Silicon Valley entrepreneur and angel investor, Chris Neumann, shares his insights on what founders need to know about raising VC investment, and why equity investment is not right for every startup.
Chris joined Vicky Brock in Edinburgh while on a whistle-stop tour of the UK, where he was giving a series of fireside chats with Barclays Eagle Labs, to help early stage founders separate fact from fiction when it comes to Silicon Valley myths and the reality of startup fundraising.
A short and sweet episode, as Chris had less than 30 minutes before he was due on stage, he makes the critical point that VC money comes with very specific expectations around growth, and that founders pursuing that path - especially those in small countries or regions - need to broaden their perspective and map their development and progress to a suitably ambition baseline:
"Founders who want to go down the path of creating a globally changing company, it is important to get outside your own country fast. Most founders think of being the best, most successful company in their country. Silicon Valley founders think about winning the world."
It was fantastically energising to give a talk at TEDx Glasgow Caledonian University yesterday about how I found my purpose again when I found my next startup problem worth solving.
"I’m back with Vistalworks, doing the doing of entrepreneurship, because I have found my next problem worth solving. I have found the people I want to solve it with. And I know how we will recognise when we are making a sufficiently meaningful difference."
Running at 15 minutes, I have shared the talk on the podcast because I think it is relevant. The normal episode type will resume next week.
In this talk I share the 6 questions I ask myself to get from idea to startup, and the quick, cheap validation process I use to de-risk business ideas before I jump in. I bust some common startup myths and talk frankly about how the actual experience of failing, of losing the company I had worked so hard for, was nowhere near as toxic to my mental and physical health as the fear that it might happen.
The script for the talk, first given at TEDx Glasgow Caledonian University, October 12 2019 is at my Entrepreneur Agony Aunt blog - the video will be added to the same page once available.
Startup founder Sam Pettipher of Ebar joins Vicky Brock to explore the details of his recent equity crowdfund investment and shares his advice for other early stage founders planning a raise.
Joining the podcast just six weeks after his crowd fund campaign beat its target by £100k, injecting a transformational amount of cash into EBar Initiatives, a start-up with a mission to change the way the world is served its beer, Sam shares the learnings, execution process, and highs and lows of his successful crowdfund.
He explains how much planning time is required before the fundraising campaign even begins, and the ongoing time commitment required to market the campaign and respond to questions from potential investors. He details how much money founders already need to have committed by investors before the fund-raise goes live on the crowdfunding platform. And he talks about those heart-stopping moments when the investment moved backwards, away from its target, then picked up last minute momentum to beat its target by £100k.
Sam and Vicky contrast bootstrapping, angel investment and equity crowdfunding as options for startups to consider, and find that despite its many upsides, running a successful crowdfund takes time, planning and effort and is certainly not a "quick fix" route to investment.