Venture Capital

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  • The Pro-Rata Opportunity

    AVC » VC & Technology
    Fred Wilson
    23 Jul 2014 | 10:44 pm
    Mark Suster has a good (and long as is his wont) post up on the topic of the changing structure of the VC business. Mark focuses on something important that is probably not getting talked enough about when people talk about the VC business these days. I like this slide from his post: “Capturing pro-rata” is sooooo important in early stage venture. You make 20 investments in a fund. One is going to return the entire fund. Two more are going to return it again. A few more are going to have strong outcomes and return it again. The rest are noise when it comes to fund returns (but you…
  • Be Careful What You Get Good At

    Venture Chronicles
    Jeff Nolan
    10 Jul 2014 | 9:45 am
    I just finished watching True Detective, which by any measure is an impressive piece of work. There is a scene in one of the final episodes really struck a chord with me. Cohle: Life’s barely long enough to get good at one thing. Hart: If that long. Cohle: Yeah, so be careful what you get good at. Do you ever feel like you are trapped in the thing you do for a living? There’s a lot of things we take for granted in the tech industry but that privilege does come at a price, which is that career mobility suffers. I honestly don’t know where I could do what I am good at if not…
  • On Getting An Outside Lead

    AVC » VC & Technology
    Fred Wilson
    28 Jul 2014 | 4:09 am
    There are some “truths” in the venture capital business that I have been hearing since I got into this game in the mid 80s. One of them is that getting “third party validation” by going outside of the current investor syndicate to find a new lead is good for the investors. I have come to believe this “wisdom” is nothing more than lack of conviction on the investor’s part. What “super powers” do VCs have that allow them produce above average returns year after year after year? Well you could argue that some of us have the ability to see…
  • The Changing Structure of the VC Industry

    Both Sides of the Table
    Mark Suster
    23 Jul 2014 | 12:23 am
    There has been much discussion in the past few years of the changing structure of the venture capital industry. On the surface the narratives have been The rise of “micro VCs” or seed-stage funds The rise of alternative sources of capital (crowd funding and the like) The poor performance of the asset class (this analysis has largely been wrong as I pointed out here –> most analyses were clumsy rear-view mirror looks at the data) We are in a bubble (with so many private $1bn+ valuations) 15 years ago we were at the peak of Internet hype with the launch of many…
  • A Great Discussion with @skupor @davemcclure @msuster on Changes in the VC Industry

    Both Sides of the Table
    Mark Suster
    27 Jul 2014 | 9:06 am
    I recently attended and presented at Dave McClure’s PreMoney conference in San Francisco. I go every year because I love events hosted & moderated by insiders involving discussions by insiders because it maximizes the amount of real discussions people have. What you’ll see if you watch the video is an unscripted and unfiltered look into how Scott Kupor & I see some of the changes and challenges of the venture industry. tl;dr version Scott and I agree on nearly everything: The VC structure is changing and there appears to be a bifurcation into small & large VCs with an…
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  • Exchange Corp. Launches Cardless Payment Service With $3.3 Million Series A

    Jonathan Shieber
    29 Jul 2014 | 12:31 pm
     The Japanese startup Exchange Corp. has launched a new up-front payment service for online retailers called Paidy as it closes on $3.3 million in new financing. Launched by Russell Cummer, a former trader with Goldman Sachs in Japan, Exchange Corp. began as a peer-to-peer lending service in Tokyo, but is expanding to offer up-front payments as the market for those services begins to blossom… Read More
  • Talk Private To Me: Free, Worldwide, Encrypted Voice Calls With Signal For iPhone

    Jon Evans
    29 Jul 2014 | 12:18 pm
     Rejoice, O lovers of privacy! For Open WhisperSystems has released Signal for iPhone, which gives any and every iPhone wielder the power to fully encrypt their calls against prying ears — and is completely compatible with OWS’s time-tested and well-liked RedPhone for Android. Read More
  • Microsoft Updates OneNote For Apple Products

    Alex Wilhelm
    29 Jul 2014 | 11:34 am
     Microsoft debuted a number of changes to OneNote for Apple products — iPad, iPhone, and Mac — today that broaden the functionality of the note-taking tool. Users of OneNote for Mac can now connect to OneDrive for Business accounts. Across all three devices, OneNote users can now add files to their ‘notebooks.’ On iPad and iPhone, users will be able to insert files sent… Read More
  • Backed By Tencent And Felicis, Scaled Inference Wants To Be The Google Brain For Everyone

    Ingrid Lunden
    29 Jul 2014 | 11:24 am
     Google Brain, an artificial intelligence and machine learning project at Google, has been used to power services like Android’s speech recognition system and photo search on Google+. Now, two of the most longstanding machine learning engineers, one of whom worked on Google Brain, have left the search giant to start a new company. The idea: to build machine learning, artificial… Read More
  • Tech Companies Throw Their Support Behind Strengthened NSA Reform Bill

    Alex Wilhelm,Cat Zakrzewski
    29 Jul 2014 | 11:15 am
     As expected, Sen. Patrick Leahy introduced the USA FREEDOM Act to the upper chamber of Congress on Tuesday. The bill comes on the heels of a similar, weaker measure passed in the House that was widely condemned as denatured and passed by brute force. “If enacted, this bill would represent the most significant reform of government surveillance authorities since Congress passed the USA… Read More
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    Both Sides of the Table

  • A Great Discussion with @skupor @davemcclure @msuster on Changes in the VC Industry

    Mark Suster
    27 Jul 2014 | 9:06 am
    I recently attended and presented at Dave McClure’s PreMoney conference in San Francisco. I go every year because I love events hosted & moderated by insiders involving discussions by insiders because it maximizes the amount of real discussions people have. What you’ll see if you watch the video is an unscripted and unfiltered look into how Scott Kupor & I see some of the changes and challenges of the venture industry. tl;dr version Scott and I agree on nearly everything: The VC structure is changing and there appears to be a bifurcation into small & large VCs with an…
  • The Changing Structure of the VC Industry

    Mark Suster
    23 Jul 2014 | 12:23 am
    There has been much discussion in the past few years of the changing structure of the venture capital industry. On the surface the narratives have been The rise of “micro VCs” or seed-stage funds The rise of alternative sources of capital (crowd funding and the like) The poor performance of the asset class (this analysis has largely been wrong as I pointed out here –> most analyses were clumsy rear-view mirror looks at the data) We are in a bubble (with so many private $1bn+ valuations) 15 years ago we were at the peak of Internet hype with the launch of many…
  • Here’s Why a Booming Tech Market May Fool You into Thinking You’re Successful

    Mark Suster
    21 Jul 2014 | 8:46 pm
    Since 2009 we’ve been in an unequivocal bull market. Venture capitalists have raised increasing amounts of money from their investors (LPs) every year. An impressive number of new VCs have been created – most of them with new seed funds. We’ve had an explosion of alternate sources of financing from crowd-sourcing, angels, accelerators, incubators, corporates, corporate incubators.  And importantly we’ve had revenue. Consumers buying through smart phones, travelers using the new, shared economy and businesses replacing old software with modern cloud-based solutions.
  • Joe Perez, Founder of @tastemade, On What Makes a Great Product Manager & More

    Mark Suster
    30 Jun 2014 | 5:44 pm
    Update: Bothsides TV is now available on iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher, or any RSS podcast player you use, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube. I also added a little Soundcloud widget on the sidebar (if you’re viewing on web – not on mobile or  RSS reader) that you can listen to each episode with. In the most recent episode, I interviewed Joe Perez, Founder of Tastemade. If you don’t know Joe, you should. He has a long career in developing products and companies (such as Pogo, Excite@Home, Demand Media, The Daily Plate and now TasteMade) discussed much about his…
  • Want to Know What Marc Andreessen’s Magic on Twitter is? Hint: It’s Not Tweetstorming

    Mark Suster
    29 Jun 2014 | 5:50 pm
    By now almost everybody knows that Marc Andreessen has taken Twitter by storm. By Tweetstorm, that is. Marc seems to single handedly have changed all conventions in Tweeting by dropping 7-10 rapid Tweets in a related stream-of-consciousness labeling each Tweet with a number and a slash before it. Fred Wilson wrote a Tweetstorm and then did a blog post on the topic. I’ll address his questions at the end of this post. While Fred’s post makes sense, I honestly think Tweetstorming isn’t Marc’s real magic on Twitter. So I’d like to weigh in with what I believe is.
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  • Whoa! Flipkart raises a massive $1B funding round!

    29 Jul 2014 | 9:00 am
    Flipkart's round comes in second only to Uber's $1.2 billion in JuneThere's a lot of money that changes hand in the tech world, as companies pay billions of dollars on acquisitions all the time, but it is very rare for a company to raise that much money from venture capitalists. It's something that almost never happens, if ever. Now it has happened twice in two months. Flipkart, India's largest e-commerce company, has raised an absolutely massive $1 billion funding round, the company revealed on Twitter on Tuesday.  Massive milestone for us... we have raised $1 billion in fresh…
  • Say goodbye to in-app messaging on Facebook

    29 Jul 2014 | 12:00 am
    Facebook is decoupling the service, and making users download the separate Messenger app After Facebook's attempt to take over Android phones with Home earlier this year failed, the company took a different track to, pretty much, get to same place: it has been expanding its presence on mobile through a series of stand-alone apps, including Instagram, Paper, Slingshot and Messenger. The idea being that Facebook will, essentially, take over all aspects of your phone, from picture taking, to instant messaging. Of course, that doesn't really work if those services are bundled inside the main app,…
  • Entrepreneur and Investor Talks - Envisioning a vibrant tech ecosystem in Oakland

    28 Jul 2014 | 4:26 pm
    As the tech money flows in, how can Oaklanders optimize it for good?At Vator Splash Oakland, one of the themes was how the city, its residents and businesses, could leverage the opportunities created by the emerging tech ecosystem. It's an exciting time for Oakland as an increasing number of entrepreneurs set up shop, successful companies such as Sungevity create jobs, and local Bay Area startups, like TubeMogul reach IPO exits. Learning from what has happened in neighboring cities like San Francisco (sky-high rents displacing residents as the nouveau riche move in), Oakland can be smarter…
  • Zillow buys Trulia for $3.5B in mega real estate deal

    28 Jul 2014 | 2:45 pm
    Trulia will continue to operate under Zillow umbrella, with CEO Pete Flint staying at the helmIn what can only be described as a "mega-deal," two of the biggest online real estate marketplaces have decided to join forces to create one huge company.  Trulia is going to become part of Zillow, it was revealed in a press release on Monday. The deal is going to be worth $3.5 billion, in an all stock deal. The price is actually 25% more than the $56.35 of Trulia's closing stock price on July 25. Under the acquisition, the Trulia brand will remain as a separate entity under the…
  • EU Commission gives thumbs up on Apple's Beats deal

    28 Jul 2014 | 2:13 pm
    Beats Music does not even operate in Europe, and there is plenty of competition in headphone salesAs with any deal of such a size, Apple's $3 billion deal to buy Beats Electronics, which is known for its line of headphones, along with its music streaming service Beats Music, is going to have to go through a big process to make sure that it does not do anything to drown out competition. The has now deal cleared one hurdle, as the European Commission gave the deal the go-ahead on Monday, saying that it had no reason to fear that such a merger would be a problem for others in…
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  • Twitter just doubled its revenues

    Mark Sullivan
    29 Jul 2014 | 1:28 pm
    Image Credit: TwitterNOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is a week away! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last. Before Twitter announced earnings today, investors were still buzzing from Facebook’s stellar earnings report. But the numbers Twitter announced today, especially the advertising revenue numbers, are likely to get investors feeling good about the micro blogging company once again. Twitter reported earnings per…
  • Former Hulu boss’ new startup ‘Vessel’ is going after YouTube’s top talent

    Tom Cheredar
    29 Jul 2014 | 1:20 pm
    Image Credit: VesselNOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is a week away! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last. More details have emerged about the new video startup Vessel from founder and former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar — specifically, how the company’s business model might make YouTube sweat. Vessel is apparently targeting top content partners currently uploading their work to premium YouTube channels, according to a new…
  • Fashion startup ThredUp raises $23M to put a hurt on Poshmark & Threadflip

    Jordan Novet
    29 Jul 2014 | 1:18 pm
    Image Credit: Screen shotThredUp, a startup that has built an online spin on a consignment store, has just raised $23 million in funding, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The San Francisco-based company, which sells and buys like-new clothing, intends to raise $25 million for this round, according to the document. ThredUp did not respond to VentureBeat’s request for comment. The funding could help ThredUp grab more attention than competitors, which include the better-known Poshmark, Threadflip, and Twice. Previous investors from Highland Capital…
  • Everything you missed from BlackBerry’s Security Summit: A lost company finds a path

    Devindra Hardawar
    29 Jul 2014 | 1:14 pm
    Above: A lineup of BlackBerry's execs: Enterprise head John Sims; BB10 OS head Charles Egan; QNX head Dan Dodge; Secusmart CEO Hans-Christoph Quelle Image Credit: Devindra Hardawar/VentureBeatNOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is a week away! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last. NEW YORK — If Microsoft’s recurring mantra during the Ballmer era was “Developers, developers, developers!”, BlackBerry’s current…
  • Rackspace president: Amazon whupped us. But now we’ve got a plan

    Jordan Novet
    29 Jul 2014 | 1:01 pm
    Above: Rackspace's new "managed cloud" branding was all over company marketing materials at Rackspace's Solve conference in San Francisco on July 28.Image Credit: Jordan Novet/VentureBeatNOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is a week away! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last. Taylor Rhodes wasn’t afraid to say it. For about 18 months, cloud and hosting provider Rackspace stumbled, after doing well on public markets for four…
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    AVC » VC & Technology

  • On Getting An Outside Lead

    Fred Wilson
    28 Jul 2014 | 4:09 am
    There are some “truths” in the venture capital business that I have been hearing since I got into this game in the mid 80s. One of them is that getting “third party validation” by going outside of the current investor syndicate to find a new lead is good for the investors. I have come to believe this “wisdom” is nothing more than lack of conviction on the investor’s part. What “super powers” do VCs have that allow them produce above average returns year after year after year? Well you could argue that some of us have the ability to see…
  • The Pro-Rata Opportunity

    Fred Wilson
    23 Jul 2014 | 10:44 pm
    Mark Suster has a good (and long as is his wont) post up on the topic of the changing structure of the VC business. Mark focuses on something important that is probably not getting talked enough about when people talk about the VC business these days. I like this slide from his post: “Capturing pro-rata” is sooooo important in early stage venture. You make 20 investments in a fund. One is going to return the entire fund. Two more are going to return it again. A few more are going to have strong outcomes and return it again. The rest are noise when it comes to fund returns (but you…
  • Platform Monopolies

    Fred Wilson
    13 Jul 2014 | 7:08 am
    There’s an article in the NY Times Sunday Business Section today that lays out a very important question we have all been dancing around but will increasingly be dealing with. The article is nominally about Amazon’s fight with Hachette but it is really about internet platforms and monopolies. The author of the NY Times piece tells the story of Vincent Zandri, an author of mystery and suspense novels, who has moved all of his publishing activities over to Amazon’s platform and is enjoying the benefits of doing that. This could easily have been the story of the journalist who…
  • Silicon Valley: A Place Or A State Of Mind?

    Fred Wilson
    7 Jul 2014 | 6:02 am
    Marc Andreessen, as is his wont, posted a tweetstorm this morning that was a spirited defense of Silicon Valley. It starts with this tweet: 1/One persistent canard from would-be SV critics is “Silicon Valley isn’t building/funding the right things, aka solutions to big problems”. — Marc Andreessen (@pmarca) July 7, 2014 One thing I always think about in reading things like this is the use of the phrase “Silicon Valley” or SV as Marc uses in his tweetstorm. Let’s look at this tweet: 14/Sixth: Anyone who thinks SV can be doing more/better/different, come…
  • Second Video Of The Week: Vinod Khosla interviews Larry and Sergey

    Fred Wilson
    6 Jul 2014 | 3:40 am
    This is so good I decided to go with back to back videos this weekend.
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  • Bloom Energy Lands Utility to Fund “Energy Servers”

    Martin LaMonica
    29 Jul 2014 | 10:53 am
    Martin LaMonica Bloom Energy has found a surprising financial partner—utility Exelon Energy—to fund installation of its walk-in freezer-size fuel cells. The Sunnyvale, CA-based company said on Tuesday that Chicago-based Exelon will provide financing for Bloom’s generators, called “energy servers,” at commercial sites such as office parks. It’s the first time an energy company has provided capital to finance Bloom’s product, and will lead to the company’s biggest round of deployments, according to Bloom. Founded in 2001, Bloom came to fame by appearing on 60…
  • New Leaf CEO: “The Vision Hasn’t Changed” as Payment Tech Heats Up

    Curt Woodward
    29 Jul 2014 | 9:10 am
    Curt Woodward The checkout counter at your neighborhood hangout has become one of the hottest pieces of real estate in technology. Younger companies like Square and Groupon are pushing digital cash registers based on the iPad, and the software that goes along with them. Heavyweights like PayPal, Amazon, and Google are in the mix too, with digital wallet apps and other products aimed at “real world” retail. Meanwhile, legions of startups are hawking payment processing services, custom smartphone payment apps, marketing analytics software, and more. Standing on the other side of this scrum…
  • To Solve Alzheimer’s Mystery, Better Biological Clues Sorely Needed

    Alex Lash
    29 Jul 2014 | 5:45 am
    Alex Lash The other day, I found a video on the website of the Alzheimer’s Association, a nonprofit foundation. It was part of an HBO documentary series produced a few years ago by Maria Shriver to educate the public about Alzheimer’s disease. The first couple minutes showed people going into scanners, doctors gently examining patients, color-contrasted brain scans, that sort of thing: images to let the viewer know that thoughtful science is taking place. Then one of the voices in the voice-over track said, “We are at the brink of controlling one of the major diseases…
  • Accelerator Bags $51M, Makes Long-Awaited Move to NYC

    Ben Fidler
    29 Jul 2014 | 5:35 am
    Ben Fidler Seattle’s Accelerator has talked for a long time about expanding into other relatively untapped life sciences clusters, aiming to offer a helping hand to early-stage biotech entrepreneurs where there aren’t already a bunch of venture capitalists devoted to the task. Today, Accelerator’s finally making that jump. It’s raised a whole bunch of cash and opened up new digs in a place that seems poised to make use of it—New York City. Accelerator today said it’s raised $51.1 million from a big group of industry players and others to close out its latest fund, Accelerator…
  • Is Jibo the Next Roomba, or a Bigger Test for Consumer Robots?

    Gregory T. Huang
    29 Jul 2014 | 4:00 am
    Gregory T. Huang Cynthia Breazeal has been a media darling since her grad-student days at MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Lab. She has worked on “social robots” with expressive faces and names like Kismet and Leonardo. So it’s no surprise that her current startup—and robot, called Jibo—is getting lots of attention. The company’s crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo has netted more than $1.2 million since its launch on July 16. A prototype of the robot (pronounced JEE-bow), featured in a playful demo video, can do things like take family pictures around a table, tell kids…
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    Venture Capital

  • Box, Dropbox rethink future in midst of price war

    26 Jul 2014 | 10:47 am
    Thanks to a price war launched by Google, Amazon and other tech giants, almost anyone with a laptop or tablet can get cloud storage for less than the price of a latte. That means Box and Dropbox, once two of the valley's most promising cloud storage startups, are confronting a precarious and uncertain future.
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    Venture Capital Access Online: Website Updates

  • VCPro Database 2014 ***Newly-Updated***

    9 Jul 2014 | 5:00 pm
    VCPro Database 2014 (17th Edition) Now Available! VCPro Database 2014 (17th Edition) is a downloadable venture capital and private equity directory with complete profiles of over 5,200 venture capital firms worldwide. Compiled by a veteran VC researcher, VCPro Venture Capital Database is available in both Windows and Macintosh formats. (Updated JULY 2014) Click the above link to learn more.
  • vcaDeals

    9 Jul 2014 | 5:00 pm
    vcaDeals is a yearly roundup of the US venture capital deals published on our site's Deals News section. Click the above link to learn more.
  • The 27th Industry Growth Forum

    8 Jul 2014 | 5:00 pm
    The 27th Industry Growth Forum October 28-29, 2014 Click the above link to view this event.
  • Sample Venture Capital Pitch

    8 Jul 2014 | 5:00 pm
    This is a PowerPoint presentation for firms that are looking to begin pitching for angel investment or venture capital. Whether it be venture capitalists, angels or strategic investors, the pitch must follow certain criteria within certain time constraints. This presentation was developed over the course of over 50 pitches to venture capital institutions and angel investors all over the country.  This investment pitch raised over $9 million in venture financing for my company and is used as a template in my consulting practice for other startup companies seeking to raise capital. Click the…
  • Number Of Venture Capital Funds That Raised Capital Hits Seven-Year In Second Quarter

    8 Jul 2014 | 5:00 pm
    NEW YORK, July 9, 2014-- U.S. venture capital firms raised $7.4 billion in new commitments from 78 funds during the second quarter of 2014, a 24 percent increase compared to the number of funds raised during the first quarter of 2014 and a 19 percent decline by dollar commitments, according to Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). The number of funds raised during the second quarter of 2014 increased 42 percent compared to the second quarter of last year and marks the strongest quarter for venture capital fundraising, by number of funds, since the fourth quarter…
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  • Back to the future

    Alok Mittal
    9 Jul 2014 | 10:01 pm
    Last few months have been full of uncertainty and choice. It is rare that life provides us with an opportunity to step back and ask ourselves the all important questions of what makes us happy, and what do we really want to do with ourselves. It is even more rare that it simultaneously provides us with the right context to help us answer those questions. Over past few months, I was offered both, due to circumstances ranging from tragic to serendipitous on personal and professional front. I am glad to share with my friends that my instincts have led me towards attempting to do another startup,…
  • Video Interviewing Technology for Start-ups

    Srikanth Vasuraj
    12 Jun 2014 | 9:51 pm
    One of the biggest challenges facing start-ups is getting the right talent. Or rather, in attracting the right talent. There is no dearth of talent in the market, but getting the right people to join your fledgling organization is a problem that most start-ups face. Why? Very few people want to join an ‘unknown’ entity. One other problem plaguing the technology world is ‘resume fraud’. Candidates hype their resume, a more skilled person writes the test, telephonic interviews are taken by someone else to get a better rating and more often than not the fraud is discovered only when you…
  • Mary Meeker’s 2014 Internet Trends report

    Udhay Shankar N
    28 May 2014 | 10:27 am
    Mary Meeker (who now does growth stage deals for Kleiner Perkins) has released the 2014 edition of her annual Internet Trends report. Lots to read and digest here. KPCB Internet trends 2014 from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
  • Introducing In50hrs Healthcare Edition

    Vijay Anand
    14 May 2014 | 2:50 am
    Chennai is the Healthcare Capital of India; That’s a fact. Healthcare and Education are also the two areas that stand to be disrupted in the hands of an entrepreneur in this country and Globally. Yet, time and time again, We witness entrepreneurs building solutions that have no relevance to any of the pressing needs of those in the healthcare ecosystem  - be it hospitals, clinics, doctors, physicians, administrators or those who perform the operational tasks of these institutions. We decided to turn this on its head, and bring the two stakeholders together, give those interested to…
  • Lead Nurturing Strategies for Start-ups

    Srikanth Vasuraj
    18 Apr 2014 | 9:18 pm
    This is the most critical and heart-breaking part of acquiring customers. It can sap even the most persistent. But there is no alternative if you want to convert your qualified lead to an invoice. In the first place, consider yourself lucky you have a set of qualified leads. Most start-ups do not enjoy that luxury. Now it’s only about how you grab this opportunity with both hands and push and prod them to a decision. Having said that let me tell you there is no ‘best’ or ‘sure fire’ way of nurturing leads. You have to feel your way through. But remember, whatever you do be…
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    Seeing Both Sides

  • Recurring Revenue is Magic

    21 Jul 2014 | 4:03 am
    In 1998, Yom Kippur fell on September 30th. For most of the Jewish community, the date of the most important holiday of the year was no different than in other years. For me and my Jewish CEO boss, though, as officers of a public software company, September 30 was a tough day to be out of the office, sitting in synagogue atoning for a year full of sins. It was the last day of the third quarter of the year and we had more deals we needed to close to finish the quarter strong and report numbers to Wall Street that justified our high-flying profile as a recently public Internet commerce software…
  • Getting Introductions to Investors - The Ranking Algorithm

    12 Jun 2014 | 4:31 am
    My friend, Ed Zimmerman, wrote a terrific post for his WSJ blog - "Help Me Help You" - on soliciting him (and others like him) for investor introductions. I wanted to add to Ed's post and observe that not all introductions are created equal.  The source of the introduction matters a lot.  As a result, when the introduction comes in to the investor, judgment is applied based on the source.  Most investors apply a simple ranking algorithm against introductions which determines how they react to them in terms of prioritizing their time and the seriousness with which they…
  • What my Harvard MBA did NOT teach me

    20 May 2014 | 4:29 am
    It is graduation season at colleges and universities around the world.  This time of year brings stirring commencement speeches from famous (and sometimes controversial) leaders and thoughtful reflections from students on the considerable time and money they spent in academia. Two of our students at Harvard Business School wrote a beautiful blog post, with some great visual data, about what they did NOT learn at Harvard that I thought was worth sharing.  The post was written by Ben Faw (a West Point and Ranger School Graduate who worked at Tesla and LinkedIn) and Momchil Filev (a Stanford…
  • Cultural Dysfunction: The Lack of Women in VC

    14 May 2014 | 6:06 am
    The trade association for the venture capital industry, the NVCA, gathered yesterday in San Francisco to talk about the state of the industry and some of the key policy issues we are facing.  The short list is an obvious one for anyone who has been reading the news lately:  Net Neutrality, Immigration Reform and Patent Reform are all hot topics in our industry.  More inward-looking topics like the rise of corporate VC and new emerging managers also were batted about. But one panel stood out for me yesterday, and not just because I was on it:  "Women in VC".  Maria Cirino of 406…
  • Hacking Education – Fracking Education

    8 May 2014 | 8:01 am
    (today's blog post was co-authored with my partner, Matt Witheiler, with contributions from our colleague, Caitlin Strandberg). When we make an investment decision at Flybridge, it is typically because of the intersection of two forces:  (1) a top-down thesis about a compelling market opportunity; and (2) a bottoms-up discovery of a compelling team that is pursuing something that rhymes with our top-down thesis.  We are not unique here, but we try to apply a fair amount of rigor to the process so that when we interact with entrepreneurs in our target market sectors, we can demonstrate…
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    PE Hub Blog

  • Coub collects $2.5 mln

    Iris Dorbian
    29 Jul 2014 | 9:48 am
    Russian startup Coub has raised $2.5 funding in a round led by Vaizra Investments Fund, a source at the company confirmed. Coub is a platform that lets users create, edit and embed video clips.
  • ECP to acquire Wheelabrator from Waste Management for $1.94 bln

    Iris Dorbian
    29 Jul 2014 | 9:38 am
    Energy Capital Partners has agreed to buy Wheelabrator Technologies from Waste Management for $1.94 billion in cash. The transaction, which requires approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is expected to be completed later this year. Based in Hampton, New Hampshire, WTI owns or operates 17 waste-to-energy facilities that provide waste disposal. It also runs four power plants. Last year WTI’s total revenue was about $845 million. As a result of the transaction, Waste Management is divesting its ownership in WTI. But according to a source at ECP, WTI and Waste Management…
  • Bain Capital to sell just under half of Japan telemarketer Bellsystem24 to Itochu-Reuters

    Reuters News
    29 Jul 2014 | 9:31 am
    (Reuters) – U.S. buyout firm Bain Capital has agreed to sell a 49.9 percent stake in Japanese telemarketing firm Bellsystem24 Holdings to Tokyo-based trading house Itochu Corp, the parties said in separate statements without disclosing the value of the deal. Bain Capital will retain a 50.1 percent stake in Bellsystem24, which it bought from Citigroup Inc in 2009 for about $1 billion. The Nikkei business daily reported earlier on Tuesday that Itochu would put up about 30 billion yen ($294 million) initially and take out loans from its banks to make further payments to complete the…
  • ExCo inks $3.3 mln Series A to launch Paidy

    Iris Dorbian
    29 Jul 2014 | 9:21 am
    ExCo said Tuesday that it has raised $3.3 million in Series A funding. Arbor Ventures led the round with participation from CyberAgent Ventures, Recruit Strategic Partners, 500 Startups and Cherubic Ventures. The capital will be used to launch Paidy, a payment solutions provider that doesn’t require a credit card or pre-registration. ExCo builds financial services platforms for Japan and Asia. PRESS RELEASE TOKYO, July 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Exchange Corporation K.K. (“ExCo”) today announced that the company has closed a US$3.3 million Series A to launch Paidy, a…
  • Beyond Meat rakes in Series D funds

    Iris Dorbian
    29 Jul 2014 | 9:08 am
    Beyond Meat has raised an undisclosed amount of Series D funding. The investors included DNS Capital, WTT Investments, S2G Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, The Obvious Corp., Bill Gates and Morgan Creek Capital. Based in El Segundo, Calif. Beyond Meat recreates meat from plants. PRESS RELEASE EL SEGUNDO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Beyond Meat®, the first company to re-create meat from plants, has completed its Series D financing round, its largest to date. By making meat from plant-based sources, privately held Beyond Meat, based in El Segundo, California, is dedicated…
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  • Bad Job Board Titles

    Aaron Brazell
    25 Jul 2014 | 6:43 am
    Human Resources personnel. You gotta love ‘em. They’re the people who make sure you get paid every week, or biweekly or however often you get paid. They’re the ones who you talk to when you have a complaint about another employee. HR personnel are also, generally, responsible for posting job reqs. If you go to […]
  • Entrepreneurial Priorities if You Don’t Want to Despise Yourself at Age 80

    Aaron Brazell
    2 Jun 2014 | 8:57 am
    With the exception of a general, “We’re hiring” post a few days ago, my site has been largely neglected for the past year. It’s not that I don’t want to write. I do. And it’s not like I don’t have things to say because, if you know me, I do. I really do. And it’s […]
  • Looking for a Top Notch WordPress/PHP Developer

    Aaron Brazell
    21 May 2014 | 3:12 pm
    If you’re in Baltimore and are a developer, or if you are in Baltimore and know someone who is a developer… Heck, if you’re in DC and are a developer or know a developer, we need you. (You can be to work in under an hour on the MARC train).Some of you know what I […]
  • 9 Years of Blogging: Lessons from the Trenches

    Aaron Brazell
    20 May 2013 | 11:46 am
    It is May 20 today and that means two things. First, it’s the 5 year birthday of this handsome boy. Without a doubt, his day will be filled with belly rubs and snacks… as it should be. But secondly, this is my 9th anniversary of blogging. It’s also the 9th anniversary of me installing WordPress […]
  • I hate social networking

    Aaron Brazell
    1 May 2013 | 5:21 pm
    I hate social networking. I despise it. All of it. For me it’s a tool (like me, some would say). “But, Aaron. You have 1500 friends on Facebook and nearly 10,000 on Twitter. You’re lying.” Oh but I’m not. I used to love social networking. I used to travel to conferences where other social media […]
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  • The Gigaom interview: documentary filmmaker Marguerite de Bourgoing on hip-hop and the internet

    Janko Roettgers
    29 Jul 2014 | 1:33 pm
    A new generation of hip-hop artists has been on the forefront of online music innovation, and an upcoming documentary is trying to shed a light on the intersection of hip-hop and technology. The Gigaom interview: documentary filmmaker Marguerite de Bourgoing on hip-hop and the internet originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2014. Continue reading….
  • Nokia tinkers with the idea of turning LTE into a TV broadcast network

    Kevin Fitchard
    29 Jul 2014 | 1:13 pm
    Here's one possibility for repurposing old TV broadcast airwaves: You could use them for TV. Nokia is experimenting with sending traditional broadcast video to mobile phones using LTE. Nokia tinkers with the idea of turning LTE into a TV broadcast network originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2014. Continue reading….
  • Uber joins Airbnb in bringing the “sharing economy” to business travel

    Carmel DeAmicis
    29 Jul 2014 | 12:56 pm
    Uber and Airbnb chose to forge the same partnership the same week, both striking a deal with business travel expensing company Concur. The move signals that the sharing economy is ready to move beyond its consumer audience and expand into other sectors. Uber joins Airbnb in bringing the “sharing economy” to business travel originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2014. Continue reading….
  • 3D Robotics buys connected toy company Sifteo

    Signe Brewster
    29 Jul 2014 | 12:46 pm
    3D Robotics CEO Chris Anderson said Sifteo's experience and IP portfolio when it comes to consumer electronics convinced the drone company to make the purchase. 3D Robotics buys connected toy company Sifteo originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2014. Continue reading….
  • Sector Roadmap: File sync-and-share platforms

    <a href="" rel="author">Stowe Boyd</a>
    29 Jul 2014 | 12:31 pm
    File sync-and-share platforms are remedying a defect in today’s operating systems, which have yet to implement virtual distributed file systems. Sector Roadmap: File sync-and-share platforms originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2014. Continue reading….
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    Feld Thoughts

  • Amazon’s Scorpion Problem

    Brad Feld
    29 Jul 2014 | 10:55 am
    I expect most of you know the fable of the scorpion and the frog, but if you don’t, it goes like this (quoted from Wikipedia): “A scorpion asks a frog to carry him over a river. The frog is afraid of being stung during the trip, but the scorpion argues that if it stung the frog, both would sink and the scorpion would drown. The frog agrees and begins carrying the scorpion, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. When asked why, the scorpion points out that this is its nature. The fable is used to illustrate the position that no…
  • Why The SBIC Doesn’t Work For Venture Capital Anymore

    Brad Feld
    28 Jul 2014 | 10:00 am
    I woke up to an article in Daily Camera today titled Small Business Administration trying to bring SBIC funds to Colorado. There are so many things wrong in the article I felt compelled to write about it. This isn’t a knock on the writer (Alicia Wallace) – I like Alicia and think she does a good job. Rather, it’s an example of the difference between signal and noise in any kind of reporting around the VC industry. I’m an investor in over 40 VC funds around the world (mostly in the US) and three of them are SBIC funds. Each of the SBIC funds were raised in the 2000 –…
  • Use Your Competitors’ Products All The Time

    Brad Feld
    25 Jul 2014 | 6:12 am
    I was sitting with the founders of a company we’ve funded the other day talking about their competition. I love this product and I use it every day. It doesn’t yet have widespread adoption, but it as extremely actively used by the early adopters. This company has several competitors – long time incumbents with somewhat stale, but useful products, and several new competitors, including well-funded and noisy ones. I use several of these products regularly in different situations and have encouraged the founders to use them also. During our conversation, we started off…
  • Second Order Impact of FG Angels

    Brad Feld
    24 Jul 2014 | 8:58 am
    If you’ve been following along at home, you know that we recently created an AngelList Syndicate called FG Angels. Our goal is to make 50 investments through AngelList before the end of 2014. We’ll contribute $50k to each investment; our FG Angels Syndicate will contribute up to $450k. Shortly after doing our first few investments, I got a really nice email from a member of Impact Angel Group, a Colorado-based angel group that organized an investment in the FG Angels syndicate. It shows a second order effect of what we are trying to accomplish with FG Angels. I thought it was…
  • Foundry Women’s Exec Summit

    Brad Feld
    23 Jul 2014 | 6:34 am
    A few weeks ago we had a summit for the women execs in our portfolio. About 40 women attended. Overall we identified about 70 women in our portfolio in leadership positions, which I estimate is about 15% of the exec positions in our portfolio. The event was organized by three of the women – Joanne Lord (until recently CMO at BigDoor, now at Porch), Nicole Glaros (Techstars Boulder Managing Director), and Terry Morreale (NCWIT Associate Director). Like many of our internal summits, the agenda was organically developed and the event was a lightly structured, high engagement day. It was…
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    deal architect

  • Shame on who?

    25 Jul 2014 | 8:51 am
    You have heard the expression “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me”. But if you get fooled 6-7-8 times, who do you blame? As I go through every nook and crevice of the SAP economy...
  • Oracle DaaS Data-as-a-Service

    22 Jul 2014 | 2:06 pm
    Oracle invited me to moderate a panel in their DaaS launch today. Watch the whole hour for some great perspectives on this exciting new market category, and our panel starting around 26.00. Talking to Steve Miranda and Omar Tawakol before...
  • Uber Alles Paralysis

    13 Jul 2014 | 6:04 am
    As the World Cup winds down, it has been such a celebration of global diversity. Polite Japanese fans cleaning up after themselves. Crushed Brazilian fans applauding the German team. And the reverse – way too many leaders blaming losses on...
  • Brasil won

    8 Jul 2014 | 6:46 pm
    Kudos to Germany for that amazing victory. But it was just a game. Brazil has been winning millions of hearts in the last month. Like that of my nephew who had a fabulous week there during the FIFA WC. And...
  • Happy 10th, Deal Architect

    7 Jul 2014 | 5:18 am
    Filing quarterly corporate taxes I came across Deal Architect’s incorporation papers. Happy (belated) birthday! It’s a good time to thank so many for the decade: Many consulting clients of the company - you have trusted us with many leading edge,...
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    Babbling VC

  • On Motivation

    Paul Jozefak
    8 Jul 2014 | 11:38 pm
    I read this article this morning and found it somewhat compelling in terms of why Gen Y is unhappy. I guess a lot of it simply makes sense and not just for Gen Y. Yet it completely falls apart at the end. The advice given is not unique and I've read it often. I take issue with all of it.  1. Stay Wildly Ambitious This is "delusional", to use a term from the author. In life, you should have goals and a sense of direction. That's good. You should also be an extent. Yet, remaining wildly ambitious all the time is completely nuts. You will eventually fall flat on your…
  • The Joy of Exits: apprupt Sold

    Paul Jozefak
    30 Apr 2014 | 8:04 am
    I was happy to recently see that apprupt had sold. This was one of my early investments at Neuhaus Partners and in hindsight probably one of the more fruitful ones. Did it deliver crazy returns? Not really. Was it internationally known and a market leader in a super hot space? Also not really. Then why is it relevant? Well, it's an investment I made because of......the founders, a company I stayed engaged with.....because of the founders and a company where I remain friends....with the founders. I met Kjell and Jascha shortly after launching OpenCoffee in Hamburg. Few people were coming back…
  • Why?: FAB CEO's Memo to Employees

    Paul Jozefak
    23 Apr 2014 | 6:02 am
    I'm glad I'm not the only one to think this internal memo is insane. Luckily, FastCompany already wrote their thoughts on Jason Goldberg's internal memo to employees trying to rally the troops. I wasn't originally even going to comment but after some thought, I wanted to add my comments.  First, some background on my thoughts. I, for one, am not known as indirect nor one to hold back. I've had my share of loud-mouth comments as a manager and I've always been one to lead the charge when necessary. Nevertheless, I believe most people would concur that I surely have my enemies and a bunch of…
  • Patience & Why It's Almost Always Worth It to Wait

    Paul Jozefak
    23 Mar 2014 | 2:51 am
    We live in a "getting shit done" day and age. I won't go so far as to say it's all a scam but after years of experience, I have to say I found out the hard way how important patience is. It's usually just better to wait instead of forcing things. So often in life, things tend to work themselves out and we can't always better the outcome by trying to influence it.  Now don't get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with being focused and taking care of business. That is not what I am gettting at and you almost all know that you usually have to work on things to make stuff happen. Unfortunately,…
  • Two Things Everyone is Missing about FB Buying WhatsApp

    Paul Jozefak
    19 Feb 2014 | 10:39 pm
    So it's been a couple hours now that the news is out: Facebook purchased WhatsApp for €16B (plus €3B on top for employee retention). There's plenty of press out there about this so have fun sifting. Nevertheless, it seems like there are two things missing from the analysis of this purchase. 1. Facebook just made every damn other messaging app that much more expensive. They have WhatsApp now. Good luck if you are a FB competitor and are considering buying one of WhatsApp's competitors. You just found out you have to pony up a shitload more to purchase them. If you're Google or Apple,…
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    Venture Chronicles

  • Wingz – Airport Rides and One Bad UI Issue

    Jeff Nolan
    27 Jul 2014 | 10:30 am
    I’ve been using Wingz to get to/from the airport. The idea is simple, black car service like Uber but exclusively for airport transportation, and a big advantage is that you can schedule the rides in advance. With a web-based and mobile app, it’s alway available and convenient. Wingz is aggressively priced, about 40% less expensive than a typical black car service, and so far my experience with the drivers has been exceptional. With the price of long term parking at SFO now $18 a day, paying $82 for airport transportation for my typical 3-4 day trip is a wash and because…
  • Turn the Tables

    Jeff Nolan
    16 Jul 2014 | 4:24 pm
    This week the crazy internets have been abuzz with the story of AOL executive Ryan Block, who attempted to do something rather mundane, cancel his cable, and was subjected to an excruciatingly long ordeal with the customer service representative at Comcast. This is well covered, I don’t need to relive it… and more to the point, we’ve all been there. What makes this story, and others like it, catch fire is that there is a recording to go with the narrative. The call experience comes alive with the voice recording. This is a relatively recent phenomena and one that is a result…
  • Be Careful What You Get Good At

    Jeff Nolan
    10 Jul 2014 | 9:45 am
    I just finished watching True Detective, which by any measure is an impressive piece of work. There is a scene in one of the final episodes really struck a chord with me. Cohle: Life’s barely long enough to get good at one thing. Hart: If that long. Cohle: Yeah, so be careful what you get good at. Do you ever feel like you are trapped in the thing you do for a living? There’s a lot of things we take for granted in the tech industry but that privilege does come at a price, which is that career mobility suffers. I honestly don’t know where I could do what I am good at if not…
  • Fan Power

    Jeff Nolan
    8 Jul 2014 | 4:45 pm
    This was a surprisingly interesting op-ed, not interesting because it is penned by a glam celebrity but because op-eds are typically not insightful and rooted in facts, as this one is. Yes, the entertainment industry is changing, as it has always done, but in this case the influence of social media – the broadcast medium of our century – can’t be underestimated. Swift writes about the changing relationship with fans and this mimics what is happening across the spectrum, companies are being forced into a new form of intimacy with customers. Musicians my recoil at the notion…
  • Been Gone a Long Time…

    Jeff Nolan
    7 Jul 2014 | 1:44 pm
    Wow, I think this is the longest stretch of non-writing that I have done in my history of blogging. Nothing in particular drove my absence, just been busy with work and family. A lot of my time the last few months has been spent on a website redesign project, which I took over last December. This was a pretty complex undertaking, combining new messaging, visuals, information map, and a new content management system (Adobe CQ). It was a hell of a project and to borrow a line from the movie The Money Pit: “There were a couple of times when I didn’t think we’d ever be able to…
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    GenuineVC » GenuineVC

  • Unusual Rounds of Early-Stage Funding & What to Know

    David Beisel
    8 Jul 2014 | 2:02 pm
    This is an excerpt from the original post, found on NextView’s blog, The View From Seed, launched this week. Find the original post here.As the VC seed market has institutionalized, especially over the past five years, there has emerged a prototypical seed round profile: $1M-$1.5M raised, the first non-friends-and-family capital, comprised of one to three institutional seed investors or larger VC funds, on a priced equity structure (though sometimes convertible note), with a valuation mechanism in place priced in the single digit millions.While there has been much discussion…
  • What I Learned from the TapCommerce Founders

    David Beisel
    1 Jul 2014 | 7:25 am
    In every single venture investment I’m involved with here at NextView Ventures, I learn a lot from the Founders of their company.  But in the particular case of our portfolio company TapCommerce, which yesterday announced its acquisition by Twitter a mere two years after the company’s founding (more details), there have been some key lessons which I’ll meaningfully take away from my experience in working with Brian Long, Samir Mirza, and Andrew Jones.  First and most importantly, a huge congratulations goes to the three of them, as well as the entire TapCommerce team, in creating…
  • Seed Round Signaling Revisited: Myths, Truths, & Half-Lies

    David Beisel
    29 May 2014 | 6:17 am
    It’s been five years now since large VC ‘signaling’ entered the seed stage entrepreneur’s lexicon.  Yet even today, whether or not to take a (relatively) small check in a seed round syndicate from a multi-hundred million or even billion dollar fund is still a decision which takes quite a bit of consideration and sometimes consternation.  It seems as though it’s been talked about ad nauseum in the blogosphere, but we see first-hand as entrepreneurs we’re investing in at NextView Ventures work through building their seed round syndicates, it really is a tough issue.And…
  • Getting Back the Band Together for NextView’s Investment in BookBub

    David Beisel
    1 May 2014 | 6:58 am
    Just about fifteen years ago, Josh Schanker and I, along with our co-founders Elliot Shmukler and Tammy O’Neil Bolduc started Sombasa Media together.  Our company offered a series of consumer-facing properties, including our flagship property BargainDog, which was an early e-commerce daily deals email newsletter.  Over the course of a couple short years, we grew that property to more than 5 million members and 250 retailer relationships, profitably selling the company to  Back in those Web 1.0 days, we quickly learned the power of email in driving real consumer engagement and…
  • Our Newest NextView Team-Member: Jay Acunzo

    David Beisel
    25 Mar 2014 | 9:50 am
    Rob, Lee, and I couldn’t be more excited to share that as of Monday, Jay Acunzo has joined NextView as our Director of Platform and Community.Jay joins us from HubSpot, where he was a senior manager on the marketing team, specifically leading the blog and content strategy. In his Boston-based career, he’s also worked for Google and local startup Dailybreak, in addition to co-founding the community group Boston Content which has grown to hundreds of members.This is a major step forward for NextView as we continue to focus on helping our existing portfolio, as well as proactively contribute…
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    Mark Peter Davis

  • It’s Hard To Do Customer Development When Everyone Is Staring At You

    29 Jul 2014 | 10:31 am
    Big company launches seem to fall in and out of favor.  Landing pages with rapidly spinning counters are the dreams of some and the nightmare of others. But what can be bad about publicity and tons of early adopters? Well, the crowd can stare.  The crowd can expect.  And in response to the pressure of the crowd – the fear of public failure – management might elect to play its hand sub-optimally.  If the crowd is anticipating a feature to launch, it’ll be unpopular to reprioritize your feature list.  If the crowd is eager to experience your product you might be pressured to…
  • How To Get A Job In VC [Video]

    21 Jul 2014 | 8:13 am
    Wall Street Oasis was kind enough to have me give a talk on getting the job in Venture Capital.  If you’re thinking about pursuing VC as a career path the video of the talk is below. Enjoy.   No related content found.
  • Build Strong Before Fast

    15 Jul 2014 | 4:48 am
    When you build a skyscraper you start by building the foundation of the building.  Once that’s nice and sturdy you start layering on floor after floor.  There’s a parallel between the way you build a skyscraper and the way you should build a company. When you’re growing a company the same layering approach applies.  It’s better to build the first feature or service line and make sure it’s sturdy before starting the next.  There’s good reason for this.  If you build your company on a weak foundation you’ll spend a lot of time repairing broken processes, teams and cultures. …
  • Do You Produce More Than You Consume?

    8 Jul 2014 | 6:31 am
    For a long time I’ve been trying to figure out what it is in other people that inspires me.  And I think I’ve finally figured it out. I’m inspired by people who are passionate about producing.  It doesn’t really matter what they produce – startups, technology, accounting, policy, art, books, etc. – it’s simply the act of being dedicated to the creation of something.  It’s the act of making something better. Maybe those meetings are energizing simply because people who are passionate about creating often have an aura of optimism, a contagiously positive attitude.  Or maybe…
  • Bootstrapping: When Inefficient Is Optimal

    30 Jun 2014 | 6:15 am
    Do more faster.  Maximize every moment.  Accelerate. Faster is usually better, but not always.  I’ve made the case in a prior post that slow growth can have its advantages.  Further, slow growth doesn’t always have to feel inefficient  – in many cases slower growth can simply be the byproduct of choosing to invest in non-revenue generating activities (such as training). There are times, however, where we know that if we had more resources we could be more efficient, scale more rapidly and conquer the world.  In these situations slow growth can feel inefficient and frustrating.
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    Jason Ball's TechBytes

  • Investing in Grand Cru

    Jason Ball
    6 Jul 2014 | 2:23 am
    Following my previous posts on why I decided to make any given investment, I thought I’d share briefly why I decided to make an investment into the gaming space – an area where many investors fear to tread. The first game from Grand Cru, Supernauts, has been in further development for 1 year since we invested. Without the product in the market, this post was largely meaningless. (You can grab the Supernauts game here and give it a whirl. Just be warned, you might get addicted and end up spending your entire pay check on gems: Looking at my Three…
  • 3 Traits of Successful Founders

    Jason Ball
    8 Apr 2014 | 12:32 am
    Last week I was asked what I look for in Founders/CEOs by some LPs (limited partners, the people that actually give VCs the money they invest). I gave them three characteristics that I think are critical to success: 1) Tenacity. Starting a company is hard. If anyone could do it successfully, everyone would be a successful multi millionaire/billionaire entrepreneur. As we all know, that’s not the case. What separates the wheat from the chaff? The ability to fight long after others have gone home. And wake up again, take on Goliath, and fight until you bleed. And then do it again the next…
  • Women and Tech

    Jason Ball
    7 Nov 2013 | 1:59 am
    Women and Tech. It’s an area that’s been getting a lot of attention lately- especially the conversation around Twitter’s board. I realized a few months ago that Qualcomm Ventures has a significant percent of female co-founders, CEOs and Chairwomen in our portfolio. For Europe, it’s 50%+. That’s right – over HALF of our companies… are founded, co-founded or chaired by women [blippar, CTC, ip.access, Rockpack , Grand Cru, Everplaces and Arieso (now exited)]. There wasn’t a decision to actively target female led companies, it’s simply a…
  • Investing in Rockpack

    Jason Ball
    12 Aug 2013 | 12:34 am
    Earlier this summer, I posted on why I led our investment in Wrapp. I promised as part of that post to circle back around with a post on a seed investment, to compare the two since they’re clearly at different stages. Here then, are my thoughts on Rockpack, and how they relate to my previous posts Three P’s of Venture Capital and Terminal Velocity. Looking at each post in turn: Three P’s of Venture Capital 1) People. First off, Sofia Fenichell is female. That means, as a tech entrepreneur, she’s already the top 2%. You have to fight hard, and after you meet her, you…
  • Migrating your Photos to Dropbox

    Jason Ball
    25 Jun 2013 | 12:59 am
    I’ve recently migrated my entire photo collection to Dropbox, and thought I’d share my thoughts on the experience. First, photos are such precious parts of our lives, if you don’t have a backup plan for yours, you should count on losing them. Second, I’ve lived in an Apple world since 1998, and have used every version of iPhoto produced, and finally moved over to Aperture because my library had grown to big, and I’d bought a DSLR, so wanted something more “professional” and responsive. Moving to Aperture was a mistake, and moving backwards to iPhoto…
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    First Round Capital Review

  • Product Hunt is Everywhere - This is How It Got There

    28 Jul 2014 | 9:00 pm
    Last year at this time, Product Hunt didn’t exist. Its founder, Ryan Hoover, was the Director of Product at gaming company PlayHaven and an active blogger, attracting a loyal but modest following. He couldn’t have anticipated what was to come. Kicked off in November 2013, Product Hunt has seen rapid hockey-stick growth. It’s become a known quantity in the media and among influencers. And the company just announced that it's part of Y Combinator’s current class of startup starlets. Suddenly, Hoover has found himself a tastemaker with a very high-powered…
  • How Startups Can Do Retail Right from the Inventor of the Apple Store

    23 Jul 2014 | 9:00 pm
    As Apple prepared to open its first retail store, Ron Johnson — the project’s chief architect — realized that the company was making a big mistake. The design was wrong, he told Steve Jobs, as they drove to the pre-launch meeting. The company was moving away from its focus on individual products toward becoming a holistic lifestyle spanning movies, music, and more — but the store didn’t reflect that shift. They needed to start over. A few minutes later, Jobs was the one to announce that they’d be rethinking their approach to stores from scratch. It was…
  • How Designers Can Earn a Seat at the Table

    21 Jul 2014 | 9:00 pm
    For 15 years, Phil King has been proving that design should have a seat at the leadership table — carrying equal weight on strategy and prioritization responsibilities with product, business, and engineering executives. Moving up the ranks at eBay before taking the reins as Director of User Experience and Design at Flickr, he contends that successful businesses are built on well-designed customer experiences, and that the best design leaders never let go of their roots in order to produce the best results. Having led one of the world’s largest photo…
  • This 23-Year-Old Built and Sold His Startup While in School - Here’s How He Did It

    16 Jul 2014 | 9:00 pm
    From the moment Dan Shipper (on the left, above) stepped foot on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus, he knew he wanted to learn how to build a real software business with paying customers and steady revenue. He passed with flying colors last month when he both graduated from school and sold his company Firefly (the first company backed by Dorm Room Fund) to Pegasystems for multiple millions. Shipper’s success didn’t take anyone by surprise. Targeted early as a technology wunderkind, he was receiving multiple job offers by his sophomore year. He chose to…
  • The Case for Why Marketing Should Have Its Own Engineers

    14 Jul 2014 | 9:00 pm
    Knewton isn’t an easy product to explain. Analyzing hordes of data, it adjusts lesson plans for students in real time across subjects, determines how they learn, and suggests the best way to help them. It’s one of those technology experiences that takes on something huge and makes it effortless as if by magic. For the last four years, Robbie Mitchell and his team have been inventing ways to describe an entirely new suite of education possibilities. As Knewton’s Head of Marketing and Communications, he has not only helped shape the company’s identity, but also the way…
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    VC Cafe

  • Israeli Consumers Prefer ONLINE Media

    Levi Shapiro
    7 Jul 2014 | 12:48 pm
    Israelis Value Online Media 1.5x More Than Offline Media- Highest in Global Survey Digital media is a recent phenomenon in Israel. The first television broadcast, a military parade, did not occur until 1968. In the mobile era, the iPhone arrived in 2009 (two years after the US), followed by the iPad in 2011 and the iTunes store in 2012. Today, 60 percent of Israeli adults carry a Smartphone, spurring 2x growth in mobile media consumption just in the last two years, to 93 minutes per day (Shiluv Millward Brown). In a survey released this week by Google and BCG, among the 11 countries…
  • Occupy the App Store!!

    Levi Shapiro
    9 Jun 2014 | 3:14 am
    Mobile applications are a lousy business. More than 60% of applications earn less than $500 per month. And the market is getting worse every day. By 2018, Gartner predicts that less than .01% of mobile applications will be financially successful. As developers grow increasingly desperate for monetization, Amazon (which runs its own app store in 200 countries) identified success factors of the Top 50 applications. Median revenue per app I. More Time = More Money Getting people to download the app is only the first step toward monetization. 62% of revenue occurs after the first 7 days and 35%…
  • Getting Serious: The next billion-dollar market in games

    Eze Vidra
    29 May 2014 | 6:44 am
    Guest post by Sagi Shorrer* We’re seeing a revolution in the use of games for purposes beyond mere entertainment. Serious games, as they are known, are on the rise. The idea is simple: the best way to get people to do something is to make it fun. ‘Edutainment’, a seventies buzzword for educational entertainment, is nothing new. But games as a medium offer something no book or television could: interactivity. Books can give you information. Games can give you information, test your recall, help you practice a skill, give you feedback on how well you’re progressing, and much…
  • ProductHunting

    Eze Vidra
    28 May 2014 | 4:44 am
    When I was a product manager at Gerson Lehrman Group, and AOL, I developed an addiction to trying out new products as soon as (or before) they hit the market. This got me the nickname ‘Beta W**re’ (I personally prefer ‘Beta addict’) by some of my colleagues. Behind the fascination of playing with a new toy for the first time, there was an element of research: How did the PM think about onboarding a new user? what fonts and interactions do they use? What happens after you sign up? usernames or real names? There are a lot of decisions to make when launching a…
  • Want Your Startup To Appear in TechCrunch? Lean Marketing Hacks for Startups

    Levi Shapiro
    13 May 2014 | 5:05 pm
    Just back from a week of beer, black wardrobes and David Hoselhoff ads- yes, it was Web Week in Berlin. Again and again (after a few drinks, of course) my European friends confided the same perception about Israeli startups: wonderful technologies, horrendous marketing. Danish entrepreneur and Skype funder Morten Lund said it best “any cabdriver in LA is better at marketing (than Israeli founders). Before you reach the restaurant, they have sold you their screenplay and yoga lessons”. Israeli startups interested in more effective “lean marketing”, should learn from Ben Lang, the 20…
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  • Video Startup Coub Raises $2.5 Million From The Cofounders Of Russia's Facebook

    Dylan Love
    29 Jul 2014 | 1:30 pm
    Coub, a startup that lets you edit and remix looped videos up to 10 seconds long (think of them as GIFs with sound) has raised $2.5 million from Vaizra Investments, a fund headed by the cofounders of Russian Facebook competitor TechCrunch reports that the money will be used for Coub's further expansion outside of its New York office and to continue developing its web and iOS apps. This brings the company's total funding to $3.5 million after an initial investment of $1 million by Brothers Ventures and Phenomen Ventures last year. In that time, the company's monthly uniques have grown…

    Sam Ro
    29 Jul 2014 | 1:16 pm
    Twitter shares are up a mind-boggling 28% in the wake of its earnings announcement. This is no joke for a company with a massive $22 billion market cap. The company's Q2 financial results beat expectations across the board. Revenue surged to $312 million, beating expectations for $283.9 million. Monthly active users jumped to 271 million, beating expectations for 267 million. And amid all this, the company squeezed out an adjusted profit of $0.02 per share. Analysts were looking for a $0.01 loss. Twitter closed at $38.59 today after rallying 1.7% during the U.S. trading session. Currently,…
  • The Showrooming Threat Has Been Overblown — Here's Why

    Emily Adler
    29 Jul 2014 | 1:01 pm
    By now we know — consumers armed with smartphones like to walk into stores, look at the products they're interested in, and then go online to find them for less money. This phenomenon — known as showrooming — was supposed to be the death knell for bricks-and-mortar retailers. But the showrooming threat has been overblown. In fact, the opposite behavior is far more common than showrooming. More people go online to see what they might want to buy and then head to physical stores to actually purchase those items. In a recent report from BI Intelligence, we find that…
  • Three Things Tesla Must Deliver For The Model 3 To Succeed

    Benjamin Zhang
    29 Jul 2014 | 12:57 pm
    Tesla announced this month that it's planning to build an electric car for the mass consumer. The Model 3 will arrive in 2017, following the much-anticipated Model X crossover, which is due to hit the streets next year. The $35,000 Model 3 will be the cheapest vehicle yet to emerge from Tesla's Fremont, Calif. factory. But its success won't be automatic. Here are three things the Model 3 must deliver to succeed.  Battery Range, Battery Range, Battery Range Every conversation about electric cars seems to begin and end with battery range. The Model 3 is no exception.   "The current…
  • The End Of Lucy, A Movie About Using 100% Of Your Brain, Is A Major Tech Fail That Will Remind You Of The 2000s

    Alyson Shontell
    29 Jul 2014 | 12:54 pm
    The top box office hit this past weekend was Lucy, a sci-fi thriller starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman about a woman who learns to use 100% of her brain. It's a cool concept with a laughably outdated ending. (SPOILER ALERT: We're about to tell you what happens. Stop reading now if you plan to see it) At the end of the movie, Johansson, a hard-partying college student, is able to utilize 100% of her brain and she transforms into an immortal being. But before she does, she agrees to give neurologist, Morgan Freeman, a file with everything she's learned about the brain on it. Thanks…
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  • UAE Investor to finance $120 million hotel project in Antigua

    23 Jul 2014 | 11:31 am
    UAE Investor Sheikh Tariq Bin Faisal Al Qassimi has signed an agreement to invest $120 million in a tourism project at Antigua. The property will be located on a 36-acre beachfront site, the government said, five acres of which will be developed into a national park facility. Sheikh Tariq Bin Faisal Al Qassimi is chairman of the Emirates Investment Group (EIG), a Sharjah-based private sector investment group. EIG has a number of real estate projects in its portfolio including the Ritz-Carlton Residences in Singapore, Emirates Financial Towers in Dubai International Financial Center and…
  • Middle East investors to spend $180 billion in global real estate over next decade

    18 Jun 2014 | 8:51 am
    CBRE Group, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is reporting that Middle Eastern investors are expected to spend $180 billion in commercial real estate markets outside of their own region over the next decade. Just in 2013, the commercial real estate investments of Middle East investors has been $13 billion, $5 billion of which by non-SWF and individual investors. At the moment their investment appetite is focused on Europe, but the share of investment in America is increasing - CBRE research shows. (You can listen to an interview with a CBRE head of research here. Also check…
  • Middle East Investors acquired Australian Patinack Farm for $100 million

    10 Jun 2014 | 1:20 am
    A consortium of investors from the Middle East, led by Cibola Capital, has acquired Australian Patinack Farm for $100 million. The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that the current owner Nathan Tinkler has invested more than $500 million in the operation of this racing and breeding operation since its inception in 2007. (Patinack Farm comprises of three properties including a 3,300 acre breeding facility, a 1,000 acre training facility and 950 acres of undeveloped horse country and a bloodstock of close to 600 horses) To see listing and contact emails of investors and family offices from…
  • Katara Hospitaly acquired five luxury European hotels

    20 May 2014 | 6:41 am
    Katara Hospitaly, a Qatari hospitality and investment holding, is acquiring joint control of a group of luxury hotels in five European cities including the Carlton InterContinental in Cannes, Amstel InterContinental in Amsterdam and three hotels in Frankfurt, Madrid and Rome - Bloomberg is reporting. Katara Hospitality, previously known as Qatar National Hotels, is a hospitality owner, manager and developer. They are partners of brands like The Ritz-Carlton, Sheraton, Raffles, Marriott, Mövenpick and The Bürgenstock Selection, while also developing their own Merweb business hotel brand.
  • GFH Capital acquires American curriculum private school for $34 million

    18 May 2014 | 3:29 am
    GFH Capital, the Dubai-based owner of Leeds United football club, has acquired an American curriculum private school in Dubai for $34 million. GFH Capital is a subsidiary of Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House and was formerly known as Injazat Capital, one of the Middle East’s foremost private equity investors. (The school is not named, but currently serves a base of nearly 1,300 students and has registered in 20 per cent growth in student numbers over the past four years) GFH Capital is listed in the Middle East Investors Directory with the code SIJ62. More details follows from Gulf News
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  • Strong AI: Employment Impact Doesn't Depend on "How" Computers Think

    28 Jul 2014 | 5:36 am
    There was a fun Twitter convo about strong AI between Patrick Collison and Marc Andreessen. I also love speculating about this topic but before I engage in that I want to point out that from an employment perspective this is a red herring. A car is not a horse. And yet cars replaced horses in transportation. A tractor is not a horse. And yet tractors replaced horses in agriculture. A tank is not a horse. And yet tanks replaced horses in war. It is irrelevant from an employment perspective as to how a robot or machine intelligence solves a problem. What matters is whether or not it solves that…
  • Is it 1880 or 1914?

    23 Jul 2014 | 5:48 am
    I haven’t been posting much the last couple of weeks. There are a variety of reasons for that including spending extra time reading and learning new things but the main reason is that I am trying to understand better where we are today. What do I mean by that? I have been making the argument that we are facing a transition as big as the one from agrarian society to industrial society (and from hunter gatherer to agrarian before that). Are we near the beginning of this transition or somewhere in the middle? Or maybe put more starkly are we in the 1880s or are we in 1914? That is do we…
  • Looking for a Personal Assistant

    21 Jul 2014 | 6:01 am
    Susan and I are looking for a personal assistant to help with many different organizational tasks. If you know someone who might be interested, please point them to our Craigslist ad. We built a simple video application process using Ziggeo and Firebase to help screen candidates (will open source after finishing).
  • CPU and Memory are the New Crude Oil

    15 Jul 2014 | 4:48 pm
    The definition of a commodity is a good that is “supplied without qualitative differentiation.” You can’t charge more than others for crude oil, you have to turn it at least into gasoline. And if you really want to charge a lot more you have to turn it into a plastic product. CPU cycles and memory are the crude oil of our times. If you want to charge more for them you have to add value. If you are SaaS company that provides a complete solutions you are adding a lot of value (plastic product). Conversely, if you are a developer platform you are just a smidgen above the…
  • SeeChange: Video Will Be Everywhere (What Do We Want?)

    14 Jul 2014 | 9:14 am
    I recently finished Dave Eggers’s “The Circle” which provided a good challenge to my baseline view that more transparency is good and that data protection is a futile effort. One of the systems in the novel is an easy to deploy camera that anyone can point at anything and provide a livestream. Called “SeeChange” the promoters argue that it will provide for reduced crime, increased safety and just additional information all around. The detractors are either smeared (with planted information) or hunted down by aggressive mobs. SeeChange doesn’t exist in precisely that form, but…
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    OpenView Blog

  • Meet OpenView’s New Growth Strategists: Rebecca and Blake

    Devon McDonald
    28 Jul 2014 | 1:07 pm
    Meet Blake Harris and Rebecca Churt, OpenView's growth strategists helping portfolio companies optimize their lead generation and nurturing processes. via OpenView Labs ↬ Meet OpenView’s New Growth Strategists: Rebecca and Blake
  • SmashFly: Modernizing Recruitment

    Ricky Pelletier
    23 Jul 2014 | 10:15 am
    We’re very happy to have recently invested in recruitment marketing platform SmashFly, which is changing the way companies recruit. via OpenView Labs ↬ SmashFly: Modernizing Recruitment
  • Interviewing Advice for Millennials

    Blake Bartlett
    21 Jul 2014 | 12:59 pm
    From one Millennial to another,  here are my tips on how to nail an interview — including what not to say. via OpenView Labs ↬ Interviewing Advice for Millennials
  • Portfolio Lessons: Intronis’s Transition to a Scalable Lead Distribution Model

    Devon McDonald
    15 Jul 2014 | 12:47 pm
    In this Q&A, Intronis VP of Sales Rob Merklinger discusses his team's transition to a scalable lead distribution model. via OpenView Labs ↬ Portfolio Lessons: Intronis’s Transition to a Scalable Lead Distribution Model
  • Why I Joined OpenView

    Arsham Memarzadeh
    14 Jul 2014 | 11:12 am
    Arsham Memarzadeh shares what drew him to joining OpenView Venture Partners as a Market Insights Analyst. via OpenView Labs ↬ Why I Joined OpenView
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    Openview Labs

  • Inbound Marketing Essentials from the Founder of HubSpot

    29 Jul 2014 | 9:30 am
    Startups at any stage would do well to familiarize themselves with these inbound marketing essentials. via OpenView Labs ↬ Inbound Marketing Essentials from the Founder of HubSpot
  • How to Conduct Win/Loss Analysis to Drive Strategic Growth (Part II)

    OpenView Guest
    29 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    In her previous post, marketing strategist Sue Duris tackled how to conduct the pre-interview and interview phases of a Win/Loss Analysis. In this post, she explains what to do once you have your data. via OpenView Labs ↬ How to Conduct Win/Loss Analysis to Drive Strategic Growth (Part II)
  • 3 Reasons Your Next Hire Should Be a Millennial

    OpenView Guest
    28 Jul 2014 | 12:00 pm
    Millennials often get a bad wrap for being lazy and self-absorbed. In this post, HubSpot Sales Director Dan Tyre and OpenView Sales & Marketing Associate CeCe Bazar offer 3 arguments for hiring millennials. via OpenView Labs ↬ 3 Reasons Your Next Hire Should Be a Millennial
  • Increase Conversion with Basic Psychological Principles

    28 Jul 2014 | 9:30 am
    You’ll do anything to increase conversion, so why not look at some angles you might not have considered yet. via OpenView Labs ↬ Increase Conversion with Basic Psychological Principles
  • How #Social CEOs Drive Business for their Company

    OpenView Guest
    28 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
    Did you know that 20% of marketing software company HubSpot's customer since 2011 have been influenced in the selling process by visiting CEO Brian Halligan's bio page? That's just one example of the power of social CEOs. via OpenView Labs ↬ How #Social CEOs Drive Business for their Company
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    Boston Business News - Local Boston News | Boston Business Journal

  • Beth Israel struggles to rebalance in Plymouth

    Jessica Bartlett
    29 Jul 2014 | 12:04 pm
    Falling revenue and a fast-changing regulatory environment resulted in an expanded operating loss at Beth Israel Deaconess-Plymouth in its most-recent quarter, yet hospital officials say they are optimistic that a turnaround is in the works. The hospital has struggled financially since Jan. 1, when it merged into Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center of Boston. In the interim, the care provider has been squeezed by rising operating costs and declining revenue. Yet hospital officials say they have…
  • Here's a grocery list of Market Basket headlines as saga enters a critical phase

    Eric Convey
    29 Jul 2014 | 11:43 am
    Arthur T. Demoulas, beloved by Market Basket employees and hated by some relatives, is the sole potential buyer left in negotiations, the Boston Globe is reporting. According to a statement he issued last week, Arthur T. Demoulas wants to buy a controlling stake in the company. Meanwhile, workers have crippled the chain with protests. In case you want some background, here are headlines from the last few weeks of the saga: Market Basket board ousts CEO Arthur T. Demoulas Arthur T. Demoulas…
  • The hottest housing markets in Massachusetts in Q2: The return of the suburbs (BBJ DataCenter)

    Craig Douglas
    29 Jul 2014 | 11:13 am
    Perhaps it’s the outward ripple from the boiling-hot condo markets in Boston, or perhaps its a return to a simpler lifestyle made famous by Leave It To Beaver. Whatever the reason, the suburbs are back in style. A BBJ analysis of second-quarter housing data indicates that homebuyers are flocking to the leafy suburbs outside of Boston’s core, particularly in the northwestern corridor inside of Interstate 95. To be sure, communities such as Arlington, Winchester, Belmont and Watertown are booming…
  • Lantheus Medical slated for largest local biotech IPO so far this year

    Don Seiffert
    29 Jul 2014 | 11:11 am
    If Lantheus Medical in Billerica pulls off the $125 million initial public offering it has planned this week, it would be the biggest of any local firm in what’s already become the most crowded year ever for biotech IPOs. Lantheus Medical's last filing on Friday indicates it plans to sell 9.3 million shares at between $12 and $15 each. At the midpoint price, that would raise $126 million, while at the highest price and including overallotments, it could be as much as $160 million. Even at the…
  • Funding will boost new skate park planned for underneath the Zakim Bridge ramps

    Mary Moore
    29 Jul 2014 | 11:05 am
    After 10 years of trying, the Charles River Conservancy has landed the final $1.5 million it needs to build a 40,000 square foot skate park under the ramps of the Leonard P. Zakim Bridge in state-owned North Point Park. Sneaker-retailer Vans, which is a subsidiary of VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC), has committed the $1.5 million along with another $25,000 a year for seven years the company has pledged to the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation for ongoing maintenance of the skate…
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