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This was a lecture to the MBA Entrepreneurial Finance Course at the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business. Here’s what happened to the Venture Capital industry: Intel, Microsoft and Cisco aren’t making money for their shareholders Or, more importantly, for their employees That’s part of the reason the best and brightest are now […]

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What often happens

This is an excerpt from a talk I gave at the Element8 angels workshop: Investing a World With Few Exits. Some of the key points from my talk: I believe only 25% of all companies that could have been sold actually end up successfully exiting If a company misses the ideal time to exit, then […]

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Exit Probabilities

I Thought I Understood Patents When I was CEO of my first technology company I thought I understood how patents worked. But it was only after managing a hedge fund for a few years that I began to appreciate the risks patent holders face. Many entrepreneurs think that the real test of a patent’s value […]

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Financial Loss

This video is a talk I gave at the Element8 angels workshop: Investing a World With Few Exits. Some of the key points from my talk: I believe only 25% of all companies that could have been sold actually end up successfully exiting If a company misses the ideal time to exit, then the most […]

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Light_Bulb

When I was in grad school I co-founded a company that grew to become the second largest manufacturer of cable television headend equipment in the world. For the ten years after I graduated, I woke up every morning thinking of ways to out-innovate our two major competitors. We were a startup and they were both […]

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Building_Company_Value1-403x300

Most people have difficulty believing that you can sell a business for 50% more just by executing the exit well. I’ve written before about how this can be achieved. This post has video excerpts where you’ll see CEOs and Chairs who have actually done it. It is very unusual to hear case studies like these. […]

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Recently, at an Exit Strategies Workshop in Victoria, someone asked me to compare the pros and cons of an early exit versus a traditional Venture Capital financing. The scenario we used for our example was a successful startup company with a proven business that needed $10 million to $20 million to fund growth. (In this […]

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What I’m about to describe is difficult for some people to understand. Recently, I completely failed to convey this concept to an experienced professional accountant. The fact is, nobody can sell your cash well. What I mean is this: if you’re thinking about selling your company, I feel strongly that it’s desirable to strip out […]

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Graph of EBITDA

For almost every M&A transaction the Confidential Information Memorandum (CIM) contains both actual financial results and projections.  (The rare exception is a company whose entire value is a patent portfolio.) In companies with external investors, management teams are familiar with projecting financials. This is a necessary part of projecting future financing requirements. For the increasingly […]

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Pacinian-Pre-Revenue-30M-Exit

In earlier days, entrepreneurs dreamed of founding an innovative start-up and building it into a big company. After many years of solid sales and profits, the company might be acquired, with founders and investors earning a capital gain. But in today’s fast-evolving technology marketplace, growing a small start-up into a big company may not be […]

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