note: Kristen Hamilton as Seattle, Washington Koru one of the company’s co-founder, has a unique business acumen and leadership, and another founder Josh Jarrett together compose commercial myth. In this article, you can learn from the experience of Kristen step by step, how to systematically expand the financing strategy, business success. Published in the July issue of the story.

Kristen Hamilton knew wanted her start the Seattle startup success, she has to be raised. She and her partner Josh Jarrett spent half a year in 2013 to develop the Koru, this is a job which can give the undergraduate of the commercial project skills and entry-level position.

that autumn, they are recruited Whitman College graduates of pilot projects to let them participate in REI company for a week. Their goal is to give the REI senior executive to display, detailed outdoor products and clothing retailer, how to meet the demand of the youth consumer preferences.

during the week of the project was very successful. In addition to finalize the show, the young students also accumulated some work experience, established a professional confidence.

Koru CEO Hamilton said: “the aim is to reduce 53% of college graduates is in a state of underemployed or underemployed. At the same time we also give the employer to solve the problem, because when everyone didn’t have a lot of experience of selecting and hiring the right candidate is real a difficult choice.”

in order to develop Koru employer embedded training programs, by the end of 2013, Hamilton and Jarrett raised $4.5 million in seed round, earlier this year A round of funding and raised $8 million. Hamilton for financing is already very familiar with, as early as 1997 participated in the small commercial retailers Onvia co-financing, raised more than $200 million in capital. Koru financing, whether it is from the time, or scope of investors and investment, the total is very considerable.

Hamilton said: “finance is an art, is a science. The first thing you should consider you are going to have several rounds of financing, through many channels, in order to reach the next milestone, what do I need to do.”

we can not help but ask: how can she and he is in just 18 months for Koru funding to $12.5 million? Please see below:

looking for seed round

in September 2013, the founder of exposure to potential investors, the seeds of them for a worth billions of dollars in the market has a lot of confidence. But only the idea is not enough. In the absence of business indicators or benefits, they have to make a convincing case.

in order to achieve this goal, their fundraising speeches will largely depend on the statistical data. They cited a study, the results show that the university tuition fees to $150 billion a year, but 70% of the diploma of college graduates can not find appropriate job. Employers spend $60 billion a year to hire the early introduction of potential employees, but many have complained about 20% to 30% of the employee is not competent for the job. 53% of employers think they simply can’t find the qualified candidates. Koru can provide unit has relevant work experience of professionals, and then fill the market vacancy.

Hamilton and Jarrett emphasize them not only with REI, Zulily and Trupanion, the boss of the company maintained a good cooperative partnership, at the same time, the relationship with the top liberal arts colleges and universities is also very close. Founder will show their own resume: Hamilton in 2000 through the IPO understand Onvia company, later for international education nonprofits World Learning the COO (chief operating officer) and the education strategy of Microsoft and the director of global marketing. At the same time, as a harvard MBA and Koru chief learning officer, Jarrett in Bill & amp; Melinda Gates foundation for seven years the leadership of the higher education initiative.

details: they goal is to spend 18 months at least $1 million to prove their idea. But the interest of investors enthusiasm is very large, they in the first two months of financing of $4.5 million, in the words of Hamilton, financing situation estimate very well. At the same time, Hamilton points out that the price is this round of financing and not convertible equity or debt financing. The Waltham, Massachusetts vc firms’ Ventures and Seattle Maveron played a leading role in this round of funding.

Maveron to invest only startup for consumers. Maveron partner Clayton Lewis is a board member of the Koru, he points out: “if a company did not establish the iconic consumer brands, lose the chance of that, in turn, widely known, we are not interested.”

financing participants also include First Round Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, QueensBridge Venture Partners (is set up by the rapper Nas, did he take the initiative to contact Koru) and 10 other angel investors. Most of these investors are they already know or met through connections. Jarrett recalls: “we really want to don’t want to wander aimlessly walking in the street, begging for the financing of others.”

once raised, they also faces a difficult task, how to achieve their set up round the seeds of milestone. Them that means the training project at hand extended to three weeks, employment guidance and in early 2015, you need to publish the project in Seattle, Boston and San Francisco. It also means to attract college graduates are willing to pay for the project, project cost $2749. It also means that to ensure the enough employers and higher education partners to ensure project success. Employers to hire graduates from Koru (cooperation to pay a certain amount of fees.)

they are successful in all areas. People demand for Koru experience training program is very high, and the partner relationship is very good also, now with 20 schools and employers of more than 40 maintained a cooperative relationship.

this stage earlier than Hamilton and Jarrett anticipated a few months to complete. In order to avoid the risk of working capital shortage, founder of stepping up into the next round of financing.

A round

now is difficult. Hamilton said: “A round of funding is the most difficult, but you have to show results.”

A round of funding short-term records showing the Koru must contain A certain number of graduates and cooperation company and their customer satisfaction evaluation. 12 pages of a short slide need further modification. Hamilton said: “it is important to please a designer to do at this time.”

in a lot of selling points of Koru, there are several very important: first of all, it has successfully trained hundreds of university graduates, 85% of which can be found in the Koru cooperation company to suitable jobs. Second, the company has a net 70% to 90% of the recommended value, most graduates are able to recommend to their friends projects and reduce the cost of consumers get. Profit is very big and geometric progression growth. (Hamilton declined to give more detailed information.

Other highlights include:

Koru and LinkedIn, some high growth of employers, such as Yelp and median of the contract, and Georgetown university, brown university and the university of watts Sally college and to contract agreement. From amazon and yahoo’s highest level of the new chief executive joined the Koru team, there is a series of impressive list of advisers, including vice President of LinkedIn’s recruitment and Harvard’s best-selling authors and experts.

details: Koru with vc firms in dozens of top technology and education to meet. Hamilton and Jarrett, and their seed round investors determine appropriate enterprise together and get the information they need. Hamilton said: “you don’t want to too much. You have to do is to determine the target.”

guide this round of financing Maveron company has raised more than $300 and established two Education technology startups: Capella Education and Course Hero. In New York City Light Capital is the second largest investor, invested $2 million, it had invested in a Education technology startup companies already listed in 2014 2 u. ‘Ventures,, First Round Capital and Trilogy Equity Partners also participated in the investment of $8 million.

founder of most investors is met at 5 to 10 years ago. For example 1999 Hamilton Lewis, currently working in Maveron is invited to join Onvia management team.

Lewis said: “we put special emphasis on support for the individual, on average, for some core investment of entrepreneurs we have known each other for a year and a half, for us, this is interpersonal relationship.”


Hamilton forecast Koru 2015 earnings and customer base will be 5 to 10 times higher than the same period last year. Now, she says, the test is still in continue. She hope to expand into other cities before see Koru market performance in the first three areas.

at the same time, companies use to raise funds to expand the market scope and developing technology. Therefore, Koru increased its engineering and product development staff, about 20 full-time employees.

Hamilton expects the B round point in time. She said: “this is to ensure that the company has always been able to maintain one or two years to run. You are always in the financing, in many ways, this is a never-ending process. This is why one of the most important skills an entrepreneur is able to raise money.”

vc countdown

every transaction is different. But in general, financing time roughly as follows:

seed round

is normally $500000 to $1.5 million, to be able to maintain a 6 to 18 months of business.

the first step: to develop a business plan and financing speech (completion time: 2 to 4 months)

step 2: setting angel investors and early vc goals list (2 weeks)

the third step: pitching your idea (six to eight weeks)

step 4: interested in the project of angel investors and venture capital companies to the project and the founder of the comprehensive observation (six to eight weeks)

step 5: interested investors to provide a letter of intent for investment, founder of 15 to 30 days to sign.

A round

as much as $20 million, usually can be maintained for 12 to 18 months of commercial operation.

step 6: once has been running for two to three quarters and has attracted a certain client, do you want to update the business plan and financing speech. (2 to 4 weeks)

step 7: update the list of potential investors, including the late vc (2 weeks)

step 8: preview A round with seed investor presentation, before the late for the vc get their feedback. (six to eight weeks)

step 9: obtained from the seed investors A round of funding, then aiming at later investors, promote to them and to seek investment, ideally wheel higher valuations than seeds. (six to eight weeks)

step 10:12 to 18 months later, the goal is to balance of payments, or in the upcoming round of B in good condition.


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