Sip and Learn by Stephen J Rich pre seed start up funding

StartUpNV | Sip & Learn – Why Most Startups Fail & How to Be in the Top 10% – Stephen J. Ritch



In this presentation, Stephen will speak on why 90% of product startups fail and the steps you can take to ensure you’re venture is among the top 10% that make it!


About this event
Stephen Ritch, a product entrepreneur and retailing expert, will take you through how to do “under the radar” marketing on a limited budget, how to perform competitive research, and how to do a strategic retail distribution launch. He will also touch on the importance of using experts, creating partnerships, and how to be proactive with your product concept while protecting your intellectual property.

Can’t Make It In Person?

We’ve partnered with a Nevada streaming startup, StreamItNow, to bring this to you LIVE!
Get your Tickets for the Livestream Here!
About Stephen

Stephen is Vice President Chief Merchandising Officer at ProductMentor and an expert in product development, global sourcing, marketing, and financial budgeting. Stephen has experience working with some of the world’s biggest brands including Brookstone, Office Depot, Frontgate, and Jobar and has brought some of the world’s most recognizable products to market including Tempur-Pedic Pillows & Mattress Topper, Sonicare Toothbrush, Margaritaville Blender, FaceLyft Wrinkle Pillow, AeroBed Instant Mattress, Thumper 1st Percussion Massager, Non-Pulling Dog Leash and dozens more.

He was mentored by some of the leading retailers in the USA and worked directly for Michael Gould (CEO at Bloomingdales), Bob Mettler (CEO at Sear’s), Mike Steinberg (CEO Macy’s San Francisco), and Hank Kaminstein (CEO at Brookstone & Filene’s) where he first developed his instincts to be a passionate, innovative merchant in Retail & Wholesale.

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Lunch and Learn by Catherine Oaks marketing sizing template

Maggie Saling: Understanding TAM SAM SOM | Reno, NV – Copy

Reno Lunch n Learn (4/5/22) featuring Catherine Oaks!

Reach a receptive, unsaturated audience in the metaverse!

In Horizon Worlds and Workrooms, Sliice builds virtual spaces for your customers to enjoy in the metaverse. These worlds are fully branded and contain calls to action. As the metaverse opens to paid advertising, you will be positioned to take immediate advantage of the platform to be the first to reach a receptive, unsaturated audience. Fortune favors the bold! Learn what the metaverse is and how you can start building virtual renditions of your stores, your meeting rooms and of places where your clients and key stakeholders spend their time, so you can connect and engage with them.

Who is Catherine Oaks?

As an Expert in Brand Magnetism, Professor of International Marketing, Thought Leader, Influencer, Speaker and Metaverse Enabler in the AR/VR & iOT worlds, Catherine Oaks is the founder and CEO of Sliice, a global branding agency that revitalizes brands by building clarity in their messaging and creating content that grows online footprints for a solid presence in the metaverse.

Using Smart Technology and Smart Media, Catherine recently helped a 6-billion dollar Finance company generate 300% more leads per month, and a 10-million dollar technology company increase sales by 30%. Using advanced branding techniques, we prepare our clients for what’s next in the metaverse so they create branded spaces where their clients try their products, write reviews and develop trust in their brand.

Now is the time to build a presence in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality spaces, before your competitors do!

Maggie Saling: Understanding TAM SAM SOM | Reno, NV – Copy Read More »

how to price a new product by Mark Stiving market sizing template

Mark Stiving: Pricing a New Product | Reno, NV


Reno Lunch ‘n’ Learn | May 11, 2022 featuring Mark Stiving

What will I learn?

You’re ready to launch your new product or service, but now it’s time to price it. But pricing is scary. Too high and you fail quickly. Too low and you may fail slowly. What’s an entrepreneur to do? Come to this presentation! Mark will give you several ways to think about pricing your new product. You will learn to create a backup plan so you don’t quake with fear that you’ll get your initial price wrong (which you will). Most importantly, Mark will answer any pricing related questions you may have. 

Who is Mark Stiving?

Mark is an educator at heart and a pricing enthusiast by education and experience. As a pricing professional, he realized the key problem is companies don’t understand value, what it is and how much they deliver to their customers. For more than 25 years he has led, coached, and taught businesses through the lens of pricing, a radically different approach from other business experts. He knows that every person inside your company affects the price a buyer is willing to pay. The prices you achieve ultimately indicate how well the entirety of your company operates.

Mark has driven company-wide pricing initiatives worth hundreds of millions of dollars in incremental profit. He started and sold three companies, improving his championship pricing skills in each one. Mark’s passion is teaching the power of pricing. He evangelizes pricing at major conferences and has conducted over 400 days of corporate training around the globe. Mark’s Price class maintains a net promoter score (NPS) of 81, higher than Apple’s.

Mark also writes about pricing and value. His first book, Impact Pricing: Your Blueprint for Driving Profits, is a highly readable and practical manual. His second book, Win Keep Grow: How to price and package to accelerate your subscription business, is chock full of insights on how a subscription business is different from a traditional business. Mark’s third book, Selling Value: How to Win More Deals at Higher Prices, provides unexpected wisdom by applying his years of pricing expertise to sales.

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Tips for Female Entrepreneurs in a Male Dominated Investor World

By Maggie Saling, Chief of Staff and Communications Director for StartUpNV

Female entrepreneurs should include in their pitch decks for investors the very same information as male founders. The seven main pitch presentation topics to address are: the problem they are solving, the solution, the market opportunity and competition, business model, traction if there are sales, corporate team, and the ask/use of funds. The real difference in the pitch presentation for male and female founders comes in how women answer the questions that investors ask.

The Pitch and Presentation

Fitting the presentation into the allotted time is critical. While the 7 topics above should all be covered, the amount of time used on each is variable. For very short presentations (under 3 minutes) creating a hook with a story of how the founder is solving a problem that is real for her and the market size, with one or two sentences on business model should do the trick. When creating a deck, the founder should be striving to impart information and to not have anything in it that makes someone in the audience raise their eyebrows, unless it is the size of the untapped market. Founders need to focus on getting their market size information correct. If a deck includes an arbitrary estimate of getting 5, 10 or even 1% of a large market, investors will know that the founder has not done the research to really understand the market size and how her company fits into the landscape. Being thoughtful about figuring out who their first customers are and estimating their obtainable market based on this shows that the founder really understands the market they’re attacking.

The presentation slides should be engaging and provocative enough that the audience wants to listen to the narration. Wordy slides should be avoided for this reason, and never should a founder read slides to an audience. Videos should not be included because they will fail when you want them to play to the most ideal investor. The Use of Funds slide should be detailed enough that not too many questions need to be asked about it. Founders should practice their pitch so extensively that they can do the narration without glancing backward at the slides if they are projected overhead or behind them.

Preparing for Q&A

In addition, female founders should specifically focus on practicing simulated Q&A. According to an article in Harvard Business Review, venture capitalists, who are typically male, ask different types of questions to male and female entrepreneurs. They tend to ask male founders forward looking and upside type questions (i.e., questions focused on gains, hopes, achievements, advancement, and ideals)and ask female founders more mitigating or negative leaning questions(i.e., those concerned with losses, safety, responsibility, security, and vigilance).As a result, female founders need to learn how to reply to a negatively leaning question by pivoting their answers to provide the upside information.

One technique female founder scan employ in answering prevention oriented questions would be to restate the question in a more positive light and provide the answer accordingly. For example, if asked, “what reserves or processes do you have that will help you survive a market downturn,” the female entrepreneur could reply, “thank you for asking about how I am preparing for all future scenarios to ensure the continued sales and distribution of my product.” In other words, female founders should practice how to turn a negative based question into the question they want to be asked, and then, how to succinctly answer that question.

Answering negative vs. positive questions can have a significant impact on the investment raised. In the Harvard Business Review study, the authors found “that entrepreneurs who fielded mostly prevention questions went on to raise an average of $2.3 million in aggregate funds for their startups…about seven times less than the $16.8 million raised on average by entrepreneurs who were asked mostly promotion questions. In fact, for every additional prevention question asked of an entrepreneur, the startup raised a staggering $3.8 million less, on average.”

Fostering Diversity

Another way to improve the investment Q&A situation for female founders is to attract more female investors who would be more likely to ask the same questions to both genders. Broadening the field of investors also helps to democratize wealth creation in general.

This has been a mission for StartUpNV, a nonprofit incubator and accelerator for Nevada-based startup companies. Its AngelNV program teaches startups how to raise venture capital and advises potential investors on prudent investment strategies. The program’s investors need not be “super wealthy” to participate and can be at the beginning of their investment journey, such as successful professionals or retirees. This enables many people, not just the wealthiest in society, to have the chance to make great returns from a modest $5,000 to $10,000 investment while also helping local startups get off the ground and succeed.

AngelNV has also placed a significant emphasis on recruiting both experienced and first-time investors that are female or from underserved communities to the program that ultimately invests $200,000 or more into Nevada-based startups. Of the 2021 AngelNV investor group,27% were female investors and 52% were minority / underserved community member investors – significantly exceeding national and historic averages.

Programs like AngelNV that seek to democratize wealth creation through private company/startup investment opportunities help build a more resilient economy. And specifically ensuring more women have a voice in the pitch meeting, both as investors and as forward-looking founders, will further diversify our economy and build wealth for women and their families.

About the Author:

As the head of StartUpNV’s Deck Assessment Team, Maggie has seen and reviewed hundreds of pitch decks and presentations. For decades, she has been involved with startups in a variety of industries, including aviation, food, and software, both in support and leadership roles.

Originally posted on Brands Journal

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companies get pre seed funding investors at Angel NV Conference 4

Investments and New $10M Seed Fund Announced

Asset tracking maker, SeeID wins $200,000 investment from AngelNV

New $10 million venture capital fund, SeedNV, announced


LAS VEGAS – At the annual AngelNV Shark Tank-style grand finale, SeeID, a company that created a real-time asset tracking system, won a $200,000 investment. SemiExact, a furniture kit company, also received an investment of $70,000 as a runner up in the program. Michael Brown, executive director of the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development, attended the event along with other distinguished guests to congratulate the winning companies.

The two companies were selected from more than 250 participants in AngelNV’s free entrepreneur
bootcamp, which educates startup founders how to raise venture capital. The investment funding was
pledged by the more than 50 first-time and experienced investors who participated in the AngelNV
investor bootcamp that teaches angel investing strategies and tactics.

AngelNV is a program of StartUpNV, a nonprofit incubator and accelerator for Nevada-based startup
companies. Since StartUpNV began operation in 2017, more than $75 million has been raised and
invested in 32 companies participating in its programs, including its pre-seed (early stage) venture
capital funds FundNV and AngelNV.

Given the success of these programs and investment funds in supporting startups in Nevada, a later stage
$10 million seed venture capital fund, called SeedNV, has been created and was announced at the
AngelNV event as a new investment option for more mature Nevada-based startups.

Whereas AngelNV invests $50,000 to $200,000 in companies with $0 to $500,000 in annual sales,
SeedNV leads investment rounds of $500,000 to $2 million in companies with $500,000 or more in
annual revenue. SeedNV invests in startups that have previously received investment from StartUpNV
programs and need additional capital as well as new companies with no prior relationship to StartUpNV.
“With the formation of SeedNV, StartUpNV can offer a complete ecosystem of support for the
education, mentorship, and funding of companies from an entrepreneur’s initial idea to A-Round
funding,” said StartUpNV Executive Director Jeff Saling.

Editor’s Note: download photos from the event at

About StartUpNV
StartUpNV is a non-profit (501c3) statewide business incubator for scalable Nevada startups, providing expert mentorship and access to a network of capital partners for funding through vehicles like FundNV
(, AngelNV (, the newly established SeedNV ( Learn
more about StartUpNV at

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Understanding TAM SAM SOM by Maggie Saling founder bootcamp

Maggie Saling: Understanding TAM SAM SOM | Reno, NV

Reno Lunch ‘n’ Learn | June 8th, 2022

What will I learn?

In this discussion, we’ll visit some bad and good examples of a critical slide in your pitch deck, Market Opportunity. We’ll review the ways to go about calculating these researched numbers, and how SOM is derived. We will briefly explore multi-sided marketplaces.

Who is Maggie Saling?

Maggie Saling is Chief of Staff and Communications Director for StartUpNV, Nevada’s statewide business incubator and accelerator. Maggie has seen hundreds of pitch decks and heads the Deck Assessment Team. She has been involved with startups for decades in support roles and leadership roles. Prior industries include aviation, computer education and gourmet food in marketing and project management roles.

Maggie Saling: Understanding TAM SAM SOM | Reno, NV Read More »

Sip & Learn | Faye Almeshaan | Community as a Growth Strategy – September 14th

Founders and Startup Community! 

Join us for a Sip & Learn with Faye Almeshaan and hear how you can use Community as a Growth Strategy for your startup!

What You Will Learn:

Community is at the core of who we are as humans. We’ve built societies to socialize, trade, and help each other out. Yet the concept of community as a primary growth channel for business has only picked up steam in the last few years.

In this session, Faye will focus on:

  • What community-led growth really means
  • How it can be your sustainable competitive advantage

  • How to build a community as your primary growth channel

Can’t Make It In Person?

We’ve partnered with a Nevada streaming startup, StreamItNow, to bring this to you LIVE!
Get your Tickets for the Livestream Here!
About StartUpNV

Entrepreneurs Bootcamp

Sip & Learn | Faye Almeshaan | Community as a Growth Strategy – September 14th Read More »

Lunch and Learn with Matthew Starrett pre seed funding investors

Matthew Starrett: “Think Like a Marketer – Using Analytics to Make Impactful Decisions”

Come to our next Lunch & Learn hosted by Matthew Starrett
Wednesday, September 14th, 12pm



Event Details

In this presentation, you will learn how to use data to make more agile and informed decisions in your business. Together we will review best practices for data-driven decision making, KPI tracking, and experiment organization. Some highlights are:

  • How to calculate CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost), LTV (Lifetime Value), and more.
  • How to prioritize tests and experiments based on their ability to impact your bottom line using the ICE method.
  • How to use the funnel and revenue impact calculator (to be provided) to prioritize channels, campaigns, and activities that best impact your bottom line.

About Matthew Starrett

Matthew is the CEO and founder of TRU Venture Marketing, a data driven B2B marketing company. Matthew started TRU Venture Marketing at just 21 years old, and has since helped over 30 different companies to generate tens of thousands of leads predominantly in the technology and software space.


Doors open at 12:00 pm, and the speaker starts at 12:15 pm.

Free parking is available in the parking lot of UNR Innevation Center, at 450 Sinclair St. Reno, NV 89501

Also available to stream live through Stream It Now:

Lunch is provided with ticket purchase, which includes sandwiches, chips, salad and beverages.


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Lunch and Learn with Bill West market sizing template

Lunch & Learn: Bill West “The Thick Stench of Marketing… and How to Cut Through it”

Come to our next Lunch & Learn hosted by Bill West Wednesday August 10th, 12pm

Event Details

Join us August 10th to have a discussion with Bill West, owner and lead eyebrow-raiser of Bareknuckle Brand Marketing. Bill will lead a discussion rich with horror stories and truth-telling examples of what not to do with your business’s marketing efforts. Also, he’ll share a demystifying approach to branding and marketing that brings serious punch to businesses large and small (yes, medium too).

West will cover…

  • The intersection between strategy and creative as they play in marketing and business overall.

  • The distinction between branding and marketing, and how they wildly influence each other.

  • Why the world hates marketing, namely marketing agencies.

  • Off-the-cuff answers to participants’ intriguing questions!

About Bill West

Owner and lead eyebrow-raiser of Bareknuckle Brand Marketing, Bill pulls from his background as a speech writer, ghostwriter and university writing instructor to help entrepreneurs develop a rich, compelling, articulate brand and customer-seducing marketing.

His work has been featured in media sources such as the New York Times, CNBC and Fox News; across financial websites such as e-trade; and on the back of vodka bottles.

A transplant from the sticks of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Bill dug his roots in Reno 18 years ago… finishing his masters, starting his first business, supporting local craft breweries and singing for a rock-n-roll band you’ve never heard of.

Bill’s lifetime of awards and accolades include:

  • Most Handsomest, Annual Winner, Bill’s Mom

  • Best Greaser, 2nd Grade Outsiders Play, Mrs. Coleman

  • Most Likely to Join/Lead a Cult, 2001, Verdigris High School (EVERYONE)

  • Best Prince Karaoke Impersonator, 2003, Laramie County Community College

  • World’s Best Dad, Accidental Nomination, Coffee Mug Left on Desk

  • Most Regrettable Emcee Choice, 2018, American Marketing Association ACE Awards


Doors open at 12:00 pm, and the speaker starts at 12:15 pm.

Free parking is available in the parking lot of UNR Innevation Center, at 450 Sinclair St. Reno, NV 89501

Also available to stream live through Stream It Now:

Lunch is provided with ticket purchase, which includes sandwiches, chips, salad and beverages.

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Creating Value in Companies Through Communications

By: Andy Abramson

CEO, Comunicano

Too often, the importance and value of external communications – be it public relations, social media, or event participation – is underestimated by technology-led companies.

While founders often seek attention from the media or relish the opportunity to speak to their audiences, too many companies fail to recognize how vital a well-structured communications program can be to drive and deliver their value proposition, along with its potential to positively impact  the company’s valuation. That’s why a Value Creation Communications approach is necessary from a company’s beginning to exit.

Simply put, Value Creation Communications is about engaging with three distinct audiences:

  1. Customers
  2. Ecosystem partners
  3. Investors/Acquirers

These three audiences directly impact a business’s value and, in reality, the founders’ ability to command a higher valuation when acquired. In order to attract these three audiences, the concept of Value Creation Communications (VCC) can be utilized.

For VCC to be successful, the company’s story must be clearly understood. Without a story, a business is just another face in the crowd, but your goal is to be the face the crowd is looking at. That’s why it is essential to tell a story that meets the requirements of the 4 C’s, so that  your story is memorable enough to be retold by others the way that you tell it yourself.

The 4 C’s:

  • Clear
  • Credible
  • Compelling

… and…


When a story is contagious and begins being retold by others, the business builds its legend. The more your story is told by others, the more prodigious your legend becomes. And with that, the creation of greater awareness of your story.

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