Venture Capital

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!

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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group of people collaborating ideas aws free startup credits 10

Venture Capital Advantages and Disadvantages in Business

Working capital is an important source of finance for businesses, especially startups. It can bring a good amount of fresh capital to help founders launch and grow their operations, but it’s not without risks. As any business analyst knows, there are advantages and disadvantages associated with venture capitalists. 

With that said, we’ll explore venture capital advantages and disadvantages to decide whether it’s right for your company. There are potential benefits to seeking out capital investments for your business. As an entrepreneur, you must understand both sides before committing. Weighing all aspects carefully can increase your chances of success by ensuring financial backing.

Venture Capital Definition

Venture capital is an attractive form of financing for startups and small businesses. It involves investing money into companies in exchange for equity or an ownership stake. This investment has become popular as more entrepreneurs seek to bring their ideas and products to market. The definition can be categorized into two main components: 

  • Investors, who provide the funding 
  • Business owners must repay the loan with interest or give up part of their company’s ownership.

Otherwise known as equity or working capital, the risk associated with this type of financing is higher than traditional bank loans due to their nature. It requires careful consideration before investing. Venture capitalists often look for promising investments with growth potential but are too risky for conventional lenders to finance independently.

Venture capitalism would benefit a business, several questions need to be answered ahead of time, including understanding the risks involved and having realistic expectations about the return on investment (ROI). These factors should all be weighed carefully when making any decisions. With careful planning and research, venture capitalists may represent an attractive opportunity for those seeking outside funds to realize their dreams.

Types Of Venture Capital

The world of venture capitalism is a dynamic and ever-changing landscape. The potential for success and the promise of bigger returns made it an attractive option for entrepreneurs, investors, and other business professionals seeking funding for a new enterprise or project. With all its advantages, however, come some significant drawbacks that must be considered before diving into this investment.

In general, there are four main categories, namely, seed funding, private equity, mezzanine finance, and investing. 

  • Seed funding comes from family members or friends willing to provide funds in exchange for either a percentage share in the company or a return on their investment when the company goes public or is sold. 
  • Private equity involves raising money through investments made by venture capitalists and institutional investors such as pension funds or mutual funds. 
  • Mezzanine finance often takes the form of debt with convertible features while still providing equity elements if certain milestones are met. 
  • Angel investors may also provide startup capital but usually require more control over the operations than traditional venture capitalists do. Whatever type of capital investing route you choose, each has pros and cons. 

While some offer quick access to cash without giving up much ownership stake in the company, others can involve high levels of risk since they require substantial sums upfront. Working capital may require due diligence and processes with reporting requirements for liability issues. Ultimately one needs to carefully weigh these factors against the potential rewards before making any decisions when applying them for financing purposes.

Sources Of Venture Capital

When considering venture capital, it’s important to understand the various sources. Angel investors, venture funds, private equity firms, and crowdfunding are all potential sources of venture capital financing.

  • Angel investors are wealthy individuals who provide high-risk financing in exchange for a share of company profits. They often have extensive experience in business, finance, or the industry they’re investing in and can offer valuable advice and financial support.
  • Venture funds are pools of money from multiple investors that invest directly into startups at different stages of development. Venture capitalists typically require an ownership stake, board representation, and/or control over major corporate decisions such as hiring, product design, pricing, and strategy. 
  • Private equity firms also invest in early-stage companies but focus on larger investments with longer holding periods than angel investors or venture funds.
  • Finally, crowdfunding has become increasingly popular among entrepreneurs looking for seed funding. Crowdfunding platforms allow anyone from anywhere to donate small amounts of money towards projects they believe in, allowing founders to tap into huge networks without giving up any equity or control over their businesses. 
  • Family offices may also be another source for some startup founders seeking capital due to their ability to make large investments quickly with fewer strings attached compared to traditional capital sources.

These sources come with distinct advantages and disadvantages, which must be carefully considered before pursuing any particular path when securing capital for your business ventures.

Pros And Cons Of Venture Capital

Venture Capital Advantages And Disadvantages In Business

While venture capital can bring great rewards, it carries certain risks and drawbacks. Here are the advantages and disadvantages associated with venture capital:

Pros of Venture Capital

  • Access To Funds: Venture capitalists provide much needed capital for startups. This allows entrepreneurs to pursue growth opportunities they may not have been able to take advantage of without additional investment.
  • Expertise & Resources: Alongside finances, venture capitalists often bring business know-how and resources which small companies might struggle to secure themselves.
  • Networking Opportunities: The connections made through venture capitalists can help both startup founders as well as investors in their future endeavors.
  • Potential For High Returns On Investment (ROI): When successful, venture capital investments offer high returns on initial investments, making them an attractive option for investors looking for higher yields than traditional financial markets offer.

Cons Of Venture Capital

  • Loss Of Control: Investing in a startup usually involves giving up some control over how the company operates since outside shareholders now hold equity in the business.
  • Lower Profit Margins In Early Stages: Startups often experience lower profit margins during the early stages resulting in reduced returns on investment until operations become profitable.
  • Limited Lifespan: Businesses backed by venture capitalist money typically face shorter lifespans when compared to those financed using other sources due to the need for rapid returns on investments or failure within two years being common scenarios.
  • Risky Investments: Many venture capital investments fail due to their nature, leading to losses for all parties involved if proper due diligence isn’t done before investing. 

Overall, while there are potential benefits from receiving equity capital funding, these must be weighed against the costs and risks of such an arrangement for both sides before deciding whether this type of financing is right for a particular situation. With regulations and restrictions playing an important role in securing equal rights between investors and business owners alike, understanding these guidelines should always come first when raising funds for growth projects.

Regulations And Restrictions

As with any major capital investment, venture capitalists are subject to numerous regulations and restrictions. For example, the US Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC requires public companies to comply with specific requirements when raising money. On the other hand, there are limitations to the amount an investor can put in money in a company at a given time. 

This is designed to protect investors from taking excessive risks without having adequate information about the potential return on their investments. Regulations also limit tax implications for venture capitalists investing in startups. For example, Section 1202 of the Internal Revenue Code allows small business stockholders to exclude 50% of their gains from taxation if they meet certain criteria. 

Furthermore, venture capitalists can take advantage of tax credits, such as research and development credits, for businesses engaged in innovation. Though these regulations exist primarily to protect entrepreneurs and investors alike, it’s important for any prospective investor to understand them before making a significant capital commitment to an early-stage project or startup company. 

Awareness of these rules will help ensure that an individual receives maximum benefit from their equity capital investments while minimizing the risk associated with noncompliance issues due to inadequate knowledge or understanding of applicable laws and regulations.


Equity capital is a powerful form of financial investment for businesses. It can provide the resources required for your idea to turn into a reality. However, investing in this capital venture comes with some risks that entrepreneurs must consider before taking on such a large financial commitment.

It’s important for entrepreneurs to carefully evaluate their options and consider whether equity capital is the right fit for their business. If you’re a startup considering this capital funding, a clear understanding of your growth objectives and a solid plan for achieving them is crucical. You should also be prepared to navigate the challenges of venture capital funding and seek guidance from experienced investors and advisors.

Overall, equity capital can be a valuable tool for startups looking to scale quickly and achieve their growth objectives. By weighing the advantages and disadvantages of this funding source and developing a solid growth plan, startups can position themselves for success in the competitive world of entrepreneurship.

So if you’re a startup entrepreneur who wants to grow and scale your business, take the time to evaluate your options and choose the right approach carefully. Contact us at StartupNV to start receiving the right strategy and support. Let us participate in helping you build a successful business that positively impacts the world.

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