Am i getting a good deal? (tech startup)

TL;DR: 1.25% equity instead of a salary for 1 year of work on a fresh startup (no work has been done yet, theyre still looking for a team).

Hello all,

Ive recently been approached to with an offer to join a startup team of 7 people total, all technical in a few different fields. The startup is just an idea now, no work has been done yet, they are still looking for a team.

The format of the startup is something i honestly havnt seen before so looking up typical figures and estimates has proven quite difficult.

This entire operation is run by a CEO with quite a few exits on his hands, he knows what he's doing and i personally have trust in him that he's qualified to be CEO and lead the company, and I also have a lot of faith in the idea, all's well on this front.

The issue is this – The CEO wants to pay the team of 6 people equal equity of 1.25% cliff and up to a total of 2.6 after 3 years total. The idea is that after around a year of working on this in our spare time (we all still continue working as normal), we should have an MVP with a small income to sustain the business expenses, and CEO has vouched to put up to 10k$ up to that point. The moment the business is slightly self sustaining, all the personnel on the team has the option to quit their jobs and join in, otherwise they just get the 1.25%. The CEO wants to bootstrap this idea without investors, and I believe it _might_ be possible, but it could also not be, we are still too early to tell.

I have several issues with this:

  1. All the people on board are skilled, quality people, but I am without a doubt the most technical in the most amount of fields out of the team – should I get more equity? (Im actually quite fine with everyone getting equal equity, as this will probably lead to less friction. this really could be a non issue, I just wanted to hear some more opinions)
  2. We don't get a salary, we are paid with equity – doesn't this mean we are founder? if so, why are the team of 6 each getting 2.5 after 3 years and the CEO gets the rest (he personally said he gets 65% By my calculations he should get 82.5% but I think he's reserving some for more members down the line)? (this personally feels fishy, youre the ceo, youre the source of the idea, and youre funding it at the start, but 65% feels like way more than is fair)
  3. He said that if we end up do getting investors, we all get diluted – doesn't this mean ill end up with dirt while essentially giving an MVP for free?
  4. Let's say we worked for a year and got the MVP up and running, im worried he might fire me after a year, give me the 1.25% im owed and take the 1.35%, go to an investor and get funding (an investor at this stage should take far less than 30% since there's a working MVP that potentially has profit), and just replace us with salaried staff. Essentially getting an MVP for 7.5% (1.25% * 6) before dilution.

Just to summarize:

  1. The startup is just an idea at this moment, no work has been done yet.
  2. The idea is developed after work hours (1-3 hours a day), and we all still work as we normally would.
  3. The idea _could_ be done without investors, given the road not being *too* rocky.
  4. A realistic timeframe to get an MVP would be 1 year.
  5. We are payed with equity for 1 year or until the startup has a small income, thats when we could jump in and get some sort of salary or stay out and walk away with 1.25%. If we decide to stay, we get 1.35% more up to a total of 2.6^ after 2 years of vesting. The CEO gets 65%.
  6. The CEO funds this from his personal money (He has the money).

Realistically, im looking at this as 1.25% for 1 year of work (not full time work), god knows what is gonna happen after a year and if im going to quit my current job to join in, so im not putting too much stake in the 2.6%.

Any thoughts? What would you do or offer?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

I feel terrible, but some say it might be a good news. Really?

Our team went through all the way to the final round of an accelerator's selection process. We were super excited. Chance to win the final round was 50%. We made the final pitch in front of the selection committee. Then we got rejected.

Startups are used to such a thing, so I felt okay….. until we were told that one of the committee member's company was planning to launch a similar service in a few months.

Some say it's a good news, as this means our idea is not bad, as we have a patent granted, and so on. But money is running out, marketing is hard, teammates need to find proper jobs, and male type baldness is…

What would you suggest me to do now?

P.S. I know hair care tips enough.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Are student startups a good idea?

Hello there!

Sorry if the topic is repeated. I searched but the topic seems to be ambigious to a certain limit.

I'm a senior software engineering student. My design and coding skills are good and I worked on some projects before and enjoyed it. I love coding.. it's my passion and can't imagine myself in other field.

However, all the projects I worked on were mine, or in other words, they were for my benefit in a way or another mostly as skill improvement or for school grades.. etc.

But lately, I had the experience to work for a small firm for the first time in my life, and to be honest.. I didn't like it. Everyone were excited and working hard, but for some reason I couldn't get over the idea of spending my life for the profit of someone else for few bucks. I just didn't like the feeling and couldn't get excited.. so I left them and went back to work on my personal learning projects.

From here I had the idea of beginning my own startup.. I have the core idea of the project in my mind, but for the business and marketing side, I believe that I lack some critical skills. probably I'm starting with my own money not by a loan.

1- Can you guys suggest me some good resources and stories to build more knowledge about what to expect in this experience?

2- Do you suggest me to wait until the idea is fully baked from all aspects or rush to start and learn by doing mistakes?

3- Do you suggest me to start to work alone, or form a team with other students? students are usually busy, same for me but at least by working alone I can work on my own free time.

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

My tech-startup became successful over night – is this a good offer?

Hi there, last week my website has been in the news in my country. I have worked on this website, which is a "social network", as a programmer for pretty much 4 years. This social network is not English, it's only for the country I live in. Although in this 4 years it was more of a side-project, I've spent countless hours developing and running it. User numbers were growing slowly though. Now with it being in the news, it quickly gained more than 10.000 registered users.

Now I see the opportunity of this thing generating actual money some day. And I'm not the only one. A experienced software developer contacted me. He just sold the last app he was working on completely on his own and now wants to move on. And he sees potential in my project.

I need someone with more experience than me, because there are quite a lot of things that aren't perfect. Also I simply don't have the time to do everything myself. Having said that, I cannot afford to hire someone yet. And here comes the catch: He wants 1/3 of the business. For that he will support me both from a mentor point of view and with the further development and marketing of the project. He has knowledge about parts of the business where I struggle. However, 1/3 seems like a lot to me, having spend to much time building this thing – even though I still don't make a huge amount of money with it just yet.

What are your thoughts on this? I know it's hard to judge not knowing everything. I'm just here for some basic advice, I don't want to make a huge mistake. Whether being accepting or declining the offer. I will definitely not go with 1/3, but 1/4 might be possible.


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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Red flags / good signs to look for in job offers?

I’m currently in the interview process for a tech startup, and I’m unsure if it’s something I should seriously pursue. My work experience has been in higher Ed / local government, so aside from multiple rewatches of Silicon Valley this is completely out of my wheelhouse. Without getting into too many specifics the company sounds solid, very new but entered the market at the perfect time, profitable within the first few months, CEO has prior startup experience, support from reputable incubators and accelerators which all seems great. I’m finishing my masters this semester so if I got the offer I’d be interning part time unpaid which is fine until graduation, but I asked about compensation if I became a full time employee and was told that they were unsure at the moment but could give me a better answer after their upcoming product launch. Are there things that I should look out for, and does this sound too good to be true?

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Tech startups weekly: Too Good To Go raises €25.3M; recording sports without a cameraman using AI; Mambu raises €110M; and more

tech startups

As a part of a weekly roundup, here is a list of some of the most important tech startups that have hit the headlines in Europe this week.

Glia raises €63.6M

New York-based Glia, a provider of digital customer service, has raised $ 78M (approx €63.6M) in its Series C round of funding led by existing investor Insight Partners. This round brings Glia’s total fundraising to $ 107M (approx €87.2M). Although it’s based in New York, a major chunk of its operations takes place in Estonia. 

Don Brown, a pioneer in the customer service space, also invested in Glia’s current round. Brown was the founder and CEO of Interactive Intelligence, which was acquired by Genesys in 2016 for $ 1.4B (approx €1.14B).

Founded in 2012 by Daniel Michaeli, Carlos Paniagua, and Justin DiPietro, Glia is reinventing how businesses support their customers in a digital world. Its solution enriches web and mobile experiences with digital communication choices, on-screen collaboration and AI-enabled assistance. 

Glia has partnered with more than 150 financial institutions, insurance companies and fintech providers globally, to improve top and bottom-line results through digital customer service.

Too Good To Go raises €25.3M

Copenhagen-based, the startup that lets you buy food right before it goes to waste, Too Good To Go, has raised $ 31.1M (approx €25.3M) in a fresh round of funding. Blisce is leading the round and investing $ 15.4M (approx €12.5M). Besides, existing investors and employees also participated in this round. The raised capital will help the company to consolidate its current market and expand in the US.

Founded in 2015 by Chris Wilson, Jamie Crummie, and Klaus B. Pedersen, Too Good To Go develops an app for fighting food waste and saving delicious food. Through the app, anyone can make a difference by saving perfectly good, delicious food from going in the bin. The company aims to reduce food waste worldwide, and their vision is to create a world where food produced is food consumed.

Too Good To Go is a Social Impact company fighting global food waste, and is B Corp certified as of 2020. B Corporation (also B Lab or B Corp) certification of “social and environmental performance” is a private certification of for-profit companies, distinct from the legal designation as a Benefit Corporation.

Currently present in 15 countries, Too Good To Go saves more than 100,000 meals every day by connecting consumers with restaurants and grocery stores in their local communities through its dedicated mobile app.

Combating Cancer

Theolytics, a UK biotech harnessing viruses to combat cancer, has raised $ 6.8M (approx €5.5M) in its Series A round of funding. The round was co-led by Epidarex Capital and Taiho Ventures LLC with participation from existing investor, Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI). 

The raised capital will be used to progress the company’s pipeline of candidates towards human clinical trials.

Founded in 2017 by Charlotte Casebourne, Margaret Duffy, Kerry Fisher, and Len Seymour, Theolytics is a biotechnology company harnessing viruses to combat cancer. The company uses an adenovirus platform to develop targeted, self-amplifying therapeutic agents and aims to deliver innovative cancer care to the people in need worldwide.

“A step-change in the oncolytic viral therapy field, our phenotypic screening Platform enables the discovery and development of efficacious, targeted candidates suitable for intravenous delivery and optimised for a chosen patient population. In addition to advancing an internal pipeline of programs spanning both solid and liquid tumours, we are establishing select strategic partnerships to expand and accelerate pipeline development,” says the company.

Mass producing powerful motors for electric vehicles

Belgian automotive startup Magnax has raised €16M in its Series A round of funding led by Hirschvogel Automotive, a large manufacturer of automotive components, through its investment arm Hirschvogel Ventures. 

The raised capital will enable Magnax to accelerate its development of electric motor technology. The Magnax team is preparing the technology for mass production at Hirschvogel’s facility in Germany.

Magnax was founded in 2015 by Peter Leijnen, Daan Moreels, and Kester Goh.

Peter Leijnen assembled a light generator for a foldable wind turbine in his garage in Deinze for a customer. Because this generator had to be light and compact, but at the same time had to deliver a lot of torque, Leijnen opted for an axial machine instead of the classical and easier to manufacture radial machine, of which millions are made each day.

Leijnen built upon the expertise of Ghent University, which has been researching so-called axial flux machines since 2008. According to experts, they are the electric motors of the next generation, because they are more efficient in terms of electromagnetics. The technology is based on a concept already known 200 years ago, a motor topology called “axial flux”, but which is just recently coming into play in a practical way, says the startup.

€1.2M for at-home air purifiers

Italy-based Vitesy, a startup producing IoT devices that purify the air, has raised €1.2M through equity and debt financing. Online investment platform Doorway led the round, raising €500K through its community of investors, and other business angels invested another €500K. The remaining €200K was received in the form of a bridging loan.

Founded in 2015 by Alessio D’Andrea, Paolo Ganis, and Vincenzo Vitiello, Vitesy has created smart devices that monitor and eliminate indoor air pollution. 

The company’s mission is to have Vitesy products be present in every home, school, and office, protecting people from the environmental challenges of modern living and enabling them to live easier, happier, healthier, longer lives. The raised capital will help the company to speed up its commercial distribution and the development of a new at-home consumer product called Eteria.

Confirmit intends to merge with FocusVision

Confirmit, a provider of solutions that enable market research, customer experience and employee engagement teams to turn insights into stories that fuel action, has announced its intention to merge with FocusVision, a company that provides customer insights technology. 

The merger is conditioned on receipt of regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021. The combined company will be led by Confirmit CEO Kyle Ferguson and supported by members of both the FocusVision and Confirmit management teams.

FocusVision offers a suite of experience insights software solutions, including advanced survey, online interview and focus groups, and online qualitative research community solutions to get brands close to their customers to have a full understanding of how they think, feel, and act.

As for Confirmit, it offers market research, customer experience and employee engagement software solutions to turn insight into stories that fuel action. The platform delivers the flexibility and power that customers need to understand and manage experiences, emotions, and behaviours, so they are always one step ahead.

With this merger, the combined company will provide a one-stop-shop of complementary software solutions and offer benefits to existing and new customers.

Veo Technologies raises €20M for global expansion

Danish technology company, Veo Technologies, has raised €20M in a fresh round of funding led by Chr. Augustinus Fabrikker (a tobacco company) with participation from existing investors, including Seed Capital, US-based Courtside VC, and European investors Ventech.

The raised capital will be used to further invest in Veo’s product development and accelerate its ongoing global expansion. Veo CEO, Henrik Teisbæk, believes the US is the optimal place to gain a permanent foothold.

Founded in 2015 by Henrik Teisbæk, Veo is a solution for recording and watching sports without a cameraman. It only requires a minimal setup to be able to share your sport. Veo enables football clubs of all sizes to automatically record, edit, and stream their matches. The company has sold its product to almost 5,000 clubs in 79 countries since they opened for sales in 2018.

As of December 2020, over 200,000 games have been recorded on Veo cameras, and the number is set to drastically increase in coming years.

Mambu raises €110M led by TCV

Berlin-based SaaS banking platform, Mambu, has raised €110M in a fresh round of funding. The round was led by TCV, whose investments include Netflix, RELEX, Spotify, and WorldRemit. Besides, new investors, including Tiger Global and Arena Holdings, as well as existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Runa Capital and Acton Capital Partners, also participated in this round. The new round brings the company’s valuation to over €1.7B.

Founded in 2011 by Eugene Danilkis, Frederik Pfisterer, and Sofia Nunes, Mambu is a SaaS banking engine powering innovative lending and deposits. The platform is used by traditional banks, fintech startups, financial institutions, nonprofits and other businesses to power their financial products and services. 

Mambu claims to be powering both: a) building new fintechs and b) migration of existing financial institutions onto a tech stack fit for the fintech era. 

“This latest funding round allows us to accelerate our mission to make banking better for a billion people around the world and address one of the largest, most complex global market opportunities that’s still in the infancy of cloud,” says Eugene Danilkis, co-founder and CEO of Mambu.

Startups – Silicon Canals

Good & Bad Advertising slogans (And How To Differentiate Among Them)

I’m lovin’ it- The moment you hear this phrase, a picture of burgers, fries, and soft-drinks pops into your head, indicating that McDonald’s did a fantastic job while crafting its advertising slogan. 

In this modern era of the competitive market, you get to see many catchphrases every day. From Disney to Bira, every brand use advertising slogans. However, only a few manage to build awareness around the brand or offering and grab attention to leave a long-lasting expression in the minds of their target audience

Before digging deep into the guide to create advertising slogans, you should first know about advertising slogans basics.

What Is An Advertising Slogan?

Advertising slogans are brief and catchy phrases used by companies in marketing and advertising campaigns to draw their target audience’s attention to the advertised offering.

In other words, they are memorable catchphrases of only a few words in length that the company boasts audibly to promote its brand or an offering.

Some of the best advertising slogans that left a remarkable key brand message in consumers’ minds are : 

  • Dollar Shave Club: “Shave Time. Shave Money.”
  • MasterCard: “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.”
  • M&M: “Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands”
  • De Beers: “A Diamond Is Forever”
  • Meow Mix: “Tastes So Good, Cats Ask for It By Name”
  • Verizon: “Can You Hear Me Now? Good.”
  • The U.S. Marine Corps: “Semper Fi”
  • Ronseal: “It Does Exactly What It Says on the Tin.”
  • The Mosaic Company: “We Help the World Grow the Food It Needs”
  • Pitney Bowes: “We Power Transactions That Drive Commerce”
  • Nike: “Just Do It.”
  • Apple: “Think Different.”
  • L’Oréal Paris: “Because You’re Worth It.”
  • California Milk Processor Board: “Got Milk?”
  • BMW: “Designed for Driving Pleasure.”
  • Tesco: “Every Little Helps”
  • Bounty: “The Quicker Picker Upper”
  • Lay’s: “Betcha Can’t Eat Just One.”
  • Audi: “Advancement Through Technology”
  • Dunkin’ Donuts: “America Runs on Dunkin’”
  • McDonald’s: “I’m Lovin’ It”
  • The New York Times: “All the News That’s Fit to Print”
  • General Electric: “Imagination at Work.”
  • State Farm: “Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There”
  • Maybelline: “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.”
  • The U.S. Marine Corps: “The Few. The Proud. The Marines”

Good Advertising Slogans Vs Bad Advertising Slogans

Advertising slogans can either be good or bad depending upon the image of the brand they project in front of the target audience and the commitments they give to their customers. 

What Makes Advertising Slogans Good?

Following are some of the characteristics that represent a great slogan : 

  • It stands out: It is crucial to have a distinctive and unique ad slogan if you want people to identify your brand without relying certainly on the products.
  • It is memorable: Besides having only a few words of length in the catchphrase, it is also essential for an ad slogan to be memorable so that people can easily recognise it in a second or two when they hear it.
  • It inculcates a sense of positivity about the brand: A good ad slogan is a slogan that leaves a positive impression in the mind of a person. For example, McDonald’s slogan, “I’m lovin’ it” helps the audience develop a positive attitude towards the brand.
  • It maintains a healthy relationship with customers: Advertising slogans, if crafted perfectly, can eventually build a healthy relationship between the customers and the Business.
  • It increases the demand for the products: An ad slogan aims to highlight a product’s qualities. Hence it is beneficial to have an ad slogan to increase your product’s demand in the market.

Famous Slogans

Now that you know what makes a slogan good, below are some examples of good advertising slogans : 

L’Oreal – “Because you’re worth it” (1971)

Written in 1973, when a wave of feminism was taking over, “Because you’re worth it”, this phrase left a remarkable impression on women, and boosted their self-confidence. Even today, 80% of women recognise and respond to these powerful four words, which shows that the slogan is memorable and proves that it is good enough to show what the brand stands for.

KFC – “It’s Finger-Lickin’ Good” (1950)

Written by the restaurant manager himself, this slogan proves that not only slogans penned by professional writers turn out to be successful. Anyone with a great amount of research of the brand and the target audience can craft it too. 

The phrase describes the image of what the brand wants to project in your mind about the product. That is why it is one of the most successful slogans.

Coca Cola – “Open Happiness” (2009)

The soft-drinks company focused on creating a positive impact through their phrase – “Open Happiness”, which stands for optimism, positivity, and inspiration, thereby making a good slogan.

M&M’s – “Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands” (1954)

One of the sweetest slogans of all time created decades ago, yet incredibly well received. This slogan managed to be catchy despite its relatively bigger size because it describes the product and its unique strategy.

De Beers – “A Diamond is Forever” (1948)

Written by a woman, these four simple words represent timelessness and strength. The phrase was also declared as “Slogan of the Century” by Advertising Age as it represents the essence of a diamond. Hence, it marked its presence in one of the best slogans.

What makes advertising slogans bad? 

Although most advertising slogans set the positioning of a brand and connect with the audience in a memorable way, some refuse to leave a positive impression in the audience’s mind due to bad timing and other faults.

Some examples of slogans that didn’t work well are: 

Sunglass Shack – “Sitting On Faces Since 2001” (2001)

Good & Bad Advertising slogans (And How To Differentiate Among Them) 1

Despite it being humorous and short, this phrase is only liked by a few. It undoubtedly makes you giggle. However, it leaves a negative impression in consumers’ minds, which is why it didn’t turn out to be great.

Electrolux – “Nothing Sucks Like Electrolux” (1960)

Like Sunglass Shack, this slogan is also not liked by many. This phrase is considered a double entendre by some as it conveys its work. However, some consumers mistake the phrase for demeaning its brand.

Reebok – “Cheat On Your Girlfriend, Not On Your Workout” (2012)

Good & Bad Advertising slogans (And How To Differentiate Among Them) 2

Reebok received heavy criticism after it launched this ad slogan. Customers considered this phrase to be offensive as it shows dishonesty and disrespectful attitude towards women. 

SEGA – “The More You Play With It, The Harder It Gets” (1990)

Good & Bad Advertising slogans (And How To Differentiate Among Them) 3

The SEGA genesis ran a risk of promoting itself through weirdly mature advertisements, including this ad slogan. People never looked at SEGA the same way after hearing these advertisements. 

BiC – “Look Like A Girl, Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man, Work Like A Boss.” (2012)

Good & Bad Advertising slogans (And How To Differentiate Among Them) 4

This ad slogan caused outrage on national women’s day. Not only did they fail to create a positive impact on consumers’ minds, but they also received heavy criticism by feminists and other activists.

Go On, Tell Us What You Think!

Did we miss something? Come on! Tell us what you think about our article on famous slogans in the comments section.


Copenhagen-based Too Good To Go lands €25.7 million to expand further in the US

Too Good to Go, the world’s largest B2C marketplace for surplus food, has landed an investment of €25.7 million, led by growth venture capital fund blisce/ who participated with an investment of €12.7 million. The fresh funds will go toward expanding Too Good To Go’s operations, notably in the US market where 40% of edible…

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Too Good To Go raises $31 million to fight food waste

Too Good To Go, the startup that lets you buy food right before it goes to waste, is raising a $ 31.1 million round. blisce/ is leading the round and investing $ 15.4 million as part of today’s round. Existing investors and employees are also participating. While the company has been around for a while, this is the first time Too Good To Go is raising money from a VC firm.

The startup has been operating across several European countries for a few years now. It runs a marketplace focused on food waste. On one side, restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries and other food businesses contribute surplus food items. On the other side, consumers can snatch food right before it becomes unsellable.

It’s a win for everybody as businesses can generate a bit of revenue from surplus food, customers can buy food at great prices and it reduces unnecessary waste. Of course, it’s also beneficial for Too Good To Go as the company takes a commission on transactions.

The company’s CEO Mette Lykke told TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden that one-third of food produced today is either lost or wasted — so there’s a big market opportunity. While the startup has been growing nicely, the pandemic has had a big impact on revenue — many restaurants shut down and many customers prefer to stay at home.

Back in September, Lykke told TechCrunch that Too Good To Go saw a 62% drop in revenue due to Covid-19. But that’s not going to stop the company.

Overall, Too Good To Go is operating in 15 countries and has saved 50 million meals. 65,000 businesses have sold something on Too Good To Go so far. 30 million people signed up to the service.

Too Good To Go is already working on its biggest expansion — the U.S. Just like in Europe, billions of pounds of food go to waste. According to USDA’s Economic Research Service, it represents 30 to 40% of the food supply.

As the startup’s operations are extremely local, Too Good To Go is starting with specific metropolitan areas in the U.S. In September, the company started its operations in the U.S. with New York City and Boston. Too Good To Go has expanded to part of New Jersey since then.

In the U.S. alone, the startup has attracted 150,000 users and is working with 600 businesses. It has sold 50,000 meals. Those numbers are still somewhat small, but it’s been a weird quarter for restaurants and grocery stores in the U.S.

Let’s see how it evolves in the coming months. With today’s new funding round, it should definitely boost usage in the U.S. and make it easier to plan for the long run.

Startups – TechCrunch