Category Archives: Startup Team Building

4 Reasons Why Startup Week San Diego Is Good For Your Life & Your Business

4 Reasons Why Startup Week San Diego Is From The Startup Garage

4 Reasons Why Startup Week San Diego Is Good For Your Life & Your Business

Celebrating and participating in local innovation has never been cooler for San Diegans, thanks to Startup Week San Diego.

Located in the heart of downtown SD June 14th-20th.

This action packed 6 day event is designed to be the premier catalyst for innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurialism.

If you haven’t decided to attend, volunteer, or showcase at the event yet, here’s 4 solid reasons why doing so is good for your life and business.

1.Cutting Edge Information and Education Resource:

Have you ever wanted to be in the know, while helping to create the future? Welcome to the innovation and information highway. #SDSW is the ultimate platform to learn from leaders in Software as a Service (SaaS) including mobile tech, consumer internet, hardware, and defense technology.

Here’s a sneak peak of a few speaker’s topics you won’t find elsewhere:

    “$h!T Founders Don’t Talk About” speakers Mel Gordon Co-founder of TapHunter along with Bryan Hall Co-Founded his own engineering services company, and David Warren CEO of the mobile app LIA, share honest, raw, and insightful stories from the front lines as a Startup Founders.
    “How to Launch A Product on Kickstarter” crowdfunding your business has never been easier and in some cases more complicated. 3 San Diego Startups share with you their journey and the how to’s of launching and successfully getting funded on Kickstarter.

2. Explore & Enjoy San Diego Venues Like Never Before:

San Diego Startup Week doesn’t believe in stuffy conference rooms or returning to the same boring location day after day.

The roster of venues includes: the newly constructed $185 million library, the Broadway Pier which is located directly on the harbor, Mission Brewery where craft beer is their passion, and a handful of cool Startup incubators and accelerators where you’ll experience startup work culture firsthand.

If you’re ready for a real adventure we recommend the “Startup Crawl” on Weds June 17th from 7-9pm.
Groups will trek or crawl to various San Diego Startup and Tech companies for office tours, product showcases, and samplings of local craft beers.

3.Exceptional Networking Opportunities

You’ve heard it before “Your Network is your Net Worth” Startup week promises to infuse a community of thriving business and creative minds together with fun relationship building
activities.

The Startup Garage Team recommends showing off your stellar networking skills at Startup Week Launch Fest on Sunday June 14th from 3-6pm outside on the Broadway Pier, featuring food, live music, and even LED hula-hooping!

4. Great Way To Invest in your Education, Yourself, and San Diego Businesses

Whether you’re an SD local or visiting for your first time there’s no denying the entrepreneurial spirit is thriving with in this beach city. There’s never been a better time to invest in those things that matter most.

All access passes for the entire WEEK tickets are only $50 per person, and current students can attend free of charge. And if you find yourself wanting to assist, and gain a more behind the scenes perspective, sign up to get involved as a volunteer here>> Volunteer

Now that we’ve giving you our Top 4 for Reasons to check out #SDSW, we hope you have the opportunity to enjoy San Diego Startup Week and all it’s unique offerings.


The Startup Garage Team looks forward to hearing about your experience at #SDSW tag us in your social media posts #TheStartupGarage and share with us any tips or lessons you may have learned throughout the week. Enjoy!

Looking 3 Steps Ahead: What Comes After the Startup Ideation Phase

Looking 3 Steps Ahead: What Comes After the Startup Ideation Phase

What are the next steps after you come up with an idea for a new business?

After the ideation phase of a business, many teams loose focus. Fortunately, there is a tried and true blueprint that successful companies in all industries have followed in order to take a business entity from a spreadsheet into the real world.

Here are the three steps that all would-be Startup companies should consider after the initial visualization.

1 – How do you evaluate the current target market and market saturation? 

Identifying competition should be first on the list of any start up. This will help a company to more accurately define its own role in the marketplace, narrowing the sales funnel and eventually increasing the ROI of all marketing efforts. 

A high percentage of the first funds that you receive for your business idea will likely be earmarked for a highly detailed differentiated market analysis. Google Trends and the Google Keyword Tool are a great place to start, but the search should definitely not end there.

A startup company should consider geographic and demographic data from across the board in order to identify the audience that is making the current purchases of the products that it is considering selling.

More than 50% of businesses now include Facebook and Twitter commentary in their overall assessment of market saturation. If there are many comments about a product or industry trend, but most of the comments are negative, this means something much different than commentary that is overwhelmingly positive.

Researchers should be attuned to the fact that Facebook is prone to be much more negative than Twitter regardless of issue.

2 – How do you determine if your idea is profitable and scalable?

Profitability is a function of the perceived market value of your product, which can be approximated by a price/value industry matrix, minus the expenditures of your company per unit produced. With a volume that outpaces your fixed costs, you have a viable business structure, at least in theory.

Scalable ideas must incorporate variable costs such as taxes, marketing, promotion, distribution and government compliance into the equation. These kinds of calculations may require some professional assistance, but they should be determined before the initial start of production.

50% of businesses, and 60% of investors, want to see some sort of breakeven analysis in an initial business plan in order to help determine the overall viability of a would-be company. This should definitely be included; however, it should not be the end of the marketing analysis. Although it can be quite difficult to project profitability without a round of sales, every company should attempt to do this without exaggerating results, especially if multiple rounds of funding will be required to retain viability.

3 – How do you secure the flow of your marketing information to your customer?

One of the first things that an embryo company should consider is its niche in the marketplace. This is incredibly important in order to solidify the proper distribution of the marketing message. No matter how big or small a company, compliance with the current flow of information is critical. Business no longer runs the world of business – telecommunications does. This will only become more apparent as time goes on.

Currently, less than half of the Fortune 500 is mobile compliant by the standards of Google. 70% of those companies barely pass muster. 100% of these companies are spending millions in order to become fully compliant.

As of April 2015, any company that is not fully compliant by Google standards will begin to
lose visibility within the search engine, especially within the mobile search market. If this is a priority to a multibillion dollar company, this is a virtual death sentence to any high growth start up.

Guest Blogger Cameron Johnson is a business consultant and entrepreneur.
Over the course of his career he has conducted case studies on both social media optimization and non-profit marketing. Cameron has also had the opportunity to speak at international business conferences and was recently recognized as one of the world’s top 100 advertising experts to follow on social media

7 Lessons Learned From A Vegas Tech Startup Conference

Collision Con From The Startup Garage

7 Lessons Learned From A Vegas Tech Startup Conference

“ It’s A different kind of Vegas.”

Collision Conference invaded and innovated downtown Las Vegas, Nevada Cinco De May and 6th.

The 48 hour “crash course” included 7500 attendees representing 89 different countries, with a legendary guest-list that included: 200 WorldClass Speakers, 1000 Startup Businesses, 451 Tech Investors, and countless “smart” entrepreneurs.

Equally as interesting to the individuals that attended the conference, was where the event took place, “The Downtown Project” (Psst..If you haven’t heard this name get familiar with it, you’ll be hearing a lot about it.)

It’s there, just 6 miles from the infamous Las Vegas Strip, a small Startup town is brewing. The cutting edge urban revival project was heavily invested ($350million) in by Zappos frontman and startup cultural icon, Tony Hsieh.

His business model; to create a community of happiness, in an other wise depressed and dilapidated city centre… which leads us into lesson #1.

Lesson #1 Recognize potential and invest in it’s possibilities.

Startups Entrepreneurs are familiar with taking risks and getting comfortable in the uncomfortable. Tony Hsieh didn’t see the “Fremont Experience” and think let’s avoid this rundown area at all costs. Instead he said let’s immerse our company, culture and entrepreneurial energy into the infrastructure, and make old bones dance.

Lesson #2 Conferences, especially tech. conferences, need female minds in attendance.

Collision Conference acknowledged the fact that tech conferences tend to be sausage fests, and did something Different. They invited the top 150 females in technology to attend the conference complimentary, there by subtly shifting the dynamics of a male centric space.

Lesson #3 There’s an organic type of networking, it’s called Collision.

A Collision with another person, moves away from the hunt and gather mentality of standard networking events, and allows for the natural serendipity of individuals paths to cross.
Colliding with the right people at right place, and the right time, can become a natural and common occurrence.

Lesson #4 Never underestimate the power of food and lasting impressions.

Each morning upon entering the “event” attendees were treated to freshly baked blueberry muffins. The DoubleTree may have started this trend with freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, but the result remains the same… A feeling of being welcomed, comforted, and wanting to return for more.

Lesson #5 Collaboration is the easiest way to breed successful innovations.

In the chaotic sea of 1000+ Startup Businesses prepping and pitching to investors and want to be investors for funding and mentorship. I found myself wondering, how many of the Startup entrepreneurs conversed and collided with one another to exchange ideas and information? (please tweet us @startup_garage if you have a great Startup to Startup Collision story)

It seems that Collision Conference was the perfect landscape for new startup business ideas to emerge, and preexisting ones to flourish with new insights. However, my experience was everyone was there with laser focus in the hopes swooning the VC or Angel.

Lesson #6 You can’t talk Marketing without the other M word… Millennials.

#Millennials isn’t just a trending hashtag, they’re a population of 77 million people, 1/4 of the American population, who are socially and economically savvy. Millennials have big brands via-ing for their attention and approval. As a generation with an insatiable appetite for quality content and the Tinder mindset (swipe left and move onto the next) marketing power is shifting into the hands of the consumer.

Lesson #7 Innovation never sleeps.

Innovative ideas and solutions have no On and Off switch, they’re a constant switching in the mind of Startup entrepreneurs. It’s not enough that there’s a solution, the questions remains whether it’s the smartest and most effective solution possible.

There’s Startup towns brewing, do you hear it percolating?

A Tech Startup conference shifted my perception of Vegas from an epicenter of gambling, strippers, and intentional debauchery to a sustainable community of like-minded entrepreneurs, that when colliding together, have ability to transform even the most unsuspecting places.

The Correlation between A Startups Seed Round and Series A Round

The Correlation between Your Seed Round and Your Series A Round from The Startup Garage

The Correlation between A Startups Seed Round and Series A Round

Here at The Startup Garage we are often asked, “Has it become harder to raise capital for Startups nowadays?”

 

The answer is, yes and no.

On the one hand, the total dollars invested in U.S. startups in 2014 reached its highest point since the dot-com boom in 2000, according to Bloomberg. On the other hand, there are more startups competing for these dollars than ever before.

One of the hardest rounds to raise, and subsequently one of the biggest hurdles to startup success, is the Seed round. This round is potentially the riskiest round for an investor as most startups raising Seed capital have yet to accomplish any significant milestones that prove the concept.

The technology or product development is usually in its infancy,
The team is lacking,Traction is nominal if present at all, and The key benchmarks for success have yet to be proven. As a result, many good ideas never make it out of the gate.

Those that successfully navigate the Seed round significantly increase their chance at entrepreneurial success and at raising their next round of capital, the Series A round.

When raising a Seed round the question becomes, “How large of a seed round should I raise to maximize my chances of raising a Series A round?”

Smaller Seed rounds seem like a quick fix because they are simpler and faster to raise as they typically require less investors.

However, in order to raise a significant Series A round, the startup needs sufficient capital to accomplish enough milestones that will attract Series A investors. As a result, we see a direct correlation between the amount of capital raised in the Seed round and the amount of capital raised in the subsequent Series A round.

According to data from CB Insights, companies that raised both a Seed round and a Series A round can be categorized as follows:

  • Small – Below the 25th percentile (<$360K for Seed, <$2M for Series A)
  • Average – Between 25th and 75th percentile (between $260K and $1.5M for Seed, between $2M and $7M for Series A)
  • Large – Above 75th percentile (>$1,5M for Seed, >$7M for Series A)As depicted in the chart below, nearly half of all large Seed deals became large Series A deals. Most of the other large Seed deals went on to raise average Series A rounds with a small number raising a small Series A round.

For companies that raised small Seed rounds, 57% went on to raise an average Series A round, and only 13% raised Series A rounds of $7M+. Lastly, 63.8% of companies that raised an average Seed round went on to raise an average Series A round.

Moral of the story: if you plan on raising a Series A round, don’t cut yourself short during your Seed round.

Seed Funding From the Startup Garage

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

University of San Diego Hosts Competition to Fuel Entrepreneurship

University of San Diego Hosts Competition to Fuel Entrepreneurship

On Thursday April 23rd 2015 the University of San Diego School of Business will hold an exciting campus-wide competition in a “Shark Tank” like setting.

The V2 Pitch Competition is a free event with a diverse and action packed agenda including:

Networking Reception, Keynote Speaker James Brennen Co-Founder of Suja Juices, USD Student Entrepreneur Pitches, Bi-National Student Pitches.

Networking Reception 5- 6pm:

The opportunity to mix and mingle with Entrepreneurs, Investors, Mentors, and Academia in a unique setting.

Key Note Speaker James Brennan 6pm- 6:50pm:

James Brennan is the co-founder of Suja a San Diego based juice company, named #2 on Forbes Most Promising Companies in 2015. James is a hospitality innovator in award winning restaurateur, a successful social entrepreneur.

USD Student Entepreneur Pitches 6:55pm- 7:32 pm:

4 Teams of Startup Entreprenurs from University of San Diego will pitch live to a panel of angel investors for a cash and price package worth up to $100,000.

2015 USD Startup finalists include:

  • EquityEats a premier equity crowdfunding platform, dedicated to exclusively to restaurants, bars, and coffee shops.
  • Yes Man Watches a unique patent-pending watch manufacture, that redefines watch buckle sizing.
  • PhotoSurvey simplifies the sharing photo process from capture to collection sharing, a popular product used by Engineers and Architects alike.
  • myHerbPharm an online alternative pharmacy, that provides medicinal solutions based on traditional Chinese herbs.
  • Bi-National Entrepreneur Pitches 7:32- 8:15pm:

    4 Teams of Startup Entrepreneurs from Mexican Universities will bring their entrepreneurial ideas across the border, in efforts to increase economic development internationally.

    2015 Bi-National Finalist include:

  • Giftcar: A trending mobile application that provides sales and personalized gift delivery services
  • Stella: A wearable device measures UV sun exposure in real time, and notifies your smartphone when the wear should seek sun protection.
  • Brecher: Using rapid prototyping techniques, Brecher helps inventors and startup entrepreneurs manufacture ideas into products.
  • Mocket: A mobile application that rewards consumers for shopping with certain merchants, while helping businesses gain brand ambassadors.
  • Entrepreneur/Investor Individual Meetings 8:15-9:30pm:

    One on one meeting between Startup finalists teams and the angel investor panel to help deliberate the winners.

    Grand Finale and Award Ceremony 9:30pm:

    Cash prizes and awards that will help winning startup pitches turn business ideas into reality.

    The Startup Garage is please to be a part of the V2 Competition in look forward to helping evolve the Startup landscape both locally and globally.

    Register Today

    V2 Competition Event

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

    Building Online Brand Presence as a Startup

    How to Build Your Online Brand From The Startup Garage

    Building Online Brand Presence as a Startup

    Launching a new high growth startup is a way to build a business from the ground up.

    Whether you are providing content, products or even services to potential customers.

    Knowing how to build an online brand presence when getting a startup up and running is essential.

    Especially when working in competitive fields and making a professional name and reputation for your brand.

    Build a Creative Team

    One of the most important factors to keep in mind when building an online presence for a startup company is the ability to cultivate a creative team to work with each day. Having a creative group of individuals who are dedicated to the vision you have for your startup helps with streamlining plans and moving forward in the right direction in any industry or field.

    Get Engaged With Social Media

    In order to ensure customer retention putting social media and social media marketing to use effectively is essential. Not only is it important to share updates on various platforms but it is also vital to communicate and get engaged with users who are also potential customers. Ask questions, request input and be sure to speak directly to those who want to know more about your startup to build a proper reputation while getting noticed in the industry you represent.

    Use the Power of Influence

    Using the power of influence both online and off is another way to spread the word regarding your startup business. When you have team members who engage with their online fans and followers it is much easier to share news, information and even product releases with hundreds and thousands of users simultaneously. Utilizing the power of influence is also a way to establish a professional reputation, helping others to gain trust in your business and brand, boosting sales and increasing generated revenue and profit.

    Host Contests and Giveaways

    One way to help build an online brand presence for a startup you are launching is to do so by hosting contests and giveaways. Giving away free branded merchandise and relevant gifts gives you the ability to spread your company’s name to promote loyalty and to keep customers coming back for more.

    Using social media to host contests and giveaways is another way to build momentum for your brand with the use of sharing and spreading the word with other family members and friends of the current fans, followers and customer base you have. Giveaways and contests also showcase your dedication to delivering high-quality products and services to those who want to know more about your brand and business model, ultimately generating sales and additional income.

    Consider Fundraisers and Crowdfunding

    Getting a startup company off and running with success requires a bit of capital, which is not always easy to obtain based on your history as an entrepreneur and any experience you have in the field you represent.

    Consider the option of launching an online fundraiser or working to create a crowdfunding campaign to spread the idea of your startup while gaining loyal fans and supporters of your business and its plan altogether.

    Crowdfunding could be an option if you are not familiar with taking out business loans or seeking additional assistance from venture capitalists. Using a crowdfunding campaign is often free of charge and provides you with total control of the amount you need to raise and what the money invested is likely to be used for in order to continuously build the products you want to sell and share with the world. It also acts as a source for social validation. If consumers are unwilling to buy into your big idea then it may be a sign to rethink your business plan.

    Get Creative with Press Releases

    Any time you have a startup you want to promote gathering the interest of the media and press is stressful and at times, nearly impossible. Crafting creative press releases gives you the ability to appeal to local news, international news stations and even online blogs and communities who follow startups and products that are relevant to your own.

    Understanding all aspects of building a brand presence for a startup is a way for you to get more out of the potential exposure required to continue experiencing success. With the use of the right tools, marketing and communication it has never been easier to garnish interest while attracting potential customers who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer.

    Guest Blogger
    Cameron Johnson is a business consultant and entrepreneur.
    Over the course of his career he has conducted case studies on both social media optimization and non-profit marketing. Cameron has also had the opportunity to speak at international business conferences and was recently recognized as one of the world’s top 100 advertising experts to follow on social media.

    How to Launch 13 EdTech Startups in 54 Hours

    How to Launch 13 EdTech Startups in 54 Hours

    Sound like an impossible task?

    Step inside Startup Weekend NYCEDU, a 3-day event that occurred March 27- 29th 2015 in New York City.

    Within the four walls of The World School, teams of entrepreneurs, educators, developers, and designers collaborated to bring education technology concepts into creation in a mere 54 hours.

    #SWnycedu kicked off Friday night with an open mic in which 42 individuals pitched their Startup business ideas to an audience of 150 Edtech enthusiasts in efforts to join their team and bring once novel ideas to life. Pitches included statements like “This isn’t just a weekend thing, I’m looking for co-founders for the company.” A statement, that evoked both present opportunity and future possibility, for those bold enough to believe in the concept.

    Upon conclusion of the pitches, teams formed (in this instance 13 teams) based on the most popular Startup ideas. The rest of the weekend was spent deep in the trenches of Startup brainstorming sessions, product development and execution.

    Edtech product developments ranged from more traditional learning apps like Poly, a parent to teacher translation tool, to those WizArt, which connects the art curious to the art educated for a unique educational experience.

    In the spirit of competition breeding innovation, the 13 newly formed teams raced against the clock in order to present a viable business model to a panel of judges on Sunday evening. Also evident with the 54 hour Edtech journey was the comradery amongst event attendees and the formation of longstanding business and personal friendships.

    “ I was personally blown away by not only the quality of the work (in speaking to one of the sponsors during demo night, he thought a number of the companies could turn into viable businesses), but also the depth of relationships built. By Sunday night, it was clear to me that many meaningful connections had been made. I also think we had the right space and the right people to produce some really thoughtful and potentially influential prototypes.” Said Laura Patterson Communications and Marketing lead for NYCEDU 2015.

    Startup Weekend NYCEDU grand finale included a 5 minute pitch given by each of the 13 Startups with a 2 minute window for Q & A from the panel of 4 judges. The judges included: Preeti Birla from Innovate NYC Schools, Wiley Cerilli from First Round Capital, Christy Crawford from Bronx Community Charter and Jason DeRoner from TeachBoost.

    As a witness to the 13 pitches, all were inspiring and shined a new light on game changing education hacks that certainly have the power to transform our educational institutions to various degrees. However, only 1 Edtech Startup reined supreme, Mr. Cesar App, which captured 1st place at SWnycedu.

    The Mr. Cesar app was inspired from the following problem:
    “The average student guidance counselor ratio in the US is 470 to 1. For minority, low-income students, that ratio doubles to 1000 to 1. In this environment, many high achieving, under-resourced students who might have a fighting chance at highly selective schools end up placed at local colleges with lower graduation rates and quality of education.”

    Be sure to keep Mr. Cesar App. on your radar along with the 12 other Startups that launched over March 27th weekend as this won’t be the 1st or last time they’ll be reinventing education on and offline.

    Do you have a Startup Business Idea or want to support those that do? Startup Weekends powered by Google for Entreprenuers have hosted over
    1,500 events to date, spanning 726 international cities, yielding over 13,000 startups created by over 123,000 entrepreneurs. Check out the event calendar, get involved and launch a Startup in 54 hours there’s never been a better time in history to do so!

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

    Where to Meet Venture Capitalists?

    Where to Meet Venture Capitalist from The Startup Garage

    Where to Meet Venture Capitalists?

    As a Startup Entrepreneur stepping outside of your comfort zone is a daily norm, especially in the search of funding for your business.

    Scoring a meeting with a Venture Capitalist becomes a network juggling act between strategy and innovation.

    A key point to remember when approaching VC’s is that the question always on the top of their mind is… Will your Startup idea bring a significant return on their investment capital?

    Assuming your answer is an undeniable yes,
    the following resources offer you VC networking location suggestions. We encourage you can develop your relationship further both personally and professionally, as often times the connections most beneficial come as a result of the most unlikely resources.

    Accelerator Programs

    Accelerator programs, unique startup events and other brain storming events offer great opportunities to meet hundreds of experienced mentors from around the world. Many of these accelerator events are held in Silicone Valley or other communities where experienced startup founders abound. Accelerator programs like the UnSexy, The SmashSummit and GeeksOnaPlane offer wonderful networking opportunities; a place where you can easily get your pitch heard by qualified investors. More importantly, you can also find mentors here who will help you develop your funding plan.

    The National Venture Capital Association

    This is a trade association that provides resources for entrepreneurs about VCs. It offers information about different venture capital organizations, tools you may find useful and resources to specific VCs and entrepreneurs. You can find this association at www.nvca.org.

    Angel Investing Service Companies

    Angel investment service organizations help entrepreneurs get started. Most angel investors have entrepreneurial backgrounds themselves, and in a wide spectrum do of industries, not just tech. Many angel investing companies fund large numbers of new startups. And if they don’t, well then they do offer critical business connections, hands-on mentoring and help in building a qualified management team.

    Online Resources

    You can search databases of Venture Capital and Angel investors on websites like Gust. This type of database gives you the opportunity to contact investors directly and pitch your idea.

    Angel Capital Association

    Also known as ACA, this association offers useful resources and information on ways entrepreneurs should prepare themselves for finding investors. It also offers a database with a list of professionals such as attorneys and accountants who help startups looking for funding.

    Local Events

    Local networking groups and events can also help entrepreneurs network with venture capitalists. Attend local Meetup events that pertain to your industry.

    Participate in local TEDx events; offer to be a free keynote speaker for local events or associations. This will help you network with other entrepreneurs and investor associations.

    Join local associations like the Small Business Association. This organization often has SBA investment programs you can join. Even if you don’t get funded this way, it will offer you the networking contacts you need to further your funding needs.

    Industry Events

    Another way of networking and meeting all the right people is by attending industry events and finding out how other entrepreneurs have attracted venture capital.

    Bottom Line

    Finding venture capital is not all that difficult any longer because there is so much information available over the Internet. At one time, this type of information was almost a big ‘secret.’ And only a chosen few knew where and how to find investors.

    Today, investors actually want to be sought out, and they hold important events, brainstorming sessions and more. They also give you specific information that can smooth the process for you and help you find the funding you need.

    If 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!

    San Diego High-Tech Startup Scene Booms

    San Diego High-Tech Startup Scene Booms

    In March of last year Forbes Magazine named San Diego the best city to start a business in 2014.

    Apparently the magazine was onto something, as demonstrated in the recently released San Diego Innovation Report by Connect.

    According to the report, which tracks and compares economic data in the region from the past year and a half, the strength and impact of the Innovation Economy in San Diego is growing and strong.

    1h 2014 report saw the most new innovative Start-Ups ever created in San Diego in a 6-month period. SD entrepreneurs started a record high 228 high-tech companies, which secured $470 million in funding in the first half of last year.

    The startup growth spurt includes:

    • 128 Software Startups

    • 43 Communications Computer & Electronics Startups

    • 39 Life Science Startups

    • 7 Environmental Technology Startups

    The $470 million dollars in Venture capital funding was raised among 53 San Diego companies, and includes the following breakdown:

    • $234 million to 20 Early Stage Companies

    • $14 Million 3 Start-up Stage Companies

    • $17 million 11 Connect Springboard and graduate companies

    In addition to venture capital funding, companies raised $200 million in initial public offerings, $620 million in private placements and $1.6 billion in follow-on public equity offerings.

    “We are delighted to celebrate the new start-ups born in San Diego, as well as the growth and expansion of the start-ups that attracted $470 million in venture capital to our region. These first half results demonstrate a thriving economy fueled by the growth of knowledge-based industries. More start-ups were founded in San Diego in the first half of 2014 than any other period in our city’s history. Additionally, more jobs were created and innovation economy jobs are higher-paying than the average job, which is great news for job-seekers.” stated Greg McKee, CONNECT’s chief executive officer.

    Great news indeed, 885 new jobs at an average annual salary of $114,730 were created by San Diego start-ups created in the 1st half of 2014. This was a 40% increase over the number of new jobs created by innovation start-ups in the 1st half of 2013, and more than 50% increase over the 2nd half of 2013.

    2014 marks a tipping point for San Diego, a notable time of reshaping the technology startup scene both locally and globally.
    San Diego is no longer simply a vacation destination. It is a destination for dynamic startup businesses, which are invested in assembling and transforming a community of entrepreneurs and the innovation economy.

    The Startup Garage team is committed to serving our Startup Community of San Diego. We are dedicated to helping make the world a better place to live, work, and play.

    If 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!

    Recruiting a CTO Co-Founder for Your Startup

    Recruiting a CTO from The Startup Garage

    Recruiting a CTO Co-Founder for Your Startup

    Many technology based startups are founded by entrepreneurs without technical backgrounds.

    The tech companies that are successful,
    quickly realize the importance of bringing on a technical co-founder.

    The biggest mistake that a non-tech entrepreneur can make when launching a tech business is to neglect bringing on a tech savvy co-founder very early on. Otherwise, it is like launching a bakery or restaurant without a chef.

    The benefits of having a CTO as part of your founding team are extensive:

  • A CTO can put together a technology plan with technical specifications, high level system architecture, wireframes, timeline, and budget.
  • A CTO can hire a development team to build the idea and determine if an in-house or outsourced development team would be best.
  • A CTO understands the code and backend features that will allow him/her to update your technology going forward.
  • A CTO significantly reduces risk for investors and therefor increases your likelihood of successfully raising capital.
  • The biggest challenge with finding a qualified CTO (i.e. experienced developers and/or engineers with strong project management skills) is that they are in high demand and have many employment options in front of them.

    Below are a few tips to help you successfully recruit a CTO co-founder:

    1. Be a leader. Whether you are bringing on a CTO co-founder, an investor, or an employee, people like to rally behind leaders. Your passion for your product, your financial and time commitment to your company, and your ultimate belief in the solution that you offer will go further towards rallying people for your cause than anything else.
    2. Demonstrate the opportunity. Surely a co-founder wants to be compensated for their work, either in equity, salary, or a combination of both. However, a co-founder is more interested in the potential impact the company can have. Similar to investors, co-founders want to know that your product solves a major problem in the marketplace, that you are differentiated from your competition, and that you have tested and proved your assumptions. In many ways, your business plan is as useful of a tool for attracting talented team members as it is for attracting investment.
    3. Constantly be searching. Similar to applying for jobs, you cannot leave any stone unturned when searching for a co-founder. Start by leveraging your LinkedIn network. First, look for people in your network that might be potential candidates. Next, look into your network’s network and ask for introductions to potential candidates. You can also look into sites that match entrepreneurs with sought after talent such as Startup Agents or CoFounders Lab. Lastly, attend as many startup networking events, meetups, and conferences as possible. You never know who will be that next person you exchange business cards with.
    4. Define Your Criteria and Evaluate Candidates. It is important to understand what you are looking for in a co-founder before you begin your search. Start by determining minimum expertise and skill requirements, desired personality traits, and key roles the person must be able to perform. You may want to start this process by looking at yourself and identifying your gaps and weaknesses. Additionally, you will need to have thought through the compensation plan for this individual. Are they receiving equity, a salary, a mix of the two? Is their equity position vested based on key milestones and company benchmarks? If so, what are the terms of the vesting schedule?
    If 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!