An Overview of Red Rocket Ventures


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Lead more about Red Rocket Ventures, its services (startup/digital consulting, shared executives, fund raising, technology development and digital marketing), its clients, its team (George Deeb and Jay Stocki), its investment in the FireStarter Fund and its new alliance with Ensemble, an all-star powered "digital services suites" at 20-40% savings.

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An Overview of Red Rocket Ventures

  1. 1. Red Rocket Overview By, George Deeb September 2015 @RedRocketVC 312-600-7560
  2. 2. Who is Red Rocket? Growth strategy, team and financing for early-stage companies Over 500 companies mentored or consulted to date Authors of “101 Startup Lessons” blog—Over 500,000 reads Contributor to Forbes, Entrepreneur, WSJ, TNW, Alley Watch, etc. Mentors for TechStars, Founder Institute and other startups Investors in FireStarter Fund—17 Portfolio Companies
  3. 3. Our Services Growth Consulting Let our team of proven strategic growth consultants help you crystallize your vision, business plans, sales & marketing plans, business development, corporate development, product development, mergers & acquisitions planning, turnaround, financial budgeting or other strategic needs. We can help you as project-based management consultants, or longer-term additions to your strategy team. These services can be provided either on a hourly rate basis (pay as you go), or a fixed fee basis, depending on the scope, timeline and budget for this work. Executive Coaching & Business Coaching Executive coaching services are designed to be your on-call business mentor for any business questions, challenges or crises you are dealing with throughout the course of the year. Business coaching services are designed to help facilitate and lead a dialog and planning process between the team members during your planning periods, to help identify company strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and help manage the company against clearly identified goals and objectives coming therefrom. Corporate Innovation & Ventures Looking to infuse entrepreneurial vision and spirit into your large organization? Need someone to manage your inhouse innovation or startup incubator efforts? Thinking about launching a corporate venture capital fund, but need the expertise in screening and managing startup investments? Need talent to help turn around your business? Then you are in the right place! The same skillsets required for successful startup launches and early-stage investing, equally apply to bigger companies looking to expand their innovation and venture efforts. We have done work for companies big and small. Shared, Part-Time and Interim Executives Whether you need an interim full-time executive or a shared part-time executive, leverage our network of proven executives to fill any of your C-level needs (e.g., CEO, COO, CMO, CSO, CFO, CTO). Our "on call" interim executives are ready to jump into any immediate roles you need filled. And, our shared executives are designed for companies on a tight budget who desire part-time costs, but long term expertise and involvement of a proven executive that can help direct/manage the company on a part-time basis. As an example, you can get an outsourced "20%-time" executive for the affordable cost of around $5,000 per month (depending on the role). This model works best for companies with light workloads in those areas, or needing a person to cost-effectively manage/mentor the junior-level execution team members on staff. Fund Raising & M&A Advisory Depending on the size of funds needed, Red Rocket can serve as either a financial advisor, helping to make introductions to the key venture capitalists and angel investors who invest in the digital space, or we can act as a direct investor, via Red Rocket or our partner fund, the FireStarter Fund. Red Rocket focuses its capital raising and investing efforts in the digital/tech space (B2C or B2C), where we can bring deep experience to the table. Although for larger companies, we can also help with consumer products, retail, restaurant and other high growth or high cash flow businesses. We can help with all revenue stages from early stage startups thru established businesses. In addition, as former investment bankers at big bracket firms, we can also assist with all of your M&A advisory needs, on either buy side or sell side transactions.
  4. 4. The Red Rocket Blog Started in 2011 5,000 visitors per month 10,000 page views per month Over 500,000 reads to date Traffic up 100% year-over-year Over 300 “how-to” articles posted “101 Startup Lessons” Online Book Large generator of leads
  5. 5. Our Clients Over 500 startups contacted us in last few years Revenues from $0 to $10MM (is normal range) Leads coming from U.S. and across globe thanks to blog
  6. 6. Client Testimonials • David Rabjohns, Founder & CEO at MotiveQuest "George's passion, ideas and involvement with MotiveQuest has been "game changing" for us. From jumpstarting our sales and marketing plans and team, to productizing our business and procedures, Red Rocket has had an immediate and meaningful impact from day one. I highly recommend Red Rocket. If you want to grow, strap on the Red Rocket.” • Emerson Spartz, Founder & CEO at Spartz “George did a great job of helping us sharpen our financial model for investors. This helped us attract new investors, who ultimately funded our $8MM round.” • Tyler Spalding, Founder & CEO at StyleSeek "Red Rocket has been a great investor for our business and vocal champion of our brand. As a proven entrepreneur himself, George has provided valuable insights and recommendations on how to best build my business. Red Rocket would be a great partner in helping build your business.“ • Seth Rosenberg, SVP at Camping World "Red Rocket helped us do a high level assessment of our e-commerce efforts and assisted with the development of a digital strategy and marketing plan. Red Rocket identified some immediate opportunities, which we are implementing. I am pleased to recommend Red Rocket for your e-commerce and digital marketing needs.” • Andrew Hoog, Founder and CEO at viaForensics "As viaForensics experienced significant growth, we recognized the need for an experienced advisor with start-up chops who could help us refine critical steps in our transition from a service company to a product- based company. Red Rocket's expertise in growth planning including organizational structure, financial modeling and competitive analysis were instrumental in refining our strategy. He helped facilitate key decisions the management team needed to make in order to take the company to the next level. We are very pleased with Red Rocket's contributions to viaForensics and highly recommend his services to other start-ups facing similar growth.” • Jerry Freeman, Founder & CEO at PaletteApp “Red Rocket has been a key instigator in helping raise funds for PaletteApp. They have helped me tremendously in realizing what an investor wants to see and how best to present it. George has great experience and understanding of how to fund and launch a new company. We feel fortunate that he has thrown his hat into our arena.” • Scott Skinger, CEO at TrainSignal "Red Rocket helped us in a variety of ways, from financial modeling to introductions to lenders. Their biggest win was helping us do preliminary investigative research on one of our competitors, that ultimately sparked a dialog that lead to the $23.6MM sale of our business to that company. We couldn't be more happy with Red Rocket's involvement with our business. Overall, a great advisor to have in your corner."
  7. 7. Case Study: B2B Software-Enabled Services Business: – Next generation, market research from social big data. Established revenues & clients. – Veteran marketing executive leading 10 year old business, his first startup Challenge: – Two previous stalled efforts to scale up revenues, despite material industry growth – Wanted to raise new growth capital Red Rocket Results: – Helped hire new sales team members and reorganized sales procedures and CRM systems/reports – Helped redesign the website, logo, tagline, video and internal sales materials – Better positioned business with market research focus—and clear, scalable products to sell – Closed a large bank line with a major bank and received term sheet for venture capital
  8. 8. Case Study: B2C Digital Media/Entertainment Business: – A producer of humorous content, targeting men in the 18-24 year old range. Early revenues. – First-time entrepreneur leading an early-stage startup Challenge: – Help to transition the business from YouTube channel to stand-alone website – Help to professionalize the business, with a clear business plan and financial model – Help to assess stand-alone growth vs. merging with another similar company Red Rocket Results: – Did a thorough analysis of the key industry players, both competitors and potential partners – Wrote the company’s first business plan and produced five year financial projections/targets – Interviewed and hired Silicon Valley based law firm with startup/media experience – Helped to assess/negotiate a potential partnership/merger with a similar company – Red Rocket is the company’s on-call executive, as business needs arise
  9. 9. Case Study: Retail & E-Commerce Business: – The largest seller of RV’s and related accessories in the world – Seasoned C-level and digital executives running a $1BN+ business Challenge: – They wanted a 3rd-party assessment of their e-commerce efforts and suggested growth plan Red Rocket Results: – Completed a high-level SWOT analysis of the e-commerce division – Identified low-hanging-fruit digital marketing tactics, and the need for omni-channel CRM, helping to prioritize and budget for their future marketing and technology spend – Created a roadmap for better staffing their digital operations – Created a roadmap for better focusing on key datapoints, to better drive conversions – Educated them that the website was a portal for the entire brand, not just one product line, and by changing emphasis of site, would materially drive new revenues – Client is currently implementing the Red Rocket plan
  10. 10. Case Study: Online Technology Education Business: – 150 online courses for technologists and systems administrators – Been around for years, but evolving from DVD to online fulfillment Challenge: – Build a revenue model & growth plan for new on-demand solution – Figure out best go-to-market strategy and launch of direct sales team – Consider financing options for the business – Study competitors in the market for intelligence Red Rocket Results: – Built internal financial models – Introduced to sales recruiters to build out new sales team – Introduced to large bank for bank financing – Did confidential competitive research with their big competitor, that ultimately sparked a conversation between the parties that resulted in business getting sold for $23.6MM
  11. 11. Very well respected and connected in Chicago’s startup ecosystem—plus relationships nationwide Our Ecosystem
  12. 12. Who is ? Investor is early-stage VC fund founded in January 2012 $6MM fund size—we do not lead deals, we follow others First investments in $75K to $250K range Comprised of 43 respected angel investors in town, mostly past CEO’s of successful startups (money + mentorship) Portfolio includes:
  13. 13. Who is ? A cooperative, cross-marketing alliance between Chicago’s award-winning digital service providers – Startups CEOs, consultants, business planners • Over 500 startups served; Forbes Contributor, Crains Tech 50; Mentor of Year – Web/mobile technology designers & developers • Award-winning best development shop in Chicago – SEO and PPC search marketing professionals • Driving 2x-3x ROI on your search marketing efforts – Social media and email marketing professionals • 15 years of experience for satisfied clients – Public relations & communications professionals • Specialists in global media coverage for tech industry – A conduit to angel investors & venture capital • Large base of trusted relationships with key investors
  14. 14. Ensemble Saves You 20-40% Fees Assuming a 6 Month Contract* Buy One of Below Bundle All of Below Bundle All of Below Cash Pay (Save 0%) Cash Pay (Save 20%) Cash & Equity (Save 40%) 20%-time strategist $5,000/mo. $4,000/mo. $3,000/mo. + 0.2% equity $25,000 project $25,000 $20,000 $15,000 + 1.0% equity $50,000 project $50,000 $40,000 $30,000 + 2.0% equity $100,000 project $100,000 $80,000 $60,000 + 4.0% equity 1 dedicated person $5,000/mo. $4,000/mo. $3,000/mo. + 0.2% equity 1 dedicated person $5,000/mo. $4,000/mo. $3,000/mo. + 0.2% equity 50 hours per month $6,000/mo. $4,800/mo. $3,600/mo. + 0.2% equity Six Months w/ $50K Tech $176,000 $140,800 $105,600 + 6.8% equity Average Monthly Cost $29,333 $23,467 $17,600 + 1.1% equity * Above is case study only. Assumes early stage business with $1MM valuation. Call for exact pricing based on your needs/stage. * Six month minimum for equity clients. Requires 100% approval of members.
  15. 15. Why Engage Ensemble? A collection of award-winning digital experts equals greater success and results for your business. A one-stop shop for startup consulting, technology design & development, search engine marketing, social media marketing, public relations and VC. Save 20% to 40% in out-of-pocket cash costs vs. buying these types of services on a one-off basis. Benefit from proven “blueprints” from past client case studies to plan, execute and benchmark your efforts—2x-3x your odds of success. Our process forces you to think about customer acq. strategies upfront during tech planning, to make sure you budget enough up front. Be considered a “best of breed” startup serviced by “best of breed” services providers, that should be very attractive to investors and partners. A large base of happy past client references that will sing our praises.
  16. 16. Ensemble’s Model is Best Generalist marketing agencies are jacks of all trades and masters of none. This alliance aggregates all the digital masters in each skillset under one brand. Venture capital incubators carry a lot of dead weight with failing portfolio companies and provide guidance from financial investors. We only associate with the best companies and provide guidance from industry veterans. Accelerator programs are typically only 12 weeks in length, and are designed for a very short stage of your growth. We are in it for the long term, with an evolving playbook and tactics as you growth over time. Startup co-location facilities simply provide you a desk and advice from peers. We provide actionable insights from proven professionals. Startup universities teach digital marketing based on yesterday’s techniques, which are ever changing. We teach mktg. based on what is working right now. Venture capitalists typically take a big equity stake for simply writing a cash check. We take a reasonable equity stake, bringing much needed digital expertise to your business.
  17. 17. Managing Partner (2010 to Date) Chairman & CEO (2008-2010) Founder & CEO (1999-2008) Investment Banker (1991-1999) BBA-Finance (1987-1991) About George Deeb
  18. 18. Partner CEO DirectGeo (sold to Bering Media) Chicago Region Head/ National Accts. Senior Director Products (sold to IBM) Chief Evangelist (went IPO) MBA 1995 About Jay Stocki