Entrepreneurship In Latin America

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

It is a little known part of my career, but for a brief period from 1997 to 2001, I was part of a small group of investors who helped to create a startup ecosystem in Latin America. It all started with a company called StarMedia which created a Yahoo-like “portal” for Latin America. My partner Jerry Colonna and I met StarMedia in early 1997 and we brought it to our partners at Chase Capital Partners because we wanted to lead a Series A investment in it.

Stepping Up in Crisis: EO Members Respond to COVID-19

Entrepreneurs' Organization

Within a few days of 11 September 2001, I purchased plane tickets for optional personal travel. In times of crisis, entrepreneurs step up to take the lead on creating groundbreaking pathways toward renewal.


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How to Manage a Startup Through Troubling Times

Entrepreneurs' Organization

Like the downturns in 2008 and 2001, this has been a very trying time for entrepreneurs running startups. Contributed by Rizwan Virk , author of S tartup Myths and Models: What You Won’t Learn in Business School. The pandemic of 2020 has tested most sectors of the economy.

[OurCrowd CEO Jon Medved in Israel21c] Prepare for recession, reinvention and opportunity in post-covid economy


“Historically, investing in times of economic downturns – such as after the Internet bubble burst in 2001 and 2002, and after the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 — has proved lucrative because you’re buying at a discount.

When to pivot from your original plan?


Green Dot Corporation was formed by an entrepreneur in the year 2001 to create a product to permit those without credit cards to purchase items on the Internet. Plans do not often work as devised. . We are not always smart about the market or the product.

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Goalsetter raises $3.9 million to teach financial literacy to kids


Founded by Tanya Van Court, who lost over $1 million in the 2001 bubble burst, the platform teaches financial literacy to children of all ages, helping them learn economic concepts, lingo and the principles of financial health.

Because the Domain Makes it Really Real

This is going to be BIG.

I got my first job in venture--at GM--in February 2001. Three years ago today, I grabbed the domain name BrooklynBridgeVentures.com. It''s kind of a funny answer to "When did you start Brooklyn Bridge Ventures?". What might be a more relevant date is May 22nd, 2007. That''s the day I sat down for lunch at Coffee Shop with Henry Blodget, just six days after Silicon Alley Insider launched.

Why do you win?

This is going to be BIG.

When I first started in venture capital, back in 2001, I used to fund funds. I worked for an institutional investor that invested in both venture capital funds and later stage growth deals. My job was to figure out why certain firms were winning and why they might continue to win. Part of this, of course, involves looking into the past. Why someone did well previously is the first clue to figuring out whether or not that would be sustainable--but it isn't necessarily predictive.

Low-code focused OutSystems raises $150M at a $9.5B valuation


OutSystems was founded in 2001, making it older than most companies that we cover on TechCrunch, and yet it remains privately held. This morning OutSystems , a low-code app development service, announced that it has closed $150 million in new capital.

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Why We Need to Elect @EricGarcetti on Tues as Next Mayor of Los Angeles

Both Sides of the Table

Dedicated Public Servant : Garcetti has been a member of the LA City Council since 2001 and was a three-time president. On Tuesday Los Angeles will elect a new mayor. And while Eric Garcetti is leading in the polls by 7%, according to recent articles a victory is not certain. LA needs Garcetti. He would be the first tech mayor of our city. He understands our issues as a community and vows to help keep LA Tech on the map. From his opponent I have heard crickets in the past year.

How to Out Amazon, Amazon

Both Sides of the Table

Perhaps the first big pioneer of this was Apple who started opening stores in 2001 , just when it appeared that the Internet was going to implode and when they went physical the industry trade magazines and press openly mocked them. There has always been tension between CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies and the retailers who sell their products to consumers.

Millennials May Not Be ‘the Entrepreneurs of Today’ Everyone Thinks They Are

Wesley Cherisien

Specifically, over 40 percent of Americans between 25 and 34 years old said on a 2014 survey that fear of failure prevented them from starting a business in 2014 — compared with only 24 percent in 2001.

Reading what was written and the VC age question

This is going to be BIG.

I've been in venture capital (with the exception of a year in product management and two years as an entrepreneur) since 2001, when I started doing late stage venture and fund investing at a big financial institution. The first due diligence I ever did on a company was a late stage December 2001 investment in a company called Bridge Medical --helping medical professionals avoid double dosing and other medical errors with in room hardware and software.

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Hockey Stick Growth Explained


Surging Growth: This period started in 2001. Over 96% of new businesses fail in the first 10 years. But in some cases, like Groupon, startups cross the $1 billion mark in just their initial years. Such growth isn’t new.

How startups can shake up their first idea and still crush the market


When Quibi announced it was shutting its doors recently after raising $1.75 billion , it begged an obvious question: If the original idea didn’t work, why not adjust its model or do something completely different while it still had capital?

Could you be the next Ford, Jobs or Musk?


It is not hard to find strands of gold in the carnage left by failed businesses lost when a bubble bursts, such as in 1857, 1902, 1929, 2001 and 2008. Well, it’s a fair question. Note that none of these three famous innovators were inventors like Thomas Edison, but visionaries who find a new marketplace or niche – or how to reach the mass market in new ways.

4 Startup Myths That Hold Innovation Back (and How to Overcome Them)


This growth, rapid brand recognition, and the quality of the products caught the eye of The Walt Disney Company, which acquired the business for an undisclosed amount the following year in 2001. We live in a world with a stereotypical representation of what a startup founder looks like, so it’s no wonder that a large portion of the population feels underrepresented. According to the EEOC, 83 percent of tech executives are white.

In a Strong Wind Even Turkeys Can Fly

Both Sides of the Table

Within a year, by late 2000 / early 2001 consulting firms were firing people en masse. On July 27th, 2001 Accenture IPO’s and many of the partners grew fabulously wealthy. One of the wisest people I worked with in my career was Ameet Shah. Ameet always had the quietly reflective view of “why things were&# that always came from a unique angle that I hadn’t considered.

From $800k to $274M in 4 Years - The Story of Ariba

Tomasz Tunguz

After the company successfully completed its IPO, the company would increase its annual sales and marketing budget by 6X year-over-year to $230M and $298M in 2000 and 2001, at precisely the wrong time. The company started to rapidly increase marketing expense in 2001, and the market fell out from underneath them, the sales efficiency dropped dramatically, and the company actually recorded a negative sales efficiency. Ariba went public in 1999 three years after having been founded.

The @TWTFelipe Story – A Tale of US Visa Policy Gone Awry (#startupvisa)

Both Sides of the Table

He came to the United States in 2001 to study Software Engineering at Auburn University. The world had just gone into crisis and I was in a period of reflection reminiscent of September 2001. “Staple green cards to the diplomas of foreign students who graduate from any U.S. university in math or science&# (Thomas Friedman). I’ve been meaning to write this post since September of last year when Brad Feld first wrote about the The Founders Visa Movement.


Ben Franklin Technology Partners

Recuperators were the only real competitive technology in 2001, but they were expensive and inefficient. ERIE, PA – More than 15 years ago, a Penn State Erie faculty member, Tom Briselden and his team at Spin-Works LLC, developed an innovative, silicon-carbide radiant tube insert called a SpyroCor. The twisted “Y” design produced non-turbulent, high convection flow creating a high rate of uniform heat transfer.

Hiring Pain Points Small Businesses Encounter and How to Resolve Them

Smart Hustle Magazine

Donna Morris is the Founder and CEO of Xtra Pair of Hands DC – an event planning and staffing company she started in 2001 which currently employs fifteen staff and has over five hundred clients in the metropolitan area. Picture this: your business is expanding and it’s time to hire your first round of employees. Congrats, that’s quite a milestone! All you need to do now is . fill out the right business forms, . draft role descriptions, . create a job application, . find great candidates,

Making Sense of the Stock Market Drops in Relation to Venture Financing

Both Sides of the Table

I’ve seen friends (and family members) lose much of their savings that way over the years because “Black Swans” happen and in 1987, 2001, 2003 & 2008 (just to name a few from my memory) huge market gyrations caused much financial distress to people seeking short-term gains. If you didn’t notice that the stock markets in the US dropped nearly 4% today (after falling last Thursday and Friday) then you were probably completely off-the-grid and on vacation.

How Do You Reference Check a VC?

Both Sides of the Table

My chips were down in late 2000 / early 2001. This is part of my ongoing series on Raising Venture Capital. I often tell people that raising money is worse than getting married. I have to be careful in how that sounds because I love my wife and am happily married. But the truth is that in marriage if you’re unhappy you can at least get divorced (in most countries). Not so in venture capital. You’re tied at the hip to your VC.

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Eighteen Years


Children who were born on 9/11 2001 turn 18 today, officially becoming adults. We are approaching the point where this attack is effectively one generation ago. With growing distance we need to keep supporting those who lost friends, family, colleagues – as well as take care of first responders – while also becoming more dispassionate in our evaluation of our reactions to the events.

After 20 years: Updating the Berkus Method of valuation


Originally created in the mid 1990’s to help with the imprecise problem of how to value early stage companies, especially those in technology, I developed what soon became known as “The Berkus Method” when published in the popular book, “Winning Angels” by Harvard’s Amis and Stevenson with my permission in 2001. Well, it had to happen.

Extra Crunch roundup: Edtech VC survey, 5 founder mistakes, fintech liquidity, more


On January 15, 2001, then-college student Dries Buytaert released Drupal 1.0.0, Edtech is so widespread, we already need more consumer-friendly nomenclature to describe the products, services and tools it encompasses.

This Week in VC with @VCMike Hirshland of Polaris Ventures

Both Sides of the Table

Founded in Sunnyvale, CA in 2001. Here is the link to this week’s TWiVC with Mike Hirshland. I apologize for the audio quality – we did this in a rush because we found a last minute studio and recorded in San Francisco. But you can see & hear the entire interview well and I think it will be well worth your while. One of things I’ve loved the most about doing now 11 weeks of This Week in VC is a chance to have an hour-long recorded conversation with investors.

The Berkus Method: Valuing an Early Stage Investment.


First published widely in the book, Winning Angels by Harvard’s Amis and Stevenson with my permission in 2001, the method has undergone a number of refinements over the years, particularly in the maximum assigned to each element of enterprise value, reducing those amounts as the investment market adjusted from the craziness of the bubble to more logical values in the years that followed.

What to Expect When You're Expecting Venture Capital Returns

This is going to be BIG.

One of the first things I did when I joined the venture asset class as a lowly institutional LP analyst in 2001 was to build the VC fund cashflow model. Just about every analyst who looks at fund investing has built one. You incorporate expected company returns, mortality rates, and fee structures to try to predict how a venture capital fund works from a cash in, cash out, and NAV standpoint.

Be Careful not to be Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

Both Sides of the Table

We went “nuclear&# and slimmed down to 33 people (yes, I know, still large by today’s standards but this was 2001), raised $10 million and we built a real company. Justyn Howard, founder of Sprout Social has a blog post that he’s written about his experiences of migrating from scrappy tools to more efficient ones (i.e. Using Balsamiq instead of SnagIt, Website Optimizer over just Google Analytics and FTP).

What Percentage of Revenue Should SaaS Startups Spend on Payroll?

Tomasz Tunguz

In 2001, Salesforce spent $35.6M What percentage of revenue should be spent on payroll? on payroll and generated $5.4M in revenue. NetSuite spent $38M on payroll generated $17M in 2004. as both of these companies scaled and approached IPO, the operating expense ratio (OER) or operating expense divided by revenue, asymptotes to 0.8. For every dollar of revenue, both of these companies spent $0.80 in payroll at scale. The OER is a metric of efficiency.

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The Access Act

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Back in 2001, the FCC recognized that interoperability was key to competition and required then-dominant AOL to make its instant messaging service compatible with its competitors. Yesterday three Senators, Democrats Mark Warner (VA) and Richard Blumenthal (CT) and Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (MO), put forward new legislation aimed at opening up the markets in web services. Their proposed legislation is called The Access Act and you can read it in its entirety here.

Investors double down on tech stocks in massive DoorDash, Airbnb, C3.ai IPOs


It goes a little something like this: After moving to California in 1996 at the age of 20, Gorny eventually founded a web hosting company in 2001 after working for tech companies during the dot-com boom.

Want to Know How VC’s Calculate Valuation Differently from Founders?

Both Sides of the Table

Due to competitive markets we ended up with a pretty good term sheet until we needed to raise money in April 2001 and then we got completely screwed. Back in 1999 when I first raised venture capital I had zero knowledge of what a fair term sheet looked like or how to value my company. It was accept the terms or go into bankruptcy so we took the money. Those were the dog days of entrepreneurship.

Atlas Venture makes 20X return on Isilon sale to EMC

Fred Destin

Sujal Patel and Paul Mikesell founded Isilon back in early 2001. We were the largest shareholder throughout the life of the company, ever since the Series A with Madrona back in 2001. Now, just shy of 10 years later, the founders can proudly celebrate an awesome $2.25bn exit to EMC. The story is noteworthy in part because Patel came back to the top spot after the company repeatedly missed its revenue guidance.

Venture Capital Q&A Session

Both Sides of the Table

The A round was done in February 2000 (end of the bull market) and my B round was done in April 2001 (bear market). We received so much positive feedback from our This Week in Venture Capital show walking through valuation calculations & term sheets that we decided to do a Q&A show this week to address topics that entrepreneurs want to learn about. We will continue to do more of this.