Archive | March, 2009

North Mindmeld: Competitions For Capital

This section wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention the plethora of contests and competitions out there for entrepreneurs. Most of these are business plan writing competitions that target upstart entrepreneurs to enter in hopes they are going to get in front of a panel of investors who will then choose their venture and write [...]

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North Mindmeld: The Rise of Pitch Farms

The scarcity of capital for early stage companies in recent years has lead to the creation of literally thousands of businesses focused on helping entrepreneurs raise money for their start-ups. At North, this subject is close to our hearts, as we’ve made it our mission to make the entire process for fostering, filtering, and funding [...]

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Can Data-Driven Analysis Predict The Next NBA MVP?

I ran across this interesting article today from John Hollinger of, where he took his Player Efficiency Rating stat (PER) one step further (PER is Hollinger’s overall rating of a player’s per-minute statistical production). He came up with a new acronym: VA. It stands for “Value Added.” The idea behind VA is to take [...]

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DIY or Farm It Out?

Entrepreneurs are an interesting bunch. While nearly all of them have an “I can do it myself” attitude, which is crucial to get the ball moving, that same attitude usually ends up preventing the company from scaling. The truth is there are some situations where you simply can’t be the most effective person for the [...]

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Focus On Effiency

The following excerpt is taken from Breaking Through The Broken: The Transparent Guide To Overcoming The Inefficiencies In Early Stage Venture Capital. A good presentation with a good PowerPoint given by an individual with a strong personality can easily sway a room full of investors into cutting a check. Investors need to be sure they’re [...]

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Understanding your Competition: Venture Analysis Element #12

Did McDonalds take Starbucks seriously? Think they do now? A crucial undertaking of any new venture analysis is doing a thorough assessment of the Competition.  All new products are judged by consumers relative to existing products in the market. If there’s not a clear understanding of what’s already available (inside and outside of category), a [...]

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Think Rubber Bands or Elastigirl: New Venture Evaluation #11

This  element looks at “the type” of manager that is leading the charge. There are legendary stories about leaders who no matter what changes take place, stick to the original plan. While sticking to the game plan is a good thing, if it means heading in the wrong direction for several years, it is a [...]

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Be Forewarned About Those 4 Wheels

The following excerpt is taken from Breaking Through The Broken: The Transparent Guide To Overcoming The Inefficiencies In Early Stage Venture Capital. Buying a used car is an exciting process, but coming home with buyer’s remorse is easy if you don’t do your homework. To avoid a financial disaster, not to mention having a two-ton [...]

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Are They Ready For Prime Time?

Professional sports franchises spend thousands of dollars on scouting, background checks, and running draft prospects through a series of mental and physical tests before they decide to invest millions of dollars. General Managers look at everything before risking their pick on an expensive draft pick. This is even truer when it comes to making a [...]

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New Venture Valuation: Things to Look for (10/80)

The purpose here is to determine whether or not the business is valued at an amount that is not appropriate (most likely too high) for where the business is in its development. For this element one should look to see that the NPV of cash flow, market estimates, prior investment, and assets under control all [...]

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