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Venture Capital

Startup Founders: Stop Worrying About Your Local Startup Scene, Focus On Your Business

Written by Paul on May 22nd, 2012

This post was inspired by a discussion on Facebook where I started a comment with this: in 2012+, why does it matter where anyone’s located anymore?

It used to be that startups had to chase the money/investors and, because travel was usually expensive, they had to look in their backyard or move elsewhere. These days, that balance has shifted: cross-country flights can be obtained for <$500 roundtrip and capital is following the talent, regardless of location. In the case …

Transparency Goes Both Ways

Written by Paul on May 15th, 2012

If you’re an investor, it’s harder than ever to be a big fish in a small pond. If you can’t (or won’t) fund a company on fair terms, someone else will.

If you’re a founder, it’s harder than ever to raise money on a mediocre idea. After all, if I see a company with more traction halfway around the world, why wouldn’t I invest in it instead?

As much as AngelList has helped founders obtain capital from investors that may not be …

On Investor Differentiation

Written by Paul on May 1st, 2012

Earlier today, VentureBeat wrote about the dirty secret behind the incubator boom. Francisco raises an important point: other than initial money, what do these incubators bring to the table? The broader question is, what value do all investors bring to the table? As access to early stage deal flow opens up to more potential investors (see: AngelList), investors are being forced to prove their value. Especially if you want to get into the best deals.

For …

Early Stage Fundraising Tips

Written by Paul on April 25th, 2012

If you’re trying to raise money today, the fact of the matter is that it’s getting harder: as the web gets bigger, the world gets smaller. More founders, from all over the world, are going after the same pool of money.

(As an aside, crowdfunding may make the initial round a little easier to raise but I suspect it will actually raise the bar for folks trying to raise a subsequent round from “traditional” investors. You’ll have even more founders, many …

On building awesome business applications

Written by Paul on October 13th, 2010

As recently as five years ago, it wasn’t uncommon to see startups raising hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, before they had a customer-ready product. Mostly, this was due to the high costs involved with internet startups (servers and bandwidth weren’t cheap). Things were expensive and you had to obtain permission from investors (via funding) to do any of it.

Today, that barrier is almost non-existent. Many founders are focusing on ramen profitability, …

What is Smart Money anyways?

Written by Paul on October 12th, 2010

If you’re an investor, simply having money isn’t doing it anymore:

I was talking with one of my favorite entrepreneurs the other day, who was trying to choose a lead for his next financing round. This is a guy who had plenty of options. Facetiously, sort of, he said he was planning on picking the VC who had the most unique visitors to his blog. That, of course, sent a chill down my under-publicized spine. Again, i

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