2014

How to Kick Start Your Community’s Startup Scene

Both Sides of the Table

I just returned from 3 days in Cincinnati including attending the annual meeting of one of Upfront’s LPs – Cintrifuse.

Setting Kids Up to Fail

This is going to be BIG.

The nature of work is changing--we all know that. You''re required to be a lot more entrepreneurial, which requires you to build your own networks in order to get customers and collaborators, since these functions won''t be under the roof of a big company anymore.

High Performing Virtual Teams Have 8 Key Attributes

Gust

Virtual Team meeting image via Wikimedia blog. Almost every startup is a virtual team these days, since most don’t start out with dedicated office space, and some or all members of the team work part-time or out of their own home.

Accelerators: a recent and positive trend

Berkonomics

Often I see executive summaries from entrepreneurs who have never managed any form of business, or even managed employees in their past life, and who don’t know the first thing about business formation and managing for growth.

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 be an angel investor, Part 3

Venture Hacks

This guest post is by Tyler Willis , an entrepreneur and angel investor. You can learn more about him on AngelList. For several interesting macro-economic reasons [1], more and more people are becoming angel investors. This is a good thing – it allows more investors to participate in a high-growth (but high-risk) area of our economy. That said, investing in private companies is very different from investing in public companies.

Disrupting Finance From Above: Wealthfront

abovethecrowd.com

Many entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley believe that the financial services industry in the United States is “ripe for disruption. ” The basis of this argument is really two fold. First, they believe that the current offerings from the financial incumbents are lacking.

More Trending

Cookin’ Without Gas (It’s Official)

Scratch Paper

Update : Well, it is official. My internal combustion engine car, a trusty companion for the last 14 years, has been sold, and I have a confirmed Vehicle Production Order for a BMW i3.

Uber vs. Le Taxi: The Disrupter and the Disrupted

Fred Destin

Recently I just felt compelled to write a post about French Minister Montebourg and his ridiculous contortions to explain barriers put on innovation under what I termed “ Slow Innovation ”.

Why Has LA Suddenly Gotten So Much Attention from VCs and Entrepreneurs?

Both Sides of the Table

An abbreviated version of this post appeared yesterday on TechCrunch. If you want the full SlideShare deck with many slides not in either post it’s in this link –> The LA Tech Market. “There’s something going on in LA.”

The Case for Optimism and Risk at Startups

Both Sides of the Table

Last week a company we enthusiastically backed, uBeam , led by a very special entrepreneur, 25-year-old Meredith Perry , announced a $10 million round of financing.

What Would Happen if you Built the Reverse of Amazon? It Might Look Something Like This …

Both Sides of the Table

Amazon. It’s the company that evokes fear into more startups and venture capitalists looking to fund eCommerce businesses than any other potential competitor. Every pitch I’ve ever seen has led to the, “Would Amazon eventually do this? And could we then compete?”

Creating Better VCs: An Accelerator for the Dark Side

This is going to be BIG.

These days, there are a ton of options for you if you''re a startup seeking guidence. Every single topic about running a company has been written about ad nauseum, there are incubators, accelorators, mentoring programs, events, talks, etc. We''ve done a lot to make sure startups get all the help we can get--and it''s leading to higher companies getting off the ground. But what about investors? How are we supposed to get better?

10 Incentives For Entrepreneurs To Bootstrap Their Startup

Gust

Image via Pixabay. I’ve always wondered who started the urban myth that the best way to start a company is to come up with a great idea, and then find some professional investors to give you a pot of money to build a company.

And don’t forget creative fund raising.

Berkonomics

Let me tell you the story of how I raised $100,000 to fill a gap needed to purchase a new home for my young family years ago. I had located a beautiful home that would be a stretch to finance, and had arranged for a first mortgage from the bank, and a second from the seller.

5 THINGS YOU CAN DO TODAY TO SAVE MONEY ON DILIGENCE LATER

Fink About It

A company whose board I serve recently decided to accept an offer to be acquired. About one third of the way through the due diligence period, I checked in with legal counsel to see where the legal bill stood and found out that we were already at $200k… whaaaaat?

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On Bubbles …

abovethecrowd.com

Over the past few months, many journalists have begun to ask the question that no one really wants to hear; “Is Silicon Valley in another technology bubble?” It’s a dangerous question to ponder – especially out loud and especially hear at ground zero.

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Using Statements of Work to Accelerate Sales Cycle and Align Sales, Customer Success and Marketing

Tomasz Tunguz

I met a really smart vice president of sales a few weeks ago working in a company with mid-market customer values in the $10-100k per year range. When I asked her about her sales process, she described how her team employs statements of work (SOW), which isn’t something I hear about very frequently in startups, despite the fact they are very powerful sales tools. Statements of work describe the proposed working relationship between a vendor and customer.

Pitch Deck Basics

Scratch Paper

Creating and delivering a great pitch requires both using the right building blocks and putting them together properly. I cover the more advanced topic of crafting an effective deck here , but first you need to understand the building blocks. (If

The Boston Surprise

Fred Destin

Now that I am leaving Boston I can talk about its startup ecosystem in all candor. When I came over 4 years ago , it was essentially as an act of belief in my partner Jeff and in myself. To be frank, I did not expect much.

Please Help Me Congratulate Jordan Hudson as @UpfrontVC’s Newest Investment Principal

Both Sides of the Table

Happy official New Year’s, all. It’s that time of year where we think about new beginnings. And there’s none that makes me happier than to announce that Jordan Hudson has been promoted to a Principal at Upfront Ventures.

Putting Tom Perkins Comments into Context

Both Sides of the Table

Tom Perkins is one of the founding members of the venerable venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins.

How VCs Think About Adding New Partners

Both Sides of the Table

Let me start with the news that I’m excited to share with you. After years of trying to persuade Kara Nortman to become a partner at Upfront Ventures I can officially announce now that she’s joined us effective immediately.

The Business of Who Makes is Changing

This is going to be BIG.

The 1970''s was a boom for minicomputers. Minicomputers were "midrange" machines that were used in all sorts of industrial applications--manufacturing process control, telephone switching and to control laboratory equipment. " In the 1970s, they were the hardware that was used to launch the computer-aided design (CAD) industry ," according to Wikipedia. The first commercial applications of CAD were in large companies in the automotive and aerospace industries, as well as in electronics.

7 Elements Of Inspiration From The Steve Jobs Model

Gust

Quote from Steve Jobs via Flickr. Steve Jobs was one of those entrepreneurs who seemed universally either loved or hated, but not many will argue with his ability to innovate in the technology product arena over the years.

Both sides must be fair in a term sheet negotiation.

Berkonomics

By Basil Peters. After being an active angel investor for about fifteen years, I realized that many of the discussions I was involved in were virtually identical to ones I’d had many times before. A good example was during the negotiation of a term sheet.

Pinpointing Problems Worth Solving (Part Two of Three)

Fink About It

In my last post, I wrote about how many startups fail because they try solving problems no one really has or cares enough about to spend money to solve. I mentioned that while poor execution is responsible for many startup failures, you can’t execute your way out of a bad idea.

HackerOne: A Superior Solution for Solving Web Vulnerabilities

abovethecrowd.com

In early April, Neel Mehta of Google first publicly reported the web vulnerability that we now refer to as the Heartbleed bug. Early analysis suggested that 17% of the servers on the Internet were vulnerable, which represents about half a million unique computers.

The Most Important Investment a Startup Can Make

Tomasz Tunguz

Yesterday, I spoke to a small group of people at Google. By coincidence, the presentation was held in the same building I used to work in, and a wave of nostalgia swept over me. Participating in Google’s speaker series brought back memories of when I was in the audience seven or eight years ago. I’ll never forget the first time I met Paul Graham in that very same room right after the first Startup School.

Why Giant Smartphones are Still the New Normal

Scratch Paper

March 2014: The New York Times reports this week that at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the giant smartphone trend is not only continuing, but accelerating. I was just in a meeting the other day with one of those monsters, and I could barely take my eyes off it it.

Seed to Scale: towards a $30M round for Integral Ad Science

Fred Destin

I hate high capital intensity, yet here I am celebrating a $30 million (thirty) for Integral Ad Science led by the excellent August Capital with my beloved CEO telling Techcrunch "we did not have to raise". So what gives ? The wedge: narrow, but unique. I invested in Integral (f.k.a.

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The Very First Startup Founder You Need to Invest in is You

Both Sides of the Table

This week I wrote about obsessive and competitive founders and how this forms the basis of what I look for when I invest. I had been thinking a lot about this recently because I’m often asked the question of “what I look for in an entrepreneur when I want to invest?”

Why Your Startup is More Likely to Succeed if You’re Authentic and Passionate

Both Sides of the Table

In my Twitter bio is says that I’m “ looking to invest in passionate entrepreneurs ,” which almost sounds like I was just looking for a cliché soundbite to describe myself.

The Audacious Plan to Make Electricity as Easy as WiFi

Both Sides of the Table

When I first met Meredith Perry she was 24. That was three months ago this week. Today I’m handing her the largest A-round check I’ve ever written as a VC as we lead her $10 million A-Round at uBeam.

My Role as a VC: What I am and what I am not.

This is going to be BIG.

There''s been some writing about how VCs and founders interact with each other and it inspired me to take a step back and reflect on what my role is supposed to be with regards to the investments I make and the founders I deal with. Here''s what I came up with. First, I have a fiduciary responsibility to my investors who entrusted me with money in the first place. If I don''t do right by them, then I have no money, no fund, no career, full stop.

Surround Yourself With People Smarter Than You

Gust

Einstein image via Flickr by Sebastian Niedlich. Helpers do what you say, while good help does what you need, without you saying anything. People who can help you the most are actually smarter than you, at least in their domain.

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Don’t be defensive, but defend.

Berkonomics

When meeting with investors, during the period devoted to feedback after your presentation, you will hear comments and recommendations that don’t resonate with you. Some will be from a misunderstanding of your explanation. Some listeners will challenge your assumptions.