Elevator Speech Part 2: Why You?

by Tim Berry

In the next part of your elevator speech address 'why you'? Why your business? What's special about you that makes your offering or solution interesting to the target person or organization you just identified. That was my previous post. This... Read More »

Elevator Speech Part 1: The Market Story

by Tim Berry

If you can't say it in 60 seconds, you have a problem. Your strategy isn't clear enough. Nowadays we call it "the elevator speech," meaning a quick description of the business that you could do in the time you share... Read More »

Which Comes First: Plan or Pitch?

by Tim Berry

It’s not exactly the same as the chicken or the egg, but it has some similarities. I get this question a lot lately, so I decided to take it here to my blog. Don’t pitch a business without planning it first. That’s a lot like trying to film a movie without having a screenplay. You have... Read More »

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 »

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 »

Important Pitch Lesson: the Best Business Plans Change

by Tim Berry

My favorite moment in a recent business plan contest: The entrepreneurs put up a projected income slide. One of the judges commented that what was on the slide was different from what he saw in the business plan. The entrepreneur immediately answered “no, of course not, that was an earlier iteration.” Business Plans Change. They... Read More »

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 »

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 »