I got a call today from a fellow Alley-based entrepreneur, asking for advice on raising money and getting his web company off the ground (he tracked me down from a comment I left on the Union Square Ventures blog). After speaking for a while, I mentioned so many resources for him to look up, he asked me to email them. Instead, I’m posting them here for all of you to see. Be sure to add links to the bottom of the post, as I’m sure I missed out on many great resources. (By the way, if this was next week, I’d put all this info on a BricaBox and so we could make the list more social, structured, and better organized. We’ll start with this, however.).
A VC analyst friend of mine calls it “required reading for entrepreneurs” and I echo that sentiment. If you thought figuring out equity was some sort of weirdo magic VCs do to make you feel silly, think again. Get armed with a simple equation and basic knowledge to understand all things “equity” to when you have that talk with the VC of your dreams, you know what you’re talking about.
DFJ Gotham’s Mark Peter Davis has the best series of posts on getting VC funding around. While some disagree with his opinions, everyone loves the completeness (and chronological ordering) of his list, and all posts are informative and will help you go through the process more smoothly.
When you’re ready to ask for investment, go to the New York Angel’s website and just submit your business plan. According to the organization’s chair “not enough people apply,” meaning it could be your best chance at getting early stage funding in a less-than-crowded market. Smart tip: read through the bios of angels. If you can find someone with experience in your field, figure out how to track them down and pick their brain. Angels are generally more cordial than VCs, so get out there and meet them!
I’ve called it my “most valuable social network” before, and time and time again something reaffirm that statement for me. By far, it’s glue is in the Google Group discussion board, where you can find the highest caliber conversations regarding startups in NYC.
I’ve never been, but have met many people – especially those with no experience in business and finance – who loved these sessions. If you don’t know what goes on a term sheet and how companies are valuated or have no clue what type of accounting you should be doing (didn’t know there was different types??), check out these sessions, which occur every season or so.
These two blogs are New York’s best resources on “what’s going on” in NY technology. I would also suggest checking out the nextNY blog, but it only gets a post a day or a few posts a week. In my opinion, Center Networks is best for in depth looks at startup news and announcements while SAI focuses on the media business, publicly traded companies, and, well, the people who will actually make you money. Both are required reading.
Cooper Bricolage (CooBric for short) started in a cafe on St Marks Place as a center for startupers to go, get out of the house, and work together. When the space was taken away by cafe management, some thought all was lost. However, these folks were resilient and started re-appropriating other cafes in the East Village as a place to hang out and meet up. These days folks be found coworking at Gramstand. Tomorrow, who knows? At least we know they’ll be kicking around ideas and meeting fellow entrepreneurs. Check them out.