RVC Academy

Curriculum developed by RVC to help take your startup to the next level.

Pitch Academy

The RVC Pitch Academy is a half-day workshop designed to polish your investor pitch, sharpen your strategy and provide a background on what investors are looking for, connecting with your audience, and negotiating a successful deal.
Key topics covered include:

  • Focus your 5 minute pitch
  • How to present
  • Effective pitch deck design
  • How to pace your presentation
  • How to communicate the value of your company in a way that doesn’t close doors
  • How to communicate your “deal”
  • How to balance pitching your product vs. pitching your company
  • Understanding investor psychology
  • Raising equity vs. convertible debt
  • Communicating risks in such a way that investors are put at ease
  • What to do to follow-up after the pitch

Angel 101

Ever Wanted to be an Angel Investor?
Angel Investors are popping up all over the place and getting involved in Colorado’s thriving startup economy. Angels are making great returns on their investments while also making connections, learning about cutting edge technologies, and giving back to the community by sharing expertise.

Angel investors who are part of an angel group don’t technically need to know anything about the process since they can rely on the expertise of other “lead” investors. Smart angels will take the time to learn about the process and how to evaluate a deal, even if it’s with the help of others.

This workshop is an introduction to Angel Investing and provides an introduction to everything you need to know. How to work with Angel Groups to make better decisions and share in due diligence, how to value an early stage company, key term sheets provisions you should know, evaluating an exit strategy, screening for good deals and syndicating with other investors.

Valuation

  • This class is designed for both investors and entrepreneurs to learn valuation side by side.
  • How can you assign value to a company with no income and no assets?
  • Does discounting future value work?
  • What is the role of risk quantification in early stage valuation.
  • Find out how an inflated valuation can deflate a company.
  • Hands-on practice with FIVE different valuation methodologies.
  • How to use valuation models for negotiation.
  • How exit strategies five years in the future can impact your valuation NOW.

Exit Strategies

Begin with the End in Mind (Habit #2 of Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Successful People)
Whether you are an angel investing in a new company or a founder who is pitching to angels, it is important to your personal net worth to figure out what the End or the Exit will be for this venture. Investors and Founders will enjoy an in depth discussion on exit strategies as they relate to companies that are seeking seed stage capital.

This 2.5 hour Exit Planning session will discuss the following:

  • What is an exit or liquidity event?
  • How does your exit strategy impact valuation now?
  • What will your company be worth in 5 years?
  • How and when to target potential acquirers.
  • How to build an exit strategy even though it’s five years away?
  • Implementing the exit.

Due Dilligence

Due Due Diligence is one of the most critical phases for BOTH founders and investors because deals can be made or broken by what happens here.

Investors learn how to:

  • Determine the key items to look for in due diligence.
  • How to work with other investors in a team to conduct due diligence
  • What red flags to watch for in the process.
  • How to syndicate with other investors, VCs and angel groups.
  • Research patents, corporate history and individual background checks.

Entrepreneurs learn how to prepare themselves for the due diligence process:

  • What documents need to be collected and in what format?
  • Why does due diligence take so long?
  • What are the things you should have done to get your organizational house in order, but haven’t gotten to yet?
  • How to keep momentum.
  • The phases of due diligence – what happens at each phase?·

Term Sheet

This workshop is designed to help you understand the key terms of an investment term sheet, including how to structure a deal that gets you not just through the current round of funding but that also carries you all the way through to a successful exit.

We will talk about what level of detail is appropriate and how to structure an Angel term sheet so that the company will be attractive to VCs in a follow-on funding situation.

Investors: You will be able to read a company’s term sheet and identify red flags, bad terms, and other reasons to walk away after this course. Find out how to protect yourself from dilution and protect your investment from future fundraising or exit troubles. You can’t afford to miss this one!

Entrepreneurs: You should walk away from this workshop better prepared to evaluate the key terms of an investment term sheet – specifically those that relate to the economics of a deal and control of your company. Market conditions dictate terms but learn how to avoid common missteps and be a better, and informed, negotiator. You can’t afford to miss this one!

Believable Financial Projections

  • Proformas can be tricky – showing your financial strategy as you scale your company. On one hand you want to show that your company will grow at rates that would make an investor interested while still being grounded in validated assumptions. This is very hard to do and it can make or break a company. This workshop will walk through essential topics, such as:
  • “Beginning With the End in Mind.” How will your exit strategy influence what your company is doing now.
  • Scaling Strategies- How will different aspects of your business grow as you scale up to achieve world domination?
  • Competition- Your closest competitors can be the best guides and show you where the market is going.
  • Validated Assumptions- How can you use a very small amount of resources to prove that your hypotheses hold water.
  • How to use Tabs to break out the detail, while rolling up to a consolidated statement.
  • Identifying your Assumptions – allow investors to modify the numbers to come up with their own “what if” scenarios.

    This is a highly interactive workshop so participants are encouraged to bring their own proformas so that ask specific questions along the way.

Strategic Planning for VC Backed Businesses

The difference between a low value startup and one that excited investors and hits the highest valuations is often nothing more than strategy. While you can’t make a million dollars in a weekend by updating your strategic plan, you can significantly increase the value of ANY company of any size by implementing a strategic planning process.

Nobody wants the old 200 page dusty SBA business plan tome. This workshop is targeted to today’s fast-paced venture capital environment with a goal of achieving rapid execution.

A strategic plan should be a dynamic, changing document that provides a roadmap for all the stakeholders in the organization. We will cover how to create plans that can be changed frequently vs. those that set your course in stone.

How to be a Lead Investor

This is the workshop for investors who are interested in leading an investment deal through an angel syndicate. The lead investor plays an important role in getting the deal done beginning with showing a commitment for the deal and communicating with peer investors to gauge interest and guide them through the deal.  The lead works closely with the due diligence team to make sure that all the critical questions are answered and that risk has been mitigated for investors.  The lead assists RVC staff in negotiating the deal by preparing the term sheet and ensuring that the terms are acceptable to all investors in the deal.  The lead may also play a role in syndicating, not only within RVC, but with outside VC and angel groups.  This helps bring out of state money into Colorado, but also helps to fund RVC companies and close out the rounds.

This workshop walks participants through the deal process and gives tips at each stage to drive engagement, evaluate the deals and, when appropriate, to bring in investors and get the deal done.  Workshop participants receive resources to help them through the process as well as answers to the most common questions first time leads have.

Guest Classes

Whenever possible, we invite partner organizations to give classes on the topics that they find meaningful. Often these classes are offered free to members as a big thank-you for being a part of Rockies Venture Club!

Patents Strategies for Early Stage Investments

IP Protection is a necessity for early-stage entrepreneurs who are often cash-strapped but also need to protect their Intellectual Property (IP) to show to investors. This class will introduce you to the basic principles of patent law and walk you through the process of obtaining a patent”

Crowdfunding

Learn about the current and coming regulations as well as what funding portals have done adequate to the Jobs Act crowdfunding revolution.

Creative Teambuilding Solutions

How to avoid the top 10 fatal mistakes startups make while hiring.

Hire amazing team members without breaking the bank, wasting your time, or stopping progress.

Learn skills the pros know – write a killer job description to land the candidate of your dreams. Plus, learn efficient interview dos and don’ts.