Should Business Planning Be Cookie-Cutter?

Posted by & filed under All Posts, Funding, Killer Quotes, Market Trends, What's Up BizGym.

While most really dug BizGym at SXSW this year, a few questioned whether BizGym might be too “cookie cutter” an approach. Hmmmmm… time to re-evaluate what were doing… So OK, here’s the pros and cons of our knowledge management or “idea bank” approach to business planning: PRO Easier for Funders to Evaluate: A standardized “chip-to-chip”… Read more »

What Does It Take to Impress a VC?

Posted by & filed under All Posts, Funding, Market Trends, Positioning, Selling, Startups.

Ever wondered what goes on during a Venture Capitalist (VC) meeting? Wondered what questions are most common, how the negotiations are done or what it really means to play ‘hardball’? Check out ABC’s series, “Shark Tank” to see what it really takes to impress a successful investor. The so-called ‘sharks’ consist of a panel of… Read more »

‘Insider’ Tips on Amping Your Pitch

Posted by & filed under All Posts, Funding, Startups.

Hey guys, Donovan here… As a biz student at the Schidler College of Business, I’ve listened to A LOT of guest speakers: from Richard Parsons dissecting the causes of the recession to Jay Shidler reliving his entrepreneurial career. Many of these guest speakers were entrepreneurs who told a story of  living and dying by the… Read more »

Funding Pitches: How to Avoid Getting Roasted

Posted by & filed under Funding, Pitching, Startups.

Imagine you get the chance to pitch your Big Idea to an investor–would you know exactly what to say? Well us Story Guys checked out this year’s SXSW Accelerator to witness Guy Kawasaki, Brad King and gang rake presenting entrepreneurs over the coals. Yikes. Austin is known for great BBQ, but we found the roastings over at… Read more »

Funding: 10 Ways to Bootstrap Your Business

Posted by & filed under Funding, Small Biz, Startups.

Wikipedia defines bootstrapping as, “a self-sustaining process that proceeds without external help” A simple concept, but expert advice on how to do it proved a bird’s nest of conflicting suggestions. Here’s an unraveled version of Top 10 Ways to Bootstrap a Business: Barter. Exchange your offerings or assets–like your wife’s shoe collection–for the products or… Read more »

Raising Capital: 6 Startup Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by & filed under Funding, Startups.

Brad Sugars, columnist and founder of ActionCOACH writes, “The business landscape is littered with would-be entrepreneurs who’ve stumbled in their search for startup capital.” Here’s his 6 most common funding blunders (along with our two-bits of course): 1. Half-Baked Business Plans. We couldn’t agree more Brad, but we prefer a fishing metaphor: i.e., a dangling… Read more »

Fav Book: The Art of the Start

Posted by & filed under Funding, Good Reads, Pitching, Small Biz.

On the subject of entrepreneurship, this is our favorite. Guy is the guy and we love his wisdom, smarts and quick wit. It’s truly an enlightening and fun read. You go Guy. Buy It or learn for free at If you’ve read it, what did you think?