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In Case You Missed It: Ralph Sheridan on Why Start-ups Fail

08 Apr 2015 3:34 PM | Kathleen Ballos (Administrator)
The topic of Tuesday night’s (4/7/15) ENET Meeting at Constant Contact in Waltham was Winning Investor’s with Your Pitch and Presentation . Moderator Alan Silver put together a great panel, which included Lucinda Linde of Walnut Venture Associates, Sheryl Schultz of Golden Seeds, and Ralph Sheridan of Launchpad Venture Group.

This wasn’t a meeting about building the perfect pitch deck. There are lots of excellent resources online for that (here’s one of my favorites, from Forbes ). Instead, Lucinda talked at length about fundamental questions that a founder has to answer during their pitch, while Sheryl discussed how angels evaluate the founding team, market opportunity, and competition .

Ralph Sheridan’s presentation looked at the top-5 reasons Why Startups Fail , with the overall goal of giving founders the information and lessons that angels have learned over the years, so that founders can factor that information into their business analysis, planning, and ultimately, pitch.

Here is Ralph’s list. It isn’t remarkable. What is remarkable are the underlying and contributing causes (see his deck ). For me, and I suspect a lot of attendees, the personal experiences and commentary Ralph added to illustrate and amplify his points was really helpful and interesting.

  1. Run out of money
  2. Technology isn’t ready
  3. Market doesn’t respond
  4. Inability to sell
  5. Leadership mistakes