The startup sector is a key contributor to the growth of new innovations and progress in all sorts of industries. In today’s episode, we have a deep conversation with a leader in connecting startups and entrepreneurs with investors. Hall T. Martin is the founder and CEO of TEN Capital Network, a Funding as a Service platform that facilitates investor introductions to help startups engage with investors for their capital raise. Since its beginning in 2009, TEN Capital Network has built a network of over 14,000 investors and has helped startups raise over $900 million. Throughout today’s episode, we dive into some fascinating learnings from Hall’s career journey and valuable pieces of strategy for entrepreneurs as well as investors.
Hall’s career journey started when he moved to Austin in the mid-’80s to work at a local company. After several years in the corporate arena, he got into angel investing. We talk about how he went from there to founding TEN Capital Network and his current role in connecting startups and investors. In addition to being an angel investor, Hall has been a blogger for over 20 years, and he’s the host of the Investor Connect Podcast, which has been continuously active since 2014. We talk about Hall’s approach to content generation through blogging and podcasting and how content generation helps him with his startup and investment-related work.
Getting into startups, we talk about where to start getting involved in the startup sector as an investor as well as an entrepreneur. Hall shares his thoughts on the different roles incubators and accelerators play in the startup culture and how to make use of these entities to develop a business idea into a successful business venture. We also take a look at the startup sector from an investor’s perspective, diving deep into how to evaluate a startup, building a crowdfunding strategy, and the value of keeping an eye out for potential opportunities that emerge from new technologies and trends.
[02:27] Hall’s Story – We start the conversation with a deep look at his mission, career journey, and how he got into the angel investment and startup sector.
[08:25] Blogging & Content Creation – Blogging is one of the major methods Hall shares his wisdom with the world. We talk about how he started his blog and how it contributes to his work.
[11:30] Advice for Startups – Hall shares some tricks and tips for those who are interested in getting into the startup arena and some places to get inspired and connect with like-minded people.
[13:42] Incubators and Accelerators – The difference between a startup incubator and a startup accelerator and the roles they play in nurturing entrepreneurship.
[15:43] Getting Started with a Business Venture – We dive deep into what an entrepreneur needs to do to get started with a business idea, develop it into a viable business, and get funding from investors.
[20:10] Value of a Startup – How investors should approach evaluating a business and how to avoid some of the most common mistakes investors make when evaluating startups.
[24:14] Investing in the Future – How to identify new innovative technologies and business trends that have the potential to become profitable and robust businesses.
[27:15] Blockchain – Hall shares his take on the current trends related to blockchain and innovations related to Web 3.0 and how these trends might influence the investment and startup sector.
[31:55] Getting Into Crowdfunding – How an amateur investor can start getting involved in crowdfunding investments and how to budget for an effective investment strategy.
[38:08] Content Creation Routine – We take a look at Hall’s daily routine and how he has incorporated his process of content generation into his daily routine.
[41:11] Lessons Learned – Some of the important lessons from Hall’s career and a story about one of his favorite startup ventures.
Connect with Hall:
“Always go talk to the customer, and try to figure out what they need… and if you think you’re going to raise funding, then start bringing that dialogue to the investor.”
“I’m a believer that you bring the investor on the journey with you.”
“The big mistake most startups make with their pitch is that they focus on the product. They treat the investor like a customer.”
“The success I’ve seen come up is when you get in on the next-generation technologies.”