Angel Investment Journal – Angel Investing and Entrepreneur Blog

Founders at Work Speakers Series

Posted in Resources,Startups by angel on the September 24th, 2009

One of my favorite books, “Founders at Work“, has inspired a speaker series. If you are in the New York area, be sure to check it out. You get to hear the stories of a variety of founders and what they did to succeed.

It is great to hear stories about success since, at the very least, it can provide the inspiration to take action. Even if you don’t learn what it takes to succeed, hopefully you can discover ways to avoid failure or be reassured that nearly every entrepreneur struggles at some point.

Entrepreneur Handbook

Posted in Entrepreneur Advice,Resources by angel on the May 11th, 2009

Quicksprout posts some great resources for Entrepreneurs in his posting titled Entrepreneurs Handbook.

I Plan to follow the Bill Clinch Trial

ACA Session – Negotiate Now or Pay Later

Posted in Resources by angel on the May 12th, 2008

Robert Robinson, founder of the Hawaii Angels, gave a session on negotiating at the recent ACA Summit.

The following are some brief notes from his session:

-Angels need to negotiate in the following areas-
Term sheet
Portfolio Governance
Follow on Financing

-Your negotiating strength is proportional to the value of your alternatives AND inversely proportional to the value of their alternatives.

-“Principles unite and numbers divide.” Don’t talk numbers in the early stages. Talk about the vision for the company over the next year and beyond or related topics. Once you start talking valuation you are in adversarial position from then going forward.

-Many times entrepreneurs get too concerned about getting too diluted. However, dilution is not the worst thing that can happen to entrepreneur. The most proximate cause of company death is running out of cash.

Dave Berkus on Boards at ACA

Posted in Resources by angel on the May 12th, 2008

I just returned from the Angel Capital Association Summit in San Diego. It was a great event and would highly recommend it to all angel investors. David Berkus who is widely known for his contributions to the Angel community as well as for his method of valuating companies – the “Berkus Method” gave a presentation on boards that was excellent.

Some quick notes from his talk:

-Every board needs an audit committee and compensation committee. Other committees could also be beneficial, but it is on a case by case basis.

-A general guideline of board compensation is 1 percent that is vested over 2-4 years.

-The boards of small companies should focus the spending where there is a demand pull. Don’t go in direction of using ‘cost push’ to determine spending. This is where the CEO says where he thinks costs should go. Instead, find where demand is pulling on company and go in that direction. Try to “expand the runway” in the direction of this “demand pull”.

You may want to check out his book “Extending the Runway” which discusses Boards (all of his proceeds go to the Boys Scouts of America). I spoke with Frank Peters after the session. He said he and Dave may do a show expanding on this presentation which will get into some war stories about being on boards.

The Frank Peters Show Podcast

Posted in Resources by angel on the March 28th, 2008

A while ago I pointed out some interesting entrepreneur and investor podcasts, but I only recently started listening to The Frank Peters Show. If you are an angel investor, I would highly recommend subscribing to the podcast. It is put together very well, it is informative, and he has some excellent guests on the show.

Interesting posts from this week

Posted in Resources by angel on the April 10th, 2007

The Business Plan Archive has a nice post about lessons that should be learned from the Dot Com Meltdown.

Technomagic tells you why you should make something people want.

GoBigNetwork, a resource connecting entrepreneurs seeking and investors, has a post talking about what start-up offices look like.

Redeye VC discusses the concept of failing cheaply.

Start-Up School

Posted in Resources,Startups by angel on the March 6th, 2007

Stanford will be hosting Start-Up School on March 24:

We’ll have a range of experts speaking on all the things you need to know to start a company: what makes a good startup idea and where to get them; what to look for in a co-founder; how to get angel and VC funding; how to incorporate a company and what agreements founders should have among themselves; when and how to apply for patents; what can go wrong in a startup; what acquirers look for; and how the acquisition process works.

I have not been, but it looks interesting. Matt Knox’s blog has some notes from Start-Up School 2006 that can give you an idea of what to expect.

MBA’s and Sunscreen

Posted in Resources,Web by angel on the February 2nd, 2007

I am slowly adding more great investor and entrepreneur blogs to my RSS reader. Speaking of which, I am amazed at how many people do not use RSS readers. Some people continue to manually go to every blog they want to read. So if you don’t use an RSS reader, get one now.

I recently started reading Charlie’s blog, This is going to be big. In the past few weeks, he has a couple of great posts. He posted this one today:

We’re posting a job here that includes the following line: “An MBA is not only not required, it is frowned upon.”

I thought that was pretty funny. I am sure an MBA is valuable, but it needs to include some great experience while getting it.

I used to scalp tickets with a guy in college that was getting his MBA. Yet, I know he learned 10x more scalping tickets than he did throughout his MBA program. Hopefully you will have some good teachers that will learn you a thing or two and hopefully you get some real experiences.

I don’t know if I would say I would discourage getting an MBA nor that I would prefer a non-MBA vs someone with an MBA, but the actual value of one, outside of the corporate world, is little. If you want to be an entrepreneur, I would recommend starting a company or two, instead of “investing” $30,000+ in an MBA. You have $30,000 to piss away, so don’t worry about a few failures.  Anyway, failures are awesome. I definitely learned more from my failures than I have from any particular successful venture, project, or idea. And if you get through the failures and still want a job, but don’t have an MBA to your credit, come talk to Charlie or me.

In another post, a few weeks ago, he include words to a song he calls The Start Up Song or “Sunscreen 2.0”. Hopefully you remember the Baz Luhrmann song with a similar name. His version was awesome and I cracked up while reading the entire thing. Since I was laughing, my wife wanted to see what I was reading, she got through a few lines, rolled her eyes and shook her head. OK, maybe you have to be a little dorky to enjoy it as much as I did, but there is a lot of good stuff there and I am sure any entrepreneur that is working in the internet space will love it.

Angel Investor and Entrepreneur PodCasts

Posted in Resources by angel on the January 25th, 2007

This blog is focused on Angel investment’s, but I have not found any podcasts on the topic. There are some great podcasts related to small businesses and entrepreneurs and even one focused on Venture Capital. Since many things related to VC’s are also related to Angels, I enjoy that one quite a bit. Here is a list of podcasts I recommend:

Venture Voice is a great podcast about entrepreneurs. My only complaint is that I wish Greg would do them more frequently, but I know they require a lot of time. This Podcast interviews a variety of successful entrepreneurs and discusses Venture Capital a little.

VentureCast is very professionally done and deals mostly with VC related topics. The guys can be a little dorky at times, but they are just trying to have fun and make it entertaining.

Wall Street Journal Small Business can be pretty basic much of the time, but has some interesting ideas every once in a while.

I am always searching for other great podcasts (and blogs), so if you know of any good ones related to entrepreneurs, Angel investors or even VC’s please leave a note in the comments.