The Seraf Compass

Scavenger Hunt: What To Look For In A Pitch Deck

The Seraf Compass

Deciding whether to invest in a good idea is hard. Even when its potential is clearly explained. Trying to make that evaluation without a solid explanation is an exercise in needless frustration.

Spade Work: How Early Stage Board Directors Add Value

The Seraf Compass

Over the past few years, there has been much talk about the importance of investing both financial and human capital into the rapidly expanding entrepreneurial ecosystem. From our perspective, human capital is as important as financial capital in driving the long term success of startup companies.

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Read This First - An Entrepreneur’s Library

The Seraf Compass

Investing in early-stage companies is investing in entrepreneurs. Understanding how they measure up is partly a function of understanding how they think, or should think. Entrepreneurship has come a long way toward being a better-understood and accessible way of life.

What's Your Core Investing Philosophy?

The Seraf Compass

Seraf Co-Founder Christopher Mirabile interviews several experienced angel investors from around the country to ask: What's Your Core Investing Philosophy?

State of MENA Startups 2019, Report

MAGNiTT and 500 Startups jointly launch first 'State of MENA Startups 2019" report. Survey findings reveal insights on trends in fundraising exercise, exit opportunities, hiring, and growth optimization.

Rule #1 in Angel Investing - It’s All About the Team

The Seraf Compass

Great ideas are a dime a dozen. Living in the Boston/Cambridge area, we are surrounded by some of the most innovative researchers in the world working at institutions like MIT and Harvard.

Look Before You Leap - The Importance of Due Diligence In Angel Investing

The Seraf Compass

? There are as many different approaches to angel investing as there are investors. Some investors will tell you they invest based on their gut. After a 30 minute meeting with the entrepreneur, they are either in or out.

Seismic Forces Driving The Growth of Angel Investing

The Seraf Compass

It feels like there is more written about angel investing lately than ever before. This form of early-stage investing seems to be having its 15 minutes of fame. Is it a passing fad? I don’t think so.

Key Risks of Angel Investing

The Seraf Compass

? Early stage investing is an inherently risky way to invest. The list of high level risks is long and includes financing risk, technical risk, and market risk. As angel investors, you need to be aware of the key risks you are taking with your investment

Apples, Oranges and Rotten Tomatoes: Owning A Diverse Portfolio

The Seraf Compass

I believe building a diverse portfolio is critical to success as an angel investor. But when I first sat down to write an article on diversification of angel investments, I knew right away I was facing a serious challenge. Numerous articles have been written on aspects of this topic

Paper Chase - Tips and Hacks For Dealing with Angel Investing Paperwork and Communications

The Seraf Compass

Before Christopher joined the world of angel investing, he spent much of his early career as a corporate lawyer working in-house for a NASDAQ listed enterprise software company. The pace of customer and strategic deals and corporate housekeeping activities was unrelenting.

Angel 201: 4 Critical Skills Every Angel Investor Should Master

The Seraf Compass

Angel investing started to break into the mainstream in popular American culture in the early 2000s. It started with stories of individuals striking it rich from investments in companies like eBay, Yahoo, PayPal and Google.

Preparing for the Inevitable: Angel Investors, Death & Taxes

The Seraf Compass

Things don’t always go exactly as planned in life or in angel investing. And just as in life, with angel investing, it pays to be prepared. So here are some thoughts on planning for the inevitable, and how to prevent catastrophes by fitting your angel investments into your estate plan from the beginning

When Money is Not Enough: Angel Roles & Human Capital

The Seraf Compass

? When entrepreneurs seek out angel investors, the majority are looking for financial capital. Very few entrepreneurs understand the importance of finding smart investors who will invest both Financial and Human Capital. Read on for a look at what roles angel investors can perform for a startup company

Meeting with Entrepreneurs: How the Best Ones Communicate their Vision

The Seraf Compass

When meeting with angel investors, entrepreneurs often struggle with the best way to deliver the large scope of their vision while demonstrating that they are tightly focused on a realistic, near term, go-to-market strategy

Congratulations On Your VC Round!

The Seraf Compass

What happens when an entrepreneur meets with success and closes their first round? This heartfelt letter from a professor to his former student provides advice on how to proceed after achieving her first raise. First and foremost: spend it extremely wisely and judiciously

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Can You Hear Me Now? Building Great Director-CEO Communication

The Seraf Compass

In our previous article Spade Work: How Early Stage Board Directors Add Value, we discussed some best practices which we gathered from both our personal experience of sitting on company boards, and from some very successful VCs, angel investors, and advisors.

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25 Frogs: How to Avoid the Key Sins of Angel Investors

The Seraf Compass

The greatest investors tend to end up in the best deals over time. Why this happens is no mystery: other investors want them in their deals because of the value they add to companies and CEOs, and the really smart entrepreneurs seek them out because they understand the value of great investors.

Stitch in Time Saves 9: A Guide to Start-up Board Prep

The Seraf Compass

In previous posts we discussed the important role board directors can play in early stage, private companies. As an angel investor serving as a director, it is critical to know how to prepare for a meeting.

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Information Flow: Essentials of Venture Capital Fund Reporting [Part II]

The Seraf Compass

In Part I of this article we discussed the importance of reporting for early stage funds and what information a fund manager needs to properly track performance.

I’ll Be Brief: Why Angels Should Insist on a One-Pager

The Seraf Compass

Entrepreneurs seeking to engage with investors usually offer up written materials. Usually they offer whatever they have on hand. Smart investors should insist on a crisp “one-pager” executive summary.

Information Flow: Essentials of Venture Capital Fund Reporting [Part III]

The Seraf Compass

In Part I of this article we discussed the importance of reporting for early stage funds and what information a fund manager needs to properly track performance.

Board Dynamics - Fixing Interpersonal Problems With the Nuclear Approach

The Seraf Compass

The need for an expression like “hacking the board” reflects the fact that for startups, dealing with a board is about making the best of a situation the founder did not create and cannot fully control.

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Can't Afford Not To; Key Patent Issues For Angel Investors

The Seraf Compass

Startups, particularly in complex technology fields, often rely on the exclusivity granted by patents to build competitive advantage in the marketplace. Unfortunately, the average time an applicant waits to receive a first Office Action from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) is about 19 months from submission of the patent application. Even worse, the total time until the patent is allowed is actually about 27.5

Seraf Toolbox: Venture Fund Economics Modeling Tool

The Seraf Compass

This Venture Fund Economics Modeling Tool is designed to help you understand compensation for a venture fund's General Partners. The overall structure of the worksheet is quite simple.

industry and university collaboration: how partnership drives innovation

Venture Well

Industry and university collaboration produces groundbreaking research and innovation that solves complex problems, drives economic growth, and creates a more skilled workforce. The post industry and university collaboration: how partnership drives innovation appeared first on VentureWell.

Techstars and HBCUvc Launch 10-City Startup Weekend Tour to Promote Diversity in Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital

TechStars

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Next Level Entrepreneurship: Investing in a New Generation of Startups

Entrepreneurs' Organization

For many established entrepreneurs, establishing a purpose and passion beyond business is a fulfilling way to truly make a mark. Ravi Machani , an EO member in Bangalore, India, is one entrepreneur who has done so admirably.

4 Strategies to Integrate Ethics into Entrepreneurship Education

Venture Well

We interviewed three leaders in entrepreneurship education about several ways to teach tomorrow's entrepreneurs about ethics. The post 4 Strategies to Integrate Ethics into Entrepreneurship Education appeared first on VentureWell. Faculty entrepreneurship education teaching resources

What To Expect From Your Corporate Accelerator

TechStars

Partnering with startups is a great way to accelerate the entire corporate innovation journey. In fact, Techstars and Innovation Leader recently partnered to r eveal best practices for leveraging startups to drive corporate innovation.

how collaboration can improve entrepreneurship education

Venture Well

Tom Katona had been thinking quite a bit about a simple question. An assistant professor of innovation and entrepreneurship at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, The post how collaboration can improve entrepreneurship education appeared first on VentureWell. Faculty I&E Ecosystems entrepreneurial mindse

The Moments that Define Investor and Founder Relationships

This is going to be BIG.

In almost every single investment I’ve ever made, I can think of a singular moment in my relationship with a founder that, no matter what came before or what might come after, defined our relationship. Often times, it came in a very vulnerable and down moment for the founder—perhaps they just lost out on a big opportunity, had someone from the team leave, or they’re running low on capital before sales have come around.

Why USV is Joining the Libra Association

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

A new blockchain & cryptocurrency project, Libra , was announced today. Libra has been incubated by Facebook. USV will be one of the founding members of the governing body, the Libra Association.

How to Build Authentic Customer Relationships That Spark Innovation

Entrepreneurs' Organization

Written for EO by Jason McCann , a lifelong entrepreneur and experienced founder. You wouldn’t be surprised if I said that customer feedback is essential for a startup. And nobody doubts the connection between long-term customer relationships and success.

The Secret to Successful Mentorship

Entrepreneurs' Organization

Kristen Harris is the co-founder and COO of Portfolio Creative , a workforce innovation firm based in Columbus, Ohio, USA. As a member of the EO Columbus chapter, Kristen is an active participant in the EO Mentorship program. I’ve been matched with seven amazing local mentors so far!

Six Reasons We Love Investing in Founders in Small Cities

GAN

No matter where you run a company, you’re probably making trade-offs. There are pros and cons to operating anywhere, for sure. But, I know that operating your company in a smaller city can feel really, really hard. You face a lot of challenges—anything from your commute time, to finding great talent, to landing big investments, to connecting with your target customers (fashion and beauty companies come to mind, for instance).

How to Generate Signals that Matter to Early Stage Investors

TechStars

Photo by Chinh Le Duc on Unsplash. Build a strong team with direct and relevant reputation. To be clear, names alone don’t matter as much as the relevance of the team members to the challenge facing your business. Example: Selling SAAS to enterprise?

UC Students Gain New Resources, Opportunities Through Expanded Entrepreneurship Program

TechStars

Reposted from the University of California Press Room. The University of California and the Blackstone Charitable Foundation announced today (Sept.

Techstars and 43North Partner to Grow Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Buffalo

TechStars

Techstars Announces Virtual Accelerator Focused on Next Generation Space and Frontier Technologies with International Partners

TechStars

BOULDER, Colo. November 13, 2019 – Techstars, the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed, today announced the launch of the Techstars Allied Space Accelerator.

How Entrepreneurs Can Invest in Their Families

Entrepreneurs' Organization

When we asked EO members to share how being a parent and an entrepreneur overlap for them, we heard from Joel Patterson, a member of EO Dallas and founder of The Vested Group. Joel shared his secret for work-life balance.

Techstars Foundation Accepting 2019 Grant Applications

TechStars

Techstars is always working to be a leader in inclusive entrepreneurship by improving opportunities for women and underrepresented minorities throughout our global ecosystem. One important way we do this is through the Techstars Foundation.

Janet Bannister on human-centered investing

TechStars

Canadian VC Janet Bannister, a partner at Real Ventures, loves investing in “conscious founders” who are trying to make the world a better place. Her style of “human-centered investing” prioritizes people and relationships, and investing in smart, self-aware, teachable entrepreneurs. .