Navigating Later-Stage Angel Investments (S10E5)

What you’ll see in this episode

It’s the Blox right of passage: the dreaded fundraising challenge! Although these Bloxers have their minds on their money and their money on their minds, winning this challenge won’t be an easy task. Who will take it to the bank and step it up in a grueling role-playing challenge? 

Invest in the future

Day 3 at The Blox starts with a bang as the pod winners fuel up with a power breakfast. They dive deep into discussions on personal branding, busting myths left and right for those still finding their groove. The mantra of the day? Strut into every room like you own it!

Next up is one of the most intricate lessons on The Blox: later-stage fundraising. Even though most ventures are just starting out, it's clear that early planning is key, so it's time to gear up and get organized! Then, it's time for the contestants to face their next challenge—a role-playing session with a twist. They're thrown into the role of investors, while judges take on the persona of founders. This high-pressure exercise tests their investor mindset with impromptu questions, forcing them to evaluate whether they would invest in the judge's hypothetical company. 

During consults, contestants soak up the judges' fundraising wisdom like sponges, eager to level up their game. Afterward, we catch up with some returning Bloxers who spill the tea on their experiences with the fundraising class compared to past seasons. 

And finally, the moment we've all been waiting for—the third Blox-Off! But here's the plot twist: no jersey wearers or alumni have taken the top spots in their pods. Contestants face a rapid-fire round of questions covering everything from traction to executive summaries, and the tension is electric! As the dust settles, the new leaderboard is revealed, with roughly 15 businesses flirting with first place. It's a nail-biting race and there’s still much more to come!/;

Navigating Later-Stage Angel Investments

The lesson on navigating later-stage angel investments begins by addressing the misconception that the content may not be relevant to most participants due to the high growth potential and traction required for such investments. However, it highlights the importance of understanding these concepts as ventures evolve, potentially meeting the criteria for later-stage funding in the future.

The concept of funding tranches is introduced as a strategic approach for founders to raise capital incrementally, reducing the percentage of their business they need to give up while achieving milestones. This method allows investors to de-risk opportunities and specialize in certain stages of investment.

The structure and lifecycle of venture capital funds are discussed, emphasizing the stages of fundraising, deployment of capital, follow-on investments, and portfolio liquidation. Participants are guided on preparing their startups for fundraising, targeting potential investors, making contact, and progressing through the fundraising process, focusing on reaching the next step in each interaction.

Best practices for interactions with investors are provided, including concise communication, demonstrating management competency, building rapport, and avoiding overselling fundraising interest. The lesson concludes with an overview of term sheets and subscription agreements, highlighting their role in setting the terms of investment contracts and facilitating the transfer of funds.

Key Takeaways From This Episode:

  1. Later stage angel investment and especially venture capital is only given to companies with high growth potential and a lot of traction.
  2. There is a finite window between when you start to qualify for this type of funding vs when you’ve gotten too far along and even the investors can’t afford to buy-in. The only way this works for both parties is if it’s timed correctly. 
  3. Funding tranches help founders remain laser focused on new milestones and basecamps that are right in front of them rather than constantly looking at the summit. It allows them to be more flexible with how they maneuver the hike.
  4. Earlier stage investors act as signals to the next stage of investors that something has been validated.
  5. Once a list of potential investors is made, go after every single one of them at the same time. This is sometimes referred to as Blitzkrieg. This will create a sense of urgency, keep you focused on the fundraising task, and will ultimately get you back to work sooner (successful or not).
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Meet The Judges

Alex Golimbievsky
Alex Golimbievsky
Founder & CEO Early-Stage EdTech Venture - Tulsa, OK

Alex is a strategic executive with a proven track record for driving operational excellence and profitability. With a seasoned entrepreneurial spirit, Alex produces results by capitalizing on market insights, developing scalable sales and operational processes, and galvanizing teams toward ambitious goals. As a proven product and software leader, Alex specializes in developing scalable products that achieve user desirability and market viability. An accomplished leader, Alex establishes cultures of accountability, transparency, empowerment, and excellence. With a distinguished consulting background, Alex has a history of successful partnerships with tech startups, driving multimillion-dollar revenue increases. Notably, Alex has successfully led two organizations through acquisitions, showcasing exceptional leadership and business acumen.

Bryan Laughery
Bryan Laughery
Owner, ClearCut PR - New Jersey

Bryan Laughery is the founder and current Lead Publicist at ClearCut PR, and he’s using his past experience in communications and entrepreneurship to create more success for other entrepreneurs. Having failed at 7 businesses created the grit, determination, and lessons that allowed for 3 successful exits later in life. But, before all of that, it was a 12 year corporate communications career. “I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur to help others, and I knew that the lessons I’d learn from working in large companies would create a better entrepreneur in the long run.” Bryan says. In his personal life, Bryan spends time with his wife and his two sons where they live in New Jersey.

Heather Beck
Heather Beck
Owner, Heather’s Heroes - Draper, UT

Heather Beck, the dynamic entrepreneur behind K9 Lifeline and Heather's Heroes, has transformed canine care with her distinctive approach. Her training, boarding and daycare facility, K9 Lifeline, is not just another dog haven; it's an all-encompassing sanctuary where every dog feels welcome and loved. With Heather's Heroes, she invents and introduces practical, top-tier products and methods to pet owners, including the Sidekick leash—a groundbreaking tool that calms even the most excited, fearful and anxious dogs. More than a trainer, Heather is an educator, helping not just our furry friends but their human counterparts as well. She understands that a well-behaved dog is not merely the product of good training, but also of a knowledgeable and empathetic owner. Faced with hurdles, Heather exhibits resilience and determination. Her "failing forward" mindset encourages her to view setbacks as stepping stones, fueling her continuous innovation in the realm of animal care. Heather Beck is not just a name in the industry; she's a force of change, inspiring others with her empathetic approach and fierce commitment to making the world a better place for dogs and their humans.

Jonathan Fudge
Jonathan Fudge
Owner, YTE Events - Tampa, FL

A balloon artist and entertainer for a number of years, Jonathan Fudge is one of the absolutely youngest professional balloon artists to ever teach classes at worldwide balloon conventions. A master in his field, he has risen above and beyond many others in his field, learning from the best entertainers in the world on how to improve his craft. Standing on the shoulders of giants, Mr. Fudge is truly reaching greater heights every day. He has been seen in China, Belgium, Japan, Mexico, Bahamas, and all over the US. Most recently seen on the Tonight Show with David Letterman, Mr. Fudge has also been seen on the front page of the Wall Street Journal where they did an issue on him on October of 2008.

Marcy McKenna
Marcy McKenna
Award-Winning Inventor - California

Born into a family of inventors, Marcy recognized from an early age that inventing was their true calling. With a notable family legacy—Marcy’s Great Grandfather invented the delay mechanism for bombs in World War I—innovation seemed to run in her blood. However, it wasn't until 2010, when Marcy emerged as the winner of Kelly Ripa's invention reality show, "Homemade Millionaire," followed by another triumph on Edison Nation's "As Seen on TV" Product Search, that she fully committed to a career in inventing. Today, Marcy boasts a portfolio of over 35 products, sold across various renowned platforms such as QVC, Lowes, Bed Bath & Beyond, Sharper Image, and The Container Store. Currently, Marcy maintains a partnership with HSN, a home shopping powerhouse, where they continue to design and sell their signature Home & Travel product line—a collection of affordable luxuries crafted to keep consumers chic, stylish, and meticulously organized both at home and on the go.

Stephen & Simone Atunzu
Stephen & Simone Atunzu
Co-Owners of Tech-Key LLC - Atlanta, GA

Stephen and Simone Atunzo are the dynamic duo behind Tech-Key LLC, a leading provider of quality and affordable cabling, alarm, and CCTV solutions for both residential and retail consumers. With a passion for technology and a commitment to excellence, Stephen and Simone co-own and operate Tech-Key LLC, where they strive to deliver innovative solutions tailored to meet the needs of their diverse clientele. With their expertise and dedication, they ensure that every customer receives top-notch service and the latest in security technology to safeguard their homes and businesses.

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