TechCrunch+ Review: SBA Startup Credits, Quarterly Message Boards, Bootstrapper Joy

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Happy August! Or, as many of my neighbors like to say: Happy Fog.

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San Francisco sits on a peninsula surrounded by cool water, so when the warm summer air rushes in, thick fog obscures the landscape. Some days the blanket is so thick that visibility is only a few hundred feet.

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It’s a fitting metaphor for the uncertainty haunting tech companies when we hear about layoffs, valuation cuts, and more dry powder discussions than I’ve heard in years.

One bright light in the dark: startups that generate enough revenue to sustain growth will find plenty of investors willing to take their call.

One bright light in the dark: startups that generate enough revenue to sustain growth will find plenty of investors willing to take their call.

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If you are a start-up company that is not yet on the treadmillyou have that ability, or that ability to choose when to start,” says Kavan Klinski, co-founder of Healthie Payments.

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“After you’ve already raised a bunch of businesses, you’re kind of building a venture-scale business, whereas if you’re ready…you can be very opportunistic about this being the right time,” he told Natasha Mascarenhas.

However, she interviewed the founders of several start-up startups and found that “even if they don’t want to,” some “may decide to turn to venture capital to get to the next level of sales” or keep hiring.

Inflation and competition with crypto salaries are just two of the cost drivers that are causing many self-sufficient founders to reconsider going it alone.

“Many start-up companies don’t do fundraising,” said Sketchy CEO and co-founder Saud Siddiqui.

“A lot of times they’re approached by investors, so it’s kind of climate dependent, and if people don’t invest, maybe they’ll just keep chugging along.”

Thank you so much for reading TC+ this week.

Walter Thompson
Editorial Manager, TechCrunch+

5 Tips for Scaling Your Green Startup in a Time of Funding Shortage

Horizontal side view of a forlorn yellow flower growing in dried cracked soil;  fundraising for green start-ups downturn

Image credits: flyparade (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

I’m not a big gardener, so I chose houseplants that tolerate my forgetfulness about water and fertilizer.

However, startups that are trying to create scalable solutions for the slow-onset climate catastrophe we have created for ourselves are not as resilient.

These companies often have long, significant fundraising rounds and multi-year product development times, which means they are especially vulnerable to external market forces.

Priyanka Srinivas, co-founder and CEO of food technology startup Live Green Co., shared her advice for climate and sustainability-focused entrepreneurs:

“If your business activities have produced the desired results and repeatable cycles—for example, developing a new product and distributing it to local markets—then you are ready to multiply.”

US startups seeking funds should not lose sight of government funding

SBA, startups, loan

Image credits: CreativaImages (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

I know people who have worked with the US Small Business Administration (SBA) to find funding for a food truck, bakery, and clothing store, but I don’t know any startup founders who have used this federal program to grow their companies.

Rebecca Shkutak reports that eligible startups can receive government-guaranteed loans of up to $5 million, which will be repaid within ten years. This is real money.

“The problem is that business owners often overlook the fairly easily available leveraged capital,” Fountainhead CEO and Fountainhead founder Chris Hearn said.

“They should not give up any capital. [SBA loans] can often be just the step they need to get to the next stage.”

Beyond Volatility: How Semiconductor Companies Can Succeed with a Focused Industry Strategy

microchip manufacturing plant

Image credits: Bill Vari (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Despite chip shortages slowing production of everything from televisions to farm tractors, semiconductor sales have soared to $600 billion in 2021.

To stay afloat in the coming years, semiconductor manufacturers must support technologies that underpin other industries, such as AI/ML, digital services and micromobility, according to McKinsey partners Ondrej Burkatsky and Nikolaus Lehmann.

“In terms of demand, we expect 70% of growth through 2030 to come from just three industries: automotive, computing and storage, and wireless. […] Through a deep analysis of their resources and capabilities, the challenge for decision makers as capacity grows is to tailor their capabilities to the most promising segments.”

Build a solid deck for quarterly board meetings

Conceptual still life with low risk and rise;  build a deck for board meetings

Image credits: Hiroshi Watanabe (Opens in a new window) / Getty Images

Board meetings are critical to getting feedback on your progress to date and your plans for the future, but what’s the best way to give board members the full picture?

According to Ridge Ventures partner Yusuf Khan, the founders should “just ask” investors what details and metrics would make quarterly decks optimally valuable.

“Reaching out to the board of directors not only helps set direction, it gives you an opportunity to build relationships,” he says. “People appreciate the opportunity to speak out.”

In this TC+ post, he shares seven tips for creating a presentation that informs board members about progress, plans, product development, and financials.

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