Do the Numbers Work?

Katherine O’Neill, guest investor

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Katherine is an active investor in early-stage, high-growth companies. She will share her most urgent entrepreneur warnings in a mini-lecture, “10 Ways to Not Put Your Financial Foot in your Startup Mouth”.  There will be ample time for Katherine to answer your money and investment questions. The workshop is moderated by Steve Bowman.

Registration is on the Startup Money Meetup



Do the Numbers Work? is a new addition to the Startup Money series that dives deep into the economics and money issues unique to the venture startup. Before they ever write a check for your startup, investors must be convinced “the numbers work.”

Many entrepreneurs with great presentations talk convincingly about their impressive products, excited customers, and competitive advantages. But they fall apart when challenged on the economics of the business. Even worse, the investors’ questions sometimes expose an unworkable business model. Founders demonstrate that don’t comprehend the hard realities of startup economics.

This workshop goes directly to these issues. You will learn:

  1. How to prepare for investor questions about the economics of your business. What numbers are they likely to probe, and what type of analysis leads to the right numbers.

  2. What numbers you should pay most attention to, what metrics are most important to guide your decisions as you build a sustainable, scalable business.

Who is Katherine O’Neill?

Katherine is  Executive Director and investor with JumpStart New Jersey Angel Network, a member-led angel investor group that invests in early stage high growth companies in Mid-Atlantic region. She is a co-founder of Broad Street Angels in Philadelphia, also  Mid-Atlantic investors. She has served on the Board of the Angel Capital Association ACA the national organization representing angel investor groups in North America.

Katherine Anderson O'Neill.jpg

Katherine is  Executive Director and investor with JumpStart New Jersey Angel Network, a member led angel investor group that invests in early stage high growth companies in Mid-Atlantic region. She is a co-founder of Broad Street Angels in Philadelphia, also  Mid-Atlantic investors. She has served on the Board of the Angel Capital Association ACA the national organization representing angel investor groups in North America.

Katherine is a member of the NJ Economic Development Authority Edison Fund Advisory Board, Princeton University MIRTHE Investment Focus Group, Rutgers Innovation Park Advisory Board, Rowan Innovation Venture Fund Investment Board, Mid Atlantic Diamond Ventures Board and Ben Franklin SEP Investment Advisory Committee. She judges business plan competitions both regionally and nationally. She is quoted in regional and national publications including the Wall Street Journal on angel investing topics.

Katherine is a seasoned financial executive and investor in early stage enterprises with extensive experience in start-up and entrepreneurial operations as well as operational expertise in a diverse range of businesses She is the president of O’Neill Associates and consults with technology companies and acts as interim CFO. 

In addition to her entrepreneurial activities, she was a senior executive in corporate finance in both a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company and Fortune 500 chemical company. Katherine has served on many non-profit boards focusing on education and women in business.  Katherine is also active with the Forum of Executive Women, AWE Association of Women Entrepreneurs and the New Jersey Technology Council.  Katherine earned a MA in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Format

Do the Numbers Work? is a shared dialogue about a real business. We hold a “scrub” of two companies that are actively seeking investment. Each company’s CEO pitches, and then is grilled by a guest investor. The investor takes the lead asking questions and gives follow up advice and recommendations. I moderate.

There will be time for audience questions and discussion.

Topics that might come up:

  • unit economics

  • pricing strategies

  • managing profit margin

  • cash flow timing

  • LTV vs CAC

  • capital needs—timing and feasibility

  • cost of scaling revenue

  • exit economics

  • cap tables

  • the true cost of venture capital

  • how investor returns are derived

If you want to be a featured company

I need to approve you first! Email me at steve@bizclarity.com.  Send me your slides. Tell me why you need this. I’m screening for companies at the right stage, far enough along to be facing a range of financial dilemmas. I’m also looking for cogent, clear presentations as our starting point. If I’ve coached your presentation in the past, that helps.

Important: The CEO (or co-founder leader) needs to be the one pitching, not the CFO or a financial advisor.

I do require that all featured companies commit to attending the whole three hours. It multiplies the benefits to watch another company in the hot seat.

Note to life science companies

Because the economics of clinical trials are such a special case, this particular Do the Numbers Work? is not appropriate for drug discovery and medical device companies.

Of course, life science entrepreneurs are welcome to come and observe.

I plan to hold a Do the Life-sciences Numbers Work? session in the future, with an expert life sciences investor.

If you want to observe and learn

“Do the Numbers Work?” is open to all members of the venture community: entrepreneurs, mentors and teachers to entrepreneurs, and investors. Just register and come.

If you’re service provider, ask me first. Not appropriate for real estate investors.

It’s free

This workshop is free because it’s sponsored by the Philadelphia office of the global law firm DLA Piper, “the best law firm you’ve never heard of.”

It’s classy

Great food: fresh fruit, bagels, muffins, juice, coffee. And did I tell you about the view? From the 50th floor we’re looking down on Penn and Drexel, and on a clear day you can see Wilmington!