SL #22: Early Stage Capital in Georgia

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My cohort Mike Blake took to the stage recently at the Technology Association of Georgia’s Entrepreneur Society and delivered one of the best presentations I’ve seen in a long time. The topic was “Early Stage Capital in Georgia”. And of course, the tape was rolling, and a slidecast of the presentation can be viewed/listened to by clicking on the slide image below. In my opinion, this is easily one of the most informative things we’ve ever published here.

Specifically, he discussed:

  • What the capital market is really like in Atlanta
  • What the challenges exist
  • How asset allocation works (great if you really want to know what you’re up against)
  • How the real estate industry is affecting early stage capital here
  • The funding gap
  • Everything you could ever want to know about angel investors
  • What sources exist?
  • How to do due diligence on an angel investor
  • What angels really want
  • Handling rejection
  • How to smoke out “fake” investors
  • What “good” angel deals really look like
  • Market validation
  • How much funding to solicit
  • Your pitch
  • Deal killers
  • Advisors
  • Closing the deal
  • Typical investment terms
  • Capital-seeking “to-do” list
  • Some case studies
  • Facts of life in the Atlanta startup eco-system
  • How we can repair it

If you weren’t able to attend, you won’t want to miss this. Much of his discussion will apply to other areas here in the Southeast as well …



9 Comments so far »

  1. Brian Javeline said

    on March 18 2008 @ 8:11 am

    I really enjoyed listening to this entire podcast and think you did a great job introducing people to the challenges and potential rewards of raising early stage capital. I have gone a few rounds of attracting early stage investors (and of course are still seeking more). Something that I liked was how you reviewed “What angels really want” since it is important for an entreprenuer to understand the desires of the person they are soliciting. Also important was understanding market validation. Sorry I missed you live! Great job. Brian

  2. Andrew Shales said

    on April 23 2008 @ 6:21 pm

    Very helpful Michael. Thank you guys so much for putting this up on the site

  3. Mike said

    on April 24 2008 @ 9:51 am

    You’re welcome. It’s nice to have the ability to not have knowledge “perish” when the speech is over. Great job by PeachPods doing the recording too.

  4. Adam said

    on April 29 2008 @ 12:47 am


    I checked out your show a while ago through the GA podcast network, and I wanted to email you because I think your shows are interesting. I’ve had fun listening through them. The episodes keep getting better and better.

    I’m always looking around for new shows to listen to because I’m a podcaster too. I do a weekly music review show called Have You Heard ( We interview musicians, talk about music news, and review two new records every week. You should check it out. I’d love some feedback on the show.

    Support GA podcasters!

    -Adam Trimble

  5. Robert said

    on May 5 2008 @ 12:35 pm

    Can you provide audio only MP3’s available for download? I only access “podcasts” while I’m driving around town. Thanks.

  6. Furquan R. Stafford, Sr. said

    on May 5 2008 @ 1:26 pm

    Mike “GREAT” presentation! Working on the plasma contract. Will contact you soon. Again, thanks

  7. Furquan R. Stafford, Sr. said

    on May 5 2008 @ 1:27 pm

    Mike “GREAT” presentation! Working on the plasma contract. Will contact you soon. Again, thanks.

  8. Trevor Lohrbeer said

    on June 2 2008 @ 7:45 pm

    Great presentation. A lot of it also applies to the Asheville venture environment.

    One key thing that I think got missed were angel groups, both angel networks and angel funds. These are very different than individual investors and a potential source of early stage funds.

    In particular, the definition of an accredited investor missed that individuals with a $200K/year income (or couples with a $300K/yr joint income) are also accredited. This puts many higher-end professionals as potential angel investors, especially when combining their money into a fund. I would suspect groups with these types of angels would also have a lower average age and thereby a higher risk profile for asset allocations.

    It seems like the Boston angel groups have a lot of angels in their 30s and 40s, which make for good early stage angel investors. High net worth and high income individuals in their 50s and 60s are naturally going to be less prone toward riskier early stage angel investments.

  9. Doug Field said

    on August 1 2008 @ 4:21 pm

    Just became a Member and really enjoyed this Podcast. Very informative; had good new thoughts to use and helped validate some of current thoughts and plans for capital raise. Thanks Mike!

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