People First Podcast

Podcast: Creating a Goal-Driven Culture with Eddie Leshin

People First is the Hyde Park Angels podcast dedicated to deconstructing entrepreneurial success into actionable takeaways you can use today. Hyde Park Angels is the most active early-stage investor in Chicago with a commitment to taking a “people-first approach” to investing. By matching our members’ expertise with entrepreneurs’ needs, we help develop top-performing companies that are delivering extraordinary […]

How to Manage World-Class Advisors, Investors, and Board Members

If you missed the event or just want a quick recap, read on for highlights from the discussion. The event brought together world-class entrepreneurs and investors Jim Gray (CEO, G-Bar Limited Partnership; Co-Founder, OptionsXpress), Amanda Lannert (CEO, Jellyvision), Badal Shah (Co-Founder and CEO, TurboAppeal), Michael Small (CEO, gogo), and Kevin Willer (Partner, Chicago Ventures) to […]

How to Set Up Vesting Shares with Co-Founders

When a founding team starts a business, the members have to ask themselves a critical question: how should we make sure they divide the value of the company fairly? There are many ways to do this, but often the simplest is to structure the initial shares as vesting. Vesting shares means an individual does not […]

October 21, 2016 By Alida Miranda-Wolff

New Investment Series: Catalytic

The Hyde Park Angels “New Investment Series” profiles our most recent investments by examining the investment process and the individual company’s future trajectory from two perspectives: the portfolio company’s CEO and the HPA leader who made the deal happen. This edition focuses on Catalytic.  We recently invested in Catalytic, a SaaS company automating business processes […]

September 9, 2016 By Alida Miranda-Wolff

Why Cap Tables Matter: Ownership and Exit Values

Cap tables and venture capital go hand-in-hand. Without them, determining ownership, control, and exit returns would be nearly impossible. That’s because a capitalization table is a table that takes all of the shareholders in your business and lays out who owns what, how much each one owns, and what value is assigned to the stock […]

protect your business

Protecting Your Business from Threats, Vulnerabilities, and Setbacks

In a resource-strapped, lean, and agile environment like a startup, it can be easy to lose sight of the fact that you are just as vulnerable to business risks as other types of companies. Anything from an employee slip and fall to a security breach can turn into a major liability. For a startup, it’s […]

July 15, 2016 By Alida Miranda-Wolff

3 Key Steps to Assessing Your Capital Raise

Taking on capital has a cost and an inherent risk. Specifically, when you take on capital, you’re giving up equity and entering into an agreement with your shareholders to ultimately work towards delivering value back to them. There are risks associated with raising more capital than you can return that could materially impact the health […]

May 6, 2016 By Alida Miranda-Wolff

How to Successfully Pitch Your Team to Investors

Last year, DocSend — a startup focused on sharing secure files — partnered with the Harvard Business School professor Tom Eisenmann to study over 200 pitch decks as a means of determining how entrepreneurs should optimize their pitches to increase the chances of funding. The study contained many interesting results, as well as actionable takeaways from entrepreneurs raising rounds […]

April 15, 2016 By Alida Miranda-Wolff

How to Fund Your Early-Stage Startup

We launched the first program in our 2016 Entrepreneurial Education Series, “When to Raise Venture Capital or Bootstrap,” on March 3rd with our partner 1871. The event brought together powerhouse entrepreneurs and investors Bill Pescatello (Partner, Lightbank), Pam Netzky (Co-Founder, SkinnyPop), Kristi Ross (Co-CEO & President, dough), Katlin Smith (Founder & CEO, Simple Mills), and […]

March 4, 2016 By Alida Miranda-Wolff

2015 in Review: The 4 Most Important Lessons from the Entrepreneurial Education Series

2015 in Review: The 4 Most Important Lessons from the Entrepreneurial Education Series In March of this year, we launched our Entrepreneurial Education Series, a series that takes entrepreneurs through the early-stage investment from start to finish. We explored every nearly relevant funding topic, including what makes a startup investable, how to find investors, how […]

December 22, 2015 By Alida Miranda-Wolff