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Screwed and Ruined Our Company

Advanced Technology Ventures

ATV screwed our company. It invested and than acted as if its opinion was all that mattered. Then when we had an opportunity for a 25X for them with the right acquirer, they voted it down so they could shovel more money in to push things that management knew did not make sense. They then alienated a bunch of investors and then switched terms on a follow on at the last minute. Then they drove the company out of business! Stay away!

Cavendish Global Stay Away Advice

Cavendish Global allegedly assembles family offices hungry to invest in healthcare related deals. They host large and nice events and charge entrepreneurs big bucks to attend. I've spoke with several CEO's who attended and say it is a total bust. No family offices there that actually want to meet anyone pitching a deal. Apparently they make money by swindling CEO's in to coughing up entry fees and then receiving zero benefit. The leader of this group then duck call and complaints post meeting. Beware.

Pros & Cons of Corporate VC Discussion

Experience with "Med Tech Investing Europe"? Discussion

What's Coming? Slowdown? Meltdown? Business as Usual? Discussion

Fund Raising in 2016 Discussion

Shopping a Startup to VC's Door to Door? Discussion

Easy to Approach and a Quick Rejection.

Shasta Ventures

I did not know them but selected them from a web search. They rejected us but were easy to approach and prompt to respond, That is appreciated.

Sxsw Invester Showcase Discussion

Sxsw Invester Showcase Discussion

Pricing Too High Discussion

Fulfillment Capital Discussion

Paid Beta Discussion

Help on (Short) Funding of a Provisional to Pct Filing Conversion with Pressing Timeline Discussion

Now Branded as "Flare Capital"

Foundation Medical Partners

2015- $200MM new fund with Bill Geary, Michael Greeley and Lee Wrubel asa the GPs. They continue to manage existing Foundation Medical investments. ~($200MM)

Private: 179 Chars

Worst Pitching Experience Ever

Artiman Ventures

Seriously: stay away from this fund. We pitched Yatin at their offices, who was half an hour late to our meeting. During the pitch, he was HAVING LUNCH and looking at his phone, and asking random questions to pretend like he was paying attention. We were interrupted twice by what I presume were his partners, to take him out of the room and talk. When he finished eating, at around the middle of our 12-slide deck, he stopped us and said "ok guys, this is very interesting, we'll get back to you", and left the room. Rude, arrogant, disgusting experience.

Incoherent "No" From Phin

First Round Capital

We went to pitch them, and were originally going to pitch one of the SF parters but got Phin, who had just recently arrived to San Francisco. He somewhat paid attention to our pitch, then asked questions that weren't relevant to what we were doing. He also asked things we'd explained already during the pitch, which made us feel like we had wasted our time.

Private: 330 Chars

Mvp Seems Too Light Discussion

Guidance Reaching Out to Investors Discussion

As Other Have Noted, Stay Away From This Group

Artiman Ventures

One of my companies learned first hand that Artiman was less interested in investing and more interesting learning about the market and company's platform...they took this information to create a competitor. This not an entrepreneur friendly firm. Pitching to them may lead to your worst nightmare.

The Method Behind Today's 'Unicorn' Madness News

Billion dollar companies are being created at a faster pace than ever before, so there are plenty of opinions in the "bubble or bust" debate. I won’t bore you with more. However, if you look at it objectively, there is a method to the “madness” of these so-called “Unicorn” companies.

I just published a detailed analysis on Forbes in an article titled How to Build a Billion Dollar Company: The Method Behind Today's Unicorn Madness.

I would love your feedback on this post, but to provide a quick summary:

The most recent Unicorns are being developed in as little as 36 months, with the combination of strong Founders, forward-thinking investors, and aggressive teams using a cycle of three main tactics:

1. The "Push" (a ridiculously ambitious growth plan outlined by companies with their investors)
2. The "Markup" (an enormous funding round that values the startup at a valuation that assumes flawless execution of the growth plan outlined in the “Push”)
3. The "Backfill" (the small period of time where the company needs to executive the plan and live up the value they pledged to create)

The Unicorns you are seeing today are the companies that have been able to successfully execute this cycle of Push -> Markup -> Backfill until hitting the billion dollar valuation in their latest “Markup”.

As for the teams that try but fail to execute this cycle? These companies typically return the remaining capital to their investors (ex. Secret, Homejoy), get acqui-hired (ex. Slide), or pursue drip funding.

Take a few moments to read the article here, and if you have thoughts, please leave comments on the post. I would love to hear them.

Also, quick sidenote: the Founder Institute (a company launch program born out of is currently enrolling in over 30 cities worldwide, and I will personally be leading the upcoming Silicon Valley Chapter. If you or somebody you know could use help launching a tech company, check it out.

Not Entrepreneur Friendly

Altira Group

Among oil and gas startup executives, they have a shady reputation.

New to Midwest Discussion

Fundraising Without a Soft Introduction –Vs. Cold Calling Discussion

We Got a Term Sheet Sort Of

Total Technology Ventures

I can't say enough good things about TTV's team. Smart, warm, full of ideas, and advice. Helpful. And our many interactions with them bore fruit. They issued us a term sheet. But was it? TTV promised to fund only a small part of their own term sheet. Now that I understand what happened here, I can tell you that what they really issued to us a "hunting licenses," not a term sheet. I've since learned that this is common practice amount smaller VCs. The onus of syndicating falls on the company, not on them. This helps them confirm their funding decision through the decisions of institutional investor colleagues. Well, that might suit them but it was hell on us. It was hard enough to get one VC to say yes -- a six month process. Getting two or three more to join on to a syndication and say yes in the 60 day period TTV gave us was just impossible. And so as quickly as the term sheet materialized, TTV retracted it. TTV's decision to pull the rug out from under us almost destroyed our company. Our investors saw the TTV deal implosion as a bad sign. Internal investors who were about to write checks didn't. And it soured most of the current crop of prospective investors who were circling and watching the TTV deal. I hope my fellow entrepreneurs can learn from this lesson. If you are considering a smaller VC like TTV, make sure you are clear about your expectations from the start. If you are expecting them to handle syndication, don't. If I could start all over again, I would not have even approached TTV. It was a monumental waste of time for us. In the order of hundreds of hours and legal and travel expenses in the neighborhood of $20,000 or more.

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