Business Management

10 Myths vs. Reality on Business Plans and Startup Investment

by Tim Berry

I gather from a stream of emails I’ve received that there are a lot of misconceptions on the relationship between a business plan and getting seed money and/or angel investment. So here’s a list of reality checks to apply to all those lists. Business plans are necessary but not sufficient. Even a great business plan... Read More »

businessplan_hands_shutterstock_23965849_by_Dmitriy_Shironosov

10 Good Reasons Not to Seek Investors For Your Startup

by Tim Berry

Sure, maybe you need the money. Maybe that’s what your business plan says. But seriously: Do you really want to have investors involved in your dream startup? I’ve said it before: bootstrapping is underrated. I get frequent emails from people asking how they can get investment for their new startup, and I’ve admitted to being... Read More »

projected profits too high

Your Profits Are Way Too High!

by Tim Berry

The most common mistake in startup business plans is having the profits way too high. There’s no sense whatsoever to priding oneself in projected profits, as in profits you predict your business will have in the future. That’s like having replicas of future Olympic gold medals made and putting them into a trophy case. And... Read More »

valuation terms

Looking for Investment? Understand Startup Valuation

by Tim Berry

How much equity do I have to give to angel investors? If you’re a startup founder looking for angel investment, you need to understand valuation. It’s a buzzword that people use in other contexts, too, which adds to the confusion. But it’s ultimately what determines how much of your company your investors will get, and... Read More »

Investment Sweet Spot

Angel Investment vs. Bootstrap: Startup Sweet Spot

by Tim Berry

Successful angel investment is a win-win for both sides, the startup founders and the investors. And I mean win-win right at the beginning, at the time of the investment, not the obvious win-win later when years have gone by and the business succeeds and investors exit. The win-win sweet spot exists from the beginning, when... Read More »

A Pile of Cash

10 Things Angel Investors Ask About Startups

by Tim Berry

Today the angel investment group I’m a member of (Willamette Angel Conference) finished our eighth year of choosing a startup to invest in. Our investment runs $100K to $500K, roughly. It’s announced every year on the second Thursday in May. The announcement comes later in the day, not here. Our annual angel investors process Every year... Read More »

A Bad Idea

How Can I Get Startup Funding Without Giving Away Half the Company?

by Tim Berry

I’m surprised how often I get asked the question in the title, or variations of it, from people in startups. And you will hear discussions in which experts recommend ways to get investors who take less equity and demand less control. That seems short-sighted or worse.  I posted here years ago dumb investors is a... Read More »

Video: Startup Funding. Bootstrap. Then “Be So Good They Can’t Ignore You.”

by Tim Berry

I stumbled on this brilliant video of an after-hours startup funding event at the Stanford business school, a panel discussion putting two of the best-known, most influential, and most successful investors (Marc Andreessen and Ron Conway) together with another successful entrepreneur (Parker Conrad, founder of Zenefits), a moderator, and a group of interested entrepreneurs. The... Read More »

Willamette Angel Conference 2016

10 Reasons Angel Investors Don’t Like Your Plan

by Tim Berry

Once again, for the eighth year in a row, I’m involved as an angel investor with the Willamette Angel Conference and screening investments. We’ll announce a decision in May, and between now and then, we’re looking at startups. About a fourth of them get what we call due diligence, and about half of those become... Read More »

yes_no_maybe_shutterstock_48892654_roopert

Self-Assessment: Will Your Startup Get Angel Investment?

by Tim Berry

Is your startup a good candidate for angel investment? If you can’t answer “yes” to the four questions here, then it probably isn’t. Angel investors are as hard to predict as any other group of individuals, all operating in their own self interest. There are about a quarter of a million angel investors in the... Read More »