Jason Calacanis and a rotating group of guest experts bring you this weekly take on the best, worst, most outrageous and interesting stories from the world of entrepreneurship. Calacanis, a podcasting pioneer, gives you an insider’s look at what’s happening in the tech industry with his trademark blunt style and good humor. Looking to start your own company? Need strategies for improving your business or motivating your team? Just want to catch up on what’s happening in Silicon Valley and beyond? Your journey begins here.
With several entrepreneurs in our ranks, we understand what goes into building a business. It’s much more than turning an idea into revenues. It takes preparation, planning, sacrifice, and adaptability. And once you’ve given everything you have, occasionally the tide changes and you have to re-think your entire strategy. With hundreds of successful startups as clients, we thrive on turning an initial consultation into a successful, long-term relationship.
So, give us a call and let’s get started.
Startup Starter Pack
Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur with a game-changing idea or just a dedicated Silicon Valley viewer who just wants to understand the ups and downs of Pied Piper, we’ve got resources to help you get there. Read More
VW Startup Lifecycle Infographic
Welcome to VW’s Startup Lifecycle Infographic! The purpose of this infographic is to help you identify where your startup is, or what should be happening at different stages. We’ll walk you through the five stages a startup goes through – … Read More
The Startup Visa – International Entrepreneur Rule
The International Entrepreneur Rule applies to foreign entrepreneurs looking to build their company in the U.S. and American startups looking to bring a key foreign cofounder stateside. Read More
Getting to “No.”
One of the biggest frustrations we hear from our clients about the capital raise process is that VCs are non-responsive or unwilling to make a firm investment decision. To help with this, I reached out to several VCs whom we see on a regular basis to ask for their input. Read More
Looking for More Information?
Here are a few of our blogs to get you started:
- Where every small business & startup should begin
- Startup Pitch Tips (Part 1)
- Starting a New Business? Here’s What They Haven’t Told You (Part 1)
- Does Your Idea Really Need an NDA?
- Why your Startup or Small Business Should (likely) Be An LLC
- The Company Agreement (Operating Agreement) Explained
- Which insurance does my startup need?
- Hiring Your First Employees
- Are You Ready to Talk to Angel Investors?
- Startup Cents: Planning for Your First Year of Legal Fees
- What’s the difference between a copyright, a patent and a trademark?
View all VW Startup Articles View all VW Blog Posts
Articles We Like
No ExitNeed inspiration? Here is an inspiring story about one startup's fight to survive.Full Article
Thoughts on how to structure your option planThis post presents recommendations for how tech startups should structure employee stock incentive programs.Full Article
What is the most used scam in Venture Capital?As David S. Rose points out, the VC world is a collection of interconnected small, reputation-based communities where news travels fast and everyone knows each other. So the opportunity for outright fraud and fakery is small. The most serious misdeeds in the venture world come from the outer fringes of individual angel investors, or people who falsely claim to be VC. Full Article
What you need to know about startup boardsThis post offers some advice to founders and CEOs seeking to learn more about their boards, as well as to people who have been invited to sit on a board.Full Article
500 Startups is an early-stage venture fund based in Silicon Valley and one of the top accelerators in the country.
AVC is a blog written by Fred Wilson. Wilson has been a venture capitalist for 30 years, and our startup attorneys greatly value reading his posts.
Blossom Street Ventures Blog
Blossom Street Ventures (formerly DAN Fund) is a venture capital firm in Dallas co-founded by Kevin Vela, Vela Wood’s managing partner. The blog provides frequent posts with valuable venture knowledge from Blossom Street Ventures’ CFA, Sammy Abdullah.
Both Sides of the Table
Both Sides of the Table is a blog written by Mark Suster, an entrepreneur and venture capitalist.
Co-Founder Equity Calculator
Foundrs is a co-founder equity calculator. Note that this should be used as a tool and not as an answer.
FeldThoughts is a blog written by Brad Feld. Feld has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur for nearly 30 years.
Free Small Business Advice
SCORE offers the nation’s largest network of free expert business mentors. If you’re just starting a business, SCORE mentors can provide the practical action plan, education, and tools you need to open your doors and establish a customer base. Already own a business? Volunteer mentors can help identify ways to increase profit, improve employee and customer satisfaction, and achieve work/life balance.
Join more than 100,000 business professionals reading the Mattermark Daily newsletter. A curated daily digest of timely, must-read posts by investors and operators.
NVCA (National Venture Capital Association)
As the voice of the U.S. venture capital community, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) empowers its members and the entrepreneurs they fund by advocating for policies that encourage innovation and reward long-term investment. As the venture community’s flagship trade association, the NVCA serves as the definitive resource for venture capital data and unites its member firms through a full range of professional services.
The PitchBook Newsletter includes analyses on relevant industry trends in M&A, private equity, and venture capital.
a16z is produced by Andreessen Horowitz (a.k.a “a16z”), a VC firm in Silicon Valley. It discusses tech and culture trends, news, and the future — especially as ‘software eats the world.’ It features industry experts, business leaders, and other interesting thinkers and voices from around the world.
Podcast: Built to Sell
John Warrillow, the author of Built to Sell, asks entrepreneurs who have recently sold a business why they decided to sell their business, what they did right, and what mistakes they made through the process of exiting their business.
Podcast: How I Built This
How I Built This is a NPR podcast about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built. Each episode is a narrative journey marked by triumphs, failures, serendipity and insight — told by the founders of some of the world’s best known companies and brands.
Podcast: Startup School Radio
Aaron Harris, a partner at Y Combinator, gets stories and practical advice from founders and investors. They share how they got started, what went wrong, what surprised them, and what happened as their companies grew.
Podcast: Traction: How Startups Start | NextView Ventures
In this story-driven show from tech VC NextView, tech startup founders, executives, journalists, and investors share how they gained initial traction against the odds. Every startup hears that they should do things that don’t scale — scrappy, atypical, whatever-it-takes things. Traction asks a simple question: What ARE those things? With a unique sound that avoids the boring, typical talking head format, Traction features some of the most interesting early-stage stories, tactics, and theories from some of the best entrepreneurs today.
Podcast: The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch
Prominent investors share what they’re looking for in startups, discuss easily actionable tips and tricks to increase your chances of getting funded, and provide their analysis of the current technology market.
Podcast Episode: The Twenty Minute VC: How Both Founders & GPs Should Construct Their Pitch
This is a great episode to listen to for pitch tips. VC Brian Ascher discusses the most common mistakes that entrepreneurs make in pitches, as well as how pitches should be structured, how decks should start, why a deck should not start with the team or the origin story, and whether a deck should include the amount being raised.
Quora is a great site with plenty of Question & Answer articles and discussions regarding Angel & Venture Capital financing, as well as LLC/small business topics.
Series Seed Financing Documents
Series Seed Documents are open-source, stripped-down term sheets — authored by Fenwick & West attorney Ted Wang with input from Andreeesen Horowitz, First Round Capital, True Ventures, Charles River Ventures, Ron Conway, Mike Maples, and several other heavy-hitting seed investors — designed to make entrepreneurs’ first, small financing event as fast, efficient and cost-effective as possible.
Silicon Hills Lawyer
Silicon Hills Lawyer is a blog written by José Ancer, an Austin startup lawyer who helps startups and founders navigate through startup law and venture capital.
Startup Company Lawyer
Startup Company Lawyer is a blog written by Yokum Taku. Taku is a partner at Wilson Sonsini, and just about every startup/VC attorney we know regularly reads Taku’s blog on his website.
Startup Growth Calculator
This tool calculates how much funding your startup needs. Assuming your expenses are constant and your revenue is growing, it shows when you’ll reach profitability and how much capital you’ll burn through before then.
Startup Lawyer is a blog written by Ryan Roberts. Roberts is an outstanding startup attorney, and he regularly writes insightful content on his startup blog. He also has a thorough and helpful glossary on the site.
Startup Lifecycle Infographic
VW’s Startup Lifecycle Infographic is an infographic to help you identify where your startup is, or what should be happening at different stages (Development, Launch, Early, Acceleration, and Growth/Maturity). We’ll give you an idea of where your startup should be when it comes to your product, time to/in market, funding, marketing, revenues, legal work, cash/runway, employees & contractors, investors, and office space.
Startup Starter Pack
Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur with a game-changing idea or just a dedicated Silicon Valley viewer who just wants to understand the ups and downs of Pied Piper, we’ve compiled the best resources – websites, podcasts, shows, books, etc. – to help you get there.
Stay on top of the latest breaking tech news! They’ll send you all the news and analysis you need — and nothing more — with their daily and weekly newsletters. Choose which newsletters you’d like to receive.
Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist
As each new generation of entrepreneurs emerges, there is a renewed interest in how venture capital deals come together. Yet there is little reliable information focused on venture capital deals. Nobody understands this better than authors Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson. For more than twenty years, they’ve been involved in hundreds of venture capital financings, and now, with the Second Edition of Venture Deals, they continue to share their experiences in this field with you.
Check out our podcasts to keep your startup knowledge sharp. In Three Things, we ask leaders in the startup community to share three things they wish they would’ve known when starting a business. In Silicon Valley, Kevin and Aaron review each episode of HBO’s Silicon Valley series and tell you how it applies to your startup. And in Office Hours, we talk about issues related to small businesses and startups.
Who’s Drafting Your Pitch Deck?
As a firm specializing in startups, we see a lot of pitch decks at Vela Wood, and clients often come to us looking for help with their presentations. The following thoughts and links should provide some basic insight into how to produce an effective pitch deck that cleanly and accurately reflects your company and its potential.
- Harvard Office of Technology Startup Guide
- 500 Startups Summary of KISS (Keep It Simple Security) Documents
- 500 Startups KISS: Debt Version
- 500 Startups KISS: Equity Version
- Founders Workbench
- Free Startup Docs: How Much Equity Should Advisors Get?
- Series Seed
- Y Combinator SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity) Primer
- Y Combinator SAFE Cap, no Discount
- Y Combinator SAFE Discount, no Cap
- Y Combinator SAFE Cap and Discount
- Y Combinator SAFE MFN, no Cap, no Discount
- Y Combinator SaaS Service Order Template