Seeing the Big Picture

Authors: Steven Ducommun, StartupPercolator

When starting a new company, it’s easy to focus entirely on the business you are building, but it’s also important to make sure that you see the big picture. Here are three areas to keep covered:

1.  Make sure a market exists. While you may be convinced that you have the answer to an important question, talk to people who know the space you are trying to move into. They can help you figure out whether your solution addresses a pressing need that people are willing to pay for.

2.  Protect your intellectual property. Under the new “first to file” rules, you need to make sure that you are the “first inventor to file” in order to protect all of your intellectual property—not just your patents. Your trade name is a powerful part of your brand and provides real value to you and your investors.

3.  Establish a regulatory pathway. Make sure you have addressed all of the regulatory issues that might affect your business and that you understand how to navigate the jungle of rules and regulations. Savvy investors will want to hear your strategies.

How to Prepare for an Equity Financing

We have covered in past FTTWs how to value your startup and how much capital to raise. Once your startup decides to pursue equity financing, you should start to prepare for the investor due diligence process. On the business side, you will need to prepare a business plan and should take steps such as obtaining management references, interviews and background reviews, customer/user references, technical/product reviews, financial statements and business model reviews.

What Every Startup Needs to Know

On Wednesday, June 26th, Perkins Coie’s Palo Alto office hosted the startupPerColator event, “What Every Startup Needs to Know.” Lowell Ness, a Perkins Coie partner in the Emerging Companies & Venture Capital (ECVC) practice, moderated a panel which included Herb Stephens of NueHealth, Thomas Huot of VantagePoint Capital, Jennifer Jones of Jennifer Jones and Partners, Yuri Rabinovich of Start-up Monthly, and Olga Rodstein of Shutterfly.