Greg Downey is the Managing Director of Purim Ventures, a strategic management and venture studio working alongside C-suite executives, physicians, and entrepreneurs. With over 25 years of executive leadership experience, he helps startup, growth, and public companies increase sales and market dominance.
Greg accomplishes this by creating capital formation, launching innovative products, and developing strategic partnerships and initiatives that drive revenue and shareholder value. His efforts have generated over $100 million in sales and contributed to two exits, one acquisition, and an IPO.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- How Greg Downey’s background inspired him to help businesses raise capital
- Greg’s crucial lessons as a 25-year veteran of the investment industry
- Purim Venture’s unique value proposition
- Case studies: the process of pitching to investors
- The common mistakes of acquiring business funding
- Tips for obtaining capital and building value
- Greg talks about traditional methods of securing funding
- Analyzing contemporary investment trends
In this episode…
When it comes to securing funding for startups, many entrepreneurs rely on the antiquated method of developing a business plan and presenting it to venture capitalists. Yet many investors don’t read business proposals, and most early-stage companies don’t qualify for VC funding. So how can you pitch your startup to investors to kickstart growth?
As a business growth strategist and mentor, Greg Downey has developed a proprietary process for boosting company valuation and accessing equity and partnerships. An investor’s role is to minimize risk and maximize ROI, so you must understand your value. This entails identifying your business’ strengths and weaknesses to partner with investors who can complement and offset them. When positioning your company in front of potential investors, establish and resolve operational and financial flaws to increase appeal. It’s also critical to recognize the ideal qualities of a partnership to position your business effectively.
In today’s Growth to Freedom episode, Dan Kuschell hosts Greg Downey, the Managing Director of Purim Ventures, who talks about pitching your business idea to investors for capital. Greg discusses the common mistakes of generating funding, the importance of analyzing investment trends, and how to boost company valuation.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Dan Kuschell on LinkedIn
- Schedule Your Breakthrough Strategy Call
- Small Business Toolkit
- Growth to Freedom
- Direct Response Branding by Dan Kuschell
- Greg Downey on LinkedIn
- Purim Ventures
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Dan Kuschell 0:00
Hey welcome to today’s episode and today is really exciting because let me ask you this, how would you and your business be impacted if you had a step by step plan that you could use to be able to go out there and raise capital on your own? And also without spending it on expensive brokers, consultants, attorneys or bankers? And what have you got a chance to learn from somebody who’s raised hundreds of millions of dollars, not only in his own funding process, but also showing other companies and having experience being able to do just that? Well, if so, you’re gonna love today’s interview, this session this, this episode, so grab a pen, grab a piece of paper, jot down some notes, because if you’ve ever wanted to know some of the insider secrets of how to get funding, to grow your business, whether it’s to prepare to sell to be acquired to go public, we’re working and talking to one of the leading experts in the world, his name is Greg Downey. And he’s got over 25 years of experience doing just this. In fact, he’s helped build companies, launch companies brands, fortune 100, venture backed companies, startup companies, maybe like yours. He’s got experience and expertise in sales, marketing, branding, business development, commercialization strategy, and investor relations, right, and how to be able to pull all of this together to make your company far more valuable, far more sexy, far more appealing to people who might want to acquire it, buy it, invest in it, and a whole lot more. In fact, he’s worked with health care companies, companies like Tyco, he’s worked with companies in the medical industry orthopedic industry, so broad and diverse, having done this for 25 years. I mean, I don’t want to leave anything out. But But long and the short of it, brother, welcome to the show. How are you? Good, man,
Greg Downey 1:44
I appreciate it. That’s a, I need to cut down my bio. But I appreciate the the flattering and warm introduction.
Dan Kuschell 1:50
You’re welcome. I want to dive right into it. Now, you know, most of us have a reason why we’re doing there’s a backstory to it. So like, why are you so compelled to be able to work in this process of helping people raise money, help raise capital set the stage to either get acquired or go public or otherwise?
Greg Downey 2:09
I guess it goes to the kind of my own experience, right? It’s the things that I ran up against early in my career, I was blessed to start off in medical sales. So I started with a startup division within Johnson and Johnson surgical division, which is an Ethicon company. And so I got to see how startup started, right. But it was totally the, I would say a myth, maybe misleading a way to do a startup because you don’t usually get a fortune 100 name and, you know, $40 million, and cool technology from Stanford. So anyway, so but that that kind of opened the door for seeing how companies were launched. So that was really intriguing. But then when I went off on my own and started doing the entrepreneurial thing, you know, putting the business together, trying to find investors going to talk to investors, getting shredded in the process of going, you know, what did I miss, right, and then what they want to see as you get back up, Polish yourself off and go back at it again. But I never really had a mentor, so to speak, is just I got little sound bites, and I was blessed to be around some really seasoned executives. But I never really had a consistent like time period where I had experts around me helping me. So spent a lot of time in airports on planes going to the JP Morgan conference in San Francisco, which was really a waste of time for early stage type companies. But it was really just the passion of how our businesses built, how do they come together, then also knowing that the true wealth comes from the top right. So if you can help build these things and be a part of it, you know, you can do it. But also knowing the perils of startups, you know, they’re not, they’re not easy. You’ve got to kind of carry a lot of weight, where a bunch of different hats so it’s going well we as a firms figured out if we can come around the entrepreneur, whether it’s a physician, that PhD or someone that’s had businesses before, or even as a first time business, putting the teams around them to help walk them through this process, so they can stay good at what they’re at. And we can be really good at what we’re doing. And then we all win together. So that’s a little bit of a hybrid of what got me excited about doing early stage companies. And I just never looked back. I mean, companies get big, and I’ve been a part of them, we’ve grown them to, you know, quite a few employees, I started to get the itch and want to look for the door into something else. So just being in the chaos of early stage companies is you learn a lot, and it’s can be a lot of fun. And it takes a I think a certain caliber of individual to whether it’s so you know, that’s the type of people we’d like to hang with.
Dan Kuschell 4:44
And, you know, you’ve got a unique process where you help, you know, the founders or creators of these, you know, call it emerging companies, you know, fast growth companies, companies who really want to raise money and get funding one way or another, right with a step. by step process in this without, you know, the expensive broker fees or, you know, consultants or these high priced bankers and so on, before we get into some of the strategies, Greg, like, you know, maybe in your journey of doing this, again, 25 years, that’s a, that’s a, you know, quite a bit of body of work, like what was, you know, a mistake that you learn from, that you help a lot of your potential clients avoid, too, I’m just curious.
Greg Downey 5:27
It’s really probably saying too much too soon, right. It’s just burying the investor or the potential investor or even strategic partner with everything, right, I work with a lot of engineers and really, really smart people. So I think when you’re so close to your own deal, you it’s just natural for you want to you know, where all the bits and bytes and pieces are, right? So you want to share that. And it’s nice to have passion and excitement. But you’re also going to overwhelm someone. And so through over the years of everything that we’ve done, everything I’ve done, I’ve been on the entrepreneur side, I’ve been on the investor side, it’s just know what to say, how to package it, what investors need to see versus what you think they need to know, it’s a lie, you have to pull yourself out of the emotion and go with that 30,000 foot view, but making sure you’re answering their questions quickly. Precisely. And, you know, again, we have a very short attention span nowadays. So you got to get to the point. So I had gone through those iterations before, I’ve been involved in high tech. So it’s very easy to bring your engineers in and explain stuff for 20 minutes, and people have no idea what you’re talking about. So it’s going to you gotta get to the point, and really distill it down and raising money is, it’s half art, half science is a lot of strategy behind it. It’s not just hey, how much money can I make if I put money into your company, the whole psychological, you know, this, you’re an entrepreneur sick, there’s a psychological dance that takes place where you’re being evaluated every step of the way. So it’s just again, knowing that, and then knowing what works, and also most importantly, knowing what doesn’t work, and there’s a lot of those.
Dan Kuschell 7:01
Yeah, it’s um, it’s like the difference, you know, we can fire hose somebody, you know, give them too much too fast. Or we can also assume, Oh, well, here’s, here’s a cup of water. Well, I don’t want water, I want it flavored water. Well, what flavor right? So it’s, you know, having, you know, over $100 million in capital funding raised with 1000s of different, you know, situations and experiences, you’ll learn a lot from that of like, well, one, first, you got to find out what flavor they want. Number two, then you identify what exactly they want. Do they want a teaspoon? Do they want a cup? Right? Do they want a bucket? Like how thirsty are they and you go step by step, etc. So So with that, I mean, you have pure pure venture capital, which is what you built on Purim Ventures, which helps companies with this step by step process. Right, what makes you different than some of the other capital equity building firms? You know, funding raising firms out there? I’m curious
Greg Downey 7:56
what you would say. Yeah, it’s it’s an it’s a great question. So I look at as going we’re, we’re a little bit of an interesting hybrid, right, you have venture capital. And then you have this new entity, kind of a sexiness, which is the venture studio, which is venture capital, but hands on, right, we’re more on that side of the house. I think where we’re we’re different is that, and this is kind of going back to, you know, you you start your company is trying to solve a problem, usually a problem that you’ve been through, right? So it’s going one if someone would have walked me through this process the entire and really got into my stuff, and I would have been much better off, you know, in the long run and getting there faster, right. So what we put together, it’s we have the venture side, we’ve been doing commercialization product launches, we do turn arounds, we do due diligence for private equity and venture capital and family offices. That’s what we’ve been doing since 2010, when we launched puram, we’ve been doing over the last really 18 months was this process that we utilize where venture capital will do due diligence? And then they’ll either go yes or no, or hey, it’s not a good fit. Or come back when you when you have revenue, and then we’ll invest in your next round. I’ve heard that I don’t know how many times have clients, we’ve been there, right? And it’s going well, I don’t need you then I need you now. Like, right. And I said on Angel groups, we helped grow an angel group in the Midwest to multiple cities. And I just got frustrated because you’re sitting in the audience and we’re on the, you know, we’re on the screening committee. And you see these guys put all their heart and soul into their business and want to finally they finally get to pitch you. And then they leave the room and then we discuss it. And you’re going you know, I heard a lot of people now investors go, you know, it’s really cool, but they’re missing this piece and this piece I’m out like, but you’re an expert in their industry. Like why don’t you help them when the missing pieces Oh, no, I’m retired, I’m gonna go golf. And we’re gonna go, Well, if if we can go in and fix them and help them. We’re going to show value and we’ll get we’ll actually be doing better due diligence, you know, and We’ll understand how the engine works and will create a relationship and then then it’s a much better investment. And so we’ve deployed that philosophy for, you know, again over 10 years now, and our returns are 20 to 30 times for clients within about 12 to 18 months. So they’re paying us to come and fix stuff, what they’re seeing back either through capital, or through a strategic partnership, or a product launch or an acquisition or license is 20 to 30 times sums are much, much larger, but it’s going to how do we add value. And so with the what we’ve kind of opened up to a select group of folks, we have this very strict screening process, but companies that we may or may not invest in again, you don’t know when to do due diligence. But we’ve got this down to a pretty good science to a systematic process to where we tested it about 18 months ago of just mentoring and helping people and showing them what we do and doing due diligence with them, we get into their systems, we get into their data room, we look through all their documents, we find you like what you do, you find holes, right? If you go, we can fix this, we can make this better, you need you’re missing this component. And so we bring all that value together. And at that point, you’re comfortable introducing them to your investors, right? Not before then. And so we’re most VCs, just due diligence and pass, we look at it go and look at is the team solid, like teams first, all the time, technology second, never get them to never get flipped around, right, you’ll get hurt. So if the if we get to operate with the individual and see what’s going on, and they’re coachable, and there’s good camaraderie, and we do this over a 90 day process, then we’re at a much better spot to help them raise capital to introduce them to our network, we can we can do those things. So it’s really, I think, a different component that most firms don’t have. Because there’s, they focus on bigger things. And there’s this gap that we’ve seen between the angel investor or the accelerator university level, or in the angel group, to Vc. And that’s what we, we sit, and we’re really able to accelerate companies, you know, very, very quickly. But it’s all about team and people at the end of the day.
Dan Kuschell 12:11
And you know, so it sounds like not only do you assess the business, but you help accelerate the business by adding value build value, and now it makes it more valuable, so that they can get more funding, whereas before they would be getting probably a hard No, or having to you know, pay with all kinds of you know, it’s very expensive broker fees, etc, etc. Like you mentioned, almost like, you know, you can look at it, like you’re getting advice or just counsel, right? Or you’re getting counsel, and you’re getting the systems to grow, because you’ve got the experience by getting the engine that you’re accelerating. Right. So so it sounds like you’re bridging the gap of those couple of things, Greg, so I know you’ve worked with, you know, so many different, you know, types of businesses, types of industries, etc. Like, what’s an example, you know, maybe someone might be watching right now or listening right now. And they’re like, well, this kind of makes sense. What’s, what’s a story you could share with someone that maybe they could identify or connect to where they came in, where they had an issue, they were strong, maybe they tried other things and then came into your world, you help them and like, what happened?
Greg Downey 13:15
I get some I get to that I could tell you, they’re pretty recent. So one was even a little outside of our realm. It was in a service based business. This was an entrepreneur kind of street, taught, learned it on his own, in this particular service industry made, made good money, and then had to shut things down and had some issues and had to kind of re circle the wagons and build back up right? was not good. A PowerPoint could put together a pro forma, but me literally made millions in the past. So he’s, he did it because he was just a hustler. He just was very determined and driven. So when he came into the program, we started working with them. And so we helped him put all the materials together. That’s one thing that we do is we work alongside you through masterminds one on ones. We provide legal documents, we do red lines, we go we have create a data room, we do all this stuff that you’re gonna need for an investor anyways. But that’s how we operate. Literally, within about 30 days, we had figured out his business, we got it down to a pitch deck and got his financials figured out. And he gets through a pitch to an investor before for the first time. It’s not fun, like, so it’s a lot of nerve nerve racking. And so he’s we had an investor bite. He wanted to meet on a weekend. And he’s like, can you help me make a new pitch for me? So we pitched with him. And we don’t do that for our good buddy. But we ended up becoming an equity partner in the company. But he got his investor, a closed within 24 hours after seeing it and one of his big takeaways was, we answered every single question and a period of 20 minutes and this guy was just blown away. And so now his business is financed, He’s off and running is generating revenue and his business is going to be way bigger and badder. And a good way in the next you know couple Well, yours, I mean, even shorter than that. So there’s one, there’s another one that I’ll share with you. It’s on the med tech side. So this gentleman was referred to us by a, actually a friend of mine, a business partner and orthopedics company. But he met a gentleman that wanted to pitch his group, his investment group, and he was just too early stuff wasn’t together, but he had a passion it was to help children and adults on feeding tubes, you know, to be more mobile, right, noble cause. And when we got to see it, he had his start to file I had IP, intellectual property, had a prototype had done some use, and he’s an inventor. So he had done some groundwork, got some feedback, some early testimonials. And then we got involved helped them put all the investment stuff together, the data room pitch deck, so it’s really dialed in, it’s tight. And we helped them with the pro forma on the financials and the valuation. He met with an investor I think last week, he said, I can take the whole thing, right. So he’s super excited. But in that situation, he needed pricing on the manufacturing, right? How do you build the widget, right? Distribution was also important. And then subject matter experts. And so through our network, and, you know, by God’s grace, and the people we’ve been able to work with, over the years, what happened is we put them in touch with a manufacturer that we’re friends with, that’s in 170, VA hospitals, so they have manufacturing and distribution in the VA. They’re there, they’re quoted the project, they’re going to be the manufacturer of record, they got all the quality systems, they can take care of all that stuff plus get into the largest hospital system in the United States. And then we put in former the former chief medical officer of my previous company, we helped grow to public company now. But he was head of all 22 Shriner hospitals, he’s now an advisor to working as an advisor to them, former head of anthem for one of those for Michigan is now advising, right. So we were able to surround him with the experts that he needs to have because of his niche. And it blew up, it blew his mind. But and it’s also one of things that investors want to see, they want to see traction, there was good manufacturing, they want to see advisors, they want to see the buyer and they want to see all these things. And so through the process of working with them, he brings a lot to the table, we brought as much as we could to the table. And at the end of the day, you have extremely happy clients. And that’s just that’s the goal, we go all in, we don’t go, Hey, you only paid for this, we’re going to give you this right, it’s going we have to find a common ground to start. And then we start it’s all about raising capital. That’s the focus. But it’s all about business development, strategy execution, we look at every aspect of the business. And if we can add value in other areas, we will and that has allowed us to create so much value in some of these companies that they want to keep us going forward even after the mastermind engagement. And we’re picking up equities for essentially build the fund backwards. So again, it’s, it’s it’s a lot like what you’re doing, you add a ton of value into clients, and they they become friends, they become partners, and you know, everybody wins.
Dan Kuschell 18:04
Yeah, and it’s so fascinating to you know, think about in the journey, you know, like I’ve been on lots of our clients have been on, you know, that you can choose, you know, to kind of try to you know, let’s take the business side out of it, or any sophistication and just look at a house, like if you’re going to sell a house, right? What do you do? Well, how do you increase value? When you’re going to show it? Well, you might put new paint on it, you dress it up, you stage it, right. And the problem is, is most amateurs go with this. And you know, they’re dealing with professional investors, you know, in other words, getting funding is a perfect and what do they investors want, they want to minimize their risk, and they want to maximize their ROI. That’s what a professional investor does, in a simple sense, right? And what you’re doing is not just doing what most advisors would do, which is you know, set the stage and you know, yes or no, based on the valuation, you’re helping build the links along the change, again, to increase the value in sales and marketing and branding and systems and, you know, team and advisors and in the network effect that can play a significant role to make it more attractive. So now you’ve saved the house to make it more valuable for the possibility professional investor to say, yeah, so you know, I didn’t and I just, I find it so simple and yet, like you’re one of the only ones in the world doing it this way and not available the way you do it anywhere else in the world. I would say and I’m a little biased to that, which I’ll talk about in a little bit. But like as you’ve experienced this, and now it’s evolved and like you I mean you’re working with so many fun industries and niches and people like what do you see are some of the common mistakes Greg that most people make when they’re trying to do funding and get professional investors to buying it?
Greg Downey 19:48
Keep it as simple you know, it’s it’s knowing that there’s a there’s a you have to You’re it’s it’s not over just because says somebody says I’m interested in your company A right, there’s some key elements, right having a sober valuation, knowing what your value is, you know, scientifically mathematically and be able to point to it. And I tell clients like don’t lead with your valuation when we’re a $10 million company, but we have zero revenue, right? So just be able to defend it right? At the end of the day, it’s negotiations, when they’re already interested, that’s when valuation comes into play, right. And that’s when they really start to get into it. I see people lead with what ridiculous valuation, or they think they need $50 million to accomplish their goal. But when you dig into the financials, in the end, you really dig into the strategy, one sometimes don’t have a strategy of what are you doing 3060 90 days, you know, six months, 12 months out? How do you create that value? Those inflection points, so you can defend your valuation. But I see people not really looking at if it was somebody, if it was your own money, you’re putting in this thing, or if you met strangers, I’m going to put money in this thing. You’ve got to be able to provide, where’s the money going? And how are you going to get there? Right? So we see we work with a lot of clients, and a lot of them are going well, I need 510 $15 million. We’re going no, no. What do you need for 18 months? What can you do with 18 months? That’s your focus, right? Yeah, the five year but that’s a dart in the wind, right? Your best guess on a good day. So it’s really looking at those 18 months, and that detail of showing how you’re gonna get it done. And just being professional is just knowing that you need that capital. And hopefully, it’s smart capital, and it’s in its strategic capitals to help you get there. You know, some people look at investors as Oh, you know, they’re gonna take over my company, it’s like, well, if you do the modeling correctly, and you and you present it the right way, and you do the right structuring, you’re not gonna lose control, you’re actually inheriting a partner a value add, right. And I’ve worked unfortunately, with some really cool technologies, where the CEO or the founder had this, it’s all about me, right? And we did a single founder itis, right? It’s like, it’s all about them. It’s all about their fictitious valuation, and everybody else be damned. And you’re like, you’re, you may raise some money from some naive people, but you’re not going to go far. It’s a team effort. And so it’s knowing what you’re good at sticking to what you’re good at, identifying where your weak spots are. And then surrounding yourself with smarter people that can fill in those weak spots that are actually hands on. I’m, I’m not a big fan of boards with very fancy bios. I mean, it’s nice to have smart people. But it’s when I want board members or partners that get their hands dirty, like that lean into the project. I’ve been on. I’ve had companies where we’ve had boards where everything is, you know, Monday morning quarterbacking, oh, well, you know, I saw this come in six months ago. It’s like, how does this speak up, like, get engaged, like or get off the team? Like, we don’t have time to figure this out? Like, I tell people, startups, especially early stage companies, it’s not the time for on the job learning. Stick to you’re good at certain know you’re weak. Bring those people around, listen to them. That’s another big thing is not listening to the expertise that’s being fed into you. Ultimately, yes, as a CEO, you gotta make the call. But I’ve also seen CEOs where they get intimidated, because people are giving them different advice. And it’s not what they thought it should be, right? But guess what? It’s their industry, like they’re experts at it. That can save you headache, mistakes, loss of money, loss of time. So it’s a couple of different things that see humility, and working in a team environment, and surround yourself with smart people that actually can get hands on is that are critical.
Dan Kuschell 23:46
And, you know, speaking of hands on, like when, you know, where do you see the biggest breakdown? In most companies? I think I probably know, but I’d be curious of what you see of like, the breakdown in like, where are they weakest? And if they solve that piece of the puzzle, most of the time that is going to boost their valuation? I’m curious.
Greg Downey 24:09
It’s it’s just too I guess two ways to answer it. Right. I think that one of the weakest, most it’s the weakest link, right, that causes problems. It’s if you look at equity, right? When you start talking about equity, and going how much of what is what’s my where’s my name on the cap table? How many shares do I have versus everybody else? You know, and I’ve seen when money starts coming in, right investors start putting Bennett validates it right now, the sudden the valuations pegged, you got investment dollars that prove it, but then the issue is and I also receive kind of this, you know, evil seeps in, right. It’s they start doing math in their head, right the circle and gosh, I’m worth such and such like, No, you’re not like, not until you have an exit like, just put that aside. And so I see people really get tripped up on what’s my title, and how much equity Do I have now it’s important to have equity. But I’ve seen partnerships. And we have a client that we’re dealing with right now, where there was originally a three, three individuals that came to the partnership, start talking about equity and ownership, boom, blue really kind of blew up the deal, but in a good way, because luckily, the founder, the CEO, who brought these folks in, saw what was happening and how to make a difficult call and how to really get them out, restructure the business around now he’s got really good people around him, and he’s gonna go at it, but it’s going to you can shoot yourself in the foot, just by greed, right? And it’s just knowing that this may not be your last rodeo, you know, there’ll be others, but really knowing that it takes a team effort. I think you’re right, the other part of the question was, what’s what was the failure? Like? What’s, what’s the biggest failure? People see? Yeah. You know, it’s also knowing that when you do get that offer, right, it may not be exactly what you want. You gotta realize it, you know, there’s a, you got to find common ground, right? You may, you’re in your mind, you should have figured out the valuation where how many shares you have, like how much you’re giving up, you know, all that use of funds that you want, you have to have all that stuff. But it’s going to if you get a counteroffer from an investor, and it’s not exactly what you want, don’t, you know, get all puffed up, and you know, leave the room and get on, you know, angry be like, I’m gonna go find someone else, you may not get that other person. So, seriously, considering going How bad do you want this? And will this person add value? So it’s knowing that you need to be flexible on terms to some degree? Because, again, I’ve seen deals where they were offered a large chunk of money, and they turned it down, because they thought they were worth more guess what never happened? The company. So interesting.
Dan Kuschell 26:50
Been at this, Greg 30 years. And so you’re providing the facility, different examples, personally, of some failures early on. And then also clients and, you know, this sort of thing. And it’s like, don’t be penny wise and pound foolish, right? Like, you know, what’s one good connection that can open doors in certain commerce arenas, like for example, you know, use this crazy example, but like, let’s say, you know, Oprah said, I’ll invest, right, but the equity that she was going to contribute might be 50 grand where you wanted 5 million. But she would, in trade, open the door and say, Yeah, I’ll bring you on my network. And I’ll interview you, we’ll do a, you know, multiple interview series, or even one for that matter to open that door. Well, what would that exposure be worth so so it’s to your point and be flexible, of you know, like, what is what are the tangible value pieces, but also the your point the adding value pieces that maybe aren’t as easily seen that are beyond just dollars, and that’s, you know, that’s, you know, as you’re watching or listening right now, one of the things with Greg and a lot of our work is it goes beyond the money, it goes beyond the dollar, it goes beyond the transaction. And when you go beyond the transaction, to focus on the impact, the value, the value creation, I get so much more. And that’s what I love about what Greg, that you do is that you again, are building value in someone’s company by helping them refine processes, systems, marketing, sales, branding, business development, etc, along the way of building the value to create it to be more attractive and valuable. That’s the ultimate business model. So by the way, I’ve got I got a bunch more I want to go into with you. But I know I want to give you a chance, Greg to share. Like if people want to learn more about you, like, you know, they’re interested, they go, Yeah, I’m looking for a way to get more funding, you know, to have more, you know, capital, raise capital, etc. And or go public, or go, you know, exit the business, where can they go to learn more about you and, you know, essentially, understand what you have to offer.
Greg Downey 28:58
You’re no happy to do that. purimventures.com. So it’s purimventures.com. And I think we’re the only one on the web that would that domain, it’s a 2500 year old name, but you go to the site, you’ll see I would definitely check this out. We put a lot of case studies out there a lot of testimonials. But there’s ways to contact us. On the site, you’ll you’ll see opportunities to either send us an email or even book a call. We’ll talk to people who have a screening process, but will definitely give people you know, a first shot at a call and, and even with some folks we had, you know, I talked to a really nice lady, just the other day where it wasn’t necessarily a good fit for us. So I pointed her a bunch of other directions of people that could really help her out. So, you know, we’re, that’s, that’s our goal is I get a minimum, you know, it’d be a worthwhile phone call.
Dan Kuschell 29:54
Yeah, and if you’re looking for a way to raise capital to get funding to get a step by step Glad to be able to do that and get connected to a network where you can get access to potential equity, partnerships, you know, incredible value, I encourage you go to purimventures.com, that’s purimentures.com. And it’s a way for you to help avoid some of the, you know, high priced consultants in this space, you know, bankers, and a whole lot more. So go to purimventures.com, it’s somewhere here on the page as well make sure to go to purimventures.com. Now, Greg, is you’ve, you know, been at this for 20. Some years. You know, again, you’ve got so many fascinating stories that, you know, we’ve talked about over time is, you know, what are like, I’ve got a handful of pages of notes, focus on what you’re good at, make sure I get clear on what the weak spots are, and then fill in those gaps, which is pretty simple. But like, I hope as you’re watching or listening right now, you slow yourself down to really understand the truth to that. And then surround yourself with people who will get dirty to help support you, in the process, that don’t fall in love with titles, don’t fall in love with the amount of equity, fall in love with value that gets created or brought to the table in exchange for what you do and be flexible. What are a couple other tips that you might recommend for people to apply as they, you know, on the journey to get funding grow their business, build their value, and more?
Greg Downey 31:24
I think another big one is take ownership. Right? Because, you know, raising capital, if you’ve never done it before, it’s like eating the elephant, right? It’s just it’s can be overwhelming. That’s one of the reasons why we do what we do with with our Mastermind and engaging clients the way we do it, because it’s there’s a lot of details, a lot of nooks and crannies and data rooms and documents and finance. It’s there’s a lot to go through, you know, one take ownership of it. And I’ve made this mistake, right in the past where we, you know, I didn’t know anything about the time around international commercial real estate, right. And so we raised money on on a big project overseas in the Caribbean. And so I hired some people, right? It was referred to me, right, but it was a investment banker paid him good money. And guess what, got zero out of it. And we had to provide all the provide all the information anyway. So it’s he’s trying to regurgitate our story, too. And he’s got 20 other clients paying in to do the same thing. And so it’s like throwing mud against a wall is we didn’t get the priority. He goes about this deep into your deal. Not not all investment bankers are that way. And we’ve worked with quite a few of them. But it’s one of those things of you’ve got to take ownership of this. And if you’re an entrepreneur, or small business owner, or want to do startups want to do multiple businesses, learning this process, taking ownership, say working with us, or if you can find another group that does what we do. But learning this will pay dividends way into the future, because now you’ll know how to talk to investors, you’ll know how to sell your business out of by others, how to do other startups. And once you learn how to do this, especially if you’re like the entrepreneurial thing, and you want to do multiple companies, when you learn how to do this successfully, you get a lot of phone calls, like people just find out where you’re at, and they want you on the next deal, right everybody, even like commercial real estate, you know, you have the person that finds it, the person that that closes it, and then you have the person that finds the money first and finds the money gets invited back. And they usually get two bites of the apple, you know, they get their commission, and they get a piece of the equity. So it’s, it’s a valuable skill. And I’ve worked with a lot of MBAs that they don’t teach this in graduate schools, right. So it’s, it’s an art form. It’s a science, but it’s going just make sure you don’t outsource this, you know, I’ve seen companies that have the money and they can afford. We have one client that’s big and commercial real estate, or they’re getting into commercial real estate. They’ve done other big, profitable companies. But the first commercial real estate was the first one is a big one. And they outsourced it to people and they spent well over six figures, making mistakes. And then they engaged us we have their testimonies, as on our website, John and Evelyn, you can check those guys out. But you know, they they kind of, they knew what they were smart enough to know that they didn’t know what they didn’t know. They surrounded themselves and we help them out. But it’s really kind of just taking ownership of this thing and knowing that you can do it, uh, you don’t have to be a you’re gonna have to go to college. Like we’ve had people that raise money that no college education at all. It’s like, it’s just takes you step by step, bit by bit, put it together and you look back within, you know, four to eight weeks roughly and your data rooms done like you’ve accomplished things you didn’t think you could do. So if you can do this, it’s just having someone that will actually show you how to do it is the key.
Dan Kuschell 34:48
And speaking of someone showing you how to do it well like what would it be worth for you to easily and effortlessly build a valuation of your business so that it made it more attractive and appealing to people who will give you money, get funding investors, private investors, equity funds. And then What’s it costing you, not being as valuable as you could be not being as profitable as you could be not being as attractive as you could to bring the A team to you. Right and be surrounded with that a team who are willing to do both get their hands dirty, take ownership, as well as drive the value, right. So if you want to learn more about the step by step approach that Greg and his team take, go to purimventures.com, that’s Purimventures.com, you know, somewhere on the site, there, you’ll find a button or a link or something to book a consultation, if you’re ready for that, right, because Greg can help you, his team can help you go deeper, in a far easier way, if you’re willing to come to the table, and take ownership of the process to make sure that you’re growing and building your business successfully. Greg, you know, something that come to mind, as you were talking about, you know, it’s not something that’s taught traditionally, right? It’s an art and a science. Right, there’s the call it the old archaic way of doing it. And then you know, your way of doing it is again, very unique. And I would make the case that it’s not available anywhere else in the world, the way you do it out there. Talk about the old way, like the historic way that people have typically done it. And maybe some of the consequences of that. And I’m curious, your take on that.
Greg Downey 36:31
You’re no happy to. So I guess the old way is you build a business plan, right? You can search online, or what are the components of a business plan, and you start writing and writing and writing and now you’re 1215 pages into it, right? And that takes time gets in, and then you as soon as you hit print, it’s dated, right? You go back? So it’s just one of those things. And most people don’t read them. Right. So it’s, we work with summaries, pitch decks, agreements, financials, teams, you know, strategy, you know, add in all that stuff, right? I want
Dan Kuschell 37:06
to hit a hit a hit a stop time out here for a second, you said something really, I think important as you’re watching or listening right now, I hope you just tell though, Greg, because he’s such an expert at this. He just said it so casually. I don’t want you to become a casualty of casual. And so because Greg knows this, like the back of his hand, what did he just say? He said that building a business plan. Takes a lot of time, it takes some time, a lot of energy and weeks and months sometimes, and you’re writing and creating, and most people what don’t read it. So if you’re putting time into the wrong thing, Greg mentioned something earlier, what is it? You don’t know? You don’t know? That actually, if you did know, would save you time would save you money? And what’s that worth to you? So you get it right? Up front, and not waste that time, that energy on something that literally by the time you get it done is dated and obsolete in most cases, right? Like the example you just gave Greg of a business plan, right? So speak to that just just a little bit because I want to hopefully drive this all because I find some people are so they get so hung up on getting their perfect business plan put together to put in front of funding or investors. And like I found similar to what you’ve shared, but I’d love you to say it from your perspective. When you say most people don’t read out, who are you talking? Are you talking about the people who fund companies and the people who have equity company, you know, the equity to give away? What what speak to that?
Greg Downey 38:34
Yeah. And investors, you know, at least the folks that we work with, don’t read business plans, either just, it’s the world’s different now it’s shifted, right, it’s going to answer the questions quickly, right, get to the point, you know, when we go through this process, and at the same time, I’m not seeing a business plan is a bad idea. What I’m telling you is the way we do it is your pitch deck is also your business plan. It’s also marketing collateral. It’s also you know, part of your due diligence, right? So you go through the same mental exercises as you would you’re just not writing a 30 page document by it’s a waste of time. So the other thing is going on the investment side, you know that we see 1015 deals a week, right? Family Offices, which we work with, which are ultra high net worth families, and high net worth individuals, they see more, right they have teams that look at these things. So you’ve got you may have the you may think you have the shiniest object in the room, but you’re competing against a bunch of other really shiny objects. So you gotta be able to grab their attention very, very quickly. Get to the point hit them where it’s most interesting. At the same time, you’re not trying to get them to kind of check because they just connected with you. You just want to bring them into the process, right? It’s kind of like dating idea. You just don’t go right to proposal Ralts you know, should probably walk out of the room. So you walk through the process. So you know how to kind of do the teaser process and get them interested and bring them through it. But most people you didn’t answer your question. The old school way is, you know, I’ve seen people do this, they’ll build a business plan, like we’ve had clients that come to us just exhausted when I got all this stuff, Mike, well, we’ll take pieces of it, but we’re going to do something little bit different. But they’ll typically write a big private placement document, big business plan, spend 30 $40,000, with attorneys to get all the legal wrappers done. And then they go hop on a plane and go to New York, Boston, San Francisco, Boston, right, where there’s VCs, the venture capital, and because they seen Shark Tank, or they’ve seen shows and going, Well, I gotta go to venture. Well guess what, most pre revenue early stage companies. Third, they don’t even come, they’re not candidates for venture capital, like that most venture capital, it’s, you gotta have a million to 3 million in revenue or EBIT, ah, didn’t get their attention. Now, there are some VCs that do early stage stuff, but they still come with the VC terms, which can, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you very can be a very expensive lesson. So we predominantly work with family offices, high net worth individuals, angels, you know, those types of folks in corporate m&a, like some corporations come to us going, Hey, we’re looking for this, this and this, you know, so we can bring them those type of opportunities. But it’s, you can spend so much time barking up the wrong tree, and you can go out to Sandhill Road, and if you got to something that’s cool, maybe they’ll meet with you. But they, they won’t give you any money, like though, and they’re not gonna sign an NDA. Right? They because they can’t not because they’re bad people. It’s because if they sign an NDA with you, in somebody else, you’ve got, you know, you’re selling a really cool new way to comb your hair, right. But if you can’t do that, then they can’t look at other cool comb opportunities, right. So it’s like, they cannot sign NDAs until they’re really into due diligence. So it’s free Intel for them. Right. So it’s, your, you can be barking up the wrong tree and spending all the time and money and they’ll meet with you, they’ll talk with you, they’ll get your stuff, but they won’t invest. So it’s knowing that you got a window, and you’ve got to move and talk to the right people with the right materials with the right strategy that can become a system, right? It’s a teachable system. It’s just trying to do it on your own can be like you said, you know, the old way cost you six figures very, very quickly, and you still don’t have an investor.
Dan Kuschell 42:34
And if you’re looking for a step by step plan to get funding to avoid the high costs of, you know, traditional consulting fees, or, you know, attorneys or bankers, or these sorts of things, or having to hop on planes and barking up the wrong tree, that I encourage you to go check out with Greg and his company put together a purimventures.com. That’s purimventures.com. Greg, as we were winding this down here today, what what’s something I should have asked you that we that I didn’t get a chance to ask you? Yeah, that’d be valuable,
Greg Downey 43:05
huh, gosh, and we can get the politics but that probably a whole nother I’ll get it. Maybe it’s just what what do you see from what do we see from trends from an investing? Most most people, when you if you watch the news, which, you know, the only TV in the house as my as my daughter’s like, we don’t watch TV, we’ve read it, you know, so we’ll go online are very, very careful about what we filter in. But if you were to watch the news, no matter what side of the spectrum, you’re on, right, it’s going to be I think we all lifted the last three years, you know, can you really believe what you’re hearing it? But if you look at what the markets are doing, right, oh, there’s a recession, oh, we’re gonna do all these things, which, you know, there’s some of it’s real. But when you look at the world of direct investment, right, so outside of Wall Street, outside of banks, because, you know, some banks that, you know, got taken over, and some of them should have, you know, if you look at really what they’re doing, but most people think I gotta go to Vc, I gotta go to banks and Wall Street when I’m going to go public. It’s like the world of direct investment. least the way the world we play in is getting these high net worth individuals, family offices, individuals, like yourself that could cut you know, $100,000 checks and invest in take a stake in these companies and help provide strategic guidance. That’s a hockey stick, if you really look for it. That’s the activities high. Investors want to do this. And so it’s not just hey, I’ve got some shiny object and please invest in my deal. Like don’t approach an investor like you’re a popper, like you’re begging, right? There’s groups looking for deal flow, right? We have folks coming up going, we we want exclusive access to your deal flow, right? So it’s going there there. It’s just making sure that you look and smell and feel like the real thing and that’s what we helped do, but the world of direct investment is is done Extremely well, because they’re usually the people making the cutting those checks for entrepreneurs who’ve made it. So it’s a mentor thing for them, it’s kind of a giving back thing, they want to stay in a game. So they’re more likely to cut a check directly into a company and get a much better return. Then put money, you know, put money in, don’t diversify and have stuff on Wall Street. I’m not saying they’re not going to do that. But it’s going that world you don’t, I went to top business school, like they didn’t talk about that, you know, it’s just, it’s just kind of this area that nobody really discusses. Because it doesn’t get the attention. But if you’re in this realm that we plan, there’s a lot of activity. There’s a lot of companies that vying for attention of these type of investors. But I would encourage people going, yeah, get your stuff, right. Don’t wait, like most people go, Well, I gotta wait times not right or, but you’ll never have a right time, like entrepreneurship is, you know, is extremely messy. Just go by just, you know, like, even working with coaches, I’ve worked with a couple different coaches, like I hemmed and hawed and did all the analysis and due diligence. And it’s just like, you’ll always find a reason not to, right, it’s just push yourself into the fire and go and run. And you’ll figure it out. Like, you know, you look at some of the big names, you know, Google, you know, SpaceX, you know, you know, some of these big ones, they all started with somebody’s idea. And then angels put money in. And then they went for VC, and then they went public, right? The people that got in early, it’s yeah, it’s higher risk. But the reward can be extremely good. So that’s where the smart investors are looking to place strategic bets, because they also want to help. So that’s where you know, the encouragement I would like to get your listeners is just do it fine, whether it’s with us or somebody else, just jump into it. But be coachable. Be very coachable and and learn and absorb as much information as you can. And just don’t wait for that perfect time. So we don’t know what’s gonna happen next year with an election year like I, you know, well, it’s kind of a crazy place, just, you know, go for it. And I even tell people that are maybe not even looking to raise capital, the time there may be be listened to this is going, it still gets you in the right mindset, the right organization, it will uncover this process will uncover a bunch of chinks in your armor, to where you can just shore that stuff up. And so if you ever do need money, you’re there. And it’s much nicer to raise money when you don’t need it. Right, then the terms flip. So, you know, it’s always good to plan for a rainy day, and to surround yourself with good people that have pockets and can and can support your business and grow with you. And
Dan Kuschell 47:40
speaking of that, is, you know, when is the best time to dig a well, before you’re thirsty, or after you’re thirsty? Probably before, right? Well, if you’re looking for a way to set yourself up, for funding for equity, for valuation for growth, and a network and a team effect that Greg can bring to you again, go learn more by checking out the info they’ve got available at purimventures.com. That’s purimventures.com. And Greg had one last question as we wrap up. As you think of today’s conversation, our talk today, like what are a couple things you hope our viewers or listeners takeaway from our conversation? Are action steps,
Greg Downey 48:22
yeah, that they that you can do this, and it doesn’t matter your background, right? It’s all persistence. And taking one step in front of the next right, it’s, you can do it, you can learn this thing, think about riding a bike, you know, you did not ride a bike, when the bike was put in front of you, someone probably put you on it and walk you along the way. Next, you know, your ride bikes, right. So it’s the same thing, you know, so this is a, you know, a, definitely a valuable skill to know, especially in this day and age where banks aren’t really lending, you know, and, and you got to have no assets in revenue for bank to even consider that. Now, that’s a good source of capital. But early on, you know, this is a very good place to learn and to play and to work. But I would my thing was just be, you can do this. Have the confidence that you can and can surround yourself with good advisors and good people that can help you get there. And that’s anything’s possible. It really is. It’s not a cliche, and it sounds kind of cliche ish. But you can this is hard work and anything to is, you know, as a business, this is if you work with us, it’s a it’s an investment in your business. Right? And like you said, what’s the ROI? Right? don’t really think about what you have to spend to get there. Think about the opportunity cost, like if you don’t get there, yeah. I tell clients, yeah, they gotta you know, they we were not for free, right. But we’re very reasonable. And we’re, we’ve worked with a lot different clients, but it’s going, you can go back and we have all the stuff that’s public domain because on our website, you know, check us out, because what people have paid work with us and what they get back in 3060 90 days. That’s what keeps us that’s why we keep this mastermind thing going because it’s a good feeder for us. But it’s just seeing the value that’s created and seeing people that when that light goes on, or that they flip the switch, and all of a sudden, they have that aha moment of, yeah, I can do this, like that you see them stand taller, you know, more, you know, it’s just, it’s just cool to see that transformation in people. So, you know, I guess the takeaway is, you can do it, learn it, find a good mentor, a good coach, and just stick with it. And persistence wins. I mean, you may have to kiss a lot of frogs to get to that ideal investor, but it’s going to happen. And there’s lots of them. And that’s part of what we do is once we figure out the person’s deal, we look at throughout our in our group, and then our entire network. And it blows people’s minds, because we I’ve done this a couple of our mastermind calls where I’ll be like, Okay, you’re in Detroit, they pull everything up, and they’re just like, I can’t believe I can’t you’ve, you’ve got 15 different organizations, you can go after, now you’re ready. And so And also, don’t do it too soon. The issue is, I’ve seen people get ahead of themselves and go, want to talk to an investor. And they don’t have their stuff in order. And once you have that first impression that’s out there. And you kind of look like you’re shooting from the hip, and you got some idea, don’t like just write their name down and follow them later. But get your stuff done. And we’re a type of crew that we don’t say, Hey, let’s go build all this stuff. And then you go talk now we’ve, we’ve we’ve Bertina, we’ve changed the tires on the car as it’s moving. But we want people out talking to investors as soon as possible, but not too soon. Because that’s when you can really kind of poison your own. Well, it’s really difficult going back if if you’ve done that.
Dan Kuschell 51:51
And that’s the beauty of it. I mean, I almost feel like this should be required of anybody starting a business to go through the process that you have, because it just makes you a better entrepreneur and helps you become better at marketing and better at sales, better business development, better systems, right. And you can do it in such a concise way, the way you guys have packaged this up and systematized it step by step, you know, without the you know, super high crazy, you know, things that are out there. And by the way, as you’re watching or listening, if you want to learn more, if you want to check out what Greg’s and his team can do for you. Go to purimventures.com, Purimventures.com, I did think of another couple of questions. You know, Greg, regarding you bet brought up the transformation that people go through. And you know, you’ve got a network effect of you know, what I would estimate to be 1000s and 1000s of people all over the country, or maybe even the world with what you do. But you and your wife has created this amazing life lifestyle. Your daughter neurite is a part of your business in some cool ways. And you’re able to teach her through this. Like, if you were to thank your wife, you know, today for how she shown up like, yeah, I just want to get into I’m curious about the personal side of things. If you were to thank her for what she’s done for allowing you to be your best self. Like, what would you turn to your wife today and say, Thank you, honey for fill in the blank, or that’d be
Greg Downey 53:12
give me all choked up really believing when you didn’t believe, right, seeing the core of what? Because we’ve been dating since college. Like I was senior, she was a year older. She’s you know. And so we’ve been together for a long time. So she’s been through every startup, right? So she’s, she’s seen everything. So and you know, people what’s your COVID right, and we’re in the Caribbean with a international business. I guess the big thank you would be believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself, right. And that’s where a mentor or coach gets you over the hump. And so it was, you know, when we had exited from an orthopedics company back in 2010. And like, you know, I felt led, you know, God directed our steps into a certain path. And then, you know, it was time to step down and move on. And I didn’t have a plan, right? And it was her idea of, hey, you’ve got a lot of people coming to you now that you’re free agent. Start your own firm like this is when we do our own firm, and that’s how perm was born. There’s a significance name goes back to the book, Esther, there’s a lot of symbolism behind because we always found herself in the middle between CEOs and investors, right. So a lot of symbolism in the name and then just going through COVID Right, it was not a fun time. You know, planes weren’t flying over every was like we all thought the world was gonna end. It’s crazy, right? But it’s gonna we saw one of our businesses just bleed out. And no matter how much passion the good we’re trying to do is just you’re just can’t swim upstream. So it’s pretty debilitating mentally, you know, and to be able to pick yourself back up and have someone that believes in you and says, Look, you all You got a ton of value to bring to people. And it was really her idea to open up this mastermind to open up what we do, versus we’re very private. Like, for 10 years, we did zero marketing at a one page website with a logo and a contact. That was it. And we’re branding experts, right? So go figure that one out. But it was her idea, say, look, you’ve done this, teach people this, and that just wasn’t the right place. And it was one of the things where, you know, we did a little pilot, again, that’s where I did all my analysis, paralysis, and try and interview all these different coaches, because I didn’t know anything about Facebook or ads, or, you know, because it’s not the world’s the plan, and hired a coach and took the plunge and just kind of follow the process, you know, kind of resisted it, and to be honest with you, and then look where we’re at today, I mean, the company we’ve thrown for x, and we have picked up numerous different companies. And it’s just one of the things where when you’re at your kind of your lowest, or just in a difficult spot to have a coach and mentor a spouse that believes in you, that can really pick you up out of the mire and drag you through it. I mean, that’s a blessing. So, you know, she gets a lot of credit for where we’re at today, because it was the vision and the confidence. And, you know, here we are. So, you know, very fortunate to have her by my side.
Dan Kuschell 56:23
And thank you for giving us a personal glimpse into your family side of what you do, and you have a family business. And if you’re looking for a way to work with, you know, some amazing people, and have amazing people working with and for you and you want to learn more, then go check out pure adventures.com The links are on the page, if you’re listening right now, if you’re watching, it’s probably somewhere around me, I don’t know if it’s over here, over here, down here, up here, or wherever it is. Click the link, go to purimventures.com. Learn more about Greg, his team, his process to help you get funding without the typical expensive fees that go with brokers and bankers and all these sorts of attorneys and such like that and also tap into this new resource instead of the old, outdated, traditional way that you know, can be quite expensive and laborious. You can have something that’s far more agile, and far more valuable to you, especially if you’re an emerging company today. So go check out purimventures. He’s Greg Downey. I’m Dan Kuschell. Thanks for being with us today. Seize the day, make it a great week. We’ll see you next time on another episode around the corner. Thanks.
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