Monthly Archives: September 2014

How To Raise Startup Capital In 120 Seconds

How To Raise Startup Capital In 120 Seconds

7 key takeaways from the Tech Coast Angels Quick Pitch Finals 2014.

Think of a quick pitch as you would a movie trailer.

1) A quick pitch should serve as a teaser of what’s exciting and noteworthy to come next. The intention of a 2 minute pitch is to deliver a heavy dose of substance, content, and sizzle regarding your Startup’s investment potential.

A simple outline when delivering a quick pitch is:

• Your name and title
• Your business name
• What problem inspired your business?
• What is your solution?
• What does your business need to achieve the next level of success?

In this specific instance, a panel of 7 judges, scored the 10 startup finalist in 2 separate categories: Content and Style. Each judge held up a scorecard with 10 being the best and 1 being the worst, for each category.

2)Decide who on your Startup Team best delivers your company’s message.

Not all founders or co-founders were meant to step on stage (in this case in front of an audience of 500 people) and “perform.” Explore who on your team accelerates in public speaking and leverage that ability.

For AstroPrint this person is CEO Drew Taylor, his ability to remain relaxed and assured during their pitch, made a “high-tech” complex process simple to comprehend.

3) Practice. Practice. Practice.
There is only way to become a Quick Pitch Master, the answer is practice, practice, and more practice. Practice not only your pitch with different people, but also in different environments.

Perhaps this was the winning ingredient for nPruv CEO Summer Rogers. The panel of judges applauded her for repeatedly practicing nPruv’s pitch in the auditorium where the event was taking place that night.

There’s an unquestionable value and confidence that comes with practicing on the specific stage you’re presenting on.

4) Engage with your audience.
Quick Pitches are designed to create a level of curiosity and interest in the Startup. As the presenter, talk to NOT at your audience, help make them to feel they’re a vital part of a conversation.

*It’s fair to note your audience includes not only the panel of judges, but onlookers as well.

Doctible CEO, Ajit Viswanathan brilliantly highlighted this point. With in his presentation he included a slide with the judge’s pictures, which the crowd and judges went wild over. Making his pitch point both relevant and relatable to all.

Remember enthusiasm is contagious. A Startup pitch with out enthusiasm can leave the listener feeling you’re not invested or inspired by your company, why should they be… CEO & Founder Ana Bermudez, oozed enthusiasm, from her walk, to smile, to tone of voice, it was clear she’s created a Startup she’s excited to share with the world.

2 minutes or 60 seconds can seem like an eternity for some or race to beat the clock for others.

In this instance a clock illuminated the back wall below the presenter’s slideshow. Regardless, of their feeling toward the ticking seconds, there was no avoiding it.

Interesting enough, those Startups that concluded their pitch prior to time running out (5 of them to be exact) were not in the event’s winners circle.

CleverPet Co-Founder, Dan Kundsen along with Companion Medical’s CEO, Sean Saint were the 2 out of 10 Startups with perfectly timed out pitches.

7) The Pitch Close and Following up.
At the end of a perfect pitch lies 2 key ingredients:

• Summarizing your entire pitch in 1 sentence. Think about it like this, if your audience were to walk away with one message regarding your Startup what would you want that to be? Often times the close is also the tagline for your Startup.

• Invite the opportunity for people to follow up with you, and find out in greater detail what about your Startup and the investment opportunity. All those finer details that a 2 minute quick pitch couldn’t cover.

Congratulations to all 130 Startup Companies courageous enough to enter the Quick Pitch Competition, especially the top 10 finalist we had the pleasure of watching at the event.

Special congrats to nPruv for winning the grand prize, Companion Medical for winning the content category, and for winning the style category.

It’s Startup companies like yours that continue to shift the landscape of business innovation. Thank you!


Whether you have a question about your Startup or you’d like to discuss our business plan writing services, feel free to contact us for a free consultation!

How To Write a Term Sheet For Your Startup

How To Write A Term Sheet for your Startup from The Startup Garage

How To Write a Term Sheet For Your Startup

Before we discuss how to write your term sheet, let’s start by defining a term sheet and explaining why it’s useful.

What’s a Term Sheet?

Technically speaking, a term sheet is a non-binding agreement that demonstrates a basic set of terms and conditions under which an investment is made, typically by either an angel or venture capital investor.


Once the terms and conditions laid out in the term sheet have been agreed upon by both parties, a contract (or binding agreement) can be drawn up to confirm the details of the term sheet (typically in the form of a Private Placement Memorandum or PPM).

In layman terms, you can think of the term sheet as the prenuptial agreement between the entrepreneur (or current owners) and potential investors.

How Do I Write a Term Sheet?

Term sheets typically consist of three sections: funding, corporate governance, and liquidation.

When preparing your term sheet for negotiation with potential investors, it is wise to consider their goals and motivations as well as your own.

Investor’s Considerations

  1. Investors are looking to maximize the return on their investment.
  2. They are also looking to protect their investment in the instance that the company does not meet its expectations.
  3. Many investors enjoy the ability to force management to make decisions (such as when to liquidate) and/or retain veto rights to overturn certain action that could affect their ownership position.
  4. Lastly, many investors like to establish restrictions that ensure founders and key management remain committed to the longevity of the company and its performance.

Entrepreneur’s Considerations

  1. As an entrepreneur, you are trying to raise as much capital as possible while giving up as little of the company as possible.
  2. You want to ensure that you have not given up too much of the upside potential or assumed too much risk on the downside potential.
  3. You want to give up as little control as possible while protecting your position as a manager should the board not deem your performance inadequate.

Negotiation the Terms

What many first time entrepreneurs (and even unseasoned investors) don’t understand is that they have many tools for negotiating beyond the amount of capital requested and the amount of equity given in exchange.

As mentioned above, some of the following terms can help you sway a potential investor to compromise with some of the terms that you strongly desire:

  • Offer to vest your shares at a later date upon completion of milestones. This not only reassures investors that you are committed to the longevity of the company, but it removes some of their downside risk.
  • Similarly, offer to defer any potential salary or reward until the completion of certain milestones.
  • Provide veto rights on specific areas of corporate governance that would be of interest to a potential investor (such as, when to sell the company or making key hires).
  • Offer to include IP assignment agreements or non-compete agreements to show that you are committed to this company and will not take the technology or IP elsewhere.

Why Should I Write My Own Term Sheet

Traditionally, investors would propose a term sheet to you as an entrepreneur after you’ve pitched them, they’ve expressed interest, they’ve done their due diligence, and you’ve done some high level negotiation.

But, it doesn’t always have to work this way. There are several reasons why it is beneficial for you to write the term sheet as outlined below:

    1. Unless you are raising capital from VCs or sophisticated Angel Groups, many investors don’t fully understand that there are many other terms to consider beyond deal price and equity reimbursement (as outlined above).
    2. Many companies fail down the road or go through an expensive legal restructuring if they’re initial investment had the wrong capital structure. Don’t leave it up to your potential investors to make sure you have a sound capital structure for the current and subsequent rounds of funding.
    3. By presenting a reasonable term sheet with the typical terms and conditions and a fair valuation, you are not only showing investors that you are rational, professional, and serious, but you are also eliminating a lot of unnecessary back-and-forth with either flippant or “shark” investors.
    4. Similar to the point above, offering a term sheet will dramatically reduce the amount of time it would take for an investor to put together a term sheet and make you an offer. By presenting the term sheet, you can enter negotiations right away.
    5. Lastly, by presenting the term sheet to an investor it applies an implicit deadline, thereby preventing them from treading water and, more-or-less, forcing them to make a timely decision as the round may soon close.

Whether you have a question about your Startup or you’d like to discuss ourbusiness plan writing services, feel free to contact us for a free consultation!