Raising Venture Capital for the Serious Entrepreneur Hardcover – Oct 1 2007
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About the Author
Dermot Berkery is a general partner with Delta Partners, a leading European venture capital company that invests in Ireland and the United Kingdom. He has led investments in early-stage companies in sectors such as software, electronics, mobile services, medical components, and security equipment. Mr. Berkery was formerly a Senior Manager with McKinsey & Co., where he served clients across the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Asia, focusing mainly on financial services and energy. He also lectures on entrepreneurial finance at the MBA program at University College Dublin.
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"Finding an Angel Investor In a Day," by The Planning Shop (2007), told me nothing I didn't know, and I didn't know anything about business plans or angel investors. The title is ludicrous and the advice is obvious, e.g., "Your business plan should be concise, compelling, and irresistible to investors." 1 star.
"The ABC's of Writing Winning Business Plans," by Garrett Sutton (2005), walks you through writing business plans for a lawn mowing business and buying a pizza restaurant. If your business is more complicated, this is not the book for you. 1 star.
"The Ernst & Young Business Plan Guide," by Brian Ford, Jay Boorstein, and Patrick Pruitt (2007), is a good book but hardly inspiring or insightful. If you follow this book your business plan will be competent but won't grab investors. 3 stars.
"Angel Financing for Entrepreneurs," by Susan Preston (2007). This book doesn't explain how to write a business plan, but it explains how to make a 10-minute PowerPoint presentation to investors -- a presentation that will grab investors. For example, one question is "How is your product or technology scalable?" I also learned some of the financials that angel investors look for, such as what IRR is expected. This book helped and inspired me to write an excellent presentation, that became the basis for my business plan. 5 stars.
"Raising Venture Capital for the Serious Entrepreneur," by Dermot Berkery (2008). This is a textbook for a business school course about venture capital. This book is full of insights. Every few pages new ideas would compel me to go to my computer and add stuff or rewrite my business plan, for example, Berkery emphasizes the need for clear milestones. Preston mentioned milestones but didn't make it clear why they are so important. The financials that were briefly presented in Preston's book are thoroughly presented in Berkery's book, for example, what gross margin investors look for (80% or more) and why they need such extremely profitable products or services. Plus you learn the jargon or key phrases of venture capitalists, e.g., "a large but well signaled market," the importance of "market power" and an effective "route to customers." I feel that my business plan now speaks to investors in their language, with the numbers they are looking for. 5 stars.
More than that, since I am also in the process of fundraising for a startup, this book gives me clear guidance and demystifies the VC evaluation process. Other than investor scale and growth expectations, I think the advice applies equally well to angel investor evaluations.
The book is incredibly clear...I agree it is not a "VC for Dummies" book, yet a a total novice would indeed be able to navigate the content quite easily. The author has a gift for anticipating reader questions and possible confusion points...probably because he also teaches entrepreneurial finance and has seen all the questions before.
My husband saw me avidly reading this book and said "Do you have some racy novel between the covers of that book?" Joke aside, I have found it very compelling reading.
The book thoroughly covers the forward movement in start up and how to move towards proper funding. It helps entrepreneurs think through the tough decisions that face them - and gives solid advice and ideas by showing working examples and outcomes. By clearly describing the motivations around each party involved in funding situations and seeing how those motivations can change at each stage of the game - this book gives the reader tools that any serious start up needs. I recommend this book 150% - It has been a solid guide in the steps I have taken and are continuing to make in my start-up.
Mr. Berkery deserves a standing ovation for the serious depth and thinking placed into this volume and provided to the entrepreneurial world!
This book is built to give entrepreneurs the view of people who have money and vice versa. It covers presentations, milestones, business plans, and stock options.
I had never understood what preferred stock meant until I got this book.
It's very readable and not pretentious at all, even though it's talking about people giving you millions and millions of dollars. It's also focused on the point that without venture capital and people starting businesses, the economy just doesn't work.
Excellent book, I'm very happy with my purchase. It's also written very recently and takes into account a lot of other companies' recent experiences.
If you want to start a business that requires some capital and don't know much about business, this is the book you want.
This book is by far the best I've ever gone through, from the point of view of someone very experienced in the field, with the gift of being able to articulate not the theory, but the true practice.
The author goes through the mindsets of the investors and the entrepreneurs in an uncannily accurate manner. His chapters on what makes for a successful business plan is so right on, and everyone should measure their plan against his required attributes. If you don't match up, you really need to consider another idea, or do alot more creative thinking on your existing idea.
This was by far the best $50 I spent as a career startup type. Thanks to the author for keeping it very real and readable.