These two emails just came in overnight…

    I wanted to drop a note to say how much I appreciated BirminghamStartup Staff’s efforts this weekend.  You guys put on a good show and the coaching efforts were very helpful throughout the process.  I walked away with  slight mental exhaustion but the advice has 1).  Confirmed my direction/idea 2).  Add more clarity to the concept / problem it solves and 3). That there is still hope for new ideas that are not Bio-Med centric.  I look forward to seeing you guys on Friday.


    Thanks so much for everything. I really appreciate the change in format this time. It’s made a world of difference for me at least. I’m attaching the pitch. Please let me know if there’s anything else I need to do. Also I wanted to let you know that even though I don’t probably have a skill set that would be helpful to Birmingham Startup right now, if in the future there’s anything I can do to help, I definitely will.

This afternoon’s topic is funding… we’ve got Scott McFarland, recently CEO of Awarix which was sold to McKesson, talking first.  Some of his comments:

  • Tech Revenue Models impact to cash with highest impact listed first
    1. License revenue (primary fee)
    2. Professional services (i.e. installation/integration fees)
    3. Recurring or subscription revenue (i.e. maintenance fees)
    4. Transaction payment (i.e. hardware at cost plus)
  • Order of funding vehicles
    • Angel investments
    • Venture Capital
    • Debt
  • Things to consider…
    • Liquidation preference (1x, 2x…)
    • Board seats and observation rights
    • Full and partial ratchets
    • Dilution
  • Weighing the decision…
    • Slower growth
      • Preserve capital and equity
      • More predictable
    • Faster growth
      • Reduces competitive risk
      • Smaller piece of a bigger pie
      • Land grab / First to market

Read the rest of this entry »

This came in Saturday night from one of our participants in weekend #1…

> I wanted to tell you and Birmingham Startup thanks for the
> incorporation today. I almost paid a local law firm a good sum of money
> two weeks ago to do this but opted out due to me realizing I shouldn’t
> be spending startup money to incorporation but rather in development.
> I was just going to settle for It really means a lot.
> Anything I can do to help out in any way, let me know.
> On a side note, I’m bringing my “A” game tomorrow.

We’re happy to get this type of unsolicited feedback. We could ask questions and send out a survey to attempt to elicit feedback, but when someone pipes up and sends a nice note it means so much more to us. :^)

The participant companies are here at the Innovation Depot today.  Here are the companies and their founders:

  • BankersPipeline — George Barckley, Gardendale
  • KeepTheStory — Dannielle Branam, Pleasant Grove
  • GalleyPro — Travis Bryant, Birmingham
  • Vicaricature — Ed Alexander, PInson
  • Akkount — Ty Neil, Vestavia Hills
  • ProjectLunch — Richard Carruthers, Chelsea
  • Freelancers Intl. — Neal Farmer, Gadsden

Not presenting today is Cnido of Birmingham since the founder, Enam , is busy about a mile away graduating with the Master’s degrees from UAB.  We’ll give them feedback on their presentations later tonight after the revelries are complete.

We’re working on refining elevator pitches and will publish them at the end of the weekend.  To see the presentations, register to attend next Friday’s sessions.

– – – –

One quick apology… liveblogging in our new format is all but impossible.  See observations made in this posting from Boulder’s 2nd startupweekend.

Choice of Entity

3 May 2008

Right now, we’re getting great advice about choosing the type of entity for the new startup companies…

The lineup…

  1. General Partnerships
    • Limited Partnerships
    • Registered limited liability partnership
  2. Corporations
    • C-Corp
    • S-Corp
  3. Limited Liability Companies


  1. Partners in the LP
    • General partners
    • Limited partners with limited liability
  2. Shareholders
  3. Members Read the rest of this entry »

Tonight we’re discussing elevator pitches, powerpoint presentations, market validation, etc.

View this slideshow (not our creation!) to understand what NOT to do with PowerPoint at your review session on Saturday morning… punchline slide is #58:

Then, view this slideshow (again, not our presentation) and consider covering the topics covered in slides #5 through #7 and slide #13 in the actual PowerPoint presentations tomorrow:

Night One Begins

2 May 2008

Birmingham Startup Panorama

We’ve started the weekend with a great group of entrepreneurs. They worked through their elevator pitches as a group and learned a bit about market validation and presentation techniques. First milestone comes on Saturday morning.

2 hours to go

2 May 2008

Only 2 hours until kickoff… presentors are confirmed… participants are getting ready… organizers are setting up the rooms… can’t wait!!

It’s 9:00pm and we all have 21short hours left before the Birmingam Startup effort kicks off for this weekend.

If you are on an Idea team for this weekend, be sure to bring the following:

  • Laptop computer(s) with WiFi or your own cat-5 cable
  • Pad of paper and pens
  • Stapler and staples (if you think you’ll need them)
  • Ream of paper to donate to the pool for use in printers and the photocopier
  • Thumb drive, if you have one
  • Water bottle or travel mug (per a great suggestion from the Chapel Hill website)
  • Business cards
  • Leftover Easter candy?

We’ll feed you, provide caffeinated beverages, and give you a quiet place to apply what you learn in each of the scheduled sessions.  You’ll get a limited edition t-shirt, but it’s probably best if you don’t wear it the *whole time* you’re at the Innovation Depot.  :^)

BTW, dress for the presentations on Sunday evening is BUSINESS CASUAL.  You should not dress up.  Even the partners in the law firm that is hosting us won’t be in suits (well, they might).

Tell Us You’re Coming

30 April 2008

RSVP today at so we can order the right amount of food for Friday’s kick-off sessions.