What You Need to Know About Venture Capital

When a venture capitalist takes the decision of investing in a small company, he or she does so after carefully studying the business plan for a period of up to 3 years. Generally the offers that enter this process are those that are different and innovative with a high potential for success. Venture capital funds follow a different set of rules than those established by banks. For instance, a venture capitalist will give great importance to the documents presented, the experience and profile of the entrepreneur, the idea of the business and the product it will offer to the market, and of course its innovative qualities.

Venture capital is obtained after going through a complex process. Depending on the kind of venture capital we are talking about, the investor may choose to buy shares (ordinary or preferred), or agree to receive advances on their bank accounts.

Venture capital is not intended to remain indefinitely invested in the company. Its intervention should be ad hoc and limited in time. The output can be achieved by: reduction or amortization of capital, the repurchase of securities by original partners at an agreed price, the resale of securities to a financial or industrial group, and by the sale at a capital development.

The capital gains that the venture capitalists obtain come essentially from the sale value of the shares they bought. The risks they take are: never being able to sell the shares, or losing everything if the company disappears.

You may be wondering, who are these investors? Well, venture capital can be given by angel investors, venture capital companies, or venture capital funds that help small business that have innovative or different ideas.

We present you here a list of factors that venture capitalists will take into account when choosing a company:

For investors what the company does and how it does it is important. They will want to know whether the business produces, creates, develops or recovers.

Status of the capital investment: public, semi public or private. The criteria for entry to the capital of a company can vary depending on the nature of the company that owns the fund.

Minimum and maximum amount granted: there is no need to contact a speaker funds from 1million Euros while your need for investment is estimated at 200,000.

The areas of funding are particularly important to venture capitalists because some may look for specific areas: technology, innovation, etc. As well, as if coverage is requested for a small or large geographic area.… Read More

The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki – Book Review

The Art of the Start, The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything, offers readers both good news and bad news on starting up a company. The good news offered by Guy Kawasaki rests upon his background as a venture capitalist. Kawasaki is the managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm. According to their web site, “Garage Technology Ventures is a seed-stage and early-stage venture capital fund. We’re looking to invest in extraordinary entrepreneurs who have the ability to build great teams and great companies.” Thus the good news revolves around strategies to pitch business ideas to venture capitalists, positioning your company, writing a business plan, “making mantra”, etc. These are all important activities and based on sound advice. Kawasaki offers exercises, tidbits and suggestions on redefining thinking in entrepreneurial terms, all helpful to early stage entrepreneurs.

The bad news revolved around bootstrapping and the fact that there was only one chapter on this truly important topic. The Art of the Start seemed slanted toward the “come up with an idea, write the business plan, pitch to venture capitalists, secure early stage venture, increase sales, find additional venture, liquidation event road”. I strongly favor bootstrapping, self funding and virtual business ideas over the borrow tons of venture capital funds to succeed path, and fully understand that reader bias could have crept into this perspective.

If your entrepreneurial idea absolutely requires the significant capitalization that venture capitalists offer, The Art of the Start should definitely be at the top of your list. There is an execellent section on pitching to venture capitalists complete with the questions which are likely to be asked and suggestions on the best answers to offer would be venture investors. I found the book to be well written and thought provoking, particularly enjoying the final chapter, The Art of Being a Mensch (and the three foundations of menschhood), which Kawasaki recommends that the reader reads first. So, the good news is, though there are more aspects to this book than venture funding, you should definitely read this book if you’re thinking of venture capital funding. The bad news is that statistically, entrepreneurs are better off finding alternatives to venture capital funding and might be better off reading books focused on alternatives to venture capital funding. Regardless, I enjoyed The Art of the Start and found it an interesting read.… Read More