NEW YORK–Having covered the tech meetup scene for the past few years, it’s interesting how a meetup about “Getting your startup set up and funded” produces a new group of aspiring entrepreneurs, new to the tech scene and what it takes to build one. There’s certainly something for everyone in the fastest-growing tech city and that’s what Megan Hannum, venture partner at Comcast, co-founder at Fundedby, was at Spark Labs last July 15 for–to help newcomers get their feet wet in the startup scene.
Hearing the newbie questions seem sound fresh again, like a refresher for some who need to get his focus back. With the high failure rate among startups, somewhere at 90% up, one would think startups should know what Hannum and other VCs say, “You need to remind yourself if you’re building a feature or a product.” For startups, it’s hard to tell.
How do you get funded? The process you go through as the founder is crucial. Hannum said she’ll get your interest based on your early team composition. If you outsourced your idea, how you integrated it to work for you eventually is just as important as working with the first few employees.
How do you know how to value your company? Hannum throws it out there, “Ask yourself if you have a proprietary product” (for a start).”
How do you know if you need help or a co-founder? “You’re going to know if you are wearing too many hats. You’ll be scrambling. You’ll want some expertise,” she said.
Hannum pointed out new trends. Where convertible notes were not popular before, it’s picking up now, because there is plenty of money moving around.
Other than accelerators and incubators, Hannum said there are “bootcampesque” companies that help startups get ready for funding.
And if you already have a startup, Hannum said you’ll benefit from knowing how a VC like her could be meeting 7 e-commerce companies doing the same thing. She stressed, “You need to find out who else is in your space and make your startup 10 times better.”
It’s certainly what most VCs will tell you these days.