An Entrepreneur’s Quick and Easy Guide to Authorizing and Issuing Shares

Home, Investors, Resources
Picture this: you have just come up with your million dollar idea. Snappy Name? Check! You're ready to take the next step in creating a brand new legal entity so you can start distributing shares to potential investors. You have also decided that you don't need the flexibility (or the legal expense) of an LLC, and have yet to be given any reason not to be a YADC (Yet Another Delaware Corporation). You've gotten halfway through the BizFilings process (or something similar) when you come across a question. How many shares would you like to authorize? And what should the par value be? You have no idea. You're stumped. Luckily, we've helped hundreds of companies with this exact process. Here's what you need to know. Make no small plans Most advice out there…
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Meet the 2018 Accelerator Teams!

Meet the 2018 Accelerator Teams!

Accelerator, Interns, Investors, Portfolio
  We are thrilled to introduce the 2018 Flashstarts Accelerator Cohort. This cohort is a culmination of our efforts this past year, and we are excited to say that the results are fruitful. This week, we welcomed 7 teams to the Accelerator and 5 teams to the Labs program, along with an unprecedented 28 talented interns. Enthusiasm and energy permeated the first few days, and we anticipate a vibrant summer of rapid company growth. In the 2018 Accelerator cohort, our teams range from Vlipsy, a video clip search engine and social sharing platform, to OncoSolutions, a drug-screening technology that leverages 3D cancer cells. Geographically, the 2018 cohort hails from around the corner (Cleveland, Akron, Canton) and around the world (India & Ukraine), through our Global Entrepreneur-In-Residence program. No matter where they are from they share several…
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Angels, Unicorns, and the SEC

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The Birth of Stock Marketing This article by Charles Stack originally appeared on Linkedin's Pulse. Spectrem Group just announced that the number of millionaires in the US has surpassed 10 million. The Wall Street Journal just announced that there were 75 startups valued at $1 billion or more. Angels and Unicorns. Oh My! On September 23, 2013, the new industry of Stock Marketing was born. On that date the SEC removed the 80-year ban on ‘general solicitation’ of private stock placements, which was already a $1 billion industry. That specific regulatory trigger – startup companies’ ability to legally and publicly raise funds – combined with two massive long-term trends will revolutionize the startup investment landscape. The two massive long-term trends are the dramatic increase in the number of unicorns (startups…
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OVA Summit

Events, Home, Investors, News
I am really looking forward to hearing new County Executive Armond Budish keynote at the Ohio Venture Summit this Friday March 6 at CCC Corporate College. I will be disappointed if we don't get some new County initiatives announced in the area of regional economic development.  We are on a role, and the County's primary job should be to keep pushing. Jennifer and I are on a couple of panels and Flashstarts is a sponsor.  This is always a great event, with Shark Tank like entertainment value. Sign up HERE. Charles Stack    
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Cleveland Startup Accelerator Names 2014 Follow-on Funding Recipients

Home, Investors, Portfolio, Press Release
As we are in the process of accepting applications to our 2015 summer accelerator program and raise funds for the Flashstarts 2015 Fund, we are excited to finally announce the Class of 2014 startups receiving follow-on funding. More details are in the press release below. Cleveland Startup Accelerator Names 2014 Follow-on Funding Recipients For media inquiries, contact Grace Moenich Director of Public Relations, Flashstarts (440) 539-0930 grace.moenich@flashstarts.com www.flashstarts.net Cleveland, Feb. 25, 2015 – Flashstarts, a Cleveland-based startup accelerator and venture fund, today publicly announced its decision to award follow-on investments to three of its 2014 program graduates: <remesh, Lufthouse and Vestor. <remesh, a chat app that enables a group of people to converse as if they were a single person and speak with a single voice, raised a total of…
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Got three minutes? At Capital Call, it might net your company hundreds of thousands of dollars

Home, Investors, News, Portfolio
Last week, Crowdentials CEO Richard Rodman pitched at Cooley LLP's Capital Call in Washington D.C. The event saw Crowdentials and 12 other startups generally solicit to a room of investors for funding. Elevation D.C. writes about Crowdentials at the Capital Call This article on Elevation D.C. Media summarizes the startups that pitched at the Capital Call and relays the startups' odds of securing funding: "Over 50% of the presenting companies successfully secure funding as a result of their debut at Capital Call," said Katherine Ferguson, vice president of business development for Cooley, in an email. "Many of those companies go on to raise significant follow-on rounds as they continue to grow.” Of Crowdentials, Elevation D.C. Media said: Two companies that pitched are tackling government compliance issues. One is Crowdentials, a startup out of…
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Angel Leadership Workshop – 5 Observations and 1 Idea

Accelerator, Home, Investors
I had the privilege to attend and serve as a panelist at last week’s Angel Capital Association Leadership Workshop in Columbus, Ohio. I thought I would share my observations. (For those of you who didn’t attend the Accelerator Panel, or I didn’t have the pleasure of otherwise meeting last week, I am an angel investor, member of North Coast Angel Fund, and co-founder of the Flashstarts Startup Accelerator.) Keynote speaker Mark Kvamme presented some compelling statistics that good startups and great exits are fairly well distributed around the country per capita, with a surprising number of great recent returns in the Midwest. Combine that with numerous empirical and anecdotal angel observations that early stage valuations on the coasts are ‘Bubblicious’ at about 2-4 times those in the Midwest. Conclusion: In the aggregate there are great companies throughout the…
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Flashstarts’ 2014 Capital Allocation

Accelerator, Home, Investors
In the spirit of full transparency and pure excitement, we are excited to share Flashstarts' capital allocation for the year of 2014. After aligning our allocation of funds with the activities that best realize our mission of creating wealth, the teams that graduate our accelerator with the highest potential will receive a disproportionate amount of capital. After the end of our 2014 accelerator, we will be awarding 5 teams that show the most traction with a combined $1.8M. If you're interested in learning about investment opportunities with Flashstarts, visit our investor portal.
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Week 5: Building Brands and Building Cities

Accelerator, Events, Home, Investors
The Foundation of a Startup This past week, our 12 software startups have been focusing on strengthening their foundations. Our teams worked on improving two of the core pillars of their business: money and brand. Some teams met with startup finance expert Anne Richie, to learn practices to keep their businesses sustainable. Food for Thought: Building a Brand Through this week's Food for Thought, Flashstarts Mentor Mike Belsito challenged our teams to answer the somewhat philosophical question of "why they exist". Mike shared his vast knowledge on branding and getting press, and explained how a startup's brand boils down to its story. Here are our top 3 take-aways from his talk:  (more…)
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Companies Might Have to Aim Higher to Lure Angel Investors

Home, Investors, News
An article on Crain's Cleveland Business Currently the rules of general solicitation outlined by the SEC define accredited investors--those who are currently eligible to invest as much as they want in startups--as an individual who makes at least $200,000 annually or has a net worth of over $1 million (minus their home). However, some organizations are trying to urge the SEC to redefine that criteria, in hopes of protecting those "accredited investors" who may not be able to spot a sound investment or shady entrepreneur. The article in Crain's Cleveland Business explains the situation in more detail, and illustrates how this could be a problem for burgeoning startups in Cleveland. Those higher standards would exclude 25% of the 12,000 angel investors who belong to the Angel Capital Association... [Flashstarts' Charles Stack]…
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