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Both Things Can Be True: Bias and Bad Fundraising Advice

This is going to be BIG.

Fundraising takes a long time. I’m a female founder. I don’t have a technical co-founder. I don’t have enough traction. These are all of the things I heard from a founder that I recently backed. She was pitching for a pre-seed round of $400k.

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The Double Standard of Female CEOs Moving Fast and Breaking Things

This is going to be BIG.

In February of 2017, Susan Fowler’s description of the pervasive cultural issues at Uber, after the company’s abject failure to address her sexual harassment complaints properly, finally broke through in a way that garnered the tech community’s appropriate attention.

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The Moments that Define Investor and Founder Relationships

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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.

Why Colleges and Universities Should be Scared of the On Deck Fellowship

This is going to be BIG.

There’s been an emergence of “pre-accelorator” or “people accelorator” programs—experiences that you can buy your way into with cash, as opposed to potentially valuable future equity, that replicate the education and network provided by the likes of YCombinator.

The Best Sales Forecasting Models for Weathering Your Goals

Every sales forecasting model has a different strength and predictability method. It’s recommended to test out which one is best for your team. This way, you’ll be able to further enhance – and optimize – your newly-developed pipeline. Your future sales forecast? Sunny skies (and success) are just ahead!

10 Post-Coronavirus Trends for Life After Quarantine

This is going to be BIG.

Obviously, the fight against Coronavirus has not stopped, but it’s hard not to look ahead to what’s next. How will having the world on lockdown affect our society in the long run? Here are a few trends I think we’ll see going forward: 1) Work from home is here to stay—at least partially.

How to Leverage Micro VC Funds to Build an Angel Portfolio

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Fund investing, like adulting, is boring. That’s the first thing anyone trying to raise a fund needs to understand, as well as anyone thinking about investing in one. The partner at the fund, the VC, gets to do the fun part—the meeting with founders, vetting deals, negotiating, helping, etc.

Remote Work, Not Taxes, Threatens Cities: Why That Threat has Peaked but Others Remain

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Recently, NYC Mayoral Candidate Andrew Yang got asked about raising income taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers. He opposed such a measure to close the city and state’s budget gap, worrying that New Yorkers will leave because of tax increases. That’s not surprising. Yang himself left the city when the pandemic hit, moving up to his home in New Paltz. It’s a move that many other New Yorkers did and I can’t blame them.

Smoke and Fire

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Ever meet someone and something feels… off? It could be any number of things—like someone’s being overly transactional or that they’re just not being upfront.

How Not to Get Your Time Wasted by VCs

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VCs are notorious for kicking tires. VCs take a meeting just to learn about an area. If deal flow is slow, a VC will take a meeting if you and your team seem mildly interesting even if your product isn’t.

B2B Pocket Playbook: End-to-End Guide to Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is the strategic process of providing sales teams with the content, guidance, and mentorship needed to engage targeted buyers. It’s all about equipping sales professionals with the tools they need to put their best-selling foot forward. And if sales teams want to continuously sell better -- and faster -- their sales enablement process must have a game-winning strategy. It's time for you to start selling smarter - and hitting your sales number - with the best B2B database in the market. Get started today.

How to Get More Efficient with Time Management Using Time Blocking (Part 1)

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The other day, my wife Aja Singer and I were having a conversation about being more intentional with our time, especially when it comes to working.

Things Will Be Different

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I remember looking at other people on the street the day after 9/11. Everyone was just so sad. It was a shared moment in time where nothing needed to be said, and all we could muster was a slight nod to acknowledge that what you were feeling, everyone else was feeling, too. It felt like things would never be the same. Yet, it wasn’t very long after before I was on a plane. Sure, I was a bit apprehensive, but slowly it faded away.

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The Achilles Heel of Startup Ecosystems

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Across the world, various economic development organizations, government agencies, and non-profits are putting in admirable and well-intentioned efforts to develop startup ecosystems. They’re building campuses, districts, buildings, spaces, as well as running new educational efforts and contests—basically anything they can think of to foster the growth of new and innovative companies. One thing they’re spending very little time on could wind up being the reason why all of these efforts dry up.

Real talk on fundraising for a small fund

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I don’t really have a particular goal with this post. I’m just sharing. When I started leading deals at First Round Capital, I sourced investments in 8 companies. GroupMe, Singleplatform and Backupify all had really good exits, especially if you’re just looking at the multiples of the pre-seed/seed rounds, which is what I’m focused on now. I found GroupMe at the Techcrunch Disrupt Hackathon.

Pressure Points: How to Ensure Your B2B Pipeline Passes Inspection

This eBook highlights best practices for developing a pipeline management process that helps sales leaders and their team C.L.O.S.E (you’ll see what we mean in this eBook) more revenue through data-driven prospecting, stage analysis, and subsequent sales enablement.

What do you need for a VC to properly evaluate a pitch?

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One of the most difficult conversations I have with founders is when they haven’t quite given me enough of a story for me to make a proper evaluation. A VC’s default is “no”, so without enough information to be convincing, it’s going to wind up being a pass. If I wind up asking for more info, it might result in a founder feeling like they’re getting the runaround, given what the founder believes to be an obviously good idea.

Five Reasons Why We Need a More Progressive Economy for Growth

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Every election cycle, you hear the same thing—Republicans are good for the economy and electing a liberal will tank it. This is especially the case this time around as we’re in the middle of the longest running expansion this country has ever seen—and no one wants the other shoe to drop. There’s a lot of fear that making the wrong choice will mess things up.

Don't Hate the Raise. Hate the Game.

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The other day, I was talking to a highly experienced female professional out raising money. It was super clear to me that she was incredibly qualified to tackle the problems that she was raising money to go after—but few people in the ecosystem knew who she was compared to other, more high profile professionals. There were other people who spend more time on social, doing the podcasts, videos and interviews—things that, while brand building, opened them up to more criticism.

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Money. show me! If you want to change Venture Capital, focus on LPs. #openlp

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There have been a lot of calls for VC firms to make more hires from the Black and Brown community, as well as to hire more women. Not all hires, however, are made equally. In venture, it’s all about getting an opportunity to make partner and being included in the carry—the economic upside of a fund.

Marketing-Led Post-COVID-19 Growth Strategies

Businesses are laying off workers, shutting their doors (some permanently), and struggling to react to the radical destruction that coronavirus (COVID-19) is doing to our society and communities. However, there’s no team better suited to lead that charge than the marketing department.

What's next? How not to fail after the fanfare.

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There’s a lot of excitement going on this weekend—and while many of my readers are undoubtedly excited about a new President, and our first female Vice-President, undoubtedly even more people are just breathing a sigh of relief. No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, you had to be routing for a peaceful end to the election season—or even just an end. We spent a lot of money, effort and emotion on it all, and many are celebrating a win. But what’s next? We see that in the startup world, too.

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Marketing During a Pandemic

This is going to be BIG.

Let’s establish two things right off the bat: One, the Coronavirus Pandemic is a global tragedy that has already cost us far too many lives and create economic devastation. Two, if you are lucky, you are still being paid to do a job—a job that, for founders, marketers and sales teams, means connecting with customers during a terrible health crisis and a recession. What’s a company to do with their marketing?

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Where have you gone, Bill de Blasio?

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Reports of NYC’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Far from becoming a crime-ridden hellscape, NYC’s actual numbers of murders and robberies are on a pace that is not only down from 10 years ago, which was eight years into Mike Bloomberg’s term as Mayor, but they’re almost half as much as they were at the end of the Giuliani administration, when people thought NYC crime had been "cleaned up". Our current coronavirus case counts make us one of the safest cities to be in the entire country.

Too Early is Never the Real Reason

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I see this time and time again—a founder pitches a VC or an angel and they say to come back when there’s more traction. The founder then goes off and raises from friends and family or invests their own savings in the idea in an attempt to come back with a handful of customer or users.

How ZoomInfo Helps Overcome the Top Pain Points of Inside Sales

Recent digital transformation has shifted the B2B landscape by ushering in the era of buyer empowerment. With more access to user reviews, analyst opinion, and industry research, decision-makers are more informed than ever while navigating what is now known as the “buyer’s journey.”

Thriving or Surviving or Diving in Quarantine?

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While we don’t have kids yet, we’re of the age where a lot of our friends do—and the back to school situation is on everyone’s mind. Is your school open? Are you sending them? How did your kids do with distance learning?

Lessons from a Diverse Venture Capital Portfolio

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Brooklyn Bridge Ventures , the pre-seed and seed stage VC fund I run in NYC, has invested in 64 companies in the last six and a half years. Twenty-five of them have at least one female co-founder. Fifteen had co-founders over 40. Five have LGBTQ+ founders. Three teams have African-American founders. Three of the founding teams are married couples. All were backed based on the sole criteria that they had the potential to make my limited partners a lot of money.

Underrepresented Founders and The Discouraging Pass

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One thing I’ve seen from both VCs and LPs over the past week is a hesitation to engage around race discussions. There are some who don’t believe they’ve done anything “wrong” and therefore see the whole thing as a distraction. Others are so uncomfortable with the idea of getting flamed or canceled despite good intentions that they’d rather do the absolute minimum. If you’re a white professional in venture, you might feel uncomfortable tweeting or blogging about race.

How much can you pay yourself as a founder?

This is going to be BIG.

The answer is easier than you thought: Anything you want. No, seriously—that’s the perk of running your own business. You select your salary. Now, if you want to have investors and potentially maximize growth for the company, that’s a different story. Investors are going to want their investment dollars to be going towards growth than going directly into your pocket—but what does that mean for how much you can actually pay yourself.

Marketing Ops: The New Revenue Hero

As data continues to play a starring role in today’s B2B organizations, both marketing and sales operations professionals are poised to solidify their place as critical revenue drivers. In particular, the evolution of the Marketing Operations (Ops) role has created a new standard in marketing and has become a vital component of an organization’s success.

I've Got 14 Billion Problems with Politics and This Ain't One

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$14 billion. That’s how much money was spent across federal and congressional races in 2020 and that’s not even counting local elections. Is it any wonder people are saying they’re tired of politics? Just today, I turned on the radio in the car and heard an add bashing a local politician that I know well. It was full of gloom and doom about New York City—a vision of crime and despair that just doesn’t reflect what’s actually happening here on the ground.

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Should you be working on this startup?

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We’ve all heard the anecdotes—the famous founder who pitched 1000 investors before any of them said yes. That kind of story drives founders to take a “VC’s don’t know anything” approach to their business and trudge on despite legitimate criticisms of the business, often costing themselves tens of thousands of dollars or more of personal savings. So how do you know whether or not something is worth working on?

Thoughts on WeWork

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I got asked by a reporter yesterday what I thought about WeWork’s IPO situation and I’ll summarize what I said here: First off, let’s pull back for a moment and acknowledge that WeWork has built a huge company that generates a ton of value for its members. Real estate was previously a huge headache for small businesses before WeWork made co-working mainstream. I don’t know where its valuation will wind up, but I believe that there is a going concern there that is worth billions of dollars.

Five Tips for Giving a Professional or Technical Talk

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At Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, we put on a lot of events , with many different speakers. Sometimes, the speaker is doing something like this in public for the first time, so I thought I’d take the time to share some of what we’ve learned from the best talks, and what I’ve picked up from doing a lot of public speaking myself. BTW… I’m always happy to come give a talk, join a diverse panel, or do a Q&A with your entrepreneurial or investor group. Just reach out and ask.)

What We Learned From Our Own Data-Driven ABM Strategy

ZoomInfo has created the following eBook to help other B2B organizations gain insights on how to launch their own data-driven ABM strategy. In this eBook, we will reveal the good and the bad from our own campaign and highlight some key takeaways on how to improve your ABM strategies moving forward.

The Potential for Fraud Caused by the Unnecessary Mystery of the Family Office World

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About a year ago, I received a LinkedIn connection from Richard Briggs—a Brooklyn Law Grad who spend 25 successful years at Lehman and was operating his own family office. He knew a bunch of other VCs in NYC and seemed like a great potential Limited Partner connection. There was only one problem. Richard Briggs didn’t exist. No Richard Briggs ever attended Brooklyn Law and none of our mutual connections had ever met him or interacted with him.