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Episode Info: Venture Capital, Angel Investors... or bootstrapping... MONEY is oxygen for a startup.But how does a founder decide which oxygen mask is best for their business? I have some Andelicious Advice to help you choose the best funding option… and oxygen… for your startup.When I’m gardening, driving into Boston, or doing household chores, I love tuning into podcasts.The other day I had two back-to-back podcasts that got me thinking about the question – which oxygen does your business need to soar?The first podcast I listened to was Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn… and he was interviewing Ben Chestnut, the co-founder of MailChimp. They were focusing on how MailChimp grew without any investment capital. They completely bootstrapped the business. Throughout the interview, Reid was highlighting the importance of Venture Capital to provide rocket fuel for a company's growth. Given his podcast title, Masters of Scale, he clearly is all about scaling a business.His final words of advice: "while I greatly admire the tenacity of Ben and everyone who bootstraps, my hope for each of you listening is that you give a thought to what investment might bring you: More speed. More support. And yes, more on-target advice."After listening to Reid's episode with Ben, I popped up the next item on my listening queue – and it was Gary Vee. Who just happened to be chatting about the exact opposite tactic. Bootstrapping your business. His adamant advice: Take the long road (like Mailchimp) and keep your company employee and customer centric. Yes, it will take longer and yes, you will work harder and have missed opportunities due to learning cureve challenges. Let’s face it… Those who can't raise capital are forced to make money.Which oxygen to choose is not an easy decision.What I've seen and learned after 4 businesses of my own and mentoring clients is that too much capital can mask holes in your business. Founders don’t see problems surface soon enough, and they often over hire after receiving a cash infusion.Being forced to keep operations lean results, IMHO, in digging deeper into creative solutions for tough problems; being more nimble and able to pivot faster; and it keeps the company culture on the employees and the customers, not the investors and their agenda to meet their portfolio’s ROI.Here’s the scoop about VCs – they do a terrific job at raising big funds - $30-$100 million and more. Their customer are the investors in their fund. They need to keep their funders happy. So they become all about your business’ exit… via a sale or an IPO. That’s the only way they’re going to get their money back.In addition, VCs will get more involved in your business. They will take at least one seat on your Board of Directors and you will find yourself working extra hard to meet their expectations.I've raised VC capital - $8 million for our dot com… and we also turned down $14 million from Bear Stearns, may they rest in p...
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