Posts by 1x1mediapublishing

20 Questions for Pitch Preparation

Posted by on Feb 16, 2015 in Pitches

In a classic game of 20 questions, one person thinks of an object, and then the other players can ask up to 20 questions to help identify what the object is. Players can use both broad and specific questions to tease out the object’s essential characteristics. All kinds of formulas out there define what a “perfect” pitch is: no more than five minutes, no more than 10 slides, and so on. But what follows the successful pitch deck may be even more essential. When the audience for your pitch asks questions, you’d better be prepared with more than crickets. In addition to putting together your pitch deck and talk, spend some time identifying core questions investors are likely to ask. Then make sure you can deliver clear answers. Here are 20 example questions to get you started: 1. What product or service is your company offering? 2. Who is your core customer? 3. What problem does your service or product solve for the customer? 4. Is there competition in your space? 5. If there are competitors, what new angles does your company bring to beat the competition? 6. How do you track events in your market? 7. What is your marketing strategy? 8. Do you have any customer testimonials...

Learn More

3 New Year’s Themes (Not Resolutions) for Startup Founders

Posted by on Jan 2, 2015 in Goals, Planning, Risk

I like the idea of choosing New Year’s themes better than making resolutions. Resolutions are too all-or-nothing. Plus, breaking a resolution has the effect of lowering the resolve in your head, often leading to dropping the resolution altogether. Themes on the other hand are not all-or-nothing. With a New Year’s theme, you apply effort to the theme topic at the pace that fits your current life situation. Even with ebbs and flows in activity, continuing to work at the theme ultimately pays nice dividends. Here are three New Year’s themes that will make you a better entrepreneur in 2015. Get those plans out of your head. Most entrepreneurs carry a jumble of really good plans and ideas around in their heads and only let them out in fits and spurts. Making a specific effort to write your plans down forces you to organize, and most importantly, choose which of those ideas make the cut. You could start by documenting a handful of big milestones for your startup. Then list the to-do items that support making each milestone happen. Choosing forward looking milestones gives your efforts focus, helps you decide which activities are most important, and always gives you an answer to the question “What should I work on next?”...

Learn More

SBA Grant backs Small Business Growth in WNC

Posted by on Nov 18, 2014 in Startups

1×1 Media is excited to announce that co-founder-in-chief, Steve Poland, will be leading a significant small business training program called ScaleUP WNC. The program spans a total of 5 years and is backed by an SBA grant. The goal of ScaleUP WNC is to provide growth strategy development and implementation assistance to small businesses in the 23 western counties of North Carolina. Training sessions cover topics such as: Assessing early-stage growth opportunities Raising money by getting investor-ready or lender-ready Understanding the angel funding process Leveraging friends and family loans Gearing up for bank loans and other lending opportunities P&L, cash flow, and balance sheet management Developing a great funding pitch The program concludes with a Demo-day pitch event, giving participating entrepreneurs the chance to engage with angel investors, small business lenders, mentors, potential customers, and other startup supporters. Be sure to check out the detailed story on...

Learn More

Convertible Debt – A Winning Funding Formula

Posted by on Oct 11, 2014 in Angel Funding, Convertible Debt, Funding

Everybody talks about VCs and Venture Capital as the holy grail of startup funding, and yes, multi-million dollar investment rounds make great headlines. But the reality is, Angel investors write 16 times more checks than VCs. And the preferred initial funding structure for many angel groups is convertible debt. With convertible debt, the investor makes a loan to the startup and that loan later converts to equity at some point in the future. Convertible debt is a win/win for startup founders and angel investors, offering several advantages over more complex equity funding structures: Speed. Convertible debt provides a faster way for founders and investors to close deals. In an equity funding deal, many details are negotiated—including valuation, equity percentages, preferred share rights, and more. These all take time to work out. Convertible debt deals are faster. Delayed Valuation. Convertible debt funding provides a method to raise money without putting a valuation on the company at the time when you issue the debt. Because the convertible debt deal starts out as a loan, there is no need to establish the pre-money valuation of the startup—that task is deferred to the next equity round. Lower Legal Fees. As compared to closing a full-blown equity deal, a convertible debt agreement typically requires...

Learn More

A Cure for That Blank Look

Posted by on Aug 18, 2014 in Angel Funding, Startups, Valuation

It was my first meeting with a seasoned angel investor—a lead member of the Bluegrass Angels in Kentucky. I had my implementation plan pasted to the wall so it was easy to review. I had a detailed budget prepared detailing the costs for each phase of our plan. I had a list of our paying customers. I was ready. The conversation was going really well, until the angel asked me the question: “So what’s your pre-money valuation?” My response was a loose combination of ums and wells, and let’s just say the meeting ended politely enough. The Founder’s Pocket Guide: Startup Valuation is what I wish I had back then—simple, quick answers, all in one place. Check it out here at Amazon: Founder’s Pocket Guide: Startup...

Learn More