Oct 4, 2018
Learn how to take your business to the next level and gain
outside funding to do it with insights from Ashok Kamal, Executive
Director of Tech Coast Angels.
Read Transcript | Watch
- Tech Coast Angels (TCA) looks for the best companies to invest
- An ‘Accredited Investor’ is a high-net worth individual who
invests in startups with an understanding of the risk.
- SEC Definition: Someone who is sophisticated enough to invest
in private companies. To be an accredited investors, individuals
must demonstrate an annual income of $200,000, or $300,000 for
joint income, for the last two years with expectation of earning
the same or higher income.
- Since joining, TCA has funded 40-50 companies plus additional
- Typical financing ranges from $.5 million to $1.5 million per
- How the Funding Process works for Entrepreneurs at TCA:
- Online Application with Pitch deck, Executive summary, Business
- Matched with a TCA member who is familiar with the industry to
- Exploratory meeting, conference call or committee
- Formal Presentation looking at the business / market
- Due Diligence looking under the hood (30-day process).
- Investment is made and a deal is signed.
- Target your investors, know your audience and understand their
- Be prepared! Have your materials and documents ready and
on-hand (cap table, financial projections, patents, etc).
- Don’t add time to your deal! Time kills deals.
- Be trustworthy. Investors don’t want to partner with someone
they don’t trust.
- Have a clear and concise story about your business.
- Don’t make it hard for investors to help you! Be prepared and
make it easy for them.
- As an entrepreneur, you want to be in a position to tell the
best story possible.
- Good story starter lines include: users, revenue, and other
funding efforts (FOMO).
- Adam: Angel investors look for companies they can help grow and
lend their expertise to.
- Generating Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) and a history of
growth is a good starting point for starting to find
- Adam: Bring user acquisition metrics, how you got them, traffic
sources, plan to scale, etc.
- Know your Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) and Lifetime Value
- Due Diligence: Technical Fundamentals, Trust and Relationship
- Adam: Transparency is crucial. Admit when you don’t have an
- Be open to questions and feedback during the due diligence
- VCs look at conversion rates, traffic, retention, cohorts,
revenue, CAC, LTV.
- Corporate stuff like compensation, cap table, previous funding,
financials, and strategy.
- Idiosyncratic variables, market variables and hard numbers help
determine business valuation.
- For early-stage companies, investors often look at comparable
- It’s not a success to raise money. Making money is how you get
- Adam: Ask for help and advice when you need it!
- Prove you are coach-able by following through with the advice
Sequoia Capital, How To Pitch Article - https://www.sequoiacap.com/article/writing-a-business-plan/
SlideBean, Sequoia Capital Pitch Deck - https://slidebean.com/templates/sequoia-capital-pitch-deck
Buffer, The Slide Deck We Used To Raise Half A Million Dollars
SlideShare, Buffer Seed Round Pitch Deck - https://www.slideshare.net/Bufferapp/buffer-seedrounddeck
About Tech Coast
Tech Coast Angels (TCA) is one of the largest and most active
networks of angel investors in the US comprising 5 chapters and
over 300 members located across Southern California. Founded in
1997, TCA identifies, mentors and funds early stage companies to
help get their ideas to market, and where TCA members devote their
time, expertise and capital to help companies grow and succeed.
TCA members not only invest but frequently serve on boards and
assist companies with relationships, strategy, supply chain, team
building and additional fundraising. Tech Coast Angels has an
outstanding deal flow of opportunities and a simplified yet
organized process for screening and completing due diligence.
Ashok Kamal is a social entrepreneur and angel investor based in
California. With diverse experience starting, leading and investing
in organizations in the private, public and nonprofit sectors,
Ashok believe that entrepreneurship is the foundation for reframing
problems as opportunities, unlocking solutions and unleashing human
potential. He has also spoken and presented at events like South By
Southwest (SXSW), Sustainable Brands, GreenBiz Forum, LAUNCH
Festival and the White House's Sustainable Symposium as well as
contributed numerous articles to publications like VentureBeat,
Forbes and Fast Company.
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