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The Successful Pitch with John Livesay

The Successful Pitch interviews successful startups who share their secrets in raising funding, as well as investors who share their criteria, so that you become an insider into the world of getting funded. Join your host, author and funding strategist John Livesay as he provides insights on how to make your pitch compelling, easy to understand and inspiring. You will learn the 5 Cs needed to get funded fast: Confidence, Connection, Commitment, Collaboration and Check List. You can download the FREE PDF "3 Mistakes To Avoid When Pitching" at sellingsecretsforfunding.com
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Feb 23, 2016

Episode Summary

Tim Sanders has been involved with disruptive change for the past 30 years. He was on the ground floor of the mobile phone industry and the birth of the World Wide Web. He has written several books including Love Is the Killer App, Dealstorming, and more. Tim talks about his innovation template, how to build fantastic teams, and tell great stories. 

Key Takeaways

  • 04:05 - How did Tim become such a good storyteller?
  • 05:35 - There's only five stories in the world. Tim elaborates.
  • 07:40 - Tim talks about how he came up with his latest book, Dealstorming.
     
  • 11:30 - You don't just have a tall team, you have a wide one too.
     
  • 13:40 - Sales genius is a team sport. Tim explains what he means by this.
     
  • 16:40 - What's in an innovation template?
     
  • 22:00 - Invest 25% of your time in the discussion of the root of the problem you're having.
     
  • 25:20 - Tim breaks down the four keys to investing.
     
  • 27:30 - Tim talks about unsustainable business models.
     
  • 30:00 - Build a quality team to conquer huge deals.

Tweetables

Rapid problem solving is a competitive advantage.

Links Mentioned

JRobinett Enterprises
Give Your Speech, Change the World by Nick Morgan
Public Words
Dealstorming by Tim Sanders
Dealstorming
Tim Sanders' Twitter
Tim Sanders' LinkedIn

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Feb 22, 2016

Episode Summary

Jude Robinson helps both inventors and companies develop new products and bring them to market. Jude shares her personal story on what it was like growing up in Alaska, smart ways to test your products before spending tons of money to bring them to market, and why some of your best ideas and creations happen when your back is against the wall.

Key Takeaways

  • 3:00 - Why did Jude become an entrepreneur? 

  • 5:20 - Jude talks about the life lessons she has learned in Alaska. 

  • 6:10 - Honor your word.

  • 7:05 - Jude talks about how she got started. 

  • 10:25 - Jude shares networking tips.

  • 13:25 - How can you master your personal story?

  • 18:15 - Good ideas happen with your back against the wall. 

  • 19:55 - Get used to rejection. 

  • 23:20 - Sometimes you need to zoom out and see the big picture.

  • 24:45 - Don't try to be bigger than the chain.

  • 27:05 - Social-proof your idea first before spending tons of money on patents and failed inventions.

  • 29:15 - Jude recommends a synonyms finder. 

  • 30:30 - How can entrepreneurs deal with fear?

Tweetables

Don't be a brain picker or a tire kicker when networking.
Don't let others’ lack of integrity change your integrity.
Good ideas never come from agenda.
Don't give rejection the attention it seeks.

Links Mentioned

Jude Robinson's LinkedIn

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Feb 8, 2016

Episode Summary

Annette Lavoie started out as a medical device entrepreneur and currently provides mentorship to startup companies. After more than ten years in the medical device industry, she sold her first company and has incredible experience on how startup founders can succeed in the scary world of venture capital. Annette talks to John on how to evaluate startup companies, pre-revenue; and how to maintain your position as a founder after being funded.

Key Takeaways

  • 02:45 - How did Annette get started?

  • 03:40 - Why did she become an entrepreneur?

  • 08:10 - How did Annette convince investors to fund her?

  • 12:20 - What kind of investment strategies should an entrepreneur have before they meet with VCs?

  • 15:35 - Do your homework.

  • 19:45 - The ideal founder has a strong team in the beginning.

  • 20:15 - When your company gets larger, it's easier to overcome some of the team dynamics.

  • 20:55 - Annette talks about pre-revenue valuation.

  • 24:40 - Know your numbers really well or be upfront with not knowing. Never make them up.

  • 28:50 - What should entrepreneurs know before they go into a VC meeting?

  • 29:55 - How can you keep your position as a founder in your company?

  • 32:10 - Annette recommends three books entrepreneurs should read.

Tweetables

The opportunity is more important than the product.
Valuation is an art.
Be in the right room.
Know your exit strategy.

Links Mentioned

Dead on Arrival by Roger Royse
Pitch Anything by Oren Klaff
How to Be a Power Connector by Judy Robinett
Annette Lavoie Website
Annette Lavoie Twitter

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Feb 1, 2016

Episode Summary

Denise Brosseau is a thought leadership strategist, author, and business advisor. Denise is the CEO of Thought Leadership Lab, which specializes in building leaders into thought leaders. She serves on several startup advisory boards such as Vermillion and Kokko, Inc and talks to John about what thought leaders do differently from regular leaders.

Key Takeaways

  • 02:00 - Why does Denise do what she does?

  • 03:45 - How did Denise get the Champion of Change?

  • 08:30 - What is Springboard?

  • 11:25 - What's the difference between being a thought leader vs just being a leader?

  • 18:10 - People connect with entrepreneurs who show a little vulnerability.

  • 22:15 - Denise talks about her one page plan. 

  • 24:35 - What does Kokko, Inc do?

  • 28:15 - Denise talks about Vermillion.

  • 29:55 - Leaders are good at VRE (Vision, Relationships, and Execution).

  • 30:45 - Denise recommends Switch by Chip and Dan Heath.

Tweetables

Your why is more compelling than your numbers.
Have a ‘one-page plan’.
Create a tribe of followers.
Vision, relationships and execution.

Links Mentioned

Thought Leadership Lab
Ready to Be a Thought Leader by Denise Brosseau
Springboard Enterprises
Kokko Inc.
Vermillion Inc.
Switch by Chip and Dan Heath
Denise Brosseau Twitter
Denise Brosseau LinkedIn

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Jan 25, 2016

Episode Summary

Gillian Zoe Segal is the author of Getting There: A Book of Mentors. She interviewed highly successful entrepreneurs, mentors, and inspirational people such as Warren Buffett and Anderson Cooper for her book, which took roughly five years to complete. Gillian talks about some of the key lessons entrepreneurs can learn from successful individuals, how to not take rejection personally, and why persistence is one of the keys to success.

Key Takeaways

  • 02:20 - It took Gillian five years to complete her book, Getting There.

  • 03:20 - Don't get upset if busy people ignore or even reject you.

  • 04:25 - How can someone not take rejection personally?

  • 05:25 - Don't walk into a room like you're already defeated.

  • 06:00 - Why did Gillian write the book?

  • 07:55 - Never accept a no from someone who can give you a yes.

  • 09:50 - Follow up, follow up, and follow up!

  • 15:50 - Never assume it has always been one straight line to success.

  • 22:40 - Remember, nothing worth doing is easy.

  • 25:05 - What kind of challenges did Frank Gehry face?

  • 27:40 - If you never fail, you're not trying hard enough.

Tweetables

Resilience and determination are keys to success.
When you get rejected, don't always listen to the reason why.
If you never fail, you are not trying hard enough.
If you get rejected enough, you get a tough skin.

Links Mentioned

Gillian Zoe Segal Website
Gillian Zoe Segal LinkedIn
Gillian Zoe Segal Facebook
Gillian Zoe Segal Twitter
Gillian Zoel Segal EmailGetting There: A Book of Mentors by Gillian Zoe
SegalStand Out by Dorie Clark

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Jan 18, 2016

Episode Summary

Jason Best is one of the three people responsible for creating the CrowdFund Investment Framework used by President Barrack Obama in the Jobs Act. These important law reforms are what made crowdfund investing legal in the US. Jason talks about his experience with President Obama signing new legislation, as well as on how international companies like Asian raised funds. 

Key Takeaways

  • 02:00 - What's Jason's background and how did he get into crowdfunding?
  • 06:50 - Jason talks about his experience at the White House Rose Garden.
  • 12:05 - How has the new Jobs Act Obama signed into law affected crowdfunding?
  • 14:00 - Raising money for a business is always difficult.
  • 18:45 - Jason talks on being a general partner at Crowd Capital Venture Fund.
  • 21:20 - How do companies in Asia raise capital? 
  • 28:20 - You can fund a deal faster by using crowdfunding – saving time for the entrepreneurs. 
  • 29:10 - New angel investors can make smaller investments through the use of crowdfunding platforms to test the waters and gain experience in the industry.
  • 31:55 - Jason recommends How to Be a Power Connector by Judy Robinett.

Tweetables

Crowdfunding is a new way to do a difficult thing.
Crowdfunding now is only at page 60 of a 1000 page novel.
Give a founder an opportunity and they will find a way.
Power of saying yes.

Links Mentioned

Crowdfund Capital Advisors
Crowdfund Investing for Dummies by Jason Best
How to Be a Power Connector by Judy Robinett
Jason Best Tiwtter

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Jan 11, 2016

Episode Summary

Alicia Robb is a senior fellow with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the author of A Rising Tide: Financing Strategies for Women-Owned Firms. Alicia talks to us on what it's like to work with the co-founder of Portfolia and the work that she's doing with the Rising Tide Fund. She also said there are many books and resources out there, but you should always get involved with your local startup community to learn from people who are already in the trenches. 

Key Takeaways

  • 01:50 - How did Alicia get started?
  • 04:00 - Why did Alicia work for the Federal Reserve Board?
  • 06:15 - Are we currently in a tech bubble?
  • 07:15 - What is it like being a senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation?
  • 10:00 - Is it easier to get funding today than it was a couple of years ago?
  • 12:00 - Alicia talks about Portfolia.
  • 17:40 - You don't have to give up equity in return for funding.
  • 20:25 - What makes a good pitch? 
  • 22:15 - Rising Tide members are located all over the states.
  • 23:30 - It's hard to be an entrepreneur, so you have to have passion.
  • 26:25 - Alicia recommends the Kauffman School for more resources.  
  • 27:10 - Get involved with your startup community.
  • 27:50 - What is 1 Million Cups about?

Tweetables

Passion helps overcome rejection.
Show scalability for ROI.
1 million cups of coffee is what it takes to be a startup.
99 women join forces for Rising Tide Fund.

Links Mentioned

A Rising Tide by Alicia Robb
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
Portfolia
RisingTide
Startup Grind
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Startup Communities by Brad Feld
1 Million Cups
Alicia Robb Twitter
Forbes - Kauffman

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Jan 4, 2016

Episode Summary

Brandon Esposito is an associate at PMA Venture Capital Group where he provides operational oversight, strategic management, and direct operational support to PMA's portfolio companies. Brandon does a deep dive with John on his LinkedIn article, Paring your Pitch: What a VC Wants to See, and follows up on what VCs are looking for in their entrepreneurs.

Key Takeaways

  • 00:02:15 - How did Brandon become a VC?
  • 00:05:55 - Investors want to know if your team can execute the idea.
  • 00:11:50 - Ask yourself: What's the problem and whose problem is it?
  • 00:13:40 - Does the problem affect a large enough demographic?
  • 00:23:55 - Entrepreneurs should be thinking about exit strategies.
  • 00:26:35 - What does Brandon look for in an entrepreneur?
  • 00:29:35 - Brandon shares his investment process.
  • 00:33:40 - Brandon recommends the book Start Something That Matters

Tweetables

Passion with poise is what founders need.
The more adaptable you are the more investors want to fund you.
Execution and competence are keys to getting funded.
How you pitch, shows how you think.

Links Mentioned

PMA Ventures
Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie
LinkedIn Post – Paring Your Pitch

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Dec 25, 2015

Episode Summary

Mark Asquith is the host of the Excellence Expected podcast. His podcast was ranked the 1# small business podcast in the United Kingdom. Mark spells out how entrepreneurs can manage their time better and get more things done. He also shares a little bit about how to prevent burn out and why CEOs are horrible at Twitter. 

Key Takeaways

  • 02:10 - How did Mark get started?
  • 05:30 - How did Mark come up with the name for the podcast?
  • 07:25 - You can download a free productivity e-book on Mark's website.
  • 08:00 - If you don’t schedule it, then it doesn’t get done.
  • 09:20 - What's important, interesting, and integral?
  • 10:50 - Want to prevent burn out? Be happy.
  • 12:20 - How can CEOs really use Twitter?
  • 15:45 - Mark talks about being the captain of your own ship.
  • 19:50 - You get through the first year just by tackling it day by day.
  • 20:50 - How many months will it take to break even? Make profit as quickly as you can.
  • 21:45 - Is it possible to get leads from Periscope and Blab?
  • 27:10 - Mark recommends the book, The Stranger's Secret by Earl Nightingale.

Tweetables

Use periscope to make your face something people are used to seeing.
Job of founders is to steer the ship.
If it doesn't get scheduled, it doesn't get done.
Is it interesting, important and integral?

Links Mentioned

Excellence Expected
The One Thing by Gary W. Keller
Excellence Expected - 5 TWITTER SINS THAT ARE DESTROYING YOUR CREDIBILITY AND HOW TO STOP THEM TODAY
How to Be a Power Connector by Judy Robinett
The Stranger's Secret by Earl Nightingale
Mark Asquith Twitter

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Dec 18, 2015

Episode Summary

Roger Dooley is an author, international keynote speaker, and consultant. He is a recognized expert in the use of brain and behavior research to improve marketing, sales, and customer experience. Roger teaches the audience on the importance of understanding how the brain works and how you can use this knowledge to get the right reactions out of your investors.

Key Takeaways

  • 02:00 - Why does the brain interest Roger?
  • 08:25 - How can you get people to remember your pitch better?
  • 09:35 - Roger explains what system one and system two thinking is.
  • 16:20 - Roger explains Robert Cialdini's 6 principles of persuasion.
  • 22:35 - Stories are a powerful persuasion tool.
  • 24:35 - Facts and figures are important, but try to incorporate a story into it.
  • 28:45 - Disney knows your brain.
  • 35:15 - Roger recommends a couple of books to the audience.
  • 36:20 - Please check out Roger's website for more information.

Tweetables

Our brains evolved to pay attention to stories.
If you want an investors brain to "light up" tell a story.
Social proof is key to persuade investors.
Find ways to connect with investors by doing your homework on who they are.

Links Mentioned

Brainfluence by Roger Dooley.
Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
The 6 Principles of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini
Influence by Robert Cialdini
Hooked by Nir Eyal
Roger Dooley Website
Roger Dooley Twitter
Forbes - Roger Dooley

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Dec 11, 2015

Episode Summary

Geri Stengel is the president for Ventureneer and is a regular contributor for Forbes, QuickBooks, and Turnstone. Geri is known for being a serial entrepreneur, teacher, and author of the book, Forget the Glass Ceiling. Geri talks on how to design your elevator pitch in such a way that it grabs attention. He also talks about how important it is for entrepreneurs to be agile learners, people with curiosity, and have the ability to tolerate ambiguity.

Key Takeaways

  • 02:15 - What was the business culture like at Dow Jones?
  • 03:00 - Geri explains a little bit more of her background and what she has done.
  • 04:30 - What is the difference between men and women founders?
  • 06:45 - It's important to show investors that you are trust worthy.
  • 09:15 - Geri explains further on an article she wrote for QuickBooks.
  • 12:10 - Equity crowdfunding or traditional angels?
  • 15:10 - Only about 3% of accredited investors are angel investors.
  • 18:40 - Investors want entrepreneurs to be coachable.
  • 23:00 - Reward-based crowdfunding is a great way to test the waters.
  • 25:15 - Geri talks about her book.
  • 27:25 - Follow Geri @VentureNeer on Twitter.

Tweetables

Be an Agile Learner.
Forget the Glass Ceiling.
Three ways to grab investors’ attention.
Use an analogy to make your pitch strong.

Links Mentioned

Ventureneer
Ventureneer Twitter
Women Entrepreneurs Get Their Game On With Angel Investors
Forget the Glass Ceiling by Geri Stengel. 
Investing Between the Lines by Laura Rittenhouse.

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Dec 4, 2015

Episode Summary

Dorie Clark is a strategy consultant and professional speaker who has worked with clients including Google, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, DHL, Fidelity, Yale University, and the World Bank. She is also a regular contributor to Forbes and the Harvard Business Review, and the author of "Stand Out" and "Reinventing You". Dorie talks on how startup founders can stand out and touches briefly on how they can let go of fear.

Key Takeaways

  • 01:55 - Your personal brand is your career insurance.
  • 02:15 - How did Dorie get started?
  • 04:30 - Why did Dorie write the book Reinventing You?
  • 06:15 - Dorie is not an overnight success.
  • 07:40 - How did Dorie become a presidential campaign spokesperson?
  • 10:00 - What kind of advice does Dorie give to places like Google and Microsoft?
  • 14:00 - Why does Google like Dorie's book, Stand Out?
  • 17:30 - How can you stand out? Build your network, audience, and community.
  • 20:50 - How do you let go of fear?
  • 24:55 - Dorie talks about the inner critic article she wrote with Susan Brady.
  • 27:40 - Dorie shares a bunch of great book resources.
  • 29:00 - You can get a free 42 page workbook on Dorie's site.

Tweetables

Make Yourself Findable.
Branding is career insurance.
Can't move forward if you expect perfection.
How to silence the inner critic?

Links Mentioned

Dorie Clark: "Stand Out" | Talks at Google
Forbes Welcome
Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
Power by Jeffery Pfeffer
Influence by Robert Cialdini
Dorie Clark Website
Reinventing You by Dorie Clark
Stand Out by Dorie Clark.

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Nov 27, 2015

Episode Summary

David Desharnais is the CMO and Senior VP at TraxPay and an advisor for several different investment companies. David has won a number of awards including the International Funding Deal of the Year Award and the Business Excellence Award. David explains how he and his team fixed a major problem in the finance industry and how he even turned his competitors into avid investors for the company.

Key Takeaways

  • 01:50 - Why is David a 'geek who can speak'?
  • 03:45 - How did David go from being an engineer to an advisor?
  • 09:10 - David talks about the team aspect in a company.
  • 12:00 - How did David win the International Funding Deal of the Year award?
  • 20:20 - TraxPay's first round was $4m and on the second round raised $15m.
  • 23:55 - David and his team got his competitors to be his investors.
  • 25:00 - The difference between a first round pitch and a second round pitch?
  • 27:15 - How did David win the Business Excellence Award?
  • 29:45 - The same day David's team announced TraxPay, Apple Pay was also announced.
  • 31:25 - David highly recommends The Hard Thing About Hard Things book by Ben Horowitz.
  • 33:20 - You can follow David on Twitter @DaveDesharnais.

Tweetables

Practice the pitch and Research your investors.Co-branding is key to marketing success.From near death to success.
A Geek Who Can Speak.

Links Mentioned

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
TraxpayDavid Desharnais LinkedIn
David Desharnais Twitter

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Nov 20, 2015

 

Episode Summary

David Howitt is the CEO of the Meriwether Group and is also the author of Heed Your Call. Dave shines a new preservative on the role of a guide or mentor. He says that not all mentors make you feel good, but they can always teach you a very profound and important lesson about yourself and about the world. He also explains why the story of Wizard of Oz and the entrepreneur's journey are very similar to one another. 

Key Takeaways

  • 02:35 - David talks a bit about his background and why he decided to leave his high-level position.
  • 06:20 - We're taught that leaving your miserable job is the equivalent of failure.
  • 07:30 - David touches on his book, Heed Your Call.
  • 09:30 - David shares an important lesson he learned from his grandfather.
  • 12:00 - When bad things happen to us, we tend to go into a victim mentality. Instead, try to turn it around by asking yourself positive questions like what can you learn from this experience.
  • 13:15 - The problematic people in your life are there to teach you important lessons.
  • 15:30 - What is the Meriwether Group's process?
  • 19:30 - The single biggest regret people have when they're dying is that they didn't do what they wanted to do, they did what they were told to do or what was expected of them.
  • 19:45 - David explains why the Wizard of Oz is so closely linked to the entrepreneurial journey.
  • 25:20 - What kind of pitches does David look for?
  • 30:35 - There needs to be a perfect balance of right brain and left brain to make a pitch really work.
  • 32:45 - David recommends two books every entrepreneur should read.

Tweetables

Profit AND Prophet
When we let go creativity shows up
Thinker and dreamer
Equal parts passion and presentation

Links Mentioned

Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger by Peter Bevelin
Metaphorically Selling by Anne Miller

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Nov 13, 2015

Episode Summary

Todd Herman comes to The Successful Pitch podcast with an impressive background. He has successfully exited two companies and he has the Spanish royal family and billionaires as clients. He won the award for The World's Greatest Salesperson in 2010 and he is also a coach for professional and Olympic athletes. Todd talks to the audience on the importance of creating an alter ego to achieve your goals, why it's important to take care of the little things, and so much more on today's show.

Key Takeaways

  • 00:02:20 - Athletes and Entrepreneurs have a high risk tolerance.
  • 00:05:00 - Todd shares a story about his dad.
  • 00:07:15 - Little things add up to big things. Take care of the little things.
  • 00:08:25 - How did Todd win The World's Greatest Salesperson award?
  • 00:15:20 - Why should you create an alter ego?
  • 00:21:15 - Why do high achievers often battle with depression?
  • 00:27:20 - Meditation is key to keeping yourself in check and handling the extra pressure.
  • 00:28:50 - Todd recommends a couple of books.
  • 00:31:20 - Final piece of advice? Keep taking action.

Tweetables

Win at life by taking care of the little things.
High performers can handle pressure.
Keep taking action.
Heighten version of yourself boosts performance.

Links Mentioned

Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger by Peter Bevelin
Metaphorically Selling by Anne Miller

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Nov 9, 2015

Episode Summary

Charles Michael Yim is a successful serial entrepreneur and has appeared on Shark Tank and other news outlets. Charles was the first one in the history of the Shark Tank show to get funding from all of the sharks. Charles also came in first place out of 10.000 startups after competing for Sir Richard Branson's startup contest. Charles talks on his success with Breathometer, the differences between Sir Richard Branson and Mark Cuban's business style, and his upcoming book.

Key Takeaways

  • 00:01:40 - Charles is not an overnight success.
  • 00:03:20 - What was the inspiration behind Breathometer?
  • 00:07:45 - Charles was the first person on Shark Tank to get all five Sharks to invest.
  • 00:09:10 - How did Charles prepare for Shark Tank?
  • 00:11:00 - What kind of questions do investors ask when trying to raise $20 million?
  • 00:14:00 - Charles still uses the same team from when he started his first company.
  • 00:17:20 - Charles talks about Sir Richard Branson's startup competition.
  • 00:18:50 - Mark Cuban versus Sir Richard Branson?
  • 00:20:20 - Charles talks about his upcoming book and what it's about.
  • 00:23:20 - How do you validate an idea?
  • 00:24:40 - What's it like working with the Stanford StartX Accelerator?
  • 00:26:50 - Charles recommends a couple of his favorite books.
  • 00:28:30 - You can follow Charles on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Tweetables

Teamwork is respect and collaboration.
See your idea thru the lens of what problem do you solve.
Mark Cuban is all about getting it done.
Richard Branson wants authentic value.

Links Mentioned

The Art of The Start by Guy Kawasaki.
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Charles Michael Yim Twitter

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Oct 30, 2015

 

Episode Summary

Mike Edelhart is the lead partner for the Social Starts moment-of-inception investment fund and CEO of the Tomorrow Project.

Key Takeaways

    • 02:30 - How did Mike become an angel investor?
    • 07:40 - The team is incredibly important. This can not be emphasized enough.
    • 10:00 - Mike believes a good team understands clearly what the company's mission is.
    • 11:46 - Great teams follow their leader with discipline, but not with rigidity.
    • 13:25 - Becoming a unicorn is an outcome, not a cause.
    • 14:40 - Having the desire to become an entrepreneur isn't normal.
    • 17:00 - Leaders who believe in themselves, their team, and can remain calm when everything goes wrong instills confidence in their team.
    • 18:20 - How did Pinterest get started?
    • 24:55 - Why did Mike and his team invest in Pinterest in the beginning?
    • 27:45 - Entrepreneurs make the common mistake in thinking all investors are the same and they don't do their homework.
    • 30:00 - Mike talks about the rabbit archetype in business.
    • 30:50 - Mike breaks down the tortoise archetype.
    • 32:45 - What's the idea behind the bear archetype?
    • 36:15 - The final power animal in business is the hawk. Mike explains further.
    • 40:00 - Mike recommends the book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds

Tweetables

Entrepreneurship is a socially accepted form of mania
What you think is true will probably not turn out to be true
Clarity is key trait to get funding
Be obsessive about your customers

Links Mentioned

SocialStarts - The Venture Bestiary: Hunting Beyond The Unicorn
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds by Charle Mackay SocialStarts

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Oct 23, 2015

 

Episode Summary

Michael Walsh is the co-founder of Cariloop and runs the Health 2.0 Dallas chapter. Cariloop is a program that allows people to help manage their older loved ones' healthcare and needs from start to finish. Michael has raised $500,000 in funding during his first seed round and has some valuable insights to share on what truly makes a successful pitch.

Key Takeaways

  • 01:40 - Who is Michael?
  • 04:45 - Why was Cariloop founded?
  • 10:15 - How/why did Michael pick his accelerator?
  • 12:10 - The knowledge and the contacts Michael made at the accelerator were priceless.
  • 16:05 - How can entrepreneurs figure out how much their company is worth?
  • 20:25 - How has Michael spent the $500k he's raised?
  • 23:10 - How does Michael handle the competitor question with investors?
  • 25:45 - Michael believes telling stories is better than pitching.
  • 28:00 - Michael recommends the book Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh.

Tweetables

A pitch should be a story that you tell investors.
What are pain points of your customer that you solve?
When you give a customers control during chaos they buy.

Links Mentioned

Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
Michael Walsh LinkedIn
Michael Walsh Twitter
Cariloop Website
Cariloop Twitter

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Oct 16, 2015

 

Episode Summary

Ben Narasin is the General Partner for Canvas Venture Fund. He has 25 years experience has an entrepreneur and started the company Fashionmall.com, one of the first e-commerce sites in 1993. Ben tells the audience that he likes to look for tenacity in an entrepreneur and breaks down what he likes to see in pitch slides. Ben also gives a deep dive into what kind of financial ranges you can expect to find in a pre-seed, seed, and series A round.

Key Takeaways

  • 02:00 - Ben started his first company when he was 12. He shares a bit of his background.
  • 03:50 - What makes a winning pitch in Ben's eyes?
  • 07:25 - Remember, your pitch is the table of contents.
  • 07:40 - Ben breaks down in what order he usually likes to see pitch slides.
  • 09:40 - What does Ben look for in an entrepreneur? Tenacity.
  • 12:40 - You have to say no to the hundred million exit offers if you want to build a billion dollar company.
  • 13:35 - Ben talks Fido Labs.
  • 18:35 - There's nothing worse than being right at the wrong time. Get in early, but not too early.
  • 21:50 - Ben is always looking for the next big shift/idea.
  • 25:50 - How much is pre-seed, seed, and series A investing usually?
  • 29:20 - Money as a sole-driving force just doesn't cut it.
  • 30:55 - Ben recommends a couple of books.
  • 32:45 - The dollars that come with your successful are just a natural consequence.

Tweetables

The pitch deck is the table of contents in a navigational way.
It's hot for someone else, it's cold for you.
I need five things to make an investment, people, people, people, the great idea, and a huge market if it works.
Tenacity is the key trait in a founder.
Nothing worse than the right idea at the wrong time.
Team, idea and huge market all needed. 

Links Mentioned

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson Ben Narasin Twitter Folloze

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Oct 9, 2015

 

Episode Summary

Eric Scott is the technical assistant for Max Levchin and works at HVF Labs. Eric helps manage external investments at HVF, which stands for Hard, Valuable, and Fun. Eric talks on how the company got it's name, what Eric and his team look for in a pitch, and talks on why the startup Zen Payroll turned him from a skeptical investor to a major supporter when he heard their pitch.

Key Takeaways

  • 02:00 - Eric talks about HFV.
  • 04:00 - How did Eric get a job as a technical assistant with Max Levchin?
  • 09:30 - How much money does HVF invest in? Around $250k.
  • 13:40 - What does Eric look for in a pitch?
  • 16:35 - What's a good pitch that has good 'defensibility' against competitors?
  • 21:20 - Eric talks a little bit about SmartThings and Cover.
  • 24:40 - Eric talks on how he went from skeptical to completely sold when Zen Payroll pitched him.
  • 30:10 - What is BlockStream about?
  • 36:10 - Eric recommends the book Barbarians at the Gate by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar.
  • 38:30 - Don't confuse your investors. Make your pitch clear.

Tweetables

A founder's authentic passion about the problem is infectious to investors
Do your homework on what investors' passion points are before you pitch.
How to make investors go from skeptical to enthusiastic.

Links Mentioned

Raportive
Venmo Glowing
Hard Valuable Fun
Barbarians at the Gate by Bryan Burrough and John Helyar.
Eric Scott Twitter
HVF Twitter
HVF - Breaking the Barrier: the race for the first 1 person $1B company

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Oct 2, 2015

 

Episode Summary

Chris Camillo has an amazing story on how he turned $20,000 into $2 million through investing wisely in Wall Street. He wrote a book on how he was able to identify game-changing trends before anyone else entitled, Laughing at Wall Street. Chris is now the Co-Founder of a recently launched product called TickerTags. TickerTags analyzes and searches for changing trends on social media based on user-defined keywords. Chris talks about TickerTags, raising $1.5 million at the seed round stage, and how he was able to spot trends before Wall Street financial analysts.

Key Takeaways

  • 02:20 - Why does Chris love startups?
  • 04:05 - How did Chris turn $20k into $2 million?
  • 07:45 - Chris shares a story on how you can spot trends before the financial analysts do.
  • 10:10 - Chris talks about TickerTags.
  • 14:20 - It's a fantastic time to be an stock market investor, because technology is making it easier.
  • 16:35 - Chris talks on how he plans to monetize TickerTags.
  • 19:40 - How did Chris raise $1.5 million at the seed round stage?
  • 21:00 - You must establish yourself as a thought leader.
  • 23:00 - When investors trust in your team, it makes it easy for them to invest.
  • 24:20 - Every entrepreneur should plan to raise money from their customers first.
  • 26:20 - When your customers turn into investors, you have traction.
  • 29:00 - Always be upfront with your hurdles and know your competitors.
  • 33:30 - Chris suggests to regularly read blogs and to keep up to date with the startup finance space.
  • 34:45 - Sign up to TickerTags and mention you heard about them on this podcast to get past the waiting list faster.

Tweetables

All change is detectable.
Be upfront about your hurdles in your pitch.
Know ALL your competitors when you pitch.
Be a thought leader to get funding.
New investors are successful startups not bankers.

Links Mentioned

TickerTags
One Up On Wall Street by Peter Lynch.
Laughing at Wall Street by Chris Camillo
Chris Camillo Twitter
TickerTags Twitter

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Sep 25, 2015

 

Episode Summary

Jon Paul is the CEO of Value Added Finance Resources and brings an incredible amount of experience to this interview. Jon has turned companies hitting rock bottom around to multiple million dollar revenue streams. He prevents entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and startups from making key mistakes that could ruin their success as a business. Jon talks on several different ways you can value your company and how you can prevent a down round from happening on your second round of funding.

Key Takeaways

  • 02:10 - Harder, faster, cheaper is not a change in direction.
  • 03:15 - What's Jon's background?
  • 06:55 - Jon talks on helping a telecom provider grow their stock from $2 to $65 in two years.
  • 12:45 - How much equity should I gave a CTO or someone similar?
  • 14:30 - How do you value a company accurately?
  • 19:15 - What's a down round?
  • 21:05 - How can you prevent a down round from happening?
  • 23:45 - Tips to keep in mind when pitching?
  • 28:45 - Founders need opposite partners. Example: The risk taker who has someone to watch his back.

Tweetables

You need to start even if where you end up is not where you think you’re going.
Harder faster cheaper is not a change in direction.
Early investors should get rewarded the most.
Startups need yin and yang on the team.
Learn from the past, but look forward.

Links Mentioned

Disrupting Class by Clayton Christensen
The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen
Competitive Strategy by Michael E. Porter
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
Freakonomics
People Smart in Business by Tony Alessandra and Michael J. O’Connor
Content Chemistry by Andy Crestodina
Value Added Finance Resources

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Sep 18, 2015

Episode Summary

Nasir Ali is an angel investor for Seed Capital Fund, the co-founder of a non-profit called Upstate Venture Connect, and he's the managing director for StartFast Venture Accelerator. Nasir shares his insights on what his companies look for in a pitch and the importance of coachability in an entrepreneur. Nasir believes data will point you to all the right answers and shares an example of a company who had to pivot four times based on new data they had collected.

Key Takeaways

  • 01:55 - Nasir shares his story on why he loves startups.
  • 05:00 - What's the Seed Capital Fund's process?
  • 06:20 - What does Nasir look for in a pitch?
  • 08:20 - Nasir explains common pitch mistakes new entrepreneurs make.
  • 10:55 - Nasir talks about Chequed and what they did right in their pitch.
  • 15:50 - How does Nasir help startups?
  • 20:00 - Coachability is sometimes a double-edged sword, but it's a critical key in an entrepreneur.
  • 21:25 - It's always about the data. The data will lead you towards or away from an action.
  • 21:55 - Nasir shares a story about SpinCar and how they pivoted four times.
  • 27:20 - What does StartFast's demo day entail?
  • 30:00 - Nasir talks Upstate Venture Connect.
  • 33:30 - Recommended reading? Startup Communities by Brad Feld and The Rainforest by Victor Hwang and Greg Horowitt.

Tweetables

Be coachable not impressionable.
Great investors solve unknown needs of founders.
Explain the problem you solve in a way that is easy to understand.

Links Mentioned

Chequed
SpinCar
Startup Communities by Brad Feld
The Rainforest by Victor Hwang and Greg Horowitt
Upstate Venture Connect
Upstate Venture Connect Twitter
StartFast
StartFast Twitter

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Sep 11, 2015

Episode Summary

Mike Brown Jr. was an Associate for Virgin and worked closely with Richard Branson where he used Richard Branson's money to invested in early stage software companies. He also worked as the General Partner for AOL Ventures before becoming the Founder of Bowery Capital. Mike shares his thoughts on what he calls, 'internet natives' and how they're now at an age where they're reaching C-level positions in large corporate companies. He also shares his thoughts on who he decides to take to the next level in his pitch deck.

Key Takeaways

  • 01:45 - How did Mike become a VC?
  • 08:10 - What's Bowery Capital's process like?
  • 12:00 - What's a good pitch deck?
  • 13:05 - Write down 10 key sentences that you want to convey to an investor.
  • 14:05 - Keep your pitch simple. Those 10 headline/sentences are key.
  • 15:25 - Why are you qualified to solve this problem? Why are you qualified to run a company?
  • 22:30 - Bowery focuses heavily on who they invest in and how they can help the companies.
  • 24:05 - Sales deck versus a pitch deck?
  • 26:10 - The best founders are the most passionate and not necessarily the best sales people.
  • 27:20 - Internet natives are making purchasing decisions and are being hired into C-level positions.
  • 33:20 - Mike has an amazing podcast called Bowery Capital – Startup Sales Podcast.
  • 34:45 - Mike recommends two books. The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge and Traction by Gabriel Weinberg.

Tweetables

Write down the 10 key sentences that you want to articulate to an investor.
Best #founders are the ones with the most passion about why their idea is the best one now.
Internet natives changing the way #business is done.
Successful founders can answer why you are uniquely qualified.

Links Mentioned

Bowery Capital Blog
The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge.
Traction by Gabriel Weinberg.

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Sep 4, 2015

 

Episode Summary

Lex Deak is the Founder and Managing Partner for QVentures, the Founder and CEO for Tendr Deals (renamed to OFF3R), and he is also the Ambassador for The Supper Club. QVentures has funded 14 companies and Lex talks on one key company that stands out from the rest. Lex also talks on the importance of listening more than you speak at a entrepreneur networking event and why it's important to read books you disagree with. It all comes down to diversifying yourself and keeping yourself knowledgeable on upcoming trends.

Key Takeaways

  • 01:35 - What's Lex's philosophy on 'the entrepreneurial spirit'?
  • 05:00 - What is The Supper Club?
  • 07:30 - As a young entrepreneur, you should listen 5x as much as you talk.
  • 08:15 - How did QVentures get started?
  • 11:45 - Lex talks about Stratajet.
  • 14:35 - An angel investor has to be impressed with the product as well as the founder/team.
  • 17:20 - Lex talks about Tendr Deals
  • 23:50 - What problems is Tendr Deals solving? John does a recap.
  • 27:30 - What are some of Lex's favorite books?
  • 29:10 - Lex disagrees with a lot of what he reads, but diversity is the key.
  • 29:55 - You can follow Lex on Twitter @LexDeak

Tweetables

The definition of an entrepreneur is an artist in business who creates something.
Listen 5x more than you talk when you are in a room with people smarter than you.
TENDR gets rid of investors' inbox fatigue.
When you're reading something, the whole perspective is diversity.

Links Mentioned

The Super Club
STRATAJET
OFF3R The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder The Chimp Paradox by Steve Peters
Big Data For Dummies by Judith Hurwitz, Alan Nugent, Fern Halper, and Marcia Kaufman
Zero to One by Peter Thiel
Lex Deak Twitter
QVentures Twitter
Tendr Deals Twitter

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