Bernard lunn

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How to Pitch to a VC or Angel

How to Pitch to a VC or Angel

This is one post/chapter in a serialized book called Startup 101. For the introduction and table of contents, please click here.

There are many books and countless blog posts about pitching (to both customers and investors). All we can hope to do here is, (1) put the pitch into some perspective, and (2) abstract the few key things that will help…

Kennet: Backing Bootstrappers

Kennet: Backing Bootstrappers

We recently spoke with Michael Elias, a founding partner at Kennet. Go to Kennet’s website and the first thing you see is:

“You’ve funded your growth the hard way: by selling real value to real customers.
You don’t need venture capital to validate your idea: the market has already done that. You need a different kind of capital.”

In other…

VC Series A Investments in Web Tech Grew Strongly In May

VC Series A Investments in Web Tech Grew Strongly In May

We have been tracking Series A deals in Web technology since the market mayhem in October 2008. Last month, we started researching this with our new partner, ChubbyBrain, which tracks this kind of data full-time. Launched in February 2009, ChubbyBrain is a New York City-based information services provider that democratizes startup and investor…

The Capital-Raising Ladder

The Capital-Raising Ladder

This is one post/chapter in a serialized book called Startup 101. For the introduction and table of contents, please click here.

The amount of capital you will need depends on what kind of venture you plan to build. You may need to go no further than the first rung of the ladder. You might be able to build a very good business that meets all of…

Company Registration Choices

Company Registration Choices

This is one post/chapter in a serialized book called Startup 101. For the introduction and table of contents, please click here.

Should you set up an LLC, C Corp, or S Corp. And in what state should you register? These are some of the questions we’ll consider in our overview of company registration choices for your startup.

CM Summit: Return on Creativity in Adland

CM Summit: Return on Creativity in Adland

This past week saw the Conversational Marketing (CM) Summit in New York, an event organized by Federated Media (which sells advertising on ReadWriteWeb). It was a stimulating event because of the good mix of all of the participants in the advertising eco-system (publishers and media, advertisers and marketers, advertising agencies, and…

IBM’s Venture Capital Group (RWS Interview)

IBM’s Venture Capital Group (RWS Interview)

We recently spoke with Claudia Fan Munce of IBM’s Venture Capital Group. IBM doesn’t invest equity in startups; rather, this small group within IBM works with 120 of the world’s leading VCs to give their startups access to IBM technology and, more importantly, IBM’s customers in 170 countries. Since forming in 2001, the IBM Venture Capital Group…

Ambient Sound Investments: Four Engineers Create a VC Fund (RWS Interview)

Ambient Sound Investments: Four Engineers Create a VC Fund (RWS Interview)

This is how it’s supposed to work. A team of super-smart engineers/entrepreneurs comes up with a radical plan to disrupt a huge industry. It builds its technology, gets traction, and, in a few years, sells the venture for over a billion dollars. What do these super-smart engineers do with their new-found wealth? They create a VC fund to invest in…

Finding a URL and Company Name

Finding a URL and Company Name

This is one post/chapter in a serialized book called Startup 101. For the introduction and table of contents, please click here.

There are three ways to get a great URL. The first is with magical inspiration: that perfect and available name comes to you in the shower. The second is with a ton of money, by buying an existing domain. The third (if…

Startup 2009: My Pick of the Pack

Startup 2009: My Pick of the Pack

This morning, I attended Startup 2009, “Rising from the Ashes”, an event put on by Business Insider in New York City. This was one of those deals where entrepreneurs get a few minutes to pitch to and get rated by a panel of VCs and pundits. The winner gets attention and a shot at a cash prize. As Business Insider puts it, “Startup 2009 will…

Building an Advisory Board

Building an Advisory Board

This is one post/chapter in a serialized book called Startup 101. For the introduction and table of contents, please click here.

This is part of your pre-financing team-building. The term “Board” may be confusing here. This is not a Board Of Directors: that is the subject of a later chapter. Nor is it a couple of your buddies. Nor is it someone…

Jeff Clavier: Early-Stage Web-Tech Investor (RWS Interview)

Jeff Clavier: Early-Stage Web-Tech Investor (RWS Interview)

We recently spoke with Jean-Francois “Jeff” Clavier, founder and managing partner of SoftTech VC, one of the most active seed-stage investors in Web 2.0 startups. He invests from a $15 million fund, investing from $100K to $500K in companies, generally alongside other funds or angels, making up a total of $750K to $1.5M per venture. He invests in…

Building Your Team Pre-Financing

Building Your Team Pre-Financing

This is one post/chapter in a serialized book called Startup 101. For the introduction and table of contents, please click here.

In our 10 Things to Be Clear About Before You Start, we suggested that you decide whether to build a team of partners or fly solo. If you have decided to build a team of partners, even a small team of two, you’ll need to…

Georges van Hoegaerden: Harsh Critic of VCs (RWS Interview)

Georges van Hoegaerden: Harsh Critic of VCs (RWS Interview)

We have heard the VC’s side of the story in many interviews. In this interview, we get the perspective of an experienced entrepreneur who is highly critical of the current crop of top-tier VCs. He says the emperor is not wearing clothes.

One question we put to many of the VCs we have spoken to is:

“How is the VC model changing, if at all, and…

Why the Web 3.0 Conference Was a Success

Why the Web 3.0 Conference Was a Success

The Web 3.0 Conference in New York last week was a visible success. Attendance was good, and so it seems that the organizers are making money. That is significant in a recession, when many conferences that were announced have had to be suddenly canceled due to lack of interest. At a more qualitative level, the Web 3.0 Conference had a good mix of…

Capital Factory: Austin-Based Incubator (RWS Interview)

Capital Factory: Austin-Based Incubator (RWS Interview)

We spoke recently with Joshua Baer and Bryan Menell of Capital Factory, a technology incubator/accelerator based in Austin, Texas. Capital Factory puts on an intense 10-week summer program that gives participating startup companies up to $20,000 in cash, more than $20,000 in free services, and mentorship from a group of successful entrepreneurs…

Finding the Right Wave to Ride (Secular Trends)

Finding the Right Wave to Ride (Secular Trends)

This is one post/chapter in a serialized book called Startup 101. For the introduction and table of contents, please click here.

Surfing sure sounds like more fun than work, but when you catch a technology or market wave just right, it seems almost as good.

But you need the right-sized wave:

Naval Ravikant: Venture Hacker (RWS Interview)

Naval Ravikant: Venture Hacker (RWS Interview)

With this interview, we are again branching out. Naval Ravikant is not a traditional VC. He is an angel investor, a serial entrepreneur, and he writes the very entertaining and informative Venture Hacks blog, a must-read for entrepreneurs. Listen to the MP3 below if you want to learn more about how to get viral growth, how to think about native…

Creating Your Vision, Mission, Strategy and Plan

Creating Your Vision, Mission, Strategy and Plan

This is one post/chapter in a serialized book called Startup 101. For the introduction and table of contents, please click here.

This was a hard chapter to write. It feels like a chapter that would work better in the final book. You have to have a mission and strategy and plan, right? So why does writing them feel like one of those make-work…