100 episodes

Hall T Martin interviews angel and venture capital investors on how they invest and talks with CEOs who discuss their sector and what to look for. Hall T Martin also leads the Startup Funding Espresso series in which you can learn about startup funding and investing in the time it takes to have an espresso.
https://investorconnect.org/

Investor Connect Podcast Hall T Martin

    • Investing

Hall T Martin interviews angel and venture capital investors on how they invest and talks with CEOs who discuss their sector and what to look for. Hall T Martin also leads the Startup Funding Espresso series in which you can learn about startup funding and investing in the time it takes to have an espresso.
https://investorconnect.org/

    Investor Connect - Episode 321- Brian Phillips of The Pearl Fund

    Investor Connect - Episode 321- Brian Phillips of The Pearl Fund

    In this episode, Hall is joined by Brian Phillips of The Pearl Fund, an early-stage VC fund specializing in Opportunity Zone (OZ) investments. Brian's background in computer science led to numerous jobs with tech startups. Through these experiences, he developed an interest in entrepreneurship non-profits. Ultimately, he ended up starting a fund to take advantage of the Opportunity Zone laws that promote funding of business in low-income census tracks. Brian explains the ins and outs of Opportunity Zone investing, how to do it, and why it can be so advantageous for the investor. He also explains why meeting the Opportunity Zone requirement can give startups a leg up when it comes to securing funding. While OZ investing is currently dominated by real estate, The Pearl Fund is part of a small but growing trend of funds focusing on startups. Additionally, Brian details many of the requirements that startups and investors must meet to be OZ qualified. Finally, he highlights some of the sectors that fit best with the OZ asset class.

    • 17 min
    Traction vs. Momentum

    Traction vs. Momentum

    Many investors look for traction in a startup to gauge their progress. Traction stated as a single number on a pitch deck can be hard to judge as sufficient for an investment. Many investors tell the startup “nice traction, but we’d like to see more.” Instead of traction look for momentum. Momentum demonstrates things are continuing to progress and move forward. Sales, team, product, fundraise are the core four to look at. Investors look at these four because they represent the results of the startup’s work and not that of the market’s progression. Momentum must be shown over time in numerous updates by email, phone, or in person. It takes four touches before an investor gets a sense that there is momentum and it will continue. Startups should always have some engagement with customers ongoing- such as alpha testing, beta customers, MVP customers, etc so as to have something to talk about with investors. For startups pursuing the enterprise sale show your momentum through the sales funnel with your large customers. It typically follows the model of interest, qualification, trial negotiations, pilot test, full product launch, ongoing support. Show how prospects are moving through the funnel and customers are upgrading and expanding seats. It’s the continuing forward progression that counts. Thank you for joining us for the Startup Funding Espresso where we help startups and investors connect for funding. Let’s go startup something today!

    • 2 min
    Investor Connect - Episode 320 - Laura Baldwin of Golden Seeds

    Investor Connect - Episode 320 - Laura Baldwin of Golden Seeds

    In this episode, Hall welcomes Laura Baldwin, Managing Director of Golden Seeds. Golden Seeds is an investment firm dedicated to pursuing market returns through the empowerment of women entrepreneurs and the people who invest in them. The group was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in New York City, with active chapters in Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Houston, and Silicon Valley – and active members throughout the country. Golden Seeds’ Angel Network has grown to become one of the largest in the country with over 275 members nationwide. Laura has more than 20 years’ experience in finance, treasury, corporate development, and investor relations roles, with progressive growth in responsibilities. Laura talks about the increase in women entrepreneurs, in sectors such as FinTech, Cybersecurity, and others. For investors, Laura emphasizes the importance of communication between investors and the entrepreneur. Beyond personal connection and trust, she says it is also critical for entrepreneurs to have a clear value proposition. Laura advises entrepreneurs to make sure that they and the investor are "on the same page [and] want the same things." She explains what Golden Seeds looks for in a startup, and highlights some of the more promising startups they've worked with. According to Laura, capital access remains the biggest challenge for women-led startups. Finally, she points to FinTech as one of the biggest sectors of opportunity now.

    • 11 min
    Contractor Funding

    Contractor Funding

    Many enterprise software programs come from service businesses solving a problem for their clients. In searching for a solution on the market, they find none, so they build their own. Later, other clients come ready to buy it. I call this contractor funding, and it’s one of the most overlooked forms of funding in the startup space. In this method, you sell a customized version of what you want to build to an anchor customer for a substantial one-time fee, say $250K. Then, you use the funds to build out the platform you envision, to which the customer gets a non-exclusive license. The advantage here is you have a customer telling you exactly what they need and what they will pay for. They improve the product by testing it and telling you what changes to make. They become a happy customer which you can use to attract prospective customers. After three more of these engagements, you will have $1M of investment in your platform with zero dilution. For your raise, consider using contractor funding. Thank you for joining us for the Startup Funding Espresso where we help startups and investors connect for funding. Let’s go startup something today!

    • 1 min
    Investor Connect - Episode 319 - Jyri Engestrom of Yes VC

    Investor Connect - Episode 319 - Jyri Engestrom of Yes VC

    In this episode, Hall welcomes Jyri Engestrom of Yes VC, a small seed-stage fund focusing on community-driven startups. Jyri started out as an entrepreneur and uses his experiences with successful startup exits to inform his investing philosophy. Jyri advises investors to look for startups that are part of a larger social movement. Startups that can turn a small community into a global movement are the ones to look for. As Jyri puts it, an idea gets traction when people "realize that it's something that is better for the world and it also works as a business". Jyri talks about his partner, Caterina Fake, and her experience as an early investor with Etsy. Jyri also talks about the partnership dynamic between cofounders, and how important it is to have effective mediation strategies in place in the event of a disagreement at a critical juncture. Jyri explains Yes VC's strategy of smaller, early-stage investments in companies that show potential for organic growth without requiring huge injections of capital. He highlights a few of the startups they've invested in, and why. Finally, Jyri talks about the importance of attribution in marketing, as well as some of the sectors he finds especially promising.

    • 26 min
    Treat Each Other Nicely in the Startup Community - People Talk

    Treat Each Other Nicely in the Startup Community - People Talk

    It’s best to play nice with others in the startup community. While it may seem diverse and diffused, I’ve found word travels fast. The startup world is transparent and highly viral. So much of what happens regarding deal-flow and investing  is based on reputation and trust.  It takes a long time to build but can be destroyed in seconds.  While some play the rough game, it’s not the norm. Those who do are just protecting their time as requests for help are practically endless.  Always treat everyone with respect and give as much as you take. Thank you for joining us for the Startup Funding Espresso where we help startups and investors connect for funding. Let’s go startup something today!

    • 1 min

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