GAN

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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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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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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.

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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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.

Bridging the Rural Opportunity Gap

Co Starters

Overlooked Aspects of Inclusion in Ecosystem Building, Part 3. This article is the third in a three-part series covering sometimes overlooked aspects of inclusion in entrepreneurial ecosystem building. Part one considers age inclusion.

Two years into investing out of our first Impact Fund: here’s what we’re learning

TechStars

Two years ago, we raised our first impact fund, closing just under $7M in the fall of 2017. Since then, we have made over 73 investments and our fund is nearly fully invested. .

Some Thoughts On Crypto

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

The crypto sector is in an interesting phase right now. The market has rallied from its lows this past winter and is up a lot in 2019: But Bitcoin now makes up almost 70% of that aggregate market cap. In some ways, Bitcoin is the one protocol that has found lasting product-market fit.

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.

From Zero to Tech: Growing Startup Culture in Bhutan

TechStars

How does a country go from lifting a national ban on television in 1999 to nurturing tech startups in 2019? What does a startup ecosystem look like in a United Nations’ classified Least Developed Country?

Declan Kelly Joins Techstars Investment Team

TechStars

Kelly will help Techstars increase connectivity between startups and the global venture community to fuel innovation and growth. BOULDER, Colo. – September 17, 2019 – Techstars is excited to announce the addition of Declan Kelly to the Techstars team as Head of Investor Platforms, EMEA.

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.

The Secret to Successful Mentorship

Entrepreneurs' Organization

Kristen Harris is the co-founder and COO of Portfolio Creative , a workforce innovation firm based in Columbus, Ohio, USA. As a member of the EO Columbus chapter, Kristen is an active participant in the EO Mentorship program. I’ve been matched with seven amazing local mentors so far!

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.

Why USV is Joining the Libra Association

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

A new blockchain & cryptocurrency project, Libra , was announced today. Libra has been incubated by Facebook. USV will be one of the founding members of the governing body, the Libra Association.

Why Positive Cashflow Matters

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Venture backed companies have a strange relationship to positive cashflow. Because they have financial backers who can and do finance losses, they tend to operate in the red for a long time. In the early days it makes sense to burn cash. If you do not have revenues, you can’t generate cash. And if you can’t grow your revenues without investing out ahead of income, then you also need to be able to operate in the red.

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.

Building an Entrepreneurial Culture

TechStars

By Carley Jacobson, Techstars Innovation Coach. I recently participated in a webcast hosted by SHRM on “Three Strategies for Building an Entrepreneurial Culture: Learn how to attract, manage, and build entrepreneurial talent.” You can watch a recording of the webcast here. .

The Hit Rate

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

This simple and short blog post by the folks at Correlation Ventures contains the key to venture capital returns – the hit rate. In the Correlation post, they define “hit rate” as: the percent of invested dollars generating a 10X or greater return.