This is the time-of-year where many markets are handing-out all manner of awards.

We recently saw several local companies (including clients of mine) receive various accolades. That said, we saw some head-scratchers out of Atlanta, New York and Minneapolis. So, I picked-up the phone and called one of my investing partners for his views on how these types of decisions are made. I’m glad I did it because the information is insightful, revealing, and should be very useful for my clients and readers:

“Hi Brian. I think there were a number of issues at play.  [REDACTED] is a well-known tech entrepreneur involved with this venture. It is a consumer product and the team effectively used crowd funding to raise money and make some initial sales. Crowd funding (I know you are wary of crowd funding), minority entrepreneurs, b2c, cool product, highly innovative, probably has IP – all good for Atlanta, for example. Sometimes judges (and investors (; ] ) will pick a venture with sizzle over what may be most fundable (but in my opinion your focus on best practices remains critical to their longevity and funding).”

As startup companies evaluate their strategies and best options for angel and venture capital and also market approach, these words can be very beneficial.

Let’s be part of the Solution.

– brian patrick cork

I recently met a three man startup team looking for capital for a company in the sustainability space.

They face fearsome competition but I really like the product and their approach. I believe they are a good bet under the right circumstances.

 Have you ever seen someone walk into the path of a bus?

As I sat through the meeting with them I was thinking that while I genuinely liked them they made me think of a favorite quote:

It’s what you don’t see or know that can kill you.

Dramatic, but always relevant.

All three gentlemen have meaningful business success behind them – and, the project is getting a bit of traction in the marketplace. But, they don’t know how to raise capital the way they need to. I’m confident I know where the best money is, and the process required for gathering it with good form. There are some very good options for them to raise the money, gather a strategic partner, and reduce the surrender of equity. I don’t believe they can do that on their own. They want money but not the guidance that will pull it together.

A quote from the Chairman:

“We don’t need coaching. We have almost a thousand years of experience amongst us and our advisors”.

But… No money.

Often age brings a sense of pride that makes grown men seem like children.

As they left my offices I climbed into my Jeep on the way to a meeting with another startup client that is about a third of the average age of those fellows. We are preparing to close on a round of capital that will glue him together with another emerging culture client of mine that will make for a brilliant strategic partnership. A third client that has evolved into an established logo is monitoring the entire process with acquisition in mind.

Its doesn’t always work-out that way. But, I’m reminded today why I find boundless inspiration in anyone possessed of both an open mind and an open heart, driven by vision that age can’t define.

Let’s be part of the Solution.

brian patrick cork

points of reference:

startups, emerging cultures, established logo


May 21, 2014 — Leave a comment

Interesting quote from Humans of New York that is relevant to Linkedin, for example:

“It’s hard to be taken seriously when you don’t have connections. And unfortunately, when you don’t have connections, it seems like the only people you can connect with are other people who don’t have connections.”

Help others, and be helped.

Let’s be part of the Solution.

– brian patrick cork

Brian Patrick Cork brian cork Human Capital™ Coaching client Darnisha Harrison, founder and CEO of Ennaid Therapeutics, has been deemed, “A Woman to Watch” in business by Newsweek Magazine.

Ms. Harrison, a scientist by trade and evangelist by calling, is on a path to cure Dengue Fever, and related viruses around the globe. She has secured game-changing IP and established herself as a front-runner in the effort. – Women Entrepreneurs Fight for Their Piece of the Pie
“Only 13 percent of all venture capital deals in the United States went to women in 2013, a significant increase from 2004 data that put the figure at 4 percent. But that still means 87 percent of deals are being given to…”

darnisha harrison“Darnisha Grant Harrison of Ennaid Therapeutics: As many as 400 million people are infected with the potentially deadly dengue virus each year. Right now, there are no vaccines, and the only means of prevention is to avoid exposure to mosquitoes. But what if dengue could be cured? Ennaid Therapeutics has exclusive, worldwide rights to develop and commercialize what Harrison is confident will be the first cure for dengue. Her company licensed a flavivirus inhibitor technology that she says has been shown to inhibit more than 99 percent of mosquito-borne viruses, including West Nile and dengue. Harrison has raised seed capital, and her five-person team is now raising $20 million more to complete testing and bring the potential cure to market.”

Let’s be part of the Solution.

brian patrick cork