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Entrepreneurship

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 Fortu...

What Happened to Venture Capital

Entrepreneurship

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 working in startups Big companies have lost their a...

Case Studies

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 ...

Exit Timing

This video from the Exit Strategies workshop describes the exit process and timeline. Highlights of The Exit Process and Timeline: For many exits, the biggest question isn't "How Much Can We Get?" Instead "It's How Soon Can We Exit?" The short answer is 6 to 18 months From the time you engage an M&A Advisor, until the cash is in the bank But it can take longer if the company isn't r...

Angel Investing

+This Early Exits Workshop was presented at the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) Annual Summit in Banff, Alberta. NACO Summits are usually around 500 attendees. Most people are from Canada, but international attendance increases every year. Key Points from Part 1 - Early Exits Seed and startup investing is changing The “Traditional VC model” is broken+ Startup costs ...

Angel Investing

This short workshop was presented at the the 6th Annual Angel Investor Summit, Dunedin, New Zealand - the second most southern city in the world. As part of an economic development initiative to stimulate investment in technology, I was invited by the New Zealand government to spend a week traveling up and down the country to meet with angel groups and government officials. Double Your Exits includes: OK, I...

Early Exits

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 article, I am being precise about the distinction between the business a...

Exit Execution

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 the cash that’s not absolutely necessary before starting the exit valuation negotiation with pr...

Exits Workshops

This was an Exit Strategies workshop near Amsterdam at the Nyenrode Business Universiteit - one of the top business schools in the Netherlands. The audience was angel investors, VCs and entrepreneurs from several countries in the region. Key Points from Part 1 - Exits Have Changed Many big parts of the financial ecosystem that worked for a hundred years Don’t work at all anymore - the world has cha...

Exit Strategy

This was a presentation to a hundred Dutch investors and CEO's at the Nyenrode Business Universiteit just outside of Amsterdam. In this video I describe the critical importance of exit timing and the dramatic effect it can have on investor returns and the lives of entrepreneurs. This talk included: How the internet has accelerated everything and shortened company lifecycles Entrepreneurs now have “Weekenders” whe...