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I’m a big fan of startups partnering with incumbent corporates.

As I’ve written previously, such partnerships, where successful, can provide a variety of benefits to the startup: (a) credibility in dealing with other customers; (b) access to the corporate’s distribution network (assuming the corporate’s salesforce is appropriately incentivized); (c) the opportunity to test the startup’s technology in a complex environment and, potentially, develop innovations that the startup can use with other customers; and/or (d) in appropriate circumstances, minority investment that may further contribute to credibility as well as funding.

But one needs to recognize the warning signs that a potential…


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For a number of years I’ve given a workshop addressing the business side of early stage startup funding — whether and when to raise, how to identify the right investors, how to go about the fund-raising process, how much to raise, and how best to pitch. My focus, in particular, is on seed and Series A funding.

While reasonable people can have different views about approaches to funding, I disagree with a lot that I hear. In particular, many of the assertions discussed below are often stated as absolutes — and they are frequently wrong.

Here are my top ten…


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One advantage enjoyed by serial entrepreneurs is that having been there and done that, they have made (or seen) mistakes that they won’t make again. As an outside advisor and mentor, I see some of those. Three years ago I wrote a blog on four early-stage mistakes you wouldn’t make twice. With the benefit of further experience, my list has more than doubled.

1. Failure to Secure Founders’ Agreements

You and four colleagues get together and form a company. You split the equity equally. At some point one of your colleagues determines that his or her family can’t live on beans and toast, and drops out…


Set out below is an index for my blogs on US establishment and international expansion:

International Expansion

Why startups and scale-ups fail internationally — top three reasons: http://bit.ly/PathstoIntlFailure

Scaling up internationally — 12 key considerations: http://bit.ly/InternationalScaleup

Cross-Border Expansion — Six Ways to Avoid Disaster: http://bit.ly/2nVFGkB

Angel Investors and Advisory Board Members — Int’l Expansion: http://bit.ly/2pgWym6

Preparing for US or Other International Expansion: http://bit.ly/2pdrx1x

Five surprises for US startups coming to Europe: http://bit.ly/EuropeSurprises

Why US Scale-ups Fail in Europe: http://bit.ly/WhyEuroExpansionsFail

Why US startups should come to the UK: http://bit.ly/CometotheUK

From startup to scale-up: key challenges: http://bit.ly/ScaleupChallenges

Can we really afford to…


This blog is a bit of a cheat, but I have now written so many of these weekly blogs on Linkedin that companies are finding it a little difficult to find the ones that interest them.

LinkedIn doesn’t lend itself to organizing blogs, so I decided to create the subject index below. I’ll update this periodically.

So here are the topic areas. If there are related topics that I haven’t covered that would be of interest, just let me know. I can’t promise to cover them, but I’ll certainly consider it.

Startup and Scale-up Financing and Development

Startup Proof-of-Concept is…


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I recently was asked whether an early stage company should consider equity crowdfunding, and also whether venture capital investors would be put off by the fact that a company has used equity crowdfunding.

The answers to those questions remain in flux, but I think crowdfunding (especially angel-led crowdfunding) is an option that some early stage companies should consider.

Here are factors I find relevant:

How are you proposing to use crowdfunding?

I believe that crowdfunding is particularly suitable in the following circumstances:

  • You are doing a business angel round, have a significant level of the round committed, and need help…


One advantage enjoyed by serial entrepreneurs is that, having been there and done that, they have made (or seen) mistakes that they won’t make again. As an outside advisor and mentor, I see some of those. Here are a few I’ve seen that you can avoid.

1. Failure to Secure Founders’ Agreements

You and four colleagues get together and form a company. You split the equity equally. At some point one of your colleagues determines that his or her family can’t live on beans and toast, and drops out for good and valid reasons. …

Bob Mollen

Mentoring tech startups on corp-startup collaboration, US establishment/internationalization and funding. All views are my own.

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