Serving Entrepreneurs & Investors since 2004
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Testimonials & Reviews
from Entrepreneurs, Investors and Industry Influencers
honesty and confidentiality are the main cornerstones of LAUNCH Funding Network."
Expertise gained from decades of working with entrepreneurs and early stage investors is put to work on behalf
of our clients
to idenitify key business strategies that will help them succed in their business launch, growth,
Daryl F: Founder for startup
company in the Virtual Reality Entertainment Sector via email after completing the business plan and document review services:
Hello Karen; Great
insight! A few things that we are on the same page where the info you had (reviewed sync) was outdated but from what you are
saying, I've done (most of it already ~sync) and realized some of the things you are saying in the assessment which makes
me feel good because I'm on the right track with what you are saying. Others I need a lot of help in. Anyhow you can call
me when you have time tomorrow so we can discuss going forward! Thanks, Daryl (Mar, 2016)
G: Founder of a start up textile company focusing on designer foot and head
ware, engaged for developing a crowd funding strategy and campaign via email:
Karen, thanks again for yesterday....very
excited about the plans we developed. I now know what I need to do to leverage my team and resources to create the viral WOM
needed to gain critical mass on crowd fund campaign. Thanks also for working through the numbers so I know what targets
are needed to get the minimum run on manufacturing. I like your idea of how to go to potential 'fan' retailers to give
them the wholesale inventory grab. Looking forward to getting this off the ground. (Nov 2015)
Dr. Charles Hofer, Professor
Emeritus, Kennesaw State University, Founder of the Georgia Bowl Business Plan Competition, Entrepreneur Adviser, Serial Entrepreneur,
I first met Karen through the MIT Forum many years ago. I asked her to be a judge
at one of my "Concept to Reality" competitions and then in our extremely important Georgia Bowl. I knew she
advised companies and organized investor events, but had no idea really how deep her knowledge was until I heard her feedback
to the companies in the competitions and then as I attended one her investor events as an observer. I sat through one
of her workshops on raising capital and even though I have been involved in every aspect of launching businesses to investing
in businesses, I learned a great deal from her in that one workshop. She sets a high bar for entrepreneurs wanting to pitch
to her group of investors. I am honored whenever she agrees to allow one of the entrepreneurs I am working with to invest
their time and money with her to participate in an event she is organizing. She strives to remove the obstacles for
entrepreneurs to connect with investors and increase each company's chance of becoming a successful well run company. In the
last 12 months, I have had 3 companies come before her investor group. One has received a commitment of funds and each
of the others valued the experience immensely. Atlanta, and the entrepreneur market at large, is served well by Karen Rands
through her paid engagements and her multiple volunteer commitments to mentor and advise entrepreneurs. (2012) UPDATE: I
continue to seek Karen's expertise as a mentor & judge for the business plan competitions I coordinate at Georgia Tech
and other Atlanta area universities. She has been active in helping me help these start up companies for over 5 years (2016).
Email sent following an investor/entrepreneur pitch event, from a media investment fund manager:
I just wanted to let you know how impressed I am with your events and the caliber of companies you
qualify to pitch at your events. You do an excellent job of organizing and moderating them.
I've met a number of very interesting people and few that we may be able to fund. I look forward to attending more
of your events in the future.
Best Regards~Alan (Oct 2011)
Email sent following an initial phone conversation:
Karen, it is amazing how you can cut right to the heart of the matter and in a matter of minutes
direct your decades of experience working with innovation and entrepreneurs and provide insight on how to get to market, get
growing and get funding. Thanks so much for all the recommendations and referrals you provided. Looking forward
to working with you. - Andrew Zaitlan (Sept 2011)
Vicki W., Southern
XXXXX , 2012Karen is like an "elevator pitch whisperer". I first saw her spin
her magic at the 2010 Southeast Venture Conference. We were networking during the happy hour and she asked me for my elevator
pitch, asked a few questions, and after listening to me stammer and babble for 20 minutes, she played back to me what my elevator
pitch should have been... "So what you are trying to say is that you are in the business of....." I thought "Wow,
that sounds really good." She has an uncanny ability of quickly understanding a business model and turning it into
something that investors and potential customers would understand in a few minutes rather than the half hour it usually takes
me to explain my business. I saw her do this repeatedly at one of her pitch- workshops. The entrepreneurs in attending
were almost like school kids "do my pitch next"! When I engaged her for a few strategic advisory sessions
and to review my business plan, she gave me such invaluable insight worth 10x what she charged me. I gained actionable
steps to build value in my business and make it attractive to angel investors. As a result of her advice, I was able
to secure major industry players to be on my board of advisers and modify my business model to get to revenue 12 months sooner.
She has allowed me to attend her investor events as an observer and it is amazing the in depth questions her investors ask
in trying to determine if they want to go to the next level with a company. She is tough because she tries hard
to keep a company from wasting time and money chasing investors that they aren't ready for and to avoid burning their bridges.
I wish I had listened to her before I wasted $2000 to pitch to the Gathering of Angels. If I had invested that same $2000
with her instead, I'd have an investor pitch that investors understood and would be compelled to learn more about and I'd
be preparing to close on investors now rather than still looking. She is the very definition of a "Compassionate Capitalist".
Rick (last name excluded for confidentiality reasons), RPN, 2010
I have known Karen Rands from general business networking for many years before I decided
to officially engage her firm, Launchfn. Years ago, in my first true entrepreneurial endeavor, all sorts of people
were saying "raise $5M not just $500K...it's easier" and were telling me to have minimum investments of $100,000.
I had a lot of interest, but noone writing checks. I decided to call Karen and ask her what she thought. As
a courtesy because I was a business friend, and not a client yet, she asked me if any of these people I was listening to
were bringing $100,000 check writers to the table. And of course they weren't. Then she went on to explain
the psychology behind attracting angel investor capital and how angel investors measure risk vs reward. Following
her advice from that one phone call, I closed on over $200,000 in just 3 weeks from those "interested" investors
I had been courting for 6 months. When that business morphed into my current business, I knew I didn't want to waste
time and wanted to do it right from the start. I engaged Karen to be my strategic advisor on capital strategy.
Her advice and guidance led me to $250,000 in investment capital and a strategic business model that has grown rapidly to
multiple cities as a result. I'm looking forward to her becoming a registered Broker Dealer so she can take charge
and raise my next round of capital.
You and this event were absolutely amazing! I've been raving about it and positioning people I know to attend the next
Larry Jennings, Director of Sales (Oct 2011)
sent by local Venture Capitalist after attending our Fast Pitch Capital Community Celebration
Karen, Though I couldn't stay until the end, looks like you have
some promising companies and certainly great energy in the room. Keep up the good work!
McGonnigle (Sept 2011)
Tony Evangelista, President of Liberty Bridge/Verihelion, recommends the
LAUNCHfn's Access to Capital
System TM Phone Strategy Session.
Email received after an initial consultation
you so much for your time and the valuable information you shared on the phone call. I will look at all the options
to decide what is best for me.
Your follow up email explains things quite well. You have
given me a lot to think about today to apply to my business. Thanks again!
Pitts, Stategic Vision (Aug 2011)
VenueGen (May 2011)
Thanks Karen for the opportunity to present to your investor group.
It was refreshing to have great one on one interaction with real investors in a private and intimate setting. The
feedback you provided from the investors is more thorough than I got from the large forum that I spent 5x the
money to participate in. Per your recommendations, I will send each investor the ES and presentation and schedule
a time to speak personally with those that requested to do so. I look forward to participting in the group call you will
coordinate. Thanks for your follow up. And, although we have received a term sheet from an institutional investor,
I would prefer to raise capital from private investors and create more value before exiting. As you and I have discussed, this is not my first time at the alter.
I've raised money for other companies I've started in the past... in tough times and easy times. We are in a
tough economic time right now and it is really great to know there are ethical hard working people like you out there helping
entrepreneurs figure this out and get access to the capital they need. Keep up the good work.
Erin Simms, Yummy Sticks (May 2011) after an initial consultation
Thanks so much for your time and expertise.
I will relay your suggestions to Margie and log on to the suggested websites. We have quite a bit of follow-up to do
as we have asked several people about a minimum investment or loan. People love the Yummy Sticks brand and their dogs
LUV! the product and we have much to do to capitalize on that. I am sure your advice will help us be more effective
at closing on investment from these people we know that tell us how much they want us to succeed. You have given us
needed direction and confidence.
Again, thank you!
Harold B, Private Angel Investor and Serial Entrepreneur (May 2011)
Thank you very much for your hospitality and invitation to attend your angel investor meeting. Well done. The companies
I see are always intriguing. Apparently, the world is changing around us. Exuberance / power is a beautiful thing.
Sorry I had to depart early, family is alwys first in my world. Look forward to speaking with you soon.
Rick L., Lutz Group, Angel investor
and investor representative (Feb 2011)
Karen: Congratulations on a great event. Good format
afterwards with the "Investor Roundtable." Never been to an angel group that did such a good job of getting
the investors to collaborate and commit their level of interest in companies. There are a number that I think have
potential. Look forward to being a regular.
M. Horton, Angel Investor, Member of Atlanta Technology Angels, Lawyer (Sept 2010)
Karen, Congratulations on a great event!? Big turnout, good presentations and, most of
all, a very good post-presentation investor discussion. You provide investors a unique opportunity to see pre-screened
and pre-qualified investments that are fresh and new to the investor circle, and an opportunity for the investors to collaborate
on the deals they are interested in. Keep up the good work....Atlanta needs your ongoing commitment to growing the
entrepreneur and investor community here.
Terry S., Certified Entrepreneur Coach, Dekalb County Incubator (Aug 2010)
You are AWESOME! ! ! I appreciate so much who you are and what you do. You are always top of my mind when I need to recommend that a company get advice on capital strategy
and access to capital. Your knowledge and ethics are unsurpassed in the Atlanta Market....and for that matter probably
the entire USA.
Listen to what Clients are saying about LAUNCHfn on SPEC Talk Radio. The first half hour will show case Michael Valverde of Chain Reaction eCommerce (www.creloaded.com) an open source development platform for ecommerce. The second half hour will show case Bill Doyle of Vystar (www.vytex.com) who has successfully developed a new latex process.
"I have enjoyed a working relationship with
Karen for many years and find Karen and her company LaunchFN to be one of the primary drivers in the early stage funding community
in Atlanta. Karen's team is knowledgeable, capable and resourceful. They makes good things happen for up and coming entrepreneurs."
of Human Resources, PowerTech America
"Karen is a great person to bounce ideas off, for her
knowledgeable and practical advice. She brings ten years of hands-on deal flow experience and another ten years of IBM training
and marketing background to bear on an issue. I have seen first hand how valuable this can be to an entrepreneur or early
stage business owner looking for assistance. I highly recommend Karen in all areas relating to business consulting and funding."
Owner, Shudan Design
“Karen does a phenominal job of pulling investors together in a group networking setting. The
event I attended ran smoothly through five companies presenting their cutting edge technology in search of angel funding.
The investors and companies searching for investment were able to mingle and meet prior to the meeting and over an hour after
the meeting with fabulous refreshments. I would recommend LaunchFN for any investor and/or company in search of funding.”
November 15, 2006
Owner, PlumTree Marketing
“Karen is an excellent
business advisor, capital expert and one of the highest quality professionals you will ever deal with. She takes the time
to listen to your needs and seems to know the right solutions to take your business to the next level. Take a moment and speak
with her and you will know what I am saying. I am proud to recommend her and her team to anyone.”
February 15, 2008
CEO, el Club de comerciantes
“I had the opportunity
to meet with the LAUNCHfn team and they have great integrity and a clear vision about how to bring a business to the next
level” March 9, 2008
President, Web Data
“If you an entrepreneur and need early stage funding you need to talk to Karen. If you are and investor looking
for a ground-breaking opportunity, you also need to talk to Karen. Is that simple.” March 12,
Business Advisor, Georgia Tech - EDI
“Karen and I worked
together on investor presentations jointly hosted by our organizations (Launchfn and Georgia Tech). She and her team were
highly responsive and well-prepared. She provided one-page summary templates our clients found very useful + specific and
general presentation advice that strongly impacted our clients' perceptions by the investment community. In my experience,
Launchfn is adept at accessing angel investors. I've personally spoken with 2 separate business owners who procured money
through their efforts. Karen is passionate about what she does and has high visibility amongst the Atlanta metro angel investment
community. If you are seeking funding of $100,000 or less, I highly recommend a consultation with Karen and Launchfn.”
July 16, 2008
President / CEO, Hope Funding, LLC
“I know Karen
from networking and have attended two of her introductory seminars. In fact, I still have the notes from one and refer back
to it periodically as a primer to sending her a referral. This is testimony to the knowledge she possesses. She has always
been open to discussing venture and start up ideas with the entrepreneurs and business professionals I have referred her way
- regardless of the infancy of these ventures. They have all thanked me for putting them in touch with her. Karen understands
referral relationships - she is another person who "gets it."” March 25, 2008
Owner, Patents & More, Inc.
“I have known Karen for several years through several organizations
to which we both belong, and have attended her events where entrepreneurs present to investors and other interested parties.
These events were held in a classy venue with qualified investors, and the entrepreneur presentations were very professionally
done. I consider Karen to be a person of the highest integrity. She is very knowledgeable and experience concerning the funding
process for start-up ventures and companies needed expansion capital.” February 19, 2008
Charlie hired Karen as a Source of private equity deals in 2006
Top qualities: Expert, Good Value, High Integrity
“Karen has a real heart for matching entrepreneurs and angel
investors. She has made a significant impact in our Atlanta entrepreneurial community. She has been in this business for a
long enough time to build a significant network and a great base of investors. She is tireless in her pursuit of success for
the entrepreneur and the investor. I recommend her conferences for anyone interested in raising money or looking for good
quality private equity investments.” February 18, 2008
Owner, Innovations Publishing. Former Partner at Cordova Ventures
“Karen is an effective leader in matching
companies with investment capital in the Atlanta area. She has created a strong network and built a successful business model
around her mission.” February 18, 2008
"I started working with LAUNCHfn in 2008. We came very close to receiving funding
through their group of investors after having presented at the NBAI Member meeting and attending follow up meetings to give
the investors update of our progress. When we got into a tough situation at the end of the year, it was only through
Karen's advice and counsel and her wealth of experience that we were able to navigate that period of time. She
encouraged us and led us in ways we can't hardly describe. We have since raised significant capital from another
source, but I credit the strategic venture capital consulting services they provided to us with enabling us to attract that
capital. Launchfn continues to work with us, to get business capital through alternative lenders that will
help our company continue to grow at a rapid scale." May 2009
PlayGolfPlanet.com Entrpreneur, Client
"Like most start up companies, we really struggled with making the investment
in hiring a team like LAUNCHfn. Best thing we have done. Although we are still working to get capital
directly from their network, they have provided us with multiple opportunities to present to and meet directly with angel
investors. They provide advice and counsel that is light years ahead of every other advisor because they are at
the heartbeat of the early stage capital market. They know what investors are looking for...by region and by time
of year. As a result we have been able to do things to attract capital and get us unstuck....enabling to move our business
forward and be much more attractive to the business angels that LAUNCHfn has been so good at introducing us to."
"The business plan review was an extremely thorough examination of our business and
its business plan. Through the assessment process and venture capital consulting offered by LAUNCHfn, we were
able to identify some issues within not only our plan, but our business model. With the recommended changes, we
were able to more thoroughly explain and expand upon key components of our company investors would be most interested in reading.
As a 10-year seasoned entrepreneur, I was amazed at the examination, vision and assessment of the plan and received excellent
advice I had never considered. For the entrepreneur who “knows everything about your business (like me)”,
then you owe it to yourself and your company to conduct and implement a full business assessment from a smart objective team
like LAUNCHfn. Outstanding work. With the changes made to our plan from the business plan review we were
able to successfully secure our private equity investment goal through introductions with various capital investors and angel
groups. THANKS!" Joel Thompson, President, Sports Fan Products.
"I’m very impressed with the work you’re doing at Launchfn and NBAI.
I enjoyed the event; both the educational aspect and the investor briefings. I’d like an opportunity to meet with you
to learn more and discuss ways to work together. Please indicate your availability during the month of April." Lucy Holifield,
Director of Economic Empowerment Center.
“Thank you very much for working with
me on our business arrangement and for arranging for me to meet with such wonderful potential investors.” Erik Walker,
Founder Nu-Energy August 12, 2005.
“LAUNCHFn is one of the hardest working companies
I have had the pleasure of working with.” July 12, 2006 Kenneth W. Burnt, Owner, accountabilities,llc, Consultant to
Network of Business Angels and Investors.
“I know Karen for last two to three years.
She helps early stage companies get funding. I have some of my clients got their funding through her company and I recommend
her company to early stage or, high growth companies who would need funding.” July 5, 2006, Sanjib Mohapatro, Owner,
EMTechPro, Inc., Consultant to Network of Business Angels and Investors.
“What a progression! I went to NBAI five years ago and they have really taken
it to the next level. I don’t know how they do it, but they really do a fantastic job. In Atlanta, there
really is a need for capital. Everyone will testify to it. And there are young start up companies who need this capital.
In the past they had to go outside the south-east to get that capital. NBAI provides a very useful service. And
I highly recommend this event to investors and companies.” Michael Horten, Horten CC, Advisor, Attorney, & Investor.
“Karen is very well versed in start-up financing issues and very well connected
in the Southeast. Would recommend her highly to those seeking early round financing.” January 28, 2005, Tom Meredith,
President P2P Cash.
"LAUNCHfn has performed a near miracle at resurrecting
NBAI! I would encourage any entrepreneur or capital investor to connect with their organization", Tom Meredith February
27, 2006, President of P2P Cash, Client of Launch Funding Network.
"As my business has evolved over the years, I continue to come back to Karen as a mentor and a friend for encouragement
and recommendations on actions I can take to keep my business moving forward and to gain additional access to equity markets
and alternative financing" Tom Meredith, 2015
“Launch Funding Network has worked tirelessly on our behalf. They have brought many people to our
projects and continues to be a great source of positive energy,” June 28, 2006, Michael Valverde, Owner, Green Valley
Entertainment, and Client.
“Karen has my full confidence. She is competent, trustworthy and I think the world
of her.” June 28, 2006, Jordan Cowman, Partner, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Consultant to Network of Business
Angels and Investors.
LAUNCHFN (SIC) “has my full confidence. Karen as the visionary is competent, trustworthy
and I think the world of her.”
LAUNCHfn’s team is a “Fantastic business mentor and Karen is
a networking diva!” June 28, 2006, John Catadl, CEO, DateApp, Inc., Company working with Network of Business Angels
“Without any reservation I recommend Karen (and her team at LAUNCHfn) to work with any
entrepreneur looking to raise funding and/or need assistance with business planning, networking, etc. I have found her ethics
and professionalism to be outstanding.” June 26, 2006, Tom Eaves, President & CEO, Star Software Systems Corporaton,
Client of Launch Funding Network.
“I have worked with Karen for seventeen years and have known her to be
a true professional in all she does. She goes the extra mile for her clients and provides outstanding value with her services.
Karen's knowledge of sales, marketing and business practices is outstanding and her enthusiasm and energy enable her to accomplish
the difficult tasks that few others could manage.” June 20, 2006, Jim Bock, HR Director, Answerthink Consulting, Company
working with Network of Business Angels and Investors.
“Karen has performed a near miracle at resurrecting
NBAI! I would encourage any entrepreneur or investor to connect with her and her organization Tom Meredith” February
27, 2006, Tom Meredith
Company working with Network of Business Angels and Investors.
“Karen, you are
a fantastic presenter and venture capital catalyst! Your commitment to assist and support small business start-ups is inspiring!
Your E3C webinar on venture capital was our most successful session! Your venture capital experience, business insight and
connections are quite impressive. I look forward to a great partnership with Kugarandholdings and Launch Funding Network.”
, August 14, 2006, Kenneth Brown, CEO, E3C, Company working with Launch Funding Network.
“I have known Karen
for the past two years. Karen is dedicated and a very hard worker. She is a person you have to know because she can help finding
the right people to assist with your financial issues. I recommend Karen is as a wonderful person who is willing to go the
extra mile for you. Gilbert C Nieuwenhuis Certified Business Coach, Mentor and Trainer” December 12, 2005, Gilbert Nieuwenhuis
Consultant working with Launch Funding Network.
“LAUNCHfn has proven their dedication and determination
for helping entrepreneurs reach a level of confidence which makes presentations for investors more efficient.” April
13, 2005, Willie Arline, Company working with Launch Funding Network.
“Karen is a rare find -- someone who
exercises the gifts and talents she has to the genuine betterment of her clients. She has a valuable work ethic, offers direct
advice and has remarkable insights into the industry.” August 1, 2006, Gwen Burch, Owner, Human Architecture, Inc.,
Consultant working with Kugarand Holdings, LLC (Holding company for Launch Funding Network).
“Karen is highly
motivated and knows the business of putting together people and companies to foster a deal or relationships. She is a student
of different businesses in order to understand every aspect which provides her the knowledge to be of benefit.” June
30, 2006, Steve Rothschild, Owner, Preferred Real Estate Funds, Company working with Kugarand Holdings, LLC (Holding company
for Launch Funding Network).
“Karen and I worked together on a board of advisors to an incubator for start-up
technology companies. Karen was more than dependable, she is someone you can always trust will do what she says she will do.”
June 28, 2006, Daniel Graff-Radford, Vice President, Lanta Technology Group, Company working with Kugarand Holdings, LLC (Holding
company for Launch Funding Network).
“Karen is an energetic, enthusiatic "go-getter." She's tremendously
persistence and visionary. It takes a great deal of magic to put deals together. Through her efforts coordinating her deep
stable of contacts, putting people with money in the room with those looking for it, she's making it happen!!!” April
30, 2005, Mike Skrynecki Company working with Kugarand Holdings, LLC (Holding company for Launch Funding Network).
“I have known Karen for some time now and have a high regard for her expertise in helping businesses position
themselves and find the funding needed to start or grow their enterprises. Karen has many year of experience and demonstrates
a commitment to the success of her clients.” February 8, 2005, Joy Johnson, Company working with Kugarand Holdings,
LLC (Holding company for Launch Funding Network).
“LAUNCHfn's expertise in the networking and connections
arena has proven to be very helpful to me in my business. I highly recommend them because they truly for people, they have
the right connections and genuinely cares about people in general.” January 31, 2005, Tina Gray, Owner, Grayt Expectations
Business Services. Company working with Kugarand Holdings, LLC (Holding company for Launch Funding Network).
“I have known Karen Rands for quite a while and consider her an exceptional link in my network. Her expertise
in the funding arena has helped me re-evaluate my company as it pertained to looking for outside funds. Karen and her company,
Launch Funding Network is a necessary vehicle for companies searching for funds to grow, operate, expand, etc...” January
30, 2005, James Gore, VP, CD Intelligence Company working with Kugarand Holdings, LLC (Holding company for Launch Funding
“Kugarand Holdings is an ideal company for those looking to get funds for their business. Not only
do they help you with your business plan but they educate you on all the many different sources of funding available for your
specific business. I have known Karen for about 2 years. Her knowledge and professionalism stand out most when you need someone
to help your business raise capital.” January 30, 2005, Jeffrey Alexander Brathwaite, Company working with Kugarand
Holdings, LLC (Holding company for Launch Funding Network).
“I fully endorse LAUNCHfn for their excellent
consultation skills and incredible knowledge in the financial world. I have seen them find funds for companies that
thought they had no options. I think LAUNCHfn is fantastic and if you use their services, you will prosper” January
28, 2005, Eddie Hines, Consultant working with Kugarand Holdings, LLC (Holding company for Launch Funding Network).
"Launch Funding Network --- Just for the record ... it was the best event I have seen put on. " April 18, 2007,
Michael B. Orr, Investment Advisor Representative.
"FreightPath was nominated by LAUNCHfn to
participate in another investor event and based on our recommendation, FreighPath was accepted." Ted Braun, CEO,
FreightPath writes 'Great and many thanks Karen! Your guidance and help are invaluable!'