Year: 2014

05- Sep2014
Posted By: Brett Andrews
396 Views

Make Sure Your Loved Ones are Safe Using Tender Watch

Taking care of a loved one can sometimes feel like a full-time job. Whether it is a senior family member, someone with disabilities or a latch-key child, we want to be sure that they are safe and sound when they are home. Of course, our busy schedule can get in the way being there all the time. There will always be moments when work or a chore will cause you to leave them home alone wondering and hoping that family member will be safe while you are away.

Tender Watch can bridge that gap by offering several levels of activity monitoring that can allow you view it while you’re away from home without being obtrusive or abuse the privacy of the individual. Using proactive instead of reactive methods is where Tender Watch surpasses the competition and can help you respond to warning signs beforehand. If you?re interested in more information, just go to Tender Watch home page.

Categories:
27- Aug2014
Posted By: Brett Andrews
461 Views

HBS Graduates About Startups

Harvard Business School Graduates

Excerpt From Wallstreet Journal Article,

Infographic

wallstreet journal Startups

 

JOURNAL REPORTS: SMALL BUSINESS

How an Entrepreneur’s Passion Can Destroy a Startup

Strong Feelings Can Lead Founders to Make Bad Choices at the Worst Times. Here’s What to Watch For.

28- Jul2014
Posted By: Brett Andrews
589 Views

New Tender Watch Video

?Tender Watch Video

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!

05- Jun2014
Posted By: Brett Andrews
526 Views

Angel Investors Do Make Money, Data Shows 2.5x Returns Overall

 

Posted??by Robert Wiltbank, PhD

“I began studying angel investing returns about 10 years ago as a result of a problem I couldn?t resolve: The investing world seemed certain that angel investors were rubes. Conventional wisdom dictated that they made reckless investments in very early-stage ventures mostly doomed to fail. And whenever they might come close to succeeding, savvy ?professional? investors would just swoop in, cram them down, and win the real returns. In addition, angels were up against a selection problem: All the best entrepreneurs and opportunities would naturally gravitate to the best venture capital funds, leaving only the ?scraps? for angel investors.

So which is it? Are angel investors just unwitting philanthropists or legitimate entrepreneurial investors?

Through research backed by the Kauffman Foundation, NESTA (a UK-based entrepreneurship foundation), the University of Washington, and Willamette University, I?ve compiled the largest data set on angel investor financial returns that exists.?The angel investors I was spending time with didn?t seem so na?ve or incompetent. While not professional investors, most angels are very successful in their own right, overwhelmingly as a result of their own entrepreneurial endeavors. Their firsthand knowledge of creating new businesses and new markets seemed quite relevant to successfully investing in other entrepreneurs working to do the same.

The best estimate of overall angel investor returns from this data is 2.5 times their investment, though in any one investment the odds of a positive return are less than 50 percent. This is absolutely competitive with venture capital returns.”

by Robert Wiltbank, PhD

 

Click here if you would like to read more about Angel Investing.

Categories:
13- May2014
Posted By: Brett Andrews
491 Views

Twitch Technologies brings touch typing to tablets

Dennis Page, Founder of? Twitch Technologies,?shares his thoughts on the?history of the keyboard and its limitations with iPads and the like:

“One of the main limitations of the iPad’s usefulness, in the everyday business world, is its user interface. To fully ?appreciate ?this, we need to go back in time. By the 1870’s, QWERTY had been already established as the default typewriter keyboard layout. When touch typing was invented in the 1880’s, the sales of typewriters took off and touch typing on QWERTY was here to stay.??

Touch typing, whether on a typewriter or computer keyboard, really is a pretty amazing thing. Touch typing is a kind of what experts call, a “cognitive automaticity”, akin to walking, eating, riding a bike. Its a “muscle memory”, ?something you can do without thinking about it. People trained in touch typing are able to do higher order thinking, even while typing. People are able to type at the speed of thought. ?

The problem is: touch typing does not work on small devices. On small devices, even the most accomplished typists often resort to a freestyle “hunt and peck” methodology.

Twitch is a significant improvement, in that it allows people to regain cognitive automaticity.”

Keep up with Twitch technologies here

 

Categories:
18- Apr2014
Posted By: Tim Ajayi
560 Views

Why That Ex-IBM Exec Could Be One Giant, Cash-Guzzling Liability to Your Startup

Picture this.

Young, starry-eyed startup founder comes in to pitch investors for funding.

He clicks crisply through his deck. He describes his product (patent-pending, of course), its features, benefits, and how 1% market share is enough to place everyone in the company on the Forbes list of richest people in the world.

Then the team slide comes up on the screen and the entrepreneur puffs up his chest, clears his throat, and announces that (just so you know) the CTO (or some other C-Suite position) of the company is an ex-IBM executive (or an ex-HP executive, or any other big, public company).

He pauses and looks around the room proudly. Almost as if he was expecting a standing ovation.

Oh, by the way, the company has raised $20 million so far, burned more than 50% of that on overhead (logo design, focus groups, salaries, and such), and hopes to have a minimum viable product in 24 months. Just as soon as this round of funding is completed.

See any problem with this picture?

Several actually. Let?s address just one today.

If you haven?t taken your product and service to market, if you do not yet have product-market fit, hiring an ex-Google COO to impress potential investors will almost certainly spell doom for your startup.

Here?s why.

One, your startup IS NOT a smaller version of a big, public company (HT Steve Blank). Your social media startup and Facebook are two totally different animals. One is a cute, needy kitten; the other is a full-grown lion. Your startup (the kitten) has different needs and needs a different set of competencies than a fully-functioning company.

Second, drawing from one above and quoting Ben Horowitz in his must-read book, ?the job of a big company executive is very different from the job of a small company executive.?

To a big company executive (used to big budgets), that $2 million you plan to raise to take your product to market is just furniture allowance.

Former big company executives come with big company habits that could be deadly to your startup. Habits like sending everything to focus groups, analysis paralysis, bureaucracy, ego mania, and waiting for things to happen instead of making things happen (among others).

Bottom line: buyer beware.

Yes, you might need an Eric Schmidt or Sheryl Sandberg for ?adult supervision? However, hire one with your eyes wide open and only when your startup has taken off and is approaching cruising altitude.

17- Apr2014
Posted By: Brett Andrews
506 Views

Lumz N’ Blooms Acquisitions Done by IMD Companies

Source: PR Newswire April 10, 2014

iMD Companies, Inc., Closes Acquisitions with Lumz’nBlooms, Ltd., a Manufacturer of Specialized CommercialAgricultural, Indoor Gardening and Hydroponic GrowingEquipment to the Medical Marijuana Mark

TAMPA, FL,?April 10, 2014?/PRNewswire/ -?iMD Companies, Inc. (OTC:?ICBU) Board of Directors are pleased to announce they have closed these acquisitions from Lumz’n Blooms, Ltd. a Manufacturer and distributor of products and services for commercial and private growers.? General terms of the deal include a cash component to be paid by iMD Companies, 10 MM shares of restricted stock and incentive bonuses based on performance.? Founded in 2006, Lumz’n Blooms, LTD. has a grown its business year over year and generated revenues of over?$2 million?in 2013 with positive cash flow.

These acquisitions will enable Lumz to meet its growing demand and expand iMD’s footprint in the emerging “growers” market. Lumz brings expert staffing as well as an established and solid customer base to the iMD. And will provide a “core” operating business.?? The capital infusion and corporate support will allow Lumz to take advantage several lucrative opportunities that have evolved as a result of successful marketing efforts.?? iMD’s and Lumz goals are extremely complimentary and these acquisitions should add significantly to both revenue and earnings going forward.

Lumz’n Blooms, LTD.’s main products allow consumers to “Bring the Sun Indoors”.? Lighting, ballasts, growing materials are considered the “Pickaxe and Shovel” of the “Green Rush”.? Over the past 7 plus years Lumz’n Blooms has developed strong distribution channels and today counts?Central Garden and Pet, HomeDepot.com, Amazon Prime, Bi-Mart, Orchard Supply?as well as hundreds of independent Nursery, Hardware and Hydroponic Retailers among its customers.? These established distribution channels, combined with their extensive product line and industry knowledge, makes Lumz’n Blooms a foundational acquisition for building future growth.

“Our goal is to have Lumz’n Blooms, LTD. products be the most widely distributed brands in the industry and first on the shelf at mainstream retailers. Large retailers have realized the magnitude of this growing market and are contacting Lumz to fill the gap,? iMD provides us the platform required to make this happen”, stated?Brian Tucker President?of Lumz’n Blooms, LTD For more information go to??www.TuckersPride.com?and?www.InHomeGardening.com

Larry Robertson CEO of ICBU stated, “This acquisition will give us the opportunity to expand our product lines directly into the mainstream market for indoor Hydroponic growers, and Indoor Gardens. By owning Lumz’n Blooms, we will exponentially increase our distribution channels for both the Lumz products as well as the EMC-5000 systems, which is the flagship product of R-Quest Hydroponics, our joint venture with Anything Technology Media, Inc. (OTC:EXMT). ?This acquisition will enable Lumz the ability to expand its presence at trade shows, provide co-op advertising for major retailers, support retail trials, promote product through print, social and other media outlets, develop POS displays, as well as new product development. “This will afford Lumz the ability to expand its presence at trade shows, provide co-op advertising for major retailers, support retail trials, promote product through print, social and other media outlets, develop POS displays, as well as new product development.”

About iMD Companies, Inc.
iMD Companies, Inc., (OTC MARKETS: ICBU) is a?Florida?corporation, engaged in the medical diagnostics and health industries.?The company is has recently re-positioned to be a holding company for acquisitions in the medical and marijuana industry.? Recent acquisitions in those areas are R-Quest Hydroponics Inc. and Greenlinks Inc. Currently the primary products and services lie in the health and medical diagnostics markets. The company and the principals of the management team have extensive backgrounds in finance, new technologies, manufacturing, marketing and distribution.?? ICBU’s goal is to create and increase shareholder value by tactically growing our core Hydroponics business while strategically seeking to acquire new businesses and create other business alliances, which generate increased revenues and earnings.

About R-Quest Hydroponics, Inc.
R-Quest Hydroponics, Inc., is a Hardware and Software Manufacturing Company with its headquarters in Placerville, California.? R-Quest Hydroponics, Inc. has developed the new Environmental Master Controller EMC-5000 system, which is able to provide constant management for grow room facilities for indoor gardens. The EMC-5000 was developed so that growers can rest easy with the confidence that their crop is in excellent hands. The EMC-5000 is able to regulate and control all aspects of an indoor grow system, including Light cycles to optimize growth, Fans, Nutrient pumps, and CO2 level controls to help manage grow rooms. To see more information on the EMC-5000 go to?www.r-questhydro.com?.

www.imdcompanies.com

SOURCE IMD Companies, Inc.

 

Copyright 2014 PR Newswire

03- Apr2014
Posted By: Tim Ajayi
463 Views

Business Investment Questions Answered

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).

Here’s why having a strong enough WHY is imperative to your startup’s survival:

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.

 

Categories:
20- Mar2014
Posted By: Tim Ajayi
680 Views

You’ve Got the WHO. Now WHAT?

Last Thursday, I said your success as a startup founder depends a lot on you being crystal clear on WHOM you (your product and service) serve. Let’s allocate 40% weight to this.

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:

My product will revolutionize the industry.”

It’s the best thing since the iPhone

It’s a Facebook killer.

Big mistake. Don’t do that.

Start with WHO. Then follow with WHAT. Don’t believe me? See what Seth Godin says here about first starting with a tribe.?Got that? Great.

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.

 

 

18- Mar2014
Posted By: Brett Andrews
441 Views

Calling All Female Founders

It?s simple. We need more female entrepreneurs.

I?m not speaking in terms of just NewGate Capital Partners or even Florida for that matter. The WORLD needs more women business leaders and one great way of getting there is by starting at the point of origin – ?start-ups.

My team and I hear dozens of pitches per month and I would surmise that 1 out of every 12 or so has at least one female co-founder. This is mostly anecdotal evidence due to our current lack of analytics on deals we pass on?something we plan to improve in the future.

Our portfolio has a little better ratio with 5 out of about 30 companies having a female co-founder. These numbers seem a little more consistent with what I hear and read about in the industry.

BUT? (there?s always a ?but?, right?)

Women represent roughly 50% of our population, give or take a few points depending on where you?re currently sitting. By law of averages, that would suggest that we should be seeing a similar ratio when it comes to start-up founders. So why is this not the case?

Much has been written about the perceived bias against women in the venture capital community. ?Look, there are always going to be biases. They are a fundamental construct of human nature. Some are innate and some are gained through past experiences.

Whether this bias exists or not–and the depth of its roots–I am not certain. I do think that any VC willing to pass on a deal based on the gender of its founder won’t be in business much longer. I, myself, tend to have a slight bias towards women founders–which is really not the goal either.

I have found that women tend to show more resourcefulness (on average) than their male counterparts. Thus, they are usually exceptional boot-strappers, a key quality when running a lean start-up.

Are they this way out of necessity or are they genetically wired differently? I don?t know.

I believe the latter to be more the case. And if, ultimately, our goal in all of this is to find clever solutions to tough problems, couldn?t we use a fresh perspective?

There have been immense strides recently with the establishment of women-centric tech conferences and funding for STEM programs for women. Not to mention the in-roads made by the likes of Marissa Mayer, Sarah Blakely, Susan Lyne and others.

All I know, is if we are going to continue to grow and solve the world’s most challenging problems, it is going to take the sweat and brains of all of us.

I look forward to seeing what the great women in our community have in store.