Top 4 Books Every Aspiring Business Leader Should Have

Summer may be almost over, but there’s still time to get in a beach read or two. If you have the bandwidth to pick up a book during the last few weeks of August, why not optimize your reading time by combining business with pleasure?

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Should your Startup Make a Pitch Video to Get Funded?

Securing funding can be quite difficult to accomplish, and there is a lot of fierce competition among the many startups that are seeking capital at any given moment. Finding interested investors and then convincing them to fork over funds requires an enormous amount of time and patience. Most startup founders are likely familiar with the importance of a polished pitch deck that will clearly yet succinctly elucidate the reasons that investors should provide some money to fuel their company’s growth.

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6 Common Questions Venture Capitalists Ask

Startup founders know that sourcing and then actually getting an infusion of venture capital can be quite a feat. The economic climate is always in flux, as is the nature of the competitive landscape. As a result, startup founders must do their research before approaching any potential venture capitalists (VCs). It is essential to know the type of businesses the VCs tend to invest in and how well those ventures are faring to ensure the right avenue is pursued. Of course, startup leaders must also be aware of the expectations and requirements the VCs will have, so that they can be well prepared in advance. VCs will no doubt have a ton of inquiries, and if things progress, a lot of concrete data will be requested and scrutinized. Here are some common questions startup leaders must be prepared to answer:

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5 Tips to Make a Stellar First Impression When Meeting With Investors

Startup founders know that securing funding early is critical to a company's long term success. As a result, there is a lot of pressure and stress when seeking investors and participating in fundraising rounds. Company leaders must ensure that they are completely prepared before diving in head first, so here are some tips to make a stellar first impression:

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Understanding Earn-Outs in M&A Transactions

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) can be risky transactions for any and all parties involved, but the buyers of a business obviously carry the brunt of the risk. These deals can be particularly tricky when the targeted firm is a fledgling startup or relatively new to the pertinent industry. As a result, seasoned M&A professionals have created various ways to mitigate some of the risks associated with these sorts of deals to entice firms to continue buying up smaller enterprises and to induce business owners to commit to a sale. One example of a risk-allocation tool that is now used with relative frequency is the earn-out. Here is a quick rundown on what this is and how it works:

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How to Effectively Manage Risks in M&A Transactions

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) can be convoluted and time-consuming transactions, and countless issues could crop up at many points during the deal. This is true irrespective of the value or complexity of the transaction, as there are always a ton of details to iron out for any firm purchasing or joining forces with another. There is obviously no way to avoid every potential issue, but there are certainly steps that can be taken to significantly reduce their likelihood and/or impact. Here are some of the most important ways to effectively manage the risks inherent in M&A:

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Startup Successes & Failures of 2016

Everyone loves a good startup success story, and there have certainly been plenty over the last decade. Of course, for every startup success story there are likely countless failures, and those usually do not get quite the same attention unless they managed to make some headway before their collapse. Here is a brief look at the notable startup successes and failures this year:

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8 Acquisition Mistakes Startups Can't Afford to Make

Many entrepreneurs create startups with the hope that in the future, their business will be acquired. For young companies, an acquisition is an incredibly exciting achievement. It is a time in which you are assured that the startup you imagined, built and nurtured was, in fact, a successful business venture. Your years of hard work and perseverance through the hurdles and the doubters has brought you to the thrilling realization of your business being valuable and sought after.

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How to Evaluate An Investor Using the Venture Capital Life Cycle

Venture capital (VC) has been and continues to be critical to the growth and success of countless startups. Most VC firms create impressive funds with a plan to invest in innovative business ideas, and have a lofty goal of selling those interests at a high return after about ten years. This may seem like a fairly long time, but it is actually a relatively short timeframe considering the typical length of a lot of other investment vehicles. One of the benefits of the VC life cycle is that it can help those seeking VC funding to assess prospective investors, and it is not overly cumbersome to perform this analysis. Depending on where the VC firm is in the cycle, startup leaders can get a pretty good sense of the firm’s strategy and performance, which will of course influence whether or not to pursue an investment from it. Here is a brief look into how one can evaluate an investor using the VC life cycle:

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How to Avoid Dangerous & Shady Investors

For fledgling startups generating a good amount of attention and interest, embarking on a fundraising round may bring out some prospective investors with less than ideal backgrounds and performances. With the meteoric success of more than a handful of startups over the last decade, investors from an array of industries are keen on bankrolling the next big thing. Unfortunately, this may mean that investors with rather questionable past dealings will try to get in on the action. Here is how to avoid dangerous and shady investors:

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