Getting ready to fundraise? Attend a free workshop about business models and company valuation

Startup Stock Photo

Business models. Valuations. Seed-stage funding. Angel investors. For budding entrepreneurs, the common chatter around fundraising can be intimidating and even misleading at times. So what can you do to make sure you’re avoiding some serious pitfalls – without having to just learn from your mistakes the first time around?

The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center is offering two free working labs on Thursday, January 21st for entrepreneurs who are approaching the fundraising stage – one about building and testing business models to help zero in on your company’s value proposition, and the other about using this Business Model Canvas to create a realistic roadmap and help determine your company valuation.

Nicola Corzine, a seasoned early stage investor and Executive Director of the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, is leading the workshop on company valuation. In particular, she’s eager to help entrepreneurs avoid three key pitfalls that she’s seen time and again:

  1. Looking at late-stage companies as role models.
    All too often, entrepreneurs will peg themselves (and their company’s hopes and projections) on a later stage company that’s already “made it.” The problem is, these late-stage successes are more often the exceptions rather than the norm. Using these kinds of companies as models for valuation can be problematic because you’re unlikely to know the twists and turns it took for them to get to where they are today. (Quick hint: It’s rarely a simple hockey stick curve!)
  1. Forgetting about the ownership equation.
    It’s easy to read TechCrunch and be wowed by whopping company valuations. But don’t let these pure dollar numbers get in the way of thinking through what percent ownership you retain of the company. Most seed investors look for 20-25% stakes in their company at the first round. That’s the math that ensures there’s something left for them after multiple rounds of uncertainty that lay ahead. Worrying about seed valuations without understanding the nuances of option pools, refreshes, and future rounds for founders limits your ability to secure the right seed investors today.
  1. Thinking about the next round of funding instead of revenue.
    The greatest risk to seed investors (and ultimately to your success as founders in the first round) isn’t the exit – it’s the 12- to 15-month cycle when your business is actually running and growing. That’s the time frame when early investors will assess whether or not they consider this a good investment. So don’t focus on the exit or the next round of funding – instead, focus on revenue and specific milestones you’ve projected over the next 12 months to ensure your company’s survival and long-term growth prospects.

If you’re interested in learning more about building a business model to determine a realistic company valuation that supports your business long-term, we invite you to register for our free hands-on workshops on Thursday, January 21st:

Build and Test Your Business Model + Working Lab
Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center
Thursday, January 21, 2016 from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM (PST)
505 Howard St., San Francisco, CA
Learn More/Register

How to Determine Your Company’s Valuation + Working Lab
Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center
Thursday, January 21, 2016 from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM (PST)
505 Howard St., San Francisco, CA
Learn More/Register

As Executive Director, Nicola Corzine brings over 15 years of strategic business development and entrepreneurial thought-leadership programming experience to the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center. Ms. Corzine was previously a Partner at Band of Angels, Silicon Valley’s oldest seed funding organization, and was Executive Director at Financing Partners, where she was responsible for creating program curriculum for entrepreneurs and investors in Silicon Valley, including investor forums and workshops.

The Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center is a San Francisco-based non-profit that provides aspiring and current entrepreneurs with access to quality resources, including mentors, training, and networking.



January 18, 2016