As the owner of Eagle Ventures, Inc., Mel Pirchesky does business in the name of Eagle Ventures. Consequently, Melís and Eagleís names are used interchangeably below.
Mel is a registered representative of Boustead Securities, LLC. Eagle and Boustead Securities are not affiliated organizations.
Mel provides his clients with two basic types of services: equity fundraising and fundraising coaching.
Fundraising coaching is based upon Melís more than 40 years of business experience. During this phase of
his work, Mel also performs 'deep-dive' diligence on a prospective opportunity. Mel charges a flat retainer for this service.
Without exception, every financing that Mel has led was initially a 'great' deal (i.e., the kind of opportunity Mel would personally invest in) disguised as a 'good' deal (in which Mel would not invest).
The primary service Mel provides his clients applies in those situations where Mel's coaching and diligence work
results in him recognizing that a 'great' investment opportunity exists. If and when that occurs, Mel will take on an
engagement to raise equity. The fee for this service is always contingent on producing results, and is paid for with
both stock in the selected company and with cash.
Mel closely works with his client's leadership in helping them articulate their value proposition. His fundraising methodology utilizes an approach anchored in a bedrock of continual improvement
processes. This involves as many as twenty iterations of their written executive summary, along with dozens of modifications to the oral articulation of their opportunity.
Mel's approach is to initially have new clients send him a written copy of their business plan summary, which serves as the
first of several iterations. The final iteration of the articulation of his client's value proposition occurs when the last
dollar of equity is raised.
Mel's focus is on smaller companies, generally at earlier stages of their development.
His clients must be located in the Pittsburgh region.
The Eagle Ventures Financing Process
Elements of a foundation for effectively working together
A financing initiative provides an enterprise with the resources to maximize its potential. The scope of any funding process is multi-faceted and raising dollars is always challenging. With more than thirty years of fundraising experience, Mel and the Eagle Ventures team have developed a philosophy and a process that have allowed for us to be successful in providing equity-financing services.
A key aspect of our initiative is our relationship with the CEO. To effectively establish a foundation for working together,
we have found that it is useful to outline our team's philosophy and the elements of our process at the beginning of a
- Mel personally invests a meaningful percentage of his fee in the company we are financing. So we are whole-heartedly committed to the success of both the company and our co-investors. And we maintain that commitment beyond the completion of the financing by relating to the company as a member of Melís/Eagle's portfolio of companies. Consequently, distinct from being a service-provider, Mel strives to interact with the CEO of the company in the context that he is leading the financing round with his own investment.
- As a result of Mel's style of selling an investment, those who co-invest with him in a financing he leads are not just
investing in the CEO, his/her team and the company's opportunity.
- Although some of the investors might come to Mel's attention through an introduction by the company's CEO, most of those who we will assemble in a financing are Mel's colleagues. Typically, at least half of this group will have participated in one or more of our prior financings. These individuals will not only be investing in the company and its CEO based on the merits of the opportunity. To some extent, they will also be investing based on Mel's reputation and on the relationships he has built with them over more than 40 years.
- Importantly, in this role, we are continually mindful of the fact that all of our co-investors should
be looking to the company's CEO for both strategic and tactical direction. So when co-investors come to Mel with their questions or
concerns following the completion of a financing, he encourages them to cultivate a relationship and direct communication with the subject companyís CEO.
Nonetheless, once the financing of a company is complete, many of Mel's co-investors still expect
Mel to have a role of being their de facto representative to the company. So Mel will be relating to the CEO as not only an investor
himself, but also as a representative of other investors.
And although Melís different roles (i.e., a co-investor, Board observer, service provider and investor-representative) have the possibility of creating confusion,
Mel strives through his communication with and his respect for the CEO to minimize this happening.
The Procedures and Practices Associated with Our Process
- Our work begins with a month of intense diligence to determine whether investing in a possible portfolio company makes sense for Mel and his
co-investors does diligence lead one to conclude that the company is a "great" opportunity or just a "good" one?
- Diligence includes a detailed review of the company's market, customers, business model, intellectual property, and the
CEO's and other key participants' employment agreements or contracts, including language used to protect the company's IP in such agreements, along with key employees'
vesting and severance terms. Language must be acceptable to astute investors.
- As noted above, Mel and his team are wholeheartedly committed to the success of the company. Consequently, we will reliably address anything that may impact such success. Diligence questions are not personal.
- Continual Improvement Fundraising Processes
- A key factor in our success in financing a company is Mel's ability to authentically communicate in a way that prospective
investors can determine that a company's opportunity is, indeed, a "great" one, and not just a "good" one; one that Mel will invest in and which he encourages others he knows to do the same.
- To accurately and effectively represent a company's opportunity as being a "great" one to potential investors,
we employ what we refer to as continual-improvement fund-raising processes. The goal of these processes is not to give prospective
investors information, but much more importantly, to have them understand the significance of what is being said to "depth
of their bones."
- These processes entail a number of recurrent iterations of written and oral investor material to
continually improve upon how the various aspects of the opportunity are articulated. These re-iterations will continue as necessary until the financing is complete.
- One premise of these processes is that one never knows how the smallest detail could impact how
people perceive things, and one may never know how those perceptions will impact an individual's decision to invest. For example, a potential
investor can view a single error in a budget projection as an indication that facts are being misrepresented or that the CEO is not
meticulous. Based on that one item, he or she can become skeptical of the CEO's credibility or attention to detail. This could
cause the investor to have no further interest in pursuing the opportunity. That happened once.
- Because these processes involve several revisions, the CEO of a company Mel is financing can
expect that Mel's persistence and orientation to detail when editing, and re-editing, written material can appear to be extreme and
even excessive at times. In reality, this increases the likelihood of a successful financing.
- Also, the CEO and his/her support staff (if any) need to be prepared to allocate a substantial amount of time to
prepare supporting documentation and other materials needed for the financing (e.g., a private placement memorandum, business plan,
PowerPoint presentation, a forecast, etc.), and for making investor presentations.
- Terms of the Financing
- Before the fundraising phase of the project begins, Mel and the Companyís CEO and Board of Directors must arrive at terms related to issues such as:
- Corporate governance
- Determination of the companyís pre-money valuation
- Melís fee and reimbursement of expenses associated with the fundraising
- Also, a Placement Agent Agreement has to be executed. This Agreement is the company's fundraising contract with a Placement Agent,
an SEC-registered broker-dealer; in this case, Melís broker-dealer, Boustead Securities, LLC.
- At the completion of the financing, Eagle will take the lead to have an article in the local media announcing such completion.