The statistics aren’t in your favor: According to Harvard Business School, over half of American startups are gone within 5 years. It’s a long, lonely haul. Money usually runs out too soon and friends and family crawl into the woodwork.
But no matter how many times I repeat the grim stats to perspective startup clients, no matter how many times I tell them that based on history and my experience, they’re living a long shot, it doesn’t seem to make any difference.
If they’ve been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, there is no antidote. It’s as though they’ve been driven to the edge and nothing short of jumping off will quiet the voices in their heads.
See Katie’s presentation at Cosmoprof North America 2014!
1. How does CircleUp help companies?
At CircleUp, we connect innovative consumer product and retail companies with consumer-focused investors so that companies can raise capital more efficiently and investors can access dealflow, conduct diligence, and invest in consumer companies more efficiently as well. We saw a huge gap in the marketplace for consumer companies with less than $10M in revenue because the private equity firms and strategics don’t focus on companies below that size.These companies would typically spend 12 months fundraising and have a difficult time getting in front of relevant investors. We also think consumer is an interesting industry for earlier stage investors as there is less selection bias and easier to understand business models.
I was on the phone with a passionate entrepreneur this morning and it took him 22 minutes to explain his concept to me. Not only did he lose my attention, but I was convinced he hadn’t thought through the product story. In an era when everyone has ADD, multi tasks, doesn’t listen and refuses to read, this is not a good start. Executive summaries have replaced concept decks. Acronyms have replaced conversations. Text messages are practically considered full blown dialogues. That USP (acronym for Unique Selling Proposition) had better be strong, concise, clear, compelling and immediately understood.
By now, everyone has heard the adage that you have 4 seconds to connect with
the consumer. She is being bombarded with upwards of 5k messages of some
IL: Wow, Yes To! has had a lot of new this year! We just moved into our new headquarters in San Francisco, doubling our space in order to make room for all of our new family members. Secondly, we have recently had a very successful launch of Yes To Blueberries — our “Age Refresh” line in the USA (with global launches coming throughout 2011). Lastly our distribution continues to expand and we have closed on 28,000 stores (in the last 4 years)!