Funding your ideas…<br />T.A. McCann<br />
I just like to start things, <br />go fast and push the technical limits, <br /> and work with great teams <br />to create...
Incubation<br />Microsoft - Hosted Exchange, MS Anti-spam, Exchange 2003, Mobile SDP (think iPhone app store), MSR<br />Po...
Where does it come from…<br />Your bank account<br />Bootstrap (work for hire)<br />Bootstrap from customers<br />Strategi...
So, you really want investors….<br />Angles take just as much time as VCs<br />Relationships are key; <br />develop them n...
VC is about smart money…<br />Accelerates value as soon as they get involved<br />Brings smarts and experience to help to ...
It’s a sales process<br />Qualify your prospects<br />Who you know, focus on personal intros<br />Previous investments/suc...
Why you…<br />25% of the VC decision is out of your control<br />Wrong space, wrong size, wrong partner, wrong metrics, wr...
Summary<br />If it were easy everyone would do it<br />Love your customers more than your idea<br />Raise the smartest mon...
T.A. McCann<br />tam@gist.com<br />http://tamccann.blogspot.com<br />http://www.twitter.com/tamccann<br />http://www.linke...
Strategy – magic quadrant <br />Create the smallest circle that is big enough<br />You can only change 1 thing/quarter<br ...
Strategy – know your customer<br />Personify your customer<br />Focus on pain vs. opportunity<br />Know 10-50 by name<br /...
Operations<br />Plan and Pitch in PPT (lies), Operate in Excel (truth)<br />Time bound and list your goals – stay honest w...
Team<br />Winning the Americas Cup is like running a startup<br />Value = 5(passion)  + 2(brains) + 1(experience)<br />The...
You are the VP of Marketing<br />Make yourself a brand and thought leader<br />Goto and present at conferences<br />Become...
Tools that cost very little money<br />Open source stack<br />Prototype + LowPro, Ruby/Rails, Java, AMQ, MySql <br />Textm...
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Funding your ideas (angel or VC) - thoughts and ideas

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Funding your ideas (angel or VC) - thoughts and ideas

  1. Funding your ideas…<br />T.A. McCann<br />
  2. I just like to start things, <br />go fast and push the technical limits, <br /> and work with great teams <br />to create incredible results<br />Background<br />
  3. Incubation<br />Microsoft - Hosted Exchange, MS Anti-spam, Exchange 2003, Mobile SDP (think iPhone app store), MSR<br />Polaris - started Message Gate and worked on ideas like Evenflow, OutlookBI and HelpShare<br />New companies including MOD Systems and Jump2Go <br />Vulcan (Evri – Virtual Worlds, Faceweb, Gist)<br />30-60-90 plan<br />Triage, Plan, Prototype, 4Ps of marketing, Company or Kill<br />Lessons learned: it always takes longer, pick a customer you want to embrace, <br />Know your own space<br />
  4. Where does it come from…<br />Your bank account<br />Bootstrap (work for hire)<br />Bootstrap from customers<br />Strategic investment by partners/customers<br />Angels<br />VCs<br />Choose what you need and can get…<br />The bigger the idea, the more latitude and connections and experience you will need to succeed<br />
  5. So, you really want investors….<br />Angles take just as much time as VCs<br />Relationships are key; <br />develop them now with all funding sources<br />vet your ideas, early and often, discover your champions<br />Other CEOs are your friends, leverage them<br />Your plan is your plan <br />Raise money at the right time<br />Plan – Promise – Prototype – Product – Performance<br />
  6. VC is about smart money…<br />Accelerates value as soon as they get involved<br />Brings smarts and experience to help to drive<br />Actively engages with your product and market<br />Brings credibility, higher likelihood of more funding<br />Brings people, knowledge, connections<br />Know what you are looking for (skills)<br />
  7. It’s a sales process<br />Qualify your prospects<br />Who you know, focus on personal intros<br />Previous investments/success in the space<br />General beliefs about future innovation (in your space)<br />Key connections with thought leaders (in your space)<br />Fund progress<br />$ total size, allocation, room for new investments, stage focus<br />Current success<br />Decision makers and process<br />Board member – how many boards, of what type, activity, commitment<br />Do your diligence on the person, find other CEOs<br />Drive the process and timeline<br />Align to the calendar (your milestones, their rhythm)<br />Show a vision (not too much)<br />Define a horizon and hit it<br />Create competition for your deal<br />Gang up your work, you need to drive the process<br />
  8. Why you…<br />25% of the VC decision is out of your control<br />Wrong space, wrong size, wrong partner, wrong metrics, wrong time, already invested, once burned…<br />You have the goods, act like it – exude confidence<br />My read on their decision<br />50% is the guy/team – smart, passionate, credible, connected, leader, motivator, tactical/strategic….<br />25% is the space/idea – how big, how much risk, how many other players, capital risk, likely exits…<br />25% is the progress, execution – can you get stuff done, good decisions, efficient with capital…<br />
  9. Summary<br />If it were easy everyone would do it<br />Love your customers more than your idea<br />Raise the smartest money you can<br />Know where to spend and save<br />If you were rich, would you still be doing it?<br />
  10. T.A. McCann<br />tam@gist.com<br />http://tamccann.blogspot.com<br />http://www.twitter.com/tamccann<br />http://www.linkedin.com/in/tamccann<br />206.229.9991 <br />
  11. Strategy – magic quadrant <br />Create the smallest circle that is big enough<br />You can only change 1 thing/quarter<br />This is your elevator pitch<br />Lessons learned: it should not be complicated<br />
  12. Strategy – know your customer<br />Personify your customer<br />Focus on pain vs. opportunity<br />Know 10-50 by name<br />Sell them your PPT<br />Make sure they pay<br />Understand their toolset<br />Determine their buying habit and timeline<br />Lessons learned: this is the fun part and you should love it, iterate quickly<br />
  13. Operations<br />Plan and Pitch in PPT (lies), Operate in Excel (truth)<br />Time bound and list your goals – stay honest with yourself<br />Deliver email status updates every 2 weeks to your investors/board/advisors<br />Always cut yourself off one quarter earlier than you need and 2 quarters before you think you should<br />Lessons learned: good entrepreneurs will make too many sacrifices<br />
  14. Team<br />Winning the Americas Cup is like running a startup<br />Value = 5(passion) + 2(brains) + 1(experience)<br />The best advisors are only one small step away from conflict of interest<br />Outsource routine tasks, hire for thought leadership<br />Know your service providers (Atlas, Fenwick…)<br />Startups should never partner with startups<br />
  15. You are the VP of Marketing<br />Make yourself a brand and thought leader<br />Goto and present at conferences<br />Become a guest contributor<br />Communicate online and in-person<br />Blog (1-2 per month)<br />Twitter (1-2 per day, blend of personal, content and business)<br />Facebook (connect to Twitter and your blog)<br />LinkedIn<br />Understand what resonates, the message the space and timing, the competition<br />Sell, Sell, Sell your idea and yourself<br />
  16. Tools that cost very little money<br />Open source stack<br />Prototype + LowPro, Ruby/Rails, Java, AMQ, MySql <br />Textmate/Netbeans, SVN, Rspec, CruiseControl<br />Google is our friend<br />Google Domains (mail and docs)<br />Google forms (interview and VC feedback tracking)<br />App engine – web site hosting<br />Analytics – web data tracking<br />PBWiki – corporate plans and broad strategy, Unfuddle – bug and feature database and Skitch – screen caps and comments<br />Soft Layer – hosting, Amazon S3 – storage<br />Survey Monkey - end user surveys, Vertical Response – keeping the beta users engaged and GotoMeeting- presentations, TweetDeck– monitoring the Twitter stream<br />
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