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The Entrepreneur's Library - Startup Resources

Getting Ready

Websites & Articles

25 Reasons I Will Not Invest in Your Startup

"No matter what stage your startup is in, youâ??re probably going to need some investment dollars. So to save everyone a lot of time, here are 25 reasons I personally would not invest in a startup. Review and address these points for smoother sailing when trying to secure funding."

5 Things You Need to Know Before Fundraising

Know these five details before entering any fundraising pitch, especially if you are a social entrepreneur.

A Fundraising Survival Guide

"Raising money is the second hardest part of starting a startup. The hardest part is making something people want: most startups that die, die because they didn't do that. But the second biggest cause of death is probably the difficulty of raising money. Fundraising is brutal."

Accidental Entrepreneur

You're a middle-aged, middle manager who gets laid off. You send out 100 resumes and get absolutely nowhere. Now what? Some people in this bind start their own businesses. A lucky few end up doing much better than they did while toiling for other companies.

Answering the Call

Trust corporations to know when the VC game is ready for new players.

Can I Get a Little Help Here?

You need experience to hit up investors, but no one said it had to be your own.

Cash Crunch

Don't let investors and lenders use that old "it's the economy" line as justification to put the squeeze on your business.

ChubbyBrain Funding Recommendation Engine

ChubbyBrain's algorithm analyzes the funding history of venture capitalists, angel investors, financial institutions and grant providers to find those that best fit your business.

Determining Returns On Investments

A finance expert explains what capital providers expect to receive from their investment.

Entrepreneur Scan

E-scan offers the potential entrepreneur, businessperson, self-employed or franchise owner a chance to see a detailed report about their most important asset: themselves. Results are compared with other successful businesses to indicate those business skills that need improvement.

Factor Your Receivables for More Cash

"Need a quick cash infusion? A factoring service can help you out."

Get Funding Without Giving up Your Company

"Do investors want an enormous piece of the pie? Find out how to negotiate them down."

Going Somewhere?

"Keeping a financial road map in your company's back pocket is always a capital idea."

Hidden Treasure

"Your search for capital should start in the nooks, crannies, equipment and real estate your business already has."

High Tech Startup Valuation Estimator

Wondering what your pre-money valuation will be if a VC ever puts a term sheet on the table? Answer the following questions, and we'll calculate an approximate range for you. Of course, every situation is different, so your mileage may vary.

How About That 'B' Round?

"If it's time for a second round of financing, read this first."

How Can Start Ups Grow?

For new ventures a lack of resources makes growth difficult to come by - just ask those nine out of ten fledgling firms that fail. Professor Mukti Khaire says the key may be in acquiring intangible resources such as legitimacy, status, and reputation.

How to Give a Lousy Presentation: Fifteen ways to make a bad impression

"Giving truly great presentations requires skill, work, and practice. Giving catastrophic presentations is far easier. So if you want to take the easy way out and look like a rank amateur, here are 15 surefire tips to guarantee that you leave a really, really bad impression."

How To Pitch To Family and Friends

It can be a tough situation when asking family and friends for money, but there is a really good reason to do so: they trust you. Learn the proper way to pitch your idea to mom and dad so they will want to invest in you.

In Defense of the Deck

Bill Gurley of Benchmark Capital explains: "If you are lucky enough to grow your company from Series A to Series B to Series C, and on to hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and a successful IPO, you will need to tell your company’s story in high-stakes situations over and over and over again. Because of this, venture capitalists place huge positive weight on how good you are at this skill. The great storytellers have an unfair competitive advantage."

Learn by Pitching

Business plan competitions and venture forums might be nerve-racking, but they can also get you the cash you need.

Loans and Equity Investments Compared

"How to choose between getting a loan or selling part of your business to an equity investor."

Love Your Idea (Don't Want to Finance It)

Even after investing $600,000 of his own money, "Mr. Brooks is snared in the Catch-22 paradox that bedevils many entrepreneurs who have come up with a promising product and marketing plan: investors are reluctant to open their wallets until they see a functioning business. But it is difficult to create a functioning business until the investors open their wallets."

Model Behavior

"Abstract number sorcery won't cut it anymore. Investors want to know exactly how you're going to make money."

Money For Ownership?

"You don't have to sell your soul to raise startup capital."

Navigating China's Visa Problem

Discusses the potential difficulties that have recently been posed to entrepreneurs and businessmen hoping to do business in China, start a business in China, or even open a branch of a currently existing business in China. Specifically discusses the new, more strigent measures in place for obtaining a business visa in China, which now involves months of planning and significant cash. Particularly relevant for entrepreneurs and small businesses looking to benefit from China's planned telecom overhaul.

Out of Stock

"When your stock price is stalled and you can't hope to improve it, is it time for your company to quietly step back into private life?"

Out on a Limb

"Finding capital in today's battered market means taking risks."

Personal Loan Guarantees

"Before you sign on the dotted line, take some time to understand your liability."

Public Opinion

"Becoming synonymous with inflated valuations and dotcom disasters hasn't done much for IPOs' reputation. How long before we can start to talk about going public again without snickering?"

Raising Money Through Equity Investments

Bringing investors into your business gets you more than just money -- you get new co-owners, too.

Raising Start-Up Capital

A guide from Inc.com

Resources for Entrepreneurs by Gaebler Ventures

A collection of short articles on business planning, capital formation, and related topics.

Self-Financing Your Startup

"The best place to begin is by looking in the mirror. Self-financing is the number-one form of financing used by most business startups. In addition, when you approach other financing sources such as bankers, venture capitalists or the government, they will want to know exactly how much of your own money you are putting into the venture. After all, if you don't have enough faith in your business to risk your own money, why should anyone else risk theirs?"

Service Corps Of Retired Executives (SCORE)

Nonprofit association dedicated to encouraging the formation, growth, and success of small business nationwide through counseling and mentoring programs.

Seven Founding Sins

The seven things entrepreneurs must avoid at all costs.

Small Business Planner - From Start to Finish

"Careful planning is fundamental to success. The Small Business Planner includes information and resources that will help you at any stage of the business lifecycle."

Startup 101: How to Build a Startup

"Startup 101 is a serialized book about the thrills and spills of starting a Web technology venture... Startup 101 is for first-time entrepreneurs who want to go through the whole startup life cycle - including raising money, building a valuable business, and making a lot of money by selling the venture or taking it public."

Stock Options

More entrepreneurs are now choosing to sell private stock offerings. And in saying no to IPOs, they're reaping the benefits.

Strategy Letter I: Ben and Jerry's vs. Amazon

"Building a company? You've got one very important decision to make, because it affects everything else you do. The decision? Whether to grow slowly, organically, and profitably, or whether to have a big bang with very fast growth and lots of capital."

Tannedfeet.com

With the byline "The Entrepreneur's Help Page", this website holds practical insights into the marketing, legal, financial, and social issues of small business.

TechCrunch

TechCrunch provides news, reviews of product developments and a database of individuals including investors. TechCrunch offers an Elevator Pitch section that gives startups the opportunity to have their 60-second pitch voted on and critiqued by peers - see http://pitches.techcrunch.com/

The 18 Mistakes that Kill Startups

An excellent essay detailing the mistakes that you can control. Although some of the points are specific to software startups, most points apply to startups in any industry.

The Anatomy of a Financing Deal

"First things first: There is no such thing as a typical deal."

The Balance - Entrepreneurship

Collection of articles, video clips and other resources for new entrepreneurs.

The Best Startup Advice I Have

David Cowan of Bessemer Venture Partners describes the Sales Learning Curve, developed by Stanford Business Professor Mark Leslie. The gist: between product development and sales ramp-up, there needs to be a period in which you figure out how to perfect what you have to sell.

The Best Startup Pitch Decks

One of the best ways to prepare yourself to pitch your company is to emulate (not copy) what others have done. Here are some notable pitch decks from the likes of Airbnb, Facebook, Foursquare, and LinkedIn.

The Go Big Network

The Go Big Network is an online community that connects entrepreneurs, investors, and other individuals that play a role in the startup business world.

The Top Ten Lies of Entrepreneurs

"Guy Kawasaki says: 'I get pitched dozens of times every year, and every pitch contains at least three or four of these lies. I provide them not because I believe I can increase the level of honesty of entrepreneurs as much as to help entrepreneurs come up with new lies. At least new lies indicate a modicum of creativity!'"

The True Costs of Raising Money

"You probably don't have a clue what it really costs to raise the capital you need to fund your business. This expert spells it out for you."

The ultimate guide to pricing your company for a fundraise (Or, how much is too much?)

Valuation is "where you make or break the conversation. If yours is too high, potential investors will prioritize other opportunities over yours; if itâ??s too low, they will ask themselves whatâ??s wrong. If the valuation youâ??re asking for is completely off the chart, thatâ??s a huge red flag and it signals that you have little or no idea what youâ??re talking about (and leaves investors wondering what other things you donâ??t have an idea about)."

Top Ten Legal Mistakes Made by Entrepreneurs

"The life of a startup can be precarious, a wrong turn disastrous. Harvard Business School professor Constance Bagley discusses the most frequent legal flops made by entrepreneurs, everything from hiring the wrong lawyer to puffing up the business plan."

Translating the Term Sheet

"An investment firm has made you an offer. Now learn what the numbers mean."

Worth the Price You Pay?

"If your search for venture capital feels like it's getting out of hand, maybe you don't need their money after all."



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