Start at the End – Your Exit Strategy – presented at the 2009 New Ventures BC Seminar Series

It’s the eve of the New Ventures BC Awards ceremony, I’ve just posted the edited video of the last talk in this year’s New Ventures Seminar Series: Start at the End – Your Exit Strategy.

Some of the highlights:

  • Your exit is the culmination of all the hard work you do as an entrepreneur.
  • How big companies think and grow. Why this is exceptionally good news for entrepreneurs.
  • M&A exits are happening earlier than ever before.
  • You don’t need to grow your company to any specific size before you sell it – it doesn’t even have to be profitable.
  • All you need to do before you can sell is to ‘prove the model’.
  • The best time to sell is probably earlier than you think.
  • Please don’t make the mistake I did – don’t “ride it over the top” and wait too long to start your exit.
  • Do you even need investors to make it big today?
  • Why this is a golden era for entrepreneurs.
  • Why your first choice should be to bootstrap if you possibly can.
  • If you really do need capital, what are your options?
  • The classic view of the venture capital industry and what it looks like today.
  • Angel group syndication. Angel groups are now investing as much as $5 to 10 million in some companies.
  • Angels finance 27 times more startups than traditional Venture Capital funds.
  • Friends and Family investors invest much more than angels or VC funds.
  • There is no shortage of capital today – despite what you might have heard.
  • Why you need an exit strategy right from the beginning – and certainly before you contact your first prospective investor.
  • Developing an exit strategy – the most important element in your business plan.
  • Accepting money from a traditional Venture Capital fund adds about a decade to the exit timeline.
  • The unwritten contract between entrepreneurs and traditional Venture Capital investors.
  • The Unintentional Moonshot – 92% of exits don’t work for traditional Venture Capital funds.
  • This means entrepreneurs and angel investors have two choices:
  • 1. angel investors only and an exit in 3 to 5 years, or
  • 2. traditional Venture Capital funds and an exit in 10 to 14 years.
  • Statistically, entrepreneurs should pick angels or VCs – but not both.
  • Checklist to determine whether your company would be better off financed by angels or VCs.
  • Conclusions for entrepreneurs and your optimum strategy for success.
  • Start at the end.
  • Good luck with your venture.

I hope you find this video valuable – its online here. I hope to see you at the awards ceremony tomorrow.

Start at the End - Your Exit Strategy