Accepting Outside Investors? Here Are 5 Things to Watch Out for in Your Contract

by Rich McIver

As a business owner, the idea of accepting expertise and a big check from an outside investor can seem like a complete win for you and your business. The truth of whether it’s actually a benefit for you, however, is often determined by what appears to be the boring fine print details of the contract... Read more »

pitch webinar_small

14 Tips on How to Pitch and Get Funded [Webinar]

by Jonathan Michael

You made the leap. You’ve taken the steps to start your own business, and it’s more than just an idea. There’s only one problem: you don’t have the capital you need to get it off the ground or take it to the next level. You need investors. When it comes to pitching your business, you... Read more »


What Do Venture Capital Firms Want?

by Tim Berry

What do venture capitalists want in an investment? If you have to ask, then you (and your business) are probably not a good candidate. And—just in case you don’t recognize it—that’s a reference to an old joke: When someone asks a Ferrari salesman how much it costs, the salesman answers, “If you have to ask,... Read more »

unlikely angel investors

How to Raise Startup Funding from Unlikely Angel Investors

by Jessica Magoch

I’m not your average angel. I’m a mom, a full-time sales manager, and recruiter. I’m not active in an angel group. I don’t have an MBA and I don’t live in Silicon Valley. I live in a small town surrounded by farms and I made my first angel investment at 29 because my dad said... Read more »


5 Sure-fire Ways to Bomb Your Investor Pitch

by Caroline Cummings

Having delivered hundreds of pitches myself (and bombed a few), as well as coaching dozens of entrepreneurs on how to pitch, I’ve definitely seen some doozy pitches. I sometimes wish I’d had a video camera with me to create a funny compilation of all the bloopers—something I might have shared with entrepreneurs on how not... Read more »

What do Investors Want?

What do investors REALLY want?

by Candice Landau

Hundreds of episodes of Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den have taught us that if you do not know your business inside-out and if you don’t come across as capable of running your business without the ongoing guidance of your backers, you’re not going to stand much of a chance. In this post we will answer 3 questions: What do Investors Want? Should you perform market research before pitching? Will an investor steal your idea? Read more »


5 Things Missing From Most Entrepreneur Pitches

by Tim Berry

I found this list in a very good post from Charlie O’Donnell on his blog This is going to be BIG. I don’t know him, and I didn’t know his site, but on digging I discover he has done time with Union Square Ventures, teaches entrepreneurship and practices what he preaches with a couple of... Read more »


What Are Investors Looking For?

by Arlene Soto

If you're hoping to secure a financial partner to help you grow your business, you'd better know what potential investors are looking for your presentation (and your business). Read more »


How Getting Funded is Like Dating

by Tim Berry

Ouch! Move to the Valley? I doubt it, and I voted with my feet over a decade ago when I moved Palo Alto Software to Eugene, OR. But Rob May’s insight on how getting funded is like dating is right on target. From The Irony of Raising Money for a Startup: Raising money is really... Read more »

Do I need a business plan?

by Palo Alto Software

A twist on the usual ‘do I need a business plan’ question showed up on the FSB Blog on the other day.  Harold Edwards asks, “Do I have to have a business plan to get investors?” Tim Berry tackles the answer for him here. Read more »


New Site Reviews Investors

by Tim Berry

Thanks to A VC for tipping me off to The Funded, where entrepreneurs rate investors. This site is a good reminder that few entrepreneurs realize they should choose investors as carefully as investors choose them. — Tim Read more »


Delivering a Winning Business Plan Pitch

by Alan Gleeson

After a business plan has been written, the next stage often involves pitching the plan to prospective investors. This very fact means that the plan authors and management team should be one and the same and that ‘outsourcing’ the business plan writing process should not be considered. It is not just the content of the... Read more »


Q & A: Should the business plan we share with investors include the operational components of our plan?

by Cale Bruckner

Question: We are a software company and we are currently developing our Business Plan.  There is a debate as to whether the operational plan, or internally focused portion of the business plan, is actually included in the “external” business plan itself?  We intend to use the “external” business plan in the traditional sense to acquire... Read more »