Author Archive: David Ehrenberg

First things first. Why raise funds? This seems like an obvious question but you need to be clear why you’re looking to raise in order to come up with an effective game plan and determine your best funding option.

The startup ecosystem is not just made up of entrepreneurs and investors; it also includes lawyers, bankers, HR and payroll providers as well as financial services providers. These service providers do more than provide a service; they are partners and important players within your startup ecosystem, providing guidance, connections, and support.

In the best case, getting funded can take months, and in the worst, you might end your quest without a single signed term sheet. Oh, and have I mentioned that it’s a full-time job? Physical endurance is one thing, but how do you prepare yourself for the mental and emotional toll?

I get questions from startup founders about executive summaries all the time. They range from “what should I include?” to “how long should it be?” to “where can I get help writing one?” Those can be found on a previous post. But I do want to highlight 5 things that are guaranteed to make you stand out — and not in a good way.

So your company’s in its very early stages. We’re talking a skeleton crew of staff, minimal sales, and even less cash. While your focus is understandably on immediate survival and how you can hit your first big hurdles, what else should you be thinking of, especially where your finances are concerned?

You need a strategic financial partner who is in close contact, asking questions and ensuring that they understand your business intimately.

How will you know when to revise your business plan? The short answer is that plans are living documents and should be constantly evolving. That being said, there are certain times when major, rather than incremental change, is called for. How do you distinguish between the two? Below are unmistakable signs, or forks in the road, that should prompt you to substantially rethink your plan.

The relationship between investors and founders can be tricky to navigate. At the best of times, it’s symbiotic, leading to gains for both sides. At others it can degenerate into a test of wills, or worse. How can you forge mutually beneficial, productive relationships with VCs that make best use of your respective strengths and effectively utilize your time?

But is using them a good strategy for your business? Not necessarily: it really depends on how you use them. While there are definitely potential benefits, NDAs also have several often overlooked caveats.

We’ve all heard some variation of the quip that overnight success actually involves years of striving, with presumably several failed efforts and false starts along the way. But when entrepreneurs experience failure, whether it’s their first encounter with it or an especially spectacular failure, it can be a major blow financially as well as emotionally. Here are my thoughts on how to recover from a significant business setback.