Billboards for Web Hosting Companies

Driving around Atlanta recently I’ve see several large billboards for web hosting companies — yes, web hosting companies. Do they know something I don’t know? Since when did old fashioned billboards on the side of the road generate a better return on investment (ROI) when compared to online advertising? Here’s my theory: web hosting is…

Rajeev’s Rule

Through a tweet I came across Brad O’Neill’s blog post on Rajeev’s Rule: “When any sincere individual or group of people asks for your assistance in the pursuit of their business dream, strive to help them in any way that you can, be it small or large.” Rajeev Motwani was a Stanford professor and angel…

Money Now or Later

One of the challenges in a startup is deciding when to trade off short term revenues (money!) to focus on the long term plan. This might sound like a strange concept — why would I want to say no to money? Let’s look at a few examples where this can happen: A key beta customer…

StartupLounge PitchCamp

Today I had the opportunity to help at the monthly StartupLounge PitchCamp program facilitated by Michael Blake and I must say that it is a great program for entrepreneurs and I highly recommend it. The program is designed to give entrepreneurs a brief overview of elevator pitches, time to refine the pitch with a couple mentors, and…

Atlanta Startup Valuations

I’ve read a number of executive summaries over the years and most will include a section on fundraising, including the amount of funding desired, and for a smaller percentage, the desired valuation. Naturally, the expected valuations are all over the place, and don’t usually designate whether it is the pre or post-money valuation. Unfortunately, the…

The Fast Follower Approach

One of the concepts I don’t hear entrepreneurs talk about enough is the fast follower approach. The general idea behind the fast follower approach is to build a product in a semi-established, fast growing market. All too often entrepreneurs feel their idea must be completely unique for it to be a good one. Some characteristics…

Shotput Ventures 2010

We’re excited to start talking about Shotput Ventures 2010. After reviewing last year we decided to make a few tweaks for our next class of companies. Here are some of the changes: Investing $6,000 per co-founder (like TechStars) instead of $5,000 per team and $5,000 per co-founder (like Y Combinator) due to our great low cost…

Atlanta $100k Startup Challenge

After reflecting on Startup Riot this morning, and discussing it at lunch with a friend today, I realized there was an attribute most startups were seriously lacking: revenue. I don’t mean revenue like a few hundred or a few thousand per month, but rather, at least $100,000 in revenue. Yes, this isn’t a goal of…

Startup Riot 2010 – Another Success

Today I had the opportunity to attend the third annual Startup Riot at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta. Shotput Ventures partner Sanjay Parekh puts on the annual event which drew over 400 attendees and provided a platform for 50 startups (yes, 50 startups!) to give a three minute pitch with four slides. To learn…