2017

What Happens When Startups Turn from Their Innovation Stage to Operational Excellence?

Both Sides of the Table

Nearly every successful tech startup I’ve observed over the past 20 years has gone through a similar growth pattern: Innovate, systematize then scale operations.

I hate MVPs. So do your customers. Make it SLC instead.

A Smart Bear

Product teams have been repeating the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) mantra for a decade now, without re-evaluating whether it’s the right way to maximize learning while pleasing the customer. Well, it’s not the best system. It’s selfish and it hurts customers.

A Call to Brains: Can We Mobilize Education Like Manufacturing in WWII?

This is going to be BIG.

"In May 1940, Franklin D. Roosevelt called for the production of 185,000 aeroplanes, 120,000 tanks, 55,000 anti-aircraft guns and 18 million tons of merchant shipping in two years. Adolf Hitler was told by his advisors that this was American propaganda; in 1939, annual aircraft production for the US military was less than 3,000 planes.

Working From Home Can Be A Productive Perk, But It's Best Done With Some Rules

FundersClub

Most offices, whether at a big company or at a startup, allow employees to work at home from time to time. It's not exactly a perk, but it does allow people to better manage work and their lives, as neither of those things adhere to perfect forms of time or place.

What happens when you take 12 investors to Silicon Valley?

Startup Catalyst

In November 2017 we delivered our first Investor Mission, heading to San Francisco for an intensive week meeting with angels, VCs, corporate venture programs, accelerators, startups, pitch events, and dinners.

Will tech kill your job?

Berkonomics

Close. Stop me if you’ve heard this story before. “My My job as a (newspaper publisher telephone installer, stockbroker, travel agent, retail store manager) is safe as this economy continues to grow.” Thought so. We are in a decade of creative destruction that will affect most everybody.

Med Tech startup gel-e has developed revolutionary technology that can almost instantaneously stop…

propel(x)

Med Tech startup gel-e has developed revolutionary technology that can almost instantaneously stop bleeding, even for severe wounds Stephen Hawking had good reason to call gel-e “a top innovative product of this decade.”

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Thinking of Home: Dickinson, Texas

abovethecrowd.com

For those of you who have moved away from the town where you grew up, the few times that you see your hometown in the national news creates an enormous sense of pride.

Can a culture of entrepreneurship be created?

Carol Lauffer

Can you really create a culture of entrepreneurship, or must it occur organically? Can it be intentional? Here in Silicon Valley the culture of entrepreneurship permeates just about everything. Entrepreneurs are celebrated. Failure is recognized as part of the process. Almost everyone knows someone who either started a company, or worked in an early stage company. In other communities, the strategy must be more intentional.

Beyond VC: Funding Options for Early-Stage Startups

Gust

It’s that time of year when we’re all staring down the end of the December, wondering where the months have gone. This is also the time when a lot of entrepreneurs wrestle with their plans for the next year, asking themselves: Where should I bet big? Are the growth targets right? How am I going to pay for all these. Read more >. The post Beyond VC: Funding Options for Early-Stage Startups appeared first on The Gust Blog

Understanding What’s Going on in #LATech

Both Sides of the Table

Upfront Ventures was created 20 years ago as one of the original VC funds in Los Angeles. Back then only 15% of our dollars were invested locally whereas today 50% of our dollars are invested in LA.

You can have two Big Things, but not three

A Smart Bear

Forget work/life integration for a minute. How much time do you have, regardless of partitioning? From your 24-hour daily allotment, the 1950s-style break-down is 8 hours for work, 8 for home and commute, and 8 for sleep and ablutions.

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Introducing Petal, Providing Access to Credit to Thin File Consumers

This is going to be BIG.

One of the biggest fears about the future of data is that everyone will turn into a number--that algorithms will turn everyone's personal experience into a single score that will decide whether or not you get what you want, a job, a house, a car, financing for a new business etc.

Silicon Valley is a surprisingly clubby ecosystem: FC's Alex Mittal

FundersClub

Being an effective founder means questioning current paradigms, asking ‘Is there a better way to do this—and am I the person to do it?’ ’ It’s that line of thinking that leads people to create disruptive companies, to solve problems that were thought to be intractable.

Israel Mission day 5 summary

Startup Catalyst

Does your business need money? Read this!

Berkonomics

The subject of raising money is critical to many businesses and a passing option to others, depending upon the capital efficiency of the enterprise.

3 Reasons Top Startup Investors Want More IP in Their Portfolios

propel(x)

And why it is considered one of a startups most important assets. IP as one of a company’s most important assets. Everyone hears that IP is one of a company’s most important assets, and for many companies in today’s technological landscape, a crucial one.

What’s your VC tech stack? Results from a survey of early-stage VC funds

David Teten - VC

(written by Philipp von dem Knesebeck , Managing Partner, Blue Future Partners (bluefp.com, @bluefutureteam ), and David Teten ). VCs are at the forefront of technological disruption, funding many of the latest cutting edge productivity tools.

“Customer First” Healthcare

abovethecrowd.com

The subject of the “consumerization of healthcare” has been around for many years.

The Software Startup Sectors Raising the Most Capital in 2017

Tomasz Tunguz

Over the last seven years, software startup investing has changed quite a bit. In 2010, classic SaaS was booming, the benefits of a subscription model were finally becoming clear to the public markets and the mass-market. Since then, many other types of software businesses have been created in new categories like agriculture technology and robotics. Which of these markets are growing the fastest for investment dollars?

Helping entrepreneurs to commercialize technology

Carol Lauffer

Accelerators and incubators can be very effective at helping entrepreneurs to commercialize technology. It starts with having the right process. Assessment is the first step. Then, targeted assistance must be provided over a period of time that may last 3 months or a year. Accelerators and incubators are a natural fit for this process.

The Case For & Against Cryptocurrencies (for those tired of all the noise)

Both Sides of the Table

In more than a decade of writing about the Internet and tech-enabled businesses I’ve learned that mobs don’t do nuance well.

Brittleness comes from “One Thing”

A Smart Bear

We’re tired of hearing how small software companies usually fail. The data show that the two most common causes are: (1) Product isn’t useful to enough people, and (2) Problems with the team.

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Some Rules for Fundraising

This is going to be BIG.

Fundraising sucks. No one likes it. Founders don't start companies so they can spend half their time asking people for money and VCs don't love the dance either. However, it's a necessary animal, so the least everyone can do is act professionally, and most of all value each other's time. That's what I'm most frustrated by--the lack of respect for other people's time.

Keeping Engineers Engaged And Happy Is Critical - Here's How To Do It

FundersClub

Christopher Steiner is the founder of ZRankings , and Aisle50, YCS11, which was acquired by Groupon in 2015. In the history of the U.S. economy, particular classes of workers rarely have had a run so prodigious and extended as the current ride that engineers and developers find themselves on.

What Belongs in a Startup’s Pitch Deck?

Gust

So you’ve developed a game-changing product, formed a business with a killer team, quit your job, and are rolling the product out to market. Your business is the next unicorn, and all is good in the world. Fantastic. Now only one thing is inhibiting your company’s growth: you have no money. For many founders of high-growth startups, bootstrapping has limits. Read more >. The post What Belongs in a Startup’s Pitch Deck? appeared first on The Gust Blog.

Avoid the race to zero…

Berkonomics

When do you sell your company? Obviously we all want to sell at the top. And there is the problem. How do you know when you are at or near that right point to sell for maximum value?

The True Potential of Cleantech: An Interview with Jason Holt

propel(x)

The Cleantech industry is at the vanguard of confronting some of the most important challenges of our time. From energy storage to waste management, clean technologies are transforming the way we interact with our environment.

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Sustainability will eat the World

Thomas Grota

I always get asked as many other investors: “what’s the next big thing to invest in…?” The standard. sustainability investments future private equity venture capital nature enviromental

Benchmark’s New General Partner Sarah Tavel

abovethecrowd.com

The partners at Benchmark are excited to announce that Sarah Tavel has joined the firm as our newest General Partner. We define ourselves by a love for the craft of early stage investing, and Sarah’s career-long desire and commitment to be one of the world’s great venture capitalists make her an ideal addition to a Benchmark team. About a year ago, we asked our venture partner Scott Belsky who he thought had the greatest potential to become one of the best investors of the next decade.

Announcing our Investment in Chorus

Tomasz Tunguz

Advances in machine learning are transforming the software world. Two of the most exciting applications of machine learning are speech recognition and natural language processing. After researching the space for more than a year, we are thrilled to announce our investment in and partnership with Chorus , a pioneer in speech analysis for sales.

Access is critical for women entrepreneurs

Carol Lauffer

Access is the biggest barrier to the success of women-led growth companies. One particular challenge is access to equity capital. The statistics show that women-led companies raise far less equity capital than their male counterparts. As a matter of fact, male-founded firms raise capital at a rate of 4 to 1 compared to female-founded firms.

Why the Former President of Nickelodeon Joined mitú as CEO.

Both Sides of the Table

Why the Former President of Nickelodeon Joined mitú as CEO.

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The fundamental lesson of the forces governing scaling startups

A Smart Bear

Idealistic founders believe they will break the mold when they scale, and not turn into a “typical big company.”

The Feminine Will Save Us

This is going to be BIG.

I just spent a weekend at a professional development retreat for venture investors. It wasn't about how to be better price negotiators or about tactics for getting dealflow. It was about investors trying to be better people. On that journey, there was honesty, and with honesty came pain, and eventually, acceptance. People cried. They asked for help and depended on each other for strength.

FundersClub Weekly Newsletter - June 15, 2017

FundersClub

FundersClub Portfolio News. Jerrod Engelberg of FundersClub hosted a Q&A on FC Live with Brayton Williams of Boost VC , and the full video can now be watched here: Q&A with Brayton Williams of Boost VC — FundersClub Live Series.

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Enhancing the Co-founder Equity Split Conversation

Gust

Today we’re proud to release an updated Co-founder Equity Split tool. We released the first version back in November to help startup founders divide the ownership of their startup fairly and rationally among their team.