vc and investment
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Christoph Gerlinger (CEO) Christoph Gerlinger is a passionate entrepreneur who has founded and built up a number of companies and has experienced the accompanying highs and lows. Christoph has collected over 15 years of management experience in the internet business. One of the businesses he founded is Frogster Interactive Pictures AG, which he took public and managed as CEO for seven years. Before that he was head of German operations for Infogrames/Atari, co-founder and CFO of the publicly listed CDV Software Entertainment and CFO for Psygnosis Deutschland (Sony Group). Christoph holds a post graduat degree in business administration and is a qualified banker.
If you really want to impress a startup founder as a potential employee, or you want to be a smart investor, you need to know the right questions to ask. These are the questions that get past the hype of a founder “vision to change the world,” and into the realm of real business strengths, weaknesses, and current health. Some founders try to deflect these questions by talking incessantly, so you often need to be calm, patient, and persistent to get the answers. My advice to founders out there is to not volunteer too much, but be open and honest in the face of direct questions like the following: What is your burn rate and runway today? These are investor slang terms referring to how fast money is being spent, with an implicit question of how long the startup can survive before breakeven or another cash infusion is required.
The biggest opportunities for investors are in big data and efficiency. That’s the line coming from Scott Stanford, the co-head Internet banker of Goldman Sachs, in three videos that apparently have just been posted today. The videos express the bank’s positioning on innovation and where investors should put their money. Goldman Sachs is one of two or three big investment banks vying for thought-leadership in the technology industry; indeed it’s in cut-throat competition with Morgan Stanley. While Goldman has led deals such as the Yahoo-Alibaba sell-down, the Zillow follow-on, and the Yelp IPO, and was in on the big Facebook IPO, Morgan Stanley scooped Goldman to be lead bank on Facebook’s IPO and has scored other big IPOs, such as LinkedIn.
There's a Pixar movie that captures the ethos of Silicon Valley's entrepreneurship culture which it summarizes this way: While not everyone can be a great chef, a great chef can come from anywhere The magic of the valley is that there is no path, no formula, no stencil for how to be successful. There is no university one must attend, no incubator one must join, no technology one must master to be successful. Every entrepreneur has a different route to their successes.
Dylan Collins and I put our heads together to make a list of Irish people under forty who are leading the startup and technology scene. Watch these names closely. This post has been jointly published here and on Dylan’s blog at Founderware . Sean Blanchfield is founder and CEO of Scale Front . Previously he was founder of Phorest, founder and CTO of DemonWare (acquired by Activision Blizzard) and CTO of Jolt Online (acquired by GameStop).
by Nivi on October 14th, 2007 Q: What’s the biggest mistake entrepreneurs make when they’re raising money? Entrepreneurs focus on valuation when they should be focusing on controlling the company through board control and limited protective provisions . Valuation is temporary, control is forever. For example, the valuation of your company is irrelevant if the board terminates you and you lose your unvested stock.
Editor’s Note: Semil Shah is an EIR with Javelin Venture Partners and has been an official contributor to TechCrunch since January 2011. You can follow him on Twitter at @semil . There’s no shortage of blog posts, message threads, and Coupa- & Creamery-inspired banter around the topic of fundraising for early-stage startups. And, as nearly every founder knows all too well, the mantra is “always be fundraising.” And yet, at the same time, something doesn’t feel quite right with respect to the manner in which investors and founders court each other today, what with the sheer number of companies spawned weekly, the amount of capital sloshing around, and ultimately, the time that is lost building and selling products because of inefficiencies in the inevitably torturous process of raising Series A financing. With all of this in mind, I’ve been trying to observe what first-time, early-stage founders who are potential candidates for Series A funding truly want in an investment partner.
In dribs and drabs, the European venture capital scene has started to look gradually more like it will develop a broader range of VCs than in the past. True, the majority of European VC funds have not performed well. But I’m not here to talk about the incumbents, but rather the new breed, which are taking cues from their American cousins in looking for businesses with potential. Time and again the continuous charge has been that Europpean VCs look only for revenues first rather than product or user traction. This new breed of European VC is at least as interested in product and more interested in building companies that can scale, rather than ones which might make tidy businesses they can, for example, sell to a European telco for pennines.
For three decades, Mr. Phillips had focused on writing software to allow computers to understand human speech. In 2006, he had co-founded a voice recognition company, and eventually executives at Apple, Google and elsewhere proposed partnerships. Mr. Phillips’s technology was even integrated into Siri itself before the digital assistant was absorbed into the . But in 2008, Mr.
Here’s an email exchange that I had in the past 24 hours with an entrepreneur. Remember, I try to answer all of my emails and be responsive to any inquiry. This was a random one (of which I get between 25 and 100 each day). Entrepreneur: I just wanted to touch base with you and see if you are taking on new startups right now. Me: Can you send me a paragraph and I’ll tell you if it’s something we’d be interested in. Everyone else to bcc: Entrepreneur: It’s difficult to accurately describe the company, myself, and everything else in a single paragraph.
Editor’s note: Editor’s note: Mike Hirshland is the founder of Resolute.VC , a seed-stage venture capital firm. Prior to Resolute, he was a General Partner with Polaris Venture Partners where he led the creation of Dogpatch Labs as well as Polaris’s investments in companies including Automattic (WordPress), Quantcast, KISSmetrics and Q1 Labs (IBM). Follow him on his Resolute.VC blog and Twitter .
As Dave McClure and Geeks on the Plane are touring Moscow, Tallinn and Zagreb this week, I have finally written this post summarizing the result of a year-long research project exploring the Russian and Eastern European startup ecosystem. The results will hopefully help those who weren’t invited to join the GOAP crowd to get a better sense of what is happening in the former socialist countries from Slovenia to Russia. There is a lot of action in Eastern Europe, but for lack of time I simply cannot tell all the stories. Instead I have pulled together names and links, and created a few social media lists to connect startup entrepreneurs, accelerators, and investors in Russia and Eastern Europe on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. You can find these lists below. Success stories
The top 5 reasons why an investor will NOT invest in your startup (free event) - Finance for Startups (BrusselsSeptember 19, 2012 · 6:30 PM During this 1:15 evening session, we will focus on the top 5 reasons why an investor will NOT invest in your startup (i.e. the biggest mistakes by startups), with real life (but anonymous) cases & examples. Team Business model Scalability ROI (return on investment)
One of the coolest parts of my job is that I’m always around startup founders who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world. I love listening to their stories. How did they get started? Why are they driven to do this? What obstacles have they battled through?