Inside Information

What makes a venture capitalist tick?
Magazine Contributor
3 min read

This story appears in the September 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

To separate itself from the growing pack of companies creating software programs and Web sites that help entrepreneurs find venture capital, DataMerge Inc. is honing its investigative reporting skills. The company's VentureTrack 2000 CD-ROM goes beyond the norm, delving into what motivates more than 500 venture capitalists to fund companies.

DataMerge uncovered the reasons venture capitalists funded deals by interviewing the investors, as well as people who had obtained financing from them, says founder Spencer Kluesner. The result? VentureTrack 2000, which is ideal for high-growth companies seeking $1 million to $5 million, according to Kluesner. There are several versions available; the edition tailored to entrepreneurs ($149) includes venture capitalist contact information, investment criteria and an overview of their portfolio companies as well as investor search software.

Also available are detailed Inside Tracks, lengthy profiles of selected venture capitalists. Each includes information on the venture capitalists' past investments, why they like or dislike deals, and what to say when trying to obtain funding. The profiles, which must be purchased separately for $50 each, also reveal how much money companies received and at what stage of development, and features articles explaining the venture capital process.

The unabridged edition of VentureTrack 2000 includes an unlimited number of Inside Track profiles and costs $695. For details, call (800) 580-1188.

Buried Treasure

Uncover the hidden value in your company.

Entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses often look for investors to bring an infusion of cash to the company. But first, entrepreneurs must determine the value of their businesses.

"The financial community looks at financial information [to determine value]," says Larry Chiagouris of CDB Research & Consulting Inc. in New York City. "But financial information provides more of a history of where the company has been; it doesn't necessarily give you a road map to what the company will accomplish."

So Chiagouris' marketing, consulting and research firm created the Hidden Value Index, which examines eight characteristics that help determine worth. These are: 1) relations with employees; 2) cost reduction; 3) avoidance of regulatory problems; 4) the capacity to increase revenue; 5) customer satisfaction and loyalty; 6) brand equity of the company and its products; 7) intellectual capital and research and development; and 8) the ability to heighten productivity.

Although most people don't think about company value until they want investors or plan to sell, Chiagouris says periodically determining the value of your business can help you know if it's something in which you'll want to keep investing your money and time.

The Hidden Value Index can be requested by both investors and entrepreneurs; costs range from $9,500 to $20,000.

Channel Surfing

Tune in or miss out.

Investors now have yet another tool to help them keep track of what's happening with their mutual fund portfolios. The Mutual Fund Channel (MFC) is a free online service that tracks more than 17,000 open- and closed-end funds, offshore and Canadian funds, and variable annuities.

The MFC sends subscribers updates on price changes, capital gains distributions and other characteristics of the funds they select. To access more details about a particular fund, you just click on a link button and the MFC will take you directly to that site.

For more details, visit

Contact Source

CDB Research & Consulting Inc., (212) 367-6858, fax: (212) 367-7154

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