Raise cash ahead of when you need it

...and raise more than you need, says online sports veteran Mike Levy

Lessons learned from entrepreneur by Bambi Francisco Roizen
February 20, 2009
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Mike Levy has been around the block as one a pioneering online sports entrepreneur. He started SportsLine, one of the leading online sports sites, which was sold to CBS. I wrote about SportsLine's rise and subsequent sale at my prior job at Dow Jones MarketWatch. At the time I was there, MarketWatch was partly owned by CBS, so SportsLine felt like, well - family. There's a lesson to be shared in the SportsLine's sale to CBS, but in this brief interview, Levy shared his three pieces of advice to entrepreneurs.

And, he's applying this to himself as well, now that he's out of retirement and back in the arena.

Today, Levy is at the helm of OPENSports. It's a newer and better sports site, even better than his former creation, said Levy.

1 - Have a great concept that can become really big. It takes just as much time to handle a small project as it does a big one. So, think big

2 - Find top-notch guys. Find the ones who'll work really hard

3 - Stay ahead of the game in raising cash. Raise it ahead of when you need it and raise more than what you need.

These are all excellent points. I've heard No. 3 many times. So, it must be true, right? Raise more than you need? Well, not always. Here's my "Lessons learned" interview with Jason Goldberg, who sold Socialmedian to Xing for $4 million, plus an earn-out. Goldberg advises to raise little, and not a lot. In another interview, this time with James Siminoff of Simulscribe, raising a lot of money was a mixed blessing.

As for No. 2, bringing together the right team is probably the No. 1 lesson I hear. Here's a "Lessons learned" from Slide's Max Levchin on the importance on teams.

Advice No. 1 - think big - is also a popular lesson. Here's a similar lesson from Vivaty CEO Keith McCurdy, titled: "Shoot for capturing the world."



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