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Angel Investing

This was the opening keynote at the 2015 Colorado Capital Conference. The Denver / Bolder area is one of several technology communities where angels and entrepreneurs have somehow developed a deeper appreciation for the importance of early exits. It's going to be interesting to see if we can track the difference this makes. Key Points: The popularity of the Early Exits book surprised me I want to start by empha...

Maximizing Value

This was a talk to several hundred M&A professionals at the Association of Mergers & Acquisitions Advisors annual conference. The organizers asked me to discuss ways to increase the final selling price and gave me this title to work with. Key Points: The first step: Hire a really good M&A Advisor - seriously Isn’t going “from 3x to 7x” the main reason to hire an M&A Advisor? ...

Angel Investing

This keynote from an Angel Capital Association regional meeting describes three successful exits that were also what I call "Accidental Exits." By that I mean exits that were the result of an unplanned approach from a buyer. In this very active M&A market, sellers are often being surprised by buyers changing the conversation and offering to buy the company. Highlights from Accidental Exits: We don't have hard data to help us ...

Angel Investing

This was the first presentation of the new Exit Strategies workshop that I developed for the National Angel Capital Association's NACO Academy. This is the Canadian national organization that provides education for angel investors and entrepreneurs. The new Exit Strategies workshop was first presented at the Golden Triangle Angel Network in Waterloo, Ont...

Exit Strategy

Deciding to sell a company is one of the biggest decisions we make as business owners. It will change your life in ways that are impossible to imagine. And it will often change the lives of your shareholders and employees. And, as important as this decision is, the truth is - we are not very good at exits. Key Points: We dramatically underutilize exits as part of our life strategies To succeed, CEOs have to learn to b...

Exits Workshops

These are the videos from an Exit Strategies workshop at the Inc. GrowCo conference in Nashville. GrowCo is Inc Magazines annual conference for high growth companies. This was a pre-conference workshop attended by about 100 CEOs and business owners. Section 1 - 75% of the Time we Blow It: Yes, I’m saying that 75% of the time when entrepreneurs and investors build a company that could have been sold we blow ...

Entrepreneurship

Lecture to the MBA class: Growing and Exiting a Venture at the UBC Sauder School of Business on why I believe this is a 'Golden Era' for entrepreneurs. Topics include: There has never been a time before when it was so easy for so many entrepreneurs, to create such valuable companies on so little capital, and sell them so early for so much money The biggest change in the 21st century Big...

Early Exits

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 is whether or not it will be granted. But in my experience the real value isn’t known until you’ve spent years, and millions of dollar...

Exit Strategies for European Technology and Life Sciences Companies

Exit Execution

At the Artic 15 Conference: Exit Path in Helsinki, I describe exit strategies for European technology and life sciences companies. And explain why I believe growing a knowledge-based company in Europe today can be better than building one in Silicon Valley. Highlights include: Why it used to be easier to grow a company in America Yes, raising capital in Europe is more challenging and why Fortunately, capital...

Exits Workshops

This Exit Strategies workshop was presented at the Artic 15 Conference in Helsinki, Finland May 26, 2014. There were almost 2,000 entrepreneurs and investors from countries throughout Northern Europe and the Baltics. Highlights from Part 1 - Exits Have Changed The world is changing Big companies have lost the ability to innovate The best and the brightest now work in startups...