9 #Canadian #startups (6 from #Montreal, 3 from #Toronto) Chosen Among 40 Top "Up-and-Coming" #FounderInstitute Graduates to Participate in #SiliconValley #VentureCapital Roadshow on May 3-6, 2016 ... See MoreSee Less
I am looking for help in identifying female angel investors across Canada. Suggestions, please!
Also, if you are attending StartupFest already and are interested in the topic of founders & funders, join me at AngelFest. I know I'm going to try and rope David Crow into at least an AMA or round table :) ... See MoreSee Less
a one-day event dedicated to exposing what’s next in early-stage startup investment. Presented by BDC Capital and in partnership with NACO, this premium event brings together seasoned and prospective members of the global angel investment community for a day dedicated to sharing best practices, how-…
Sandy ScottEverything is easily replicable in theory. This is why we say ideas are irrelevant and team and execution is everything. But let's assume you are right, if there are literally no barriers, nor ip/trade secrets/organizational capital, no network effects, then yes, the investment would be LESS attractive than one that has those things.
David CrowYou're trying to address 3 basic questions:
1. Is it a good idea?
2. Is this the team to make it happen?
3. Can I make "my money", i.e., necessary returns in the time frame?
Is it a good idea?
This is quantitative market demand (aka traction) for your product or service. How do you know that customers are willing to use or buy a product to solve their problems/desire? Are they willing to buy it from you? Are they ready to buy it now? Is the pain or number of customers growing? What is the growth plan? Ultimately this is about getting customers.
Is this the team to make it happen?
Have they done something similar in the past, i.e., is it probably they have been successful and learned how to be even more successful? If not is the team able to identify and knock down the most prominent risks? Can the founders find and convince amazing people to work with them? Can they move the needle -- see "Is it a good idea?" Do they assumptions about customers, market, product, etc. make sense?
Can I "make my money"?
This is up to the investor to determine. But you should understand who the investor is. what they like to invest in. What their typical investment size, stage, etc. If it is a fund, where in the lifecycle of a fund is it. See Damien Steel's post from the other week www.facebook.com/groups/startupnorth/permalink/10154150891717840/
7 hours ago
Varun MathurJohn James Zupancic Roger put it well above that it is all about traction. I will bloviate on the same point.... I am not an investor but before I did my first startup, I was obsessed with the idea of protecting my IP. I filed trademarks, put up the nice shiny "Copyright" on webpages, asked everybody and their dog to sign NDAs and wasted several hours of my life learning about patents and filing a provisional patent application in the US. I cared too much about people stealing my idea and what potential investors might think because I had read on some blog that that is exactly what Hotmail's founder did. My insight into all this is that it is a colossal waste and the wrong approach. For consumer web, any investor who insists on defensibility of the idea based on IP is not an investor you should want, because going back in time that investor won't have been able to recognize the potential of a Uber or Airbnb - when both companies already had other well-funded competitors already doing what they started out to do (UberX vs Lyft; Airbnb vs HomeAway). If an investor is still failing the Uber/Airbnb hindsight test, perhaps best to stay away from such.
You are better off talking about your idea openly, with everybody, because chances are there are several other people already working on it in different parts of the world, at various stages. Whatever feedback you can get and use it for product design/customer development is valuable.
Your competitors in different parts of the world might not have ethical leanings -- they might view it as a anything goes approach. Having IP is meaningless if you don't have the resources to defend it. The only benefit of IP is if you are concerned someone else might prevent you from doing what you are doing - but I trust the big web companies will fight off the patent trolls and won't use their own to stifle the little guys.
This is the IP I think matters for consumer web startups: facebook page name, app name on iOS and Android and registered trademark name. Everything else is a nice-to-have.
To get traction, anything goes because that is how your competitors would operate, at least the ones who eat your lunch.
Lucas WalkerGood post but I'd like to add something if I may. Identify your ideal customer and make them a special list of prospect. They will have a higher LTV and be less likely to churn. Once you've identified them use all the methods you've mentioned to win them. Create intros, cold call their entire executive team, make a blog post that they will see the value in and send it to them.
Even hit them with a custom audience based on email so they see you on FB.
I love this. Personal opinion: entrepreneurs, but particularly Canadian entrepreneurs, and my fellow VCs, should all have one of these, and not just get comfortable with it, but be proud of it. If you're not failing regularly then you are not pushing hard enough.