Different Sorts of Energy Companies

There are many types of “green” companies or companies that help save energy. I have two contrasting companies in my portfolio that illustrate this well.

The first is Virticus (www.virticus.com), whose products and services allow owners of lighting solutions to reduce energy and maintenance costs by 30-50%. They sell to parking lot owners (e.g. shopping centers) and cities …
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More Startups Die of Indigestion Than Starvation

I am often asked, as I was today, what are the biggest mistakes that startups make that cause failure. Among them is a lack of focus that can be characterized by the phrase: “more startups die of indigestion than starvation.” It is hard to raise money. Therefore common wisdom would indicate that “starvation” is the biggest risk. However, years of …
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Modumetal and other category creating companies

I’m often asked about what I look for in startup companies. There really are two answers to this question.

On one hand, for most of my investments I seek a good solid company, with a great management team that can build a good revenue stream in an uncrowded market, which can be acquired at a good premium.

But the ones …
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Startup Company Boards

Startup companies need good boards. But they often don’t have them.

There are many reasons. First, there really aren’t that many experienced people willing to serve on a startup company boards. And those that are experienced, skilled, and bring a lot of value, generally want to be compensated, which startups can’t really afford.

VCs will serve on boards, but generally …
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Techflash posting.. for pay angel groups

In response to John Cook’s thoughtful post: http://www.techflash.com/seattle/2009/10/angels_to_charge_or_not_to_charge.html, here is my reply. John – thanks for raising this topic.  It is a timely posting.  Historically, VCs haven’t ever charged entrepreneurs because they are paid management fees from their limited partners.  And individual angels don’t charge because they are investing their own money and don’t need to.  This has become
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Paying for presenting to Angel groups

I’m not sure I could or would want to be part of an angel group that charges entrepreneurs for the privilege of presenting/pitching their company.  It seems very odd that a bunch of high-net-worth individuals would ask an entrepreneur, who has most likely mortgaged their home and used their life savings to start their company, to pay them to look …
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Professional Angels: the new early stage VCs

As I’ve blogged before, the market conditions are driving early-stage investment capital back to basics.  VCs have always fostered great entrepreneurs with great ideas.  But the model has changed profoundly and permanently (see my earlier blog: “Why the VC Investment Model is Broken”). 

So how do great entrepreneurs build their business in 2009?  Professional Angels.

Most professional angels are
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Angel Investing in the Current Economic Environment

I recently was interviewed about the impact of the current economic environment on Angel Investing.  Since these are questions I’m asked frequently, here is the post. Reporter:  Are angels less willing to part with their money now? e.g. Angel investment was down 26% in 2008…what do you see so far in 2009? Dan:  There are two different categories
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Convertible Note vs. Priced Preferred Round

Convertible Note vs. Priced Preferred Round

 

The form of an investment is an on-going issue for Angel Investors and Startup entrepreneurs.  This post describes the differences between a convertible note and a priced round, the benefits of each, and recommendations for investors, service providers, and entrepreneurs.

A priced round is easy to understand.  Each investor in that round is
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