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when not to raise money May 4, 2007

Posted by Timothy Li in Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital.

stop sign

I had a chat with person A from a local VC firm two weeks ago regarding my B-mote project. I received the following comments towards the end of the chat:

“Do not raise money right now, even if you manage to raise money, you will waste it”

“Before you do anything else, go to your customers directly and pitch them. when they want your product and you need money to make it, that’s when you raise money”

What person A said made a lot of sense. lesson learned.


Map My Travel won an award June 12, 2006

Posted by Timothy Li in award, Entrepreneurship, Startup, summer company.

Map My Travel project got a small grant (an award to be exact) from the Summer Company Program I wrote about last month. The project became a registered business two hours ago. 

There were 15000 applications for the Summer Company program this year, out of which 250 were approved and funded, congrats to all of you! 

Being my own boss is a good thought, but I soon realized that at the same time, who's going to do the monkey works? I guess that's me too… =)

I sincerely thank you all for the support in the past few months.


Paid By An Angel May 18, 2006

Posted by Timothy Li in angel, college, Entrepreneurship, Funding, university, Venture Capital, waterloo.
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I attended an information session "Paid By An Angel" today, well I did a little more than that but it's quite embarrassing so I won't….. OK.. I pitched again, a little better than last time =).

The session was hosted by Gregory Brill from infusion development. I first met Greg at CUTC in January 2006 and I still vividly remember how he passionately encouraged students to make things happen – "guys, shut up and do something!" Now four months later he comes back as an angel, i'm totally convinced now that he means business – he wants to encourage innovation.
The session was very rewarding. Greg taught the other students (I learnt second hand) that Angels care about these things in this specific order:

  1. exit option
  2. capital allocation
  3. revenue model
  4. protection
  5. competition

And alarmingly enough I did not hit most of these during my pitch again. This got me thinking hard, and the buzz begins…

toread list April 8, 2006

Posted by Timothy Li in Books, Entrepreneurship, PMBA, wind.
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Seth Godin‘s (the purple cow guy) blog leads to a valuable list of books, tagged under what Josh Kaufman () calls the ‘PMBA‘ package.

P is for personal. MBA is for… MBA

my current reading projects are on the list –

  1. the art of the start‘ by Guy Kawasaki. Brilliant guide to starting a business.
  2. ‘boostrapper’s bible’ by Seth Godin. Details about what the title says. Guy’s chapter on boostrapping leads right into this one.

Two suggested books for college readers to get excited –

  1. getting things done‘ by David Allen.
    this book name has came up to me quite a few times lately. Deals with general management issues – transferable between school, personal life, as well as business.
  2. Influence: Science and Practice‘ by Robert Cialdini.
    Guy Kawasaki has followed up with the author here. the topics covered in the book are delightful. Deals with positioning and persuation, which we will all learn someday, hopefully :)

fundings for college entrepreneurs (Ontario Canada only) April 4, 2006

Posted by Timothy Li in college, Entrepreneurship, Funding, university, waterloo, wind.
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Summer Company

I had the honor to speak with Rob Clement from Waterloo Region Small Business Center on Monday again. This is our second meeting regarding my opportunity to get accepted into the Summer Company program.

Rob calls the $3000 involved awards. But I use the term funding here to help my college readers to differentiate this from academic awards.

In simplist terms, the program works like this –

1. you submit your business plan to compete.
ask for a sum of $1500
map portions of this amount to various realistic start-up costs.

2. your plan is evaluated and hopefully accepted.
you get $1500 startup funding

3. you launch your Summer Company in May
you work towards your projections and generate cash flow
a team of 3 advisors will assist you once a month

4. you go back to school in September
your progress is evaluated based on the cash flow you generated
you get $1500 to spend at will.

Thanks to April Wang and James Perly (government funding specialist) for introducing me to this program.