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Monday, May 2, 2011

A Few Great Links to Startup Articles

I am always monitoring the literature for authors and articles of interest to startup companies.  A few of these I have sent out over twitter and Linkedin and some I added to the group Startup Group on Linkedin.  As a part of the learning process from time to time I will try to provide some related and interesting links and expand on the concepts found in them in the future.  Below are a few of the recent articles and their authors:

·       First let me start with @StartupPro if you are a twitter fan.  Martin Zwilling is a favorite of mine and you can see why by his name on twitter.  He blogs and writes articles for many news papers and journals.  I will list below a few of his recent articles which I liked and suggest you keep an eye out for his materials. 

Ten Ways to Optimize Your Investor Pitch Time  This article, like is says, describes key areas of optimization of an investor pitch.  I have experienced much of what he comments on and believe the article worth review.  You man notice my comment at the bottom which provided a real life event from an investor.

Five Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Angel Investors A complement to the pitch optimization helps you prepare for approaching investors.

Ten Top Investor Turnoffs Around Business Plans Like the title implies the article relays things investors do not like in business plans.  You can see a outline in my earlier articles which shows a outline for a business plan.  Keep it honest, easy to understand, and informative.  Create a summary, don’t hype, and make sure you use proper English (assuming that is the language of preference).

Most Startups Get No Professional Investor Cash  I addressed this issue in the first part of my blog.  PLEASE, do not start up a business thinking you will be getting paid immediately.  Have a window of time you can work at little or no income before starting a new company.  

Primer On Funding Trends for Early-Stage Startups  New classifications of investors: Micro-VCs, Super Angels, Series-Seed Round, Early-Stage Startup are new terms which are defined.  The terminology is based on a discussion with Dave McClure CEO of 500Startups. 

·       The Harvard Business School Has a site dealing with working knowledge. There are often good articles which provide helpful information.  In addition, I can recommend the Harvard Business Review which has free blogs that are often related to startup, management, entrepreneurship and other business interests.

Top Ten Legal Mistakes Made by Entrepreneurs  This is a good read and will help you understand many of the legal mistakes most common to startups.  I have posted this link in several locations and it gets comments and re-sent because it is so well received and useful.

·       Fortune Finance which is found in Fortune had a recent article:

Cash is king: 8 tips for optimizing your startup financing strategy  The article talks about valuations and changes based on milestone achievement or lack of an event.  The valuation growth is not linear and always up.  Keep that in mind when you read the article.

·       Joel Spolsky , found on twitter as @spolsky is the moderator on Bright Journey addressed a question recently that I felt worth mentioning.

Forming a new software startup, how do I allocate ownership fairly? The answer to this question may be helpful.  Startups are always trying to determine what makes the most sense in giving out ownership.  In the end, it comes to whatever works or is negotiated by the parties, but you will get a perspective from the answer.

·       Venture Beat is a journal with some great articles as is Inc Magazine.  I often find relevant articles and sometimes help or tools in these journals. Three such articles are:

5 reasons not to take a big VC round  Make sure you are surrounded by professionals that understand the issues associated with investments.  There are many reasons to take venture money and many pitfalls that can cut your upside in the future.  This article provides a few areas to consider.  There is much you will want to learn regarding taking investor money.  Make sure you have good representation before closing on a deal.

How to Write a Business Plan Outline  Enough said.  Start with an outline then expand to the full plan.  Make sure you finalize by making a great executive summary.  The executive summary is something you can show potential investors early then provide the full plan when they show interest.

10 Tips for Licensing Intellectual Property  This article plus the one from a licensing manager earlier in my blog will help give you ideas.  Always make sure you understand the agenda of the group you want the technology from, it will help move discussions along better.

·       Dan Rockwell known on Twitter as the @Leadershipfreak often has great things to help inspire you to be a good leader. 

Supporting a new lead person  Take a look and from time to time check out his blog.  Maybe you will get the extra inspiration you need in those difficult times.

This is a small list to get you started and supplement what I have been writing about. I suggest you keep reading and learning.  It will show when you are on the road raising money.

You can follow Taffy Williams on Twitter by @twilli2861 and you can email me with questions at twilli2861@aol.com and my company website is at http://www.ColonialTDC.com . You can also find me in the group Startup Group on Linkedin. The blog is now listed on Alltop®.