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Early-Stage Funding; Tracking; Angel Funding; TechStars; 9/2/08 – EVENTS & More
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9/5/08 F - 1-7 PM Silicon Flatirons Deregulation Revisited Fred Kahn Tribute
9/8/08 M - PM DaVinci Institute: Night With A Futurist
9/9/08 T - Noon ACG: Get On the Roller Coaster
9/9/08 T - PM RVC: Early Stage Investing
9/11/08 T - Day CPIA: 2nd Annual POSSE
9/11/08 T - AM RMIMA: Information Technology Management Series
9/17/08 W - PM InvestorAvenue.com: The Real Estate Investor Forum
9/17/08 W - PM Silicon Flatirons Center: Entrepreneurs Unplugged
9/18/08 Th - PM TiE Rockies: Sam Pitroda
9/18/08 Th - PM AITP Denver: Dinner & Keynote-"Knowledge Management"
9/20/08 S - AM DaVinci Institute: Product Launch Boot Camp
9/22/08 M - PM Startup Junkie: Ground Swells of Change
9/24/08 W - PM TiE Rockies: Mentor Fest
More Events VIEW 'Save the Dates"   Submit your dates too!

545_ Using Consulting and Angel Funding to Bootstrap a Vertical Strategy
AWhere (pronounced: aware) was formed as a pure consulting company (GIS: Geospatial Information Systems), discovered a pain point, and built a product to address that pain. Mark Weakley, Partner at Holme Roberts & Owen, Boulder and Larry asked John Corbett, Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board, President of AWhere along with Jim Pollock, President of Vertical Market Development for AWhere, how AWhere used consulting and later angel funding to build their vertical strategy. They raised better than 600K and talked about what they are doing to secure a 'bigger raise' and other funding issues. They talked about converting the company from a consulting company to a product company. They talked about taking advantage and riding the coattails of larger players: exploiting the hype and educational wave that Google Maps and MS Virtual Earth is creating in the location intelligence and location services market. They showed how this dovetails into multiple possible exit strategies without worrying about the exit. They also described their vertical strategy: dividing their market into a series of vertical industries, then using Angel funding to accelerate their entry into the first two. Once they validated the first 2, they'll have confidence and working business models to more aggressively attack future verticals. There's more...
Related Links: AWhere || HRO Named Go-To Firm || It's the Law Channel || Holme Roberts & Owen || Keywords: John Corbett, Jim Pollock, AWhere, Geospatial Information Systems, Mark Weakley, Holme Roberts & Owen, Boulder, HRO > Bytes: 14159039 > LISTEN 9/2/08

543_ Over 400 People Attended the TechStars Investor Day
"One of the things that is so impressive about TechStars is how the whole community and entrepreneurs here really support the individual companies, really engages with the companies and really helps to mature them very rapidly," said Dave Drach, Managing Director, Emerging Business Team for Microsoft, one of the sponsors of TechStars. Larry asked Dave and David Cohen, co-founder of TechStars some of the stats about this amazing project. The mentorship and other support mechanisms for the participating teams is extraordinary. David pointed out, "They can’t get very far with the $10 or $15 grand we give them at the beginning of the summer, so most of the companies, not all, are seeking a couple hundred thousand dollars up to half a million bucks. What they want to do is use that money to work on their product over the next year to get to a better place and eventually approach VCs when they get there. We work with them after the summer to work through those terms of investors, between them and investors. We had good luck last year, we had 8 out of the 10 companies that did end up doing a seed round."We don’t only support companies on the Microsoft platform; it’s great to see the ideas. One of the companies that we had last year, SocialThing, have now sold the company to AOL. It was a great idea, a great result and they’re all thrilled about it, as are we."...listen now for more insights...
Related Links: Microsoft Startup Zone || Tech Stars || Blog || Colorado Starhannel || Keywords: Dave Drach, Microsoft, David Cohen, Tech Stars, Microsoft Startup Zone, Investors > Bytes: 8796267 > LISTEN 9/2/08

541_ Colorful Leadership: Skill Set for All Leaders, All the Time
We now live and operate at Web speed. The five year plan is out. If you can plan ahead for five quarters, you're doing well. We must produce more with less. Steve Wille and Bill Kuehn, partners of Tough Teams are also co-authors of Colorful Leadership along with Larry Nelson. When it comes to Leaders, Managers and Entrepreneurs Steve always asks, "Are you looking at the world through rose colored glasses?" Listen to their discussion as it will give specific how-to ideas that can be used right away. Past frustrations will be understood and then dissipated. You will be able to win with any boss, sell more ideas, and get results that exceed expectations. Simply stated, we all see the world through three filters - future, people, and security. We prefer to communicate with one filter. This means, if we communicate through the future filter only people with the exact same filter will receive our message with clarity. To attain total clarity, we must communicate through all three filters all of the time. This also explains why we don't understand other people the way we really want to. If they don’t communicate in our preferred filter we will be confused. Every communication needs to be 3-Filters™ compliant, and there are three simple questions to ask in any situation. 1- What do you think? 2- How do you feel about it? 3- Where can this go? Listen for some great ideas fo all Leaders.
Related Links: Colorful Leadership || Tough Teams || 3-Filters Technology™ || Amazon || Keywords: Steve Wille, Bill Kuehn, Colorful Leadership, 3-Filters Technology™, Tough Teams, Leaders, Total Clarity, Communicate - Bytes: 11125240 LISTEN 8/18/08

540_ $100K in Angel Money and an Additional $650K with More to Come
"Here’s a piece of advice, don’t waste your time talking to a lot of west coast investors if you don’t have a pre-existing relationship. Focus your attention on people that know you and have known you in the past, and you’ll find yourself with a lot more traction in a less time,” says Ari Newman and Tom Chikoore co founders of Filtrbox. Mark Weakley, Partner, Holme Roberts & Owen, Boulder has been working with Filtrbox and knew this was the type of story we like to cover. In late summer as TechStars was wrapping up Tom and Ari brought in about $100K in angel money. That carried them through the end of the year when Filtrbox started some serious fund raising for a seed round. "Fund raising takes way longer than most people think, it’s harder than most people think. It’s incredibly stressful and to actually try to run the business and be fund raising – it’s hard to put your head in two places at once. And if you’re a tiny little startup and you have no capital... flying around, trying to meet investors – ooh! Travel and expense dollars can burn your development budget." So far they have raised around $620K. Their investors are both institutional investors and angels. They have quite a story...listen now...
Related Links: Filtrbox Home || HRO Named Go-To Firm || It's the Law Channel || Holme Roberts & Owen || Keywords: Ari Newman, Tom Chikoore, Filtrbox, Mark Weakley, Holme Roberts & Owen, Boulder, HRO, TechStars, Institutional Investors, Angels > Bytes: 12801570 LISTEN 8/18/08

546_ Fast Start Program with Up to a Million Dollars in Early-Stage Funding
"The Fast Start Program has been a part of Meritage’s DNA from the beginning. The Fast Start Program allows us to invest up to $1 million in an early stage idea," pointed out Stephanie Smeltzer McCoy, Managing Partner of Meritage Funds.
The purpose for the fast start program is to deal with the risks; technology risks, market risks, and execution risks, faced by every company we view. Meritage does not take technology risks in our investments, we leverage proven technology. So what we’re really focused on is market risk and execution risks. "When an entrepreneur comes to us with a very innovative idea, often what we’re faced with is market risk and we use our Fast Start program to help both ourselves and the entrepreneur get their arms around that market risk. We combine operating expertise along with venture capitalist expertise. Every portfolio company has two partners on it, an operating partner and a venture capitalist partner. Our operating partners are highly successful entrepreneurs – combined they have founded, built, run and exited companies worth $25 billion." Listen to more in Stephanie's own words.

Related Links: Meritage Funds || Venture Capital Channel || CTP Channel || Find It || Keywords: Stephanie McCoy, Early-Stage Funding, Meritage Funds, Venture Capital, Network-Enabled Service > Bytes: 5547052 - LISTEN > 9/2/08

544_ Colorado Company Looks at Raising Capital in Silicon Valley and CO
Back in the 'dotcom' era, Matt McAdams raised raised capital. Today, Matt is Founder and CTO of TrackVia and pointed out that in 1999 it was a great deal easier to raise venture capital then it is today. TrackVia is a client of Mark Weakley, Partner at Holme Roberts & Owen, Boulder. Mark and Matt discussed some very important 'do's' and 'don'ts' about raising capital in the Silicon Valley vs. Colorado. Here are a few questions that were covered. How did you go about getting meetings with VC firms? Is it effective just to submit a business plan through the firm’s website, or did it require personal introductions and/or more creative routes of reaching the firm? Does it matter whether you’re meeting with an associate at the firm, or with one of the partners? In other words, should you push to have a partner attend your meeting? What was your experience like in Silicon Valley, as a Colorado-based company? Do you think it’s more effective to identify a list of just a few VC firms that look like a great fit, and really work on those firms, or is it better to cast a very wide net and take every meeting you can get? Matt feels strongly about management teams, personal introductions, persistence and improving what you are selling. VCs currently want to see real business traction from startups, in the form of product users/customers. Listen to Matt's discussion and you will hear some very practical, pragmatic thoughts from an entrepreneur who has raised money recently, as well as back in the dotcom boom days.
Related Links: TrackVia || PodCast Directory || It's the Law Channel || Holme Roberts & Owen || Keywords: Dave Drach, Microsoft, David Cohen, Tech Stars, Microsoft Startup Zone, Investors > Bytes: 8796267 > LISTEN 9/2/08


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Story Links: Michael Bristow - Myogen: The $2.5 Billion Colorado Success || Heidi Roizen - Living in the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem || Russ Farmer - Maturing of the SBIR Program Means Big Changes || Jeff Akers - Geospatial Challenges and Choices for California and Colorado || 8//25/08

542_ Lots of Innovation and a 30 Billion Dollar Deal Flow on the Horizon
The venture capital syndication environment is not working for some today, but for others it is taking center stage. Stephanie Smeltzer McCoy, Managing Partner at Meritage Funds discusses their new deal flow with Larry as Meritage Funds recently made two exciting new investments. One thing Stephanie feels sure of is now that evaluations are down compared to 2003 and 2004, it is a great time to invest. With the interesting deal flow today and the tremendous amount of innovation, some are comparing this period to the late 1990s. If the market does experience a significant downturn in the next couple years it will have not impact Meritage Funds' investment because they operate and invest with a five to seven year exit plan. By then, the market will be up. Their investments are in the hundreds of millions in US dollars. While the majority of venture capitalists are very cautious about fundraising, Meritage Funds is well on the way of raising its third fund...and a big one at that. They invest in network-enabled service companies, specifically those that leverage networks to enable communication, deliver content and facilitate commerce. Whether you are an investor or an entrepreneur seeking venture capital, you should listen to Stephanie in her own words. She shares some great insights.
Related Links: Meritage Funds || Venture Capital Channel || CTP Channel || PodCast Directory || Keywords: Stephanie McCoy, Venture Capital, Meritage Funds, Capital Syndication, Exit Strategies, Network-Enabled Service > Bytes: 11281870 LISTEN 8/18/08

539_ A Venture Capital Firm Targeting the Green Tech Industry
Here is Part 2 of 2: New Perspective on the 10 Immutable Laws for Raising Capital. David Moll was the President and CEO of Webroot and still remains on the board. Today he is the Founder and General Partner of Infield Capital, a Venture Capital firm targeting the Green Tech industry. Although David has his focus, his experience in manufacturing as well as high-tech companies guide his current thinking about raising venture capital. He mentioned to Larry and Pat that the 10 Immutable Laws are the same, but there is a new twist with some of them. His fifth law brings up a big question in the minds of many when they first hear it...it is, 'Don't be the first or last investment in a fund' (although there can be exceptions). The sixth is 'Make sure you have a strong bench' (the team will make the difference). The seventh is 'Make your numbers and the milestones while engaged' (have a strong CFO). The eighth is 'Negotiate everything' (valuation is only one thing). The ninth is 'know how much to take' (more is better). And the tenth is 'Think about the morning after (who is in your foxhole and what did you promise in the process?). David doesn't pull any punches...listen now.
Related Links: Infield Capital || Conscious Economy Channel CORE || Venture Capital Channel || Keywords: David Moll, Infield Capital, Venture Capital, Clean Technology, Capital, 10 Immutable Laws > Bytes: 15472329 LISTEN 8/18/08


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