Posts

Read More Here

According to a new Crunchbase article on cleantech investing under the Biden Administration, venture investors and startup founders believe the president-elect will likely spark renewed private-sector investment in cleantech and clean energy. With Biden’s agenda focusing on steering away from fossil fuels, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, investing in climate progress, investors anticipate an increase in Department of Energy-funded projects, more access to federal land, and expanded opportunities to invest in startups.

Under the current administration, the private sector and many state governments stepped up to fill gaps in federal policy around climate change. Cleantech investments ramped up between 2012 and 2018, leading up to a peak of $4.9 billion invested in 2019. In the past eight years, the most popular industries in terms of venture funding have been renewable energy, solar, and sustainability. In 2021 and beyond, there will likely be a focus by investors on consumer-facing cleantech, energy alternatives and software rather than infrastructure, which remains highly capital-intensive.

Interested in learning more about cleantech investing and implications of the Biden presidency on the industry? Please join us this Friday, December 4, at 12:00pm MT for a free RVC Community Webinar focused on the cleantech industry. Register here!

alternatives to venture captialVenture capital is a great solution to many startups’ finance problems, but it’s often not the best solution and, even when it is the best solution, it often works best as a part of a suite of financial solutions rather than a silver bullet that solves everything in one move.

Venture capital, including angel investment, is the most expensive type of capital out there. So why would so many people be intent on going for the most expensive option when others exist?  A typical VC is looking for a return of 60% or greater on their investment – compounded annually.  That means that at three years they want 4X. At five years it’s 10X. At seven years it’s 25X and at 10 years it’s a whopping 100X return on investment.  All of these are 60% compounding returns.

Venture capitalists need big returns to help offset their big risks.  About half of their investments might result in a complete loss of invested capital, so they need to have investments capable of being home runs in order to pay for all the losers.

There are different ways to create a capital strategy for startups who want to both grow fast, but minimize dilution and reduce the cost of capital.  Rather than using just one very expensive type of capital for their startup, they may use a suite of different sources that are appropriate to the phase of development.

Early Stage – Before VC

Early stage companies have many sources of capital available to them, even if they don’t know it.

SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research), Advanced Industries Proof of Concept and many other federal and state grants are available for early research and proof of concept.  Often these are expensive research projects whose risk is much greater than can be justified even for venture capital.  Startups that use these sources of funds can increase their value and decrease their technical risk without any dilution to the founders.

Another source of early stage funding comes from specialty service providers.  Attorneys and CPAs will often defer compensation or work out an equity deal in exchange for early work.  You might be able to get your patent filed for zero out of pocket costs using this kind of deal.

In Revenue

Companies that are in revenue have lots of new non-VC sources of funding available.  Consider accounts receivable finance to cover your rapidly growing need of cash to carry AR through thirty to ninety days before it gets paid.  Some lenders will even lend on purchase orders so you can get the capital you need to buy the components you need to build your product.

If your product is a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform, then your cost of goods is going to be people, not product.  Consider using Equity Compensation for all or part of your payment to your developers.  There are both individuals and development companies who will swap a portion of their compensation for equity.  You’ll need to have a good handle on your valuation, but why not give equity directly to your developers rather than give it to VCs who give you cash which you then turn around and give to developers?

So, there are many more types of finance options available to you than can be described here.  The main point to remember is that you are not required to use just one mode of funding.  Look at all of the available sources and design a suite of solutions that provides the best solution to your situation.

To learn more about how to use creative funding along with venture capital, or instead of it, consider attending the RVC’s Colorado Capital Conference November 15-16, 2016.  If you’re not in Denver on those days, you can register to participate in the conference via live-feed.

More information and registration at www.coloradocapitalconference.org

Colorado Capital Conference

 

 

 

Peter Adams

 

Peter is Executive Director of the Rockies Venture Club, Managing Director of the Rockies Venture Fund and teaches in the Colorado StaVenture Capital for Dummieste University MBA Program.  Peter is co-author of Venture Capital for Dummies, (John Wiley & Sons 2013) Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and your local book store.

 

 

 

Angel investors take risks in backing startup companies – but recent tax breaks make it a lot less risky than you may think!

Experienced angel investors know that to get a 3X return on their portfolio over five years, they need to shoot for 10X on each deal they do.  With recent tax breaks, angels can do a lot less well on their investments and still put more money in their pocket at the end of the day.  Angels who are a part of the 1% everyone is talking about now have tools to make sure that they stay in the top echelons of the wealthy. Read more

What a difference a year makes.  Twelve months ago we were working with our first cohort of companies coming through the Cannabis Capital Summit and we found that the experience was very different from the tech, life science, health care and consumer goods companies we typically work with. Read more

Maybe you’ve been thinking of registering for this year’s Cannabis Capital Summit and wanted some reasons to say “yes”.  Well, here’s what you’ve been waiting for! Read more