handshake

How to maximize your ROI from VC introductions

In an effort to set them — and hopefully others — up for success, I’ve come up with a few pointers that all startups should keep in mind when approaching their network for VC intros that ultimately lead to funding.

Would a VC back your startup

What makes a great VC

Being a great VC is about more than having a stacked Rolodex, 80-hour work weeks, and lightning-fast response times. It takes community, generosity, and most important, empathy.

startups

VC perspective: The 3 things I want to hear first in a pitch

As a Venture Partner at XSeed Capital, sitting on the other side of the table from bright entrepreneurs with really intriguing ideas is a lot of fun for me. But, I’ve also been the one raising rounds for my startups. Here are some tips that have become a lot more obvious and important to me, now that I’ve seen hundreds of presentations:

Why VCs should love hardware startups

Venture capitalists hate investing in hardware startups for a myriad of reasons. Design and iteration are more difficult. Margins are low.

education

Why VCs can’t afford to ignore EdTech any longer

The education space is massive, very broken, barely touched by technology and has been largely underserved by entrepreneurs and investors. The opportunity for disruption, significant value creation and outsized returns is huge.

25 things investors say when rejecting your startup

After speaking with a number of fellow “hustlers” (fellow fundraising CEOs), I was able to amass an awesome list of classic messages people have received from investors after initial contact or initial pitch. As the title implies, below are 25 ways people get rejected from investors.

How Rod Stewart helped me get the attention of VCs and angels

Our company has pitched to VCs many times this past year to raise capital. After much fine-tuning, we put together a colorful investment infographic on a handout, which has helped in getting VCs’ attention.

Smart grid startups compete for highly variable venture funding

Venture capital industry interest and investment in smart grid startups has been up and down over the past five years, ranging from a peak of nearly $316 million in 2009 to around $100 million or less in 2011 (as of the end of September). There’s reason to be optimistic about the future growth of the sector, however. Powerful fundamental factors — the shift to cleaner, renewable energy sources and market deregulation among them — continue to support growth, as do smart grid proponents and technology providers.

mark zuckerberg

Facebook and the big IPO letdown

Facebook’s IPO has raised hopes in Silicon Valley that the tech industry’s days of wine and roses will soon be back with hundreds of startups going public. Even President Obama seems excited. He recently proposed an “IPO on-ramp” to help young, smaller companies go public.