Money makes startups fast.
As you begin your journey as an entrepreneur what are your expectations? If you’re like many new entrepreneurs, you’re probably thinking you have a great idea for a new business. You assume you’ll dedicate your time and talents to your startup for the next year or two, get it to positive cash flow in three years, and in five years you will be in control of your destiny. You’ll be in charge of a profitable business venture with opportunities to either grow it or sell it.
Negotiating a license agreement is hard, especially when you’re the small, young company in the deal. Here are the top five mistakes startups make when negotiating.
You’ve made it as an entrepreneur. Your startup has positive cash flow, proven growth, and a strong management team. What’s next? No problem, you say. Just sell the company for big bucks. Easier said than done. Here are the things you need to think about before considering acquisition.
Next month the Innovation Fund will announce the latest group of companies to win funding awards. This money is usually the first market validation that a new business idea has the potential for success. But there are a number of reasons why a good idea might not be awarded funding—at least not on the first attempt.
Applying for funding when you're a cash strapped entrepreneur can be stressful. Developing the financials for your business can bring on additional stress, but it doesn't have to. As long as you have a well thought out business plan, doing the financials to go with it is just a matter of putting the dollars to the business tasks. Here are my seven rules of effective startup financials.
Cleveland Whiskey is one of Northeast Ohio’s most successful and well-known startups. The company has raised more than $2 million, perfected a disruptive technology that dramatically accelerates the maturation of distilled spirits, and sold more than 200,000 bottles of its whiskey around the world.
“VR is not a trend. VR is the sandbox the future will be created in.”
Todd Doehring spent years working as a scientist at the Cleveland Clinic and as a professor of Bioengineering at Drexel University. His projects centered on images and micro-testing systems. He wanted to make them work better for doctors and other scientists. Todd researched and taught biomechanics of soft tissues and microscopy.
If you’re running a startup, chances are you’ll need to know how to raise capital. You need to know how to find the right potential funding sources and once those sources are identified, how to increase your odds to get funding from those sources.
Beth Potratz owns an eharmony.com of sorts for truckers. Not for love, but for matching truck drivers with jobs they will love. The human resource expert was working on driver recruitment solutions for a trucking industry client when she spotted a two-way challenge: employers couldn’t find the best-fitting drivers and drivers couldn’t find the best-fitting jobs.
"Wait, I have to do financials for my business?!" That's what many entrepreneurs shriek as perspiration rolls down their foreheads when they're told three or five year pro-forma financials are needed for their business when applying to the Innovation Fund. That's closely followed by, "How am I supposed to do that? I'm an entrepreneur, not an accountant." In all honesty, when asked to write this blog I shrieked, "But I'm a numbers person. I don't write!" It took a bit to calm me down, but I realized I do know about financials and I have written before, so I could do this. Hopefully, your panic will subside or at least diminish and be replaced by some degree of confidence after reading this blog.
If you’re running a startup I’ve got one important bit of advice: you will never have enough funding. You will (and should) always be looking for your next source of funds. Well, maybe never is a bit over the top, but never is a good benchmark during the first five years of any startup.
To perform most blood tests, a nurse draws a vial of blood from a patient and sends the sample to a lab, where it’s spun in a big machine and analyzed. Then the lab technician sends the patient’s results to the physician who ordered the test. The entire process takes up to two hours, but can be rushed for urgent cases.
It's a valid question. Your innovation is going to require money in order to advance from development to commercial launch. Whether your total capital needs are $3 million or $30 million, the needed money can trickle in via smaller increments or in tranches of millions of dollars—depending on how you ultimately structure your funding request. But, independent of such incremental amounts, you must establish and validate a valuation for your business. In other words, how much of your company (i.e., stock or ownership) will an investor get for their investment?
An embryo seems to miraculously mature through layers of development. Cellular differentiation, a forming spinal column, organ development, and more, are all necessary for a healthy, vital birth. Just as the developing fetus goes through a myriad of maturation steps, your innovation and your company must proceed methodically through multiple tasks. But this business procession is no miracle—it’s plain old work. I would say the adage, “plan your work, and work your plan” is invaluable advice—provided that your plan is well constructed.
Can you diagnose these symptoms? The subject has conceived of a novel innovation that he or she believes is so important it will soon become a staple product across the globe. The inventor thinks its features and benefits solve a problem facing the world. However, our inventor has never queried anyone beyond him or herself and a few friends.
How likely are you to obtain a patent for your invention? If you made and sold it right now, would you be infringing someone else’s patent? Researching the patent databases will help you answer these questions and give you a good idea about whether your innovation is already described or claimed by others.