Top 4 Reasons Why The Right Financial Consultant is Crucial

Top 4 Reasons Why The Right Financial Consultant is Crucial

As an entrepreneur, you should be maximizing your time on two key aspects of your company: your product/service and your customers. It is always reassuring knowing someone is simply a call away to help you with the financial aspects of your business. We’ve provided our top 4 reasons why having the right financial consultant is crucial in today’s competitive market.

1.The right Financial Consultant will help you develop a feasible 5-year growth model. Entrepreneurs tend to be optimistic about the future, and rightfully so since their business model is based on a brighter future and higher demand for their product/service. A financial consultant develops a full expense analysis of your company, along with a sustainable growth projections based on historical and market data.

2.They develop main KPIs and milestones tied to measurable goals. When developing a financial model, it is vital to make your assumption as simple and concise as possible. One minor miscalculation can lead to unrealistic growth and deem your projections erroneous. Expert financial consultants will create a financial model with the least amount of assumptions possible, driven by your company’s key performance indicators. Additionally, given their research and expertise, they will ensure proper execution of milestones are tied to measurable goals as the company grows.

3.Identify potential investor red flags. Financial consultants can quickly and effectively assess account classifications, asset and expense treatment in order to identify potential investor red flags. In doing so, the entrepreneur can be confident of all allocations and treatment of financial figures when discussing them with potential investors.

4.Help assess the right amount of capital and timing. Funding miscalculations can and often do hinder the optimal growth of a business. The best financial consultant ensures proper capital flow aligns with the demand from business. They are able to independently assess the size of various funding phases necessary to maintain the company at a certain growth rate.

At the end of the day, an excellent financial consultant will provide you with peace of mind. This allows you to invest time in the heart of your business and pass off the financial aspects of your business to a professional. Just as in your business, the return on investment on an expert financial consultant will prove beneficial as it continues to grow and will pay dividends indefinitely.

Inside The 2016 Tech Coast Angels 10th Anniversary Quick Pitch Event

Inside The 2016 Tech Coast Angels 10th Anniversary Quick Pitch Event

It’s no secret, the Tech Coast Angels is one of the largest, if not THE largest angel investor group in the nation. “Consisting of experienced CEOs, senior executives, current and former entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and other professionals, members have invested over $180 million in more than 300 companies and have helped entrepreneurs attract more than $1.6 billion in additional capital rounds,” according to the TCA Website. Regional chapters include: Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Central Coast, and the Inland Empire. Within those chapters, the San Diego John G. Watson TCA Quick Pitch Competition celebrates its ten year anniversary this year.

“The Quick Pitch Competition is one of the most recognized angel investor events in the nation, showcasing talented entrepreneurs who each have two minutes to pitch their business to an expert panel of judges and large audience of investors, business executives and community leaders,” states Qualcomm Ventures. Finalists this year showcased San Diego’s entrepreneurial diversity, showcasing companies in various industries, including life sciences, consumer products, and tech industries.

This year the event was conducted a little differently, instead of the winner being selected by the judges, the audience of 500 were privileged enough to name the 2016 Quick Pitch winner. Another incentive for entrepreneurs was the doubling of last year’s cash prize to $30,000, although the top three winners would have to divide up the cash prize. The ten judges were therefore considered coaches and provided insight and feedback to the top ten savvy startup competitors. The winners were announced following an evening of meet and greet with TCA members, quick pitch finalists, and thought leaders within the San Diego startup community. As one can imagine, these entrepreneurs were eager to hear the results, but they were able to enjoy themselves throughout the entire event.

In The Hot Seat [The Feedback]

With a panel of the top players in the San Diego Startup Community serving as coaches during the TCA Quick Pitch event, there was extensive feedback provided to each presenter. Following each two-minute pitch, judges were given three-minutes to provide constructive thoughts or ask questions to each presenter.

Top 5 Points of Feedback From the Coaches

Credibility – Highlight key experiences and certifications that make you and your team a credible player in your target space.

Traction, Traction, Traction – Clearly present metrics and data points that show how your company is gaining traction.

Customer Acquisition Cost – this is a key metric all investors are interested in. Lifetime value (LTV) is also a key metric in rationalizing your CAC by quantifying your ability to monetize customers.

Optimization – If you are allotted a specific time period, use every second as effectively as possible. Two minutes is short – asking the audience questions, spending too much time on basic company information is not a meaningful use of your time
Growth Potential – Make sure you clearly communicate current revenue as well as the big picture in Year 5; investors want profitable, scalable companies to invest in.

Mark Your Calendars

The Startup Garage is a proud sponsor of the annual TCA Quick Pitch event. For San Diego entrepreneurs, these events not only bring entrepreneurs and major Angel investing groups in the country together, but they provide an open environment to collaborate, learn, and strengthen our startup community. With the increasing number of innovative startups being created every year, these events keeps everyone up to date on ongoing trends and resources. If you are a company looking for funding, please visit the TCA website and check out their application criteria.

At TSG, we believe that entrepreneurs change the world and push the boundaries of innovation, especially when they collaborate. San Diego is an expanding ecosystem of business owners and thought leaders from all walks of life. Be sure to mark your calendars for future events similar to the TCA Quick Pitch event as they bring a multifaceted perspective on industry trends and provide insight into what it means to be an entrepreneur in a time where innovation is ever evolving.

TSG’s Highlights from the Connection Innovation Report: San Diego

TSG’s Highlights from the Connection Innovation Report: San Diego

CONNECT, a San Diego non-profit helping to create and scale innovation companies, assists entrepreneurs by providing resources that allow them to grow their business. Since 2005, they have measured the growth in economic innovation in San Diego. We highlighted the key findings of the report to showcase the advancement of San Diego’s entrepreneurial growth. We recommend that all San Diego entrepreneurs read the full Connect Innovation Report to stay up to date with startup trends and growth insight of the community!

San Diego Created 405 New Innovation Startups in 2015

Over 1,600 new jobs were created in San Diego by just innovation startups alone. The various industries include: Software (255), Life Sciences (82), Communication, Computer & Electronics (50), Aerospace, Navigation and Marine Tech (8), Environmental Technology (7) and Recreational Goods (3).

Ranked First in California For New Innovation Life Sciences Startups Created in 2015

According to the report, over 3,700 new tech and life sciences companies have been created between 2005-2015. San Diego also ranked second in the number of communications technology, recreational goods manufacturing and environmental technology startups in 2015.

Innovation Economy Grows To An All-Time High

2015 proved to be a historic year for innovation economy, creating nearly 149,440 high-paying jobs. That’s 11% of total employment in San Diego County with the city of Carlsbad arriving at number one, having the most new innovation startups created, a total of 63. Downtown San Diego (54) and Sorrento Valley (52) weren’t far behind.

Top Ten U.S. Metros for Startup Activity and Growth Entrepreneurship

San Diego ranked 7th using the Kauffman Index of Growth and Entrepreneurship, which gives equal weight to the rate of new entrepreneurs, opportunity share of new entrepreneurs, and startup density of a region.

VC Funding in Software Sector Surged in 2015

Invested in 28 deals, the total venture capital funding for the software sector was $240 million in 2015. This is an increase of 150% from 2014.

Mergers & Acquisition (M&A) Closed More Than $31 billion in Technology and Life Sciences Where a San Diego Company Was Either a Target or Buyer

The M&A area is dominated by life sciences companies. Medical devices sector accounted for 12 deals totaling $15.4 billion. This is almost half of all M&A deal value for San Diego’s innovation economy.

Research Grants

More than $1.29 billion in various grants were awarded to San Diego research institutes and companies. This ranks San Diego county 2nd in California behind Los Angeles County for NIH and NSF grant funding received in 2015.

We encourage all of the startup savvy founders in San Diego to read the full report on the CONNECT website.

The continuous growth and increasing number of startups in San Diego, calls for the need of a support structure and foundation crucial for success. TSG serves as an invaluable source of information into the startup environment, and in particular, the San Diego startup community. We take pride in providing critical information, tailored business plans and financial projections that propel companies forward to sustainable growth. Please continue to follow up with us on social media and reach out to us with your startup questions and inquiries of your business or idea!

6 Reasons You’ll Want To Attend This Year’s USD Legacy Entrepreneurship Conference

6 Reasons You’ll Want To Attend This Year’s USD Legacy Entrepreneurship Conference

On Thursday Oct 6 2016 The University of San Diego School of Business Administration and the Center for Peace and Commerce proudly present the annual USD Legacy Entrepreneurship Conference.

Here are some of TSG’s reasons why you’ll want to attend this annual event.

1. There is no cost to attend. It’s a very valuable and completely FREE event open to the community. You won’t find one like it! Space is limited and you’ll want to reserve your seat sooner than later. Sign up early to reserve your seat. Soak in as much insight as you can. Take advantage of this major local resource into the world of entrepreneurship, interaction and collaboration. In three hours you’ll hear from a diverse panel of thought leaders in the community.

2.The Financial Times recently ranked USD’s School of Business Administration’s MBA Program Number Three in the World for Entrepreneurship.
The esteemed ranking is based on criteria included the percentage of graduates who created their own company, the percentage of companies still operating at the end of 2014, whether it was their main source of income and how the school and the alumni network helped set things up.

3. The purpose of this USD event is to empower change makers through entrepreneurship.
The event is purposefully created to evolve and sustain a community of aspiring as well as seasoned entrepreneurs/business owners. Ultimately, bringing together students, alumni, investors and entrepreneurs for an interactive evening of coaching and collaboration. This event coincides with a larger perspective of what it means to be an entrepreneur and a strengthened sense of community.

4. Any entrepreneur, whether aspiring or seasoned, can benefit from attending the conference.
The USD Legacy Entrepreneurship Conference is one of the biggest events at USD for entrepreneurs. It is an incredible opportunity for anyone who has been inspired to be an entrepreneur to get the “real” behind the scenes stories from some of San Diego’s top entrepreneurs.

Participants will have the opportunity to engage with those who have done it before and can share their own startup stories stories. Topics like, “What I would tell my 21 year old self” can save anyone wasted time, energy and money of trying to figure it out on their own. Making mistakes as an entrepreneur can be very expensive, and an event like ULEC allows people the opportunity to ask questions, get feedback, and gather lessons learned from top successful entrepreneurs.

“It is also a great opportunity to meet our current innovative students and the thriving USD startup community. Social entrepreneurs who are changing the world and want to share their stories will also be on the panels adding a “changemaker” perspective” says Regina Bernal, Entrepreneurship and Experiential Learning.

5. Have your entrepreneurial questions answered from game changing panelists! You’ll collaborate with panelists like Stephan Aarstol, Author of ‘The Five-Hour Workday’ in a fireside chat setting. You’ll want to be sure to invite your boss for this part! Have those entrepreneurial questions ready. Those questions that browsing through countless articles on the internet just don’t answer.

Confirmed Fireside Chat and Panelists

Fireside Chat— Stephan Aarstol, Founder CEO Tower Paddle Boards, Author ‘The Five-Hour Workday’

Concurrent Panels “If I started my Business Today” “What I would tell my 21 year-old-self”

Warren Lorenz, TechMeetsTrader

Andy Altman, GigTown

Jessica Kort, Lacy

Gina Champion-Caine, American National Investment

Stephanie McQuade, Lacy

Cara Cerutti Holmes, Smarter Garter

Jeffery Adler, Serial Entrepreneur

Neil Resiman, Tavistock Group

Sioma Waisburd, Whole e Nature

Cody Cross, GreekLink

Ana Bermudez, TAGit

6. The networking. The conference offers the time and space to expand your network in the community. Let’s be honest, networking events alone can be costly to your startup budget and events like these offer the space to expand your network and exude your own value to the community. Don’t be shy! You’ll get the most out of it by getting involved in the conversation, asking questions, and leaving with a few valuable connections that you can continue to grow with on your journey as an entrepreneur in San Diego. Don’t miss out on this incredible FREE opportunity from USD and San Diego’s entrepreneurial community. Stay connected and get involved. Sign up today!

MintShow featured at TechCrunch Disrupt SF!

MintShow featured at TechCrunch Disrupt SF!

There is nothing more rewarding than being truly connected with a client’s vision and passion.
MintShow is the first social network that helps people maintain an uplifted state of mind by providing a community that’s dedicated to positivity and inspiration.

The Startup Garage has had the pleasure of working with MintShow and the company’s inspiring leadership team.

MintShow CEO, Michael Parker, was interviewed at TechCrunch Disrupt SF to talk more about his vision and the beta launch of Mint Show. Check out his interview and get inspired! The MintShow app is also available for download on their site.

TechCrunch Disrupt is the world’s leading authority in debuting revolutionary startups, introducing game-changing technologies and discussing what’s top of mind for the tech industry’s key innovators.

5 Financial Tips For Startups from the 2016 Hera Venture Summit

5 Financial Tips For Startups from the 2016 Hera Venture Summit

The Startup Garage had the opportunity to be a partner of the 2016 Hera Venture Summit. The Hera Venture Summit, hosted by Hera Hub, Hera Labs, and Hera Fund, brought together experts from both sides of the investment table to share best practices, essential tips and lessons learned. The event focused on equipping and connecting female founders and female funders. The TSG team was able to meet and collaborate with so many passionate women founders, funders and advocates.

As part of the event programming, TSG provided the following top 5 financial tips for Startups.

1. Develop feasible 5-year growth projections. It is important to set realistic projections that align with your addressable market size and key growth drivers to create an attractive, yet realistic, investor story. This also includes ensuring expense assumptions support your growth, especially when it comes to personnel and marketing related expenses.

2. Identify the KPIs and measurable milestones that matter. Developing key performance indicators are essential for internal strategy to help measure progress and identify productivity opportunities to help grow a profitable business. You also want to ensure you are measuring the metrics investors care about.

3. Review your accounting books and identify potential investor red flags. It is critical that you have your books in order so they don’t create additional risk in the eyes of an advisor. Ensure your books have the correct account classifications and that assets and expenses reflect proper accounting treatment.

4. Ask for the right amount of capital at the right time. It is important to ensure that your financial projections reflect the requested capital investment and that the timing of request aligns with your needs.

5. Find the right investor match. When searching for potential investors, entrepreneurs are eager to hear a “yes” and receive investment capital. Conducting due diligence on your potential investor will help create an effective, sustainable relationship for both parties.

We are looking forward to what the 2017 Hera Venture Summit has in store. Mark your calendars and see you next year!
Stay tuned for for more Startup tips from our blog and newsletter and request a free consultation below if you are ready to talk to our team.

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Top 5 Startup Tips from the 2016 SDVG Venture Summit

Top 5 Startup Tips from the 2016 SDVG Venture Summit

 

Last week, The Startup Garage had the pleasure of attending the fourteenth annual Venture Summit in San Diego, hosted by the San Diego Venture Group (SDVG). The event brought together more than 35 of San Diego’s ‘coolest companies’ as well as venture capitalist firms. The diverse audience included attendees from tech, software, consumer goods, life sciences, health, and other industries.

An array of valuable information was shared over the course of the event. Here are some of our favorite business tips for Startups shared during the Venture Summit:

1. Tell your story in a clear, concise, and passionate manner. Entrepreneurs are often so ingrained in their business that when they pitch their vision to potential investors, their message seems robotic and potentially unclear. It is crucial to investors that you tell your story with both passion and direction. Investors understand that your company is your baby, that you’ve invested an excruciating amount of effort, time, and finances to see it succeed. Be excited to share your baby with investors and really show them how passionate you are.

2. Target your story to your audience. The ability to tell your story effectively does not come easy. It is highly recommended to practice with as many investors that are willing to listen. From that practice, you develop a keen sense of understanding of their perspective and you will be better suited to modify your story to fit your target audience.

3. Keep your story organic and fluid. The ability to flex your pitch on the spot demonstrates mastery and confidence. Practice makes perfect. Practice your story alterations to yourself in the mirror to keep your story fluid and relevant. Being able to tailor your presentation based on your audience will allow you to connect more effectively with investors.

4. San Diego is a booming start-up community, leverage your “neighbor”. With the rising living costs in places like San Francisco, companies and employees alike are searching for other areas where exciting growth opportunity exists, and San Diego is rapidly become a top hub for Startups. We’ve witnessed a growing number of industries and companies calling San Diego home; CourseKey, CureMatch, eSUB, and Freetz to name a few. The blend of technology, sunny weather, and beautiful beaches has attracted entrepreneurs from all over the world, and will continue to do so for the coming years – so start building your network today.

5. Ask for constructive feedback. Oftentimes, entrepreneurs receive a “No” from investors, and are afraid to ask them for feedback. Don’t be afraid of asking them for a few words of advice or why they decided not to invest in your company. A simply phone call can go a long way in helping you develop the perfect pitch and, ultimately, finding the best investor for your company.

In a given year, a venture capitalist firm comes across 1,000 potential deals, 50 of which undergo the due diligence process, and only 1 of the 1,000 is invested in. Having the right tools, team and support system is critical.