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'[PIC] RE: RE: Total Newbie question'
2008\02\14@041919 by Harrison

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The more I think about it, the more I think it'll just be best if I get some
kind of development board that has a mmc flash + LCD + keyboard controller
integrated with the microprocessor. This will save me the time of soldering
everything together and hopefully the datasheet will be thorough enough that
the programming will be relatively straight forward...

As for the age comment and being young, I feel really young ha! I'm 23 years
old and I feel like if I'm going to take risks, now is the time to do it. I
have nothing to loose nor do I have any commitments. I hate working for
other people so I guess that's part of the reason why I want to start a
business. : )

Thanks for the comments, I'll keep you guys updated with my next step..i.e.
choosing a development board.
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2008\02\14@095805 by Timothy Weber

face picon face
Hell yeah, go for it.  Do it the way you want and make it work.  What's
life for, anyway?

FW(L)IW - I agree with others that using a micro-laptop IS a better way
to get a working demo, but it also may not be as impressive to the suits
as a circuit board with parts sticking out - whether you soldered that
board yourself or not.  And whether it's impressive enough or not is the
important thing, and that's your call to make.

Oh, and - if you get VC funding you *will* be working for other people...

Harrison wrote:
{Quote hidden}

--
Timothy J. Weber
http://timothyweber.org

2008\02\14@101218 by David VanHorn

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> Oh, and - if you get VC funding you *will* be working for other people...

damn straight!

2008\02\14@112928 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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>> VC funding

In general, to get VC funding, you need a lot more than an idea and a  
prototype.  They want you to have a Team, and a working business, and  
a relatively detailed plan for growth and MAKING MONEY.  I'm not sure  
what you call the investors that get in at the earlier stages, but I  
don't think they're called "Venture Capitalists."

BillW

2008\02\14@120852 by Alan B. Pearce

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>> VC funding
>
>In general, to get VC funding, you need a lot more than an idea
>and a prototype.  They want you to have a Team, and a working
>business, and a relatively detailed plan for growth and MAKING
>MONEY.  I'm not sure what you call the investors that get in at
>the earlier stages, but I don't think they're called
>"Venture Capitalists."

Sometimes called "Seed Capital" to get a business up and running.

In the UK there is a TV series called "Dragons Den" (new series starting
soon I believe) where a person can present their idea to a panel of 5
wealthy business people, to see if they can get them to bite and invest.
Most don't do a decent enough presentation, from the occasional ones I have
seen, but some are up and running businesses that now need money to grow.
See
http://travel.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/travel/news/article2837114.ece
for the investors.

Sometimes one investor will put money in, sometimes 2 or 3 will share.
Mostly though they cannot see the possibility of the idea going anywhere -
one that got well publicised in the local papers was a guy who had an idea
for plastic wedges to put under table legs to stop them rocking. He got
refused by Dragons Den investors, but managed to go ahead anyway and has
made a heap of money. See
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1680301.ece

For the OP, some ideas here on how to make the pitch to possible investors.
http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/the_web/article2452239.ece

2008\02\14@121619 by Dr Skip

picon face
I've worked with several, and on both sides of the table. Some of this comment
is true, but like anything else, they can't all be summarized as one big
homogeneous herd. ;-) About the only rule is that the earlier they get
involved, the more of it they want in reward for their risk.

Some will have management team folks that can come in, but one guy who can walk
away with the goods can make them jittery. More than one guy says you've
already 'sold' it to some should-know folks and they bought in, AND, if you get
hit by a car they can still go on.

Most won't know your market, unless you get lucky. You have to have numbers and
reasonable expectations about who will buy and how many there are, as well as
who your competition is. Having interested customers, or ones that have 'pre
bought' is very good, as are orders for product, even if none have been built
of delivered yet. It's a different part of the cycle then, but from your point
of view, it's very close.

The working business, meaning you're already making them, etc, is least
required. In fact, it's easier for them to arrange if they don't have to undo
the legal and corporate structure you started. Even one guy can incorporate and
have structure that is a pain for them to use.

Most important of all is the exit strategy. How do they get out in a reasonable
period (a few years) with their expected return? Cover that and they'll help
you with the rest. Of course, you'll need to show who will buy, how many will
sell, what you need to make it happen, etc to show that. Be logical and
reasonable. Statements like "Everyone will need one and buy it and their will
be no competition" will get you thrown out...

And remember - very few are one-hit-wonders. Even if you give up most of this
one and it turns into a nice day job with you near the top but not making much
$$, if you give the VC a good return on his $$, you have an open ear and can
command a bigger cut next time with him/her, and you've built credibility.
Eventually, they will follow you around asking to be involved... ;) It takes
more than one cycle though.



William "Chops" Westfield wrote:
>
> In general, to get VC funding, you need a lot more than an idea and a  
> prototype.  They want you to have a Team, and a working business, and  
> a relatively detailed plan for growth and MAKING MONEY.  I'm not sure  
> what you call the investors that get in at the earlier stages, but I  
> don't think they're called "Venture Capitalists."
>
> BillW
>

2008\02\14@122140 by PAUL James

picon face

Speculators?

-----Original Message-----
From: spam_OUTpiclist-bouncesTakeThisOuTspammit.edu [.....piclist-bouncesKILLspamspam@spam@mit.edu] On Behalf
Of William "Chops" Westfield
Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2008 10:29 AM
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Subject: Re: [PIC] RE: RE: Total Newbie question


>> VC funding

In general, to get VC funding, you need a lot more than an idea and a
prototype.  They want you to have a Team, and a working business, and a
relatively detailed plan for growth and MAKING MONEY.  I'm not sure what
you call the investors that get in at the earlier stages, but I don't
think they're called "Venture Capitalists."

BillW

2008\02\14@125235 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
PAUL James wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2008\02\14@143727 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
Quoting PAUL James <EraseMEJames.Paulspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTcolibrys.com>:


> In general, to get VC funding, you need a lot more than an idea and a
> prototype.  They want you to have a Team, and a working business, and a
> relatively detailed plan for growth and MAKING MONEY.  I'm not sure what
> you call the investors that get in at the earlier stages, but I don't
> think they're called "Venture Capitalists."
>
> BillW

"Angels"


Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany
--
"it's the network..."                          "The Journey is the reward"
s...spamspam_OUTinterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com

2008\02\14@152528 by Alex Harford

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On Thu, Feb 14, 2008 at 1:18 AM, Harrison <@spam@mattownKILLspamspamgmail.com> wrote:
>
>  The more I think about it, the more I think it'll just be best if I get some
>  kind of development board that has a mmc flash + LCD + keyboard controller
>  integrated with the microprocessor. This will save me the time of soldering
>  everything together and hopefully the datasheet will be thorough enough that
>  the programming will be relatively straight forward...

Here's how I would go about doing it, to get a working prototype going:

- get a laptop, install Linux on it
- locate a USB MMC reader that is supported in Linux
- write a C library to interface with the MMC device
- write the UI in Python and call the C lib to read/write to the device.

You then have a working prototype with valid information on the flash
memory.  Could be done in under a week.  You could then move on to a
micro based platform.

Alex

PS. If I was starting fresh I would look in to the Arduino (AVR)
boards, there are tons of tutorials out there.
ie http://hubbard.engr.scu.edu/avr/avrlib/

2008\02\14@154232 by alan smith

picon face
Angels typically do matching funds, and are usually easier to work with than those just interested in term sheets.
 
 You should find out if there are any VC groups in your area, and attend the meetings if they are open.  Networking is the best way to get a start on these things.  Or a large line of credit :-)

Spehro Pefhany <KILLspamspeffKILLspamspaminterlog.com> wrote:
 Quoting PAUL James :


> In general, to get VC funding, you need a lot more than an idea and a
> prototype. They want you to have a Team, and a working business, and a
> relatively detailed plan for growth and MAKING MONEY. I'm not sure what
> you call the investors that get in at the earlier stages, but I don't
> think they're called "Venture Capitalists."
>
> BillW

"Angels"


Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany
--
"it's the network..." "The Journey is the reward"
RemoveMEs...TakeThisOuTspaminterlog.com Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog Info for designers: http://www.speff.com

2008\02\14@230946 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Feb 14, 2008, at 11:08 AM, Spehro Pefhany wrote:

>> I'm not sure what you call the investors that get in at the
>> earlier stages, but I don't think they're called "Venture  
>> Capitalists."
>>
> "Angels"

I thought "Angels" tended to be people who lent expertise in missing  
areas (management, business, purchasing, hiring, etc), rather than cash.

I was at cisco when they were searching for the venture funding.  
Before funding, we couldn't buy parts fast enough to fill orders, and  
it was still quite a battle to get the $2millions from the VCs.  In  
support of their $2M, the VCs immediately fired the founding CEO and  
CFO, since they didn't project the right image to "take the company  
public", which was the VC's next big concern.

BillW


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