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What's Happening at Venture Architects
who we are talking to
What are the top 3 characteristics you look for in an entrepreneur?
Integrity, intelligence, and knowledge of the space they're pitching are the keys.

What is the investment multiple you expect? Over what time horizon?
We'd like to believe that if a company is a hit, we can get 10-20:1 over a five to seven year period, and that if it's a reasonable success, we'll see 3X.

What is the most important question an entrepreneur should ask a potential investor?
"What are you bringing besides money?" It's important, especially at the early stages, to get advice, contacts, networking and other things from your investors. There are lots of folks with money.

What we are advising

Planning BUSINESS PLANNING
Like the first line of a juicy novel, the first sentence of your business plan should grab attention. Whether a provocative question or a fact-filled positioning statement, your goal should be to capture and hold your busy readers. Sentences that are too long, full of wild adjectives, weighed down by jargon, or simply uninformative will stop readers cold.

Finances FINANCIALS
When projecting employee payroll, always remember to add an additional budget line for employer payroll taxes. Employers are responsible for paying for half their employees' Social Security and Medicare taxes, and in some cases a portion of state sponsored unemployment programs. Adding an additional 10% to gross salaries should keep you on track. And if you plan to estimate benefits such as health insurance, add another 15% to gross salaries.

Marketing MARKETING
When was the last time you practiced your sales techniques? In this economy, anything short of yesterday is unacceptable. Check out sales2.com for smart sales tips. Here is our most favorite recent article - Say it in Seven Words (or less).

IT IT
We love this article: The 18 Mistakes that Kill Start-ups. Pay particular attention to point six, Hiring Bad Programmers. Oh so true! Since we launched our IT division two years ago, we've received scores of inquiries about fixing messes other programmers have made.

Branding BRANDING
Choose PR, not advertising. Brands grow based on what others say about you, not what you say about yourself. We ferret out needless marketing that include advertising. Early stage time and money is better spent on building a great product and getting people to spread the word about it.
What we are reading

Book
Venture Architects develops business stories for investors. However, as The Power of Story points out, your life is the most important story you tell. Jim Loehr challenges readers to examine the way we tell stories about ourselves to ourselves - and the way we can change those stories to transform our business and personal lives. He begins by asking the question, "In which areas of my life is it clear that I cannot achieve my goals with the story I've got?"

Jim has worked with Fortune 500 business executives and world-class athletes including Monica Seles and Grant Hill, and his book is an outgrowth of his incredible energy management programs (Human Performance Institute). If your personal story is in need of a rewrite, take a look at Jim's book or attend one of his classes - and get your story straight.

What our clients have to offer

Nutritious Life
One of our clients, nutritionist Keri Glassman (www.nutritiouslife.com) recently partnered with a mass market beauty company to create Skin Appetit (www.skinappetit.com), a line of skin care products containing anti-aging antioxidants. Keri is now offering a generous 10% discount to friends of Venture Architects. Just enter code SA2008 to purchase any of her creams, cleansers or treatments. Expires May 31, 2008.
What our clients are accomplishing

Salesconx, has officially launched. It's Linked-In on steroids! Salesconx enables businesses, marketers and sales pros to purchase viable sales leads through facilitated introductions - and also monetize their own established contacts. More than 1,500 active users have signed-up for the free service since September 2007 and over 600 business transactions have been completed by members.

Key Ingredient recently launched a service called Scan My Recipes. Key Ingredient is a free website offering a range of value-added services and products designed to help cooks do amazing things with their personal recipe collections. The Scan My Recipes feature converts clippings and handwritten cards into online recipe collections that can be printed as cookbooks, archived on CD, and syndicated to blogs and websites. Since November, Key Ingredient has transcribed over 40,000 recipes, printed hundreds of custom cookbooks and gathered over 4,500 users.

Wild Blue Kids will soon be featured on the Fox News and ABC morning shows and has recently received tremendous print and online coverage. Located in New York City, Wild Blue Kids is a one-of-a-kind, geography-oriented exploration and adventure center for children ages 3 - 11.

what we care about

Changing the Present
Mothers Day is around the corner, and we'll be spending billions of dollars on boxes of chocolates, scarves, and cheap perfume. Or, we could consider a more meaningful alternative – honoring Mom by doing something to make the world a better place, in her name. Help preserve acres of the rainforest, tutor kids, fund breast cancer research . . . These are among the 1,500 donation gifts available at ChangingThePresent.org. You can even personalize a printed greeting card, which has a photo and description of your gift, right from the website.
Venture Architects, LLC positions private companies for success in the capital-raising process through the development of business plans, financial projections, and investor presentations. Since 1998, Venture Architects has worked across a wide variety of industries with over 400 early and growth-stage companies, which have raised approximately $350 million in investment capital.