2015

Why @UpfrontVC invested in Disruptive Rental Car Startup @Skurt

Both Sides of the Table

Rental cars. I have never met a person who loved their rental car company or the experience of turning up at an airport, waiting in line, paying a huge fee and then dealing with returns, airport shuttle buses and so forth not to mention half-washed and smelly cars.

The Coming Zombie Startup Apocalypse

This is going to be BIG.

Are we in a bubble? And if so, when will it burst? Everyone likes to debate it, and statistically, almost no one gets it right. Not only is it notoriously difficult to time the market, but even if you did, you''d miss out on individual winners.

The Startup Failure Rate Among Angel-Funded Companies

Gust

With all the news about hundred million dollar rounds and billion dollar valuations, it can be hard not to look at the world of entrepreneurship and angel investing as a thrilling ride that only has one stop: success.

The Only 10 Slides You Need in Your Pitch

Guy Kawasaki

I am evangelizing the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint. It’s quite simple: a pitch should have ten slides , last no more than twenty minutes , and contain no font smaller than thirty points.

Startup Investment 101: Investment Rounds Explained

Onevest

By Michael Whitehouse Investment rounds are an essential part of the startup investment journey.

The best advice startups will never follow

Berkonomics

Let me tell you a few short hair-raising stories of entrepreneurs who have raised money and regretted it later. Here are some rules that entrepreneurs almost always ignore to their future peril.

advice 125

In Defense of the Deck

abovethecrowd.com

My partners and I have noticed an interesting trend over the past few years: an increase in the number of entrepreneurs who prefer to pitch us without the use of a presentation deck. On one hand, this is totally understandable.

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What’s Your Story? Pitch Deck Flow

Scratch Paper

Augustin Rafael Reyes. Competent entrepreneurs can explain their company in terms of what the product does. Good entrepreneurs can explain their company in terms of their customer and their market. Funded entrepreneurs can pitch their company in terms that an investor can relate to.

Ycombinator - Where unicorns are born

Don Dodge

Angel investing in tech startups is a gut wrenching and risky business. It sometimes feels like buying $25,000 lottery tickets. Most of them lose, but sometimes you invest in a “unicorn” and make 100 times your money or even more. The MIT Blackjack team figured out how to beat the odds in Las Vegas.

TEL 246: The Four Steps to the Epiphany with Steve Blank

The Entrepreneurs Library

A summary of things you should know about The Four Steps to the Epiphany according to Steve Blank. Introduction (0:34). I am an eight time serial entrepreneur.

How to Know if You Have ADD and What to Do About It

Both Sides of the Table

Let me start the post with three statements.

An Investment Fund for NYC Foodies

This is going to be BIG.

I don't remember whether it was over a meal at Good Fork , Rucola , Martha , or maybe over an Ample Hills ice cream cone, but I've definitely said the words "Wouldn't it be cool if you could setup a way to invest in the growth of the food and beverage scene in Brooklyn--like, the whole thing.

The Market Diversifies: International Innovation Captures Larger Share Of Startup Funding Applications

Gust

In Q3 the global startup ecosystem continued to thrive, with 25% growth over the same quarter last year and up 18% from last quarter, as the innovation economy expands around the world.

Startups: How to Do a Pre-Mortem (and Prevent a Post-Mortem)

Guy Kawasaki

Doctors conduct postmortems to figure why people died. They do this to solve a crime, prevent the death of others, and satisfy curiosity. However, once somebody dies, it’s too late to help him.

Is Startup Investing Right For You?

Onevest

By Tim Houghten Startup investing may be right for the many individuals in the U.S., if it is done well. Why invest in startups offline or online via platforms like 1000 Angels ? What role should startup investing play in your financial plan?

Protect your outlier innovators.

Berkonomics

Here’s one for executives of technology companies, or any company with next generation products in mind.

Uber’s New BHAG: UberPool

abovethecrowd.com

“Can you take me Higher? To a place where blind men see . Can you take me Higher? . To a place with golden streets”. — Creed, Higher.

VC Signalling Risk in Seed Rounds

Fred Destin

CB Insights just published an interesting post about signalling risk i.e. the startup survival risk generated by getting a Tier I VC into the seed round who does not follow their money into the Series A.

My Reddit AMA on Crowd-Funding

Scratch Paper

At the invitation of The Capital Network, I did my first Reddit Ask Me Anything. It was pretty fun. To do an AMA, you hang out for a specified time and anyone on the internet machine can ask you a question. Mine was all about crowd-funding – the new rules, issues, questions, concerns.

Startup Best Practices 18 - Collaborating with Your Customer During Your Sales Process

Tomasz Tunguz

In sales processes, showing a product is always better than talking about a product. Better still is co-customizing the product with the customer during the sales pitch. This customization could be as simple as integrations or changing colors. There’s no better way for customers to understand a product, imagine how it would fit their needs, and become committed to the purchase than customizing their instance during the sales process.

TEL 253: How On Earth with DONNIE MACLURCAN

The Entrepreneurs Library

A summary of things you should know about How On Earth according to DONNIE MACLURCAN. Introduction (0:51). I’m an Australian who moved to the west coast of the US a couple of years ago. I have a background that expands over a few different fields.

Why We Invested in @FerrisApp – A New Kind of Video Sharing App

Both Sides of the Table

We recently released the video sharing app Ferris and announced that Upfront Ventures led the funding in the company in our seed round of $2 million and I personally joined the board.

My Investment in Hungryroot: A Tasty Lesson in Products vs. Services

This is going to be BIG.

Brooklyn Bridge Ventures recently joined Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Crosslink Capital, and KarpReilly in Hungryroot 's $2mm seed round.

Challenges and Rewards for Angel Investors

Gust

One of the most common questions we get is: What are the biggest challenges and rewards of angel investing? High net worth individuals become angel investors for a number of reasons, but the opportunity to work with entrepreneurs and provide guidance to founders is typically high on the list.

How to Pick Advisors

Guy Kawasaki

Once upon a time there were two engineering PhDs who were clueless about how to start a company. All they knew how to do was code.

JOBS Act Title III and Crowdfunding: What We Know So Far

Onevest

By John Lion. Photo credit: Getty Images. Waiting on Title III of the JOBS Act? Join the rest of the nation including equity crowdfunding platforms like 1000 Angels , the private investor network that connects startups with investors, where currently only accredited investors are allowed to invest.

The coffee and wine school of innovation.

Berkonomics

Here’s one for debate around a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Most innovation occurs when creative people are relaxed and thinking about other things. We all can picture the corporate R&D lab with tens of scientists working at white boards, or over computer models, or with prototypes.

Investors Beware: Today’s $100M+ Late-stage Private Rounds Are Very Different from an IPO

abovethecrowd.com

[An edited version of the following blog post originally appeared in a modified form in the pages of the weekend edition of the Financial Times last Saturday. ].

Future of investments in a tech world dominated by Internet giants

Thomas Grota

Recently I had some discussions with investors and founders about the state of investments in tech

Should VCs invest like Charlie Munger?

Unvalidated Learnings

Charlie Munger (and his long-time partner Warren Buffett) seem to stand out as the antithesis of venture capitalists.

The Fastest Growing Areas of Startup Investment in 2015

Tomasz Tunguz

Earlier this week, we examined the trends in the major categories of startup investment including eCommerce, Software, Social Networking and Education. But which lesser known startup sectors are starting to raise venture dollars? Where are founders finding unique opportunities to innovate? Bitcoin is the fastest growing sector followed by photo sharing and physical storage (which includes moving and self storage companies).

TEL 254: The Responsible Business with CAROL SANFORD

The Entrepreneurs Library

A summary of things you should know about The Responsible Business according to CAROL SANFORD. Introduction (0:41).

Here Are the Details About Upfront Ventures’ Newest EIR – @Chamillionaire

Both Sides of the Table

Five-and-a-half years ago I first met Chamillionaire at a tech conference in LA. I saw him on stage at the event talking about how he used social media to engage audiences. This was 2009 and his understanding of audience engagement was far beyond anything I was hearing from most people at that time.

What the heck does a VC do all week anyway?

This is going to be BIG.

I have no idea. I just know what I do--and what I saw partners at other firms I've worked at do. That's one thing you have to realize about venture capital. Every single firm is different.

Why Does Startup Pricing Vary by Location?

Gust

Entrepreneurs seem genuinely surprised to find that investors in Peoria or Little Rock are not willing to invest in startup companies at Silicon Valley prices. After all, they just read in TechCrunch that investors funded a company similar to theirs at an $8 million pre-money valuation!

How to Launch (And Why Scaling Doesn’t Matter)

Guy Kawasaki

In the early days of starting up, the ability to scale is overrated. Scale,” in case you haven’t heard the term, refers to the concept that there are processes in place that are fast, cheap, and repeatable because there will soon be millions of customers who generate billions of dollars of revenue. For example, if Pierre Omidyar had to test every used printer offered for sale, eBay couldn’t scale. If Marc Benioff had to make every sales call, Salesforce.com couldn’t scale.

How Startup Founders Can Better Manage Their Time

Onevest

By Michael Whitehouse. Photo credit: huffpost.com. As we tell our founders at 1000 Angels , the private investor network that connects startups with investors, time management is an important component of any business, but when it comes to launching a startup it is even more critical.