Mentors Are The Secret Weapons Of Successful Startups
Excerpt from Rhett Morris article:
..“I’ve probably revised this investor pitch deck 200 times,” a founder told me recently. She’d met with more than 50 potential investors before closing a seed round last month. This might sound excessive to some, but her experience is not unusual.
Entrepreneurs often spend hundreds of hours raising funds from angel and venture capital investors. While these activities are clearly important, analysis of new data on startups suggests that founders should also dedicate significant time to something that many people overlook: recruiting great mentors. This simple strategy can increase a company’s odds of success more than almost anything else..
“Females have historically made up less than 15% of the angel investors in the United States. The University of New Hampshire’s Center for Venture Research estimated that women angels represented 19.4% of the angel market in 2014, which was a significant increase from the 12.2% number from just two years prior. Women-owned ventures accounted for 23% of the entrepreneurs that were seeking angel capital and 19% of those entrepreneurs that received angel investment in 2013.”
Women – next wave of Angel Investors, Entrepreneur Magazine
1) On a macro level, the biggest impact for getting more women on the investing side is to create more women entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are more likely to invest in other entrepreneurs, and the risk profiles of entrepreneurs match well to investing
2) Highlight women investors more often. Every time she sees an opportunity to talk about angel investing, she makes sure women are speaking, which also brings more women.
3) Any efforts to educate people outside of the startup community about angel investing would attract both men and women, and this would bring in investors who aren’t entrepreneurs.
AutoSaver.com Launches MarketVUE® Buyer Conversion Program for Used Car Dealers
AutoSaver.com, the company that pioneered range based vehicle pricing announces the release of MarketVUE® and TradeVUE® active market appraisal tools.
The best deals revealed
Our entire sales negotiation process starts and ends with AutoSaver.com – Clock Tower Auto Mall St. Augustine, FL (PRWEB) February 02, 2015
In order to maintain transparency, auto dealers are turning to automated systems to pull credible, third party data for their geographic area. AutoSaver.com has two new services that offer used car dealers an edge when evaluating vehicle prices. MarketVUE® uses real time market data to show all competing vehicles within a defined market along with inventory supply and demand and pricing analysis. Any dealer that is enrolled in the program will have the ability to see what other dealers have in stock and where their prices fall within the local averages. AutoSaver.com was the first to incorporate range pricing as an effective marketing tool for bringing buyers and sellers together.
“Our unique price reassurance program reduces sales negotiations and allows for a meeting of the minds between dealer and customer”, states AutoSaver.com CEO, Derek White. “We understand that most buyers require validation before they make a purchase. Why not provide that validation on the dealer’s own website, rather than risk losing the customer to another site that offers it?”, he adds.
Clock Tower Auto Mall, an independent dealership and AutoSaver.com customer has not only embraced these principles, but they’re rebuilding their website entirely based upon the AutoSaver.com platform. “We are experiencing excellent results with AutoSaver.com”, states Clint Jones, Clock Tower’s owner and GM. Jones says “We provide every website visitor a pricing report and market analysis, which reduces the time we spend explaining where our price came from. Our entire sales negotiation process starts and ends with AutoSaver.com.”
After a year in development, AutoSaver.com has finally launched TradeVUE®, an instant vehicle appraisal for consumers – accessible right from the dealer’s website. TradeVUE® provides a simple method for consumers to appraise their vehicle in just 3 easy steps. Each time a new appraisal is received, AutoSaver.com collects information from the customer and sends it to the dealer for follow up. “Our TradeVUE® is a great way for dealers to provide value to their website visitors while also collecting pertinent contact information within a low stress environment”, says White.
In addition to these recently introduced products, AutoSaver.com provides consumer facing price validation on dealer websites and vehicle marketing via AutoSaver.com as a part of their MarketVUE® suite. The cost for the entire program starts at just $79 per month, or $699 for an entire year. In an effort to “level the playing field” for independent dealers, AutoSaver.com is providing early adopter pricing along with a free 60-day trial.
AutoSaver.com provides intelligent consumer facing buying reassurance products to auto dealers, which includes independent price validation and appraisals using proprietary Value Range Price® technology. The company was founded in 2011 and is based in St. Augustine, Florida.
Risk is required. Learn more than more than is normal. Be strong. Show courage. Breathe. Excel. Love. Lead. Speak your truth. Live your values. Laugh. Cry. Innovate. Simplify. Adore mastery. Release mediocrity. Aim for genius. Stay humble. Be kinder than expected. Deliver more than is needed. Exude passion. Shatter your limits. Transcend your fears. Inspire others by your bigness. Dream big but start small. Act now. Don’t stop. Change the world. ….
Tender Watch is a proactive monitoring system that allows family members to keep track of elderly and handicapped loved ones who choose to live alone. This short video describes how the system works and the benefits of it’s use. Tender Watch is currently looking for strategic partners to help bring this innovation the world on a larger scale. Enjoy!
So the other day the founder of one of our portfolio companies did a business investment product demo before some investors.
Impressed with the product, the investor, however, observed that the product might be too clunky for shipping. He wondered if it were possible for a product to fit a certain shipping parameter that he was sure would give the already-impressive product another edge in the market.
As told by Brett, everyone agreed it would be worth the founder’s time to explore possible solutions to address the investor’s suggestions. Then the product demo was continued and wrapped up.
This was at about 4 pm.
By 2 am the following morning, the founder had the answer for the business investment questions.
He has completely re-invented the product to fit the ideal weight and shipping parameters required to take the product to market.
The founder was following in the footsteps of the best WHY-driven entrepreneurs. His WHY is iron-clad. He has seen his target market’s future and his product is a bridge to that future.
For this founder, with such a strong WHY, the HOW is a matter of time, resourcefulness and focus.
How about you? Have you figured out your WHY yet? Why are you building your product, service, and business? (Hint: I hope it’s not just because you see an opportunity to make fast money).
Starting a business investment from scratch is hard and risky work. If it were not, every employee in Dilbertville would start one. When all hell breaks loose (it’s payday and your account is in the red, a key client cancels and leaves a gaping hole in your projections, the current iteration of your product fails, your spouse gets jealous of the time you are spending on the business and call the nearest $99-divorce lawyer), your WHY might be all you have left to see you through.
If your WHY is strong enough, no HOW can stop you.
So you say, “Allan, I’ve got the WHO down pat. I can picture her. I know her pains. I can feel her frustrations with this problem. I’ve seen and heard her curse aloud as she struggles with this problem. She’s starving for a solution that works – or one that sucks less than is currently available. Now what?”
Good question. I thought you’d never ask.
The next big piece (another 40 percent-er) you need to figure out is the WHAT you offer to your WHO.
As an entrepreneur, you’re wired to start and focus almost exclusively on the WHAT – your product, service, website, widget, whatever. We see this every day:
So WHAT do you offer your WHO? Is your product and service a dream-come-true solution to your WHO? Does your WHAT make a meaningful difference to your WHO? Will the dog, as we say in the industry, eat the dog food?
The classic mistake to avoid here as you build your WHAT is keeping it under wraps – in beta or stealth mode – forever while you tinker away and burn your investors’ cash.
Once you have a version 0.1 of your product and service that works decently, launch AND charge for it. Free lunch is for losers.
Then keep your ears to the ground and observe your WHO as they interact with your WHAT. Take in every feedback as data and move on to version 1.0 of your WHAT.