We’ve seen it all before. Startup has a great first meeting with a large corporate. The corporate guys are really excited about the startup’s innovation, and the potential for a sale or other collaboration is exciting. Terrific!
Twelve months, and eighteen meetings, later, nothing has happened. Why?
Startups have limited resources to pursue collaborations — they typically don’t have the bandwidth to go guns blazing on a large number of relationships at the same time. How should startup founders triage their pipeline of potential collaborations? What may cause one that initially seems promising to go nowhere (probably painfully slowly)?
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…
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…
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.
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:
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
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
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:
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. …
Mentoring tech startups on corp-startup collaboration, US establishment/internationalization and funding. All views are my own.