We have been on both sides of the startup desk
How much do you invest?
We will invest as little as $50,000 and as much as $500,000. We don’t have any set in stone rules for minimums. We invest in companies all over the country, whether you’re in Boulder, New York or right here in Omaha. We like to partner with good people. The stage of investment or need drives the dollar. But we don’t invest in huge salaries and comp and vacation and benefits. If you are looking to us to help you replace that at your business, we are the wrong ones for you.
How much of my company will I have to give up?
We don’t want control of your company. And every deal is a little different. So we lay out a simple structure with no bells or whistles. If you can explain it to your grandmother and it makes sense to her you have the right structure and value. We are economically motivated too. So we will be tough, ruthless, ‘take no prisoners’ negotiators. Or not. We realize that a few percentage points of ownership on the front end could mean a lot. And if you are sitting and stewing about how we suck and you don’t like the deal then its not a good partnership.
Can you help me find key people?
We have relationships that will allow you to find the right people when you need them. While the venture capital industry seems overwhelmingly large, it really is pretty small. We have relationships in the startup community that can open doors to meet your needs.
I need an NDA before I will show you my business
Well, we don’t sign them. If you are not comfortable showing your business to us – don’t. We aren’t in the business of stealing business ideas and then competing. Our reputation is our primary asset. Share what you feel comfortable sharing.
What if we need more money?
We love to add additional capital. If a larger round is needed we have relationships with follow on investors that want to see new, profitable growth stories. They know us and if we are sending them an opportunity it’s legit and exciting. It helps keep things on track and moving smoothly.
Do you use a lot of buzzwords and analogies?
We need to be on the same page and singing from the same hymnal. The hope is to hit one out of the park, but we will also experience a few bunt singles and ground rule doubles. Once we leverage our synergies, though, we will think way outside the box.
What types of business do you invest in?
Scalable e-commerce businesses or web services with a dedicated, passionate, burn the ships (buzzword alert) founder team. It has to have some sort of logical exit in 3-5 years too. Not a magic timeline by any means. But we should all agree that if the opportunity presents itself that we act upon it.