Al Bsharah Business Minded, Technically Inclined

AuthorAl Bsharah

Al is the Managing Partner at Interlock Capital, a community-driven startup fund that allows seasoned or aspiring angel investors to get into amazing companies within their own budget. Al’s been involved in multiple San Diego startups since 1999 after leaving the Detroit auto industry as an electrical engineer. He's started two of his own companies where he's raised capital from both VCs and angels, and sold one of them to both Seismic and Return Path. He's graduated both Techstars and Founder Institute accelerator programs where he now mentors. In his free time he manages to play a little beach volleyball, invest in startups, trade stocks, and camp with his wife, son, dog, and friends.

The Tech Tool Roadmap: How to find, buy, and implement the right tools for your growing business

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There’s literally a software tool for everything these days, and we take for granted how they have transformed modern business. In my 20 years of founding or operating in growth startups, I’ve seen poorly implemented technologies cause more problems than they've helped. Here’s how I’ve mapped out the process to bring on new business tools and avoid these pitfalls.

You’re Probably Not Ready to Raise Money

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I know, I don’t even know you. Here’s the thing. Let’s say Melanie is an early stage investor. If she placed a bet blindly for every startup that thinks they’re ready to raise, her chips would fall on the “not ready to raise” words written in fancy script on the soft green felt of the betting table. And she’d win. A lot. My goal here isn’t to...

Co-Founders, it’s Time to Split that Equity

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Every so often while talking to startups, I start to notice trends in questions that come up. Recently, one of those frequently-asked questions has been: How do we split equity between us co-founders? It’s a very fair question to ask. Bryan and I asked the same question of ourselves when we started Embarke 3 years ago. Bryan and I had only known each other for a couple months, yet it was...

San Diego’s Start-Up Scene is Out of Control

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20/20 Mentor Event

It’s the middle of 2013, and I’m incredibly excited at where San Diego is from a start-up ecosystem perspective. When I first dove into the start-up scene in San Diego 3 years ago…there wasn’t a whole lot going on.  There were a handful of events, and most of them were attended by the usual suspects. About 2 years ago, things started to change.  More...

Demo Booth – 12 Tips to Make Your Table a Success

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Embarke at March Mingle 2012

I get asked pretty frequently how I manage a successful “demo booth” at an event.  Through my company, Embarke, I’ve had tables at two Founder Showcases, one Launch Conference, two San Diego Venture Summit (Cool Company) events, a March Mingle, and many others…  I’ve met with people that eventually became customers, investors, mentors, and advisors…sometimes...

3 Crazy Months in the TechStars Accelerator

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Microsoft Accelerator powered by TechStars

Everyone keeps asking me what it’s like to go through an accelerator program. I got asked after we graduated from The Founder Institute, and I’ve gotten asked repeatedly as we’ve been going through TechStars. The long answer is below (as best I can put to words)…but the short answer is: You can’t describe it with words. That should make this an interesting post...

Al Bsharah Business Minded, Technically Inclined