You need an independant advocate when raising capital

Finding investor – EASY, 
Getting and investors attention – HARD
Negotiating a good deal – NEEDS SPECIALIST help. 

Here is a great interview with a entrepreneur who was grateful for an independent advisor when raising capital.  Many entrepreneurs end up with the wrong deal because they simply took the first investors offer.

Listen to interview the 
 http://www.youtube.com/succinctstories#p/a/u/0/Ua64VBNXw_s

New directors liable for previous capital raising

Did you qualify your investors in your company as “qualifying” under the securities act as “eligible investors”. Friends or close business associate ..yeah right  

Recently we have seen a few companies with long lists of existing shareholders looking at raising capital. 

Andrew Simmonds has kindly made me aware of a recently published cash where new directors were held accountable….

A recent High Court case (summarised in the Minter Ellision newsletter) puts a slightly different spin on the DD required by incoming investors/directors re Securities Act breaches.

The ins and outs of the case are a bit complicated, but it suggests that directors who join a company within 6 months or so of an illegal share issue could be personally liable for amounts invested in that share issue, if the company fails to pay the amounts back when requested to do so.  This will mean that early stage companies are going to get greater scrutiny of past share issues by incoming investors.

This will hopefully still not cause a problem for you, but I thought I should bring this new development to your attention.

Kind regards
Andrew Simmonds – www.simmondsstewart.com

(reference case summarised in the Minter Ellision newsletter http://www.minterellison.co.nz/publications/CorporateGovernance18March2010.pdf )

Santana’s Tandem-Specific, Shimano Approved Di2

I can not wait for Shimano’s new electric shift to be available to the mass market.

Santana’s optional tandem-specific, Shimano-approved DuraAce Di2 shifting system. Santana had just recently debuted the Di2 system on it’s flagship composite & titanium “Beyond” tandem model at Eurobike then again at Interbike and there was a pretty good buzz going around afterwards.

 check out the full news on tandemgeeks post on his blog 
 http://tandemgeek.wordpress.com/2010/03/09/santanas-tandem-specific-shimano-approved-di2-an-update/ 

International Trends in Angel Investing

International Trends in Angel Investing

Here are the reflections from the team that headed to Australia for their Angel Conference, it was an excellent occasion in our view, and it seems they have come a long way. The thing that stuck out for me, a part from the 150 attendees was the stories on exits and also the fantastic international speakers they had from US, Canada and Europe.

On behalf of Norman, Dean, Chris, Andy and Bill The Honorary Kiwi

International Trends in Angel Investing:

  1. No-one has found the funding model that works
    1. VC model continues to be challenged, and will be for some time. It seems the situations are the same in Australia, NZ and even the US, limited partners are fed up.
    2. But angel syndication has allowed angel to move closer to filling the void of VC and this seems to be extremely important for New Zealand
    3. Funding model therefore means, smaller amount of capital invested into companies, although we will need to do further work to understand implications/effect on companies
    4. Given the changed market conditions, this has significant implications on funding strategies and in particular commercialisation of R&D from Uni’s and RIs
    5. More and more US angels are now doing ‘angel only deals’, as opposed to ‘teeing the deal up’ for VCs
  2. Angel investment is now a key asset class and the story needs to be told better – for example, in the US we are talking the same amount of money invested by probably 10x more deals invested by angels, leading to significant job growth
  3. World-wide, commercialisation of University and Research Institute IP continues to be very challenging – the UniQuest Model looked interesting and had good feedback from Angels ie they liked it
  4. Industry data is absolutely critical internationally
  5. Mega Angel trend happening which is leading cross-border activity in the UK and Canada, but not the US at this stage …
  6. Syndication, cross border is significantly helping angel backed companies enter markets although while there is a lot of ‘talk’ about cross-border investing, there appears to be little evidence of volume of deals. Those reported transactions tend to be in regions of close proximity ie Seattle/Vancouver and France/Switzerland

 From Andy Hamilton

Investment Pitches – That Work

The One minute test – Does your pitch answer these key questions
If your investment pitch does not answer these questions inside the first 1 – 3 min , you will loose your audience.

1. What is your product or service ? – “Quantify customer VALUE”
2. How do you make money ? – Business model
3. Why believe you & your team ? – credibility
4. What’s in it for your investor?
5. What is the barrier to entry? – Your IP story – stop competition eating your lunch
6. How big & scalable is this ? – Go to market model

I regularly run Power Pitching workshops for Escalator NZTE fully funded – book at www.investmentreadytraining.co.nz

Social Media Tools- Week 1 Getting Started

Here is my 101 social media for idiots who are afraid to admit it. And what social media for free
So 1 week ago I new nothing about social media … and after two inspiration presentations in one week ( Andy Lark and Melissa Clark- Reynolds) I thought I better get started.

Things to load on your PC and I-phone and get accounts for:
Twitter   www.twitter.com
Facebook
www.facebook.com      
Linkedin.com www.linkedin.com    

Tweetdeck www.tweetdeck.com
Blogging
tool www.Wordpress.com

So some tips so far:

 Facebook:
Split your personal and work stuff.  Once you have your basic setup in place setup your work facebook page. Then you will not have to have your work acquaintances knowing that your riding buddy thinks you a blouse because ….

The  one I set up for escalator is here
  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Escalator-Investment-Ready-Service/333786557680?ref=nf

Linkedin:
Once you get started start to trim your network and again use a Group to separate out work and personal contacts.

Blogging:
When you set this up choose an easy account name mine is succintstories then its will show up as  www.succinctstories.wordpress.com  
My take here is that this is the easiest way to reference material across all forums using tweetdeck and its short urls (links).

Tweetdeck:
This is the major saviour You can post tweets, status updates etc all in one click… ye ha

So my mode of operation now is: 

Short messages: Post direct on tweetdeck you choose on the fly whether the post will be on facebook personal , facebook work page, linkedin status and of course tweet everything appears there

 Long messages:  Write an article on wordpress then reference it in a short message on tweetdeck.

Cheers Mark