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1M/1M: VCs, Angels, Incubators, Accelerators – What WE Do With Your Rejects

Posted on Tuesday, Mar 1st 2011

Last week I wrote the post VCs, Angels, Incubators, Accelerators – What Are You Doing With Your Rejects? following which I had a number of significant private discussions which I curate here for the benefit of others who have the same kinds of questions. Overall, I think it will help the ecosystem better understand how we simply supplement existing resources and add value. Existing resources include incubators, accelerators, financing marketplaces like AngelList, and of course VCs and angels.

Tim Draper asked: “How are you going to handle helping all those companies?”

My response:

In 1M/1M, we have developed a curriculum and a program to take them through the various issues they need to understand why they are getting rejected and what their options are. We put them through about a 50-hour curriculum to get them up to speed. Plus, we have group coaching sessions (public and private roundtables), and other services. We have been running the free version of the roundtables for two years and launched the premium version in November. Because of our experience in individually coaching hundreds of entrepreneurs over a long period, we have a very good idea of the issues in play in our ecosystem.

Mark Hoffman referred an entrepreneur, suggesting we meet. Mark is a close colleague, former client, and friend.

My response:

I will respond to her and ask her to join the 1M/1M program. At the moment, the only way I am working with entrepreneurs is through the program, and it is a virtual, scalable exercise.

I have developed a methodology to do companies without too much outside capital, largely by bootstrapping the early stages.

The methodology is discussed in a curriculum which would take her 30 to 50 hours to go through, and I believe she will come out on the other end with a much more refined sense of why she is not getting financed. The curriculum consists of video lectures and case studies.

In the meantime, I will answer questions, provide coaching, etc.

She can also use our services, such as introductions to customers, channel partners, investors, media, and analysts as appropriate.

As you know, I have charged a lot in my consulting career, and this is an effort to make that kind of consulting accessible and affordable to early-stage entrepreneurs, but to do that, I had to design a different model of engagement: a $1,000 annual membership fee to join a club, essentially, and use video lectures to synthesize the vast number of recurring issues that entrepreneurs keep bumping up against.

I suggest we put her through this process, and you will get a feel for how it works. It may also become a scalable way for you to supplement your startup advising/angel investing, as I am sure all of this takes up a lot of bandwidth on your side as well.

And to the entrepreneur, I replied:

The way I work with entrepreneurs is exclusively through the 1M/1M program. I suggest you look at the 1M/1M site and get oriented. If you decide you want to work with me, you can join the program, and I will be very happy to advise you. We are a completely virtual program and use extensive video conferencing; we don’t do in-person meetings.

If you have other questions about how 1M/1M works, please free to ask them here, and I will do my best to answer.

This segment is a part in the series : 1M/1M

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