Invisible Ink

Invisible Ink

Tired of startup fluff? Invisible Ink cuts through the hype, bringing you power-packed conversations with investors and founders who've built the companies you admire. Forget theory and buzzwords. This podcast is your all-access pass to the real strategies, the tough decisions, and the often unseen struggles that shape successful startups. Each episode zooms in on the specifics of what it takes to get funded, demystifying the process and giving you actionable insights you can apply today. Join us as we unpack the gritty details the hype machine misses, revealing the truth about what investors look for, the mistakes to avoid, and the actionable steps you can take to make your startup unstoppable. Invisible Ink is more than just a podcast – it's your personal mentor in the world of funding. Tune in, level up, and turn your startup dream into a funded reality. Subscribe now! Find show notes and more at


July 7, 2024 63 mins
In this riveting episode, Jen Baird, a seasoned entrepreneur with seven startups under her belt, shares hard-won lessons from her 20-year journey.

From evaluating ideas to crafting a compelling pitch, Jen breaks down the essence of what investors look for and the common pitfalls that derail founders. She reveals the surprising truth about how much time fundraising really takes and the critical importance of financial acumen.

Jen also...
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In this thought-provoking episode, Gwen Edwards, angel investor, and Managing Director at Golden Seeds, and an accomplished innovator and entrepreneur herself, address the critical issues founders struggles with and provides crystal-clear, actiomable and encouraging advice including:
  • selecting the right idea for your startup
  • market validation
  • getting your business model right
  • preparing for investor scrutiny
  • the strategic approach to...
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In this insightful conversation, Angela Lee, founder of 37 Angels and an experienced angel investor, shares her profound wisdom on funding challenges faced by women entrepreneurs.

From deconstructing early-stage funding trends to unveiling the secrets of leveraging networks and negotiating fair valuations, Angela offers a treasure trove of actionable advice.

Prepare to be enlightened as she dispels myths, challenges conventional wisd...
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How do you mine the kernel of a startup idea from scientific research?

How do you bridge the knowledge gap in learning hundreds of new startup and business concepts, while progressing your idea and getting funding all at the same time?

How do you piece together every part of a complex business model when you don't know what one is to begin with?

In this episode, Dr. Christy Sheehy, co-founder of C. Light Technologies inventor of Retit...
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What's the danger in following online startup advice as a new founder?

How can you break the dilemma of not having the cash to hire the good lawyers you need so you can raise cash?

If you’re a first time founder, how can you find and leverage the sharpest legal minds you can find to help you nail your raise and beyond?

In this episode, Elke Trilla, venture capital transaction and corporate governance attorney talks about the hidden pe...
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What important aspect of your startup has an outsize impact on your fundraising outcomes?

Why is it so hard to change vc investment patterns in women-founded startups?

What do founders often miss about the investor side of startup funding?

In this episode, Julie Castro Abrams, managing partner at How Women Invest, started an ambitious project that addressed the triple whammy of low corporate board representation, lopsided inve...
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What does a cutting edge cybersecurity company have in common with the medieval Dutch church?

What's the most critical ingredient for ANY company to fulfill a meaningful social purpose?

What important aspect of the venture capital model do most founders fail to understand?

In this episode, Dr. Melanie Rieback, CEO and Co-founder of Radically Open Security and startup incubator Nonprofit Ventures, talks about the inspiration be...
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Who are the some of the smartest experts in the innovation ecosystem most entrepreneurs don't even know exist?

Why is it fatal to your startup to talk about your big scientific breakthrough too soon?

How can you as a founder get the best of both worlds in bringing your discovery or invention to market for great outcomes?

In this episode, Laleh Shayesteh, Director of Intellectual Property and Administration in the Office of Technology ...
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How does the Inflation Reduction Act impact funding for climate tech and clean tech startups?

What’s different for climate tech startups compared to startups in other sectors?

How can a climate focused startup improve their funding prospects and accelerate their path to revenue?

In this episode, Kristin Wegner Guilfoyle, climate tech and policy specialist, talks about the sectors that stand to benefit most from the inflation Reduction...
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What do you do if your very identity effectively shuts the door on many types of capital as an entrepreneur?

How do you get capital for your venture if even the nearest ATM is an hour away?

And what can one determined entrepreneur accomplish when all other options simply don’t exist for her, or even her entire community?

In this episode, Vanessa Roanhorse, capital innovator, and founder of Roanhorse Consulting, shares eye-opening chal...
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What are investors looking for during fundraising due diligence?
What one critical fact do most founders miss when thinking about what drives their investors’ funding decision?
What is the single biggest mental pivot you need to make as a founder to successfully fundraise?

In this episode, Lisa Frusztajer, Investor in Residence at the Capital Network, talks about what founders should prepare for pre-investment, what factors e...
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What does the vc investment process really look like?

Why should women founders be wary of VC funds that are earmarked only for women?

When fundraising, what hidden risk might scare an investor away that you as a founder may see as a big win?

In this episode, Kim Banham, general partner at Connetic Ventures, talks about how the vc process can be moulded to remove bias against women founders, the big disservice that women-focused vc fu...
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How do you marry a burning desire to help women advance, with the need for economic viability?

How do you take something that works very well at the individual level, and carefully rebuild it so it works for thousands of people reliably and effectively?

And how do you balance the needs of individuals with those of large companies and make both of the happy?

In this episode, D Sangeeta, founder and CEO of Gotara, talks about the career...
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Are you the founder of a STEM startup suddenly dealing with the vc pipeline closing up?

Are you intrigued by the influx of government funding especially into climate related fields, but even other sectors more broadly?

Have you ever tried diving into the wide world of government grants but quickly realized you’re out of your depth?

In this episode, Christine E.B. Howard, seasoned grant professional and founder of E.B. Howard Consultin...
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How do you find a big market opportunity in a deeply technical, even boring field like chemistry?

How do you overcome years of training as a scientist and learn entirely new and uncomfortable skills as a founder?
And when you know you're new, how do you develop the insight to know which "expert" advice to take and which to leave alone?

In this episode, scientist and founder Lieza Marie Danan talks about her long journey in the field o...
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What’s the one negotiating lever women overlook in almost any negotiating situation?

What’s more important in a critical negotiation - looking for fairness or looking out for your best interests?

Why does even a top notch attorney work with ANOTHER attorney when engaging in a negotiation for herself?

In this episode, Jennifer Justice, entrepreneur and women’s advocate extraordinaire, talks about what it means to claim your space, how ...
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What are the three non-negotiable factors EVERY investor looks for, and every founder MUST demonstrate to get funded?

How can you create an intelligent yet simple startup roadmap no matter where you're starting and what resources you have access to?

What steps do you need to take as an early stage founder to get investors excited even when the market isn't hot?

In this episode, Pat Hedley, veteran private equity investor, advisor and ...
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Why is it important for women to understand the “view from the balcony”, and not just stay on the dance floor?

What’s the surprising barrier to entrepreneurship you never heard about?

Why do you need to be extra vigilant as a woman with entrepreneurial ambitions?

In this episode, Dr. Sameeksha Desai, Associate Professor, and Director, Manufacturing Policy Initiative at Indiana University, talks about the “iceberg” problem of entrepren...
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What’s the single surprising thing you must get right as a founder before setting compensation for your team?

How can you avoid the typical pitfalls of early stage founders on HR issues so they don’t come back to bite you later?

What do you need to know about stock option plans and incentives so you’re setting up the best possible environment for your team AND your startup to succeed?

In this episode, startup advisor, HR expert and fo...
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What's the one startup lesson that never changes no matter what your specific startup situation is?

How do you flesh out and test a B2B idea before spending a single dollar on building it?

What’s the surprising test to tell if you’ve priced your offering not too high, not too low, but just right?

In this episode, Vanessa Liu, Co-Founder and CEO of Sugarwork, talks about the biggest lessons she learned building and helping startups fro...
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