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Predicting the Success of a Startup

Posted by: Nick Leiber on December 18, 2008

How do you predict the success of a new company? One approach is to look at the amount of money its founders have raised from venture capitalists and other equity investors. To get a sense of what the VC community thinks is promising right now, you can check out our slide show profiling a selection of seed and early-stage companies that received the most investment over the past four quarters.

Of course, the ability to land funding is just one indicator a startup’s potential for success. And these days, it’s obviously hard to raise money in either equity or debt form, with little expectation things will get better any time soon. So I’d like to hear about the other factors you use to weigh whether or not a new venture will make it. Let me know in the comments section below.

Reader Comments

Mike Draper

May 17, 2009 8:43 PM

I've reviewed Business Week's Startup 100 list and one point is clear, a majority of this list received investments of $30-100 mill. I think Business Week has glossed over some truly disruptive innovators in areas of PV cell & systems and kinetic hydro systems development that is first to market. Perhaps in 09 your staff can see these 2 Co.s as entry candidates that have flourished in a faster timeline with less than $20 mill invested.
Sencera: (lowest cost asi module mfr at 74 cents per watt) ....more of a PV threat than AVA Solar on your list.

Hydro Green Energy:

HGE's Hasting's hydro unit:

Disruptive kinetic hydro pwoerstation that can remove 1 ton of carbon at $250 per ton in capital outlay as compared to 4-5 times higher cost of $800-1200 in wind/solar.

These 2 Co.s should be candidates for 2009's BW list.....and raised LESS capital and are in commercial development with market validation faster than any renewable co listed upon Series A investment...

Deployed the first FERC licensed kinetic hydro power station in US history that is now grid connected.

Mikey's Motorvations

August 18, 2011 12:39 PM

I want more young people (and older)to start businesses and defy the naysayers. I was only 19 when I started my first full-timer in 1976 while working a job. I have not had a job since '78 when I went full speed.

I started my biz in the 70's in what is considered the worst recession. Fortunately for me I was just a dumb kid and had no idea of failure or how to make it work. I succeeded by sheer desire and determination to be my own boss by doing whatever I could to make it.

I've been through 10 or more businesses since with that first one and it is still going strong. I've succeeded in a few and failed at more. Through those hard times I've learned this - no matter how much money or education you have to begin with, if you don't get off your high horse and start doing something, you'll never get anywhere. Now go!

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What's it like to run your own company today? Entrepreneurs face multiple hurdles new and old, from raising capital and managing employees to keeping up with technology and competing in a global marketplace. In this blog, the Small Business channel's John Tozzi and Nick Leiber discuss the news, trends, and ideas that matter to small business owners. Follow them on Twitter @newentrepreneur.

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