June 21, 2016

Curriculum

Rockies Venture Club HyperAccelerator Cirriculum

HyperAccelerator offers a set of proven tools, techniques and frameworks to help companies develop and strengthen their current business strategies prior to fundraising. RVC offers the following workshops while providing assistance, advisory services and consultancy with regard to business planning, business analysis, business management, and business organization; Business consulting services, namely, providing assistance in development of business strategies and creative ideation. The workshops listed below are designed as a hybrid to provide both relevant content through education and business coaching through hands-on consulting.

  • Pitch Academy
  • Angel Investor Workshop 501
  • Angel Investor Workshop 601
  • Angel Investor Workshop Practicum
  • How to Be a Lead Investor Workshop
  • How to Pick Apart a Pitch
  • Forming a Successful Angel Investor Group
  • Exit Strategy Workshop Valuation Workshop
  • Strategic Planning for VC Backed Businesses Workshop
  • Marketing Strategy Workshop
  • Financial Strategy Workshop
  • Believable Financial Projections Workshop
  • Due Diligence Workshop
  • Term Sheets and Terminology Workshop
  • Valuation Workshop

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

ANGEL INVESTOR WORKSHOP 501

This one day workshop provides an immersion into the key components of successful early stage investing:  evaluating a pitch and a deal, valuation, term sheets, believable financial projections, possible capital structures, and an introduction to leading and following a deal, and the benefits of a diversified portfolio.  The objective of this workshop is to introduce new investors to sound principles of deal flow and due diligence, and how to leverage the community of experienced and expert investors.

New investors can make great returns on early stage investments while also making connections, learning about cutting edge technologies, and giving back to the community by sharing expertise. Smart angels will take the time to learn about the process and how to evaluate a deal, including participating in active angel networks and syndicates.

ANGEL INVESTOR WORKSHOP 601

This one day workshop builds on the Angel 501 workshop. Topics Include:

  • Advanced valuation examples and complex cap tables.
  • Creative investment structures:  revenue sharing, etc.
  • Due Diligence Exercises
  • Dilution and future round creative options
  • Post Investment Management
  • Board Formation and Success
  • Tax Implications – how can investors take advantage of tax breaks on capital gains?

This full-day workshop will engage both new and experienced investors with interesting content and hands-on learning.

ANGEL INVESTOR WORKSHOP PRACTICUM

The Angel Investor Practicum workshop applies the principles and concepts from Angel Investor 501 and Angel Investor 601 to an active due diligence and deal evaluation analyses.  Angel Practicum can be taken before 501 or 601; these workshops are not required prerequisites for the Practicum.

During this workshop, Angels will hear a “deep dive” in-person from a founder currently raising funds that has already completed a due diligence.  The deep dive is a 90 -minute rapid-fire Q&A session between the Angels and the entrepreneur. The information gained in this session is then used to prepare an outline-level due diligence document that identifies key risks, opportunities and additional inquiries for ongoing diligence research that is particular to the company.  

Angels then have the chance to compare their findings with the professional due diligence report done by the RVC Venture Capital Analytics team to compare results. This process gives the Angel a chance to calibrate with the RVC team and develop a better understanding of the tools and processes used to probe deeply into the companies considered for investment.

Participants then review and evaluate three venture deals from the past and compare their assessments of risk and opportunity with what actually happened with the companies. 

HOW TO BE A LEAD INVESTOR WORKSHOP

The lead investor plays an important role in getting the deal done, including the commitment for the deal and communication with peer investors to gauge interest and guide them through the deal.  Lead investors work closely with the due diligence team to ensure that all the critical risk questions are answered and that risk mitigations are clear.  The lead assists RVC staff in negotiating the deal by preparing the term sheet and ensuring that the terms are acceptable to all investors in the deal.  The lead may also play a role in syndicating, not only within RVC, but with outside VC and angel groups, bringing external capital into a local system to fully fund a round.

HOW TO PICK APART A PITCH

This 2-hour workshop is especially helpful for new investors, providing information to avoid the all too common pitfall of “liking the entrepreneur” but not analyzing the deal appropriately.  Learn to ferret out key elements of the pitch:  business model, financials, market strategy, and team experience.  Listen to a real entrepreneur pitch, critique the pitch and provide helpful analysis.

FORMING A SUCCESSFUL ANGEL INVESTOR GROUP

This half day workshop describes the elements of successful angel network organizations:  

  • effective and efficient entrepreneur engagement
  • investor education
  • deal flow management
  • quality due diligence
  • partnership with academic and public sector organizations
  • options for supporting leadership and management of investor groups.

PITCH ACADEMY
All companies, whether they are pitching to angel investors or not, need to learn how to prepare and deliver a high quality, compelling pitch. Pitch Academy is a half-day, hands-on workshop where presenters get input on their pitch, their strategy and learn how to communicate to customers, partners, or investors.

Key topics covered include:

  • How to prepare your business for a pitch
  • Effective pitch deck design for a crisp 5-minute pitch
  • How to pace your presentation
  • How to communicate the value of your company in a way that doesn’t close doors
  • How to communicate your “deal” and understand partner or investor psychology
  • How to balance pitching your product vs. pitching your company
  • Raising equity vs. Convertible debt
  • Communicating risks in such a way that partners or investors are put at ease
  • How to present
  • How to follow-up after the pitch

EXIT STRATEGY WORKSHOP
This short exit planning session will support companies in the following areas:

  • Exits and/or liquidity event
  • Exit strategy impact on current and 5 yr. valuation
  • How and when to target potential acquirers
  • Designing and implementing the exit strategy

STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR VC BACKED BUSINESSES WORKSHOP
Significantly increase the value of a company of any size by implementing a strategic planning process. A strategic plan is a dynamic, changing document that provides a roadmap for all the stakeholders in the organization. This workshop covers how to create plans that can be changed frequently vs. those that set your course in stone.

MARKETING STRATEGY WORKSHOP
One of the most common risks that early stage companies face is the lack of a validated go-to-market strategy: e.g. how is your particular company going to let the world know that you exist and eventually achieve domination. This can be incredibly hard to do and is usually what a seed stage investment goes towards. At this workshop, you get answers to important questions such as:

  • What are inexpensive things that I can do to help validate my marketing strategy?
  • What are the low hanging fruits when it comes to marketing?
  • How do I begin to create a brand?
  • How can I show investors that my strategy is sound?
  • RVC offers the following workshops providing financial advisory and consultancy services: 

FINANCIAL STRATEGY WORKSHOP

Financial strategy is essential to raising not just your first Venture or Angel Capital round but subsequent angel and institutional funding. This class is for both investors and entrepreneurs. Some of the key questions that will be answered are:

  • Strategies to identify if you company is raising enough capital to hit the “sweet-spot” for a series A or bring my company to cash flow positive.
  • Will the current round be enough to accomplish the traction necessary to attract VC investment?
  • Is my company a target for an early exit?
  • What is a proforma cap-table?
  • How will future rounds dilute current investors and company founders.

BELIEVABLE FINANCIAL PROJECTIONS WORKSHOP

Proformas can be tricky – showing your financial strategy as you scale your company is very hard to do and it can make or break a company. This workshop helps both entrepreneurs understand how to build a financial projection based on clear business and market strategy:

  • “Beginning with the End in Mind.” How will your exit strategy influence what your company is doing now
  • Scaling Strategies- How different functions of your business grow as you scale up to achieve market success
  • Competition- How to estimate and use competitors as a guide to where the market is going.
  • Validated Assumptions- How to use a very small amount of resources to prove that your hypotheses hold water.
  • Spreadsheet Structure – How to use Tabs to break out the detail, while rolling up to a consolidated statement
  • Identifying your Assumptions – allow investors to modify the numbers to come up with their own “what if” scenarios. This is a highly interactive workshop so participants are encouraged to bring their own Proformas to ask specific questions.

DUE DILIGENCE WORKSHOP

Investors learn how to:

  • Key items to look for in due diligence.
  • Working with other investors in a team to conduct due diligence
  • Different models of due diligence activities
  • Red flags to watch for in the process.
  • Syndicate with other investors, VCs and angel groups.
  • Research patents, corporate history and individual background checks.

TERM SHEETS AND TERMINOLOGY WORKSHOP

The short workshop demystifies the unique terminology used in early stage deal term sheets and negotiation.  Content includes what level of detail is appropriate and how to structure an Angel term sheet so that the company will be attractive to VCs in a follow-on funding situation. Investors will be able to read a company’s term sheet and identify red flags, bad terms, and other reasons to avoid in a deal, and how to protect yourself from dilution and protect your investment from future fundraising or exit troubles. 

Entrepreneurs will learn how to evaluate the key terms of an investment term sheet – especially those that define the key economics and control of your company. Market conditions dictate terms but entrepreneurs need to learn how to avoid common missteps and be a better, and informed, negotiator.

VALUATION WORKSHOP

This workshop teaches founders and investors the following important skills:

  • Assigning value to a company with no income and no assets
  • Discounting future value works
  • Role of risk quantification in early stage valuation
  • Avoiding inflated valuations and using models for negotiation
  • Hands-on practice with FIVE different valuation methodologies
  • Impact of exit strategies on current valuation