Series Seed: How Open Source Does Term Sheets

Series Seed Term Sheet

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Typically professional investors submit the Term Sheet and associated documents to the entrepreneur. These documents are already preconfigured to the investor’s or investment institution’s preferred terms and the negotiation begins.

That’s the sexy version of getting your first cash infusion, however many times your first investment is from friends and family. In these cases, both parties are equally green on the key documents needed to make a straightforward and legitimate investment in your company.

Series Seed was created and curated by Ted Wang, a partner at Fenwick & West in the interest of saving both time and money for startup during their most vulnerable stage for financing. In addition these documents are being continuously honed by the investment and startup communities to keep them current and equal handed.

This is still no substitute for legal review, which should only amount to a few billable hours if you are staying within the confines of the documents. 

Get the lasted documents at SeriesSeed.com

 

Accelerate Long Island

Accelerate Long Island Logo

Accelerate Long Island’s mission is to foster a unique collaboration among Long Island’s world class research institutions and its business community to commercialize research and create an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

I’ve had the pleasure to attend both Accelerate LI events as well as spend some time with Mark and his team and their actions speak louder than my praise could. In a short amount of (for Long Island) time, they have connected with the Lords of all the local fiefdoms and is actively fostering not just communication but a sense of common purpose.

Aside from the less tangible progress, Accelerate LI has architected 3 core programs to further move the needle for entrepreneurs, inventors, scientists and those looking to support their growth here on the island.

Accelerate Funding

Accelerate Long Island has a $500,000 Seed Fund that invests up to $50,000 in early stage high technology startup companies in the form of grants. The Accelerate Long Island Seed Fund co-invests with the $750,000 Long Island Emerging Technologies Fund (LIETF), which was created by three venture capitalists and typically invests up to $50,000 in early stage startups.

Accelerate Funding is also working closely with the Long Island Angel Network and other early stage funding sources to provide one-stop-shopping for startups companies seeking capital. 

Accelerate Assist

Accelerate Assist is a free mentorship program for early stage high-tech startup companies. 

Accelerate Assist kicks off with a brainstorming session with a team of entrepreneurs-in-residence. The startup company is then paired with an entrepreneur-in-residence and develops a set of milestones for the  over a three to sixth month period. Completion of the Accelerate Assist program may result in an opportunity to pitch to the Accelerate Long Island Seed Fund or connections with other early stage funding sources.

Typical coaching topics include:

  • Developing or refining the market for the technology.
  • Determining the pain in the market and determining the best economic model for the company.
  • Navigating intellectual property issues.
  • Polishing the pitch for funding.
  • Assistance with company formation and management.

Accelerate Ecosystem

Long Island’s startup scene is blossoming – and Accelerate Long Island is supporting entrepreneurs and building’s Long Island entrepreneurial ecosystem. Accelerate Long Island’s networking and instructional events are part of the ecosystem. (editor’s note – this the collection of events Accelerate hosts for various groups that make up the Long Island startup ecosystem)

LaunchPad Long Island Accelerator Officially Blasts Off

Lauch Pad Long IslandThe countdown for accepting applications for LaunchPad LI’s Summer 2013 Accelerator Program has begun. Applications are now being accepted thru May 17, 2013. We will review and select applicants to come in for interviews on a rolling basis. We will notify all accepted applicants by the end of May. The Summer 2013 Class will begin on June 3rd and launch with a Summer Blast Off Party!

What you will get out of the LaunchPad Accelerator Program:

  • Mentorship 
  • Seed funding
  • Free office space
  • Exposure and Access to investors
  • Legal, Financial, Business Development, Marketing & Sales Support
  • Fun Experiences & Lifelong Lessons

The Long Island Angel Network

Long Island Angel Network

The Long Island Angel Network is the most well known forum of angel investors on Long Island. Members can evaluate andexchange information about investment opportunities, primarily in technology- and innovation-focused early-stage and emerging growth companies in the $500,000 – $2 million range.

LI Angel Network screeners endeavors to select companies for presentation that they judge likely to be of the greatest interest to members, but the Network does not make investment recommendations; investors’ decisions are made individually. 

If you are an entrepreneur interested in presenting to the LIAN you can submit your application (via gust.com)and if they feel you are a fit you will be selected to pitch at their frequent “pitch nights”. You can also just attend pitch nights so what they are all about and better understand the caliber of firms you are competing with for the angels attention.

 

Explore CrunchBase or your network visually with Wikisway

WikiswayAs discussed before, CrunchBase is one of the top tools for garnering insight on your startup competition as well as who is funding them. Wikisway has taken advantage of CruchBase’s API to visually map the relationships that make up their database.

Aside from the data eye candy, Wikisway gives you real insight into what “Connectors” and “Mavens” ala Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point you should be jacked in to. Here is an example of TechStars on Wikisway.

wikiswaytechstars

Wikisway has also worked their visual magic for your personal Facebook network and is setting their sites on LinkedIn next.

In summary, Wikisway is a great tool in unearthing fruitful relationships and it looks like it will keep getting better. 

 

Suffolk IDA’s “Start-Up Connect” Event

Start-Up Connect an IDA EventJoin the Suffolk County IDA at their “Start-Up Connect” event on April 10 from 6pm to 8pm at the Paramount in Huntington Village.

You can RSVP at http://www.suffolkida.org/event-sign-up.

Start-ups will be able to “Connect to Capital, Connect to IDA Companies and Connect to Government”.

Our April 10 lineup includes County Executive Steve Bellone, Deputy County Executive for Economic Development Joanne Minieri, IDA Executive Director Anthony Manetta, Huntington Supervisor Frank PetroneMark Lesko from Accelerate Long Island, Venture Capitalist Investors David CaloneAndrew HazenMark Fasciano, the SBA’s regional director Walter Oden and a host of groups including the Long Island Angels, LISTnet, COMETS, Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) and Long Island Forum for Technology (LIFT).

Also meet local tech companies in Huntington that are part of the iDA’s Boost Program including Jeff Leventhal from Work Market, Ryan Thompson from CooCoo and George Kafkarkou from VLI North America.

The first hour is open to venture capitalists, IDA clients and start-ups formed in the last 5 years in Technology, Bio/Life Science, Energy, Green, Product Development and High Tech Manufacturing. The second hour starting at 7pm is open to the general business community. There is no charge to attend this event.

Coming by rail? Bolt Bus is having a free shuttle from Huntington train station for a 5:40pm pick up to the Paramount. Let us know if you plan to use the free shuttle.

Creative background noise with Coffitivity

CoffitivityFor those working too hard or too late to make it to your local coffee shop, Coffitivity may be just the trick to keep the creative juices flowing. 

Coffitivity.com is a virtual environment provider centered around a recent academic study that determined different spaces have specific properties to improve and enhance creative cognition. Theses great creative work environments typically have a volume of about 70 decibels of constant ambient sound. The best example of such a place: a coffee shop.

Thanks to Lisa Harris at Lisa Harris Pantry for sending this my way.

Long Island Angel Network Presentation Night

Long Island Angel NetworkIf you’re looking at presenting your venture to the Long Island Angel Network don’t miss their Presentation Night this Wednesday, March 20, 2013 from 5:30 PM to 

Attending this event will give you insight into the Long Island Angels without the pressure of presenting blind. ONLY PRESELECTED firms are presenting. Apply here to present at future events.

LaunchPad Long Island

Lauch Pad Long IslandThe brain child of co-founders Andrew Hazen and Richard Foster, LaunchPad Long Island is a 12,000 sq foot co-working space with an emerging business accelerator in Mineola, Long Island.

LaunchPad LI has cracked one of the biggest obstacles that has suffocated many Long Island entrepreneurial endeavors in the past… accessibility. By having their own parking lot, adjacent municipal parking and Mineola train station at their doorstep, LaunchPad LI and their tenants have the unique ability to efficiently draw talent out of Brooklyn, Queens and NYC as well as local residents.

Co-working

Judging from my walk through during the launch party, Andrew, Richard and Brian set out from the start to ensure all public and private spaces were designed to be equally fun and functional. The modern (read: brand spanking new) environment has wood floors, glass desks, leather chairs & couches and all the amenities needed to make the long days and late nights a little less taxing. Aside from the main benefits of peer support and collaboration that make co-working so desirable, LaunchPad Long Island also includes:

  • Peer Support & Collaboration
  • 24/7 access
  • No security deposit
  • Professional services support (legal, finance, marketing, insurance, etc.)
  • Networking opportunities
  • Storage lockers
  • Free coffee & water
  • Copy/Print/San services
  • Access to Hofstra Zarb Business School Speaker Series
  • Conference rooms with large TVs
  • Relax in the Blast Off Lounge

Private Office Suites

The second floor of LaunchPad LI has thirteen (13) brand new furnished Executive office suites for 1 – 6 people.

  • 24/7 Access
  • 95% of suites have windows (Amen!!!)
  • Receptionist services
  • No long term commitments
  • High Speed WiFi
  • Flex Space & “Writable” Idea/Strategy Walls
  • Conference rooms with large TVs
  • Free coffee & water
  • Copy/Print/Scan services
  • On-site parking

Business Accelerator

Unfortunately, at the time of this post, details are still a bit sketchy on the business accelerator side of things. There seems to be a seed fund of $250K with up to $25k being allocated to each team accepted to the program. 

Based on what they are seeking in applicants, it looks intentionally vague, which is natural for the first class of a new accelerator, but what concerns me more, is the lack of  program, such as class start/end dates, demo days, equity structure to the accelerator (if any), and other typical accelerator parameters.

Regardless, I recommend any Long Island based early stage entrepreneur check it out. Just do your homework on other top accelerators like Tech Stars and Y Combinator to best understand how LaunchPad LI stacks up to their peers. 

And There’s More…

There are also a handful of other programs and services that look like they will be coming into their own in due time. Here are a few of them…

  • Speaker Series
  • 30 Under 30
  • Movie Night
  • LaunchPad Cadets

In summary, Long Island now has a true hub for entrepreneurial talent that is easily accessible both geographically and financially. Andrew, Richard and their team have accomplished something very special, now it’s time to get involved to ensure it flourishes. 

LI Tech Comets

LI Tech Comets LogoLI Tech Comets is a business accelerator housed in the LI Tech Mall.

Like most accelerators, LI Tech Comets follows the usual process of…

  1. Submit application
  2. A round of interviews to narrow the pool to a final class
  3. Free office space, legal, account and marketing assistance
  4. 3 months of mentoring
  5. Additional 3 months of mentoring/office space if applicable

There are however, some notable omissions. Most importantly there is no explicit initial investment of capital for companies entering the program and no “demo” day on the calendar for the class to show off what they have accomplished to a definitive list of equally vetted investors.

It is these “book ends of capital” that really define an accelerator but more importantly draw a competitive level of entrepreneurial talent to apply and intern a competitive level of mentors and investors to get involved. So as it stands today, LI Tech Comets smells more like a structured incubator with an eviction date than a typical accelerator the likes of Y Combinator in CA or Tech Stars in NYC.

The phase “Walk before you fly.” is displayed prominently on the LI Tech Comets website and by speaking with those involved, LI Tech Comets as an organization is doing just that. I look forward to seeing the fruits of their labor when the first class is released into the wild. Regardless of their survival rate, if LITC can rapidly evolve based on what they learned running the first class, they have an opportunity to become a keystone contributor to the Long Island startup ecosystem.

Learn more and submit an application.

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