Top 10 Pitch Fails

by Tim Berry

I was asked recently for a list of things that annoy me in angel investment pitches from startups. I’ve done this before, so there will be some duplication here. But here is my top 10 pitch fails list.  Profits. Talk of profits, overestimated profits, the failure to understand that investors make money on growth, not... Read More »

steps

What Are the Normal Steps for Angel Investment?

by Tim Berry

Question: What are the normal steps for angel investment? What’s involved in submitting a business plan? I decided to answer this question here because I see it so often in email and in question and answer sites on the web, especially Quora, which is where I first saw it and answered it. Yes you do... Read More »

How to Raise Money and Succeed Long Term (Video)

by Tim Berry

Jess Lee (Partner at Sequoia Capital) and Aaron Harris (Partner at YC) discuss raising money as an early stage company, and how to think about the fundraising process. Ali Rowghani (CEO of YC Continuity, previously CFO, COO @ Twitter, CFO @ Pixar) shares his thoughts on how to be a great leader and succeed long-term.... Read More »

Angel Investment Red Flags

by Tim Berry

Last week at an angel investment meeting one of our group members asked whether anybody had a list of red flag problems that would immediately eliminate a startup from consideration by angel investors. That seemed like a good idea to me then. And over the weekend somebody asked a similar question in Quora: what are... Read More »

investor money

Finding Dumb Investors is a Dumb Idea

by Tim Berry

Are you looking for dumb investors? “How can I find investors who don’t take much equity?” “How can I find investors who don’t interfere with my running the business? I first posted my objections to this kind of thinking nine years ago in Dumb Investors Dumb Idea, one of the earliest posts on this blog.... Read More »

A Pile of Cash

How to Make Money on Your Brilliant Business Idea

by Tim Berry

So you have a brilliant business idea that will be very successful. My congratulations to you. Now read all ideas are brilliant and nobody is going to pay you for your ideas. Are you still sure? All right then, let’s continue.  And – this is important – do not even think about getting investors yet. Do a... Read More »

Business Pitch: Don’t Confuse Optimism with Business Potential

by Tim Berry

I listen to a lot of business pitches and way too many of them try to make something out of the entrepreneur’s attitude. Commitment is great, but who isn’t committed? Passion is great but who isn’t passionate about their business. Saying that adds nothing. It’s assumed. So too, with optimism. Business pitch optimism is vastly... Read More »

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 »

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 »