Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Chris Dodd Bill Proposes Major Change to Angel Investing

Entrepreneurs come to me on a daily basis seeking funding for their startup and Angel investing plays a critical role for many of these startup companies. The requirements for Angel investing hasn’t changed much since the late 1960s, but the legislation that Chris Dodd has proposed in the US Senate goes way too far.

The driving force behind the proposed changes is the fallout from the Madoff debacle, but the proposed change would greatly impact Angel Investing by changing the requirements of who can invest in startups and how startups can go about raising funding. Based on a survey by Rob Wiltbank of the Venture Research Center of New Hampshire, the ramifications of such legislation could reduce the number of Angel investors nationwide by two-thirds.

To see the proposed bill, click here.

To say that this bill is scary is an understatement. It recommends increasing the thresholds for accredited investors and also puts in a complex process for companies seeking funding which would also make it difficult to syndicate deals across state lines. Other complications include 120 day waiting periods for review of filings.

During the upcoming Texas Funding Symposium (www.fundingsymposium.com) in Austin on April 21st, we’re going to hold a special breakout session for angel investors and other interested parties to learn more about the proposed changes and what can be done to have the voice of the investor heard. Please join us to learn more about it.

Best regards,
Hall T.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Elizabeth Quintanilla Talks about Her Startup

Elizabeth Quintanilla Talks about Her Startup

Where are you from originally?

I was born in Montreal, Canada but grew up in Corpus Christi, TX

What university did you go to?

All 4 of my degrees are from UT-Austin

What brought you to Austin?

Aerospace Engineering at UT-Austin

What is the idea behind your startup?

Not all businesses have a dedicated marketing resource; I found that a lot of business owners need sound advice on their marketing strategy both online and offline.

What need does it fulfill?

As a business detective, I help understand why those businesses are not reaching their target customers and design marketing strategies to reach them. In addition, I also roll up my sleaves and get my hands dirty with tactical implementation. These business owners also appreciate my operations and technology background which compliments my MBA education.

What exactly does your product do?

I am an on call resource for businesses to identify their marketing and product management needs.

Who is it for?

I offer services for other businesses and focus on tech startups or primary vendors for government contracts

What was the most challenging aspect of starting up a business?

Defining what is my service offering – I am not a “social media expert” but rather a sound business consultant who loves marketing and product management. I specialize in understanding what and why customers are saying about products and businesses.

What is the next step for you and your startup?

Growth and scale – I would enjoy having more business detectives as part of my team.

What advice do you have for entrepreneurs?

If you truly want to be an entrepreneur, stick with it. This is not an easy path but highly rewarding. Also, I would recommend surrounding yourself with some solid mentors to bounce ideas from and help you succeed.

What Austin-based resource have you found to be the most helpful and why?

Actually, there have been 2 important resources for me: Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GAHCC) and the ProductCamp line of events. GAHCC is a solid organization that truly believes in their mission and helps its members. By becoming their social media ambassador, I was given an opportunity to take a leadership role in their organization and get a better understanding of Austin Business Culture as a whole and not just the high tech scene. ProductCamp is a unique organization seeking to improve the skill sets of Product Marketing and Management by creating a series of events where we can all learn from each other. This is important because we don’t get a lot of opportunities to continue to grow and develop our skill sets.