Mission wrap: London 2018

Startup Catalyst

2018 LondonIn June we conducted our third annual mission to London for London Tech Week. 16 participants from Queensland, South Australia, and New South Wales took part in the week long mission, with a total of 25 official events, meetings and tours, and another dozen private meetings organised by participants, as well as other events from the London Tech Week schedule.

Wrap-up of the Startup Community Leaders Mission USA 2018

Startup Catalyst

The second Startup Community Leaders Mission to the USA took place from 11-18 March 2018, with 20 participants taking part, including 14 from 11 different regional towns in Queensland, 3 from Brisbane, one from Sydney, one from Adelaide, and one from New York (assisting the Beach City film crew). 2018 Startup Community


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The Moments that Define Investor and Founder Relationships

This is going to be BIG.

In almost every single investment I’ve ever made, I can think of a singular moment in my relationship with a founder that, no matter what came before or what might come after, defined our relationship. Often times, it came in a very vulnerable and down moment for the founder—perhaps they just lost out on a big opportunity, had someone from the team leave, or they’re running low on capital before sales have come around.

The Breakout Tech Company Of 2018


Whereas in 2016 I struggled to come up with one, and whereas in 2017 it was obvious it was Coinbase, with 2018 comes the most money poured into U.S. In 2018, it was that kind year. So, after all of those warnings and disclaimers (and, yes, you are free to disagree with my selection here), but after months of reflection, I believe Airtable is The Breakout Tech Company of 2018. This is the company, in my opinion, which only first appeared on the radar of most investors in 2018.

Looking Back On Tech, Startups, And VC In 2018


And, with that warning, I offer to you, the big stories in the startup and investing ecosystem of 2018, written in ascending order of importance and magnitude…. Now in 2018, there’s been significant rounds they’ve led or participated in — Pitchbook here recaps some of the biggest. Then 2018 arrived. It’s that time of year, time to look back and reflect on the most significant storylines in the tech, startup, and VC world.

25 education trends for 2018

eSchool News

In almost all of the commentary from both educators and industry, the mention of AR and VR for 2018’s big trends were ubiquitous. In this straight-forward report, eSchool Media discusses what to expect, overall, in 2018; how 2017 compares to 2018 for both K-12 and higher ed; and predictions from educators and industry on both K-12 and higher ed trends for the new year. 2018 promises to be a year that epitomizes the term “transformational.”

Annual EntreEd Forum 2018 Recap


The post Annual EntreEd Forum 2018 Recap appeared first on EntreEd. On September 28-30, over one hundred educators from across the nation gathered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the annual EntreEd Forum presented by The Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education. This year’s programming included a wide range of valuable professional development activities for entrepreneurship education and classroom innovation. Teachers of all subject and grade levels were in attendance […].

How to Improve Your Odds of Getting to Yes with a VC — “Land and Expand”

Both Sides of the Table

If you’ve read any of my ongoing series on fund raising from venture capitalist (episode 1?— ?controlling controlling your psychology ) you no doubt have heard me say that raising capital is a sales & marketing process.

How to Out Amazon, Amazon

Both Sides of the Table

There has always been tension between CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies and the retailers who sell their products to consumers. If a consumer will pay a fixed price for a product or service then the battle over who gets the margin in any sale is between the person who merchandises a product and the person who manufactures it. This is an age-old marketplace tension where leverage often determines the value captured. This is true whether it’s physical products or media products.

What Can You Learn From Ring’s Astounding Success?

Both Sides of the Table

Many people will write the history on why Ring became an enormously successful company and why it became a real-world unicorn in a world when many startups are anointed that merely on paper. Since I had a ringside seat to the company before it really existed all the way through the end I thought I’d offer my version and what I think it means for our future.

How Many Investors Should You Talk to in a VC Fund Raise? And How Do You Prioritize?

Both Sides of the Table

This is part of a series of advice for founders who need to raise money from venture capitalists. The first in the series is “ Lemons Ripen Early ,” which also has a link to other posts. The most important advice I could give you before you set out in fund raising mode is to understand that fund-raising a sales & marketing process and needs to be managed. Somehow many first-time founders equate “sales” with something that is beneath them.

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Why you should never have a data room — the most counter-intuitive fund-raising advice you’ll ever…

Both Sides of the Table

Why you should never have a data room?—?the the most counter-intuitive fund-raising advice you’ll ever get I’m about to offer you some fund-raising advice that flies directly in the face of what most conventional wisdom will tell you. If you stick through to the end I’m guessing I can persuade most of you. Let me start out with my premise: “Data rooms are where fund-raising processes go to die.” I have to back up and give you more context.

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How to Talk About Valuation When a VC Asks

Both Sides of the Table

One of the hardest things about the fund-raising process for entrepreneurs is that you’re trying to raise money from people who have “asymmetric information.” VC firms see thousands of deals and have a refined sense of how the market is valuing deals because they get price signals across all of these deals. As an entrepreneur it can feel as intimidating as going to buy a car where the dealer knows the price of every make & model of a car and you’re guessing at how much to pay.

12 Days of Starters: Give the Gift of Small


24, Small Business Saturday, we are highlighting one starter a day from our 2018 Holiday Gift Guide on our social channels. Celebrate 12 Days of Starters, Nov. 24 through Dec. CO.STARTERS celebrates starters this holiday season by urging everyone to shop small! Give the gift of small and shop local anywhere from the convenience of your couch while you leverage your holiday gift purchases to support starters and the communities they—and you!—call call home. Starting on Nov.

3 Top-Paying MBA Concentrations in 2018

Startup Grind

Many Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree programs offer their students the opportunity to choose a concentration, which can also be called a "specialization" or a "track." In Australia, some educators may refer to this as a "major." While concentrating in any one aspect of business administration is not essential for career success, it can sometimes lead to higher paychecks and increased credibility in your area of specialization.

I Know Everybody Told You to Send Your Fund-Raising Decks as a Link.

Both Sides of the Table

I Know Everybody Told You to Send Your Fund-Raising Decks as a Link. Here’s Why You Should Just Send the Deck I know you have your document sending tool to send your fund-raising deck to VCs and track who read your deck, which pages they read and how much time they spend on each page.

A Scorecard: Should a decision be fast, or slow?

A Smart Bear

We all know that startups should make decisions quickly. Fast decisions leads to rapid action, which accelerates the loop of production and feedback, which is how you outpace and out-learn a competitor, even one that already has a lead. But some decisions should not be made in haste, like a key executive hire , or how to price , or whether to raise money, or whether to invest millions of dollars in a new product line.

How Much Should You Raise in Your VC Round? And What is a VC Looking at in Your Model?

Both Sides of the Table

There’s a quick litmus-test conversation any early-stage VC will have with the founder and it’s one that you should be as prepared for as your elevator pitch. It goes something like this … VC: “How much money are you raising?” Founder: “$8–10 million” VC: “What’s your current burn rate?” Founder: “$250k / month.” VC: “So at a constant rate of burn rate you’d be raising enough for 2.5–3 3 years. Why are you raising so much?” Founder: “Um. Let me check my plan.”

7 Predictions for SaaS in 2018

Tomasz Tunguz

The SaaS fundraising market remains ebullient through 2018 as vibrant M&A and an open IPO window trigger substantial liquidity for shareholders. Blockchain in the enterprise takes the reign as the buzzword for 2018. Below are 7 predictions about the startup software ecosystem. How many of them do you agree with? The tax holiday for repatriation creates one of the most active M&A environments of the past ten years. The repatriation holiday is part of the new tax plan.

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The VC Inclusion Clause #MovingForward

Both Sides of the Table

Upfront Ventures has a deep-seated commitment to equality in funding & building diverse teams across all ethnicities, nationalities and genders. We do this not just because it’s the right thing to do but also we believe it will help drive large and differentiated returns. In 2017 we began inserting an “Inclusion Clause” into our term sheets because we believe that the culture one establishes at the earliest stages of one’s business will set out the course of how it will grow and develop.

All The Questions You Wanted Answered about Bird Scooters and Their Recent $300 Million Funding

Both Sides of the Table

My friend Michael Broukhim, founder & co-CEO of FabFitFun and I recently had a catch-up meeting for 3-miles on the Santa Monica “Bird Trail” No company has ever elicited so many questions by friends, colleagues, entrepreneurs, fellow VCs and journalists as has Bird, the company that pioneered the electronic scooter as a service market.

What Should You Send a VC Before Your Meeting?

Both Sides of the Table

One of the hardest things to know when you’re new to fund raising is what you’re supposed to send to an investor, when and will they keep your information confidential. As a VC and former entrepreneur let me offer you some advice. This is part of a series on how to improve your fund raising game. The first post & the full outline if you click the link.)

Why Female Founder Office Hours is So Important

Both Sides of the Table

If you haven’t yet heard about Female Founder Office Hours it is an initiative you should be aware of whether you’re male, female or any other gender identify. The idea is simple enough: several female VC partners at top funds will hold 1-hour meetings with 40 promising female entrepreneurs looking to get advice on their business and pitch in a friendly, non-judgmental, safe environment.

Selling your business? Find the emotional buyer


This is one of my favorite insights, since I lived this one in a positive exit from my computer business. Types of business buyers expanded. Most people will tell you that there are two kinds of eventual buyers for your business: financial and strategic. A financial buyer will analyze your numbers, past and forecast, to the n’th degree, and calculate the price based upon the result, after carefully comparing your numbers with those of others in the same and similar industries.

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The Blockbuster Software M&A Market of 2018

Tomasz Tunguz

2018 is a blockbuster year for software M&A multiples. Billion-dollar plus acquisitions in 2018 have commanded a median 17.7x In 2018, three acquirers have paid greater than 14x trailing multiples, and two have paid greater than 20x trailing. That small decline is driven by Cisco’s acquisition of Broadsoft earlier in 2018, but does nothing to change the conclusion that acquirers prize growth.

Why Confidence is So Important in Fund Raising

Both Sides of the Table

I was recently with an entrepreneur and talking with him about his fund raising process. He was in a later-stage financing round and was talking with many investors. Some started asking him for very specific analyses to be completed on his data and wanted his company to crunch the numbers. I told him he shouldn’t bother and that it was likely a junior person at the firm whose job is was to find holes in the data / narrative.

Planning Your Fund Raising — “Measure Twice, Cut Once”

Both Sides of the Table

There is an old management saying, “measure twice, cut once” which refers to the benefit of doing some planning. It’s the antithesis of “ready, fire, aim” which seems to be so prevalent in today’s society. The benefits you will receive from doing even some basic planning before you hit the fund raising trail are enormous. This post has some basic advice on how to plan your raise before you hit the road.

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Coworking in Europe 2018


Whilst membership numbers and area are increasing in European coworking spaces, their popularity is slightly decreasing. Do large spaces with more members, private offices and employees lead to worse ratings among members? Yes, but less than expected. Surprisingly, it’s smaller coworking spaces in particular that are becoming much less popular. Read on to find out more about this trend as well as other developments in the European coworking scene

Some Quick Things Every Founder Should Know

Both Sides of the Table

One thing that comes with being a venture capitalist is you see hundreds and hundreds of businesses. You get to have interesting conversations with founders and review business plans and then see how these businesses evolve over the years. A firm like ours has almost 100 different investments across all the various partners so we get to see some businesses very intimately.

CO.STARTERS Sparks Connection Across New Zealand


By David Kraus. It all started in October, 2013 when Chorus , a New Zealand telecommunications company, launched a competition. Dubbed “ Gigatown ” as a nod to Chattanooga’s “Gig City” moniker, the competition challenged New Zealand cities to realize the potential of Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) technology for renewing the methods of New Zealand’s education and business sectors. In September of 2014, representatives from finalist towns were flown to Chattanooga, where they met with CO.STARTERS.

Preparing to Start a Company

This is going to be BIG.

It’s that time of year again—the season of people quitting their jobs soon to start a company. I don’t know whether it’s New Years resolutions or end of year bonuses, but I feel like there’s a bit of a peak in people wrapping up previous things looking to start something new.

Just Where Are SaaS Companies Priced After the 2018 Correction?

Tomasz Tunguz

The market pushed higher for nearly 36 months to a new high in September 2018 at 9.5x Multiples at IPO will be lower in 2019 than for most of 2018. But 2018’s multiples were at decade highs, and 2019s figures are are 40%+ larger than the trailing 8 year median. Reading the news in the past week made me wonder. Just where are we pricing SaaS companies today? The Nasdaq and the S&P have toyed with a bear market. Many stocks are down 10 to 50%.

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Understanding the Herd Mentality of VCs and How not to Let it Psyche You Out

Both Sides of the Table

Whether you’re fund raising from angels, seed investors and VCs?—?as as an industry we succumb to “herd mentality.” There are a few exceptions and originally thinkers but it’s maddening how much group think and need for social proof there are. Nobody commits, nobody wants to set a price, nobody wants to stick their neck out then BOOM! Reid Hoffman is in? I’m in for $500k. Wait, make that $1 million. And please reserve another $1 million for me?—?I

My 10 Favorite Books of 2018

Tomasz Tunguz

These are my ten favorite books from 2018. The (Mis)Behavior of Markets - Written by Benoit Mandelbrot, the Belgian mathematician who pioneered fractals, this book and theory inspired Naseem Taleb. It’s a powerful book on the uncertain nature of financial turbulence. Creative Selection - Ken Kocienda, a former Apple engineer who co-authored Safari and the iPhone keyboard, writes about culture at Apple.

Some Advice Before You Hit the Fund Raising Trail

Both Sides of the Table

Fund raising. It definitely has a “d” in it, as in it’s really not fun, raising. But it’s critical for your business, for you as a leader and people who excel at fund raising have an extreme advantage over those who do not. The best entrepreneurs in our industry focus on it year-round as opposed to just once every 18 months.

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Shut Up and Invest? Investors Weighing in on Politics

This is going to be BIG.

For the last two years, I’ve been pretty vocal about politics on social media , in my weekly tech community newsletter and on this blog. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten more progressive—which is a big shift for me because I grew up conservative. More and more, I’ve felt the need to speak out—but the question was asked of me recently whether or not it does more harm than good for me professionally.

The 2018 State of Coworking Spaces


Coworking spaces are growing. Each year they offer larger workspaces and serve more members than the year before. These findings are not new. But what does a detailed view of coworking spaces look like presently? In this article, you will learn not only about membership numbers, but also how they divide their expenditure and revenue, how many locations they operate, where they are located, or what internet speeds they offer.