How Angel Investors Can Assess and Neutralize Risks?

 For an angel investor, especially a serial one, it is not always easy to understand all the nuances of a project except when the project centers on his/her core competencies. However, even in this concatenation of circumstances, it is necessary to be greatly aware of all current trends, adjacent markets, hidden and evident competitors and other important things
Any wrong evaluation can lead to a need to “re-invent the wheel”, or to underestimate the necessary resources

 How can we correctly evaluate technological prospects, implementation opportunities and corresponding project risks? Let’s take a closer look:

 The project, which is offered to the angel investors for investment, can position itself as a unique and highly competitive start-up. However, this competitor-analysis may turn out to be incomplete by mistake – or even by intention. The competitive advantages indicated by the entrepreneur may not contain any real benefit to the end user. The angel needs to be knowledgeable of the project area of expertise and have a general insight of its industry; the angel also needs to consider timing, patents and other limitations. An incorrect approach to the evaluation can lead to a technological non-realization of the project, unnecessary extended deadlines for entering the market or for making an exit, financial problems, patent disputes or the unsuitability of the technology itself.

Unsuccessful project example: A service for teaching students (elective course).

It has a unique methodology and great user reviews. One would think that its attractiveness is practically assured, but during the course of the detailed analysis, it turns out that the vending of licenses to schools can hardly pay for itself because there are many legislative restrictions presented, and, all in all, this process can prove to be barely cost-effective. Thus, even when the project becomes profitable, it is still extremely difficult to scale.

Successful project example: A service that can find a professional for swift legal assistance.

The service has a small user base, but also a sufficient number of professionals that provide their services, and a stable demand from the market. The project is at the point of break-even; its positive economic situation shows that investing in the expansion of the client base can allow scaling a profitable project.

How to choose a good project for investment?

It is important to understand the basics. If you are not experienced investor or not experienced in tech and startups investments, you should consult with an expert or invest together with other Angel investors or professional body.

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The writer is Igor Ryabenky, Managing Partner of AltaIR Capital

AltaIR Capital has founded AltaClub  a co-investment platform designed to allow any accredited investor to search through carefully selected startup ventures invested in by AltaIR.

 

 

Start-Ups! Is LinkedIn better for you?

 

While meeting with potential customers, my first questions “What do you want to achieve? What are your goals?”

The answers vary, and split among the types of services:

Some customers want a simple site while others want a flashy image site. Some are working towards B2C, and it is appropriate for them to promote themselves through Google and Facebook and there are those whose target audiences are businesses (B2B) and the natural recommendation is to work through LinkedIn.

The business network, LinkedIn, has 500 million members worldwide with close to 1.5 million people in Israel. This includes CEOs, VPs, senior managers and decision makers in tens of thousands of leading organizations throughout Israel.

Surveys show that LinkedIn has become an effective source of leads, marketing and sales, and recruiting employees, especially those operating in the B2B arena.

The business benefits of LinkedIn are enormous and include:

  •          Locating new customers around the world in a focused manner.
  •          Maintaining and expanding the network of professional connections in a rapid manner.
  •          Branding the organization and services that the company offers.
  •          Building personal and professional branding.
  •          Identifying business partners, suppliers and investors.

However, the real value is in groups. Groups with the people who are connected to you and not necessarily following the company page or on the CEO profile.

The value in LinkedIn is divided into two:

  1. Establishing the infrastructure and positioning the company as a subject matter expert
  2. Creating personal relationships with potential clients to coordinate meetings.

First part: The process to achieve this:

  1. Upgrade Profile CEO / VP.
  2. Update Company Page.
  3. Publishing content in the profile, company page and groups.

Content is usually the “Achilles’ heel” among the customers, and here comes to play the experience of companies that specialize in the subject and “help” the customer to find information that exists but has not been used:

  •          Original articles
  •          Articles in the field are relevant
  •          Photos from events
  •          Photos with customers
  •          Customer Stories
  •          Customer Testimonials
  •          Video Clips (e.g. YouTube)

After upgrading the profile and company page, people can easily identify you while you post or join groups make people identify you as an expert in the field and a wave of company requests begins, and at the same time we turn to people who we marked before as potential and ask them for membership. Each approved membership request opens up dozens or hundreds of potential new contacts.

These actions increase the circle of contacts and actually bring us to the second part of work in LinkedIn.

The second part is a personal request to the people you want to meet with.

Now you’ll understand how it looks on the other side: Customers / Investors / Partners / Distributors have been receiving from you articles and information as mentioned above.

If there is a need, and you contact them with a request to meet, the door will open easily.

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You are welcome to contact Ronen@sivan-kidum.com to build together your marketing suite.

The article was written by Ronen Sivan, Founder & CEO of www.sivan-kidum.com

Tel: + 972-526-121-999

 

A Unique Delegation of High-Tech Investors and Startup Entrepreneurs are Jetting off to Mauritius !

Brooks-Keret Financial Management, in partnership with Asa Extreme travels, is flying its first group of trailblazers out to the idyllic island in the Indian Ocean in September 2017.

The program includes:

  • Business meetings
  • Engaging professional lectures
  • Meetings with local investors, business figures, potential customers and more!

Together with lots of fun!

  • Beginners’ and advanced kite-surfing classes with qualified instructors
  • Luxury all-inclusive hotel by the beach
  • Cruises and swimming with dolphins
  • Trips to the jungle
  • Stand-up paddle surfing and much more…

MAURITIUS

 

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part time cfo services

Lighthouse – Through The Eyes of an Elastic Entrepreneur

By Shahar Larry, Tinker at Lighthouse Community for Entrepreneurs

Lighthouse was a huge surprise. It may sound melodramatic, but I think it was one of the biggest surprises in my professional life.

I’m serious.

I met the Lighthouse team almost a year ago, around May of 2016. I thought they were a bit crazy. These guys, had a hunch and like good entrepreneurs they simply built it. They showed me around 1500 sq/m spread over two floors of offices and workspace and hardwood floors. The space was empty – lots of chairs and no one to sit on them.

They had an idea. A concept. Raw and naïve. They wanted to “do something for entrepreneurs so that they can really succeed”. This is what they said to me, verbatim. They wanted it to be a place that really cares, that gives something more than just a desk, a chair and a kitchen. A place in which they can share their learning and experience and significantly improve the success potential of startups.

I try not to be cynical. I asked, with googly eyes: “guys, everyone says that…how is Lighthouse different?” We were trying to put into words what the founders of Lighthouse – entrepreneurs themselves – felt in their gut was so badly needed.

And then we found it.

We realized that Lighthouse wasn’t about the space, it wasn’t about the facilities, the tables, chairs of ping-pong table. Lighthouse wasn’t about the services it provided, the mentors, the support or the access to funders.

Lighthouse was about me – us – you. It was about the entrepreneur and their changing needs. It was about listening – for the first god-damn time – instead of pushing programs and tips and advices and lectures down our throat. That was it. A simple concept executed brilliantly.

Over the past year, I have been working from Lighthouse and I have seen its magic. The Lighthouse team was smart to cherry-pick the startups that joined – ensuring the place had a strong common culture of…well…entrepreneuring… week by week the place filled up and the combination of tailored services, of support that listens first and talks later, created an atmosphere I have never seen or experienced before.

I think in the future all startup growth platforms will look like Lighthouse – flexible and turned on their head – putting the entrepreneurs in the center and adapting to their changing needs and circumstances. Makes sense.

Click here to learn more about the personalized startup platform of Lighthouse

Contact Lighthouse ravit@lighthouse-il.com

Enel & Brooks-Keret Financial Management Sign Start-Up Scouting MoU

Rome, Tel Aviv, February  2017 – Enel and Brooks-Keret Financial Management have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will see the two companies work together to scout high-tech and start-up businesses working in Israel’s Silicon Wadi that will have the chance to work with Enel to develop their technologies while being supported by one of the country’s leading financial management company.

The MoU enables Enel to tap Brooks-Keret’s stable of over 300 high-tech companies and start-ups, expanding the pool of tech businesses available to bring into the Group’s universe. Enel will search for companies working on technologies relevant to its strategic priorities and help them to develop their solutions, potentially recruiting them subsequently as suppliers. Brooks-Keret meanwhile will have the chance to provide their tailored financial solutions to the start-ups Enel is already working with or will work with in the future.

Brooks-Keret has been a leading financial management company in Israel for over two decades, providing outsourced CFO services and customised financial solutions to hundreds of hi-tech and start-up companies from a broad range of sectors that include telecoms and networking, information and cyber security, and cloud computing. It helps fledgling companies with both overall financial management strategy and specific activities like bookkeeping, payroll and US accounting.
Israel is a focal point for tech innovation, and the MoU signed by Enel and Brooks-Keret comes after the launch in July of the Group’s first Innovation Hub in Tel Aviv. Each year the Tel Aviv Enel Innovation Hub aims to scout up to around 20 high-potential Israeli start-ups and offer them a dedicated scale up support program, as well as holding 8-10 bootcamps for which Enel delegations travel to Israel for two-three days to meet up to 25 selected start-ups.
The Tel Aviv Enel Innovation Hub has introduced the 50 most relevant, innovative and interesting start-ups to representatives from each of Enel’s Business Lines and Countries, already established its first partnership since setting up six months ago, with cybersecurity developer Aperio Systems operating at the Hub since December. Four other bootcamps, focusing on agritech, renewable energy, electric mobility and blockchain technologies, are scheduled for between now and April.

Why do I need a Founders Agreement? I know my Co-Founders

When you kick-off your new venture you should not forget to formalize your relationship with your co-founders.  It is important to make sure that you and your partners understands each other’s expectations, as “good fences make good neighbors”.  It is also important to deal with some important legal aspects of the venture, that must be dealt with as early as possible.

Setting Expectations.  Generally, each founder brings to the new venture a set of skills (technical, business, managerial and so on), expectations, a specific financial/personal situation and an ego.  The Founders Agreement creates the arena in which the co-founders must discuss these issues –

  • Who gets what percentage of the startup?
  • What will be the role to be performed by each of the founders (CEO, CTO, VP BizDev, etc.) so as to ensure success of the startup (ignoring personal aspirations and ego considerations is probably the best recipe for success);
  • What is the time contribution expected of each of the Founders until salaries can be paid? What to do if despite the commitment a founder cannot perform the way he promised – is reverse-vesting the right answer?
  • What if the founders discover that they cannot work as a teams – is the right solution to buy a founder out? Or maybe give all the right to continue separately?
  • How will the startup be financed in its early stages?

 

Legal Aspects.  The main legal aspects that should find their way into your Founders Agreement are:

  • Provisions relating to the future establishment of a limited liability company that will operate the venture and various matters such as board composition, convening of various meetings, preemptive rights, first refusal rights and so on;
  • Assignment of all intellectual property and know-how to the new company once it is incorporated so as to ensure that none of the founders has a personal claim to the intellectual property  and know-how of the venture.  Another benefit of a timely assignment is that future investors will be happy to find out that your venture is being run in an orderly manner and an important milestone has been taken care of early in the life of your venture.

 

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The article was written by Amir M. Gruber, Attorneys @ Law in cooperation with Gissin & Co., Advocates

Tel: +972-72-2223111, Visit us at: www.amglaw.co.il

 

Financial Services in Israel

Do you need to travel the globe for work?

 

If the answer is yes, then we are sure that you have gone thru the same procedure almost everyone else goes through. Call up your travel agent, get a few flight & hotel options to choose from, end up closing the flight tickets with the agent but go online to close the hotels due to price. Imagine a service that can provide you with the same service and flexibility as an agency as well as competitive online pricing, all under one roof…

Brooks-Keret and BII Travels are cooperating together to offer exactly that with corporate travel services; Hotels, Flights & car rentals, directly offered to Brooks-Keret’s wide range of customers. Whether you are a large organization or small start-up, we have the right travel solution for you!

BII Travels is offering SMBs & non-corporate companies, a complete end-to-end corporate travel solution including Flights, hotels and car rentals. This service and platform is designed to work specifically with companies that travel often and currently use either online solutions, travel agencies or direct hotel bookings.

Our goal is to constantly provide you with the best competitive pricing so to keep your travel expense at its lowest. Not only will you receive the best competitive price when booking, but with your hotel bookings, we will continue to monitor and optimise the price, and if we find it cheaper, we will re-book it and save you even more…

Connected to 60 global wholesalers serving more than 850,000 Hotel properties

  • One system that manages all bookings & vouchers for your employees
  • Monthly reporting and invoicing so no need for CC on bookings or payment per hotel
  • Hotel rebooking technology for additional savings
  • No commitments, no cost to use, no min fees

To give us a try, all you need to do is send your travel plans (destination, dates, budget and service you are interested in) to: book@biitravels.com, and we will do the rest…

 

 

Are you having a hard time finding the funding or talent for your business needs?

 

People are everything, and as a startup you must move fast and bring the best talent you can to outperform your competition. Yet the best people do cost accordingly.
As a serial entrepreneur, in most of my companies we were targeting customers in the US. I found it very challenging to find good sales / BizDev experts that can actually deliver. Adding that to the high cost of such a professional, is almost impossible to do with only seed investment money. When trying to combine it with equity compensation I faced huge legal costs and tax complexity.

After facing this challenge of finding the best experts, service providers and advisors over and over again, we solved it once and for all by building EquityX.

EquityX gives you access to the world’s best experts marketplace, with a plethora of talents you can’t afford or can’t compensate with cash. The EquityX marketplace allows startups to open a pool-based USD that will be converted to stock options at the next funding round (like a convertible loan, but for expert services). It then allows you to use the pool money to buy services in micro transactions.

Expert services without draining precious cash resources – With a USD worth pool serving as an extra funding, you can now buy services from the experts you like in our marketplace or bring your own.

A one-time setup of system and approval of pool by board – The board needs to approve the pool once and the startups lawyer needs to review the agreement with EquityX once. After this is done, the startup can use EquityX to find and engage with as many different high quality experts on the marketplace.

Talent You Can’t Find Anywhere Else – Our top notch experts work for equity rather than cash, which makes them much more committed to your company’s success.

EquityX is a marketplace for quality startups and experts to find each other and make equity compensation fair, accurate, safe and simple to use. We welcome startups that have raised seed money and more, to join our marketplace.

_________________________________________

Ran Oz, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman at EquityX

How to Easily Manage your US Startup from Tel-Aviv?

If you’re ready for your next step and decided to hit the US market, here are some tips for a smooth start:

  • Create your circle of trust – you’re about to get into a whole new world of regulatory requirements and you need the best advisors to walk you through it.
  • You need Israeli and US CPA’s as your Israeli one won’t always be aware of the different tax requirements.
  • Same goes for attorneys. Most likely your Israeli business attorney won’t be able to help with US employment agreements etc.
  • Get familiar with the different taxes – federal, state and local corporate taxes, sales and use tax, franchise tax and many others. Make sure your business structure and intercompany relationships are structured correctly or the best of your business requirements. On the other hand, don’t be discouraged over tax issues and don’t let it affect your business expenditure.
  • Incorporating in Delaware doesn’t mean you don’t need to register in other states. Ask your US CPA or attorney about nexus laws. There are different nexus laws – corporate tax nexus could differ from sales tax nexus, so make sure you’re in compliance.
  • Meet the deadlines. US authorities are very strict when it comes to late filing penalties, make sure you avoid them. Late filing a federal tax return of a US company with foreign ownership relations automatically calls for a $10,000 penalty. File an amended return if need be, but meet the deadline.
  • HR in the US is completely different from Israel. Enroll with a payroll service provider that offers a full HR service package. They will make sure you’re in compliance with all labor laws and regulations and will set up and administer all benefit plans for you.
  • Have you been doing business in the US via your Israeli company? Ask your US CPA about protective filing. It won’t put you under the IRS’s radar but it will help you lower your risk of potential US tax liabilities.
  • Were you able to secure your first order? Congratulations! Have your US CPA prepare a sales tax matrix for you demonstrating sales tax liability in all applicable states. Ask them if any click-through laws apply to you.
  • Make sure you’re properly covered insurance-wise. Your umbrella coverage via the Israeli company may not always cover your US business insurance needs.
  • Open your mail. The majority of the notices you get from the different authorities require immediate attention.

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The article was written by Ayelet Shtaub , US Department Manager at Brooks-Keret Financial Management .
The US department provides an extensive range of solutions for start-up companies operating in the US. We make it easier for our customers to manage their business processes in the US by providing: american bookkeeping services on a relevant financial software, enabling better cash flow management, handling payroll management and working together with the company’s CPA to ensure legal and financial compliance.

 

 

How Branding Can Help Start Ups?

The time men spend in trying to impress others they could spend in doing the things by which others would be impressed

At what stage should startup companies begin to contemplate branding?

From our experience, startup entrepreneurs almost always apply to a branding company in the last or final stages of product development, a mere second before the launch stage.

Why?

Most growth hackers that lead startup companies are fantastic technologists who tend to rely (excessively) on digital swiftness and optimal utilization of social, marketing and interactive platforms at their disposal.

However, in the real and sometimes cruel world, of the startup industry and the race for financing or recognition, clearly forming correct branding strategy tells the story and provides added value to company executives as well as its customers.

Why do startup companies still refrain from early branding processes? Because…

*             They believe the process is too expensive

*             They rely on their social-digital capabilities (“if the worst comes to the worst” they employ a social media manager by outsourcing).

*             They fear time and energy guzzling thought processes.

*             They believe branding processes are irrelevant at the initial stages.

*             Since they come from the world of precise science, startup company executives want measurable results of the type branding processes are unable to provide in initial stages. Etcetera.

So when should one really consider branding?

“The truth is that startup companies need branding from the moment they begin to search for financing sources for their idea, as creative or unrealistic as it may be,” says Eric Pinkert, CEO of branding company BrandCulture in LA. “Everyone is aware,” he adds, “that a fantastic application or awesome product is not enough to give the world the tidings.”

Thus for example, Pinkert advises startup companies regarding early branding, and first of all the company staff: name, job, hobbies, interesting anecdotes etc. With a photograph, naturally (preferably smiling, with the family dog or in the gym).

These things appeal to the investor population that looks for trust components in young companies and of course – personal connection. And when the above are properly presented – the road to whipping out the wallet is fast and easy.

Startup branding – how should it be done?

Either early or later branding – the way to winning branding is full of good intentions and horrible mistakes. A lot has been said about how branding is beyond a logo and how much it plays a significant and critical part in a brand’s success. How do we cross the river of opportunities safely?

* You have a story, the world should hear it

Since the company has a product and since the world has to hear of it – the branding strategy concentrates all operations in structured order and provides the “unimpeachable source” of all marketing processes to come from now to eternity.

This strategy includes description of the company, product, its properties, affects, objectives and measures and all the ways required to realize them.

 * Where do you live?

 This is the time to roll up one’s sleeves and study – the competition, target audience, preferences, wishes, alternatives at its disposal, pluses and minuses, strengths and drawbacks, business opportunities and the things one must avoid at any price.

 There is no price on information and no limit to the great value quality market study can provide.

 * Elucidate, be precise, repeat your actions

 If you cannot convey a sharp message containing benefits, as well as differentiation from other products – why should they choose you?

 Correct branding identifies the unique benefit you are offering, will “lock down” on it and spread the word. This will be done by conveying a sharp, precise message, noise free, free of copycats and forgeries.

 * And now we can go to the logo (and several other things)

 Think of the APPLE icon, perhaps even the Orange innocent orange rectangle – is there a more venerable objective than a familiar, catchy, and well identifiable logo? Your visual presence is significant.

 Selection of the color palate, font, business cards, graphics – they all play a role. When the latter are linked with your unique style of transmitting verbal messages, the road to transmitting the brand to customers who have never heard of it will be particularly efficient.

 

At the beginning of the road or further down – this is the way to create a winning brand >

 ___________________________

You are welcome to contact us and think together how to leverage your brand, at: michal@titan.co.il

http://www.titan.co.il/