Launchpad 2013 Year In Review

Launchpad Logo 200px Wide

Launchpad Venture Group had a very fun and very busy 2013. We are already looking forward to 2014, but before 2013 is completely set aside, let’s do a quick recap of some key highlights & milestones, by the numbers: [Read more…]

The Why and How of Updating Your Angel Investors (Guest Post)

Ty Danco and Dharmesh Shah recently published an excellent guide for entrepreneurs on communicating with investors.  They have given me their permission to share it here.

The Why and How of Updating Your Angel Investors

Good or bad news.There’s a massive amount available on the interwebs on how to improve the odds for success in new ventures. But almost nothing concrete is available on the care and feeding of your investors. You can do all of the Lean Startup experimentation you want, but we’re here to tell you that one of the the easiest and most underrated skills that a startup CEO needs is knowing how to keep your investors updated, excited and engaged.

The reason is:  The CEO is the investor’s  user interface into the business.  It’s how investors see what’s going on, and in some minimal ways, interact with the business.

We polled several early stage investors (including ourselves) that have 30+ investments each under their belts, and asked them their advice for entrepreneurs on how best to communicate with them and update them on the business. Here are the results. [Read more…]

Congratulations, Crocodoc

Crocodoc

Congratulations to Ryan Damico and the team at Crocodoc for their successful exit today to Box.com.  I invested in Crocodoc in 2009 when Ryan was a brand new entrepreneur and the company was called WebNotes. I liked Ryan and I liked the early vision. What grew out of those early roots was even more impressive. Ryan and his team went on to build a very capable enterprise class tool to display virtually any document right in the browser, via HTML5. This capability has proven absolutely essential to a variety of large customers including SAP, LinkedIn, Yammer, Facebook, and of course Dropbox and Box.com. Not entirely clear what Dropbox is going to do once this technology is in the hands of their arch-rival Box.com. That should be interesting to watch. Meanwhile, read more about the deal via WSJ here, TechCrunch here., GigaOm here, The Next Web here, VentureBeat here, and ZDNet here.

Comments, questions or reactions to this post? Leave a note below and I will respond to your questions.
If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy: The Long Road to Instant Success (Crocodoc)
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Start-Up Marketing (Guest Post – four in a series)

Speak to Individual

My good friend Jeff Berman has agreed to contribute a series on marketing for startups to the Scratchpaper community. This is the fourth in the series (table of contents here). Stay tuned for more.

How to Botch Marketing #3:

Speak to the Industry, Not the Individual

People have problems. People have budgets.

If you’re selling something to a business audience, it’s easy to slip into thinking your market is the business (e.g., hospitals, schools, hotels; the list is endless). But businesses don’t make decisions. To get on the radar, you need to address the needs of a specific individual inside the organization. [Read more…]

Launchpad 2012 Year In Review

Launchpad Logo 200px Wide

Launchpad had a very fun and very busy 2012. We are already well-underway with a busy 2013, but before 2012 is completely set aside, let’s do a quick recap of some key highlights & milestones, by the numbers:

  • Total dollars invested: $5.5M
  • Number of new companies in which we invested: 10
  • Number of follow-on rounds in which we invested: 14
  • HALO Ranking in deals done: Top Five in US
  • HALO Ranking in dollars invested: Top Five in US
  • Percent of members writing one or more checks: 91%
  • Number of checks written: 250+
  • Number of positive exits: 3   (here, here, here)
  • Number of negative exits: 1
  • Remaining number of active portfolio companies: 35
  • Number of internal member training sessions: 7
  • Number of companies applying for funding: 750+
  • Number of companies pitched to group: 28
  • Number of due diligence teams formed: 21
  • Number of participants in Launchpad on Demand sessions: 60+  (coverage)
  • Number of members named a Top Angel In New England: 5
  • Number of new Operations Managers hired: 1

Comments, questions or reactions to this post? Leave a note below and I will respond to your questions.
If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy: Constructing a PitchWhy Angels Chase ElectronsBoards vs. Advisory BoardsDelusional EconomicsThat Vision ThingThe Power of An Advisory BoardLoch Ness, Unicorns & The First-Mover AdvantageDoes This Slide Deck Make Me Look Fat?,  The Long Road to Instant SuccessTop Angel Investors in New EnglandLaunchpad Overview – Angel Video Interview SeriesCustomer Crowdfunding: Not So Fast, EntrepreneursCrowdfunding: You Cannot Make This Stuff Up!Angel Video Interview Series,  Thoughts on CrowdfundingEntrepreneur at Work: Caine’s Arcade,  The Crowdfunding Interview (Frank Peters Show), Pattern Matching Can Cause BlindspotsGetting Off The Ground; Early Formation EconomicsPitch Clinic at MassChallenge (Video)Are Entrepreneurs Wild Risk-Takers?Top 20 Dos & Don’ts with Angel Groups & Early Stage FinancingWhat I Look For In An EntrepreneurThe OvertureOpen Forum with Angel, Seed and VC Investors (Video),  When Do You Need My Slide Deck?

Subscribe – To get an automatic feed of all future posts subscribe to the RSS feed here, or to receive them via email enter your address in the box in the upper right or go here and enter your email address in the box in the upper right. You can also follow me on Twitter @cmirabile and on Google+.

 

Interview: State of the VC & Angel Market and How to Raise Money

Apples in a shopping cart. High res 3d render. Isolated on white background

I was recently interviewed for a story on the current state of the market in terms of early-stage investing, and how entrepreneurs can raise money these days. The piece has yet to be published and will likely be edited way down to a couple soundbites when it is published, so I figured I would capture the full text of their questions and my answers here.

1. What are your thoughts on the current state of the venture capital industry?

It is in a period of difficult retrenchment. Many of the funds that existed in 2007 may never raise money again. [Read more…]

Start-Up Marketing (Guest Post – one in a series)

Adopter Curve

My good friend Jeff Berman has agreed to contribute a series on marketing for startups to the Scratchpaper community. This is the first in the series. (Table of contents for the series is here). Stay tuned for more.

_____________________________________________

In working with dozens of start-ups and early-stage companies over 25 years, and more than 50 since starting Berman Creative in 2002, I’m still astonished by how well Geoffrey Moore’s technology adoption curve defines the market opportunity for so many B-to-B and B-to-C organizations.

For young companies, the relevant groups are the first three: [Read more…]

Nice Write Up

George McQuilken just did a nice write up of a couple of Launchpad’s recent exits. You can read about them in his post here: Launchpad, Retaining Momentum, Announces Two Successful Exits.

Comments, questions or reactions to this post? Leave a note below and I will respond to your questions.
If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy: Why Angels Chase ElectronsTop Angel Investors in New EnglandLaunchpad Overview – Angel Video Interview SeriesAngel Video Interview SeriesPitch Clinic at MassChallenge (Video)Top 20 Dos & Don’ts with Angel Groups & Early Stage FinancingWhat I Look For In An EntrepreneurThe Overture,  Open Forum with Angel, Seed and VC Investors (Video)When Do You Need My Slide Deck? 
Subscribe – To get an automatic feed of all future posts subscribe to the RSS feed here, or to receive them via email enter your address in the box in the upper right or go here and enter your email address in the box in the upper right. You can also follow me on Twitter @cmirabile and on Google+.


Top Angel Investors in New England

Top Angel Investors in New England - xConomy 2012

Yes, I have been a little productivity-challenged with the blog posts lately, and I promise things will pick up again now that it is Fall. But I’ve been busy, and I guess on good stuff – I was psyched to be included in Erin Kutz & Greg Huang’s story ‘Top Angel Investors of New England.”  Great bunch of people doing awesome things for entrepreneurs and for Boston and I am proud to be associated.

Comments, questions or reactions to this post? Leave a note below and I will respond to your questions.
If you enjoyed this post, you might enjoy: Angel Video Interview SeriesPitch Clinic at MassChallenge (Video)Why Angels Chase ElectronsBoards vs. Advisory BoardsDelusional EconomicsTen Rules For Navigating in The Age of OutrageThat Vision ThingThe Power of An Advisory BoardLoch Ness, Unicorns & The First-Mover AdvantageDoes This Slide Deck Make Me Look Fat?  Are Entrepreneurs Wild Risk-Takers?Top 20 Dos & Don’ts with Angel Groups & Early Stage FinancingWhat I Look For In An EntrepreneurThe OvertureOpen Forum with Angel, Seed and VC Investors (Video)When Do You Need My Slide Deck?, and 20 Bootstrapping Ideas

Subscribe – To get an automatic feed of all future posts subscribe to the RSS feed here, or to receive them via email enter your address in the box in the upper right or go here and enter your email address in the box in the upper right. You can also follow me on Twitter @cmirabile and on Google+.


Like Peanut Butter & Jelly: PowerHouse Dynamics and Solar Power [Video Interview]

[This post is part of a series about our net-zero residential solar project – see a list of links to the full series here, a list of frequently asked questions here or click here to bring up all Green-related postsPrevious Post in Series.]

[Update: Here’s a link to another video interview Martin just did with TMC’s Rich Tehrani.]

I have been tweeting a bit about my negative (as in credit to me!) power bills recently (e.g. minus $64.44 in April), but it has been a while since I have done a solar update.  Because I just recently caught up with Martin Flusberg, CEO of PowerHouse Dynamics for my Video Interview Series, and I needed to publish the video (below), I figured this was a great excuse to get into a little more detail on the awesomeness of my PowerHouse Dynamics eMonitor system.   I’ve mentioned it a couple times in earlier posts (here and here), but its time for a real explanation. (Disclosure: I am an investor in PowerHouse Dynamics.) [Read more…]