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As a serial entrepreneur, I learned a lot of lessons from things that didn’t work. These lessons later on shaped my ideas on what would be needed to build a successful startup company. When I became a VC, I realized that these same lessons could be applied to helping evaluate the many businesses that I was getting to see. Whilst the following criteria are by no means a guarantee of success, or the only criteria that you should think about, I do believe they can be very helpful. So in no particular order, here is a list of six questions that I learned to ask to validate my own startup ideas, that now shape what I look for in an investment. I hope this list will help you validate your idea: 1.  An extraordinary entrepreneur with unique insight Does the entrepreneur show the extraordinary drive, energy, passion, and commitment to take on the tough task of starting a com... (more)

Google’s Stock to Split 2 for 1

Rather than pay a cash dividend, which is culturally repugnant to so-called growth stocks, Google said late Thursday, after posting better-than-expected results, that it would repay its stockholders, who must be dizzy from all its up and down movement, by giving them more non-voting stock, effectively a two-for-one tax-free stock split. It will create a “new class C stock” that trades under a different ticker symbol. In a letter on the Google web site Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin restated their control over the massive company because they, along with chairman Eric Schmidt, own the only real voting stock, which won’t be part of the split. They also hold a lot of the non-voting Class A stock and even as Class B holders will get the new class C stock. Page said in passing that Google isn’t planning any big acquisition soon. Google has its eye on Apple’... (more)

Millions Traded in Penny Stocks Makes New Investors "Weak in the Knees"

SEFE, Inc (OTCBB: SEFE) and Sunpeaks Ventures Inc (OTCBB: SNPK) combined yesterday for over $35 million worth of trades on their penny stocks. Both SNPK and SEFE are well known in the trading community to be pump and dump scams, yet trading in these penny stocks, although risky, can be profitable if you time the entry and exit correctly. Trading and investing in penny stocks are two of the most rewarding and gratifying accomplishments a person can participate in. Each provides you with the opportunity to increase your financial security from the comfort of your home, office and even your smartphone. With enough patience and due diligence, it is even possible to become a consistent money-maker, allowing you to become a full time penny stock trader. Many novice investors believe that in order to be considered a “professional trader,” you have to have a fancy college ... (more)

The Fast, Explosive Growth of Crowdfunding Today

Crowdfunding represents a unique form of fundraising that would only become truly effective with the help of the Internet and the ability to connect with thousands of people at the same time with an investment idea. The effect is simple and similar to how ants work. A single ant can’t do much; it can only carry its own body weight and a bit more. However, thousands of ants working together simultaneously can produce some amazing results. The same idea is how crowdfunding works, and it is growing exponentially as a source of capital raising. In 2011 crowdfunding as an investment tool generated $2.7 billion, a sizeable amount of financial support by any measurement. Now experts are expecting that same support to almost double in the current calendar year through December 2013. At first, crowdfunding was relegated to entertaining software ideas for apps, games, andcrow... (more)