We just raised over $500k for an idea... and the experience is as cool as it sounds
Hopefully, some of you reading this follow Mark Suster's blog and will appreciate the title, but for those of who don't understand: in finance, specifically Mergers & Acquisitions and Venture Capital, there are two sides to every transaction referred to as the "Buy Side" and the "Sell Side". Mark's blog, which is awesome, is titled, "Bothsides of the Table" as he's been an entrepreneur (sell side) and a VC (buy side)
Starting a company for the first time is a little like having sex for the first time, you're not quite sure what you're doing or who's doing what, you just know something awesome is happening. About 2 years ago Greg Pesci, the God Father of Spera (our company) asked a friend and I to do some reconnaissance on some industries he found interesting. Having a background in payments, Greg suggested a few thematic ideas and industries he felt comfortable exploring. These included insurance, personal finance, student loans, consumer loans, and the rental and HOA industries. He simply said to us, "I'm interested in these ideas, see what your can dig up".
So my buddy Scott and I  split up the themes and started researching key industry KPIs, market size, existing startups and key companies and put together a pretty decent presentation to show Greg. We flew to Utah, presented him with the information in front of a pseudo-team Greg had put together, and brain stored ideas for each of these industries. Nothing really stuck that first session, but we knew Greg was on to something.
I don't want to outline our process in this blog post, I simply want to acknowledge the hard work, persistance and risk our team has demonstrated the last few years.
: Scott and I both worked at an M&A investment bank in San Francisco which also specializes in cap raising. We've been trained well on what matters for valuation and market potential.