Craig Schroeder teaches us a thing or two about early stage investments

Chris Dima

Founder and CEO

Sep 16, 2014

“Funding Your Company’s Growth”

RobinHoodVentures
@RobinHoodVent

“There’s one thing that eclipses everything else in the failure of a startup company and that is cash flow. — Do you have the money to pay the bills for another month, another week, another day, until the next check comes in from one of your customers? The challenge is to find a customer that is going to pay you on a recurring basis so that you have some kind of predictable revenue, some sort of stability.”
— Craig Schroeder, Robin Hood Ventures

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“My wife is an interior designer and I’ve always had an interest in real estate, so we decided that we were going start a ‘mom and pop’ business. We started buying older town houses in established neighborhoods, renovating them and renting them out for a year or two years to people who’ve immigrated to the United States to work in Delaware.” — Craig Schroeder, Robin Hood Ventures

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“I decided that I wanted to look at the growth of small companies and be able to participate in taking companies from the very early startup stages to the point where they became successful and ongoing businesses.”
— Craig Schroeder, Robin Hood Ventures

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“In 1983, the harvard business review published an article that became a classic. It encompassed the five stages of a company’s growth. Based on the Harvard Business review’s inspiration, I’ve reevaluated it from the perspective of funding a company.” — Craig Schroeder, Robin Hood Ventures

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“No matter how well run the company is, no matter how much you’re able to use revenues coming in to grow your business, at some point you need an infusion of cash from the outside… at some point you have to maximize your company’s potential.”
— Craig Schroeder, Robin Hood Ventures

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“Early stage investing is what some people call it angel investing. I was always feel a little uncomfortable about the term Angel investing. It sounds like we’re going to fly in from heaven and hand out a bag of money. The term came from the early days of Broadway, when people were looking get a musical started and they couldn’t get the funding. So, the entrepreneurial community took that term and ran with it.” — Craig Schroeder, Robin Hood Ventures

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“I refer to it (angel investing) as early stage investing because I think it is a little more direct. Also, I think it is important to clarify that those of us who are investors typically are not investing purely because we love to see the next generation of entrepreneurs succeed. That is one of the reasons, but we also would like to make money too.” — Craig Schroeder, Robin Hood Ventures

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“Robin Hood Ventures was started about fifteen years ago in Philadelphia. It is one of the largest early stage investment partnerships in the Philadelphia area. We invest in startup companies that are within an hour or two drive from Philadelphia. We want to be able to see them frequently and get to know them. Our goal is to have investors work with entrepreneurs to build great companies.”
— Craig Schroeder, Robin Hood Ventures

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“We invest money and the money is very important, but we also want to make sure that we’re not just giving money. We make sure that all of our investors are able to act as mentors, advisors, capable of giving direction, join the board of directors and become part of the growth and success of that company.”
— Craig Schroeder, Robin Hood Ventures

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“The liquidity event is a point within a company’s growth that you can take that investment, that you’ve made as an investor and turn it liquid.”
— Craig Schroeder, Robin Hood Ventures

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“We do invest in pre-revenue. We do like if we already have paying customers but we do invest before that stage.” — Craig Schroeder, Robin Hood Ventures

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“Typically, you’re going to have competitors. Having aggressive competitors, having big competitors means that you’re doing something right. It means you’re going after a market that people really care about. The question is, do you have some kind of advantage over your competitors? Does your product solve their problem in a more elegant way?” — Craig Schroeder, Robin Hood Ventures

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“If you’re in a business that has no competitors, you’re either way ahead of the curve, of you’re in a business within a market that everyone else has figured out and nobody wants.” — Craig Schroeder, Robin Hood Ventures

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