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Paul O'Brien
Lives in Austin, TX
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Paul O'Brien

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The equity granted to your team, your ‪#‎startup‬ employees, speaks volumes more than merely being part of the compensation. When building a committed, invested, passionate team, something which should be your paramount priority as a founder, nothing matters more than HOW you accomplish this.
If your local economy is still wrestling with these standards, you have an inefficient ecosystem in which everyone constantly needs to discuss, negotiate, and consider the value of equity before making commitments. Here's how to determine the equity to grant to startup employees.
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Paul O'Brien

Discussion  - 
 
I can't begin to mention and thank all of the brilliant founders and ventures that led to this perspective on Austin's incredible startup community. Over the half decade that I've called Austin,   home, I've been searching for how best to characterize what make Austin unique in all the world.

Why is  consistently at the top of the best cities in which to build a company? Why are so many moving to Austin? Why are companies relocating their innovation business units to Austin?? Because Austin is the future.

As we evolve tech from the hard, engineered, coded experiences that built the infrastructure on which we live and work today, we're seeing how technology becomes part of our lives. Austin is where that's happening.
When you are asking yourself WHERE you should be building your company, ask not those questions of cost of living, access to VC, talent depth, or work/life balance. Ask yourself where your technology can come to life. Austin is where tech comes to life.
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Paul O'Brien

Equity Crowdfunding  - 
 
World Bank commissioned study, shows that the global crowdfunding market could balloon up to $96 Billion in the next 25 years (1.8x the size of the global VC industry today). 
SponsoredReward-based crowdfunding platforms fall short on returns but equity crowdfunding platforms can provide a fair financial middle ground with a minimium investment starting at only $10,000.
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Paul O'Brien

Equity Crowdfunding  - 
 
Initially, crowdfunding was limited to a reward or donation basis, and was made popular by sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. By collecting incremental donations from hundreds or thousands of backers, these sites pool the capital necessary to launch products and support ideas of various sizes. In return for backing products, funders receive prototypes, discounts, or special product packages, while those participating in donation-based funding do not expect or receive anything in return.

Although these types of #crowdfunding skyrocketed in popularity, growing by 524% from 2009 to 2012, their potential to benefit startups pales in comparison to that of equity crowdfunding.
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The challenge of raising capital will forever frustrate us as there is no right way to raise money; it takes time, perseverance, patience, and just the right fit.  But, the litany of pitch consultants, books, incubators, and Angel networks seem to direct entrepreneurs in one consistent direction, and though few of those guides speak so bluntly and clearly as to convey exactly what you should do, I don't think it's hard to read the tea leaves and discern that your goal is to convey, simply, why.
The challenge of raising capital will forever frustrate us as there is no right way to raise money; it takes time, perseverance, patience, and just the right fit. But, the litany of pitch consultants, books, incubators, and Angel network seem to direct entrepreneurs in one consistent direction and though few of those guides speak so bluntly and clearly as to convey exactly what you should do, I don't think it's hard to read the tea leaves and dis...
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Paul O'Brien

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An incredibly frequent question in Austin as every investor seems to be saying that you have to have revenue and customers to get funded. True? I had a great discussion of this this morning and put some thoughts to paper:
Without understanding and communicating your potential, you can't raise money, without revenue, because you don't have a business any more valuable than selling something. Businesses that sell something get loans. Startups that understand their potential to redefine, and own, markets, get funding.
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I might raise all holy hell for this from my PR friends but with sophisticated use of Google Analytics and tools like Sprinklr, TrendKite, and People Pattern, I'm going to refute Mark Cuban's claim that startups shouldn't hire PR agencies and affirm that startups can really benefit from the domain expertise.  The said, he's right to the extent that there are few firms that really know how to create value for ventures so #startups  are indeed, usually, wasting money.
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Paul O'Brien

Beta Invites  - 
 
I need startups that want to pitch, on the air. No cost, no obligation, other than the fact that we're going to talk about you.

I'm 3 shows produced into a new show about startups, innovation, and venture capital; a segment of the show is live, anonymous call-ins, pitching cold.

You have 30 seconds on the air. Don't announce who you are or the name of your company. Cold pitch. If the hosts like the idea, we'll keep you on to introduce more and ultimately promote what you're doing.

Interested, please drop your email here: http://startupstudioshow.com/ so our Producer can get in touch.

Want to follow along as we go live with the show? We're here on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/startupstudioshow
Join us on the air. A new kind of talk show exploring our economy of innovation, entrepreneurship, and venture capital, and a chance for you to pitch your startup live. Learn more and schedule a pitch here or drop your email below. Thank you! We will be in touch to schedule a time ...
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Sterling Smith's profile photoJim Irish's profile photoPaul O'Brien's profile photo
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Thanks +Sterling Smith  and +Jim Irish .  We're off to a fantastic start to the show and thrilled to have the support
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Paul O'Brien

Discussion  - 
 
Q Manning from Rocksauce Studios, St. Edward's University's Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship David Altounian, Zane McCarthy of Borg Fest, CoachTube.com's Wade Floyd, TripChamp's Daniel Senyard, and myself, with Lani Rosales, on cybersecurity, patent reform, surveillance, net neutrality, copyright reform, and immigration policy, and what Federal policy means to Austin startups.
Congress returns to session this week, and several issues are on the table that impact the tech world, specifically Austin tech.
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Paul O'Brien

Knowledge Sharing  - 
 
Initially, crowdfunding was limited to a reward or donation basis, and was made popular by sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo. By collecting incremental donations from hundreds or thousands of backers, these sites pool the capital necessary to launch products and support ideas of various sizes. In return for backing products, funders receive prototypes, discounts, or special product packages, while those participating in donation-based funding do not expect or receive anything in return.

Although these types of crowdfunding skyrocketed in popularity, growing by 524% from 2009 to 2012, their potential to benefit startups pales in comparison to that of equity crowdfunding.
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David Khorram's profile photoBill Huston's profile photo
 
+Paul O'Brien Thank you 
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A week to be thankful for!  I'm excited to share that I'm starting as CMO of +MicroVentures.  After many many years supporting a handful of startups at a time, grow and raise capital, this is a move both personally and professionally exciting as we're working in Venture Capital, at scale.

What is MicroVentures? Equity based, crowdfunded venture capital.  These guys are at the bleeding edge of the innovation of how startups raise money.  Traditional (accredited) venture capital and angel investors invest alongside sophisticated investors (you perhaps) in startups such as Fab, Facebook, Twitter, and Meetup.  As a FINRA-registered broker-dealer, MicroVentures matches startups seeking capital with investors on the platform, who can invest as little as $3,000.

What's that all mean?  You can invest in startups.  Not the kickstarter kind of crowdfunding, real investment. Startup founders, I'm going to keep fighting the good fight to make it easier to raise money; I'm excited that now though, I'm doing it with thousands and thousands of investors behind me.
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Neil Reid's profile photoMalcolm Stephenson's profile photo
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Congratulations Paul. I can feel that this is an exciting opportunity for you. Best of luck with it!
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Paul O'Brien

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Businesses that sell something get loans. #Startups that understand their potential to redefine, and own, markets, get funding.
Without understanding and communicating your potential, you can't raise money, without revenue, because you don't have a business any more valuable than selling something. Businesses that sell something get loans. Startups that understand their potential to redefine, and own, markets, get funding.
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Ricardo D Sanchez's profile photo
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Austin, TX
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Los Gatos, CA - San Francisco, CA - Palo Alto, CA - Tempe, AZ - Portage, MI - Farmington Hills, MI - Battle Creek, MI - Appleton, WI
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Growth Hacker, Experienced Entrepreneur, and Business Builder
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Austin based startup advisor, CMO, author and evangelist
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Featured in the Michael Miller Book: Online Marketing Heroes
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Launch startups
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