Raising Money For a Company In the  General Public License Domain
Goals and Their Disclaimers
1. GPL Responsibilities
2. GPL Opportunities
3. The WordPress Marketplace
4. All Kinds of Money
5. Sizing Up Needs and Wants
6. The Business Plan Is Dead
7. Slide Decking
8. The Pitch
9. It’s All About People
10. Stay True
Thank you. And Good Luck.
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WordCamp San Diego - Raising Money For A Business in GPL


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10 Lessons I learned through the process of raising and using angel capital for a business that distributes GPL code.

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  • Hi I’m Luke Pilon, I’m the managing director of the media and development firm, Mobiah. In preparing for this presentation, I realized that I did not want to put on a presentation like what you saw yesterday. There’s too much information on this for 30 minute presentation. And you never know who is going to come to dev day and their level of sophistication toward a topic. In addition, I hadn’t seen this type of content presented at a WordCamp. So I had to assume we’d start from scratch and cover the basics first. So let’s have a conversation and ask questions along the way. I love this kind of stuff and am here to a be resource.These are the 10 things I think you have to know about raising money for your new business in the GPL.
  • I am an entrepreneur, not a lawyer.I’ve raised money using these strategies, they were effective. You may have another path, and I encourage you follow what works for you.Raising money may not be the thing you need to do, but if it is, I’d like to help you understand how it gets done
  • If you want to work with WordPress, You are going to have to Adhere to the GPLWritten by Richard Stallman in 1989Free as in FreedomCopy Modify and RedistributeSorry, No Modifying the LicensePatents are for everybodyTwo Types of Businesses Businesses that use WordPress as their Core – Social Network, A Job Site----As long as you aren’t selling your code, you are protected---- Your assets are your community, your customers, your market position and your codebase Businesses that augment WordPress-- What you sell or distribute, is going to be considered GPL, no matter what you say-- Plugins, Themes, etc. Your business model is based on support, updates, subscription, etc. Not just hucking out some code. BRANDON DOVE
  • If you are running a business that distributes GPL code, don’t try to protect it. Try to make it as free as possible. Run an open code base / source control (Git)Run public issue tracking Recruit developers outside your institution, there’s amazing talent out there in the world. You’ll be surprised by how much they are willing to do and share.
  • 20% of that internetCommunicate CMS, Communicate Not a Blogging Platform,Represents one of the most widely adopted technology movements in history45 Million Potential CustomersYour Product Doesn’t just have to fit into WordPress – It may just specialize in it or start there.
  • Credit CardsFriends and Family ClientsSBA IncubatorContests AngelVenture CapitalCredit CardsFast and easyLimits risk to your personal assets CC Companies aren’t smart money Cash flow implications later Limits: What’s in your wallet?Friends and FamilyWant to see you succeed, decent speedMay bet too much moneyPossibly smart money Limits: Comfort and who your relatives are Client FundingLots of “pre-sales”No debt, no equity Potentially amazing outcomes Limits: what you can and should executeSmall Business Administration-SBA.GOV – SBA Direct-Training Mandatory-Personally GuaranteedAngelsLots of footwork and presentationsLargely geographically drivenSmart money is out thereSmarter-money-than-you is there tooConnections, connections, connectionsVenture CapitalEven more footworkLargely geographically/industry drivenSavvy, Connected, Self-InterestedKnow the fundUnless you are a GPL based business…
  • I only think I need X to start this venture.I need to build this, I want to build that.MarketingDevelopmentContingency
  • 30 Page Business Plans = OUT What’s IN:10 Slide Deck (versions)2 Page Written Opportunity Summary5-7 Page Market Development Document
  • Agility is Key25 Rock solid slides, used 10 at a timeFind Slide decks that have worked and study them
  • Should always be done by your strongest communicator, not the smartest person or the person that has done the mostAnybody involved needs to be able to pitch your company in 10 seconds or less. 30 Second5 Minutes20 MinutesIf anything goes wrong, it’s your faultShould be done by appointment Should be practiced, practiced and practicedShould be modified to fit the investorShould not be more than 20 minutes
  • Investors want to hear a story and it better be a good one.Find people that you want to work with – not just the shiniest. Finding good people at every level and in every zone of your business. EthicsTrack record of successROI for investorsInternal – Artists – Developers – Business Development External – Board of Advisers, Micro Investors
  • Raising money for a business doesn’t mean the business ideal is a good oneWatch out for fundraising deliriumSometimes the considerations you make for the investor are too influential from the start Always be ready to bootstrapFunding comes late / never comesYou only make the deal better by movingKnow your offering and structureServicesSubscriptionsSupport
  • WordCamp San Diego - Raising Money For A Business in GPL

    1. 1. Raising Money For a Company In the General Public License Domain
    2. 2. Introductions
    3. 3. Goals and Their Disclaimers
    4. 4. 1. GPL Responsibilities
    5. 5. 2. GPL Opportunities
    6. 6. 3. The WordPress Marketplace
    7. 7. 4. All Kinds of Money
    8. 8. 5. Sizing Up Needs and Wants
    9. 9. 6. The Business Plan Is Dead
    10. 10. 7. Slide Decking
    11. 11. 8. The Pitch
    12. 12. 9. It’s All About People
    13. 13. 10. Stay True
    14. 14. Questions
    15. 15. Thank you. And Good Luck.