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So we just won TechStars Startup Weekend. Now what?

I took my eCommerce/Bidding platform idea to TechStars Startup Weekend and ended up winning first place. We won everything from legal formation services, SEO package, Design package (branding), free hosting, and access to a co-working space.

Upon winning we were told, by staying in San Antonio to launch this company we HAVE funding. We met TONS of VC's as well as CEO's of excellent companies all throughout the state of Texas who came to see the event. They all had great things to say and are willing to help out where they can. As far as the judges of the event, we had zero negative feedback. The common feedback was that our pricing needed micro pivots because the pricing models we put into our slides were not high enough (even thought the model showed a profit margins being above 500M/yr)

What I am wondering is:
1. After formation has been completed and we have shown profit from our low-tech manual beta test (which will be started this Saturday and continue for the next 2 weeks) we will need to go for series A funding. How does this work?

Since we are such a large profit margin company, I don't wish to give away a huge amount of equity for such a low amount of money (5-10mil). This company has a parent umbrella corp due to the fact that the model applies to every industry (in which we plan on branching out to each) and will disrupt the market for each and every one.

Do we only take funding for the initial company?
Will VC's want to get in on the parent corp instead? If so, that is worth SOOO much more than the single corp we won the competition with.

I appreciate the fact I can come on here and ask real questions to real people. Any feedback on the matter would be greatly appreciated.

PS. Those of who have heard me asking about my other company FoodRoll and our API, we also got offers this weekend for an acquisition!!!

12 Replies

David C. MSE
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David C. MSE Entrepreneur
CEO at Business Development
Personally, I would not take investment in the parent company. Don't give the VC's that option if this current company is what they are interested in. If I am understanding correctly, they liked one product/app you presently have. If that is what they like, let them invest in that. Then utilize those profits for your larger company but maintain that ownership. If you go in there and say "Hey this company you looked at and liked will be great, but for the same low price you can gain access to the umbrella company and have ownership in all our great companies." I know you wouldn't do that :) but what do you see is the benefit of them investing in your umbrella company?
David C. MSE
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David C. MSE Entrepreneur
CEO at Business Development
By the way, the food app from what I looked at a couple weeks ago seems great. I think there are enough angel investors out there who you could find to invest in this. I can think of several off the top of my head who are in that space.
David C. MSE
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David C. MSE Entrepreneur
CEO at Business Development
Bret I will connect via linked in. I understand now that your parent company is funded. I was thinking it was currently just being structured that way. There is no doubt that any investor is going to want to know of the parties in play with a company they are investing in and will be part of the disclosure process. A lot depends on the contracts and structure you have with your current investors.
Melissa Skehan
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Melissa Skehan Advisor
Passionate, Mission Driven, Strategy, Growth & Impact Leader - Founder, CEO, President, Executive Management
There is a classic shark tank episode where the sharks wanteda piece of the parent company, but the founder only wanted to sell a piece of the sub. The sharks balked and the founder walked (good for him). You will definitely need to disclose unless (maybe) you don't set it up that way to begin with and focus largely on the sub that has already found favor with investors. Note: they may already be thinking about the larger opportunity however and would be none to pleased to learn that you don't have plans to include them in that.
Id love to learn more about your ecommerce/bidding platform company. I ran a business that served the education sector with an online auction model (not sure if that is relevant, but on the surface it sounds like it could be). Happy to discuss.
David C. MSE
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David C. MSE Entrepreneur
CEO at Business Development
Bret, one bit of advice I would give you here. Screen the information you post in this forum with regard to current dealings. I would erase your last post regarding your holding company. Remember when you do begin talking to investors it will be a negotiation. Don't have any thing in a public forum that could be used against your negotiation.
Bret Gardner
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Bret Gardner Entrepreneur • Advisor
CEO at Food Roll, LLC.
10-4 thanks David
Bret Gardner
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Bret Gardner Entrepreneur • Advisor
CEO at Food Roll, LLC.
All replies please message directly
Mawuli Adzoe
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Mawuli Adzoe Entrepreneur
Full Stack Software Engineer at Goodshop
This is not a public platform. It is a closed off space protected with login. We are all here to learn. Unboxing replies does not help others learn from his experience. And BTW, how exactly are the investors finding posts on FD? Google? I don't think this platform is that public. Or is it?




Bret Gardner
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Bret Gardner Entrepreneur • Advisor
CEO at Food Roll, LLC.
It is a fully visible public platform, to participate I think you have to be a member.
I had posted replies giving away too much information that could be a problem with investors in the future. I had to remove that information. I may have been mistaken saying "all replies", what I should have said is "all replies about details please message me directly". I would not want to limit general information from anyone, I agree this is to help others as well as grow ourselves.
Bret Gardner
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Bret Gardner Entrepreneur • Advisor
CEO at Food Roll, LLC.
There are a large number of investors who are keeping eyes out for potential leads via these platforms. The membership fees are so small vs what reward you can gain by finding these companies in early stages. Its a no brainer for them to at least check up on hot topics.

If you have any questions or input about the topic Mawuli, I would love to hear your experience.
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