Great articles roundup: The series A crunch, pitching well, email and content marketing, scaring investors

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By Leo Valiquette

As a regular feature, we provide our readers with a roundup of some of the best articles we have read in the past week. On the podium this week are TechCrunch, Polaris Venture Partners, Pando Daily, Gust and MarketingSherpa.

Median angel deal size rises as startups look for more runway amid a series A bottleneck

TechCrunch’s Kim-Mai Cutler writes about how the median size of angel deals rose to $640,000 in the third quarter of last year – a five-quarter high – as startups looked for more runway amid a bottleneck for Series A rounds. Silicon Valley Bank partnered with data company CB Insights and the Angel Resource Institute to survey different angel groups about activity in the fall of last year.

Cutler’s piece follows an earlier report about the so-called series A crunch based on CB Insights data which showed that, while the number of seed and angel deals has exploded, the number of Series A deals has remained consistent, suggesting that a lot of angel-backed companies will struggle to find follow-on, Series A, funding from VCs.

How to create an early-stage pitch deck

This isn’t an article, but a nonetheless interesting slideshare presentation by Ryan Spoon from his time with Polaris Venture Partners. He takes readers step by step through the process of creating an effective pitch deck, drawing on the common, but easily addressed, mistakes he has seen entrepreneurs make.

Email marketing will never die, so we may as well make it smarter

Pando Daily’s Erin Griffith writes about how New York entrepreneur Vivek Sharma noticed that, amid a sea of attempts to kill email for good, there was a real business to be built in improving the way marketers reach their constituents. Thus, the idea of a “live” email and Sharma’s company, Movable Ink, was born. Launched in January 2011, the company builds tools that pull live content into emails, tools that include social data in emails such as how many of your friends have opened the same offer, and tools that allow emails to detect things like local weather and instant success rates.

7 Startup High Risk Factors That Scare Investors

Veteran startup mentor Martin Zwilling summarizes the high risk considerations that many investors use as their rules of thumb to determine if a specific startup is too high a risk for their investment tastes. “You need to know these guidelines to set your expectations on funding,” he writes.

Content Marketing: 5 questions to ask subject matter experts to get the ball rolling

Content marketing, at its essence, is really just a connection. It’s linking those who know something (subject matter experts) with those who want to know it. This can be a struggle for some marketers who are trying to generate content, especially in complex fields like healthcare, IT or power engineering.

That’s why the subject matter expert is so valuable. MarketingSherpa’s Daniel Burstein offers up timeless interview techniques and key questions for marketers to ask their experts to develop compelling content for blogs, videos, email newsletters, podcasts, whitepapers, and the like.

/// COMMENTS

One Comment »
  • Nick Stamoulis

    January 14, 2013 2:01 pm

    From the article on content marketing – “stories resulting in actionable advice that helps your audience are gold.” This hits the nail on the head. What separates content marketing from other traditional forms of marketing is that content isn’t supposed to be promotional. It should be informational and add value or provide advice on how to solve a problem or situation – not just be a call to action to buy a product or service.

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