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Icon of Money in the Hand on Digital Background.Let me start this post by stating how much respect I have for venture capitalist Fred Wilson.  He is easily in the top-5 influential thought leaders in the entrepreneur-investor ecosystem. His blog “AVC” is required reading for everyone on both sides of the table. But today he really pulled the trigger too quickly on a post.

He was postulating about a product idea – where entrepreneurs might pay for a report that lists what each venture capital firms’ investing criteria is, based on their track records  (something that arguably should be on their websites).  Let’s set aside for a moment that he is proposing a $100 fee for each entrepreneur seeking funding, here’s the crux of his argument:

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As an investor, advisor and mentor to entrepreneurs and new ventures, I get to hear a lot of pitches – whether as a judge in a competition, in a boardroom, classroom or a face-to-face pitch. After a while, they all start to sound alike. In fact, when investors get together, they lament (or even parody) how all the pitches sound alike. To be fair, as an entrepreneur, I used to lament with other entrepreneurs on how predictable venture capitalists can be in their responses.

Today, giving more evidence that I apparently have way too much time on my hands – I created this “Pitch Bingo” game for investors and advisors.   The next time you are listening to entrepreneur pitches at an event, click on the Entrepreneur-BS Bingo Game link, and you will get a BS-Bingo card (everyone’s card has a different random combination of entrepreneurship buzzwords).   Cross off the word when you hear it.

 

Entrepreneur-BS Bingo Game CJs Entrepreneur-BS-Bingo

CJ’s Entrepreneur Pitch Bingo

 

The first person who completes a BINGO with a row or column must shout out Zuckerberg!
And Tweet to #CJ-BS-BINGO.

And just to be fair, I’ve also created one called Investor-BS Bingo!   Now entrepreneurs can keep track of the predictable jargon investors mindlessly toss out during pitch meetings.   (notice the phrases “Term Sheet”  or “Yes” don’t appear – since they say it so rarely).

CJ’s Investor-BS Bingo

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Look-Back-at-Startup-Funding-by-Fundable-ThumbnailHere’s an interesting infographic that really does a good job of illustrating how startups receive their initial (external) funding.

The specific data is from 2014/2015 – it is really timeless. First time entrepreneurs should really take a hard look at the sources of funding to decide where they want to focus their time and energy.  While I take issue that the data mixes “”small business” and “entrepreneurial startup”, the chart does indeed provide a concise view of where the funding comes from, and where it flows.

A special shoutout to Arizona’s Desert Angels who is featured as one of the nation’s top investors in startup companies.

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An excellent overview of the kinds of funding available for entrepreneurs (startup funding). But this can be very misleading in a way: The “money available” and amounts invested absolutely do not reflect the likelihood of attracting funding from each source – nor do the amounts indicate how effective the funding source is towards the success of the startup.

Startup Funding Infographic

 

It was a brilliant observation from Tim Huntley of An Entrepreneurial Life, based on an exchange with an entrepreneur. The entrepreneur is stuck in some sort of circular-loop thinking preventing him and his team from making progress. In a rather rare display of self-awareness, the entrepreneur likens his dilemma to a concept taken from an obscure documentary called Waiting for Superman.   In this case:

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bad-news 
 
Ordinarily it takes an act of God to make me spill a drop of my morning coffee, but reading the news this morning nearly caused a grand-mal seizure:

“Jilted Kickstarter Backer Neil Singh Is Now An Assistant Attorney General Of Arizona”

 
My first, second and third reaction was “This is really bad news for Arizona Entrepreneurs.”   
 
Arizona:  The state celebrated recently for being #1 in the US for entrepreneurial growth, has just turned towards a cliff.  Maybe I am being shrill, but read on:

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The infographic below is a very good overview of startup funding, particularly for first-time entrepreneurs,  from our friends at Funders and Founders.  how-startup-valuation-works-infographic

For new entrepreneurs the chart can be a tad overwhelming.  When you’re scraping for your first few dollars from friends and family it’s hard to look ahead at the metrics for your IPO in 5-10 years.

The math, logical and psychology surrounding the premoney and postmoney valuation is the most important aspect that every first time entrepreneur has to grasp. Entrepreneurs are focused on the cash that they need to make the idea a reality, or to take it to profitability. Investors’ issues are entirely different. Most entrepreneurs quickly realize the chasm, and start to pitch in terms of a huge return-on-investment potential. This is too simplistic. Experienced investors think of start-up funding in terms of stages – with each stage ideally making their on-paper investment more valuable.

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