GAN

Six Reasons We Love Investing in Founders in Small Cities

GAN

No matter where you run a company, you’re probably making trade-offs. There are pros and cons to operating anywhere, for sure. But, I know that operating your company in a smaller city can feel really, really hard. You face a lot of challenges—anything from your commute time, to finding great talent, to landing big investments, to connecting with your target customers (fashion and beauty companies come to mind, for instance).

Pittsburgh: A City Fueled By a Culture of Innovation and Community

GAN

We just finished the first leg of the GAN Momentum Tour in Pittsburgh. It was the first of five trips we’re making around the world where accelerators, corporate partners, and startups come together around one purpose: Helping startups who are operating in unique places around the world (“everywhere else” places—the cities that might not be considered major tech hubs) gain more momentum, wherever they call home. You can see a 90-second video of all that happened here.

Next Media Accelerator on How Hamburg Helps Startups Gain Momentum

GAN

Hamburg is Germany’s second-largest city with 1.8 million people and a metro region of about three million. The city is, of course, known for its seaport, the third-largest in Europe. It’s also among the top three locations for the aviation industry in the world. Hamburg prides itself as “The Gate to the World” and is home to all branches of the economy, ranging from aviation to maritime and logistics, as well as the creative and media industry.

What Accelerators Look Like in 2019

GAN

Each year, GAN asks the accelerators in our community hundreds of questions on their programs with one goal in mind—to gather concrete insights into the state of the accelerator industry as it stands in any particular year. Responses from our yearly survey culminate in a giant data report available to any accelerator from the community that provided us with their data.

State of MENA Startups 2019, Report

MAGNiTT and 500 Startups jointly launch first 'State of MENA Startups 2019" report. Survey findings reveal insights on trends in fundraising exercise, exit opportunities, hiring, and growth optimization.

How to Craft an Exceptional Update About Your Startup

GAN

Each week, I receive dozens of updates from startups—everything from founders I’ve just chatted with briefly, to founders I’ve mentored, to companies that have asked GAN Ventures for funding.

What the Data Says about Getting into An Accelerator

GAN

Last week, GAN released its annual data report and, while the full report is only available to accelerators in the GAN Community that provided us with their program data, you can see the year’s top highlights in an infographic here.

GAN Partner, Chargebee, on How Startups Can Get the Most Out of Office Hours with a Mentor

GAN

I work for Chargebee, a recurring billing and subscription management product used by thousands of customers in more than 53 countries and a proud GAN Partner. As part of the Chargebee team, I head up one of our strategic initiatives, called “Chargebee for Entrepreneurs,” where we work with accelerators and incubators to identify high-potential startups globally.

GAN Partner, Chargebee, on How to Tackle Office Hours with an Investor

GAN

I work for Chargebee, the recurring billing and subscription management product used by thousands of customers in more than 53 countries and a proud GAN Partner. In my role, I head up one of our strategic initiatives, called “ Chargebee for Entrepreneurs ,” where we work with 100 accelerators and incubators to identify high-potential startups globally.

Before Ever Applying to an Accelerator, Here’s What You Need to Know

GAN

There are 115 accelerators spread across 160 cities in the GAN Community. Their breadth, impact, and results are amazing. In 2018 alone, more than 35,000 startups applied for just 1,344 spots at those accelerators. So, this past week, I asked leaders at GAN programs one simple question: Before applying to your accelerator, what would you tell startups they need to do to prepare for your program? Here’s What They Said. Candice Matthews-Brackeen. Hillman Accelerator and NewMe Accelerator.

Nine Takeaways for Startups After Our Global Tour

GAN

We just finished GAN’s first Momentum Tour, a four-stop global tour with events in Pittsburgh, Hamburg, Lima, and Manama. The entire purpose of this tour from the very beginning was to help startups operating in places like these—smaller markets that aren’t considered the world’s major tech hubs—to have additional connections, tools, and resources to build and grow their companies, wherever they are. Which, by the way, is GAN’s mission.

When You Pitch, Focus on Your Essence

GAN

Last week, I spoke at InBIA’s International Business Incubation Conference in Minneapolis. InBIA brings together a curated group of incubators a few times a year, and they had me talk about the difference between accelerators and incubators, as well as how the two can work together.

The Common Denominator Among Our 25 Startup Investments

GAN

This past week, I took a look at the 25 investments that GAN Ventures has made so far. Mostly, I was just checking to see who I’ve followed up with lately and who else I should reach out to so that I could say hello and see how things were going. But while looking over the list, I started to wonder if there might be any common denominators across the group.

The Most Successful Startup Teams are Curious

GAN

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself in a conversation about startup newsletters with some of GAN’s corporate partners during our yearly Partner Summit. We’d been chatting about newsletters we loved when I went a bit negative and opened up about a newsletter I had a lot of judgments around.

One Essential Question to Ask When Beginning an Accelerator Program

GAN

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” ” — Lewis Carroll. Last week, Exponential Impact’s latest cohort visited the GAN office. XI is a GAN Accelerator located in Colorado Springs and this cohort of founders is an amazing group, just starting the program. When thinking about what I should say to them, I remembered something that Steve Blank shared with a bunch of the Techstars founders we brought together in Las Vegas back in 2012.

Should You Build your Company in a Country Like Lima?

GAN

Last week, we were in Lima for our second stop of the Momentum Tour ( video here! ) We met with government officials—the people who oversee the support that startups receive directly from the country—investors investing in the country’s best seed-stage founders, and corporates doing business with the country’s newest startups. Everywhere we went, I asked this one question. Did they feel like Lima was a great place to grow a startup?

How to Bring Up Issues With Your Business Partner or Leadership Team

GAN

I help run two different businesses: GAN and GAN Ventures. At GAN, Dani runs the day-to-day operations as the company’s COO. And, at GAN Ventures, Reilly and I run the company as equal partners, which—of course—makes Reilly my business partner. This means I have two allies, Dani and Reilly, who I’m constantly working with to build and grow these organizations. We have incredible relationships and I couldn’t have chosen more fantastic people to work alongside.

As You Fundraise or Interview, Remember: Lines Not Dots

GAN

I had lunch the other day with an investor. Not to talk about investment for GAN, but to just share what we’re up to, where GAN Ventures is headed, and to build a friendship with someone who shares a ton of mutual friends and personal values and just generally does similar work in the world. In other words, I mostly wanted to get to know him personally, as someone I already value and respect. We had a great lunch. But it’s what he did after our time together that really struck me.

What Happened When I Hit a Wall and the Important Question I’m Using to Move Past It

GAN

Last week, I wrote about how essential it is to ask yourself one important question before going through an accelerator program: What do you want your (work) life to be like? Meaning, unless you define what you want your time in-program (or when starting really anything) to look like, the world around you will surely help do it for you. I keep coming back to this question since writing it last week, though. Because I think there’s actually a deeper question behind this question.

Show Me The Market, Part II

GAN

About a year ago, I wrote a blog post that’s been one of my most-read posts to date. The post was all about why and how startups should define their market size to generate investor interest and excitement. I still firmly believe this is one of the most important things startups can do. And yet, Reilly and I continue to turn down company after company that approaches GAN Ventures without a market size large enough for investment.

Thank a Salesperson Today

GAN

I gave Dina a call on Monday. Dina oversees business development for GAN Partners, the innovative corporates like Allstate, Prologis, and UPS that engage with startups in the GAN Community. She’s had an amazing three months. She’s been working hard, traveling a ton, and doing the right things to find new partners. And, on the call, we had some really great back-and-forth about all of those new partners. Then something popped out of my mouth, somewhat unexpectedly.

Why We Invest in Authentic Founders

GAN

When GAN Ventures considers whether to invest in a startup, we look for four primary things: Authentic founders: Founders that know their own strengths and weaknesses and aren’t afraid to ask for help. Passionate founders: Founders that joyfully know more about their market than most people would think is normal to know about anything. Mission-driven founders: Founders that truly believe they’re changing at least a small part of the world and will stop at nothing until they do.

Here We Come, World

GAN

I can’t remember the last time I was this excited. In just four days, GAN hits the road on our 2019 GAN Momentum Tour, a five-stop global tour focused on helping startups get and sustain momentum wherever they call home. But even if you can’t personally join us on any of the five stops, I still think we all have huge reasons to be excited about what lies behind this tour—. There Are Startups — Everywhere.

When Community Works

GAN

If you’re a leader anywhere, a large part of your role will include bringing people together from different backgrounds and sometimes even different cultures—people who hold varying or even conflicting value sets. And getting these varying values and backgrounds and opinions and personalities together can be a huge challenge, especially when they all walk into a room as relative strangers. So, when you actually bring people together and it works well, it can feel truly special.

It’s Very Rarely About You

GAN

Sitting in the Denver airport earlier this summer, I heard our gate attendant get on the loudspeaker to announce that we had to switch gates. As I started to pack my things to make the move, I noticed that the guy next to me was absolutely irate. He couldn’t believe we had to switch gates and he made it known to everyone within earshot. Out loud, he kept ranting about how annoying the airline was, how they always do things like this to him (to him!),

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When You Pitch, Make Sure to KISS

GAN

Not long ago, I found myself pitching GAN. The conversation was going well, I felt like I was able to convey all of the main points I wanted to, and our rapport seemed solid. During the first 20 minutes of the chat, I gave background on accelerators, corporates, and the startup studio industry, trends we’re seeing, opportunities in front of us, and a variety of other important data points describing GAN’s work. I nailed it. Or at least I thought I had.

The Quarterly Reset

GAN

I’m traditionally pretty particular about doing annual planning every year. I prioritize it heavily because it’s the one time each year when we take a step back and go over our plans for the following year. It includes department-level brainstorming and planning sessions that roll up into full-blown presentations to the C-Suite. I think they’re incredibly helpful and good for a team, and we’ll continue to do them.

AlphaLab & AlphaLab Gear on Hosting the GAN Momentum Tour in Pittsburgh

GAN

We at AlphaLab and AlphaLab Gear are excited to host top accelerators from around the world when the GAN Momentum Tour kicks off in Pittsburgh from September 9-12. As the North American host for this global tour, we are looking forward to connecting with our fellow accelerator leaders to continue sharing best practices on building our respective ecosystems through our accelerator and other startup programs.

Our Obsessive Fear of Failure

GAN

One of my favorite theologians is a man named N.T. Wright. He writes a lot on the “afterlife” and what may happen when we die. At the beginning of one of his books, he makes a point about how our view of the afterlife affects how we live today. In other words, what we believe about what happens after we die completely frames how we live and behave today. I bring this up because I have this overwhelming sense that it says something about what founders believe about failure.

Using a Staycation to Stay Sane

GAN

I get about a month of vacation each year and I like to use that time well. After all, a month is a lot of time, but it’s actually not that much time, spread out over 52 weeks. What does “using it well” mean for me? My family and I enjoy experiences. It’s fun hopping on a plane, traveling somewhere new, and introducing our girls to new things. But, last week, I used one of those weeks of vacation to simply chill at my own house with my family. It was great.

Being a Victim Won’t Make You a Good Boss

GAN

This past Sunday, someone on our staff sent me a text about a payroll issue. Everyone on our team gets paid at the end of the month and a paycheck should have hit this person’s account the previous Friday, but it never happened. Not exactly what any of us want, and truly a frustrating experience for them. But, when I got the text, something happened for me that tends to happen a lot. I felt sorry for myself and frustrated at everyone else. Here’s why: First, why had this happened?

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How I Use Gratitude To Reset My Day

GAN

Lately, I’ve been stuck in my head. It’s been a busy time for me both professionally and personally. We’re on-boarding a bunch of new people to the GAN team. We’re in the midst of our first global Momentum Tour. And I’m about to be out of the office because my family and I are going on our first true vacation of the year. It’s a lot of moving parts to juggle and I’m relatively anxious about it all.

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We Can All Stop Caring About What Our Competitors Are Doing

GAN

If you’ve spent any time around me lately—at ALL—you know that I can’t get enough of SoulCycle. It’s a gym where you ride a stationary bike, but it also strangely feels like the perfect mix between both a club and a church. It’s also an incredible workout and, right now, I am SoulCycle’s biggest fanboy. Last month, in the middle of a class, climbing a hill, I did what I normally do when things are most difficult.

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One Thing That’s Skyrocketing My Productivity

GAN

For the past two months, I’ve been keeping close track of the rhythms in my life. I’m looking at things like: What I eat and when. When I go to sleep and for how long. When I work and what kind of work I’m doing. When I use my phone and what I’m using it for. I began this sort of life tracking after reading Designing Your Lif e.

Why None of Your Company Goals Come to Fruition

GAN

In the early 2000s, I worked for a company that—like many others do all the time—made a big goal that we planned to hit. It was awesome and important and we were going to achieve it by 2010. It wasn’t an aspirational goal, either; it was an essential milestone for the company and we were all marching toward it. Yet, as we barreled closer and closer to 2010, it became evident that we weren’t actually going to hit the goal. Not even close. Not by a long shot. Flash Forward.

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Say Something Different

GAN

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I posted an open position on a local college website, looking for a nanny. The post was this: Denver couple looking for a nanny for our two- and five-year-old girls. You’d be working most Tuesdays and Thursdays during the day and on Wednesday nights with the option for additional hours throughout the week. The pay is $18/hour. If you’re interested, please contact us. Now, on first glance, the post is fine.

industry and university collaboration: how partnership drives innovation

Venture Well

Industry and university collaboration produces groundbreaking research and innovation that solves complex problems, drives economic growth, and creates a more skilled workforce. The post industry and university collaboration: how partnership drives innovation appeared first on VentureWell.

Techstars and HBCUvc Launch 10-City Startup Weekend Tour to Promote Diversity in Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital

TechStars

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Next Level Entrepreneurship: Investing in a New Generation of Startups

Entrepreneurs' Organization

For many established entrepreneurs, establishing a purpose and passion beyond business is a fulfilling way to truly make a mark. Ravi Machani , an EO member in Bangalore, India, is one entrepreneur who has done so admirably.

4 Strategies to Integrate Ethics into Entrepreneurship Education

Venture Well

We interviewed three leaders in entrepreneurship education about several ways to teach tomorrow's entrepreneurs about ethics. The post 4 Strategies to Integrate Ethics into Entrepreneurship Education appeared first on VentureWell. Faculty entrepreneurship education teaching resources

What To Expect From Your Corporate Accelerator

TechStars

Partnering with startups is a great way to accelerate the entire corporate innovation journey. In fact, Techstars and Innovation Leader recently partnered to r eveal best practices for leveraging startups to drive corporate innovation.

how collaboration can improve entrepreneurship education

Venture Well

Tom Katona had been thinking quite a bit about a simple question. An assistant professor of innovation and entrepreneurship at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, The post how collaboration can improve entrepreneurship education appeared first on VentureWell. Faculty I&E Ecosystems entrepreneurial mindse

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.