Let’s face it: in the last several years entrepreneurs have discovered the gap between the entrepreneurial and investment communities that has stifled seed stage business creation.
On one hand, the venture fund mechanism of the 1990’s is gone, a casualty of unpredictable results and “investment stampedes” that created too many ventures in the same markets. On the other hand, much capital has now pooled into very large $1B class funds that intrinsically can only make large ($50M+) and conservative investments.
The outcome is that seed stage funding for new business creation is now in the hands of individual “angel” investors, and groups of those investors. This is widely recognized, and various support organizations have sprung up including angel networks, mentor groups, and business springboards.
The Airspeed Business Creation™
Airspeed has created an efficient, complete and effective Airspeed Business Creation™ that provides proper structure, preparation and execution for investors and early stage businesses. This means:
- Providing high levels of preparation, guidance, and post-funding monitoring for seed stage business founders;
- Matching well-prepared and committed fund managers with highly qualified seed stage and early stage opportunities; and
- Supporting the investor-business relationship through the entire timeline from inception through B-round financing and or liquidity event.
Unique Resources and Long-Standing Relationships
In addition to our expertise gained by running companies, Airspeed has access to extensive resources not common to many funds. Our history has allowed us to create strong bonds with experts across many different industries. The investment professionals at Airspeed provide our portfolio companies diverse operational expertise, industry domain expertise and research as well as a deep, diverse network of contacts that can be leveraged to drive growth.
The management team at Airspeed has a keen understanding of how to grow and cultivate businesses. Although, in most cases, portfolio company’s senior management runs the company, we provide day to day “hands-on” expertise in business development, sales, marketing, finance, personnel resource planning, lean manufacturing, operations, and outsourcing strategies. Our experience and backgrounds enable us to be knowledgeable about the most important issues facing businesses, especially start-up, early stage and middle market companies.
Competitive Advantage – Focus on Performance and Culture
In order to minimize the historical weaknesses that plague early stage businesses, Airspeed’s Innovation Center provides innovative and effective resources and services to strengthen the businesses in the portfolio and accelerate the pace of implementation and rollout of their products and services. All non-core activities are provided and managed.
- CFO & accounting
- Facilities – physical plant, furniture & fixtures
- Information technology support
- Software development
- Insurance services
- Legal services
- Human resource compliance
- Staffing services
Airspeed provides solid and professional teamwork in the role of the early management for each company in the initial 12 – 24 months – to be followed by a transition to the new company’s own leadership. Putting effective teamwork in place first efficiently reduces a well-known fatal risk in early stage companies.
For any new venture, domain expertise is essential. In a startup enterprise, it is a common but mistaken assumption that “domain expertise” refers to a specific industry. In the early stages of a startup company, the primary focus is ensuring a proper start – and the vitally needed domain expertise is in knowing how to launch and grow a new company.
Not grasping the essential issues of building a business is often the root cause of failure. The Airspeed model provides the domain expertise in the early term of a startup. And as the “domain” transitions to an industry focus, the leadership transition occurs in parallel.