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"Finance is more art than science." So starts Chapter 1 of Greg Stoller's terrific new book "Strategies in Entrepreneurial Finance." Stoller, who teaches at Boston College's Carroll School of Management, has crafted what most venture capitalists, budding entrepreneurs, and MBA students soon will consider the definitive primer on early stage finance.
This work arrives at an important time as company founders and even management teams at venture-backed companies try to assess the new rules of the marketplace. Stoller speaks to these developments and his text is a marked improvement over traditional business planning or MBA books. He correctly notes that the key to attracting venture funding is a thoughtful financing strategy, solid quantitative analysis and a basic understanding of the new and current tensions between labor and capital. The multiple cases presented take the reader through venture financings, joint ventures, IPO's, and mergers & acquisitions in selected industries, including e-services, search engines, entertainment and leisure, physician/patient care, and multi-unit retail.
Perhaps the most compelling section of the book is the chapter on "International Entrepreneurial Finance." Stoller, who heads BC's Asian International Management Experience Program and the International Consulting Project, and speaks Japanese and Manadrin Chinese, has chaired dozens of trips to the Far East with teams of business school students focused on creating opportunities for US companies abroad. The reader comes away with a basic and essential perspective on the business norms and the law and the "lore" involved in launching or operating a business in Asia.
This is NOT just another book about business plans. Greg Stoller's new book is a solid piece of work.
I am a partner in the technology group at a large Boston law firm and also teach corporate finance at one of the local universities in the area.
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