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Ariadne have multiple approaches to helping Entrepreneurs and as such are not so much purely a venture fund (although they do have funds to help entrepreneurs): rather they offer a range of services to Entrepreneurs from helping fund raise, M&A, networking and seeding startups.
I am amazed by some of the comments on this forum - I went to the "Follow the entrepreneur" forum early this year - you only have to look at the website and the packed list of speakers for that forum, to see that Ariadne have a serious and credible network.
Ariadne have been extremely helpful in helping my company find a new NED. They certainly were not aggressive about fees for this and so again, I can't understand some of the other comments.
They've also proposed to my company some services for helping us to raise cash at nothing like the fees mentioned by a poster some 5-6 years ago.
My advice would be:
*If you are a start-up they could make a really good source of seed capital.
*If you have time - then try and go to one of their "entrepreneurcountry" events or at least the website - it's what they are all about.
*They are not a VC with the ability to invest millions - I'd certainly say that if your business requires that you may be better off talking to some of the tier 1 VCs.
This is a fund that tries very hard to respect entrepreneurs for what their vision is: unlike most funds I've pitched to they haven't tried to mold my company into their view of the world.
YFM invested into my company approx. 4 years ago. The investment was small, and whilst they didn't want large %'s for it, they did insist on some onerous clauses in the investment agreement and the articles. Those clauses have consistently stopped us from being able to raise funds elsewhere. YFM, to their credit, have continued to invest in my company - death by a thousand cuts some might say.
On the good: were prepared to invest where others wouldn't: followed up their investment
On the bad: require copious amounts of reporting - don't let you get on with the business. didn't invest an appropriate amount of money or follow up appropriately.
Advice: Check the rules of the fund before taking an investment from them. Expect a fussy investor. Go to them if you are having trouble raising funds elsewhere.
Got an intro to Kevin and pitched him and Tony, despite it not being in their traditional zone.
Very down-to-earth, focused questions, honest and quick feedback. Didn't do anything - as the feedback confirmed what we suspected: we were too early for them. But a really efficient and positive experience.
Got an intro to Daniel Waterhouse and a meeting was set-up quickly.
Within 50 minutes we'd had a good hearing, been asked important questions and been given a clear signal about the two reasons why we weren't right for them (now).
When we wrote back to thank him for his time, he responded with useful advice, showing he'd given our proposition and challenges real thought.
For my new venture I need to raise $1.5M - $2M to get to profitability. The business is a local NYC retail opportunity leading to ecommerce in 2-3 years (dictated by pace of certain legal changes). It could be a great cash business or scaled with more investment to shoot for something huge.
I've found a bank that has made similarly or larger sized loans to restaurants and other businesses in NYC and can get an intro from a multiple-time successful loan recipient of the bank. I haven't started fundraising yet but have been planning on angel funding, have 250K committed so far, and am confident I can raise what's needed. Should I pursue both these options at once? Is a business loan I'm personally on the hook for, and a shorter-term plan to be more of a 'family' business a good idea versus raising money from angels, on a path to venture funding, with the goal of scaling asap? I'm confident the business can make money and be profitable if I go the loan route. I also imagine I could go the angel/vc route later if I start with the loan. Any ideas or thoughts or advice would be welcome.
I note that many of the comments here are 5+ years old, so I think it’s worth adding some updated opinion as the world has a habit of changing over time.
Julie Meyer is a formidable force for good in the British/European entrepreneur scene. She is fantastically well connected, and to the right people (which is no small thing if you have a b2b product and speed to market is key), understands the difficult dynamics of startup life, has real empathy, business insight and she will do as she says. If I had a penny for every VC who said they’d do something and didn’t….
It is true that Ariadne isn’t running a big fund, but that’s ok. Julie works tirelessly to help fund European entrepreneurs at the earliest (read 'hardest') stage and has successfully deployed capital. Furthermore, she believes passionately in the spirit of entrepreneurship and is a true champion of those who try.
I have observed Julie operating at startup Board level – behind closed doors where difficult decisions are made and real strategy is formed. She is energetic, creative and adds tremendous value and insight. She encourages the entrepreneur to think differently about their business model, asks insightful questions and is unafraid to dig deeper, at all times with a positive, proactive demeanour that is inspiring.
If you want an ex-banker/consultant/accountant with zero operating experience giving you money and advice from an ivory tower, then take your pick of the countless European VCs on offer. But if you seek someone who is wisened by experience, will open doors, help you navigate choppy waters and tirelessly stand by you when the chips are down, then Julie is your woman.
Whatever you do, make sure you know exactly what skills you want from an investor and then seek them out. If you don’t, you will only end up disappointed and critical of those trying to help.
Are you a seed-stage startup looking for funding or exposure?
Then apply to the Founder Showcase, TheFunded.com's free Pitch Competition, where previous presenters have raised over $75 million.
Any company less than two years old with less than $250,000 USD in funding is eligible, but the deadline to apply is Friday, June 14th.
The six finalists will get to pitch at the Founder Showcase on July 17th, in front of hundreds of Silicon Valley investors and press.
Don't miss this opportunity to apply.
For more information, visit http://foundershowcase.com.
While access to capital, cheap technology, and more have led to the proliferation of many new technology startups, the number of acquisitions has not kept up with the blistering pace. There are many debates as to why, but whatever the cause, the growing popularity of acqui-hires and relative reduction in corporate M&A could lead the startup ecosystem down an ominous path.
Last week I was interviewed by peHUB about this "liquidity crunch", who is to blame, and how it can be fixed. I personally believe that the current startup climate is a house of cards that will collapse if there isn't more corporate M&A.
What do you think? I would love to hear your comments below.
Read the full interview by Connie Loizos here.
This is a dinner club that charge startups to pitch their membership. They then use the money collected from the entrepreneurs to pay for their events (dinners, wine tastings, boat cruises).
Private: 792 Chars
Has anyone heard of or dealt with Jump Capital Partners based in Chicago? www.jumpcapitalpartners.com
We recently pitched First Round. Overall I like their brand and what they stand for (first round), but it seems as though the firm is 'severely' slipping and is no longer top of mind for founders. I've heard negative feedback echoed across the board from friends.
We met with Rob recently. We had a 1hr meeting scheduled. He showed up late - ergh already. Was engaged for 10mins, pulled out his phone, starting reading email, looked up to seemingly pretend like he cared, and pushed us to speed up. The meeting ended early. We followed up with a "thank you for the time" style note, and no surprise, never heard anything back. Guy seems like a total arrogant ass, frankly. Sure, it's cool to pass on us (we raised a ~2m seed so we found plenty of others interested) but at least have the nerve to write us back. We spent our precious time (we're busy too) pitching you and speaking on the phone prior to the in-person, and yet you couldn't even write us back or take some time away from your email to listen?
Not impressed with my interactions, have shared the feedback with friends, who funny enough those that had also pitched first round, came back with similar feedback. Avoid.