Author Archives: Dave Berkus

Here’s how NOT to define your competition

We investors see this all the time. An entrepreneur pitches using a deck with no slide for competition. When asked (as we always do,) the response is “This is new. We have no competition.” Niet!  No! Unh unh. Professional investors … Continue reading

Posted in Finding your ideal niche, Ignition! Starting up, Positioning, Raising money | 1 Comment

What’s the minimum information to give your investors?

Every investor wants regular information from companies taking their money.  And most of us investors are frustrated by the lack of regular communication – unless of course – the company needs more money. On the other side, entrepreneurs and CEO’s … Continue reading

Posted in Depending upon others, Raising money | 2 Comments

Think ahead when raising your early investments

Some businesses just can’t fit within the angel capital or friends and family model for raising funds.  Sooner or later you may need to seek venture capital and accommodate the needs of the venture community in negotiating the terms of … Continue reading

Posted in Raising money | 2 Comments

How much of my business do I have to give to an investor?

If you’re looking for growth capital, this one’s for you. We’ll cover what information you’ll expect to provide, your range of expected values and amounts of investment to expect.  All to help you set your expectations.  OK? Financial History and … Continue reading

Posted in Raising money | 3 Comments

Can you overcome five risks and create wealth?

Of course, we are speaking of increased valuation of your company when we speak of “wealth.”  Especially if you are in the early stage of growing a business, these five risks can and often do derail entrepreneurs before realizing the … Continue reading

Posted in Positioning, Protecting the business | 3 Comments

Could you have created a “dirty cap table?”

Oh, I know. When you started the business, you took investments from friends and family in small amounts just to get you started.  Of course, that worked at the time.  But… Enter the need for larger investments When you seek … Continue reading

Posted in Ignition! Starting up, Raising money | 3 Comments

Would you sign a personal guarantee if you have investors?

It’s a fact of life that a banker, lender or lessor will ask for a personal guarantee from the founder or entrepreneur most every time. But what if you’ve diluted your interest from 100% to something less than 50%? Should … Continue reading

Posted in Ignition! Starting up, Protecting the business, Raising money | 2 Comments

Oh, go ahead and ask for a five-million-dollar investment in your startup.

I cannot tell you how many times I have seen executive summaries of business plans in which the entrepreneur seeks $5,000,000 to build the business. Four reasons you should reconsider. First, few startups can use that much money today with … Continue reading

Posted in Ignition! Starting up, Raising money | 5 Comments

Once again: Is it the jockey or the horse?

Early stage investors have been arguing over this for years.  Do they bet on the entrepreneur (jockey) or the business idea and plan (the horse)?   This is serious stuff.  If you are looking for money, this question will certainly come … Continue reading

Posted in Depending upon others, Ignition! Starting up, Surrounding yourself with talent | 4 Comments

Can you become a master negotiator?

Think you don’t use negotiation most every day of your life? From the time we learn to manipulate our parents from the crib to today, we learn to negotiate to obtain our wants and needs.  As we grow, we negotiate … Continue reading

Posted in Growth!, Positioning | 7 Comments