James HaftStartup, M&A and Business Strategy Advice


Advisor to more than 20 startups and Internet businesses. Mentor at www.TechStars.com and accelerators on 5 continents.

I help founders and CEOs develop and execute strategies to build equity value and create liquidity.

www.Angel.co/JamesHaft www.LinkedIn.com/in/jameshaft

Founder PALcapital.com, PALgenesis. Com, Condo.com, Houses.com & Properties.com. Founder of Largest Accelerator in LatAm.

Recent Answers

I would focus on who your customers are and where you see a business model developing. Start with something specific and get to market quickly. Test on live accounts and treat the early customers as partners.

Yo are talking apples and oranges. Capital gains are related to your basis not the form of payment. If you are a cash basis taxpayer, you pay taxes when you receive cash beyond your basis. We can help you with structure.

- repeat customers/revenues?
- LTV of customer vs user acquisition cost
- engagement of customers with brand
- growth rate
- management

There is much more and this question is hard to answer without more details. Set up a call and we can get you to the next level of understanding w/in 30-45 minutes.


Underestimating the time, effort, sacrifice and passion required to reach success.

In the end, your success will come from these factors, not from the brilliance of your idea. Most truly successful startups have ideas that seem pretty straight forward in hind-sight....it is the execution and persistence of the founders that creates the success.

There is no single set process. It depends upon the type of fund, its objectives and who your investor base will be. the closer to institutional investors and the further from your immediate circle of contacts, the more complex and legalistic the process becomes.

Delaware's laws are friendly to the company and shareholders and predictable and familiar to investors. Costs are low. For these reasons, this is the most common state of incorporation. Unless you have a compelling other reason, this would be the most logical choice.

Absent regulatory reasons, relating to your industry, there is no reason to incorporate in the state where you are located.

There are many factors in determining the correct strategy. It would be impossible for anyone to give you meaningful advice in a one post answer.

You need to analyze your position and the position of the acquirer, as well as the market in general before making decisions.

The focus of our business is representing early stage digital startups in M&A transactions with larger companies. The most common case is a smaller company with an app or widget which promises to return value on a per user basis and an acquirer with a larger user base that can more efficiently monetize the app/widget/platform.

We specialize in representing US, European and LatAm-based companies in discussions with US and International buyers. I am the co-founder of the largest Internet business accelerator in LatAm (www.NXTPLabs.com) and have successfully represented the seller in 8 such transactions in the past 24 months.

Let me know if you need guidance.


Hi. We coach pitches.

Check out:


Use this video as a starting point. Refine your pitch and then give us a call, if you want to finalize the pitch with us.

We can also help you establish a preliminary list of investors for your business.

The most important factor is to find a financial partner or investor who shares your objectives. There are VCs that are not afraid of management changes and who are seeking 2 to 4 year exits. The key is how you find your investor and the deal you set with them.

Another alternative is to find and groom a CEO to grow the company and hand over the reigns before seeking the funding. This way you position yourself more as a Chariman or non-executive director and can possibly have your cake and eat it,too.

Possible, but potential deal killer. You need to be careful to wait for the appropriate moment to bring up this request and, then, only if you have leverage in the negotiation.

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