Over the next six months, Jason Ray and Lucas Vining will deliver a weekly webinar series targeted toward early-stage entrepreneurs on topics such as business model design, raising investor capital and uses of capital. Zenith will also invite guest speakers based on each topic to provide illustrative and practical examples. These sessions are intentionally designed to be educational and interactive.
A full list of topics and scheduled dates are below. Mark your calendars and we look forward to you joining us!
To register, please visit The Enterprise Center – Event Calendar & Registration Page
- Uses of capital in business overview [October 17, 2022]
What’s the optimal capital structure for your business?
Capital structure in business is defined as a firm’s ratio of debt to equity in its financing activities. This ratio defines the relationship between borrowed dollars versus dollars invested in the business. The more money that business owners have invested in the firm, the easier it will be to attract financing, as it displays a great deal of confidence in the business and a lower risk to potential investors.
- Raising external capital considerations [October 24, 2022]
What should you think about when raising external capital for your business?
Not all external capital sources are created equal. Dilutive versus non-dilutive capital is a key consideration when evaluating how to finance your business with external money. Further, there are a number of pros and cons to consider when evaluating external capital providers.
- Investing internally generated funds [October 31, 2022]
How should you use your cash flow and profit to grow your business?
Internally generated funds can be the best sources of investment capital to grow your business in the short and long term. Let’s explore the best ways to allocate capital generated within your business.
- Typical equity financing structures [November 7, 2022]
How should you evaluate the type of equity financing you pursue?
The stage of your business will determine the type of equity capital you can attract. For example, the earlier the stage of your business, the more dilution you may need to accept to raise equity financing. We’ll explore the best ways to evaluate equity financing and how to negotiate the best structures.
- Determining an Appropriate Valuation [November 14, 2022]
How much is your company really worth?
Valuing early stage startups is an art, not a science. Learn some of the most common ways to approach this question, when to use different methods, which method might be right for your startup, and the strengths and weaknesses of each method.
- Equity waterfall and capitalization tables [November 28, 2022]
Who owns your company?
This might seem like an obvious question, but keeping track of company ownership is a task that many founders struggle with. As you bring on new employees, advisors, investors and other stakeholders, tracking your cap table can become incredibly complex! Learn how to use a cap table and identify not only ownership structures, but also how to protect liquidation waterfalls (i.e. how much each stakeholder gets paid).
- Sourcing the Right Investor [December 5, 2022]
As long as they’ll write the check, why does it matter who my investor is?
An investment partnership is like a marriage; you’ll be with your investor for a long time, so you want to make sure they’re the right person for your company. Before you even approach prospective investors, there are ways to determine early on if they might be a fit for your company. After establishing investment thesis fit, learn how to think about cultural fit and other considerations in choosing the right partner.
- Building an Investor Deck [December 12, 2022]
How do I create a pitch deck to attract investors?
Your pitch deck is often an integral part to making a first impression with investors. Even if the company is amazing, investors may be turned away if you’re not showcasing the right strengths in your deck. Learn the key components of a pitch deck as well as some design tips to make your deck stand out!
- Nailing the Pitch [December 19, 2022]
How do I deliver a killer pitch to investors?
Pitching your company to investors can be scary, especially for a first-time founder. But there’s no reason it needs to be, especially if you’re armed with the tools to make your pitch convincing. Learn how to deliver a pitch, the basic components investors are looking for, and some general tips about how to keep your pitch clear and engaging.
- Securing the Term Sheet [January 9, 2023]
How do I translate early investor interest into a check?
The path to securing a deal with an investor can be long and unclear. Learn how to navigate that path, how to negotiate with prospective investors, and some of the key terms on a term sheet that you should be aware of.
- Acing the Due Diligence Process [January 23, 2023]
What do I need to do to get / keep an investor interested in my company?
The due diligence process is something every investor will go through, but it will look slightly different for each investor. It’s important to know some of the common elements in all due diligence processes, how to successfully get through the process, and also how to conduct your own due diligence on your investor (due diligence goes both ways)!
- Finding and Product/Market Fit [January 30, 2023]
What is product / market fit, and how do I know if I have it?
The number one reason startups fail is because they cannot effectively establish product / market fit. Learn why so many companies fail at this, how you can avoid common mistakes, and how your startup can demonstrate product market fit to scale and raise money. We will also cover the basics of lean startup and customer discovery as a foundation for the conversation on product / market fit.
- Establishing Effective Pricing [February 6, 2023]
Am I losing money because I’m underpricing? Or Overpricing?
Establishing effective pricing can be difficult, especially for new products and services for which there are not direct comparisons. Learn some of the strategies you can leverage to make sure you’re optimizing revenue by ensuring your products or services are priced appropriately.
- Effective Marketing Strategies [February 13, 2023]
If I pour more money into marketing, I’ll boost my sales, right?
Marketing does not necessarily equate to sales. It is critical to make sure that your marketing strategies are targeting the right audience and with the right message. We’ll cover all of these questions as well as hear from a subject matter expert on marketing and leveraging social media to boost your brand and company’s awareness and sales.
- Integrating Values into Results [February 20, 2023]
How can I leverage my company values to improve by business?
Your company values underpin everything you do in your business and will be felt by your employees, customers and investors. Learn how to identify and articulate your company values as well as integrate them into your daily operations to build a strong team culture and positive customer experience.
- Assembling the Right Team [February 27, 2023]
How do I know if someone is the right person to help me build and scale my company?
Building a team is critical for any startup looking to scale and grow. No founder can do it all themself, and identifying the gaps in the team’s core competencies is the first step in growing. We’ll cover how to identify those gaps and how to think about bringing on first employees or even co-founders who are good fits for your company.
- Scaling a business [March 6, 2023]
I have product / market fit and early sales, but how do I get to the next level?
Scaling is always a challenge, even for experienced founders. We’ll cover some of the early and later steps you can take to smooth out the scaling process to make sure your company operations are repeatable. You’ll also hear about some of the most common challenges and ways to think about solving those challenges.
- Defining Current Company Financial Position [March 13, 2023]
How can I understand where my company is financially?
Company financials are a big headache for a lot of founders; we get it, as a founder you want to be out in the world building! But understanding your company’s financial history and current position is critical to successful operations and raising money. Learn the basics of how to understanding your company finances and how to present the information to investors in a clear and concise way.
- Identifying Growth and Cost Levers [March 20, 2023]
My company is growing, but I’m not completely sure why…
Sometimes, startups see incredible organic growth, but it’s not always clear where that growth is coming from. Learn how to identify the major drivers of your company as well as any factors that might be holding you back.
- Creating Financial Projections [March 27, 2023]
How can I use my financial projections to tell a story?
Financial projections can be tricky, but if you are identifying and making the right assumptions about the future, they do not have to be complicated. Learn how to tell your growth story through your company financials and how to leverage this story to attract investors. Additionally, we’ll cover some of the red flags and most common mistakes we see in financial projections.
- Preparing for Multiple Financing Rounds [April 10, 2023]
How can I position my company for long-term growth?
Raising a single financing round is challenging enough, but how can you plan to raise multiple? Positioning your company for long term growth and multiple future financing rounds is not always clear. Learn how to think about the long-term outlook for your company, how much money you’ll need to raise and how to best prepare for those future financing rounds from both a cap table and operating perspective.
- Understanding Tax Implications of Raising Capital [April 17, 2023]
I just raised my first financing round; do I owe taxes now?
Both corporate and personal taxes related to financing events and stock can be extremely complex. That’s why we’re bringing a subject matter expert to break it down! Learn the different types of tax implications for both you and your business as your startup goes through the growth cycle and raises money.
- Founder and Equity Ownership Waterfalls [April 24, 2023]
When I sell my company, how much money will I actually take home?
Sometimes it’s not always as simple as multiplying your ownership percentage by the company purchase value. There are a myriad of terms that will impact your take home as a founder. Learn some of the most common terms such as liquidation preference, liquidation seniority and share classes as well as ways to proactively predict and protect your ownership as a founder.
- Planning for an Exit [May 8, 2023]
My long term vision is to sell my company or go public, but how do I proactively build towards that goal?
Different types of exits have different features and benefits. We’ll cover at a high level the most common types of exits and how to think about your exit goals from Day 1 as you’re building your company from the ground up.
- The Terminal Value [May 15, 2023]
How do I actually sell my company?
In our final webinar of the series, we’ll cover valuing your company at an exit, important purchase terms, and leaving your legacy in both the company and your personal financial position.