This book is for entrepreneurs who want to realize their vision, want to build a major enterprise, and want to change the world. To do that, you‘ll need two things: cash and speed. You‘ll need to get the money, and then run like mad before a big existing competitor slows you down, or another fast-moving start-up runs up your tailpipe.
To get the money, you may want to consider raising money from institutional investors, the venture capital firms. The good news is that venture-backed companies rank among the most successful enterprises ever created. The bad news is far fewer than 1 in 100 companies approaching venture capitalists ever get to "take the money."
So, the first section of this book gives you a behind-the-scenes look at how venture capital firms work, and much more importantly how they think. You‘ll get first-hand insight into what things you can do to improve your chances and the things to avoid that can doom your hopes.
The second section of the book will help you "run." It is a series of short pieces of advice covering almost every segment of start-up operations, from product development to financing to staffing to sales and marketing. The chapters catalog some of the best start-up practices seen over the last 20 years, and also some of the biggest errors made.
Gerry Langeler's deep experience as a successful venture capitalist for two decades, and a very successful entrepreneur who raised venture capital from top VC firms, provides the secrets to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.
Best of luck on your journey!
Fabulous book. Must have reading for entrepreneurs and new ventures.
Ritchie Campbell, MBA, PhD, Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurial Finance & Economics, University of Washington, Bothell WA.
New ventures have brought global-leading innovation to America and have provided more new jobs than all the large, mature corporations combined. From that perspective, if we can help new ventures succeed, we not only help entrepreneurs realize their deepest dreams, we also help create new jobs and accelerate the advancement of innovation in America.
That’s why Gerry’s excellent book is so important: it helps new ventures succeed.
As his book makes clear, the reality of new ventures is that most will not get financial backing from VCs. For every 100 companies screened by VC firms, only 1 ultimately receives funding. And out of the select few that do receive funding, half of them will fail; one-fourth will never deliver the hoped-for promise; and one-fourth will succeed (some marginally, but a very, very few might wildly succeed).
So, for a $100 million VC Fund, over the course of 5 years a VC might screen 2,500 - 5,000 promising companies, and only invest in 25 of them. And, of those 25, maybe 1 will create the success needed to make the Fund successful. Daunting odds.
As a very experienced VC who has reviewed thousands of requests for funds, and who has worked one-on-one with hundreds of entrepreneurs to strengthen their businesses over the last 20 years, Gerry explains how a new venture can greatly improve those odds.
First, Gerry helps a new venture understand how to increase the chance of receiving VC funding (Take the Money…).
And, once they get the money, through his advice on customers, sales, competitors, products, pricing, business culture, and market decisions, Gerry explains how a new venture can greatly improve their odds of succeeding(…and Run).
Whether they are as different as clean tech, cloud computing, or drug discovery, new ventures must successfully advance through a common set of business stages: Initial Planning (Product Idea/Founding Team), Prototype, Pilot Study, Market Launch, Proving Stage, Exponential Growth/Scale Stage, and private investor Liquidity Stage (IPO or acquisition).
In order to successfully advance the company through each business stage (to create progressively higher company values), CEO/Founders must identify the key milestones inherent in each business stage (finish product development, get pilot study going, fill-in executive team gaps, accelerate revenue levels…) and determine the resources they need to successfully complete each milestone.
Indeed, the essence of the daily life of any CEO is the determining, gathering and allocating of resources needed (people, money, business relationships, planning…) to consistently advance key milestones (product development, financing, sales, build business processes, stabilize technology, make company’s brand recognizable & reputable, create ways for customer feedback to link into product/service improvements…).
Entrepreneurs who want to find out more than just how to raise money from VCs—-those who want to know how to advance their new ventures through each business stage and ultimately create an IPO or other liquidity event-—should buy this book immediately.
Gerry offers indispensable advice for every stage the business is in: advice that only someone who has been in the new venture businesses for a lifetime could provide.
Congratulations Gerry, you have written a super book!