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RPS Workwear – Work Wear West Midlands – West Midlands Tools – Work Wear

t shirt business

RPS Workwear is based in Oldbury, West Midlands. We offer a host of work wear solutions to meet your needs. These include corporate wear, Hi Viz clothing, aprons, hats and caps. We can supply your whole company including office staff, kitchen staff, higher managerial staff, maintenance staff, customer service staff . . .any staff that need clothing! Though we are based within the West Midlands we can supply anywhere across the UK with our speedy delivery service.

The work wear we supply is of top quality and include brands such as Snickers, CAT, Dickies, Mascot, Fruit of the Loom, Regatta, Stormtech and much more. If you are looking to have any of our items personalised please free to call us on 0121 544 1888 and we can advise on the best solution for you. We offer embroidery services as well as printing so we can always achieve the finish you are looking for.

We also supply tools including hand tools, power tools and garden tools. So whatever the job, you can be sure RPS Work Wear has to tools to meet your needs. If you are in the West Midlands why not come down to our showroom and we can show you first hand the quality of the products we supply as tool suppliers in the West Midlands.

The safety foot wear we supply is available at competitive prices and includes brands such as JCB, Timberland, Outback, Dr Martins and many more. These include boots, shoes, trainers and riggers. If you have looked through our extensive range of safety foot wear and can’t find what you are looking for then please give us a call on 0121 544 1888 and we will be able to point you in the right direction.

Our industrial supplies include gloves, safety hats, safety glasses and first aid kits. If you are looking for work wear don’t forget to check out this range and our safety footwear to ensure you and your staff comply with health and safety regulations.

If you like to order any of the work wear, safety gear or tools on our website then simply open an account with us, purchase your items and we will ship them out to you! It couldn’t be easier to get the work wear, tools and safety equipment you need.

We also offer t-shirt printing and embroidery. Perfect for events such as Hen Nights, Stag Nights, special birthdays and special occasions. If you would like more information on these services please call us on 0121 544 1888.


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T-Shirt Business, T-Shirt Magazine, t shirt business.#T #shirt #business


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T shirt business

T shirt business

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T shirt business

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T shirt business

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T shirt business

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T shirt business

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T shirt business

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T shirt business

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T shirt business

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T shirt business

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T shirt business

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T shirt business

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Custom T Shirts, Personalized Tees, Make Your Own Printed Shirt, t shirt business.#T #shirt

Design Your Own Custom Printed T Shirts Online

  • T shirt business

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    Ready to create? First choose a shirt, any shirt. Then click. We’ll ask you the color you’d like, and off you go.

    With our handy Online Design Tool, you can create almost anything you envision. Sky’s the limit! Type a message in the text box, then choose from font selections to make it your very own. Even add a graphic or photo. You can design one side only, or both front and back.

    Our Online Design Tool makes the whole process quick and easy. But if at any time you need help, a real-live expert is just a click away (in that little green box on the left of the screen). Help is available Mon.-Fri. from 6am to 9pm Eastern Time, free of charge. And, if you like, you can even ask us to view your design and provide technical assistance to help you achieve exactly the look you are striving for. at any point in the process.

    Take a few minutes and get your image just the way you want, or save to finish later. Then share.

    Anytime you order from CafePress, your secret numbers are safe with us. Our commerce transaction system offers .exceptional security with a highly encrypted line. We may have a super-fun personality, but we are incredibly serious about protecting your information.

    We pride ourselves on our already-competitive pricing at CafePress. But did you know we also offer discounts at certain levels? Find price breaks at 2, 6, 12 24 units. And with larger quantities, save up to an additional xx%! (So, for all you value-seekers out there, the more you buy, the more you save.) What a deal!

    Want to view our pricing schedule? For exact prices on particular products and number of units, check out the bulk price list here

    And if you’d like additional assistance or need customized .help with a bulk order, please:

    “Love it! Great customer service, awesome products and they arrive very fast!”

    “CafePress has a great website which is easy to use and has so many great products that I had a difficult time trying to choose which items to buy. I found the ordering experience was one of the most rewarding I have had online shopping as I was able to order what I wanted and customize it too! Great site, great products and great service. “

    “I have ordered numerous products from CafePress and have loved them all.”

    “I had no idea that I could design a shirt and buy only two (or even one of them). And on top of that, that I could get help doing it. I am just thrilled. Thank you so much.”


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  • 26 Creative Business Cards That Aren – t Even Cards – TwistedSifter #business #process

    #creative business cards

    #

    TwistedSifter

    26 Creative Business Cards That Aren t Even Cards

    Contact information has gone digital but that doesn t mean the traditional business card no longer serves a purpose. Business cards these days are used to make an impression. They can be great marketing tools for your services and a memorable card can lead to new opportunities.

    Below you will find a collection of 26 of the most creative business cards that aren t even cards in the traditional sense. They do however, make an impression and break through the noise.

    1. LEGO employees have the best business cards

    2. Bike tool that fits in your wallet

    3. For Personal Trainers

    4. Business card caliper

    5. The Cardapult : Business card catapult

    6. Business card coins

    7. Business cards for plumbers

    8. Beef jerky business card is good for a year

    9. Music to your eyes

    10. T Make a seat

    11. Jack of all trades

    12. Cheese grater for cheese shop

    13. Business card skateboard deck

    14. Musical business card comb

    15. Lavender sachet business card

    16. Frame of mind

    17. Delivery box business card

    18. Problem solving business card

    19. Fabric business card

    20. Stand up for creativity

    21. Business card ring sizer for Jewellers

    22. Yoga mat business card

    23. Business card chocolates

    24. Lock pick business card

    25. For growing businesses

    26. This business card plays Tetris

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    Denver Business Journal warns some renewal notices aren – t legit – The Denver

    #denver business journal

    #

    Denver Business Journal warns some renewal notices aren t legit

    The Denver Business Journal has alerted subscribers that they have no connection with United Publishers Network, a company sending out renewal notices for subscriptions that have not expired.

    They are not authorized to offer our subscriptions. If you received one of these notices or phone calls, we suggest you ignore it, a message left on subscribers phones said Monday morning.

    United Publishers Network is accused of improperly soliciting subscription renewals for magazines and newspapers, including the Denver Business Journal and other publications in the Charlotte, N.C.- based American City Business Journals newspaper chain.

    ACBJ is attempting to determine how United Publishers Network obtained its subscriber list.

    American City Business Journals parent company has our in-house counsel doing the due diligence right now to figure out exactly what we need to do to get these guys to stop, Denver Business Journal publisher Pete Casillas said, adding that UPN s solicitation is more or less a scam. In the meantime, our position has been to inform our subscribers that these folks are out there and to disregard their notes.

    We do know that no credit-card information has been compromised, he said.

    In the past three years, the Better Business Bureau has received 875 complaints against United Publishers Network, including 153 problems with the product/service and 371 billing/collection issues.

    Carol Garton, vice president of marketing for the Better Business Bureau Denver/Boulder, said that United Publishers Network has an F rating from the BBB.

    Consumers allege they receive bills from this company for magazines they currently have subscriptions for, implying it is time for renewal, Garton said. However, consumers claim the subscriptions are not expired, nor did they originally order through this company.

    She said consumers alleged that United Publishers Network s renewal advertisement states it has the lowest renewal fee, but subscribers find that renewing directly through the publisher costs less. They also claim that the company charges a $20 processing fee to cancel renewals.

    Garton said people who are solicited by phone or letter should always call the Business Journal they are working with and check to see what they received is an actual bill.

    The Denver Business Journal said legitimate renewal notices and subscription offers will always display an official logo and ask that payments be sent to the company s service center in Charlotte. People with questions about their subscriptions can call 866-853-3661.

    United Publishers Network did not respond to a request for comment.


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    Why The SBIC Doesn – t Work For Venture Capital Anymore – Feld Thoughts

    #small business investment company

    #

    Why The SBIC Doesn t Work For Venture Capital Anymore

    There are so many things wrong in the article I felt compelled to write about it. This isn t a knock on the writer (Alicia Wallace) I like Alicia and think she does a good job. Rather, it s an example of the difference between signal and noise in any kind of reporting around the VC industry.

    I’m an investor in over 40 VC funds around the world (mostly in the US) and three of them are SBIC funds. Each of the SBIC funds were raised in the 2000 2002 time period. On paper, only one is in positive return territory as a fund, but the SBIC leverage is a substantial negative factor for the LP investors in that particular fund. And, in the other two, I don’t expect to ever see any of my capital back because of the SBIC leverage. Furthermore, I don t believe any of the GPs in any SBIC-backed fund would ever take money from the SBIC again.

    So I’m speaking from at least a little experience albeit indirectly with the SBIC, as I ve never been a GP in a fund that had SBIC leverage.

    The article starts off saying that “Matthew Varilek has traveled across the state, proselytizing the potential benefits of the Small Business Investment Company Program.” As a partner in one of the most visible VC firms in Colorado and an LP in many of the Colorado VC firms, I’ve never heard from Matthew or anyone from the SBIC. Matthew, if you really want to have a deep discussion about why the SBIC program isn’t effective for VC funds anymore, feel free to give me a shout. I’d be happy to meet with you.

    Next, there is the wonderful PR quote about the SBIC that says “Since the program s inception, SBIC success stories include the funding of companies such as Apple, Costco and FedEx when they were burgeoning small businesses.” The SBIC was instrumental in the creation of the venture capital business. The Small Business Investment Act of 1958 helped catalyze many of the VC firms created in the early 1960s. When I first heard about VC firms in the late 1980s, and my first company (Feld Technologies) started writing portfolio management software for some Boston-based VC firms, many of them had funds with SBIC leverage, although even by the late 1980s this was changing and many of them had shifted away from the SBIC. If you want to see a fun quote on it, read A History of Silicon Valley which quotes:

    “ …many venture capital pioneers think the SBIC program did little to advance the art and practice of venture investing. The booming IPO market proved the model of investing in new companies, as some SBICs cash out at attractive levels. SBICs did give a boost to early venture firms, and some like Franklin “Pitch” Johnson, profiled below, thought the new law made the US “see that there was a problem and that [venture investing] was a way to do something… it formed the seed of the idea and a cadre of people like us.” Bill Draper, the first West Coast venture capitalist, has been more blunt: “[Without it] I never would have gotten into venture capital. it made the difference between not being able to do it, not having the money.” Many believe SBICs filled a void from 1958 to the early 1970s, by which point the partnership-based venture firms took off. The US government, however, lost most of the $2 billion it put into SBIC firms.

    So, while Apple, Costco, and FedEx benefited, the PR would be more credible if the SBIC was trumpeting iconic companies created after 1990 or even 2000, especially where the lead investors (rather than follow on investors) had SBIC capital.

    Peter Adams, head of Rockies Venture Club, is quoted a few times. I like and respect Peter, so this isn t aimed at him, but rather at the clear lack of understanding of the capital dynamics around VC funds.

    It looks really great on the surface, said Peter Adams, executive director of the Rockies Venture Club, a nonprofit aimed at connecting investors and entrepreneurs. Then when you dig into it, there were some problems. Adams, who has been involved in many of the meetings with the SBA and members of the investment community, said the greatest concerns voiced by investors and venture capitalists involved management team qualifications, investment track records and the addition of debt to the equation. No. 1 for us is they want a management team with multiple people that have track records in venture capital and have worked together as a team before, he said. I can see where they re going with it, but the VC industry in Colorado has been fairly decimated through the economic downturn.

    Peter is right about the context, but has two fundamental things wrong here. First, the VC industry in Colorado wasn t decimated through the economic downtown. It was decimated because of lack of performance between 2001 and 2009, just like much of the rest of the VC industry around the US. There s nothing special about Colorado in this mix, and it has nothing to do with the economic downtown. This dynamic has been reported thousands of times so I don t need to go through it again, but we don t have to look back very far to hear the drum beat from the media, LPs, and everyone else about how VC is dead. And if you re curious, it wasn t too long ago that Silicon Valley was also dying .

    The other problem here is the need of the SBIC to invest in a management team with multiple people that have track records in venture capital and have worked together as a team before. Any VC firm that fits this qualification is unlikely to have difficulty raising money in today s environment, and subsequently has no need for the SBIC leverage. And, more importantly, the only firms that will look for SBIC leverage are one s that don t have this, which is a classic adverse selection problem.

    Then there s this:

    The recession also then plays into requirements that the management team members have been involved in a meaningful number of successful exits during a four- to six-year period. From 2008 to 2013, that was not a good time for exits, Adams said.

    Huh, what? At Foundry Group, our significant exits (at least 10x capital returned) since we raised our first fund in 2007 include AdMeld, Zynga, MakerBot, and Gnip. We ve had plenty of other exits, but these are the big ones. One of those companies, Gnip, is Boulder-based and another from our older funds (Rally Software) also generated a greater than 10x return for us. Techstars (which we helped start) have also had a steady stream of significant exits, including local Boulder companies like Filtrbox, GoodApril, and SocialThing. And then you ve got plenty of Boulder / Denver monsters on paper some in our portfolio (like SendGrid and Sympoz) and others like Zayo, Ping, Logrhythm, and Datalogix. Finally, if you look across the country, the exits have been awesome the past three years.

    It keeps going. There s talk about the angel cliff (e.g. we need funds to invest between angels and VCs nope, been there remember gap capital not so effective) and the SBA rules and regulations (which I believe are toxic and inhibiting to a successful VC fund.)

    One of the other problem is SBA and SBIC s behavior in governance of the fund. The paperwork is silly and the overhead is non-trivial. The control over distributions and negative incentives to hold or distribute capital often generates bad decisions when companies go public. And at least one close friend who is a partner in an SBIC fund has now found a new LP to buy out the SBIC so they could actually invest capital in their winners, rather than be limited by the SBIC s constraints on the amount of capital you can invest in any particular company.

    The SBIC could be a powerful force for good in the venture capital industry. But it has to approach things very different and based on my experience with the SBA over the past decade, I don t see it happening unless there is real leadership somewhere in coordination with leaders in the VC industry. I m certainly willing to help, if only someone bothered to reach out to me.

    UPDATE: It turns out my partner Seth Levine had met with Matthew a while ago. Seth said Your blog was right on and much of the type of thing I related to Matt and some senior guys he brought in. The gist of my conversation with them was pushing them to consider a different model that the current one basically led to lowest common denominator GPs and sub-optimal returns. Plus the SBIC leverage could be crushing. I don t think they have a ton of flexibility around this but they at least listened to the feedback. I m going to see a bunch of them in a few weeks I agreed to help judge a business plan competition they were hosting. Like you I m not a huge fan of the program as it has existed but I give the new guys some credit for both reaching out and trying to be proactive about thinking through this.

    UPDATE 2: Matthew Varilek reached out to me and we are setting up a time to talk.


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    What SBA Doesn – t Offer #businesses #to #start


    #small business grants

    #

    SBA does NOT provide grants for starting and expanding a business.

    Government grants are funded by your tax dollars and, therefore, require very stringent compliance and reporting measures to ensure the money is well spent. As you can imagine, grants are not given away indiscriminately.

    Grants from the Federal government are authorized and appropriated through bills passed by Congress and signed by the President. The grant authority varies widely among agencies. SBA has authority to make grants to non-profit and educational organizations in many of its counseling and training programs, but does not have authority to make grants to small businesses. The announcements for the counseling and training grants will appear on grants.gov. If Congress authorizes Specific Initiative Grants, organizations receiving such grants will receive individual notifications.

    Some business grants are available through state and local programs, nonprofit organizations and other groups. For example, some states provide grants for expanding child care centers; creating energy efficient technology; and developing marketing campaigns for tourism. These grants are not necessarily free money, and usually require the recipient to match funds or combine the grant with other forms of financing such as a loan. The amount of the grant money available varies with each business and each grantor.

    If you are not one of these specialized business, both federal and state government agencies provide financial assistance programs that help small business owners obtain loans and venture capital financing from commercial lenders.

    Application Forms for Non-Construction Grants

    Application Forms for Construction Grants


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    26 Creative Business Cards That Aren – t Even Cards – TwistedSifter #lawn #mowing

    #creative business cards

    #

    TwistedSifter

    26 Creative Business Cards That Aren t Even Cards

    Contact information has gone digital but that doesn t mean the traditional business card no longer serves a purpose. Business cards these days are used to make an impression. They can be great marketing tools for your services and a memorable card can lead to new opportunities.

    Below you will find a collection of 26 of the most creative business cards that aren t even cards in the traditional sense. They do however, make an impression and break through the noise.

    1. LEGO employees have the best business cards

    2. Bike tool that fits in your wallet

    3. For Personal Trainers

    4. Business card caliper

    5. The Cardapult : Business card catapult

    6. Business card coins

    7. Business cards for plumbers

    8. Beef jerky business card is good for a year

    9. Music to your eyes

    10. T Make a seat

    11. Jack of all trades

    12. Cheese grater for cheese shop

    13. Business card skateboard deck

    14. Musical business card comb

    15. Lavender sachet business card

    16. Frame of mind

    17. Delivery box business card

    18. Problem solving business card

    19. Fabric business card

    20. Stand up for creativity

    21. Business card ring sizer for Jewellers

    22. Yoga mat business card

    23. Business card chocolates

    24. Lock pick business card

    25. For growing businesses

    26. This business card plays Tetris

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    If You Can’t Afford a Porsche 911, Buy the Mazda MX-5 RF #can #t

    #

    If You Can’t Afford a Porsche 911, Buy the Mazda MX-5 RF

    July 6, 2017, 10:05 AM EDT

    The Mazda MX-5 RF is not a luxury car.

    That doesn t mean it s inferior. On the contrary, it s an affordable toy with some trappings of luxury pared down to size, like a tasty slider on a silver platter. It s not the whole thing, but with this sample size, you still get a satisfying taste of something meaty.

    If you can t afford the $110,300 Porsche 911 Targa, the German brand s legendary see-through hard-top, the $31,555 Mazda MX-5 RF is a logical alternative. It s the best of any in its reasonably priced set.

    The $31,555 Mazda MX-5 RF is new for 2017.

    Photographer: Hannah Elliott/Bloomberg

    The Hardtop Miata You Wanted

    Mazda introduced the fourth generation of its tiny two-door in 2014. The RF, or retractable fastback version, is new this year.

    By retractable fastback, Mazda means that the hard top automatically folds back and down under the trunk, flanked by pillar-like beams on either side of the middle of the car. The idea was to make an open-top Miata that would hold the driving thrill of such a nimble, rough-and-ready car while giving it the cachet of a true hardtop. (By cachet, I mean a better, more quality look, a tighter fit to the car, and a quieter interior cabin.) With the top down, it looks kind of like those old T-bar Porsches from the 1970s, which is great.

    The hardtop adds 113 pounds to the soft-top original version. What you gain in general practicality and a newly staunch demeanor both from behind the wheel and from the overall appearance of the car far outweigh the negligible loss of agility.

    Its top folds back underneath flying buttress-style pillars on either side of the car.

    Photographer: Hannah Elliott/Bloomberg

    The Rare and Necessary Manual

    The caveat here is that, despite the fact that Mazda now offers an automatic version of the MX-5 RF, you must buy the manual 6-speed in order to enjoy the full benefits of its graces. You wouldn t eat a mini-hamburger without any toppings, would you? It needs a little dressing to enhance the flavor.

    In the same way, the MX-5 RF s four-cylinder, 155 hp engine needs the thrill of a stick shift to activate full enjoyment of the rear-wheel drive. The movement through the gears is crisp, short, and direct. An automatic transmission simply doesn t offer the same driving engagement, and how could it? It s a computer working the car for you. For many buyers, the MX-5 may be the first introduction to a manual transmission and to rear-wheel drive. It s worth doing them together on a vehicle so well-suited to zippy driving: They display their flavor most fully when they re mixed.

    The front and chassis of the MX-5 RF remains virtually unchanged from the standard-issue MX-5 Miata.

    Photographer: Hannah Elliott/Bloomberg

    This is where Mazda separates itself from the pack ($25,495 Subaru BRZ; $26,255 Toyota 86; $21,600 MINI Hardtop). While those can drag (BRZ) and lurch a bit around corners (MINI), the MX-5 stays light on its feet and connected to the road, with seamless transitions through first, second, and third gear on the way to a 6.1-second 60 mph sprint time. It doesn t have a bracing sprint time, but driving it is fun. (That s not a word I use to describe many cars, which can be alternately thrilling, angry, fast, smooth, powerful, or any other of dozens of specific descriptors. This one, simply put, is fun.)

    It s nowhere near as fast as the 4.5-second 911 Targa, but, then, that one costs nearly $80,000 more. Top speed on the MX-5 RF is 135 mph.

    The MX-5 RF is the hardtop version of the MX-5 Miata, which comes with a soft rag top.

    Photographer: Hannah Elliott/Bloomberg

    Here is where the MX-5 actually beats the 911 Targa: At 2,445 pounds compared with the 911 s 3,461 pounds, its lithe body imparts such a feeling of ease when you drive it that you really don t think about driving it at all. (This also lends it superior efficiency, at 33 mpg on the highway, to the 911 as well.) It conjures the uncanny duality of being totally engaged (manual transmission, after all) but also freed from the physical constraints that so dearly cling to heavier, larger cars: I know I don t have to mention that parking such a small bauble is a joy. With the MX-5, all those spots that were almost big enough to fit your expensive sedan open up in blessed welcome.

    Straightforward Performance

    Travel with us, drive with us, eat with us.

    Get our weekly Pursuits newsletter.

    The MX-5 RF has some options, though their cost doesn t amount to much more than base MSRP, and many nice things like Bluetooth, heated seats, and a 7-inch color touch-screen display come free. Brembo front brakes, a rear lip spoiler, 17 forged dark alloy wheels, a rear bumper skirt, and door sill trim plates, add $5,000 or so to the final cost. The MX-5 is more expensive than its nearest competitors, but not by much.

    The interior of the car is basic but not boring, with a rounded stick shifter and optional alloy pedals.

    Photographer: Hannah Elliott/Bloomberg

    So, what s not to like with MX-5 RF? Nothing, really. But don t expect a roof that retracts when the car is traveling at anything more than the most excruciating snail s crawl (6 mph and under), and don t expect a throaty engine roar when you hit the gas. Don t expect multi-zone climate control, generous visibility, interior Alcantara finery, or even a back seat. (The trunk makes a great sandwich holder, though.)

    Do expect to get attention for driving something cool. With angled LED headlights and a reserved front grille and fascia that accentuate its cute trim body and flying buttress-flanked sides, it communicates that its buyer has more discernment than those who own the standard-issue MX-5 Miata.

    Call it the sports car in one perfect bite.

    Buy the six-speed manual version of the MX-5 RF.

    Photographer: Hannah Elliott/Bloomberg


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    Why The SBIC Doesn – t Work For Venture Capital Anymore – Feld Thoughts

    #small business investment company

    #

    Why The SBIC Doesn t Work For Venture Capital Anymore

    There are so many things wrong in the article I felt compelled to write about it. This isn t a knock on the writer (Alicia Wallace) I like Alicia and think she does a good job. Rather, it s an example of the difference between signal and noise in any kind of reporting around the VC industry.

    I’m an investor in over 40 VC funds around the world (mostly in the US) and three of them are SBIC funds. Each of the SBIC funds were raised in the 2000 2002 time period. On paper, only one is in positive return territory as a fund, but the SBIC leverage is a substantial negative factor for the LP investors in that particular fund. And, in the other two, I don’t expect to ever see any of my capital back because of the SBIC leverage. Furthermore, I don t believe any of the GPs in any SBIC-backed fund would ever take money from the SBIC again.

    So I’m speaking from at least a little experience albeit indirectly with the SBIC, as I ve never been a GP in a fund that had SBIC leverage.

    The article starts off saying that “Matthew Varilek has traveled across the state, proselytizing the potential benefits of the Small Business Investment Company Program.” As a partner in one of the most visible VC firms in Colorado and an LP in many of the Colorado VC firms, I’ve never heard from Matthew or anyone from the SBIC. Matthew, if you really want to have a deep discussion about why the SBIC program isn’t effective for VC funds anymore, feel free to give me a shout. I’d be happy to meet with you.

    Next, there is the wonderful PR quote about the SBIC that says “Since the program s inception, SBIC success stories include the funding of companies such as Apple, Costco and FedEx when they were burgeoning small businesses.” The SBIC was instrumental in the creation of the venture capital business. The Small Business Investment Act of 1958 helped catalyze many of the VC firms created in the early 1960s. When I first heard about VC firms in the late 1980s, and my first company (Feld Technologies) started writing portfolio management software for some Boston-based VC firms, many of them had funds with SBIC leverage, although even by the late 1980s this was changing and many of them had shifted away from the SBIC. If you want to see a fun quote on it, read A History of Silicon Valley which quotes:

    “ …many venture capital pioneers think the SBIC program did little to advance the art and practice of venture investing. The booming IPO market proved the model of investing in new companies, as some SBICs cash out at attractive levels. SBICs did give a boost to early venture firms, and some like Franklin “Pitch” Johnson, profiled below, thought the new law made the US “see that there was a problem and that [venture investing] was a way to do something… it formed the seed of the idea and a cadre of people like us.” Bill Draper, the first West Coast venture capitalist, has been more blunt: “[Without it] I never would have gotten into venture capital. it made the difference between not being able to do it, not having the money.” Many believe SBICs filled a void from 1958 to the early 1970s, by which point the partnership-based venture firms took off. The US government, however, lost most of the $2 billion it put into SBIC firms.

    So, while Apple, Costco, and FedEx benefited, the PR would be more credible if the SBIC was trumpeting iconic companies created after 1990 or even 2000, especially where the lead investors (rather than follow on investors) had SBIC capital.

    Peter Adams, head of Rockies Venture Club, is quoted a few times. I like and respect Peter, so this isn t aimed at him, but rather at the clear lack of understanding of the capital dynamics around VC funds.

    It looks really great on the surface, said Peter Adams, executive director of the Rockies Venture Club, a nonprofit aimed at connecting investors and entrepreneurs. Then when you dig into it, there were some problems. Adams, who has been involved in many of the meetings with the SBA and members of the investment community, said the greatest concerns voiced by investors and venture capitalists involved management team qualifications, investment track records and the addition of debt to the equation. No. 1 for us is they want a management team with multiple people that have track records in venture capital and have worked together as a team before, he said. I can see where they re going with it, but the VC industry in Colorado has been fairly decimated through the economic downturn.

    Peter is right about the context, but has two fundamental things wrong here. First, the VC industry in Colorado wasn t decimated through the economic downtown. It was decimated because of lack of performance between 2001 and 2009, just like much of the rest of the VC industry around the US. There s nothing special about Colorado in this mix, and it has nothing to do with the economic downtown. This dynamic has been reported thousands of times so I don t need to go through it again, but we don t have to look back very far to hear the drum beat from the media, LPs, and everyone else about how VC is dead. And if you re curious, it wasn t too long ago that Silicon Valley was also dying .

    The other problem here is the need of the SBIC to invest in a management team with multiple people that have track records in venture capital and have worked together as a team before. Any VC firm that fits this qualification is unlikely to have difficulty raising money in today s environment, and subsequently has no need for the SBIC leverage. And, more importantly, the only firms that will look for SBIC leverage are one s that don t have this, which is a classic adverse selection problem.

    Then there s this:

    The recession also then plays into requirements that the management team members have been involved in a meaningful number of successful exits during a four- to six-year period. From 2008 to 2013, that was not a good time for exits, Adams said.

    Huh, what? At Foundry Group, our significant exits (at least 10x capital returned) since we raised our first fund in 2007 include AdMeld, Zynga, MakerBot, and Gnip. We ve had plenty of other exits, but these are the big ones. One of those companies, Gnip, is Boulder-based and another from our older funds (Rally Software) also generated a greater than 10x return for us. Techstars (which we helped start) have also had a steady stream of significant exits, including local Boulder companies like Filtrbox, GoodApril, and SocialThing. And then you ve got plenty of Boulder / Denver monsters on paper some in our portfolio (like SendGrid and Sympoz) and others like Zayo, Ping, Logrhythm, and Datalogix. Finally, if you look across the country, the exits have been awesome the past three years.

    It keeps going. There s talk about the angel cliff (e.g. we need funds to invest between angels and VCs nope, been there remember gap capital not so effective) and the SBA rules and regulations (which I believe are toxic and inhibiting to a successful VC fund.)

    One of the other problem is SBA and SBIC s behavior in governance of the fund. The paperwork is silly and the overhead is non-trivial. The control over distributions and negative incentives to hold or distribute capital often generates bad decisions when companies go public. And at least one close friend who is a partner in an SBIC fund has now found a new LP to buy out the SBIC so they could actually invest capital in their winners, rather than be limited by the SBIC s constraints on the amount of capital you can invest in any particular company.

    The SBIC could be a powerful force for good in the venture capital industry. But it has to approach things very different and based on my experience with the SBA over the past decade, I don t see it happening unless there is real leadership somewhere in coordination with leaders in the VC industry. I m certainly willing to help, if only someone bothered to reach out to me.

    UPDATE: It turns out my partner Seth Levine had met with Matthew a while ago. Seth said Your blog was right on and much of the type of thing I related to Matt and some senior guys he brought in. The gist of my conversation with them was pushing them to consider a different model that the current one basically led to lowest common denominator GPs and sub-optimal returns. Plus the SBIC leverage could be crushing. I don t think they have a ton of flexibility around this but they at least listened to the feedback. I m going to see a bunch of them in a few weeks I agreed to help judge a business plan competition they were hosting. Like you I m not a huge fan of the program as it has existed but I give the new guys some credit for both reaching out and trying to be proactive about thinking through this.

    UPDATE 2: Matthew Varilek reached out to me and we are setting up a time to talk.


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