January, 2020

big ideas 2020: a vision for the future of innovation and entrepreneurship

Venture Well

To kick off the new year—and new decade—we’d like to draw attention to four big ideas that will be of great importance in 2020 and in years to come. The post big ideas 2020: a vision for the future of innovation and entrepreneurship appeared first on VentureWell.

Salon Owner Chelle Neff Talks Scaling, Sustainability and Success

Entrepreneurs' Organization

At the start of 2020, Chelle Neff is wrapping up a decade of considerable success, growth and innovation. In addition to developing Urban Betty , a successful salon with two locations, Neff also created an app for stylists , produced a book about homes in Austin, Texas, and even reached the Inc.

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Stack Today, Stack Tomorrow

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Our portfolio company Stack Overflow (which I like to call Stack) is an Internet Treasure. My friend Mark Pincus introduced me to the concept of an Internet Treasure many years ago and I am a fan of the notion. In my view, an Internet Treasure is a service on the Internet that is wide open, gets better when more people use it, and solves a need that many/all of us have. Wikipedia is an Internet Treasure. Quizlet is an Internet Treasure. Reddit is an Internet Treasure.

Remodeling English language education in Costa Rica

Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative

By luck when he was young, Alex Solano took an English language course that would change his life. One inspiring teacher forever changed the way that Alex viewed education, and he received a scholarship to continue taking courses on teaching English.

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.

New Book From Techstars’ General Manager, Claudia Reuter, Encourages Women to “Lean In” By Starting-Up

TechStars

YES, YOU CAN DO THIS! HOW WOMEN START UP, SCALE UP, AND BUILD THE LIFE THEY WANT. YES, YOU CAN DO THIS! IS SET TO BE PUBLISHED BY TECHSTARS PRESS , A PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN TECHSTARS AND WILEY, ON FEBRUARY 19 TH.

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Staging Capital: Angel Follow-on Theory

The Seraf Compass

Most startup companies have a continuous need for funds to help grow the business. You will hear the term “Follow-on” as a frequent catchphrase for this type of investing. For example, it’s common to hear one investor say to another, are you planning on “following-on” in this round?

Living Life in the Background: Meet the Woman Behind the Iron Cowboy

Entrepreneurs' Organization

Sunny Lawrence is the wife of James “The Iron Cowboy” Lawrence. A Guinness World Record holder, James is well known for completing 50 Ironman races in 50 consecutive days, through all 50 US States. He has shared his story in several Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) speaking events.

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What Will Happen In The 2020s

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

It’s 2020. Time to look forward to the decade that is upon us. One of my favorite quotes, attributed to Bill Gates, is that people overestimate what will happen in a year and underestimate what will happen in a decade. This is an important decade for mankind. It is a decade in which we will need to find answers to questions that hang over us like last night’s celebrations.

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For 2020: Consider the Collective Power of 13,000 Startups

GAN

To the 13,000 startups in the GAN Community, thank you. Running a startup is so hard. At every point along the way, it feels like you could go out of business. It seems like there are potential competitors emerging every second. It’s hard to hire and build cultures that last. And it’s hard to continue to build things that the world needs. Still, even for all of the difficulties you encounter every day, you wouldn’t choose to do anything else, would you?

The Startup Funding Gap

This resource discusses the gap between early funding from friends/family and the more substantial rounds from angel groups and VCs. Why does this gap exist and what can be done about it?

The 4 Biggest Money Mistakes Startups Make — and How To Avoid Them

TechStars

Techstars Global Network Partner Pilot provides bookkeeping and tax prep services to startups so that they can focus on their business instead of their books.

Rubber Duckies by Gaetanlee

Paul G. Silva

My thanks to Gaetanlee for making this delightful rubber duckie picture (now the header image for this website) available for all to use! Innovation Accelerator

7 points to help startups write a winning grant application

Venture Well

If you’re planning to apply for a grant, there are several ways to ensure that your grant application stands out from the competition—and receives funding. The post 7 points to help startups write a winning grant application appeared first on VentureWell. Early Stage Innovators E-Team

B2B Game Changers: How to Discover a Distinct Advantage and Become a Market Leader

Entrepreneurs' Organization

Tim Hamilton, an EO member in Austin, is founder and CEO of Praxent , a custom software and web app development firm that has been named for three consecutive years to the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the US, most recently as #2,118 on the 2019 list.

What To Work On

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

My partner Brad likes to ask about the distinction between doing things right and doing the right thing. His observation, which I totally agree with, is that many people and companies do things right but don’t do the right thing. Taking the observation one step further, I have seen that doing the right thing the wrong way can actually result in something important and successful whereas doing the wrong thing the right way rarely does. So that begs the question “what should I work on?”

YC Bio Tour – 2020

Y Combinator

This year, for the first time, we’ll be visiting universities and institutions to meet founders who are focused on building biotech and healthcare companies. Since 2014, YC has funded over 250 bio, healthcare, and life science companies, making us one of the largest seed stage bio/healthcare funders in the world.

Why Every Startup Should Have an Advisory Board

GAN

Running a business isn’t easy. Demands from your team and your clients can fill every minute of every day and it can be hard to prioritize the work that’s actually essential to you and your company. So sometimes, it really can help to get feedback at the right time, from the right people—people who understand the intricacies of your business and who allow you to be incredibly open and honest. For most companies, that means having a board of directors.

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A Weeklong Series: 10 Tech Trends from the Decade That Was … and What Will Be

Revolution

A Weeklong Series: 10 Tech Trends from the Decade That Was … and What Will Be As we kick off 2020?—?both both a new year, and a new decade?—?it it makes sense to take a step back, reflect on what’s happened, and identify some of the trends worth keeping an eye on.

UBI Global Announces New CEO Fredrik Grufvisare

UBI Global

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN – UBI Global, an intelligence company and community founded in 2013 and located in Stockholm, Sweden, announced today that Fredrik Grufvisare has been appointed to the role of CEO.

EO Entrepreneurs Share Strategies for Failure-Proofing Small Business

Entrepreneurs' Organization

The statistics on small business survival are daunting: Only 50 percent of new companies will survive for more than five years in the U.S. marketplace.

The Management Rights Letter

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

A friend asked me over the weekend “why do VCs ask for a management rights letter when they make an investment?” ” A management rights letter is a short agreement between a company and an investor to allow them certain “management rights.” ” These are typically the ability to attend board meetings, the ability to have access to financial reports on a regular basis, and the ability to advise and consult with the management of the company.

Y Combinator Is Hiring a Data Scientist

Y Combinator

YC has one of the most robust data sets on startups in the world, and the admissions team is excited to hire our first data scientist to dig into it. This is a great role for someone who’s inherently curious about our data. You should be experienced enough to know best practices but still excited to get your hands dirty.

Can We Stop Saying “Work Hard, Play Hard”?

GAN

When Reilly—my partner at GAN Ventures—and I are in the final stages of talks with a company we might invest in, we always ask a question to every CEO… How would you describe your company culture to someone who was thinking about joining your team? Somewhere around three-quarters of the time, their response is something to the effect of, “We have a ‘work hard, play hard’ culture.”

#DreamitLive with Ron Gula: Five Slide Pitch Deck

Dream It

In our most recent episode of DreamitLive , Managing Partner Steve Barsh spoke with Ron Gula , President and Co-Founder of Gula Tech Adventures. In the episode, Steve asked Ron about his “five slide pitch deck.”

Impact Investing: Best Reads and Podcasts

The Seraf Compass

Whether you are an experienced impact investor or just starting to explore the space, reading and listening to experts' perspectives can help expand your knowledge and provide new insights.

Experts Share Ways to Recession-Proof Your Business

Entrepreneurs' Organization

Contributed by Bill Lyons, CEO and president of Griffin Funding. Along with the excitement that comes with a new decade, 2020 brings a lot of speculation on the economy, including a focus on what we call recession proofing.

The Crucible Of Leadership

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

Yesterday evening, the Gotham Gal and I went to see Jerry Colonna do a reading from his recent book , Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up. As we were standing around chatting waiting for Jerry to go on and start reading, Jerry mentioned that he once wrote a guest post for AVC. So I went back and read it this morning. It is great and I am reposting it for all of you to read this morning.

Australia is burning: A simple guide of what is happening and how you can help

Impact Hub

What is happening in Australia? Australia is battling extreme bushfires and the Climate Crisis is making the season longer and more dangerous.

The VC Industry Norms Which Changed Over The Past Decade

Haystack

Having spent time around and then in the world of VC in the Bay Area during the last decade, I’ve been reflecting on how different norms in the industry have changed. At the start of 2010, there was some unwritten VC industry conventions that have been tested, challenged, and upended in the last decade. I also want to be clear that there are other things that should (hopefully) change in the VC industry. That is for another post.

ESHIP Communities Ecosystem Builder: Dan Smith

Forward Cities

This interview is part of the “Ecosystem Builders” series. More information about the ESHIP Communities program can be found here. Q: What is something that’s happening in KC right now that you are excited about?

Top Early Stage Investing Articles of 2019

The Seraf Compass

We have an annual tradition of bringing you the best early stage investing articles of the year, handpicked by our Co-Founders Hambleton Lord and Christopher Mirabile. Here are a few of our favorite, most interesting and informative pieces we read in 2019, in no particular order.

The Value of Letting Go to Gain Perspective

Entrepreneurs' Organization

Adrienne Palmer, an Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) member in Dallas, Texas, embodies the qualities that make EO entrepreneurs truly special.

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Marketing

A VC: Musings of a VC in NYC

I used this title for possibly the most regrettable blog post I have written on AVC back in 2011. My friend Alex’s post on the topic this weekend has made me revisit my thoughts on the subject of marketing. Alex starts off his post with this assertion: 2019 was the year when VCs and startup founders soured on paid acquisition. I am not sure if that is true, but if it is, it suggests a dramatic change in the startup playbook.