Bill DeBlasio's Uber targeting is in danger of making NYC a tech joke

This is going to be BIG.

Mayor Bill DeBlasio is on the verge of making NYC one of the most unfriendly cities in the world for technology companies to operate. It first started with Airbnb, which got caught in a crackdown aimed at people who turn "affordable" residential housing into full time hotel space. Don't concern yourself with the fact that Airbnb is simply an outgrowth of the lack of affordable housing--where no one would ever bother renting out their place if they didn't have to struggle to afford to live here.

Six Reasons Not to Invest in a Venture Capital Fund

This is going to be BIG.

I recently met up with an investor who I'm not totally sure is a fit for my second fund , so it was important to me that I was upfront about all the reasons why he shouldn't come in. The last thing you want as either a founder or even a VC is to have an investor get stuck with you when you're not on the same page about expectations. So here's all the reasons I told him he shouldn't be in: 1) Fund investing is boring. Let's be clear.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

An Investment Fund for NYC Foodies

This is going to be BIG.

I don't remember whether it was over a meal at Good Fork , Rucola , Martha , or maybe over an Ample Hills ice cream cone, but I've definitely said the words "Wouldn't it be cool if you could setup a way to invest in the growth of the food and beverage scene in Brooklyn--like, the whole thing. Maybe like a fund." Well, my friend Tom Potter, who I know as a fellow kayaker, but who is much better known as the co-founder of Brooklyn Brewery, is making that happen.

Questions from Hunter #MondayMailbag

This is going to be BIG.

I''ve known Hunter Walk for almost a decade. He found me through my blog and I didn''t think he was real. Hunter Walk can''t be any blog commenters real name, can it? Turns out that not only is he real, but he''s one of the most genuine, thoughtful, and egoless people I''ve met in the startup world--a real breath of fresh air. I look forward to connecting with him when he''s in NYC and when I head out his way.

The Coming Zombie Startup Apocalypse

This is going to be BIG.

Are we in a bubble? And if so, when will it burst? Everyone likes to debate it, and statistically, almost no one gets it right. Not only is it notoriously difficult to time the market, but even if you did, you''d miss out on individual winners. Sam Altman of YC recently pointed out that pulling back during the downturn in 2008 would result in several big misses: In October of 2008, Sequoia Capital—arguably the best-ever in the business—gave the famous “RIP Good Times” presentation (I was there).

My Investment in Hungryroot: A Tasty Lesson in Products vs. Services

This is going to be BIG.

Brooklyn Bridge Ventures recently joined Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Crosslink Capital, and KarpReilly in Hungryroot 's $2mm seed round. The NYC based company makes ready-to-cook meals comprised of 100% organic, fresh-cut vegetable noodles paired with all-natural chef-designed sauces, toppings and optional pre-roasted proteins--and they're delicious. The food has become a staple of my diet, which wasn't the case after trying various food delivery services out on the market.

Excited to be the Least Stylish Investor in the Most Stylish Company: Backing Bradford and Bezar

This is going to be BIG.

To date, I''ve backed three fashion related companies--Refinery29, chloe + isabel, and Ringly--and now I have the pleasure of joining the syndicate of investors in Bradford Shellhammer ''s new company, Bezar. Could I a less likely candidate for such a portfolio? :). Bezar is where you find people who design the kinds of things that I see in other people''s apartments and stop to pick up, inspect, wonder at and think, "That''s awesome. I would have never thought of adding that to this place.".

Tips for Investing in Startups if You're a Celebrity

This is going to be BIG.

I've wanted to write this post for a while, but now that my friend Beth has joined WME, feels like the perfect time to do it. I don't really know many celebrities. If I threw a dinner party in NYC, I think I could get Morgan Spurlock, Gabrielle Corcos & Debi Mazar, Carmelo Anthony, and maybe former Met pitcher Glendon Rusch if he happened to be in NYC as we're randomly Twitter friends. I met Brooke Shields a few times at the Union Square Hyatt where she was holed away writing her recent book.

The Fantastical, Stupendous, Wonkariffic Tale of How Ample Hills Creamery Raised a $4 Million Venture Capital Round

This is going to be BIG.

At least, that would be the title if somebody made a kids movie out of it. It just seemed like a fitting title for a company built around narrative by a founder who used to write stories for a living. It's a story that just hit a milestone--a $4mm round of venture funding that I'm ecstatic to say Brooklyn Bridge Ventures just led.

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.

The Nature of Greatness

This is going to be BIG.

I was talking to someone recently about striving and desiring to be great at what you do. That brought up the question of what makes someone truly great at something. We refer to people as "great entrepreneurs" in the startup community all the time--but are they? I've noted for a long time that too many people have untested, hollow reputations based on things like social proof that go untested.

The Idea Stage is Broken and a Tool to Fix It

This is going to be BIG.

Almost a majority of the time, when I pass on an investment opportunity, there's something wrong with the company that can be traced back to the moment the entrepreneur came up with the idea. I find myself thinking, "You should really be doing something else." People are excited about the idea of starting a company, but don't spend nearly enough time vetting what to work on.

What the heck does a VC do all week anyway?

This is going to be BIG.

I have no idea. I just know what I do--and what I saw partners at other firms I've worked at do. That's one thing you have to realize about venture capital. Every single firm is different. How a partner at a firm spends their time is a function of the number of deals they do, the stage of the company, and their own personal style.

Startup Investment Trends in 2015

Tomasz Tunguz

In the last six months, VCs have invested more than $57B according to Mattermark data , which puts 2015 on pace to exceed 2000 as the year the most venture capital will be deployed, ever. Which sectors are benefitting from all these venture dollars? The chart above contrasts the top 12 sectors receiving venture funding in the US, and plots the relative share of dollars invested by month.

Disappointed Billions are the Best Thing Ever

This is going to be BIG.

"Square, the payment technology company founded and led by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, this evening raised $243 million by pricing its initial public offering at $9 per share, which would imply an market value of around $2.9 billion. It is a major disappointment for the San Francisco-based company." Can we just all let that sink in for a second? A "major disappointment". What I wish for every single entrepreneur out there is to be so majorly disappointed in their lives.

What Scales?

This is going to be BIG.

I've got a great deal for you. It requires you to set up the operation from scratch in every city--and it probably only works in cities. There is a ton of regulatory risk. Right now the market is pretty much only high net worth individuals. You only invest in scalable businesses? Sorry, I didn't realize. I'll keep that in mind for next time. Congrats, you passed on Uber.

How to Build a Successful and Diverse Venture Capital Portfolio Without Really Trying

This is going to be BIG.

After checking out The Information's "open dataset" on diversity in venture capital , I felt pretty disappointed. It didn't include the most important statistic of all--the results! Who is actually building a portfolio whose founders reflect the diversity of the greater population? I went back and calculated the number of companies in the first Brooklyn Bridge Ventures portfolio who have at least one founder who is female, from an underrepresented minority group, or LGBT.

Announcing a new strategic investor and partner at Brooklyn Bridge Ventures

This is going to be BIG.

I''ve said before that I wouldn''t take on a partner. I didn''t think I needed one, and I''m happy to say that it seems that I''ve done just fine without one. I''ve had the good fortune of investing in standout companies like Canary, Tinybop, Floored, Orchard, and Ringly, just to name a few. The fund is performing really well and we''ve had lots of inbound offers to invest in the second fund, which was being rounded up until recently. That''s when I got an offer I couldn''t refuse.

Leave Money on the Table

This is going to be BIG.

I was having a conversation last night with another VC who was suggesting I monetize the pro-ratas that I don't take by creating SPVs. As a small fund, I've been writing one check only to a company to help get them off the ground that that has served me really well so far. But you could charge fees or at least carry for that. You're leaving money on the table!" he said. I said, "Dude, I run an $8 million fund and I'm about to finish raising a $15 million fund.

Disrupting the Screen: Backing Tinkergarten to Get Kids Out to Play

This is going to be BIG.

A little more than a year ago, I got a note from Brian Fitzgerald, a Product Manager I met while I was at First Round. He was "taking time with family" to figure out what's next. Most people take that to mean that they'll stop spending as much time with their family and go on to work at another startup or be a founder themselves. Brian, on the other hand, doubled down on family and decided to work on the side project he started with his wife Meg. Brian and Meg are parents of three little girls.

The Quality You Never Hear Pitched When People Want in to Venture Capital

This is going to be BIG.

In my effort to rewrite the deck for my next fund, I've been spending a lot of time reflecting on what it is that I try to do. A lot of people can say they work hard, or work smart, but that doesn't leave me off where I think I'm setting my goals. I've been trying to figure out if there's any differentiation in how I do my job versus how other people might assume it gets done.

Why the New Seed Might Be a Bad Seed

This is going to be BIG.

About a year ago, I started hearing about the existence of a "pre-seed" round. At first, it sounded ridiculous. Actually, it still sounds ridiculous to me. The term "seed" implies the very beginning to me. If you can''t go to "seed" investors for your very first investment because you''re too early, that just seems weird to me. At Brooklyn Bridge Ventures , I want to be part of the first money to go into a company, no matter what you call it.

Pitch me!

This is going to be BIG.

Working out of the Townhouse has been an interesting experience in that I''m working side by side with a lot of non-startup people. It''s a co-working space full of creatives and freelancers, most of whom who have never pitched an investor, and probably never seen a startup pitch either. Their reaction to what I do day in and day out is very telling about how a lot of people, including VCs themselves, think of the job.

Turns at Albuquerque: How I Measure My Career

This is going to be BIG.

Anyway, 2015 marks a couple of big career anniversaries for me. I love thinking about career paths and how people get from A to B. It''s my favorite thing to teach as well--and I''ll be giving a class at Startup Institute this Tuesday night about it. They''re a career accelerator, which is a pretty neat concept--doing what YC and Techstars do for startups, but for your career. Twenty years ago, I got my first job.

RegulatoryKings: Thoughts on the Duel Between Government and Fans

This is going to be BIG.

Full disclosure: I'm an investor in a stealth daily fantasy sports company. Daily fantasy sports have exploded onto the scene in the last couple of years, and recent events have caused regulators to look at the area with increased scrutiny. Generally, creating rules to protect individuals from nefarious business practices or to leverage things like taxes fairly and consistently is a good thing and I support it.

media 251

The 99: How the SEC protects you from venture capital returns.

This is going to be BIG.

I don''t need to remind you of the widening gap between the rich and the poor, but if I were to be more accurate, I''d say it''s the widening gap between the mega rich and everyone else. When you''ve already got tens and hundreds of millions of dollars, a whole world of moneymaking opportunities are available to you that the rest of the world can''t access. Take venture capital, for example.

All Investing Has Impact

This is going to be BIG.

I've always had a problem with the term "impact investing". It's as if the investments that you made that aren't part of an impact investing strategy hang from the ceiling Mission Impossible style in a temperature controlled environment making no discernable impact on stakeholder's lives. Leave no trace. Leave no fingerprints. Only, we know that's not the case. Marketplaces like Etsy enable hundreds of thousands of craftspeople to find sellers for their goods.

How to Know if You Have ADD and What to Do About It

Both Sides of the Table

Let me start the post with three statements. I have attention deficit disorder, it is a real condition , I have been diagnosed including having radioactive isotopes through my brain to map my development and yet I’m a leader, I have accomplished much, I did well in school and went on to earn a master’s degree and I can actually concentrate when I want to. I wasn’t even aware that I had ADD until I was 40 (I’m now 47) and knowing it has changed my life for the positive.

Why We Invested in @FerrisApp – A New Kind of Video Sharing App

Both Sides of the Table

Imagine if your friends could all contribute the Burning Man 2015 album and create a group story. Mark Suster (@msuster) April 23, 2015. We recently released the video sharing app Ferris and announced that Upfront Ventures led the funding in the company in our seed round of $2 million and I personally joined the board. We hit the top spot recommended on Apple’s iOS App Store on the day of the launch, which is a testament to the team and all of their hard work.

Some Thoughts on Twitter as a Micro-Blogging Tool

Both Sides of the Table

Mark Suster (@msuster) May 29, 2015. Mark Suster (@msuster) May 29, 2015. Mark Suster (@msuster) May 29, 2015. Mark Suster (@msuster) May 29, 2015. Mark Suster (@msuster) May 29, 2015. Mark Suster (@msuster) May 29, 2015. Mark Suster (@msuster) May 29, 2015. Mark Suster (@msuster) May 29, 2015. Mark Suster (@msuster) May 29, 2015. Mark Suster (@msuster) May 29, 2015. Mark Suster (@msuster) May 29, 2015.

Why @UpfrontVC invested in Disruptive Rental Car Startup @Skurt

Both Sides of the Table

Rental cars. I have never met a person who loved their rental car company or the experience of turning up at an airport, waiting in line, paying a huge fee and then dealing with returns, airport shuttle buses and so forth not to mention half-washed and smelly cars. I think the closest parallel I have is the feeling I had for taxi cabs (inconvenient, smelly, expensive) before Uber. The rental car companies have a million scams to get more money out of you – mostly notably the gasoline scam.

What To Do When Your Competitor Gets Funded?

Both Sides of the Table

This morning Clutter.io announced they raised $9 million from Sequoia , arguably the best venture capital firm that exists. Congratulations. Sincerely. Conventional wisdom says I shouldn’t tell you this because I invested in their main competitor, MakeSpace. I know my MakeSpace friends will forgive me because I just don’t believe the conventional wisdom is right. And it’s part of what can go wrong in startup land.

Backing someone pre-pitch: The story of how I backed Clubhouse

This is going to be BIG.

I'm excited to be able to finally announce Brooklyn Bridge Ventures ' investment in Clubhouse , a company I agreed to back before I even knew what it was. In 2010, a bunch of techies got together to do the next year's NYC Triathlon. I had already done two and was looking forward to joining people from the tech community.

Why I F **g Hate Unicorns and the Culture They Breed

Both Sides of the Table

Something is rotten in tech startup land. Don’t call me a hater for saying so. It’s not that I’m anti innovation or a disbeliever in disruption or calling it a full-scale bubble or saying every darling startup is going to fail. None of those. Still. Somebody posted too many party fliers. The uninvited crowds have all turned up.

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.

The Gift of the Ask

This is going to be BIG.

It''s very easy to think of an ask as a negative--of a burden on someone. When it comes to startups, however, especially when you''ve built up a great reputation and done a lot of good work for others, people are not only eager to help you, but they take great pride in being asked. Working with you is an opportunity. Getting a chance to take a leap with you is an opportunity. Earning equity in your endeavor, or having the opportunity to buy some of it on the ground floor, is an opportunity.

What I’ve Learned About Venture Funding

Both Sides of the Table

VC funding. Our perspectives on the topic wax and wane with market cycles. We love capital efficiency until we love land grabs until we abhor over funding until we get huge payouts and ring the bell for more funding until we attract every non-VC on the planet to invest in startups until it crashes and we start the cycle all over again none the wiser. Amnesia sets in and we get back on the merry-go-round. I saw this great image on Twitter courtesy of Simon Wardley , CC3.0 by SA. blog here ).