Posted by Admin: Marc on 2010-01-30
New Deal Structures Emerging: With a new year and an ever changing venture environment, we are seeing new developments in deal terms and exit opportunities. Deal structures known as "DST deals" are becoming more popular with these type of investments associated with Facebook, Zynga, and most recently, Yelp. These deals provide "both a primary investment component as well as a secondary offering for long time employees." - TechCrunch
First Round Capital Develops New Startup Exchange: On the exit side of startups, First Round Capital recently launched a Startup Exchange Fund for its portfolio companies. "The fund allows founders of First Round Capital's portfolio firms to contribute some of their equity into a central pool, and share in any exit success of others who also participate in the fund" according to SoCalTech.com. Similar to the fundamental pinciples of the Founder Institute (run by TheFunded.com), founders own a piece of each other's business to better align incentives, diversify some risk, and share in the upside. SecondMarket and SharesPost are two companies contributing to this changing landscape by creating an alternative exit strategy besides an IPO or M&A. They have created a secondary market for shareholders in private companies, allowing them to sell part of their stake before the realization of a traditional exit. - SoCalTechPRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by Admin on 2010-01-22
The 2009 Venture Investment Numbers: 2009 had the lowest amount of investments into startups since 1997. "Atlas Venture’s Jeff Fagnan, who discussed about the numbers during the press conference call, also acknowledged that it has been a slow year for investments. The word for 2009 was 'triage,' he said, as venture firms found themselves with smaller reserves for follow-on funding than expected and more portfolio companies that needed help." - VentureBeat
Help address this problem at a special one day symposium discussing the future of funding, hosted by TheFunded. More information is available below:
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-01-21
The Founder Institute, a training program for technology entrepreneurs that shares equity upside among all stakeholders, is opening semesters in Singapore, Paris, Los Angeles and Denver for the Spring 2010. With this expansion, the Institute will now operate in nine cities worldwide, putting it on pace to graduate over 700 founders creating over 500 companies per year.
The Institute is run by founders for founders, providing a framework for successful entrepreneurs to share their experiences and to help. We've already lined up an impressive group of mentors for the Spring semesters, including Nolan Bushnell (Founder of Atari), Michael Robertson (Former CEO of MP3.com), Aaron Patzer (Founder and CEO of Mint.com), Phil Libin (CEO of Evernote), and many more.
If you can benefit from training and mentorship to make your startup more successful, please apply. If you know a founder that needs help, encourage them to join the program. The deadline for early admissions is February 15th, with all applications due by February 28th, 2010.
Everyone that graduates from the program is invited to join a pool to share in the upside generated from the success of their peers. This adds a unique camaraderie to the program and creates a long-term peer support group with a vested interest in your success. Take a minute to apply today.
Below is a video introduction to the Founder Institute delivered to 100 guests at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Interested in Founder Institute updates? Sign-up at: http://bit.ly/4vJaJu
For experienced CEOs, we invite you to a special one day symposium discussing the future of funding, hosted by TheFunded. More information is available below:
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-01-19
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-01-19
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-01-16
MightyMeeting, a cross platform presentation company, won top pitch at the Founder Showcase in Silicon Valley last night by open ballot. Dmitri Tcherevik, CEO of Mighty Meeting, brought the 200 person audience to surprise applause in the middle of the three minute pitch. Dmitri showed the ability of MightMeeting to quickly upload, share and control both a projected and online presentation with a few gestures from an iPhone. See below:
MightyMeeting is a cloud-based service that can be used to manage a private library of presentations in multiple formats. This library can be accessed from a range of mobile devices, such as the iPhone, iPod Touch or Android phones. The presentations are shared through email, blogs, Twitter or Facebook. Users can start, join or control web conferences directly from their own mobile device. The solution is optimized to work over 3G wireless networks and does not require Flash in the browser.
As the Founding Member of TheFunded, I have been using and showing the Mighty Meeting software all day. It converts graphically rich PowerPoint presentations perfectly, which is my gripe with other services. There's no uploading required either, just email presentations to your own address at the domain. It's surprisingly good, and I strongly recommend that you try it. Here's another favorable review from TechCrunch:
The Founder Showcase is a quarterly event that helps to democratize access to Silicon Valley for seed stage companies. Thank you to everyone who attended the event and to the sponsors who helped support the evening: Sun Startup Essentials and Cooley Godward Kronish.PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-01-13
The twelve presenting companies have been selected for the Founder Showcase this Thursday evening, January 14th, in Santa Clara. The fast paced pitches will be broken up with networking breaks and short talks by leading early-stage founders, Phillip Kaplan of Blippy and Jay Jamison of Moonshoot. With over 200 founders, reporters and investors registered, the event should prove to be exciting, inspiring and entertaining.
The presenting company with the most audience votes will win a Grand Prize of $2,500 in cash, $1,000 in free legal services from Cooley Godward Kronish LLP (www.Cooley.com), free use of a Ferrari 360 Spider, and many other start-up essentials. Enjoy!PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-01-07
Take a moment to review and vote for your favorite seed-stage companies in TheFunded.com Showcase. Those with the most votes will be invited to next week's Founder Showcase event in Silicon Valley for free, where they'll have the opportunity to pitch in front of peers, investors and the media. The winner of an audience vote at the event will receive $2,500 plus a variety of other business and personal perks, including use of a Ferrari 360 Spider.
The Founder Showcase aims to democratize access to the Silicon Valley elite. A finalist at our last event, RelayRides, met an angel at the event who participated in their seed round, and we hope to inspire many more success stories.
Make a difference - take a few moments to vote for your favorite pitches today.PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-01-02
With a bright future in mind, TheFunded wishes you a Happy New Year and a successful 2010.
2009 was a tough year for many of the Member CEOs. The collapse of the IPO market in 2000 followed by the near collapse of the financial markets in 2008 have made it one of the hardest times in the last decade for startups to raise capital. In Q3 09, funds made $4.8 billion in investments, half the amount invested in Q4 07, but these funds only raised $1.5 billion themselves for making future investments, about 12% of Q4 07 decade highpoint (NVCA). In 2010, the last funds with large returns from the dotcom era will mature, and the newer vintage funds have losses ranging from 17% to 30% as a class (NVCA). With less money available and negative returns, the venture capital industry is imploding. Over the next eighteen months, the amount of money available to startups from all sources may face a fivefold decline from the previous decade high in 2007.
There are bright spots emerging. Corporations, local governments, and angel investors have stepped in to fill the need for growth capital. In the face of the many changes, TheFunded plans to adapt and take a leadership role in the transition, continuing to help entrepreneurs succeed.
In 2010, TheFunded plans to help entrepreneurs find resources to grow with less capital, to identify new and active funding sources, and to remedy systemic problems in the overall funding model. Read the Private section for more details...PRIVATE: Members Only (1818 Characters)
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-01-02
TheFunded will publish a list of the top rated investors of 2009 on January 11th, 2010, and your vote before this deadline will make a difference. Being chosen by the Membership as a top rated investor is a meaningful accolade for the individual and their fund. The current list of top rated investors is:
If you see an investor who does not belong, click on their name, and vote them with a 'thumbs down' or an 'avoid' icon. If you know someone who should be on the list, look them up in the search field and rate them with a 'thumbs up' or 'star.' Your vote counts. Thank you.PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2009-12-16
The overall startup climate is slowly improving, but it's still too hard for young companies to get exposure. Finding the right investors and getting access to the media is as challenging as it every was. It's time to democratize access and address this problem head on. We can change this together.
Today, we're launching the Founder Showcase, where any Member can showcase their business on TheFunded.com. Once a quarter, TheFunded.com will invite early-stage companies with the most Member votes to an event where they can pitch in front of an audience of leading entrepreneurs, media, and investors for free.
On January 14th in the heart of Silicon Valley, TheFunded.com will bring together an amazing group of 200 founders, reporters, and investors to support the next generation of entrepreneurs. Dinner and drinks will be served. We're going to have fun speakers and hear great pitches. We invite you to join us. Every early-stage startup is invited to post a pitch on the Founder Showcase, and try to win one of ten slots on stage. The best pitch decided by the audience will get $2,500 in cash and a bunch of startup essentials for free. Every Member is encouraged to vote for the companies that they like best. Tickets to the Showcase are just $50, tables are just $350, and pitching is free, of course. Show your support for entrepreneurship by reserving a seat or a table at the link below:
Enjoy!PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2009-12-01
The Final Admission deadline for TheFunded Founder Institute semester in the Bay Area is 11:59pm PST on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009.
If you can benefit from training and mentorship to make your startup more successful, please apply. If you know a founder that needs help, encourage them to join the program. The Institute is run by founders for founders, providing a framework for successful entrepreneurs to share their experiences and to help. Confirmed Mentors in the program include Trip Adler, Aaron Patzer, Phil Libin, Kirill Makharinsky, and Adeo Ressi, among others.
Click here to apply for the Bay Area Semester
Completing an application takes under an hour. Good luck, and Enjoy!PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2009-11-19
Anyone thinking to start a company or running a new startup that can use some assistance is invited to attend one of two upcoming informational sessions on TheFunded Founder Institute. They're fun, and they're free:
Seattle - November 19th
6:30 PM in Redmond
Bay Area - November 24th
6:30 PM in Palo Alto
There are reasons that the Institute runs four month programs in various cities twice per year. It would be easier to videotape lessons or write a book, but learning to be a successful entrepreneur isn't easy. Heres the thinking:
Success: Most of the things that you need to know to build a successful company from scratch can't be learned from books or from school. How do you know when a cofounder is right? When do you start talking about your business idea publicly? When do you quit your job? How do you get exposure for your idea from the media? The lessons of entrepreneurship are usually learned the hard way, and the deadly array of potential mistakes cause most startups to fail. Entrepreneurs that succeed are often lucky, fail fast, and recover intelligently. A good mentor with poignant advice can help you avoid most of the obvious mistakes and some of the less obvious pitfalls. Many successful entrepreneurs credit a part of their success to a mentor or friend, and the Institute has formalized this invaluable relationship. The Institute has one Mentor per enrolled founder in nearly all of the cities.
Timeliness: The world is changing daily, and the tools required to be a successful entrepreneur are changing as well. Books and school can't keep pace with the change, but successful entrepreneurs today are capitalizing on the changes to win. The best advice is from someone who is succeeding in the present, not someone who succeeded more than a decade ago. Why? Job boards like Monster were relevant in the 90's, Craigslist was relevant afterwards, and social media is the place to find team members today. You want Mentors who can give you timely advice on how to succeed, and the Institute only recruits successful CEOs of startup companies that are not too big.
Location: Building a successful technology startup differs significantly based on the location of where you start, as well as the present day trends. For example, expensive real estate costs drive decision making in New York and Silicon Valley. Top talent in Silicon Valley will quit everything to be a cofounder on a promising idea and work for equity. The nuances of each market require local expertise. So, the Institute tries to get at least half of the Mentor CEOs from the local market. The remaining Mentors are chosen to be subject matter experts from anywhere in the world
Motivation: Taking the first steps to start your new company are daunting, even if you love your idea, even if you have experience, and even if you have a great plan. The Founder Institute itself was carefully planned, but a leak in TechCrunch forced us to incorporate and to start accepting applications months before "the original plan." Without the leak, who knows what would have happened, and the Institute is my eighth company. Applying to the Institute and getting accepted is a catalyst. It's the sign for you to launch your company.
Feedback on the reasons is welcomed. Enjoy!PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2009-11-14
The Early Admissions deadline for TheFunded Founder Institute semesters in the Bay Area, New York, and Seattle is midnight on Sunday, November 15th, 2009. Applications are also being accepted for the greater Washington DC area.
If you can benefit from training and mentorship to make your startup more successful, please apply. If you know a founder that needs help, encourage them to join the program. The Institute is run by founders for founders, providing a framework for successful entrepreneurs to share their experiences and to help.
There are a three benefits to applying before midnight on Sunday. First, early admission applicants have two separate chances to be accepted, since the application will be reviewed on this Monday and then again after the final admissions date. Second, the acceptance rate of early admission applicants has historically been just over 50%, versus lower rates in the final admissions deadline. Third, accepted founders from early admissions have more time to enroll, to get set-up, and to review the courses.
Completing an application takes under an hour. Good luck, and Enjoy!PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2009-11-13
TheFunded.com has created a unique Silicon Valley networking event for seed and early stage founders, the Founder Showcase. The evening event highlights the newest ideas and cutting-edge businesses, helping innovators gain traction among the Silicon Valley elite.
Ten companies will be elected by their peers to pitch in the Founder Showcase on January 14th, 2010. A number of companies have waiting for the instructions on how to get elected. The process is simple:
- First, reserve a ticket to the Founder Showcase event.
- Second, create a Pitch on the new Showcase section of TheFunded.com (formerly the Connect section). You need to be a Member of TheFunded to view the Showcase section and to create a pitch, which is free for CEOs.
- Third, collect the most votes from other CEOs, and you will be invited as one of ten on stage in Silicon Valley. CEOs can vote multiple times, but can only cast one vote per company.
Additionally, just five discounted Early Registration tickets remain to the Future of Funding event on February 18th, 2010. If you are interested in discussing the future trends of venture capital, angel investing, and startup liquidity, reserve a seat here among the top minds in the industry. Confirmed participants include Tim Draper of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Michael Arrignton of TechCrunch, Kimbal Musk of OneRiot, and George Zachary of Charles River Venture, among many others.
Enjoy!PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2009-11-09
TheFunded Founder Institute, a four month program to help founders build the next generation of world-class technology companies, is launching a new semester in the Bay Area from December, 2009, until March, 2010. The Institute is currently accepting applications for founders in Washington DC, Seattle, and New York, and launched a successful semester in San Diego.
The program is run by founders for founders, providing a framework for successful entrepreneurs to share their experiences and to provide guidance. Read the comments in this TechCrunch article to see feedback from 54 companies that have graduated from the program.
The Bay Area semester is amassing a strong group of Mentors, including Aaron Patzer, CEO of Mint.com and top-rated Mentor from the first semester. Everyone that graduates from the program is invited to join a pool to share in the upside generated from the success of their peers. This adds a unique camaraderie to the program and creates a long-term peer support group with a vested interest in your success.
If you have a new company or if you are thinking to start a company, take a moment and apply to the program. Enjoy!PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by Admin on 2009-11-06
Where you acquire funding from may not just be as simple as how much money you are looking to raise. Your initial round of funding sets the precedent for all future rounds. Who you take money from and understanding the consequences is critical. Chris Dixon, CEO of Hunch, recently wrote on his blog about pitfalls of accepting money from the "wrong" entity. Discussed here are the difference between VC and Angel money as well as what to watch out for when accepting seed funding. Here’s the roundup:
VC or Angel, Don’t Approach The Wrong Source - Brad Feld outlines guidelines for whether you should be approaching a VC or Angel investor. From the amount of money you are looking to raise to the type of company you are building, these factors determine whether to approach a VC or Angel. - Entrepreneur
Taking Seed Money From Big VCs - If a big venture firms isn’t "following on" with their initial seed investment, that can cause serious problems for the entrepreneur. Even if a VC wants to follow on, Dixon says, "you are likely to get a lower valuation than you would have had you taken money from other sources of funding." He walks through an example of how this can happen. - Silicon Alley Insider
Red Flag Signals for VC Firms - Dixon explains a rather misunderstood phenomenon about VC sponsored seed incubator programs. Many people think that because they were associated with a prestigious VC firm, their company would be widely welcomed in the VC community. Dixon points out, alternatively, "the better the VC, the stronger the negative signal when they pass." Once a well respected VC firm passes on your deal, it sends a major negative signal to other firms when looking to raise money. - Chris Dixon’s BlogPRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2009-10-27
There are three events coming up: an exclusive "Future of Funding" conference, an improved "Showcase" event series for seed stage startups, and a launch of the Founder Institute in Seattle.
The Future of Funding: Feb 18, 2010, San Mateo, CA
Help shape the future of funding with the best minds in the industry. Members of TheFunded have 25 discounted tickets to this intimate conference for top limited partners, leading venture capitalists, and, of course, entrepreneurs.
Founder Showcase: Jan 14, 2010, Mountain View, CA
Sign-up to pitch your company, meet your peers, talk to the media, and interact with top-rated investors at this exciting Silicon Valley evening.
Seattle Founder Institute Informational Event: Nov 2, 2009 Seattle, WA
Learn about the Founder Institute in this evening discussion session at the University of Washington.
We hope to see you soon.PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2009-10-09
The Founder Institute, a new training program for technology entrepreneurs that shares equity upside among all stakeholders, is expanding into the Washington DC area starting on December 1st, 2009. Founders are invited to meet the Founding Member, hear from graduates about the Institute, and learn some salient lessons about building a fast growth company on Tuesday, October 13th, at 7:00 PM.
Anyone thinking of starting a company or running a new startup is invited to attend for free at George Mason University. Just ten spots remain for this event, so please register at the link below:
Hope to see you there!PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2009-10-05
Today is the last day to purchase tickets to inaugural "Juice Pitcher" event on the evening of October 6th, 2009. Aaron Patzer, CEO of Mint.com, will discuss how he built a $170 MM company in three years. Munjal Shah, CEO of Like.com, will talk about the best practices in earning revenue. Ten seed stage companies will showcase their new products on stage. Founders, investors, and the media will have the opportunity to socialize over a casual dinner and drinks in Mountain View.
Reserve one of the last few tickets now:
Hope to see you there!
Microsoft BizSpark offers software, support, and visibility to new companies. As part of the program, BizSpark connects new companies with a nationwide community of Network Partners, including angel investors and incubator organizations, so it’s invaluable for anyone seeking funding or support.
Posted by The Founding Member on 2009-09-29
TheFunded Founder Institute, a four month training and mentoring program for entrepreneurs backed by some of the leading startup CEOs, has just started accepting applications for a Fall semester in San Diego / Orange County. The list of world class mentors eager to help build southern Californian companies is growing daily.
Members can help kick off this new program by spreading the word:
Know a founder in San Diego or someone who should start a company? Please invite them to apply: http://bit.ly/4BED8P
Know a Mentor in San Diego or a CEO that wants to help their peers? Please ask them to be a Mentor: http://bit.ly/13En7g
Interested in Washington DC, Seattle, or another location? Please sign-up for updates: http://bit.ly/4vJaJuPRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2009-09-29
TheFunded has produced founder-friendly versions of every legal document necessary to launch a new startup. These documents were carefully written from scratch to keep founders in control of the companies that they create.
-- Certificate of Incorporation
-- Initial Stockholder Consent
-- Invention Assignment Agreement
-- Restricted Stock Purchase Agreement
-- Indemnification Agreement
-- Initial Board Consent
-- Action by Incorporator
-- Plain Preferred Term Sheet
Please help by sharing these documents with anyone that you know who is launching a startup, and borrow some of the founder protections for your own company from the Certificate of Incorporation.
Enjoy!PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by Admin on 2009-09-27
When it comes to raising capital, do women have a harder time than their male counterparts? A personal opinion from a well respected CEO and several reports and surveys shed some light on this topic and how to go about raising capital as a women entrepreneur. Here's the roundup:
SlideShare CEO on Women Entrepreneurs - An interesting blog post by Rashmi Sinha, co-founder and CEO of SlideShare, describes her thoughts and experience on raising venture capital as a woman and the hesitation of VC firms in women led startups. - Rashmi’s Blog
Statistics on Women and Outside Investments - A Fast Company blog post highlights statistics from studies and research findings pointing out that “male high tech entrepreneurs get 11% of total financing in formal equity, whereas women only get 1.6%." She also states opinions expressed at the National Academy of Engineering Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medecine regarding why women entrepreneurs may have such a hard time raising outside investments. - Fast CompanyPRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by Admin on 2009-09-22
The discussion on a broken venture capital model continues with prominent venture capitalist, Michael Moritz, speaking out at a panel discussion in Israel last week and a poll done back in June echoing concerns from the majority of the VC community. Moritz and other venture capitalists touch on the history of venture capital and issues that have risen over the past 20 years.
Moritz Addresses Broken VC Model - In a conference in Israel last week, Michael Moritz, a Partner at Sequoia Capital who backed the likes of Google and Yahoo, addressed the problem of the “venture capital model [being] broken for 20 years.” He alludes to the fact that over the past 20 years, the majority of venture capital funds didn’t deliver on their promise of returns. Another venture capitalist speaking at the panel, Chemi Peres, speaks to the “venture capital model that exists today is not suitable for [the venture capital] industry”. Here is a link to the article translated by Google Translate. - Venture Capital Model Broken
Survey of 100 VCs On Their Industry - A survey back in June conducted by executive search firm Polachi Inc, polling over 100 venture capitalists, revealed 53% of those responded “yes,” to the question, “Is the VC industry is broken?” Though “broken” is not clearly defined, it is significant to point out that a majority nonetheless thought something needed to be fixed. - Polachi VC SurveyPRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2009-09-20
On Tuesday, September 22nd, San Diego is hosting an informational event about TheFunded Founder Institute for local entrepreneurs, where you can meet the Founding Member and graduates from the inaugural semester. One graduate, @molorewards, will be launching at 2:45 PM at DEMO Fall 2009 Conference that day.
If you are interested in helping as a mentor or joining the San Diego program as a founder, please reserve a seat at link below:
The free event runs from 6:00 to 8:30 PM. See you there!PRIVATE: Members Only