FEATURE STORIES

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20160619-20160619-_jaj5955ENGINEERING YOUR PITCH

by Stephanie Wiegel – Angel investment deals aren’t made on the spot as the TV show Shark Tank suggests. Instead, entrepreneurs are excused from the meeting after delivering their pitches. If you’re vying for early investment money, what’s said behind these closed doors can make or break a deal.

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20160619-20160619-_jaj5955YOU MIGHT AS WELL DANCE

by Howard Tullman – Not feeling enough love? Yes, techies tend to be under appreciated until spit hits fan. Face it, we humans only understand the degree of our dependence on these machines and systems when they shut down, data disappears, and systems stop delivering the information we need to proceed. Here are three ways to raise your profile.

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unicorn-from-ms-office-tBILLION DOLLAR UNICORNS

by Kenneth M Freeman – The world seems captivated by the growing number of unicorns – private companies theoretically worth more than $1 billion based on their latest round of funding. There are now more than 100 unicorns, led by Uber with a valuation of $66 billion.

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20160619-20160619-_jaj5955DRIVING VALUE WHEN FUNDING RUNS LOW

by David Johnson – The funding environment for early stage startups has been shifting for some time. As shifts accelerate, founders, executives, and investors reassess their strategies. Increasingly, early stage investors are looking to place fewer but more sizable bets on startups that are perceived as having the most promise. This likely will lead to a widening gulf between a clear path to additional funding and a struggle to generate investor interest.

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20160619-20160619-_jaj5955BEST GIFT

by Mark T Wayne – “I know a place where a man can immerse himself in wild nature—where no roads exist for hundreds of miles—a place dotted with thousands of pristine lakes rimmed with Jack Pine and Aspen forests. Populating the woods are bear, moose, deer, and untold numbers of avian species. The waters are teaming with a natural and burgeoning population of gigantic Northern Pike, which by afternoon, lounge so thick in the bays that a man can walk across the water on their backs! Shall I continue?”

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20161004-_JAJDSCN0159-1000INVESTING: IT’S ALL ABOUT THE CASH

by Scott Anderson – One factor is common to all angel investing. Cash. How does the founder determine what she needs? And how does the investor determine if the investment amount is right? Is the cash bank balance projected to be positive at the end of any year? Do the timing needs of the startup match the investment? A process of funding in annual installments may prove more attractive to an investor.

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20161004-_JAJDSCN0159-1000TAKING ONE FOR THE TEAM

by Mark T Wayne – Howard Brookins Jr, the alderman for Chicago’s 21st ward, was biking along Cal-Sag Trail when a squirrel darted into his path. [The Washington Post] The squirrel wrapped itself in the spokes of the alderman’s bicycle. According to the alderman, “I can think of no other reason for this squirrel’s actions than that it was like a suicide bomber, getting revenge.” [The Chicago Tribune]

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20161004-_JAJDSCN0159-1000TRUMPED

by John Jonelis – Political outsider elected president! Nationwide shock! Emotions run wild! Markets in turmoil! Worst riots since Orson Wells’ WAR OF THE WORLDS broadcast!

Loop Lonagan watches the mayhem on television. People on the streets shout lewd obscenities—carry hate signs—crawl over cars—destroy businesses—throw bricks at police. “Da theater of dee absurd,”  Lonagan mutters, “Did deeze folks even vote?”

He continues his impromptu soliloquy. “Why don’t deeze malcontents all move t’ Greece?”  Ah, Greece—where socialism is in full bloom and the weather is gorgeous. “Maybe President Elect Trump will offer free one-way luxury cruises to da Mediterranean and make da Greeks pay for it.”  Lonagan figures that will make everybody happy.  But then he reflects that Greece is bankrupt.  Socialism didn’t work there.

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20161004-_JAJDSCN0159-1000NO GOAT

by John Jonelis – “The longest championship drought for any continuously operating pro team in North America – nay, the world…we never truly thought this would happen. We joked about not seeing the Cubs win it all in our lifetimes. We said that with grins when we were young. We reached middle age, and we said it with blank faces. We grew old, and it curled off our lips like, yes, a curse.” (Rick Telander – Northwest Herald)   Yup, that about sums it up for me. A hundred and eight years! Why should anything change today? Somehow the Cubs will find a way to lose this thing.

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20161004-_JAJDSCN0159-1000ALIEN ABDUCTS FISH, THROWS FISHERMAN BACK

by Ron Kaszubowski – “Then me and my salmon get lifted by a glowing ray into some giant saucer-like ship that smells like fish inside. A tiny man in a silver suit approaches me carrying a long stick with knobs and buttons. He points it at me and the salmon I caught, and babbles something I can’t understand. Then in a flash, I drop like a lead sinker back in the river. But the alien keeps my fish!”

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bobs-bad-poetry-swtIN YOUR FACE RISK

by John Jonelis – “Oh, you’re an angel investor! Isn’t that risky?” I hear such drivel all the time. Are people afraid of outsized returns? Or perhaps they don’t understand risk, don’t know how to measure it, or how to take control of it. Yet all that is quite easily done, and it’s a real charge to play the game.

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bobs-bad-poetry-swtHOW BAD IS IT

by Loop Lonagan – Lotsa people keep tellin’ me good things about Bob’s Bad Poetry so I’m checkin’ it out. Yeah, yeah, I know what yer thinkin’. But there’s no law against an angel investor goin’ in fer high culture. That’s right, I like literature ‘n’ modern art too—’specially the abstract stuff. You got some problem with that, bud? Hey, me fodder and me mudder’s both Irish ‘n’ both poets, so’s I got it in da genes. Maybe you already figured that out from da way I talk.

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IMAGINED HORRIBLES

by Larry Hayward – Make a wish—that the corporate venture investment world continues to grow.  Strategic investors are an increasingly vital source of capital for many entrepreneurs.  Who else will put up the cash?  Ask yourself,  “How many financial venture capitalists are investing in material science these days? Or cleantech?  Or hardware?” Not many, right?  So let’s discuss finding corporate investors that understand an entrepreneur’s needs for flexibility and ubiquity.

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THE SAY/DO RATIO

by John Jonelis – You lose him. Jack Heyden was your father, your brother, maybe your son. A deep, intimate relationship. You know his profession—not the details, just what he did for a living. Normal so far. Then things start to turn.

His business colleagues invite the family here, and you all come, nerves raw from the shock that death brings. You arrive early, numb from the flurry of duties, people, and rituals that clutter such times and obediently take your seats in front, gazing about the room.

You have no idea what to expect.

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