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How do I approach Tallwood about investing in my company?
What kinds of companies does Tallwood Venture Capital invest in?
Why has Tallwood decided to focus exclusively on semiconductor companies and semiconductor-related technologies?
At what stage of development does Tallwood invest?
What is the typical size of Tallwood’s investments?
How often does Tallwood take the lead investor role?
Are all Tallwood’s investments in the U.S., or do you ever invest internationally?
How does Tallwood compare with larger venture capital firms?
How many of Tallwood’s portfolio companies have gone public? How many have been acquired?
What is the role of Tallwood’s Executives-in-Residence (EIRs)?
What is Tallwood’s process for evaluating investments?
What is Tallwood’s role after the investment is made?


How do I approach Tallwood about investing in my company?
One effective approach is to contact Tallwood through someone with whom we already have a relationship.

If you cannot find a point of contact through someone we know, don’t worry.  Feel free to email us, at information@tallwoodvc.com, a presentation that answers the following questions:

Team

  • What are the backgrounds and qualifications of your team members?
  • How are the members of your team uniquely suited to solving the problem you’re addressing?

Problem:  The Market Opportunity

  • What problem are you addressing?
  • Who currently suffers from this problem, and what is the nature of their “pain”?
  • What is the market potential for solving this problem?

The Solution:  Your Technology/Product

  • What solution do you propose?
  • What is your distinct advantage?
  • How is your product or technology revolutionary, paradigm shifting, etc.?
  • What is the competitive landscape you will face?
  • How do you plan to be positioned in this market?
  • What is your go-to-market strategy (i.e., distribution channels)?

How Much Money You Need

  • What are the financial implications of your plan?  What are your financial projections 3-5 years out?
  • How much capital will you need to develop the solution and to support the company over the long term?
  • What volumes and margins can you reasonably expect?  How do you arrive at those estimates?

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What kinds of companies does Tallwood Venture Capital invest in?
We invest broadly in companies with semiconductor and semiconductor-related technologies, including semiconductor manufacturing equipment as well as EDA tools for designing semiconductors.  We also look at new materials and processes, although the bulk of our investments are in fabless semiconductor companies.

Moreover, we focus only on hard-to-do, disruptive technologies, products and ideas that have the potential to create a significant market impact.

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Why has Tallwood decided to focus exclusively on semiconductor companies and semiconductor-related technologies?
Our basic philosophy is simple:  Invest in the industry where you have deep operating experience, including successful startup experience.  For Tallwood, that industry is semiconductors.  The Tallwood investment team members have had senior operating roles in semiconductor companies, giving us the rich technology and industry understanding needed to support our exclusive focus.  By putting our attention exclusively on semiconductors and related investments – and carefully choosing portfolio companies that match our strengths – we ensure that there is a good match between the expertise, goals and working styles of Tallwood and the companies in which we invest.

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At what stage of development does Tallwood invest?
Our focus is on early stage companies, but will also invest in later stage opportunities.

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What is the typical size of Tallwood’s investments?
The average investment is $4 million to $6 million per round, and about $15 million total per company over the life of the investment. However, we have invested as little as $50K to help develop an idea; it is never too early to approach us.

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How often does Tallwood take the lead investor role?
Tallwood Venture Capital has been the lead investor in approximately 90 percent of our investments.

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Are all Tallwood’s investments in the U.S., or do you ever invest internationally?
Yes, we do invest internationally. In addition to our U.S. office, we also have an office in Wuxi, China.

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How does Tallwood compare with larger venture capital firms?
With over $600 million currently under management, Tallwood’s capital management level is on par with the semiconductor segments of the largest venture capital firms in the industry.

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How many of Tallwood’s portfolio companies have gone public? How many have been acquired?
As of 2014, 5 Tallwood portfolio companies Marvel technology Group [MRVL], SIRF Technology Holdings [SIRF], Inphi Corporation [IPHI], Ikanos Communications [IKAN] and Audience [ADNC] have gone public and 11 have been acquired.

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What is the role of Tallwood’s Executives-in-Residence (EIRs)?
Tallwood’s EIRs – which we call Executives-in-Residence – reflect the importance we place on operational and management excellence.  At most venture capital firms, EIRs are called Entrepreneurs-in-Residence and have the dual responsibilities of helping portfolio companies and pursuing their own opportunities.  In contrast, Tallwood’s EIRs are devoted 100% to helping our portfolio companies succeed, performing front-end due diligence on potential investments and then working closely with portfolio companies post-funding.

What is Tallwood’s process for evaluating investments?
Initial Assessment: After you provide us with a pitch outlining the investment opportunity, we make a quick, initial assessment of your plan.  If the pitch interests us, we will schedule an in-person presentation from your key team members.

Evaluation: During the evaluation phase, we do a preliminary assessment of the market you have described and its potential opportunity; your team and its capabilities; your technology and product ideas; and your business model.

Due Diligence: If the evaluation is positive, we perform a rigorous, in depth evaluation of the technology, market, team and business opportunity. Often, we involve third-party experts to help us with due diligence.

Investment Gate: If we reach a positive investment decision, we begin the legal documentation process.

If at any point throughout this process we decide against the investment, we will give you honest feedback on why.

How long does all this take? Although it can vary, most often a positive investment decision is reached in 8 to 12 weeks from the initial meeting. Throughout the process, we keep you informed as to what our schedule is, what we still need to answer and what we are already comfortable with.

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What is Tallwood’s role after the investment is made?
Tallwood takes an active role in our portfolio companies, offering our technical and operations expertise as well as connections with other resources – e.g., consultants, strategic partners, service firms – that are important for helping entrepreneurs build successful companies. For instance, we might advise on marketing and technology strategies, recruiting, forging partnerships (technology, distribution, sales, etc.), ideas for solving technical challenges and securing future financing.

A portfolio company typically has one Tallwood partner on its board of directors and one or two EIRs helping the company in specific areas. However, the whole Tallwood team works together on behalf of each company. Tallwood also provides tools and pays for initial consulting to establish the business infrastructure, so the company can focus on its core competences.

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