them. He had faith very early on.”

Kalanick became a mega-advisor of sorts to the fledgling startup, and Sacca wanted a piece. The pair cemented the startup’s angel $1.3 million financing at the Truckee house, with Sacca ponying up $300,000, a large check for an $8 million fund. “I went all-in,” he says. More than just money, he helped negotiate Kalanick’s compensation and secure the Uber name from Universal Music Group. Lowercase would add another $400,000 worth of Uber at the Series A round in early 2011, led by Benchmark Capital’s Bill Gurley (see story, p. 78), and Sacca would make more side investments later on.

Through a spokesperson, Kalanick declined to comment, but conversations with those with knowledge of the pair and the startup’s early days indicate that the Uber CEO got upset with Sacca for trying to repeat his Twitter move of buying up secondary shares in Uber from other initial investors. “Travis was 110% about the company, and with Chris it became a ‘What about Chris?’ issue,” says one of these sources. Kalanick told Sacca to stop coming to board meetings, which Sacca monitored as an advisor. They barely speak today.

“What’s frustrating is I honestly don’t know what’s wrong,” Sacca says. “I’ve apologized multiple times.” When pushed, he concedes that his efforts to buy shares might have created a rift. Kalanick kept telling him it was impractical to do, Sacca says, yet Sacca kept coming up with workarounds. “I guess I wasn’t hearing what he was really saying, which was ‘Don’t f–king do it.’ ”

If shunned by management, Sacca remains loyal to the product: Back in Manhattan Beach Sacca orders an Uber to take him, cowboy shirt and all, to the board meeting.

En route a famous founder asks him to tweet in support of a new hire. Sacca gobbles up every one of the ensuing Twitter mentions before we arrive at a small, poorly ventilated office building in Santa Monica. This, he says, is the home of his next big score.

Sacca met InVenture CEO Shivani Siroya at a TED dinner when he spotted Siroya sitting by herself on the fringe. Hours later he was sold on the former financial consultant and UN analyst’s vision for a new way to score credit in the developing world. “
Once I determined she wasn’t allergic to money, it was a no-brainer,” Sacca says. Sacca greets Ted Rheingold, the COO he helped match with Siroya, and the other staff like old friends as each discusses the group’s progress.

Six months ago these meetings were depressing. InVenture’s business wasn’t working in India, and since it didn’t handle the loans itself, the payback wasn’t there. Now it’s growing rapidly in Kenya, and the team shows Sacca detailed breakdowns of how Kenyans’ spending varies in different neighborhoods and what they take loans for and why. Their repayment rates, Siroya tells him, are higher than those for loans in the U.S. “How much more fun is this?” he asks one manager whose last project was shuttered. Sacca then leans forward and looks across the table right at his founder, waiting for eye contact. “You’ve got more data on users even than Travis,” he says. “This is freaking big. It’s time to move from the dreamy hypothesis phase to wanting to fan the flames.”

Friends wonder out loud, though, how much more fire Sacca has for the kind of startup discovery and coaching that has defined his rise–especially when success seems twinned with friction. Sacca now oversees a few billion dollars in more than a dozen funds, with cowboy names like Stampede, Frontier and Spur. But he’s going to far fewer meetings, preferring to spend time at the beach and a new house in Montana. Rivals feed this narrative, whispering that he’s dialing back. Sacca is not denying it. Two years ago he brought in his first partner, Matt Mazzeo, a rising CAA agent, who is taking on more of the seed investing for Lowercase’s funds. Says Mazzeo: “I don’t think Chris is one of those guys who makes a ton of money and drops the mic and leaves the room. He loves the people in the room so much that he’ll stay.”

“He’s young,” adds Sacca’s close friend actor Edward Norton, who has cofounded startup CrowdRise, “and I could imagine the appeal of not wanting to manage other people’s money forever.” If Sacca wants to amp it up, given his base in L.A., his outsize personality and his signature look, there’s surely a future for him in show biz, extolling and beating up entrepreneurs in the vein of a Cuban or Trump. Sacca smiles at the thought: “Being quiet is not a natural state for me.”

Midas List Top 10

 

Follow Alex on ForbesTwitter and Facebook for more coverage of startups, enterprise software and venture capital.

Article source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexkonrad/2015/03/25/how-venture-cowboy-chris-sacca-made-billions/

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Imlay




Dream Home!15 photos







Urvaksh Karkaria
Staff Writer- Atlanta Business Chronicle

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John P. Imlay Jr., Atlanta’s Godfather of angel investing, has died, Atlanta Business Chronicle has learned. Imlay, who was 78, suffered a massive heart attack at home on Wednesday morning.

Imlay, an avid golfer and minority owner of the Atlanta Falcons NFL franchise, is credited with helping create two of Atlanta’s biggest tech industries — software and Internet security.

Until the end, Imlay was a favorite candidate for tech event keynotes, where his folksy wit and stories about Atlanta’s tech history and its characters left audiences cracking up.

“Atlanta would not have had a technology industry without John,” said Tom Noonan, who has known Imlay for decades. “John was the person that inspired all of us to dig deeper and reach higher. He’d back it up not only with his investment, but with his friendship and mentoring.”

Imlay’s legacy lies in building one of the most successful software companies — Management Science America Inc. (MSA) — which proved to be an incubator for technology executives and startup companies in Atlanta. Indeed. MSA is credited with birthing more than 300 CEOs and nearly 100 companies.

“(Imlay) had a unique ability to motivate, inspire and entertain entrepreneurs, athletes and audiences,” said John Yates, partner at Morris, Manning Martin and Atlanta tech industry kingmaker. “John’s legacy will live on through hundreds of entrepreneurs, executives and friends who will remember his kindness, generosity and remarkable leadership talents.”

Imlay, who dreamed of one day owning a business in Georgia, started out as a computer salesman working for several companies, including Honeywell.

Urvaksh Karkaria covers Technology.



Article source: http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/blog/atlantech/2015/03/atlantas-godfather-of-angel-investing-john-imlay.html

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If you’re a fan of Shark Tank, you know that it’s pretty difficult to get one of the investors to fund an idea. It’s even harder to get all investors to invest, but Charles Michael Yim did just that.

On September 2013  Yim, CEO of Breathometer, successfully raised his initial offer from $250,000 to $1 Million deal with his innovation, and he amazingly managed to bring ALL five Sharks (Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner, and Robert Herjavec) to invest in the “million dollar deal” together for the first time in Shark Tank history. Yim recently met Sir Richard Branson to talk about Breathometer get some advice.

Tech.Co wanted to learn more about Yim and what advice he’s gotten from Branson and all five Sharks.

What is breathometer? What problem is it solving?

Breathometer is a breath analysis platform that can detect several of the 300 biomarkers that are found in the human breath ranging from alcohol, fat burning, asthma, diabetes and even lung cancer.  Breathometer offers a cost effective and non-invasive approach to help consumers monitor different facets of their health and wellness.

You were on Shark Tank and successfully got funding from all five sharks. What aspect of your pitch do you think convinced the investors?

I think the combination of my seasoned experience and track record, product concept and vision, traction and ultimately preparation is what made it compelling for all 5 celebrity investors to want to get involved.

What advice do you give to fellow entrepreneurs who are trying to raise money?

Try to get to proof of concept or even product to market fit with some revenue prior to attempting to raise funds.  Investors will have more respect and take you more seriously.  Otherwise, you could end up in a bottom-less pit of ever funding efforts which could be detrimental to the company

What is the best advice the sharks have given you?

Strategically build the company creating barriers to entry for potential competitors so you can own the market and focus on delivering a valuable product/service that your customers enjoy.

You successfully founded and sold your previous company Chatterfly. What were some important lessons learned that startup that you implemented in your current business?

Build a great team and learn how to delegate.  Once a company scales, it’s important to trust your team members to do their jobs because once you reach the tipping point and start to scale it will be impossible to do everything on your own.  Creating a company culture of “get-it-done” is key because it sets the tone early on and reinforces momentum.

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You recently met Sir Richard Branson, what advice did he give you?

His advice was to build for the future where it could help save lives and truly contribute to the world and society as a whole.  Richard was most excited about our future lung cancer Breathometer product.

Sounds awesome! What’s next for Breathometer?

Other than focusing on breath analysis, we’re looking to leverage our platform we’ve built to apply to environmental sensing geared towards things like pollution.  It’s a big problem in places like China.  Our platform has unlimited potential and we’re only touching the tip of the iceberg.

BreathometerCharles

Charles Michael Yim, Founder of Breathometer

 

Article source: http://tech.co/entrepreneur-got-1m-shark-tank-investors-2015-03

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2015-03-24-1427209139-205972-HeidiRoizenAlison.png

Heidi Roizen has been on both sides of the entrepreneur funding divide, so her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is particularly potent. She’s an operating partner at venture capitalists group DFJ, a lecturer in entrepreneurship at Stanford University and a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur. Last month, I interviewed Roizen at the Commonwealth Club in Silicon Valley. That interview led to many more questions about what it takes to succeed, especially the need to build meaningful relationships.

“When we study and meet with successful entrepreneurs, while each has a different path to success, they all exhibit similar mindsets,” says Roizen.

I asked her to share her top five lessons for being a successful entrepreneur.

1. Don’t accept the status quo.

Successful entrepreneurs seem to go through life looking at problems as things for which there can be a solution (i.e., they do not accept the status quo, no matter how ingrained).

2. Don’t be afraid to fail.

Successful entrepreneurs are not afraid to iterate or “fail” (i.e., learn from a mistake, course correct, and move on).

3. Be tenacious.

Successful entrepreneurs tend to be tenacious — that is, they view the failures along the way as necessary steps in getting to success, not as indicators that they should stop.

4. Be a good storyteller.

Successful entrepreneurs tend to be very good at telling their stories, building a narrative about the problem, the solution, and what it takes to get there.

5. Find and motivate an awesome team.

Finally, successful entrepreneurs tend to know the importance of finding and motivating awesome people to join them in their journey.

Roizen also shared valuable insights on how to build lasting business relationships, successful negotiation, and finding a mentor. Find out more at Fresh Dialogues, and join the conversation on Facebook.

Check out our Inspiring Women Series at Fresh Dialogues.

Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alison-van-diggelen/5-lessons-for-successful_b_6927832.html

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AngelsCube, il nuovo network di angel investing

AngelsCube, è un nuovo network angel investing fondato a Londra da Alexandre Covello, con Matteo Berlucchi (YourMd/Vini Italiani) e Pier Paolo Mucelli (eOffice/OpenOffices) come Founding members, tutti e 3 members di TechItalia.

Se state lanciando un business e cercate funding, mandate pure il vostro business plan o investor deck a invest@eoffice.net.

Il team AngelsCube seleziona ogni settimana 6-8 startups per un weekly pitch da eOffice Holborn (a Londra)

* FREE OFFICE SPACE – SERVICES @ eOffice Holborn

AngelsCube, per ogni 100 members di TechItalia (ormai superati i 300) offre il pacchetto MyeOffice gratis per 2 mesi (valore di circa £1000 incluso VAT), a partire dal 1 Aprile.

– Business address in Central London (Holborn centre)

– UK/London telephone number

– 4 hours meeting room usage / month

– 100 hours hot desk hours, inclusive wifi and coffee / month

– Access to networking events and discount across the 200 locations part of the eOffice network and benefits from eOffice marketing partners

Valido per individui o societa’ fino a 4 persone (le 100 ore possono essere divise – c’e solo un set up/membership annuo di £99, che inoltre verra’ scontato al 50%).

3 pacchetti disponibili al momento (first come, first served). Il quarto quando si raggiunge il n 400!

Altri articoli sull’argomento:

Arriva il TechItalia London Meetup Il 28 Gennaio alle ore 18 presso gli uffici di eOffice, in 20 Broadwick Street, London, W1F 8HT si terrà un altro meetup targato TechItalia. Questi incontri sono aperti a…

TechItalia Meetup, il programma per l’incontro del 19 Marzo Mancano esattamente 2 settimane al prossimo incontro, che avrà luogo il 19 Marzo 2015 con il seguente programma: Ritrovo presso eOffice Holborn (2nd Floor, Lincoln House, 296-302 High Holborn, WC1V…

XV° Convention pubblica Associazione IBAN Il 16 giugno 2014 si terrà la XV°Convention pubblica dell’Associazione IBAN, appuntamento annuale sul tema dell’Angel Investing in Italia ed Europa. Quest’anno l’evento sarà ospitato da PwC presso la sede…

L’Associazione Custodi di Successo cresce con altri Business Angel Network nel… L’Associazione Custodi di Successo (CDS) di Vicenza, premiata da IBAN e dal Sole24Ore come miglior Club Investing nel 2013, lancia una seconda associazione a Milano e dimostra interesse nell’aprire altre…

Riparte la 360by360 competition, 360.000 dollari in seed financing per finanziare… Riparte 360by360 Competition. La competition promossa da 360 Capital Partners, che l’anno scorso ha visto premiata CharityStars, è oggi alla sua seconda edizione. Anche quest’anno, in palio un investimento seed…

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Il fenomeno dello startup delle imprese innovative in fase di gestazione e delle figure che ruotano attorno ad esse, quali il business angel, il venture capital e appunto lo startupper.

Article source: http://www.startupper.it/angelscube-il-nuovo-network-di-angel-investing

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Katie Jacobs Stanton

A group of current and former Twitter executives, including global media chief Katie Jacobs Stanton, launched a seed funding group this week called #Angels.








Cromwell Schubarth
Senior Technology Reporter- Silicon Valley Business Journal

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A half-dozen women who are current and former Twitter executives announced this week a new startup seed investment group called #Angels.

“All of us love working with start-ups. And we love working together,” the group said in a blog.“We’re excited to join together in an investment group, #Angels, to leverage this experience to help start-ups as angel investors.”

The group sounds like it will operate much like Broadway Angels, a San Francisco-based angel group launched several years ago by an all-star group of female tech and venture women. One of its founders, Menlo Ventures Managing Director Sonja Hoel Perkins, recently told me investors in her group have backed 35 companies, with about 70 percent going on to to raise venture capital, which is about 10 times greater than the industry average for angel-invested companies.

The #Angels group will similarly source deals collectively but invest as individuals. It said it will also be careful not to invest in companies that could create a conflict of interest connected to Twitter from a competitive or potential acquisition point of view.

“We will work as a team and lend our collective expertise to support the teams any one of us backs,” the group said in its blog.

April Underwood, a former director of product at Twitter, said in an email to me that it isn’t clear whether #Angels will remain all-female.

“We haven’t made any hard decisions about that,” she said. “We are getting started with the group we have based on the breadth of experience we can offer to the startups we back. In the future we may welcome new members who will strengthen the group further, irrespective of gender or the companies at which they’ve worked.”

Underwood said that #Angels was formed after a discussion among some of the group at a birthday party.

“A handful of us were discussing the investing we were doing on our own at a birthday party, and looked around the table to realize that our breadth of experience represents many of the critical functions required to build and run a company,” Underwood explained.

Working with startups as a team would bring better results, they decided, even if they continued to invest as individuals.

Mentors like Chris Sacca and David Lee and the example of Broadway Angels were inspirations, too.

“Finally, we predicted we’d have a lot of fun” launching #Angels, Underwood said.

One of the other members of the team, Twitter global media chief Katie Jacobs Stanton, is the woman who accepted a Crunchies impact award for Twitter and then blasted the event emcee for being offensive to women.

Other current Twitter employees in the group are global business development chief Jana Messerschmidt, General Counsel Vijaya Gadde and Director of Corporate Development Jessica Verrilli.

Former VP of North American Media Chloe Sladden is the other former Twiiter exec on the team, in addition to Underwood.

“Together, we bring a unique breadth of operating experience across product development, partnerships, fundraising, acquisitions, internationalization, platforms, media, legal, corporate governance and policy in a hyper-growth company,” the group said. “We have built and grown consumer experiences, platform products and ecosystems, and revenue-generating businesses.”

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Cromwell Schubarth is the Senior Technology Reporter at the Silicon Valley Business Journal.



Article source: http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/blog/techflash/2015/03/top-twitter-female-execs-launch-angel-investing.html?page=all

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Founding a company can be both incredibly exhilarating but also incredibly costly. Among the bevy of risks associated with becoming an entrepreneur, funding is one of the largest. That’s why many startups turn to outside sources — venture capitalists — for the backing necessary to ensure their businesses survive a few additional months or years.

Related: Avoid the Seed-Funding Surge Trap With These 8 Tips 

I’m not one of them. Unlike other entrepreneurs, when I started Wistia, an online video hosting platform designed for businesses, I opted to avoid Series A funding and instead sought “Series R” revenue.

While some may question the solvency behind such a plan, there are a lot of benefits to avoiding outside funding. Entrepreneurs end up having more control over the day-to-day responsibilities of their businesses and can make their own decisions without the repercussions that stem from making mistakes with someone else’s money. By putting your efforts toward creating revenue, you can put the time into investing in and nurturing a product and crafting a strong culture — two elements that shape great, long-lasting companies.

Eight years after the inception of Wistia, we now serve more than 120,000 companies in more than 50 countries, providing them the necessary tools to use video in their marketing efforts. Although our journey to this point wasn’t always easy, here are a few of the lessons I learned along the way.

Lifestyle matters: keep things cheap.

I began Wistia with a friend shortly after graduating from college. We assumed our meager savings would last us for about six months. For entrepreneurs — especially those starting their first business — living expenses are your burn rate, so we kept our spending extremely low in order to buy more time and allow us to build a better product. 

We started off by limiting our grocery spending, for example, to just $15 a week and kept our salaries as low as possible to enable us to hire talented employees later on. We were shameless in asking friends for used whiteboards, printers, paper, lamps and supplies left over from college as we created a pseudo office-space right in our apartment.

Related: 4 Steps to Help You Prepare for the Fundraising Process

Embrace slow and steady growth.

The first few months and years of starting a business can feel like an eternity. Entrepreneurs pour their hearts and souls into building their companies, but it takes time — a long time — to get things done the right way.

You don’t have to be the first to market, but you do need to be the first with the best solution. And the best solutions often take the most time to develop. After nine years, our growth has been consistent, but it certainly seems astronomical in terms of where we started in 2006.

Paid free

New services crop up almost daily, offering something through a free trial in the hopes that it will catch on and become popular — before the service begins to charge a fee for usage. At Wistia, we did everything “backwards” by today’s standards.

We started offering a pricing structure that charged users based on product usage. Although getting customers to buy in can be challenging, once they agree to pay for a service, you can get them to upgrade relatively easily as they begin to find value in the product. We have customers who once paid $50 a month, who are now paying more than $1,000 a month. That’s a simple yet practical way to build revenue. A free plan, in contrast, won’t help you increase revenue.

Invest in culture.

Although it’s a popular buzzword, “culture” is at the heart and soul of every modern startup. Every company operates in a unique way that helps it succeed. But when entrepreneurs rely on investors for funding, they must often sacrifice the unique identity they founded the company with. What’s more, the impact an investor can have is palpable. It changes the way the team thinks about priorities. It creates a churn-and-burn mentality that creates an environment of short-term thinking.

In 2011, five years after Wistia’s 2006 inception, the company had five employees on staff; and we were toiling with various ideas of how to scale the business. That was a daunting question for the team at the time. But the fact that we shared similar values helped us enjoy the challenges each day presented. That fact has made us content to work together, and succeed, ever since.

Related: Angels, Venture Capitalists or the Crowd: Who Should Fund Your Startup?

Article source: https://en-maktoob.news.yahoo.com/revenue-only-funding-startup-seek-133300621.html

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Small businesses play a vital role in fueling the economy, making critical contributions that help to keep our country alive. They’re crucial for job creation, responsible for two out of every three net new jobs in the country and pay for more than 44 percent of the U.S. private payroll.

But in recent years, small businesses have taken a tremendous hit. While small companies are drivers of the U.S. economy, contributing a significant amount through payroll and taxes and providing the lion’s share of job opportunities, they were among the ones to be impacted the most by the recession. They have also been the slowest to recover. The credit crisis hit small companies especially hard and because of this, banks are still reluctant to approve financing for small businesses. It’s difficult for startup founders to get the funding needed to launch.

Related: 4 Steps to Bolster Your Retirement Egg With Peer Lending

Enter angel investors: the modern alternative to traditional funding. Where banks and venture capitalists are falling back, angel investors are stepping up, and proving to be invaluable for small companies and the economy. In 2011, angel investors invested more than $22 billion in approximately 65,000 companies, compared with venture capitalists, which only invested in about 3,700 companies. Angel investors fund more than 16 times as many businesses as venture capitalists, a huge percentage that only continues to grow. Angels generally invest smaller amounts of capital in companies, often at much earlier stages than venture capitalists.

In many cases, a small influx of initial funding is exactly what a startup needs. Thanks to a $3,000 loan from my dad, I was able to start my company. While it wasn’t a tremendous amount, it was exactly what I needed to take a real estate course, which is what allowed me to found Renters Warehouse.

Angel investors can be professionals such as doctor or lawyers, or entrepreneurs who are interested in helping the next generation of up-and-coming startup founders. This is an area that I personally have been privileged to be a part of, and investing in new companies and young entrepreneurs is a cause that’s close to home for me.

Aside from the chance to be a part of something tremendously exciting, the opportunity to help a new business get off the ground, and the option to grow in a new industry, angel investing offers some tremendous financial rewards as well. As with any investment though, it’s important to enter into angel investing with both eyes open.

If you’re interested in getting in on the action, or looking to learn more about angel investing, here’s what you should know.

1. Only invest if you can afford it.

Before investing, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons. Angel investing offers significant returns, but it’s also an extremely high-risk venture. Only invest if you can truly afford to lose 100 percent of your investment. It’s also worth noting that angel investing is very much a long-term opportunity, and you most likely won’t see a return for a number of years. If you’re in, you’re in for the long haul.

2. Make sure you truly believe in the startup team.

If you don’t feel right about the investment opportunity, don’t invest. On the other hand, if you truly believe in the idea and even more important, if you believe in the startup team, then go ahead and take the leap. At the end of the day, ideas can change, and concepts come and go. The team is what will matter most, and it’s important for you to be able to trust their sense of judgment and ability to make important business decisions.

Related: Answer These 6 Questions Before Sinking Money Into Some Entrepreneur’s Great Idea

3. Look at the returns.

In addition to gauging the viability of the idea, and the startup, it’s important to look at the projected return on investment. Angel investors typically look for opportunities that can return 10 times their initial investment within five years. Look for an option that holds significant potential to make the investment worth your time and effort.

4. Help dominate in a niche-area.

It’s ideal to stick to investments within your niche as you already have a considerable advantage given your experience in that field and your ability to better gauge the likelihood of the investment’s success. You’ll also be able to contribute valuable guidance, and insight to the startup, since you will have been there yourself. I’m primarily interested in investing in young entrepreneurs. It’s an area I have personal experience in and is something that I’m passionate about.

5. Diversify.

One of the main rules when investing: try not to put all of your eggs in one basket. It’s better to spread things out to help reduce risk and maximize returns. Investing in a handful of different startups will often provide the best returns for an angel investor. Out of 10 investments, there’s a good chance that one or two companies will be responsible for 100 percent of your returns. So choose wisely, and try to diversify.

6. Do your homework.

The founder’s goal is to get you excited about the company, but don’t be blindsided by pure enthusiasm. While it may sound counterintuitive, it’s important to always be skeptical. This means taking the time to do some digging on your own. Make sure you conduct your own independent research to confirm the validity of the investment. Instead of basing everything on the founder’s pitch, search out the facts yourself.

According to a study of angel investment returns, which analyzed results from 86 organized angel investor groups throughout the U.S., angels achieved an average 27 percent internal rate of return on their investments.

Investing in startups, while high-risk, can also offer tremendous rewards and is a great opportunity if you prefer hands-on investing rather than taking a backseat approach. For entrepreneurs especially, who have relevant knowledge on new markets and firsthand experience with running startups, angel investing can be an especially rewarding opportunity. By choosing your startup carefully, and making contributions through mentoring or by taking an advisory role, the chance of your investment generating significant returns will be even higher.

One of the best things about angel investing is that it gives you a chance to interact with the startup founders, allowing you to directly influence the success of your investment. That’s something that you just don’t have when dealing with many traditional investments.

Give a small business a leg up, and help boost the economy, while generating returns on your investment. Are you ready to get involved?

What do you think? Are angel investors the future of startup financing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Related: Thriving in Finance Requires Patience and Humility

Article source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/entrepreneurs-pay-forward-angel-investing-191500794.html

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