Category Archives: Financing Your Business

Startup Funding Option: Family and Friends

Jim Cooper is an expert on startup funding and at this talk he will go through some of the lesser known funding options for entrepreneurs.

Jim Cooper is an expert on startup funding

I am sitting here watching a great presentation by startup expert Jim Cooper, co-founder of Braid Theory, and he is talking about funding. It’s a complicated subject, or at least it can get that way, but I think one of the main complications is that people make it more complicated than it needs to be.

Many of the entrepreneurs that I talk with think that they should be looking for funding from an Angel group or VCs. Basically, to these entrepreneurs, that’s the only way they can think of to raise money for what they are doing. Starting a business is tough and oftentimes expensive so I understand why people, especially first time entrepreneurs, think that in order to raise funds they have to go through professional investors.

But that’s not the case. Not only is that not the case, the vast majority of startups do not get their first funds from professional investors. Ideas are great but they just don’t make for great investments all that frequently.

So, how do most startups get, well, started?

Self funding is one way. And raising funds from family and friends is another popular way for early stage companies. And the reason why is simple: you, your family, and your friends are the people most likely to believe in you. They are willing to take that chance… and it is a very big risk because most startups don’t end up making much, if any, money.

Jim did provide a couple of great tips for entrepreneurs who are approaching family and friends for investment funds:

  • Get it in writing!
    • Any agreement involving money and equity must be documented. Future investors will want to see who owns what and getting agreements written down will help to curtail any disagreements in the future.
  • If you don’t want your family and friends controlling your business sell them shares that do not include voting rights.
    • Selling equity that doesn’t come with voting rights is a normal thing in the startup world but most non-professional investors probably haven’t heard about this and might become offended if one of their family members or friends tries to sell them shares that don’t come with voting rights. Entrepreneurs should tread carefully here but the entrepreneur needs to be the leader and making the argument for why they need to maintain control of their business, especially during the earliest stages of a venture’s life.
  • Don’t raise more than $500,000 from family and friends
    • I think this is more a rule of thumb for Jim but I can see his reasoning here. Startups aren’t worth a lot in the beginning and $500,000 would probably represent a sizable chunk of the business’ equity. Sure, if an entrepreneur could convince a rich uncle to invest that amount of money and not require voting rights then the entrepreneur would still have control of his business but would probably only have a fraction of the equity.

Jim’s talk contained a lot more information than what I’ve been writing about. I hope that we will be able to publish some of the more important segments from Jim’s talk in the future as part of our Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship series. And to work with mentors like Jim and those that you can find at the CSUF Startup Incubator get in touch with us by sending us an email at csufentrepreneurship@fullerton.edu.


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:
http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge

Event Reminder: How to Fund your Startup

Jim Cooper is an expert on startup funding and at this talk he will go through some of the lesser known funding options for entrepreneurs.

Jim Cooper is an expert on startup funding and at this talk he will go through some of the lesser known funding options for entrepreneurs.

Just a friendly reminder that we will be hosting an event with startup expert Jim Cooper tomorrow evening at 6pm where he will discuss some of the innovative funding sources that most entrepreneurs know nothing about. Make sure to register by clicking this link.

Here is some information about the event:

As an entrepreneur, there are many options for funding all with clear pluses and minuses. Our speaker, Jim Cooper of Braid Theory, will discuss what some of these options are but he will be focusing on SBIR funding as a great alternative for startups.

“The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation”s R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.” – sbir.gov

Pizza and soft drinks will be served at this event.

We hope to see you there!

[You will need to purchase a parking permit to park on this campus. Information for parking can be found here: http://www.fullerton.edu/irvinecampus/about/campusmap.php]


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:
http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge

How to Fund your Startup @ CSUF Startup Incubator

Jim Cooper is an expert on startup funding and at this talk he will go through some of the lesser known funding options for entrepreneurs.

Jim Cooper is an expert on startup funding and at this talk he will go through some of the lesser known funding options for entrepreneurs.

You have a great idea but you need some funds to make it happen. What do you do? [First step, attend this talk at the CSUF Irvine campus this Wednesday, August 2 at 6pm; register here.]

As an entrepreneur, there are many options for funding all with clear pluses and minuses. Our speaker, Jim Cooper of Braid Theory, will discuss what some of these options are but he will be focusing on SBIR funding as a great alternative for startups.

“The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation”s R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.” – sbir.gov

Pizza and soft drinks will be served at this event.

We hope to see you there!

[You will need to purchase a parking permit to park on this campus. Information for parking can be found here: http://www.fullerton.edu/irvinecampus/about/campusmap.php]

Jim Cooper: Jim Cooper has had over 20 years of startups, market research, market intelligence and competitive analysis experience. He has assisted companies enter the United States market, and has helped many other companies entering markets further afield.

He is CTO of Braid Theory, an early-stage startup advisory and consulting group located in Los Angeles

He also created a consultancy, Conscientia Research, and as a full-service Market Research business its goals are to make businesses successful and competitive by employing research to understand markets, so a business doesn’t have to rely on assumptions about how a market works.

He employs a number of services, including market sizing, primary and secondary research, customer validation, market validation, competitive analysis and strategy, regulatory and standards compliance, supply-chain optimization, production analysis and business planning.

Jim has been a Principal Advisor to companies seeking Phase I and Phase II Commercialization through SBIR grants. With his assistance, businesses have utilized his research products to enhance the growth projections for their business and strengthened their market capabilities.

Jim’s specialties include: Market Intelligence, Market Validation Research, Economic Development, Small Business Issues, Competitive Analysis and Strategies, Supply Chain Optimization, Market Entry, Production Strategy, wrapped in timely and actionable recommendations.

Jim is trained in economics, political science, biology and mathematics, in both the United States and his birth country, Australia. He holds positions on business advisory boards, lending his experience and broad knowledge to startups. He is a mentor to CSU students NSF i-Corps teams.

Jim is interested in STEM/STEAM and Linked Learning education initiatives, and how that channels into innovation, and Lean Start-ups. He uses an evidence-based entrepreneurship approach to increase intellectual capital.


#CSUF

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator

For more details on how CSUF Consulting can help businesses thrive:
http://business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Consulting

Attend one of our events for entrepreneurs or sign up for a free mentoring session:
http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

Knowledge @ CSUF Entrepreneurship video series:
http://bit.ly/csufknowledge

How I Raised $7.5M – This Wednesday at CSUF Startup Incubator

Join us at the CSUF Startup Incubator this Wednesday at 6pm to hear veteran entrepreneur and investor Pete DeAngelis give a talk about raising money for your startup

Join us at the CSUF Startup Incubator this Wednesday at 6pm to hear veteran entrepreneur and investor Pete DeAngelis give a talk about raising money for your startup

There are a lot of misconceptions when it comes to raising money for a startup and that’s understandable since the vast majority of entrepreneurs never end up raising a dollar from anyone outside of their close network of family and friends. Companies that receive Angel money are rare and the universe of companies that receive funding from Venture Capitalists is much smaller than that.

That is why we are excited to be hosting a talk this Wednesday at 6pm at the CSUF Startup Incubator in Placentia by serial entrepreneur and Angel Investor Pete DeAngelis. As you will read in this edition of the CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider, Pete has successfully raised over $7.5M for companies he has worked with and is an active investor himself.

Attendees will get the chance to ask Pete any questions that they have. And, if you ask me for a recommendation as to what question to ask, how about: “How realistic is Shark Tank?” I have my own opinions about the realism of that show but I’m curious to find out what a veteran entrepreneur/investor like Pete has to say about it.

Pete DeAngelis has raised more than $7.5M for companies he has been an executive or board member for and he is also on the Investment Committee for the Cove Fund. In other words, when he talks about how to finance your business you should listen.
This Wednesday at 6pm at the CSUF Startup Incubator in Placentia (reserve your seat for this talk on our Eventbrite page) Pete will lead a conversation that covers a range of topics that are absolutely critical for every entrepreneur looking to raise funds. He will give his tried and true advice on how to give an effective pitch to investors and talk about how to manage the due diligence process that happens afterwards.
Attendees of this talk will get information that only equity investors know and they will get the opportunity to ask questions of and network with angel investors. We hope to see you there!
Sincerely,

John Bradley Jackson
Director & Professor
CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship, CSUF Consulting,
& CSUF Startup Incubator

P.S. This Friday, May 5, our entrepreneurship students will be giving their end of the semester presentations for either the business plans they have been working on or the businesses they have been actively launching. We still need a couple more judges for our morning and afternoon sessions and if you would like more information on what it means to be a judge please email Travis Lindsay at tlindsay@fullerton.edu for more information. It’s a great experience for all involved!

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CSUF Entrepreneur Director John Bradley Jackson to Give Talk to OC Financial Society

john-bradley-jacksonOn Thursday, February 16 Director John Bradley Jackson will be giving a talk at a luncheon for the OC Financial Society. Details are here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ocfs-february-2017-luncheon-invitation-registration-tickets-21190739071

Director Jackson will focus on the intersection of finance and entrepreneurship.

He recently gave a talk similar to the one planned for the OC Financial Society luncheon going into detail about how to develop a powerful investor pitch. A segment from that talk titled “The 12 Slides you need for your Startup Pitch to Investors” is below.


#CSUF

Become a CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider to keep up-to-date on all the events, news, and everything else we do: http://bit.ly/CSUFStartupSignup

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship: http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurship

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs: http://bit.ly/csufstartup

Attend one of our entrepreneur events or sign up for a free mentoring session: http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

The 12 Slides you need for your Startup Pitch to Investors

how-to-give-a-startup-pitch-to-investorsThese are the 12 slides you need when you are pitching your business to investors.

In this talk, John Bradley Jackson, Director for the Cal State Fullerton Center for Entrepreneurship and CSUF Startup Incubator, goes through the twelve slides that entrepreneurs need to nail when giving a pitch to investors. Investor presentations are are high pressure but after watching this video you will know what investors are looking for from the businesses that they invest in.


#CSUF

Become a CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider to keep up-to-date on all the events, news, and everything else we do: http://bit.ly/CSUFStartupSignup

For more details on CSUF Entrepreneurship: http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurship

For more details on how we help people become entrepreneurs: http://bit.ly/csufstartup

Attend one of our entrepreneur events or sign up for a free mentoring session: http://bit.ly/CSUFEntrepreneurEvents

A New Semester Begins at CSUF

center-for-entrepreneurship-csuf-startup-incubatorA new semester begins at Cal State Fullerton! Take a look at what is in store in this edition of the CSUF Entrepreneurship Insider.

For most of Cal State Fullerton the spring semester begins today and there are many things to look forward to during the semester at CSUF Entrepreneurship.

Over the next couple of weeks our students will begin their consulting projects for local businesses. These projects are tremendous opportunities for our students to apply what they learn in the classroom to real world situations and they offer a great value to our clients as well. We are still recruiting clients for this semester and if you know of a company that could benefit from working with a team of CSUF students please get in touch with Client Project Specialist Charlesetta Medina at (657) 278-8243 or at entrepreneurship@fullerton.edu.

At the CSUF Startup Incubator we have many events and office hours already scheduled and there are more in the works. This week startup specialist Jim Cooper will have office hours on Friday and this Wednesday I will be hosting a seminar titled How to Pitch to an Investment Panel. We have some big things in the works for the CSUF Startup Incubator that we will be announcing in the near future!

For current CSUF students we will be hosting the CSUF Business Plan Competition. Many CSUF students have great business concepts but they are trepidatious about taking the leap into entrepreneurship and the CSUF Business Plan Competition is a powerful way to help them take that first step. More details about how to enter will be available shortly but, for now, you can view our post on last year’s competition.

As the semester unfolds I will make sure to keep you up-to-date on all of the interesting and inspiring events and stories that happen in the CSUF Entrepreneurship community.

Sincerely,

John Bradley Jackson
Director & Professor
CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship, CSUF Consulting,
& CSUF Startup Incubator

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