The Posts

DCFounders.com - startup life, news, & events

What do Seed Capital & Kanye West have in common?

Kanye West

This is a dump from my head and is not meant to be all nice and paragraph-ly :) PS. I have a disdain for the .ly domain :D

I was on the fence for attending this event because honestly I thought $79 was a bit much.

  • Lesson: As an entrepreneur every buck counts!

In the 25th hour I get an email from Pete Erickson inviting me to attend for free on Disruptathon’s event code! I’m in

  • Lesson: It ‘pays’ to build relationships!  (Note: I was selected to present at Disruptathon Hottest Apps Event, and I did my presentation to an instrumental of Kanye Wests Stronger in the background. Side-lesson: Fade the music out bro, if people can’t hear they will tune you out!)

So I go to the event dressed in a black button down short sleeve shirt and blue jeans, and everyone else is in blazers. I counted 2 other people in jeans and both had blazers!

  • Lesson: East Coast is Stuffy! I’m a valley person at heart stuck in an east coast dream

The Investor Board presents. Angel Investor John May says, “The average seed pre revenue valuation is 1.5M”. A guy from TEDCO seconds this, “Seed rounds are a commodity and typically range from 1.5M to 2M”

  • Lesson: Don’t expect much more than a $2M valuation on a seed round even if you have a rockstar team and some good traction on the east. It is what it is!
  • Lesson: Write mugs name’s down. I’m really sorry I couldn’t remember the other gentlemans name to give him credit.

Some final notes from the investors - John May: “Do due dilligence on your money, all money is not created equal”. “don’t be surprised that we don’t rush into te money”.  Elana Fine, of the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship – “Prove that you can reach our next set of milestones.”  Someone I can’t remember – “It’s bad to look outside of your region for a seed deal”

  • Lesson: Set good milestones and find some investors who can help you reach those

Daniel Odio of PointAbout speaks for 10 minutes about his success raising money on AngelList.  He also confirms my deepest fear that it’s 10x easier raising money on the west coast. I love this guy’s candidness.  I really started considered a bi-coastal strategy after I finish my raise. I have kids and an ex, so I can’t just up and relocate.

  • Lesson: Get on AngelList.
  • Lesson: Consider moving west if you have a consumer based startup.

Entrepreneur Panel Presents. It’s got some good folk on there.  I recognize my Mindshare cohort member, Richard Fawal of watchparty.tv.  I half pay attention because I know most of the guys and the struggle they go through.  Breakfast meetings suck btw. I’m tired by this point.  I wake up when I hear the most phenomenal quote of the day, “Starting a company is about surviving long enough to stay relevant.” That for some reason reinvigorates me.  I retweet it out because someone had beat me to the punch

  • Lesson: If you are really going to be an entrepreneur, you have to be prepared to bootstrap for up to a year and a half (or longer…) and you have to work judiciously to matter. Getting a product complete is actually the easy part…

Afterwards, I have the select lucky priviledge of getting about 40 minutes of Daniel Odio’s time due to Pete dropping in a good word for me. I had to wait around for everyone else to wrap up doing their coming up to the panelist trying to get their 5 minutes of attention! More power to them!  So after all that, Daniel (btw, I asked him if he goes by Dan or Daniel – I’ll let you guess which) and I sat down on some couches at the Ritz Carlton and just started rapping.  We talked bout Gamification, he played with my App Nexercise and gave me some great feedback. He showed me some sick stuff he is working on.  We talk about Cali, and he gives me some great DOMAIN specific advice that I’m loving.

  • Lesson: TALK – one on one, openly to successful entrepreneurs.  Be able to add value to them.  Keep it real, and form relationships.

Alright folks, I’m out.

P.S. IF YOU HAVE AN IDEA, GO TRY AND SELL IT FOR A MILLION BUCKS. IF NO-ONE BUYS IT YOU WILL REALIZE THAT IT’S ALL ABOUT EXECUTION. NO IDEA IS TRULY UNIQUE. GO OUT AND BUILD SOMETHING AND CHANGE THE WORLD. ( A mashup of several quotes)

BTW: The answer to my article question is: They Amp You Up!!!  ”Stronger, Baby!”

Enhanced by Zemanta

About Benjamin

I am the CEO & Co-founder of Nexercise - a mobile game where you can save big on healthy foods, products, and services while actually enjoy exercising. It sounds like an oxymoron, but it's possible :) I am going to blog about anything and everything related to my entrepreneurial journey that is not appropriate for my business blog. This includes, but is not limited to, controversial points of view, predictions on current tech companies, funny stories about what happens here in DC, and the ups and downs of my journey. View all posts by Benjamin

1 Comment to What do Seed Capital & Kanye West have in common?

  1. Good notes, Ben. You've captured the essence of what it's like to build a company in DC.

Welcome to DC Founders


Welcome to the DC Founders site, where Washington DC area startups connect and update with the latest of news and events in the local community. By entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. about us...

Tweets from @dcfounders

  • No tweets were found.

     

Ad