I’m an investor and backer in Upstart, a service that helps young people finance their dreams by letting them raise capital in exchange for a small share of their future income.
I had a great time participating in a recent Upstart Google Hangout talking with current Upstarts and other up-and-comers, and taking their questions. (Upstart also has a detailed post about the hangout.)
You can see the video here (it runs about 55 minutes).
Some of things we talked about were:
how to know how much money you need to raise, how to get the best terms, and how to find and land the right investors
the three most common mistakes that entrepreneurs make when raising money
seed or traditional venture capital ―which to pursue?
the most important characteristics and skills for an entrepreneur
my personal criteria as an angel investor
what I like most about being an Upstart backer
what advice I’d give to my 20-year-old self
I’m a *huge* fan of Upstart. I’ve backed more than 30 Upstarts ― some of whom have already begun paying back ― and a number of my Upstarts have already gone on to raise money from institutional venture capitalists such as Google Ventures. But more importantly, my Upstarts have given me incredible payback in sharing their enthusiasm and allowing me to help them bring their dreams to fruition. (Check out this success story about my Upstart Nathan Sharp, a fellow Tuck alum and co-founder of Nifti.)
Upstart fills a gap at the earliest stages of the start-up financing food chain: providing modest amounts of capital but also advice, involvement, and introductions to young people with the risk profiles to be entrepreneurs.
Thanks to all the participants for the opportunity to discuss!