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What To Consider Before Investing In Tech Startups

startup investing

Most pundits christen it as the ultimate gamble. It is also the fodder for the future. The returns can be ridiculously sweet if you hit it big. I’m talking about technology. Most of the top 10 biggest tech giants are barely 20 years-old. Within that time, they have turned modest investments into billion-dollar conglomerates.

Each of these tech giants will tell you of a very charming story of how they bet on the idea of the future. What most of them will never tell you is the number of similar startups that have since exited the market since they started. Before you activate that gallant mode, here is what you need to consider.


Understand the risks

Even experienced venture capitalists don’t have a perfect record. Most of them will be comfortable with anything above 50 percent. It means, for every $100 they invest in startups, $50 would land in a furnace.

Another statistic worth mentioning is that at least nine out of 10 startups close shop within the first five years. Half of those firms go down due to poor business strategy. Technology catches others napping and whitewashes them.

The risks are grievous. Unlike established companies that can shed some of their value then recover, once a startup closes shop, that is the end of the music. It doesn’t matter how much you have invested.


Know the law

When it comes to investing in startups, only wealthy people were able to invest. However, since the passing of the JOBS Act, almost anyone can invest. However, you must qualify to do so. The qualification is simple, an annual income of at least $107,000 or a marching bank balance.

At that level, you will qualify to invest $2,200 or 5 percent of your annual salary. As you work your way up the income ladder, you can invest more. To invest, you can invest in companies that SEC and FINRA clear for debt or crowdfunding.

However, an SEC or FINRA clearance is not a guarantee that the startup will succeed. Their role is to ensure that the companies are in legitimate business. You have to do your due diligence before you invest.


Get in your industry with your money

It is not mandatory to invest in tech firms targeting your area of expertise. However, experts recommend that you do. Part of suave investment is to interrogate company finances, products, and methods.

If you are a doctor, can you competently interrogate a financial technology product? Maybe not! If an analytics startup tells you they have the most exciting data catalog in the market, you probably should do some research to assure they are telling the truth. But where would you do that research? My point is this: Invest in an area that you have pertinent information and knowledge. It may be a hobby or your spouse who has some connections there. However, it should be something that interests you.


Start at the bottom

Be realistic about your chances. Most startups take at least seven years for them to pay out their angel investors. Popular checkouts are IPOs or buy-offs. Startup investments are therefore long-term investments because it takes quite some time to get a payday.

Getting reach quickly is a possibility, but the chances of it happening in the first three years are minimal. Therefore, you will need to spread your risk by investing in several startups.

The best place to start is through crowdfunding initiatives so that you can get the hang of it. You can choose from existing platforms . Some will allow you to invest more money than others do. Some will even offer you guaranteed returns on investments.

As you grow in stature and experience, you can move on to elite levels. Who knows, one day you might become a venture capitalist.



Startups investment is for the bold. You have to hope for the best but expect the worst. Invest what you are ready to lose.

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4 Big Names In and Around Silicon Valley Who Have Invested in Smart Drugs

Sometimes it can be difficult to maintain your focus, concentration, and energy. If you have to work long hours, spending long periods of time in front of a computer, it’s easy to get drained pretty quickly. With this in mind, many people turn to quick fixes — things like coffee or energy drinks — as a way to stay at the top of their game. While these temporary boosts may work in the short-term, many would rather seek a longer lasting solution. That’s where so-called “smart drugs” come in. Smart drugs (sometimes called nootropics) is the all-encompassing name used to refer to the drugs and supplements that are designed to enhance cognitive functions like creativity, motivation, memory, focus, and more. It’s not just a niche market either. Some notable names from Silicon Valley have made strides in promoting smart drugs with big investments.


Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that Silicon Valley minds have gravitated toward smart drugs. Silicon Valley business experts like to stay on the cutting edge and tap into trends as they’re on the rise. Here are four who are putting their money where their mouth is, so to speak.


Marc Andreessen


Marc Andreessen is a co-founder of Andreessen Horowitz, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. You’ve likely heard his name before. He’s a billionaire who has invested in such notable companies as Skype, Airbnb, Twitter, and Buzzfeed. So Andreessen has a pretty good record when it comes to backing successful ventures. One of the smart drug companies he’s invested in is Nootrobox, a startup based out of San Francisco. Nootrobox is founded by Michael Brandt and Geoffrey Woo, and the investment is meant to help in further research of nootropics along with increasing production of their offerings. Andreessen and his venture capital group clearly see the potential in this field.


Steve Farber


Steven Farber is the president and founder of The Extreme Leadership Institute, which helps develop leaders within education, the business community, and non-profits. He’s also a best-selling author and a motivational speaker focused on leadership. Since he’s so connected with business leaders, he also is in tune with the demands on Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. In dealing with these demands, he eventually discussed nootropics with Daniel Schmachtenberger, one of the founders of the Neurohacker Collective. As Farber puts it, he came away from the discussions so impressed that he became a channel partner for the company. The Neurohacker Collective looks to provide nootropic supplements designed to help people focus, improve motivation, and enhance overall brain health.


Marissa Mayer and Mark Pincus


For this entry, we’ll return to the company Nootrobox, which not only got backing from Andreessen Horowitz but two other notable Silicon Valley leaders: Marissa Mayer and Mark Pincus. Mayer was a long-time executive of Google before becoming the president and CEO of Yahoo!, a position she resigned from in 2017. Pincus is the co-founder and former CEO of Zynga, the company behind top social media games like Farmville and Words With Friends. Both Mayer and Pincus were attracted to the idea of smart drugs and jumped on board with a $500,000 investment each. The two have other connections with Nootrobox as well. Mayer originally hired one of the company’s founders back when she worked at Google, and Pincus worked next door to Nootrobox at the time the investment happened.

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Where Job Markets are Boosting Investment Markets


In 2017, the American economy has proven resilient as it has managed to stay on a recovery course despite political scandals and turmoil in the White House. During the early days of the year, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the national unemployment rate had fallen to 4.6 percent; the last time American workers enjoyed such an abundance of available jobs was in 2007. A survey conducted in January 2017 indicated that employers planned to increase their payrolls by more than six percent this year, and the overall sentiment for business growth was very positive when compared to previous years.


In July 2017, The New York Times reported that job growth was still on track to keep growing, but the economic expansion is showing some uneven characteristics. Sales of new automobiles are falling at the same time shopping malls and major department stores are reducing their operations; moreover, the demand for new workers is greatly outpacing wage growth.


According to a July report by Quicken Loans, the pace of imported goods coming into the country increased to $52.8 billion, which reflects an increase of more than $1.1 billion; this jump in import activity is correlated to an increase in domestic investment by retailers and manufacturers that purchase tools, equipment, and raw materials. It is important to note, however, that investment levels are not uniform across the country.


There is a reality that job seekers and investors must face in today’s economy: the chances of landing a good job or capitalizing on an investment will largely depend on the region. Investors who want to see capital growth should focus on the metropolitan areas where job seekers are succeeding in terms of getting hired and being compensated accordingly.


The Canyon State: Where Job Seekers and Investors Meet


A January market research study by personal finance website Wallethub revealed that Arizona is the leading state in terms of job and investment growth. In a list ranking the best cities presenting job opportunities as well as a positive socio economic climate for investing, four Arizona cities were in among the top 20: Scottsdale, Chandler, Peoria, and Gilbert. In fact, Scottsdale was the top job market on the list.


Most Phoenix movers are probably very busy in 2017; this is a city that used to be one of the most promising local economies prior to the calamitous Wall Street crash of 2008. These days, workers, entrepreneurs, investors, and business owners are setting their sights on Scottsdale.


The Lone Star State: Technology and Quality of Life


Plano, Garland, Austin, and Dallas are also attractive cities for prospective employees and investors, particularly for those who are interested in the tech sector. Since 2015, Austin has been mentioned as the Silicon Valley of Texas due to its high number of tech startups and burgeoning quality of life. Major tech firms such as Google and Facebook have been opening offices in Austin in recent years, and venture capital investment firms have followed suit.


The Tar Heel State: Unexpected Tourism Expansion


In North Carolina’s Research Triangle of Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, local business owners have been surprised by an unusual spike in tourism. This part of the country is known for being an active research and development hub, but its economic output came crashing down in 2008. Since then, the local tech sector has been slow to recover; however, the same cannot be said about tourism. According to statistics compiled by the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, tourists spent nearly $2.5 billion in 2016. What is interesting about this figure is that this region is not traditionally known as a tourism destination; nonetheless, many of the visitors are foreign students on short “semester abroad” programs managed through partnership between local and overseas universities. As a result. entrepreneurs are paying attention to this trend and setting up shop in North Carolina.


In the end, it is safe to say that investment and high employment levels will continue to grow together in 2017; the next economic development will hopefully be associated with wage growth.

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Planning Ahead: 4 Things Sellers Should Invest In This Spring

There might be snow on the ground and a wind chill outside right now, but winter will be over before you know it. With the change in weather spring, one of the busiest times of year when it comes to real estate. If you are planning on selling your home, there are some things you should invest in to help ensure that your home is in ideal condition and able to attract buyers for the right price.

1. An Inspection

This is something of a catch-all. A home inspector will survey your home and see what issues there might be with the house that you haven’t noticed. This could include faulty wiring, pests and leaky faucets. Remember: as inspectors, they won’t be able to fix all these problems themselves, but they will be able to find them in hopefully enough time for you to remedy them before you sell.

Expected Cost: Between $315 and $400.

2. Professional Cleaning Service

You might think you keep your house clean, but trust us—there’s a difference between the cleanliness standard needed for living in a house and selling that house. Even if you always scrub the shower, sweep the living room on a consistent basis, and never leave a single dirty dish or saucepan out, living in a house tends to make it look, well… used. It’s not negligence; it’s just the way things work.

That’s why it’s often a good idea to contact a professional maid service to clean up your house, particularly when your home is up on the market. Note that your house should most certainly not be in a state of disarray before the cleaners come. Instead, you should clean up as best as you can and let them handle the finishing touches so that your house can go from looking great to looking perfect. Also, schedule the appointment as close to when you list the home as possible. Otherwise, you risk the house getting dirty again and you’ll need to schedule another appointment.

Expected Cost: Between $25 and $35 per hour.

3. Yard Care

Curb appeal is something that cannot be taken for granted when selling a home. You could have the most pristine, gorgeous manor on the inside, but if the yard is decayed and decrepit, buyers won’t even make it to the front door. That’s why you should invest in proper lawn maintenance. You’ll need to find people who can mow a lawn, trim hedges, pull weeds and more once the sun starts coming out.

Yard pest control is also an important thing to keep in mind. Moles leave unsightly holes, and hornets and other stinging insects can make entire sections of your yard impassable. Beyond that, while It might just seem like an outdoor problem at first, if mice, mosquitoes, termites and more aren’t taken care of, they can migrate inside, spelling disaster for the value of your home. Find professional, trusted exterminators who can take care of any potential pest problems, and you’ll save yourself a lot of stress.

Expected Cost: Between $35 and $50 per visit

4. New Paint Job

Paint is meant to provide color and liveliness to a house, which will make it more enticing for potential buyers; however, it can backfire. For instance, paint that has faded or chipped away is not very enticing. Whether it’s on the outside of your home, inside, or both, get the paint touched up if it needs it. Meanwhile, while you may enjoy having a home painted a bold color that stands out, potential buyers might consider it an eyesore and walk away. To attract more buyers, get your walls repainted in a more neutral, widely appealing color.

Expected Cost: Between $1,700 and $3,600.

We hope you follow this advice as you prepare to sell your house. Though selling your home might seem arduous and stressful, it can be made much easier by tackling these issues as soon as possible. Not only will your new home buyers appreciate the effort you took to make their new residence as livable as possible; there’s a good chance that you will be able to sell it for a higher price.

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