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Every entrepreneur dreams that their business will be one of the ones that make it big. For a few very lucky start-up founders, this dream has become a reality and their ventures have truly hit the big leagues by earning a coveted spot in the so-called Unicorn Club. This is a very small number of privately held start-ups that are now valued at a billion dollars or more. Many of the big names will be very familiar to you, with household names like Uber, Airbnb, Pinterest, and Reddit all part of this exclusive club.

In this article, we’re going to look at the secrets to billion dollar startup success. What do these companies have in common – and what don’t they? How can another business replicate their success? Keep reading to find out…

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Understanding the Startup Valuation Process (Infographic)

(special thanks to … Redwood Valuation Partners)

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For entrepreneurs, securing venture capital is a grueling and frustrating process. Even if you have the most promising venture in history, the likelihood of being offered a term sheet is determined by a mysterious series of steps. Until now. Here’s your guide to what happens behind the scenes, when venture capitalists decide whether to invest:

(read it on Medium : The Secret VC Decision Process — Exposed)

 

 

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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startups_by_the_numbers-thumbSome interesting “numbers” on “startups”.

The term ‘startup’ is used too broadly to have any meaning . Many of the numbers really apply to small businesses  – which is not synonymous with ‘startup’.

And, I hesitate to call these statistics or data because they are subject to much interpretation. For instance, this infographic perpetuates the meme that 50% of new businesses fail within 3 years. This is a gross generalization. 50% may not exist after 3 years, but this also may be due to other factors such as the owner retiring and closing the business.

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staff-com-cost-to-run-startup-thumbA rather interesting infographic/analysis on the annual cost to run a small startup , in different cities around the world (assuming your startup is at the point where it can actually start paying developers):

Staff.com is based on the idea of hiring employees from all around the world.  And we’re a startup. So we thought it would be interesting to compare the costs of a startup including a small office and hiring 2 developers and 1 designer from different cities and countries:

 

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18-Mistakes-That-Kill-Startups-THUMBInfluential and iconic venture capitalist and entrepreneurial though leader Paul Graham, known for his epic essays on entrepreneurship, recently penned an interesting one listing the 18 mistakes that kill startups.

While I wholeheartedly agree that there are many fundamental mistakes that can derail (or even kill) a startup’s chances for success, not all 18 of these are true “startup” mistakes.  Mistakes like “Poor Investor Management” assumes that your venture is far enough along that you have investors who need managing.  Like all advice – these 18 cannot be taken at face value.  Mr. (Dr., actually) Graham cites “Obstinacy” as a top-5 mistake –

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