Tag Archives: Investors

5 Reasons to Attend The USD V2 Pitch Competition For Entrepreneurs

5 Reasons to Attend The USD V2 Pitch Competition For Entrepreneurs

On Thursday April 28th University of San Diego School of Business will hold an exciting competition in a “Shark Tank” like setting.

Top student entrepreneurs from USD and Tijuana will compete for a total of $100,000 in cash and invaluable mentorship and support.

The Startup Garage Team Compiled The Top 5 Reasons this is a must attend event:

1. There’s is no cost to attend.
It’s a completely FREE event although space is limited.
*HINT sign up early to reserve your seat.* When was the last time you had the opportunity to spent time with like minded entrepreneurs in a beautiful setting at no cost?
Register here

2. Absorb expert advice and insights from keynote speaker Tim Suski.

Tim co-founded one of the fastest growing boutique fitness franchise in Southern California, (The Rush Cycle Franchise) and also launched a technology platform used by 500+ businesses across the globe.

3. Fuel your entrepreneur inspiration.
The students pitching include a unique blend of entrepreneurs, each with their own innovative story and journey to share.

USD Current Student Entrepreneurs includes:

Lacy is a bra washing machine (patent pending) that carefully protects bras and
delicates from the damage they normally endure during traditional washing methods.

Technology company FoldedColor is an e-commerce solution for custom printed
packaging, offering standard and customizable folding carton options through a web-
to-print interface that includes instant pricing, an intuitive design editor, virtual 3D
proofing and online checkout.

This free social community for stocks and options investors, TechMeetsTrader
makes it easy to capitalize on investment opportunities and to learn from
experienced traders.

Like Cats and Dogs
Like Cats and Dogs produces a safe pet toy for both cats and dogs.

Bi-National Track Entrepreneurs Include:

AGROSOL offers a fertilization, fumigation and geographical scanning system
performed by drones.

Baja Saver
Baja Saver generates clean and cheap energy through a product as small as a home
refrigerator that is 100 percent self-sufficient, more effective than wind and solar
systems and a better return on investment.

Ñapanga produces and distributes a microbrew with a female focus.

FXR is an app used to request certified professional services for home repair and

4. Learn the art of pitching a Startup first hand.
Feel the presenters emotion and techniques when listening to a pitch, and tune into the panelist (potential “investors”) asking hard hitting questions.

5. Anyone can benefit from attending the V2 Pitch Competition.
Networking is key. “Meeting the right people and making connections to the San Diego start-up community is key to the success of any venture. We are lucky to bring in a unique crowd to the V2 Pitch Competition filled with investors, Entrepreneurs, alumni, and community partners. V2 has become an evening to connect, celebrate, and support our thriving San Diego and CaliBaja start-up ecosystem.” Regina Bernal, Entrepreneurship and Experiential Learning USD

Now that you’ve decided to join us, be sure to say hello to The Startup Garage Team!

We’ll have a table set up from 5-6pm at the Venture Fair prior to the event to answer any burning Startup Questions

Why To Take Caution With Investor “Finders”

Why To Take Caution With Investor “Finders”

There are many service providers that offer to help startups with attracting investors, colloquially referred to as “finders.”

While they prefer to be called business brokers or consultants, most finders are either CPAs, insurance brokers, retired executives, or former entrepreneurs. They mostly operate in the Angel landscape, targeting deals between $100K to $2M.

Typically, they will either require a large retainer, an upfront fee, a percentage of capital raised, or some combination of all three.

The service they provide ranges from screening investors and setup meetings to developing a list of high-net-worth prospects for entrepreneurs to call on.

Unfortunately, there is a lot of controversy when working with finders. First, a sizeable majority of finders are not actually licensed as a securities broker by FINRA and are therefore in violation of federal and state security laws, whether they know it or not. Second, many finders are not capable of delivering on their promises or simply disappear as soon as you hand them a retainer check.

How This Affects You:

The issue that Startups face when working with unlicensed finders is that their legal problems can quickly spread to the startup as well. Payments to an unlawful finders can cause an entire transaction to violate securities law, giving investors a right to undo the deal as well as sue the Startup for damages.

Even if an investor does not undo the deal, these unlawful transactions can come back to haunt the company if and when the company decides to sell or go public as it may be forced to disclose the violations, thereby jeopardizing the pending deal. On the other hand, working with less than honest finders will clearly be a waste of time and money.


Retain a good corporate securities attorney before you engage with a finder. Your securities attorney should be able to:

A) help you understand the full scope of risk of using finders in financing transactions.

B) help you verify that your potential finder is licensed with FINRA and your local state’s regulators.

C) ensure that your finder does not have any substantial complaints against them.

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

Ready to win over $10,000 in Prizes for your Brilliant Business Idea?

Ready to win over $10,000 in Prizes for your Brilliant Business Idea?

The Startup Garage is excited to co-sponsor in “The Ideator December Challenge.”
A challenge designed to bring your business idea into conception.

Submissions currently open now until Dec 13, 2015 at 5pm (PST) entering is easy and done completely virtually.

Enter here today >>>December Challenge Idea Competition

The winner will be walking with $10,00 plus advisor board access, key mentorships, investor relationships, and specialized tools and resources from challenge sponsors:

Pledge 1%
Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center

All ideas at any stage are welcome, this challenge is designed to bring your idea to life!
Judges are looking for the biggest idea with the best-defined roadmap to success.

The Top 5 idea will be notified on December 14th and selected to pitch in the finals on December 15th at 5pm PST.

5 questions to answer when entering to optimize your pitch are:

How big of a problem does the product solve?
How well does the product solve the problem?
How well do the docs, if any, support the idea?
How has collaboration helped the idea?
Do the goals and tasks adequately outline a roadmap to success?

Remember to structure your pitch in a colorful story with a beginning, middle, and end.
Let your personality shine through without being too salesy, vague, or abstract.

Ideator was created to foster global innovation and entrepreneurship, while also making them easier.
The Startup Garage Team, know’s it’s ideas like yours that continue to shift the landscape of business innovation.

We look forward to hearing your ideas and helping launch them to the world!

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!

    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!

    The Unsung Heroes of Startup Funding – The Large Corporation

    Large Corporations Investing in Startups from The Startup Garage

    The Unsung Heroes of Startup Funding – The Large Corporation

    Sunne Justice sat across from me, explaining her company mission, and her interest in creating a conscious cloud technology business.

    She had a startup business that had successfully raised 1.5 millions dollars for a cloud technology venture.

    Listening, I was amazed, “How could a business, 5 years in the making; one that still had their product in beta (a type of tech trial basis), managed to raise so much venture capital?” “Of course,” I thought. “As an experienced corporate CEO, it must be easy for Sunne, to raise the money. She had the contacts.”

    But after a lot of research, some digging and a few interviews, I realized that many startups have found the venture capital they needed, and without too much of an effort; even without having too many corporate contacts or finance experience.

    They just knew where to look.

    If you have a great idea or an existing start-up that needs money to grow, you can borrow from friends and family but a better and more lucrative option, may be to find venture capital in the corporate world.

    Where Do I Find The Kind of Capital I Need?

    A new resource, just recently on the rise is the corporate world. More and more large corporations seem to be opening up venture capital funding departments.

    “Wait a minute! Wasn’t that something they tried in the late 1990s?”

    It is true. Many financial institutions and corporations tried their hand at venture capital investments and lost their hats in the process. But that was a time when corporations where only looking at the bottom line of a start-up. Now their vision is more global. They see start-ups as an opportunity for innovation.

    Venture capital funding has decreased since the late 1990s. But if you have a solid business plan, a good product or idea you can still find venture capital investors. They are everywhere and continually increasing. In fact, now multinational companies are venturing into the startup world.

    The Big Guns

    Yes, that’s right. Companies like General Motors, American Express, Verizon, Google and PepsiCo, are just a few of the blue chip companies that have fully functional venture capital departments.

    What’s The Deal? Why are large corporations implementing venture capital funding departments?

    There are several reasons for this. Some multinational corporations are looking to get a piece of the startup action… but more likely, many of these corporations see startups as a viable research and development solution.

    According to the New York Times, companies like General Motors, have investors based in their research labs. Large corporations across the globe are investing more than $20 billion in startups – and that’s no small chunk of change.

    The Startup Advantage

    Where other types of investors could be put off by certain startup investments because of a lack of real profit, large corporations see the same start-up venture as an opportunity. Blue-chip companies turned venture capitalists seem to be less concerned with profits, than they are with future innovative ideas.

    Corporations are often restricted by regulations and by internal policy. This impedes their ability to be innovative. So instead their idea is to share with small, innovative businesses that are outside their own corporate enterprise.

    For the large corporation, a promising startup could be a way to stay ahead of the competition; a way of innovating their existing products and of delivering superior value to their stakeholders.

    The Result

    The growth of successful startups is making established corporations reconsider new business opportunities and the way they search for innovation. Today, this means offering corporate venture capital, alliances, licenses and joint development. For them, venture capital departments have become a useful tool which they use to stimulate innovation.

    For startups, this new interest from large corporations is great news. It means more resources for their ideas, products and inventions. It means access to funds they couldn’t otherwise find, even if they find funding from friends and family. When looking for funds larger than a few thousand dollars, this is certainly a funding option worth considering.

    Finding These Venture Capitalists

    Before looking for corporate venture capitalists, you must make sure everything is in order. You need a highly-detailed business plan. You need guidance from experts in business plan development; experienced consultants who know what corporate venture capital departments look for; those who know what corporate investors to point you toward.

    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!

    The Entrepreneurial Advisory Council

    The Entrepreneurial Advisory Council

    The Entrepreneurial Advisory Council hosted its first workshop.

    The event titled, “Making Your Startup Investor Friendly” took place on Wednesday, October 8th 2014 in San Diego, CA.

    The Entrepreneurial Advisory Council is a group of professionals that serve San Diego’s growing number of innovators, entrepreneurs, and startup businesses.

    The council’s expertise includes legal, financial, capital formation, and business planning services. The common thread among all members of the Entrepreneurial Advisory Council is their commitment to building meaningful connections that lead to successful business ventures.

    Michael Acheatel, the President of The Startup Garage, is one of the Council’s co-founders and was a speaker at the event. His presentation focused on the milestones that investors care about at each stage of the funding and milestone timeline. He took the audience through the 7 major categories of startup milestones – business planning, team building, market traction, legal, operations, product development, and founder leadership – and highlighted how these milestones evolve throughout each round of funding. He specifically focused on the early stages of funding from friends, family, and founders as well as angel investors.

    Michael was followed by his fellow co-founders of the Entrepreneurial Advisory Council – Hass Sadegi, Rob Domingue, and Joseph Erle. Hass is the Principal Owner of Sadeghi Legal and offered his advice on how and where to legally structure your startup as well as how to avoid exorbitant lawyer fees down the road based on appropriate planning in the early stages.

    Joe is an insurance broker with 5th Ave Insurance and spoke about the types of insurance that investors require and how to reduce risk for the company.

    Rob is the Director of Transcend Valuation and spoke about valuation and how to both create and determine value in a company.

    Lastly, the panel opened up to a Q&A session where they received several excellent questions from the audience.

    With good food, a great audience, and 4 experts with unique insights on what investors like to see in a startup, the event was deemed a complete success.

    The Entrepreneurial Advisory Council will host a workshops once every quarter in San Diego.

    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!

    The Past, Present and Future of Capital Funding

    Past Present And Future of Capital Raising from The Startup Garage

    The Past, Present and Future of Capital Funding

    The Past, Present and Future of Capital Funding

    The Internet and the integration of valuable software into corporate systems, has disrupted almost every industry there is, laying bare vast quantities of knowledge, which in the past was extremely well hidden and only known to a privileged few.  Just 10 to 15 years ago, you had to be lucky to find the right “know how” and get the right connections. In fact, breaking into certain industries could often take a whole generation or more. Now, those days are gone.

    This phenomenon of “open knowledge” we live in today opens up all kinds of opportunities for entrepreneurs and for investors as well.


    This knowledge is laid bare through information, blogs and media all available over the Internet; information that was not available in any way shape or form some ten years ago.

    As a modern entrepreneur, all you have to do to find out what a venture capitalist is looking for is go to a VCs blog.
    Some of the most respected VCs now share their insights, the process,  the things they look for in a startup and even information they require in a specialized business guideline.

    When Did It All Start?

    We can say that venture capitalists like Naval Ravikant, Fred Wilson and Brad Feld were pioneers. They began to open up and tell us what they wanted to see through their blogs back in 2002 and 2003.  Later we saw companies like Venture Hacks and The Funded pop up. These sites even allowed people to begin rating VCs – a feature that disgruntled many an investor.

    Their Contribution

    Thanks to these blogging pioneers, we now have explicit and clear information on what a venture capitalist looks for, what a term sheet is and how to reach them. These were once hidden clues that only the very clever entrepreneurs could find.

    The Next Step

    Alongside this initial contribution we’ve also witnessed an incredible advance in technology, which significantly reduces the cost of launching a new company. This means many new startups don’t need those large VC funds to get started. This opened the doors to SuperAngels or MicroVC.  This is an investor that has a collaborative mindset, one that doesn’t have a large board of directors, and one who offers easy terms. In turn this opened up a new trend for investors, that of open discussions, personalities and easier terms.

    Now Comes the VC Service Provider

    VC firms are now so open that many have changed the way they do business completely, making the VC a service provider.  The software they use to streamline their startup networks and companies has gone a long way towards making this possible.

    Government Help

    The federal government has also put its two cents in with The Jobs Act and Crowdfunding

    This gives entrepreneurs online options for raising the money they need.

    The Future

    Many angel investors and entrepreneurs feel we are on the brink of new change. They believe the average business bank loan may quickly go out of style, and instead people will fund other people; mentor them and network them with others.

    In exchange investors will share in their success. If they can’t pay you back, then no consequences, but if the entrepreneur is successful then so is the investor. The key to doing this effectively will be through the use of algorithms which identify the best people to fund.

    7 Notable Investor Insights of the Month

    7 Investor Insights of the Month from The Startup Garage

    7 Notable Investor Insights of the Month

    Straight from the investors mouth.

    7 top insights from investors around the globe.

    1. Marc Andreessen @pmarca
    Twitter Investor

    “The biggest misconception 1st time founders have is that they will always stay aligned with their the co-founders.”

    2. Reid Hoffman @reidhoffman
    Facebook Investor

    “We’ve moved from the information age to the networked age. Are you network literate?”

    3. Josh Kopelman @firstround
    LinkedIn Investor

    “Being a VC is like watching a car accident.”

    4. Todd Chaffe @toddchaffee
    Dropbox Investor

    “Investing in high growth stocks both in private and public markets is a challenging game, just like hockey.”

    5. Theresia Gouw @Tgr
    Trulia Investor

    “Diversity is more than gender and ethnicity. It’s about diversity of thoughts.”

    6. Marc Cuban @Mcuban
    Sharktank Investor

    “Anything you text can & will be used against you.”

    7. Jim Goetz @Jimgoetz
    Whatsapp Investor

    “We’re confident WhatsApp will flourish Facebook just like Instagram. On their way to a billion active users and just getting started.”


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

    Need To Raise Capital For Your Startup? Ask A Celebrity

    Need to raise capital ? Ask a Celebrity from The Startup Garage

    Need To Raise Capital For Your Startup? Ask A Celebrity

    There’s a new breed of angel investors, taking over the tech-funding spotlight, Hollywood celebrities, or rather tech-ebrities.

    Tech ventures are exciting, popular and trendy, making investing in startups a must have for the rich and famous.

    The roster of celebrity tech investors include:
    Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Bono, Ashton Kutcher, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kim Kardashian, Justin Timberlake, Will Ferrell, Dr. Dre, Kayne West, Mc Hammer, Jay-Z, Will Smith, Jessica Alba amongst others.

    Collaborations between Hollywood and Silicon Valley, aren’t entirely new.
    They’ve been have been around since the dot.com boom in 1997.

    It was then that the “godfather” of the movement, William Shatner, partnered with Priceline.com to become the official spokesperson for the discount travel website. Rather than accepting money for his role in the company, Shatner decided to take stock equity.

    Celebrities took heed when 10 years later, Shatner cashed out his Priceline equity, to a resounding $600 million.

    Suddenly, being a spokesperson and/or investing funds into underground technology startups, become the fast track to creating long term wealth to those celebrities, willing to take the risk.

    “Like everyone else, celebrities are now hyperaware of just how many billions of dollars an early stake in, say, Facebook, could be worth down the road.”said Alan Hock, a partner at the law firm Moritt Hock & Hamroff who specializes in endorsement contracts for entertainers.

    According to Rolling Stone Magazine Bono, the lead singer from U2, did exactly that.
    His private equity firm Elevation Partners, invested 90 million for a 1.5% stake in Facebook.
    When Facebook went public in 2013 and sold for $100 billion, he walked away with crisp $1.5 billion. It’s been rumored that Bono made more money investing in Facebook than he has with U2.

    However, unlike traditional Angel Investors , world class musicians, artists, actors, and athletes aren’t always investing simply for a big payoff. Afterall, their jobs are not fueled on acquisitions and exit strategies.

    It’s fair to say, we’re referring to individuals that have built their careers out of emotional creativity, passion, and determination. Present a viable business plan, while pulling at their heart strings, and you might just find your business funded.

    Avid tech investor Aston Kutcher told TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington
    “I really think that, technology probably has the greatest potential to accelerate happiness. Everybody sort of looks at investing and, you know, for me, if I don’t make any money, but what we deliver people — love and happiness and connectivity and friendship and health and whatever it is that we can deliver that ultimately leads to people’s happiness — I’m fine losing my money, if that’s the case.”

    Bono shared a similar perspective on MSNBC:
    “I got interested in technology because I’m an artist, I’m interested in the forces that shape the world, politics, religion, the stuff we’ve been talking about today. Technology is huge. I wanted to learn about it. People say it’s odd, ‘you’re a musician, why are you doing all this.’ But I think it’s odd if artists aren’t more interested in the world around them.”
    Whether you’re in favor of the tech bubble reaching Hollywood or not, there’s no denying world of investment capital continues to expand.

    There has never been a time in our history, that funding sources are have so readily available. Whether from Mc Hammer’s pockets or from various crowdfunding platforms, raising investment capital is more accessible than ever.

    Are you prepared to #GetFunded?

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