In late December, the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) decided to cancel the Qualified Small Business Stock (QSB ) tax benefits and retroactively deny the benefits for the past five years. Yes, RETROACTIVELY! Investors and Entpreneurs alike are in for a surprise — see this article for a summary of the change in QSB benefits and how it effected its author.
Here is just one quote from the article:
“More importantly, the FTB’s radical action is going to send a terrifying message that will have the unintended consequence of driving young, growing businesses to friendlier environments. That’s the last thing that the state of California needs right now”
The company has developed automatic tire inflation technology and had gained enough customer interest in the last year to attract this new $5.7M round of funding. The technolgy utilizes a wheel’s rotational motion to maintain optimal tire pressure, increasing MPG, extending tire life, and reducing blowouts. For the trucking industry this value proposition is significant.
On this website we often mention the work we do in the community helping entrepreneurs and startups in ways other than purely putting up hard dollars – e.g., our Angels on Campus and Angel In Action programs, and being advisors in the VentureStart program. Most of that “community” work is done in the background and seldom are the results obvious or transparent – usually we’re just one of many helping hands contributing to any one success.
SacAngels members invested in Aperia Technologies as part of a deal led by the Sierra Angels with significant participation from the Band of Angels. According to the SEC Form D, the total raise was almost $700K.
Aperia have kept a pretty low profile since their funding while the product was developed and market development was initiated. Recently, more information about the company has emerged as the company CEO, Josh Carter, was invited to speak at the Wall Street Journal ECO:nomics conference in Santa Barbara (take a look at the program; it has some pretty impressive speakers).
The new release automatically builds, maintains, monitors, and manages next-gen networks anywhere in the world, and delivers voice, video and real-time data applications for remote offices and employees with plug-and-play simplicity, error-free set up, military-grade security, and full network lifecycle management for a low monthly fee.
While recently reading a great piece that every entrepreneur needs to read, I thought about what else should an entrepreneur know before presenting to angel investors? The key element is that investors will focus on the business; not the technology, not the product, not the recent fad or hype.
That is: What problem is your business solving? Why will customers be willing to switch to your business and spend freely? How will your business continue to differentiate from your competition? Why the executive team will be able to execute the plan? And how happy will the investors be when there is an exit?
We invested Welldog about a year ago and they are now growing rapidly. See this recent press release about a A$4MM (about the same in US$) order for their services in Australia. Welldog provide data service to the coal mining and coalbed methane discovery industry.
We also invested in Cloud Cruiser almost two years ago and they continue to gain significant recognition in the Cloud computing space — they provide cloud cost intelligence solutions. They were recently selected “As One of 20 Coolest Cloud Software Vendors”. They join the likes of industry heavyweights Google, Oracle, Microsoft, Salesforce, Intuit, and SAP in that top 20 list. See the press release.
While most startups do the mandatory business and financial plans, they seldom put much effort in a financing plan. How will the company be funded, what are the milestones for each funding round, how will the capitalization table look after each funding round, and who makes what at the exit? The financing plan is a key part of the whole plan and provides the guiding light as to where the entrepreneur should focus his or her efforts in raising money — a task that takes enough time and that time should not be wasted chasing inappropriate investors for the stage of the company.
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