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Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Tips for Entrepreneurs Pitching Seed Equity Ventures

Todd Crosland, CEO and Founder of Seed Equity Ventures, which sponsors our work, is a Finra-registered broker dealer that provides investment banking services, especially capital raising, for startups.

Todd says that the firm reviewed about 600 submissions in 2015 and put up eight for funding on the company’s international crowdfunding platform. In other words, the firm can be as selective as any venture fund in the country.

Today, I asked Todd to explain the Seed Equity Ventures investment criteria so interested entrepreneurs can tune their submissions before sending them in. Here’s what he gave me:

  1. Proven Management. The management team is one of the most important considerations we look at when evaluating companies. In particular, we look for solid founders that have a proven track record of building, scaling, and eventually selling the company or taking it through an IPO. The maturity and experience of a founding team is essential in building a company that will be sustainable, not only from a cash flow perspective, but also from the perspective of its corporate culture. We also look for founders that are enthusiastic and optimistic, while simultaneously understanding the challenges that every young startup faces.
  2. The Market. We look for companies that are competing in markets of at least $1B. We especially look for companies that are looking to disrupt a large market that has not seen much innovation.
  3. The Business Model. Companies must demonstrate that their business model has been well thought-out, with at least minimal validation, is scalable, and is sustainable in various market conditions.
  4. Traction. In general, a company must have traction and growth in either the number of users, revenue, or both. Significant month over month growth is a key indicator.
  5. Exit Strategy. We look for investments that have several potential exits. We specifically look for investments that have a potential exist between two and five years after the initial investment. Potential exits include a sale, merger, spin-off, or IPO. Our team has previously founded, sold, and purchased companies, and we will use this experience to help our portfolio companies find the best possible exit.

On Thursday, March 17, 2016 at 4:00 Eastern, Todd will join me for a live discussion about these investment criteria and how entrepreneurs can make an optimal pitch. Tune in here then to watch the interview live. Post questions in the comments below or tweet questions before the interview to @devindthorpe.

You can download an audio podcast here or subscribe via iTunes.

More about Seed Equity Ventures:

Twitter: @getseedequity

Seed Equity Ventures is a registered broker dealer with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a member of both FINRA and SIPC, providing investment banking services to startups and growth companies from around the world. Seed Equity believes the best entrepreneurs in the world should be funded, no matter who they are or where they live. Investors throughout the world, should have a voice to choose what the future should look like. They should be able to support entrepreneurs who will build that future. Seed Equity was founded to provide growth equity to entrepreneurs and their startups in exciting industries globally.

Todd Crosland, Seed Equity Ventures

Todd Crosland, Seed Equity Ventures

Todd’s bio:

Twitter: @ToddCrosland

A seasoned entrepreneur, Mr. Crosland has demonstrated the ability to build successful teams and companies. Mr. Crosland was the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Interbank FX, LLC (“IBFX”; www.IBFX.com), from 2001 until he sold the firm in 2011. IBFX was a Futures Commission Merchant and Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer registered with the U.S. Commodities Futures Trading Commission. IBFX was also authorized and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

IBFX was a worldwide leader in retail Forex trading services. IBFX offered individual traders, fund managers and institutional customer’s proprietary technology and tools to trade Forex online. IBFX saw Global customers grow to over 40,000, in more than 140 countries. Annual trading volume reached $750 billion. IBFX had 120 employees and offices in Beijing, China; Seoul, South Korea; Sydney, Australia; Salt Lake City, Utah and London, England.

IBFX and Mr. Crosland have received many awards, including: The Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and numerous Inc. 500 awards.

Mr. Crosland holds a B.A. in Business (Business Finance) from the University of Utah. He also currently holds the following Securities Licenses: Series 7, 24, and 63 and previously held series 3 and 30 Licenses.

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Devin D. Thorpe

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