1. How Do I Structure the Deal between the Investor and Me?

    The sky is the limit, as long as it’s legal. I’ve seen some really creative investment structures and have come up with some curious and interesting ones myself. If it’s legal and there’s nothing in the state or federal law that prohibits you from partnering with somebody or putting a business together, then dream up a deal and agree on paper. What a deal may look like Your agreement may s…Read More

  2. When Do I Build an Investor Presentation Deck?

    Having an investor presentation is very important and you want to have it right. The initial investor pitch probably should not be on an iPad or on a computer. I’m not a big fan of handing an investor 50 pages all bound up so they can read everything about your company – they don’t have time to read all of that. Get in there and be relational. It’s about that connection again. Be relationa…Read More

  3. How Much Money Should I Ask for? How Much Money Should I Get?

    More than you think is the answer. Typically, when somebody walks in my office and says, “Here’s my business and product. I’ve calculated it all out - this is what I’ll need to get this thing running and to be self-sustaining,” I typically double or triple whatever they tell me in my mind. They come in and say “Look, this is going to cost me $80,000,” then I’m instantly going to $1…Read More

  4. How Do I Value My Business or Idea?

    Answer: It all comes down to how much cash is it going to generate or how much market share is it going to own. To explain further… If it’s not a cash machine, if it’s like an iPhone app or a product that just attracts attention and gets a lot of people looking at it, then it can be worth cash to an advertiser because they want to put their ads there. Figure out the cash value look at what i…Read More

  5. How Much Equity Will the Investor Get?

    That depends. It always comes down to the deal. Ultimately, the investor is going to share the risk with you. Think about it this way… You’ve got some time, expertise, a lot of dreaming, a lot of work, a lot of sweat equity, maybe a lot of your own money at this point that’s been put into this deal. The more you’ve put into it, the more valuable the investment is potentially worth and the …Read More

  6. Should I Get an Investor Now and Give Up Part of My Equity or Should I Hold Out and Keep 100%?

    Answer: Weigh your capacity Holding out means you have a bigger piece of the pie, right? If you can do this on your own, go for it! If you have the resources, time, energy, connections, etc., then keep 100%. But, if you’re already looking for investors, I have a feeling you’re missing something. There’s a little (or big) something you need that would be helpful to have. You just need to deci…Read More

  7. How Do I Get Introduced to Investors?

    A: It’s relationships, relationships, relationships. It’s really hard to get introduced to investors if you just jump on LinkedIn and start saying, “Hi! I’m Chris. I’m three relationships removed from you and I would like to talk to you about this exciting opportunity I have.” I would delete, delete, delete if I saw that in my LinkedIn inbox. On the other hand, if somebody says to me, …Read More

  8. What Is the Difference between a Partner and an Investor?

    The overly simplified differences: Investors Investors give you resources and you get to go do your thing. You get to go run your business, build a product, grow your team or whatever you need to do. Some investors want to be more involved than others, but in general, an investor is, and in many cases should be, a little removed from the day in, day out workings of the business. The investor's job…Read More

  9. Former Service Member Realizes Startup Dreams

    Dr. Justin Clark, a bariatric and abdominal surgeon in the United States Air Force, found himself stationed in Anchorage, Alaska a few years ago. With his separation from the Air Force pending, Dr. Clark began to consider opening his own practice in order to stay in the area. “I looked around at the community and saw an opportunity for a bariatric medical practice to help the people of Alaska,…Read More

  10. Creative Consulting For ‘Growing’ Business

    When Pat and Cullen Beard started their lawn service, Personal Lawn Care, in 1987, they knew it would be full of challenges and successes, and they looked forward to fulfilling their dream of being independent business owners. They also knew their business acumen and passion for customer service would set them apart from the competition. Over two decades later, they were ready to take their busine…Read More

  11. Q&A: Should I Sell Equity or Profit?

    Q: “While I'm looking for investors, I'm also a little leery because I don't know what I should be offering in return.  Whether it's a part of my company or money, I'm so confused about that.  I was told some investors will invest money for a percentage return, but not sure what that really means and how much is the percentage, etc.” A: Great question. We need money for our startups but it c…Read More

  12. 6 Steps to Meeting Startup Investors

    Startup investors are not magical fairies that are hard to find and catch. They are real people like you and me who are interested in your product or service and have the financial means to help you be a success. Here are some simple steps to helping you meet more of the right kinds of people. If I ever learn how to meet fairies, I promise to let you know right away! :-) Look through your cell pho…Read More

  13. Angel Investor Groups vs. Venture Capitalists

    Previously on My Blog…Individual Investors vs. Investor Clubs... That sounds like the first line of a really boring Netflix Original Series. But it’s not for 3 reasons: Netflix is awesome and does not do boring! I’m actually talking about my previous post “Individual Investors vs. Investor Clubs.” “Individual Investors vs. Investor Clubs” is a boring post, but if you're reading this …Read More

  14. Individual Investors vs. Investor Clubs

    Do you know any investors? Yes. Yes I do. So do you! Almost every time I finish talking to an individual founder or a group of early stage entrepreneurs, I am asked, “Do you know any investors?” Of course I do. Investors are part of my life. And they are part of your life, too! The trick is learning how to recognize them and connect to them in a meaningful way. Recognizing Startup Investors: M…Read More

  15. The Simply Complex Investor Pitch

    It’s both simple and complicated to craft that perfect startup investor pitch. Simple because it’s just a conversation about two sets of needs. Complex because few people are good at talking about each others needs. Let's talk about the complicated parts first. Financial projections, stock structures, voting control, the need to feel like you “won,” attorneys, competitive analysis, scalabi…Read More