978-1-57660-032-0 / 9781576600320

Zero Gravity: Riding Venture Capital from High-Tech Start-up to Breakout IPO


Publisher:Bloomberg Press



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About the book:

In the world of venture capital, investors look for deals that will return 10 to 20 times their original investment, although sometimes they do much, much better. Venture capitalists are looking for many things: not only a company that can dominate a business category, but one that will eventually be worth at least a half-billion dollars. And even if an entrepreneur can present a business plan that looks as if it can deliver a company of that size and prominence, the VC has to have confidence in that businessperson before time and money get invested in the startup.

That's a lot to expect from a new business, but there's more. According to Steve Harmon, an entrepreneur has few chances to get a VC's attention, so first impressions might mean the difference between millions invested and complete rejection. Harmon is an Internet-investment analyst who knows the VC world well, and Zero Gravity is his guide for people with new ideas: which VCs to approach (different firms specialize in different types of business startups, and each partner within those firms may have his or her own areas of specialization), how to approach them and get them excited about your idea, and what mistakes to avoid (hint: If you've already granted a chunk of the company to your doctor and your accountant in exchange for dribs and drabs of prestartup money, VC interest will be minimal).

This is about as complete a manual as an entry-level entrepreneur could hope for. Harmon not only covers the basics of searching for capital, he offers inspirational stories of the true VC successes (, Netscape, @Home) and includes interviews with the VCs themselves, letting them say in their own words how they pick the winners, and how you can become one of them. --Lou Schuler

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