Venture Capital Funding

Nevada Advantage: First in the Nation State Law Creates a Large Investor Pool for Startups

The Nevada Advantage: First in the Nation State Law Creates a Large Investor Pool for Startups

Are you ready to take your startup to new heights?

Look no further than StartUpNV, the premier startup accelerator in Nevada. Your StartUpNV launchpad comes with a multitude of benefits that give entrepreneurs an edge. But before we get into that, let’s explore why Nevada itself is a great choice for both startups and investors who want to fund the next big idea.

The Nevada Certified Investor Law


Nevada offers some unique benefits for those looking to invest in the state. Chief among them is the Nevada Certified Investor Law, groundbreaking legislation that opens a world of opportunities for startups and investors.

Here’s how it works:

Investors who meet W-2, Schedule C or 1099 income eligibility criteria qualify as Nevada Certified Investors (NCI). This allows them to access different types of investment vehicles and get in on the ground floor of Nevada-based opportunities. NCI provides a Nevada specific alternative to national Accredited Investor regulations on making and seeking investments and paves the way for greater access to capital and for Nevadans to propel innovation and growth in the Nevada startup ecosystem.

In essence, the Certified Investor Law supports a more investor-friendly landscape in Nevada, which, in turn, fuels a startup’s ability to attract funding and hit early-stage growth goals.

Also, Nevada’s tax code features zero state income tax on individuals, no corporate income tax, competitive property tax rates, and a whole lot more. This framework has been dubbed “the Nevada advantage” for businesses, and we’re eager to support your company as you leverage these opportunities for yourself.

Transform Your Operations with StartUpNV

Nevada is one of the best places in the nation to launch your endeavor, but how do StartUpNV’s accelerator programs contribute? Here’s a quick rundown.

1. Networking Opportunities

One of the key advantages of StartUpNV membership is direct access to our region’s vibrant startup community. Likely due to our investment and tax benefits, Nevada has developed a thriving ecosystem filled with innovative entrepreneurs and tech-based startups. StartUpNV connects you with this community via regular events and programs that give you countless opportunities to network and collaborate.

2. Expert Mentorship and Programming

At StartUpNV, we understand the challenges that young businesses face. From learning how to secure investments to navigating complex legal issues, there’s a lot to manage. That’s why a core part of StartUpNV is focused on education and mentorship. Check out our core programs to see what we can bring to your business:

  • AccelerateNV – a specialized startup accelerator program that invests an average of $240,000 per company – and helps cohort startups grow revenue to qualify for a larger seed investment.

  • Founder University – a free and dynamic platform that features regular speakers and subject matter experts to support entrepreneurial growth.

  • AngelNV Bootcamp – a free course that prepares founders to raise startup capital, and it supports angel investors in their assessment.

  • Incubate Vegas – a free program that supports first-time entrepreneurs and underserved founders in Clark County.

IncubateNV – a self-directed online platform that provides education, tools, and resources at the user’s own pace..

Our comprehensive business mentorship programs provide startups with the guidance they need. Our mentors refine your business strategy, develop more effective marketing campaigns, and provide support every step of the way.

3. Funding Opportunities

Start-up funding is often one of the biggest hurdles for startups. By choosing StartUpNV as your launchpad, you gain access to an array of funding opportunities tailored for early-stage businesses. Benefit from our extensive network of angel investors, venture capitalists, and other sources of capital.

Our programs help you identify funding options and assist with the preparation of compelling pitches that maximize your chances to secure investment. For example, our AccelerateNV program allows startups to pitch for a $100,000 investment award, with 50% provided by FundNV and 50% by State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) funding.

StartUpNV is your launchpad for success. It gives you access to a vibrant startup community where networking events abound, expert mentorship from seasoned professionals who will guide you toward achieving your goals, and valuable funding opportunities for early-stage businesses like yours.

Don’t miss out on the chance to accelerate your startup’s growth. 

Join the thriving startup ecosystem in Nevada with StartUpNV. Contact us to learn how we can help.

Calling Entrepreneurs - Our AngelNV Bootcamp Makes Your Startup Dream a Reality

AngelNV Bootcamp Makes Your Startup Dream a Reality

Calling Entrepreneurs - Our AngelNV Bootcamp Reveals What Investors Want and How To “Nail it!”

Startup founders,we have good news and bad news. First, the bad news:statistics show that even with a strong inaugural launch, 65% of businesses, including startups, will fail within their first 10 years. Many won’t even make it that far. Some say that as many as 10% of startups fail outright within the first year.

Given how much you’ve put into your new business, these trends can be disheartening. The good news is this: every problem has a solution, and protecting a new enterprise from failure isn’t a matter of luck. You must learn what works and what doesn’t; you must understand that entrepreneurship is a process in which you “learn-by-doing,” and this is hard to achieve on your own.

In other words, founders can mitigate their risk when they learn from those who have come before them. At StartUpNV, we engage successful founders and subject matter experts from throughout Nevada who have been where you are today.

Lesson #1: Learn From the Past to Shape the Future


Economists have studied how past successes contribute to future success. Data from the National Bureau of Economic Research notes that companies backed by a previously-successful entrepreneur are nearly twice as likely to succeed than those helmed by first-time entrepreneurs.

The reasons why are numerous, but in our view, this is a testament to how much knowledge can be gained from any entrepreneurial endeavor—even those that come up short. Henry Ford said that failure is nothing more than an opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. In the startup game, this philosophy is what we eat for breakfast.

With that in mind, AngelNV’s Entrepreneur Bootcamp enables your competitive edge by providing one-on-one mentorship opportunities and personalized coaching sessions, in addition to content deep-dives, collaborative working sessions, and all things pitch-prep.

Even innovative companies must compete in a cutthroat business environment. Having a seasoned mentor by your side fuels your innovation, and equips you with the strategic acumen to outmaneuver competitors and seize opportunities.

The right strategic guidance helps a founder avoid many of the usual suspects that contribute to startup failure:

    • Poor market fit
    • Inadequate financial planning
    • Regulatory & compliance issues
    • Scaling challenges
    • And more

Lesson # 2: Prep for Success!

Every innovator deserves the chance to make their mark on the world. This philosophy is the origin of our AngelNV Entrepreneur Bootcamp (AB), a 100% free program that equips both new and experienced entrepreneurs with the knowledge and support to raise startup funding.

What Our Bootcamp Does For You

AngelNV Entrepreneur Bootcamp is a 13-week bootcamp that teaches startup fundraising fundamentals, tailored to teach founders and entrepreneurs “what investors want” in a startup when looking to invest.

This exciting course offers invaluable resources, support, and mentorship opportunities for startups of all kinds. Whether you’re just starting out or have been in the game for a while, this program can propel your business forward.

When participating in this program, you will gain critical insight into startup planning and increase your chances of securing funding for your venture!

All Bootcamp Participants Are Encouraged To Apply For Startup Funding From Our Annual Conference Fund And Gain Eligibility For State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) Matched Funding

On top of that, AFB places special emphasis on pitching for investment from early-stage investors. This gives our founders the upper hand in competitive funding bids.

Across the board, AngelNV Entrepreneur Bootcamp graduates boast superior pitching skills and business management strategies that put them on the path to success. This training includes an intensive course of personal mentoring and networking opportunities that create new opportunities.

Don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to learn from industry experts, network with like-minded entrepreneurs, and potentially secure SSBCI funding for your startup. Join us at The AngelNV Entrepreneur Bootcamp and let’s take your venture to new heights!

StartUp NV - Seed Funding Tips and Strategies for Nevada Startup Founders

Seed Funding: Tips and Strategies for Nevada Startup Founders

Seed Funding: Tips And Strategies For Nevada Startup Founders

Seed funding is often the jumping off point that brings an entrepreneurial startup from idea to realization. Nevada’s growing startup landscape offers both challenges and opportunities for businesses big and small,and reliable early-stage capital will help startups scale within crowded marketplaces when they need it most.

Organizations like StartUpNV provide support to founders who could use some seed money to get started.

Understand What Makes a Startup 'Venture Fundable'


Venture capitalists (VCs) are on the lookout for more than just innovative ideas. They know that success is more likely measured by great execution by “A” level founders in a large market – on a solution that solves a large and growing “pain”, or problem.

According to the State of VC in 2023 (Forbes/TrueBridge Capital Partners), plummeting valuations have caused public market investors to deprioritize promises of future growth and emphasize focus on profitability. Modern-day startups must assess their pre-seed strategy to make sure they don’t head toward long-term failure.

What makes a startup venture fundable today?
  • Product/market fit: a clear demand in the market for a product or service
  • Large addressable market: vast potential for growth and profit
  • Competitive advantage: the differentiator(s) that make a company stand out from the competition  
  • Strong founding team: a team that can execute the vision and adapt to challenges, ideally with demonstrated relevant experience

Good ideas turn into great businesses through comprehensive research. This is why due diligence must precede the quest for seed funding.

  • Understand customer needs: Understand your target market and don’t just assume their needs. Direct feedback helps you refine your offerings
  • Evaluate competitors: Research into your potential competition will help you spot market gaps to position your startup uniquely

A venture-worthy idea is only half the battle. According to data collected in 2021 by CB Insights, 38% of startups fail because they can’t raise new capital, and 35% fail because there’s just no market, no need, for their product or service.

How to Build a Startup that Resonates with the Market

For a startup to succeed, it must align with a market opportunity. A startup must create relevant solutions for urgent, unmet market needs. Even that’s not always enough in today’s fast-paced, digital world.

Modern businesses (especially startups) must stay agile, anticipate trends, and continually reinvent their offerings to remain relevant. Harvard Business School recommends some strategies for staying relevant. One of these is to leapfrog the competition’s innovation: take over an industry or sub-industry with an exciting new service or product—and do it better than the competition does.

Market Need and Scalability are Essential

Show potential investors that you understand the market and the potential for business growth. This is critical! You must make sure your startup addresses a current market gap,that it’s sustainable, and primed for future expansion. This step must precede seed-money acquisition. 

Today, these elements are non-negotiable for startups looking for seed funding:
  • Addresses urgent market needs: A product that solves pressing challenges will always be in demand
  • Scalability: Can your business model handle growth both now and down the road? One year from now? Five years from now? Be sure it can before you seek significant investments
  • Stay updated: Continual improvements based on feedback and technological advancements keep your product or service relevant to a shifting market

Founders must remember that investors don’t merely back ideas. They invest in potential and foresight.

Preparation Before Pitching to Investors

Crafting a pitch that stands out is an art. One successful strategy is to combine data-driven insights with your startup’s passion-filled story. Couple this with unique, relevant market dynamics to give your pitch more local sticking power. Only then will you have a strong foundation for your pitch.

Things to consider as you craft your pitch for investors:
  • Narrate a compelling story: A well-told narrative showcases the value and potential of your startup, and it creates a memorable impression
  • Know your local (or global) landscape: Familiarize yourself with Nevada’s unique market dynamics. This will demonstrate a deep understanding of your target audience and existing competition
  • Customize your approach: Each investor is different. Make sure your pitch resonates with their specific interests rather than copy-and-paste your pitch from investor to investor 

Know Your Seed Funding Options


There are several avenues in Nevada to secure seed funding. This great state hosts many events that offer startups both exposure and funding opportunities. Here are some options:

  • Venture capital: traditional firms looking to invest in high-growth startups
  • Angel investors: individuals who offer capital in exchange for equity or convertible debt
  • Crowdfunding: on-line platforms that let you present your idea to the public
  • Grants and competitions: research grant opportunities and attend local events in Nevada that offer startups both exposure and funding opportunities
  • Innovative financial tools: Convertible notes and Simple Agreements for Future Equity (SAFEs) provide flexibility in early-stage financing

Organizations like StartUpNV are invaluable in your Nevada startup journey. They offer resources like no-cost educational programs for founders, pitch events, and investor networks tailored to Nevada startups.

Final Tips on Securing Seed Funding

Build genuine, lasting relationships in the investment community. According to a 2017 LinkedIn global survey, while 79% of respondents thought professional networking was valuable to career progression, only 48% actually keep in touch with their network.

  • Relationships matter: Network, not just for funds, but to foster long-term investor relationships. This is very important!
  • Perseverance: Every rejection is a step closer to a “yes.” Refine and keep pitching

Navigate the path to seed funding with research, preparation, and resilience. With the right strategies, and with support from platforms like StartUpNV, Nevada’s founders can secure the investment they need to propel their startups forward.

NV Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar and Jeff Saling of StartUpNV present investment check to Adaract founders Marcus D'Ambrosio and Clay Payson.

Advice for Entrepreneurs Raising Venture Capital by Jeff Saling

It’s simple to raise money from venture investors… once you understand how venture investors think.  Like any group, investors are not all the same – but the advice is directionally accurate (and free).

Foundational reality – startups are a high risk asset class:

Google it… the public stock market has delivered more than 7% average annual returns for 100+ years, including during recessions. Real estate returns are similar. At a 7% annual return, an investment’s value doubles every 10 years. At 10% annual return, an investment doubles every 7 years. Investors count on this “7-10” rule (aka “the rule of 72”) to build wealth. While there are short term risks, it’s proven reliable over the long term. 

How do startup investments compare? As a high-risk investment class, startup venture funds must offer a significant upside to these traditional lower risk investments to attract capital. 

How to win at startup investing invest in a portfolio

Decades of history inform us that 75% of startups (15 of 20) fail. Google it. There are thousands of examples. No one intends or desires this failure rate. Many smart, motivated people are constantly working on improving this result, but so far “the best” funds have similar results. So, that 75% failure rate is the baseline assumption for startup venture investing.  

Of the 25% that don’t fail, roughly 5% (1 in 20) return more capital than was invested. That’s why venture funds and angel groups “bet” on portfolios of 20+ startups – to have a good chance for at least one big winner. The winners have to be big to make up for the losses and breakeven returns.  

Portfolio investment math – simplified

Venture funds  search through hundreds or thousands of startups and screen carefully to find companies that can return “at least 2 times the fund. For a small $10M fund, that means each company must have a strong chance to be acquired, creating a $20M profit to the fund – considering dilution, fund operating costs, etc. The “2x the fund” goal accounts for the historic 75% failed companies value going to zero and the 20% that make a small or breakeven return as net neutral (1x). 

Following this “2x method” to its logical conclusion, a $10M fund returns $30M, 50% more than traditional (rule of 72) type investing – with nearly all of the profit coming from one or two portfolio companies. Of course this is only true if the fund chooses the businesses and founders wisely AND invests at a “proper” company valuation.  

An example

A “small” $10M seed fund makes 30 investments ($333k avg). Each investment buys 15% of a startup company, imputing a $2.2M post money valuation to the startup. From the fund’s “2x” perspective, each startup company investment must have a strong potential to generate a $20M (2x the fund) net profit to the fund.  When funds consider prospective dilution at 50% from the early rounds to an exit, fund operating costs, etc, over a likely 7+ year investment horizon – the exit size and gross profit required is much larger to meet the “2x the fund” goal. 

Continuing the example, the startup in this scenario (valued at $2.2M) must be acquired for $270M ($20M/.075) to make the required profit of $20M for the fund’s 7.5% ownership, diluted in half from the original 15% due to later investments.  Fund management is considering whether the founding team can create a $270M company over 7(ish) years – AND get it to an exit.  As a means of comparison, Crunchbase and Seraph Investor document the average and median startup exit at $154M and $50M respectively.  With no dilution, the $270M requirement is $133M ($20M /.15) – still hard compared to the median.

Competing perspectives

Founders may be frustrated by this example with a “just a $2.2M valuation” – preferring $10M or more. If the fund agrees to $10M – and assuming the investment stays the same, fund ownership percentage drops to 3.3% (before dilution). The founder is now happy that they’re keeping more and getting “a proper valuation”. But the investor has a different perspective – focused on meeting the 2x goal. The fund managers are well aware of the odds of failure – even when all parties are talented, motivated, and diligent. So, how does the target for exit change?

With a $10M valuation, the company must sell for $1.25B ($20M /.016) to meet “2x the Fund” investment objectives – with 50% dilution. That’s a tall order… likely requiring at least $250M in rapidly growing annual revenue in a large market – and/or $80M in EBITDA.  The likelihood of meeting fund objectives in this scenario is slim, even for a great startup, in a large market, with strong founders.  

This high valuation scenario is where the protections of strong preferred terms (like full ratchet dilution, participating preferred with a multiple, etc.) enters an investor’s mind.  These terms mitigate investor risk at a low or middling exit, but place the founding team at great risk of losing the company with a down round or having a zero payout due to preferred multiples with a lower exit compared to the $1.25B requirement in this scenario. Investors will want one or the other (an investable valuation or strong terms) – food for thought on what constitutes a “realistic” valuation. Is this company truly a potential unicorn?  Can the founding team get it there and execute an exit?  


“Everyone” thinks their startup is a certain unicorn, but keep those median and average exit numbers in mind (along with the failure rate). A founder seeking investment should be aware of this general investor analysis and the valuation multiples and exits in their specific market. Founders should be able to clearly show how their company will be “the one” (out of 20) in the investor’s portfolio that will return at least 2x the fund.  The valuation at the start makes a huge difference in whether the investment is worth the risk for an investor.  As the investment rounds and fund sizes grow, the math gets tougher. 

My advice for founders, remembering this is free advice and likely worth at least 10x what you paid for it,  is that it’s better to have a small piece of a successfully exited company than a big piece of a failed startup.  

Beware the Carpetbaggers & Scalawags by Jeff Saling

Carpetbaggers come to town selling something sketchy (of dubious value) to “take” from locals without any intent of sticking around. Scalawags are their local enablers who lend credence to the carpetbaggers either out of naivete or because they’re in on it. As our startup ecosystem grows, we attract both – like moths to a flame. Beware.

I’ll (Jeff Saling) drop an occasional blog post in our newsletter to call out the behaviors I see – sometimes by name if it’s particularly egregious, and I hope our community will fight them off, like an infection. In chapter 1, I’ll pick on those who trade on the dreams and naivete of new founders. People or organizations that scam founders for cash and /or equity – – such as:

Charging founders a four figure amount to pitch to their investor group
Charging founders four figure amount and/or 2% equity to create a pitch deck, then access their “network”
Charging founders a four figure amount to “consult” on their business plan or financials – then pitch to their investor group
Getting professional help to create a great looking pitch deck is fine, but NEVER pay to pitch.

People or organizations that scam founders for equity with super sharky deals. This will happen even more as investment funds tighten.

Offer founders a $20k investment for 5 or 6% of their company… and access to their “network” of funders and mentors once they’ve completed their course.
Offer founders an investment – usually mid five or low six figures, then require they use the investor’s “professional services” to create pitch decks, business plans, rent office space, etc. – promising access to funders and mentors at the completion of a course.
You get the idea. These types of arrangements rarely work. Ask for success stats in advance – talk with other founders that have been in the program – and find them yourself. Don’t accept groomed references. You shouldn’t expect 100% great references – but be skeptical. It’s difficult because it seems SO REAL – SO POSSIBLE when you’re a founder and convinced you’ve got the next big thing.

Beware of Carpetbaggers and Scalawags.

man discussing about start up entrepreneur incubator program 2

Understanding the Different Stages of Venture Capital Funding

Venture capital (VC) funding is complex yet invaluable when raising money for startups or other growth-stage companies. It’s essential to recognize its various components, from the initial seed round through subsequent rounds such as Series A and B, since these will immensely impact how much money is raised and at what cost. 

In this article, we’ll explore the individual stages of venture capital financing in depth – from pre-seed investment through exit strategy – giving readers an insider’s perspective on how best to navigate the process. So buckle up and get ready to learn everything there is to know about venture capital funding stages!

What is Venture Capital?

Venture capital is a form of private equity, often called risk capital. It’s used for startup funding and typically comes from angel investors or investment firms. Venture capitalists provide financing in exchange for an ownership stake in the company they’re investing in. They usually look at potential investment returns over 5-7 years before cashing out. This type of high-risk investment requires understanding market trends and significant due diligence by both parties involved. With venture capital, there is no guarantee that the invested money will be returned; it depends on the business venture’s success.

Seed Funding

Seed funding is the initial form of startup financing to get businesses off the ground. Generally, this money comes from angel investors and venture capital firms in pre-seed rounds. While these funds are small, they can be enough to help founders purchase necessary resources such as equipment or secure personnel for their operations.

In addition to providing financial backing for startups, seed investments also offer mentorship and access to networks which may prove invaluable. This can help companies refine their product or service offerings before launching into later-stage financings with more capital. Ultimately, these early investments support many startups on their journey toward success.

It is essential to note that some entrepreneurs choose not to pursue outside investment until further in the development process due to potential risks associated with giving away equity in exchange for funding. As such, while seed investing does carry its advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation, it remains an integral part of the early stages of business growth and development. 

Series A Financing

Series A Financing is the first round of venture capital funding typically provided by private equity and venture capital firms. This early-stage investment provides funds to help a company grow and establish its value. It’s an essential part of the financing process for many startups, allowing them to build out their products or services with more resources than they initially had access to.

The amount of Series A Financing can vary significantly depending on the company valuation and the size and scope of the project used. Generally speaking, venture capital firms are looking for companies that have already established themselves in some way and demonstrate potential for future growth based on their current performance. This type of financing aims to help these businesses achieve higher success beyond what traditional financing options could provide.

When considering whether or not to invest in a startup through Series A Financing, investors will look at various factors such as market opportunity, management team capability, competitive edge, financial projections, and Exit strategy. They’ll also assess risk tolerance and ability to handle volatility when evaluating any deal. Ultimately, if all criteria are met, then there’s a good chance that venture capitalists will approve Series A Funding.

Series B Financing

Once a startup has secured Series A funding, they are ready to move on to the next venture capital funding stage: Series B financing. Existing investors lead this round of investors and focus on expansion, not seed or series A rounds. It requires significant planning from startup founders and venture capitalists.

At this point, venture capitalists will look closely at how startups have performed since their initial investments to decide if further investment is warranted. They also look into how well-positioned companies are to increase and expand upon their current success. Generally speaking, VCs prefer investing in firms that have achieved several milestones of success before they enter the picture, as it increases their odds of returns from these later investment rounds.

Entrepreneurs need to understand that series B financing does not necessarily guarantee long-term success; it provides additional capital required for growth and expansion. Most startups require multiple fundraising rounds over time before becoming profitable businesses. 

Expansion and Later-Stage Rounds

Once a startup has received its early-stage venture capital funding, it’s time to focus on expansion and later-stage rounds. Growth capital is necessary for companies ready to scale up their operations to reach the next level of success. This type of financing usually involves more money than previous rounds and may come from different sources, such as venture debt or mezzanine rounds.

Venture debt is a loan secured by the company’s assets with no need for equity dilution. It can provide additional cash flow when needed without sacrificing ownership percentage. Mezzanine rounds are an attractive option since they afford some flexibility regarding repayment structure while quickly providing access to significant amounts of capital.

In addition, investors may be willing to provide further financial support if they believe there is potential for substantial returns over the long term. Companies should use this opportunity to secure enough funds for continued growth while ensuring all parties involved have aligned interests and expectations. 

Man and woman shake hands with other two people

Exit Strategies

Exit strategies are an integral element of venture capital funding. They allow investors to monetize their investments and receive a return on the capital they’ve put forward. Several exit options include mergers and acquisitions and initial public offerings (IPO).

Mergers and acquisitions refer to transactions between companies that result in one company taking over or buying out another. This can benefit both parties involved, as it allows the acquiring company to expand its product range while providing the acquired company with access to new markets. Investors who have backed a startup may pursue this option if they believe there is potential for rapid growth through acquisition by an established firm.

An IPO involves offering shares of a private business to the public market, allowing individuals outside of the venture capital world to invest in it. It also allows early investors to cash out their shares while retaining partial company ownership. Although IPOs may offer higher returns than other exit strategies, they require significant financial resources and carry greater risk due to increased regulation and scrutiny from external investors.


Venture capital is essential to many businesses’ success. From seed funding to series A and B rounds, expansion and later-stage rounds, and exit strategies, it’s important for those seeking venture capital investments to understand all aspects of this process to make informed decisions. Ultimately, knowing each venture capital funding stage will help ensure that the best possible outcome is achieved by both parties involved in any capital transaction.

At StartUp NV, we support startup businesses with funding, training, and workshops which are invaluable to the success of startups. If you want to get ahead of the competition and learn how we can help you get off the ground, simply contact us.