Kevin Stevens

The Operations of Fundraising Part II

A few days ago, I published a post on the importance of setting up internal processes for fundraising.  Part II focuses on identifying the correct potential firms, interacting with them during the process, and finally closing the deal.  Let's jump in. Raising capital, like any sales...

Kevin Stevens

The Operations of Fundraising Part 1

Inspired by recent conversations with aspiring entrepreneurs and the questions they asked, I've been posting recently on topics that are useful during the fundraising process. I've covered storytelling as a tool to help others emotionally engage with the business and displaying empathy for users via a...

Kevin Stevens

Demonstrating Deep Customer Knowledge

This week, behavioral economist Richard Thaler won the Nobel Prize in Economics. Thaler is best known for his work for disproving the traditional assumption that people make completely rational economic choices. If you're a founder and not interested in behavioral economics, you should be.  A...

Kevin Stevens

Clarifying Your Meeting Intentions is a Win-Win-Win

Over the last 18-24 months, as we were working to evaluate the product-market fit of an early stage venture capital firm focused on emerging ecosystems, we met with several entrepreneurs. The goal was to gain insight into the strengths and weaknesses of their respective ecosystems...

Kevin Stevens

Why Convertible Notes Hinder Growth In Underserved Ecosystems

Recently, CrunchBase published a new case study on early-stage funding including the different types of deal structures, priced (equity) and unpriced (convertible notes or SAFES).  The post was a useful, if very high level, overview of the early-stage funding process.  However, due to this simplicity, the article...

Kevin Stevens

SOS: Start-Early, Overly-Simplify, Scrutinize

I caught up with a friend yesterday who is an up-and-coming architect in the Austin area and it turns out we are facing a lot of the same challenges in launching a new venture.  We both are working to optimize processes in order to spend...

Kevin Stevens

How Free Creates More Revenue

Nothing is more critical to a growing startup than pricing strategy, and all too often startups leave too much money on the table by not charging enough. This makes it difficult to take full advantage of the new value their product creates.  As Marc Andreessen...

Kevin Stevens

Effective Mentorship

Recently, I crossed a passage in Let My People Go Surfing which deeply resonated with me because so few people seem to leverage the giving nature of others. I had no business experience so I started asking for advice.  If you admit you don't know something people will...

Kevin Stevens

The Cyclicality of Confidence

Most of my last few weeks have been tied up in various meetings.  The unique part has been that in those meetings my role has been quite different depending on the topic and the participants. After one of those meetings, I reflected on how I've changed...

Kevin Stevens

Accelerating the Texas Flywheel

Yesterday, Capital Factory CEO Joshua Baer announced a partnership with The Dallas Entrepreneur Center to bring Texas' biggest accelerator to Dallas.  In his post, The Texas Startup Manifesto, Baer proposed a "Texas startup Megatropolis" combining Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. The vision is exciting and...

Kevin Stevens

Resources for Entrepreneurs

Since our work is primarily focused in areas where the startup ecosystems are just beginning to grow, we often get questions that have been answered by more veteran investors or founders in more established markets.  Inspired by John Gannon's blog and instead of finding them...

Kevin Stevens

Unproductive Meetings

Recently, I decided to take a "themed" approach to my book selections.  The first theme has been centered around a new approach to my work habits.  I asked myself three questions (selected book): How can I learn more effectively and efficiently? (Make It Stick) How...

Kevin Stevens

Big Company Traps and the Startup Equivalents to Avoid

Remember those terrible word association problems from your SAT? (A is to B as C is to D) I do, and this is the first time I'll be using them again almost 15 years later.  But they serve an important purpose in this post as...

Kevin Stevens

For the Opportunity to Be Great, You Have to Be Lucky First

What a few months it's been, Choose Energy sold to Red Ventures and my partners and I made our first investment into a startup.  These big events have led to a lot of discussions among myself and my friends and colleagues.  This led me to...

Kevin Stevens

Hustle and Curiosity

Over the decade, I’ve been blessed to work a variety of different jobs with a diverse group of people. I’ve gone from retail store manager to a publicly traded company, to a growing startup while acquiring my MBA somewhere in between. During that time, I’ve...

Kevin Stevens

Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery, Unless You’re Filing an IPO

It was revealed last week that Facebook is experimenting and planning the wide release of a stories feature similar to Snapchat. Haven’t we been here before?  But count me out amongst the many who criticize Facebook for it’s lack of creativity and imagination. Snapchat's IPO roadshow will...

Kevin Stevens

Mitigating Early Product Risk

Over the past month, I’ve focused on my growth in product during the span of the last few years. This led me to reflect on my initial days as a product marketing manager and internalize where we succeeded but also what we could have done...