Angel Investors: The Art of Sourcing



Being an angel investor is risky business. Angel investors use their own personal capital to fund new business ventures. Determining the right fit is a tedious process which requires a lot of field research. The book “Winning Angels,” written by David Amis and Howard Stevenson, provides great detail on how angel investors should take on this challenge, from developing a summary of activities (p. 36) to creating an Investment Criteria Summary (p. 70). This section lists 18 preparation activities and provides a time line for each task. Chapter 10 provides a pretty good analysis of how many deals and business plans an angel investor might look over in a year. It can be anywhere from a handful to hundred of each. The take-away here is that every opportunity is not created equally. Choosing the wrong investment opportunity can be detrimental. However, narrowing the field down to one or two good deals can turn out to be quite lucrative in the end.


Amis, D., & Stevenson, H. H. (2001). Winning angels: The seven fundamentals of early-stage investing. London: Financial Times Prentice Hall.

Engaging Professional Marketing Services

Aspiring and veteran entrepreneurs, alike, can easily become overwhelmed when planning a marketing strategy for a new or existing business venture. No one likes to be referred to as wet behind the ears, and no one likes to admit they cannot reasonably handle all of the responsibilities of owning a business. But, sometimes, we must admit the task at hand is beyond our knowledge base or scope of availability. It’s time to seek out a professional!

Reasons to Consult a Professional

There are many reason to consult with a professional when planning a solid marketing strategy. According to a 2017 article, published by White Custom Marketing, there are 7 very good reasons to hire a marketing agency:

  1. “Marketing Agencies can present you in a better light than you could do on your own.
  2. Marketing agencies are continuously learning and will ensure that you follow best practices whenever possible.
  3. Marketing agencies can humanize your brand by producing content that people will love.
  4. Marketing agencies will provide a level of consistency that you cannot internally.
  5. Marketing agencies will be “social” for you when you don’t have the time or feel like it.
  6. Marketing Agencies have the ability to prove ROI on your marketing activities.
  7. Your marketing agency will let you focus on your day job.”

Modern marketing strategies and technology are everchanging and it is best turn loose of the reigns for the greater good. While we may want to watch over every aspect of a new business venture, it is not always in the best interest of the company. Turning to a reputable marketing firm could mean the difference between building a solid foundation for your business or going down on a sinking ship.

To read the full article, click here.

How to Select a Marketing Agency

Once we have decided to obtain the services of a marketing agency, the next step is to start searching for the right fit. So, how does one go about such a task? In the article “Essential Tips On Choosing The Right Marketing Agency For Your Business,” Forbes offers some great advice on what to look for when making a selection. Essentially, the right candidate will “be a good fit and mesh with your personality,” understand the company’s “vision,” and “be able to execute your ideas with ease.” A great marketing plan is built upon a solid foundation.

To read the full article, click here.

Expected Outcomes

Expectations for working with a marketing agency should be set to the highest standards. The Orpical Group, a Philadelphia-based digital marketing and advertising agency, has done just that with the implementation of their Client Responsibility Model. This model encompasses “strategic direction,” “fresh perspective,” “creativity,” “implementation,” and “measured results.” This fresh approach ensures clients will receive top-notch service throughout the duration of the client-representative relationship. This type of plan leaves no stone unturned, so to speak, and gives a great example of what we should be looking for in terms of great marketing representation.

To read about The Orpical Group’s Client Responsibility Model, click here.



11 Questions with Tosca Reno, Creator of the Eat Clean Diet Revolution


April 14, 2019

Back when Tosca Reno was a depressed, overweight, and out of shape housewife, in a bad first marriage, she never thought she could be like the fit women she saw on the covers of today’s fitness magazines. Then, she met a man who issued a challenge that would change her career path, her life’s mission, and her outlook on the future.

How did you come up with the idea or concept for the Eat Clean formula?

Very easy. Robert Kennedy, my husband, challenged me to enter a body building contest. He taught me how to train and eat like a bodybuilder. By following his instructions for eating and working out, I discovered how eating clean could change my body.

*Note: For those who don’t know who Tosca’s husband was, he was fitness publishing icon, Robert Kennedy. He was the publisher of Oxygen Magazine, a revolutionary women’s fitness and nutrition magazine which helped to launch the careers of some of today’s top female fitness moguls.

You have had massive success with your brand. How has being the founder of such a successful   brand changed your life?

Hugely. I once had a dream to be a writer, but I never had a voice. Writing for Oxygen magazine changed everything. It gave me the power to transform and find that voice, allowing me to help others find a way to achieve wellness.

How did you come up with your marketing strategy?

The initial marketing strategy was putting me in the magazine (Oxygen Magazine), writing the article Raise the Bar, and just writing the book. We initially printed 5000 copies of the book, thinking that would be enough, but it sold out in a short amount of time. It ended up on the Canadian Best Seller’s List, then, the New York Best Seller’s List. At that time, we hit all the talk shows.

What platforms do you use to market your products?

My websites and social media, like Facebook. The talk shows.

How do you achieve work/life balance?

It’s not perfect. My daughter just had a baby, so I’ve also been helping her. I achieve balance by following routines. I have an eating routine, a workout routine, and a work routine. This makes it easier to keep things in order.

What do you view as your greatest setback and what did you learn from that experience?

The last seven years. My son and my husband passed away. I had to learn how to become the person that I needed to be. I also faced poverty and the bankruptcy of the publishing company. All the money I had was gone. I had to learn how to handle these things with grace.

What was your biggest a-ha moment?

When I became a fitness person. I had been a depressed overweight housewife, but I discovered I could be one of those women on the magazines.

What drives you to keep going when things get really tough?

My children and my audience. I don’t have the luxury to cop out. I want to show them they can do it, too. They can handle life’s problems with grace.

What is non-negotiable for you?

Deceit and people dispensing health and wellness information without credentials. People are sick and looking for answers. Giving out false information makes the situation worse.

What is your personal vision for the future?

I want to help everybody quit the addiction of sugar and find wellness by using clean foods.

Finally, what is the most important piece of advice you have to offer up and coming entrepreneurs?

Find out who you are as a brand, so that you have something that makes what you are offering a necessity. Have the courage to look at who you are specifically and turn that into your strategy. Do it with your whole heart. Do it all the way.

Greatest Marketing Campaigns – Magazine Advertisements

Nike – “The Sneaker Makes the Man”


Nike has found a lot of success with their various ad campaigns. This particular advertisement is not exception. The slogan brings about an emotional response of necessity. To be the best, one must have these sneakers. The objective of the ad is to sell more shoes to men, the target market. The slogan entices men to buy the shoes on a superficial level and a functional level. If customers buy these shoes, they will have the luxury of owning one of the best sneakers on the market and look good wearing them. Since these are athletic shoes, they are also designed to be functional sportswear. The value proposition is that a man can be the best if her wears these shoes, because, as the ad says, “The sneaker makes the man.”

Lustre-Crème Shampoo Advertisement


The focus of this advertisement is Lustre-Crème lotion shampoo. Marilyn Monroe was a cultural film phenomenon when this vintage ad was published. The target market for the campaign was women who wanted to be like Marilyn. So, it seems like envy would be the driving force to buy this product. There is a quote at the bottom of the picture that reads, “ Yes, I use Lustre-Crème Shampoo,” which tells consumers that Marilyn herself uses Lustre-Crème. It goes on to say, “When America’s most glamourous women use Lustre-Crème Shampoo, shouldn’t it be your choice above all others, too!” This tactic is meant to drive women in droves to go out and purchase it right away. After all, who didn’t want to be like Marilyn Monroe? This was the intended value proposition—to be as beautiful as Marilyn.

E-cigarette Advertisement


This e-cigarette advertisement features a vaporizer and a promise of smoke-free, harm-free nicotine alternative. The emotional response evoked by this ad is one of fear. The damaging effects of cigarettes have been known for years, so vaping has become big business. The object of the campaign is to get cigarette smokers to switch to the alternative, hence, increasing the sales of such products and decreasing the threat of cancer and other diseases caused by smoking. Therefore, the value proposition is that by switching to the e-cigarette, smoker can save their lungs.

Body Shaming Magazine Ad


Back in the day, women were expected to have a big bosom, a small waist, and slim hips. Being pear-shaped was a no-no and needed to be fixed. Warner lingerie company came up with a solution in the form of the “Concentrate girdle” and the “Little Fibber bra.” The objective of the campaign was to sell those products to women using shame to cause a certain emotional response. The company wanted women to buy into the claim so they can hide their pear-shaped figures. The value proposition was if they wore those undergarments, they wouldn’t look fat in their clothing.

“Pull the Chords – Prof. Mack’s Chin Reducer and Beautifier


Here we have a beauty gimmick ad from the late 1800s. The contraption was marketed to women of a certain age who wanted to look younger. The apparatus was worn on the head, with straps that wrapped around the face and chin. By just pulling the chords women were promised they could get rid of their double chins and reduce swollen glands. It also promised to restore facial shape and put natural color back into the cheeks. The purpose of the ad was to generate sales of the product. The value proposition was that if a woman used Prof. Mack’s Chin Reducer and Beautifier, she would be easier on the eyes and have “curves of youth.”

Greatest Marketing Campaigns – Newsprint Advertisements

Pepsi’s “Devil Shake”


Devil Shake was introduced on the market in the 1960s. While Pepsi was in a well-known feud with Coca-Cola, Royal Crown, and Moxie, it was also in a lesser-known feud with Yoo-Hoo Beverage Corporation. Pepsi wanted to cash in on the chocolate drink phenomenon and so it began. Unfortunately, the drink died an early death thanks to a little deal with Yoo-Hoo. This ad appealed to those who wanted something other than the traditional cola drink—those who were “daringly different.” The objective was to sell more products made by PepsiCo. The payoff, or proposition value, is that the consumer would look hip or “glitzy” while drinking Devil Shake.

Don’t Be Bald” – Hygienic Vacuum Cap Co.


Nothings is better for graying hair or a balding scalp than vacuuming your head a few minutes every day. That’s what the Hygienic Vacuum Cap Company wanted their customers to believe, anyway. The target market for this product was middle-aged men who wanted to keep their youthful hairline intact. The objective of the ad campaign was to sell more of these contraptions. The ad invites potential customers embark upon a 30-day free trial with a promise of obtaining “perfect health for the hair.” The value proposition of the product is the promise of a perfect head of hair, using the Hygienic Vacuum Cap.

Borders Book Store Closing Advertisement


This type of ad is pretty commonplace when a store goes out of business. When a particular Borders bookstore went out of business, this ad could be found in the local newspaper. The objective was to inform the public that the store was closing and to sell as much merchandise as possible, before the doors closed. The target market for the campaign were the people who wanted to buy books, DVDs, CDs, and other merchandise at a significantly reduced price. If the viewer of the ad took this action, they would be able to get those items before they were gone for good. The value proposition comes packaged in the statements, “ENTIRE STORE ON SALE!” “NOTHING HELD BACK!” “EVERYTHING MUST GO!” This tactic drives customers to buy the products, because they will never again have the opportunity.

Derzon Coins – Pawn Shop Advertisement

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This newspaper ad promotes the Derzon Coins pawn shop. The focus of the piece is to evoke the feeling of necessity to own these items within buyers and to give sellers, or those who need to pawn an item, a sense of momentary financial relief. The objective of the campaign is to bring in buyers and sellers (the target market) alike to help the business make more money. If a potential buyer takes action, they will be able to own various coins, jewelry, or collectibles. If a potential seller takes action, they stand to profit from the sale of their items. Others can borrow money against their items, pay their loan off at later date, then, retrieve the item. If they do not return, the shop can sell the item to recoup their loss and make a profit as well.

Subway – “Eat Fresh”


This Dillsburg, PA Subway ad focuses on evoking an emotional response of joy—the enjoyment that comes from eating good food. The objective of the advertisement it to make more money by promising “fresh food fast.” Most people are used to eating fast food that is not healthy. If customers are lured in by this ad, the benefit is that they will have healthier options at fast food prices. Most people are aware that burgers and fries are not good for us. So, the benefit to customers who choose Subway, instead of a burger joint, is just what the ad promises—the opportunity to “eat fresh. “








Greatest Marketing Campaigns – Outdoor Advertisements

ENT 610 – Entrepreneurial Marketing Strategies

The Trump Billboard – Airoutdoor, West Yorkshire


When I first saw this billboard, I will admit it made me chuckle a bit. It is clear that the advertising team behind this public announcement understands two things, Donald Trump is a successful entrepreneur, and, to make money, you have to spend money. Whether you love Donald Trump or you hate him, one thing is for sure, the man is wealthy beyond measure. He is a high-powered individual who draws attention wherever he goes. So, why not plaster his face on a huge sign in the middle of a prominent area of town? The look on Trump’s face seems to say, “Hey peasant, put your ad here, if you want to be like me. Duh.” I’m not sure how successful this marketing campaign was, but at least it was funny.

Econolodge Billboard


This Econolodge advertisement is obviously targeted at travelers, specifically, truck drivers. The objective of this ad is to rent as man rooms out as possible at the discount motel. The colors used on the sign are bold and bright, grabbing the attention of any passersby. With promises of truck parking, a pool, free Wifi, and a free hot breakfast, this billboard will surely lure in truckers who want all these amenities at an affordable price.

 Church in Need of Choir Members

Church sign

Clearly, the purpose of this church sign is to get parishioners and others in the community interested in joining the choir. The ad uses humor to produce the intended result. The hope is that people will see the sign, come inside, and see what it is all about. This tactic is used, not only to get people to join the choir, but, it is also intended to get more people to join the church. The payoff for anyone who does join is that they will have a place to worship any time the doors are open.

Wendy’s – Now Hiring

Wendy's billboard

Leave it to Wendy’s to use unconventional  humor to find new employees. I believe the appeal here is that management has a sense of humor. Taking this approach shows potential workers that this particular location would be a fun and laid back place to work—as laid back as a fast food joint can be anyway. I think their objective is obtainable as the sign exudes this is an enjoyable atmosphere where one can earn a paycheck. That is the driving force which would lure someone to apply.

Budweiser – “Say no to drugs”


Budweiser’s objective here is to sell more beer. While this billboard is funny, it does seem to send out the message that drinking is better than doing drugs. Obviously the target market are those people who want to get a buzz. The ad entices the viewer to go out and buy Budweiser beer. The benefit to the consumer is that they will be able to get that high feeling legally. Of course nobody want to get arrested for doing drugs, and that is the value proposition of the ad.



Greatest Marketing Campaigns – Television Advertisements

ENT 610 – Entrepreneurial Marketing Strategies

The “Sugar Bites” Campaign – Contra Costa County, CA

The Contra Costa County Health Department set out to educate its residents on the unhealthy side effects of sugar consumption with its “Sugar Bites” television commercial. The emotional response evoked by this ad is one of fear. No one wants their children to have a mouth full of cavities, and parents certainly don’t want their children to develop diabetes. The ad depicts sugar as a monster that should be avoided at all costs. If viewers take the advice given, it is suggested their children will lead longer, healthier lives. While this ad does not directly sell any products, it does elude that there are healthier alternatives to sugar fruit juices and snacks. In turn, this could drive up sales of options such as fresh fruits and vegetables.

To watch the commercial, click here.

Fruity Pebbles Amusement Park Commercial

This commercial features Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble from The Flintstones television show, and it is targeted at younger children. The cartoon format draws young viewers in by showing how much Barney desires to eat Fred’s Fruity Pebbles. Barney gets excited over all the flavors—orange, cherry, grape, lemon, and lime. By using this type of angle, the company hopes the children who watch the commercial, and hear Barney exclaim, “ Watch me trick Fred, because I can’t get that fruity taste out of my head,” will also go crazy over the product. This type of advertising has a high appeal to children, therefore, driving them to ask their parents to buy the cereal.

To watch the commercial, click here.

2001 Pepsi Commercial, featuring Shakira

The focus of this ad is Pepsi Cola. At the time, Shakira was a hot commodity, especially to young men all over the world. She was talented, beautiful, and cool. Every young man’s dream girl, right? By using her in the commercial, Pepsi set out to use Shakira’s sex appeal to lure in the target market, just as they had done back in the late 80s, by featuring, then “it” girl, Cindy Crawford. The objective of the ad was to make drinking Pepsi look cool. In the end, one young man does get Shakira’s attention simply by tossing her a Pepsi, and that is the driving factor for someone from the target market to purchase the product.

To watch the commercial, click here.

“Rise Above” – The 2019 Cadillac SUVs

The commercial begins with a little girl daydreaming about what she could become, then it goes on to show people who have made it big. The ad shows a parallel between making it big and driving a Cadillac SUV. In recent years, Cadillac set out to increase sales by appealing to a younger market—the millennials. Commercials such as this one evokes a sense of necessity, and that is exactly what the car manufacturer wants, because it drives up sales. Viewers are urged to “rise above,” and own a new Cadillac SUV. In doing so, they will then be able to live a more desirable lifestyle.

To watch the commercial, click here.

“The Go-Getters” – Taco Bell Delivery Commercial

The focus of this ad is Taco Bell’s new delivery service. The advertiser uses a humor to compare some of life’s grandest achievements—climbing a mountain, becoming a ballerina, being a rocket scientist—to the ability to have tacos delivered to your door. The target market is those who do not want to go sit in the drive-thru or stand in line at the store. It is for those who want a more convenient option. With this tactic, the company shows a desire to increase sales. Obviously, the viewer benefits from this, because it does not require much effort to get dinner on the table. It is unclear how receptive the audience will be, but I suppose time will tell.

To watch the commercial, click here.