Rice University in Houston, TX is conducting its fourth annual Veterans Business Battle on April 13-14 2018. In order to compete, each applicant must do the following:
The Veteran Roll Call is an Investor led event, connecting Military Veteran Entrepreneurs, Angel Investors, VC’s, Hedge-Funds and other capital resources. Startup, Early Stage, and Operating companies that are growing and need outside funding will be presenting at this event.The current date for the Veteran Roll Call event is November 8th and 9th, 2017. Companies wishing to have strong consideration for presenting need to apply/register and be selected on or before October 15, 2017. Presenting companies must complete a gust.com profile and submit a company profile. They will also have 20 minutes for their presentation and Q&A.
As we discuss in Session 6 of class, Entrepreneurship for Transitioning Warriors, venture capital investment is one of the many forms of raising money that a military veteran must understand. Funding your business can be a complex challenge for military veterans. There are various sources of funding available. The challenge is determining which source is the best for you. Here Urvaksh Karkaria at the Atlanta Business Chronicle describes the status of venture capital in Atlanta in 2Q17. You may not be in the Atlanta area, but the information my very well apply to your locale.
Funding your business can be a complex challenge for military veterans. There are various sources of funding available. The challenge is determining which source is the best for you. Please read on for those of you considering investors for your business. Here Urvaksh Karkaria at the Atlanta Business Chronicle describes the status of venture capital in Georgia, but the information my very well apply to your locale. As we discuss in class, Entrepreneurship for Transitioning Warriors, venture capital investment is one of the many forms of raising money that a military veteran must understand.
As a veteran and entrepreneur, at some point you will likely need some outside funding for your business. There are many resources to condider just like we discuss in class, Entrepreneurship for Transitioning Warriors. Trying to determine which source of funding is the best for you is the challenge. Here are ten helpful things that I found on the Atlanta Business Chronicle. It can be mind boggling because there are so many different lenders that offer so many different products. Choosing the best fit is key to success. As part of your search I recommend that you take a look at the SBA wedsite and especially the SBA Linc Tool. You may be surprised at local funding sources available to you.
Here is a short article by Leslie Collins, Web Producer at the Kansas City Business Journal. We discuss your pitch in Module 5 and 6. Collins offers seven key points that veterans need to heed. Your presentation or pitch is a key component of your business planning process as we discuss in class. Your military training should help you prepare and present. Please take this advice and prepare accordingly.
Collins writes - If you're warming up to pitch to an angel investor, here are some key tips to keep in mind from a session at the 2015 Techweek Kansas City.
1. Do your homework
Before you approach an investor, do your homework. Find out which sectors and stages of companies they invest in and how much they typically invest, said Tom DeBacco, general partner of Flyover Capital. Otherwise, you could waste a lifetime talking to the wrong people, he said.
2. Know the path to commercialization
"We see a lot of ideas that are interesting ideas, and we like to draw the distinction between what I call vitamins and pain pills," DeBacco said. "Vitamins are these nice to have things taken to make you feel better, but there's nothing definitive about it. We like to invest in things where you're identifying someone's pain. It's a real and acute pain, and you've got a pain pill to send. It's a lot easier to go to market with something like that."
3. Be articulate
Instead of getting caught in the weeds, sharing unnecessary details, be articulate. Let investors know what you're trying to do, how you're going to do it, how you're going to reach the market and how you're going to make money, said Kelly Pruneau, network manager for the Women's Capital Connection.
1. Using the word 'conservative'
When an entrepreneur is sharing numbers, investors don't want to hear the word "conservative," Pruneau said. Investors will cut those numbers further. Investors want to see an entrepreneur who's excited, who thinks the sky's the limit. So use aggressive but realistic numbers, she said.
2. We don't have competitors
One of the don'ts Rick Vaughn hears often is, "We don't have any competition." But you've always got competition, even if it's the status quo, said Vaughn, managing director of Mid-America Angel Investors.
3. We're never going to need money again
Another pet peeve for Vaughn is when entrepreneurs share financial projections, saying they only need this first investment and will never ask for capital again. That's not realistic, he said.
4. Deferring to your CPA
Entrepreneurs need to know the numbers, said Jill Meyer of the UMKC Small Business and Technology Development Center.
"A big turnoff in a presentation," she said, "is not being able to speak to the dollars you need, why you need them, what you're going to do with them and understanding how those projections were derived."
Deferring to your CFO or accountant to explain financials is the kiss of death, she said — the check is being cut to you, not the CPA.
We discuss veterans access to venture capital funding during one of our financial modules. This is one of many forms of funding available for veteran entrepreneurs to seek out as part of their funding strategy. In this article Urvaksh Karkaria, Staff Writer for the Atlanta Business Chronicle, shares the status of venture dollars. Read on to see that investment remains high but the pace may be slowing. Entrepreneurs must understand the current and future market when developing a funding plan and modify that plan based on the market.
Here is an excellent article by Marc Kramer a serial entrepreneur and contributing writer to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. There are many ways to fund your business as we discuss in class. Many veterans, new to entrepreneurship, believe that a bank loan, the SBA, and debt financing are the primary methods of obtaining funding. You know from class that there are many different equity sources of funding. The key is to find the right source for you and your business. Marc Kramer offers some excellent points and reasons here that must be considered.
Kramer writes - Most entrepreneurs, especially ones who have never run a business before, always believe they need to raise money right away from friends and family, get in front of their local angel group, and/or contact venture capitalists.
Here is a current article by Jim Blasingame, Contributing Writer, at the Atlanta Business Chronicle. We discuss this in great detail in class and Jim makes some great points. Veterans must learn early-on in their business career that guarding cash is a critical task for success.