Posts Tagged ‘start-up’

Renowned US Angel Bill Payne talks about trends in pre-money valuations and sourcing funding for seed investment and start-ups.

Bill and his wife visited Ireland, Russia, Estonia and Finland, from mid-March to mid-April (2012), sharing experiences in angel investing through lectures, discussions and workshops.

Bill Payne

Bill Payne

On Thursday 19th, Bill spoke to entrepreneur groups at both the National Digital Research Center and the DIT Hothouse on subjects of fundable companies, trends in funding, business plans

I was lucky enough to attend Bill’s excellent lunch time talk and had an opportunity to chat with him afterwards.

In Ireland, he spent 19 hours in front of audiences, delivering eight lectures and workshops to 162 entrepreneurs and 190 angel investors.

Bill covered a number of topics including that business plans have many forms. When entrepreneurs come to the attention of potential investors, they may be invited to make verbal presentations to a select group of investors. This is commonly accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation.

Here is the content that Bill emphasised should be included in your investor pitch

A Cover Slide: Company name, business one-liner, your contact information (doesn’t count as one of the 10).

1. Market – What solution does the product/service provide to customers that they absolutely cannot live without – a “must have?” Investors do not fund products that are “nice to have.” What is the size of the addressable market? (Assuming all customers purchased the product, what would be the annual revenues?)

2. Solution – Describe the product(s), the features and benefits of the product, the intellectual property that precludes the competition from immediately copying the product and the customer feedback that validates the market demand. What is unique about your solution?

3. Competitive Position – Who are the competitors, what are their strengths and weaknesses, and what are your advantages over the competition.

4. Marketing /Sales /Support – How will you make customers aware of the product? What is your value proposition to customers? How will you establish a recognizable brand? How will you sell the product (describe sales channels)? How will you provide product and technical support to your customers? How long is your sales cycle?

5. Business Strategy – Most of us know how to find the first customer for a product. But, it is more difficult to describe how to grow the business. What partnerships, team members, facilities and capital will be required to achieve the five-year plan?

6. Financial Projections – The usual spreadsheets: Income statements, balance sheets and cash flow projections for the first five years of operations.

7. Funding Sought – How much money do you need to achieve early milestones? How much additional funding will be necessary to achieve positive cash flow? Will even more money be required to maintain optimum growth? From what sources to you expect to raise these funds?

8. Management – What is the relevant background and experience of the existing team? Describe the characteristics of additional team members that will be required to achieve positive cash flow. Describe your advisors and board of directors.

9. Milestones – Investors want to know how this round of funding will increase the value of the company. What accomplishments can the company achieve with the currently sought capital and how will that increase the valuation of the company?

10. Exit Strategy – IPOs are no longer a rational expectation for startup companies. Yet, investors are keenly interested in achieving a positive return on investment from startup ventures.

Which large public companies might be interested in buying this company and why? What does the company need to achieve to attract potential acquirers?

Bill Payne is an active angel investor, board member, and advisor to entrepreneurs. He assisted in founding four angel groups: the Frontier Angel Fund (2005),   Tech Coast Angels (San Diego – 2000), Vegas Valley Angels (2003) and Aztec Venture Network (1999).

Bill Payne

Bill Payne

For three decades, Bill Payne has successfully founded or invested in over 50 start-up companies.  He served as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence to the Kauffman Foundation for twelve years.

While there, he directed the development of the Power of Angel Investing education series for entrepreneurs and angel investors.  He has served as lead instructor for over 100 seminars in seven countries.

In 2009, Bill was named the Hans Severiens Award winner as the “outstanding angel investor in America.”

Related links

  • If you are interested in learning more about Bill Paynes system for ensuring you are investment ready check out his website on
  • Click here for a download of his slides: pdf the slides and have as a down load. Put a front end baily on it though CTA slide at the end to get their e mail

Further Reading

Key words

Angel investing entrepreneur, business plans, seed finance, start up, Bill Payne, valuation, sourcing capital

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Minister Deenihan meets CEO of Asthma Society of Canada, Rob Oliphant and John McKeon CEO of Allergy Standards as Deepening business links with Canada was key focus of visit.

John McKeon, Rob Oliphant & Minister Jimmy Deenihan

John McKeon, Rob Oliphant & Minister Jimmy Deenihan

Thursday, March 14th – Minister Jimmy Deenihan TD, travelled to Toronto, Canada as part of the Government’s St Patrick’s Day programmes which involved a breakfast business meeting in downtown Toronto with key members of the Canadian business community.

This year 19 Government Ministers travelled to 21 countries across North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia for a series of trade and investment focused programmes.

Whilst in Toronto, Minister Deenihan will undertake a number of engagements including an Ireland/Canada Business Event with Enterprise Ireland and a promotional event with the Irish Dairy Board. 
Exports from Ireland to Canada increased by 24% in 2012, and promoting growth in both trade, community and cultural links between Ireland and Canada (population 34 million) will be a focus of Minister Deenihan’s visit.

As part of the business breakfast event he met the CEO of the Asthma Society of Canada, Rob Oliphant and John McKeon CEO of Allergy Standards to announce the continued groeth of their strategic alliance.

Minister Deenihan will also review the Toronto St Patrick’s Day Parade and will view the greening of Niagara Falls accompanied by Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland.

Minister Deenihan commented “Representing Ireland abroad is a privilege and a responsibility.  Having our National Day recognised and celebrated internationally is a huge opportunity to tell a story to the world about Ireland – about our skills, about our strengths, and about our recovery. Canada and Ireland are closely linked, both in our past and in the present.

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Another great workshop today with Tony Buzan that will benefit start-up entrepreneurs

John McKeon with Tony Buzan

John McKeon with Tony Buzan

Today I attended a great workshop with one of the great thinkers of our age Tony Buzan.

His basic principle of mind mapping has enormous cross over to ‘the art of sales’ as well as ‘the science of start-up’.

An outstanding speaker, Tony Buzan, is the creator of Mind Maps, the originator of the concept of Mental Literacy and author of numerous bestselling books on the brain and thinking.
He is the author of over 200 bestselling books on the brain and learning. His classic Use Both Sides of Your Brain, has sold more than two million copies world wide

Tony is a great guy and was great fun to meet and share some entrepreneurship ideas with him after the work shop.

Here are what some pretty important members of the business community are saying about Tony.

Buzan shows corporate executives how to hotwire their creative energies.”
Forbes Magazine

Tony Buzan has done it again… make your mind work better.”
Ken Blanchard, author of the multimillion bestselling book The One Minute Manager

Here are some great tips from Tony on how Mind Mapping can save you time?

One of the simplest and most effective ways to use Mind Mapping and boost your productivity is to begin each week by spending half an hour creating a Mind Map version of a to do list. This will give you a snapshot overview of your tasks that you can prioritise according to deadlines and importance. Having it laid out visually can also help you split your workload into realistic chunks of time.

1. Begin by creating a central idea with the date at the centre.

2. Add on main branches for key tasks or projects that you need to accomplish or work on that week.

3. From these main branches, draw child branches with names, events, sub-tasks, deadlines or other keywords that make up the specific actions needed to complete the bigger task.

4. Look for links between different tasks. Does one task directly impact another? Draw relationship arrows to demonstrate this.

Weekly Task Map

As you build your Mind Map you can get a clear picture of your workload and view each task objectively. You can determine what’s important and what’s not, see how certain projects will relate and impact on other tasks, and block your time to achieve optimum productivity.

The Mind Map format means you can see the whole picture in one glance, which can be invaluable when time is short. Whilst your colleagues are tearing their hair out, lost in the scribbles of their messy To Do List, you can maintain a serene air of calm and control as you know exactly what needs doing and where you are with it.

Now here’s the kicker… If you need to be completely ruthless with your time, follow on with optional steps number 5 and 6…

5. What is the main goal of your job right now? Is it to generate revenue, satisfy customers or ensure product quality? Figure out one key goal and replace the date in the centre of your map with it.

Generate Revenue

6. Review the tasks on your map. How many directly correspond to the goal in the centre?

Any tasks that will not help you achieve that goal, delete them.

It sounds brutal, and it is, but it is also a very good cleansing exercise to help you re-focus and give you more time to spend where it matters. So much time is wasted by just assuming that something has to be done; that it’s important because it is part of the routine.

Get ruthless and take courage from the knowledge that if anyone demands to know why you have decided not to do a certain report, or attend a particular meeting, you can say that you are focusing your time on something far more beneficial for the company.

Have a go at using Mind Mapping instead of your usual To Do List and try making time bend to your will for a change

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Leadership for Entrepreneurs Seminar with Robin Sharma

John McKeon & Robin Sharma - Entrepeurship Seminar

John McKeon & Robin Sharma – Entrepeurship Seminar

Today I was at a really interesting event organised by the Irish Centre for Business Excellence  at the Convention Centre, Dublin.

The event was billed as; Come and be inspired by the internationally renowned leadership expert, Robin Sharma. During this seminar the bestselling author of THE MONK WHO SOLD HIS FERRARI, THE GREATNESS GUIDE and THE LEADER WHO HAD NO TITLE will give you profound insights. You will quickly come to see why when Fortune 500 organizations need a speaker with a proven track record of delivering leadership presentations that inspire, engage and deliver real business results, they go to Robin Sharma.

He is indeed a really inspiring speaker and his interactive seminar was packed with relevant points for start-up and early stage entrepreneurs. I had a lovely chat with the great man after the event and interview him on his success rituals and habit patterns. He came across as extremely sincere and was very approachable.

Here’s a synopsis of his ‘explosive productivity tips’ so you get big things done and make your life matter!

Robin Sharma’s 21 tips to get you to your best productivity:

#1. Check email in the afternoon so you protect the peak energy hours of your mornings for your best work.

#2. Stop waiting for perfect conditions to launch a great project. Immediate action fuels a positive feedback loop that drives even more action.

#3. Remember that big, brave goals release energy. So set them clearly and then revisit them every morning for 5 minutes.

#4. Mess creates stress (I learned this from tennis icon Andre Agassi who said he wouldn’t let anyone touch his tennis bag because if it got disorganized, he’d get distracted). So clean out the clutter in your office to get more done.

#5. Sell your TV. You’re just watching other people get successful versus doing the things that will get you to your dreams.

#6. Say goodbye to the energy vampires in your life (the negative souls who steal your enthusiasm).

#7. Run routines. When I studied the creative lives of massively productive people like Stephen King, John Grisham and Thomas Edison, I discovered they follow strict daily routines. (i.e., when they would get up, when they would start work, when they would exercise and when they would relax). Peak productivity’s not about luck. It’s about devotion.

#8. Get up at 5 am. Win the battle of the bed. Put mind over mattress. This habit alone will strengthen your willpower so it serves you more dutifully in the key areas of your life.

#9. Don’t do so many meetings. (I’ve trained the employees of our FORTUNE 500 clients on exactly how to do this – including having the few meetings they now do standing up – and it’s created breakthrough results for them).

#10. Don’t say yes to every request. Most of us have a deep need to be liked. That translates into us saying yes to everything – which is the end of your elite productivity.

#11. Outsource everything you can’t be BIW (Best in the World) at. Focus only on activities within what I call “Your Picasso Zone”.

#12. Stop multi-tasking. New research confirms that all the distractions invading our lives are rewiring the way our brains work (and drop our IQ by 5 points!). Be one of the rare-air few who develops the mental and physical discipline to have a mono-maniacal focus on one thing for many hours. (It’s all about practice).

#13. Get fit like Madonna. Getting to your absolute best physical condition will create explosive energy, renew your focus and multiply your creativity.

#14. Workout 2X a day. This is just one of the little-known productivity tactics that I’ll walk you through in my new online training program YOUR PRODUCTIVITY UNLEASHED (details at the end of this post) but here’s the key: exercise is one of the greatest productivity tools in the world. So do 20 minutes first thing in the morning and then another workout around 6 or 7pm to set you up for wow in the evening.

#15. Drink more water. When you’re dehydrated, you’ll have far less energy. And get less done.

#16. Work in 90 minute blocks with 10 minute intervals to recover and refuel (another game-changing move I personally use to do my best work).

#17. Write a Stop Doing List. Every productive person obsessively sets To Do Lists. But those who play at world-class also record what they commit to stop doing. Steve Jobs said that what made Apple Apple was not so much what they chose to build but all the projects they chose to ignore.

#18. Use your commute time. If you’re commuting 30 minutes each way every day – get this: at the end of a year, you’ve spent 6 weeks of 8 hour days in your car. I encourage you to use that time to listen to fantastic books on audio + excellent podcasts and valuable learning programs. Remember, the fastest way to double your income is to triple your rate of learning.

#19. Be a contrarian. Why buy your groceries at the time the store is busiest? Why go to movies on the most popular nights? Why hit the gym when the gym’s completely full? Do things at off-peak hours and you’ll save so many of them.

#20. Get things right the first time. Most people are wildly distracted these days. And so they make mistakes. To unleash your productivity, become one of the special performers who have the mindset of doing what it takes to get it flawless first. This saves you days of having to fix problems.

#21. Get lost. Don’t be so available to everyone. I often spend hours at a time in the cafeteria of a university close to our headquarters. I turn off my devices and think, create, plan and write. Zero interruptions. Pure focus. Massive results.

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Breakfast meeting with world-renowned business expert Brian Tracy

Dr John McKeon with Brian Tracy

Dr John McKeon with Brian Tracy

As part of my role with the Trinity Enterprise Network I was recently invited to a talk in Trinity College’s Senior Common Room, Dining Hall on 26th February 4-6 pm at which Brian Tracy, the world-renowned business expert was speaking on the theme “Peak Performance in Business”.

Ian Lawlor of Horizon Speakers who was hosting Brian’s visit to Dublin also brought along some leading Irish entrepreneurs whom we had an opportunity to network with.  Bill Cullen (of the Apprentice), Sean Gallagher (of Dragon’s Den) and the Provost of Trinity College John Hegarty were there in addition to Ian Lawlor of Horizon Speakers.

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Frank Maguire speaks at Trinity Enterprise Network Event

Dr John McKeon with Frank Maguire

Dr John McKeon with Frank Maguire

Another great event was organised by the Trinity Enterprise Network yesterday this time it was n evening lecture by one of the all-time great business gurus of our time Frank Maguire, founding member and former VP of FedEx.

The lecture took place in the Davis Lecture Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin Tuesday, December 1st 2009, at 7.15pm.

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