Venture Capital

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  • The Search for Product-Market Fit

    Seeing Both Sides
    26 Mar 2015 | 6:27 am
     I participated on a panel at the First Growth Venture Network yesterday on product-market fit and customer acquisition.  Lowenstein's Ed Zimmerman, our host, asked me to cram a semester's worth of content (related to my HBS class) in 10 minutes and below are the slides I pulled together:
  • Why I Stopped Taking My Mobile Phone to My Bedroom

    Bothsides of the Table
    Mark Suster
    30 Aug 2015 | 6:09 pm
    Technology. It has been a hobby of mine since 1981 when I fell in love with programming, applications and online games. My brain is wired for logic and for problem solving and computers have always helped me fill this compulsion. And since I was 13 years old I have been accustomed to the debate about the limitations of technology or rather the downsides of being overly obsessed with gadgets, devices, software or applications. Every hour of Zork was an hour not on the soccer field or basketball court and every chat in Prodigy or CompuServe was an in-person chat not happening. I was blessed…
  • Tough Doesn’t Quit, Except at Breakfast

    Venture Chronicles
    28 Jul 2015 | 9:03 am
    I was at a dinner on Sunday night and seated next to me was retired Admiral Eric Olson, who had a long and distinguished military career. He retired from the Navy in 2011 as the commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command. Interesting man, to say the least, but also incredibly gracious and unassuming. I asked him what qualities he could identify that would be indicators of success as s Navy SEAL. His response was predictable in some ways, unexpected in others. Above all, he said, the SEALs look for problem-solving, intelligence and mental toughness in candidates. I expected to hear this,…
  • Google Launches Native Ads In Gmail To All Advertisers

    Frederic Lardinois
    1 Sep 2015 | 6:02 pm
     Google is rolling out a new ad format in Gmail to all advertisers today. A few years ago, Google launched a new kind of native ad in Gmail that sat at the top of the inbox and mostly looked like a regular email. For the most part, that was a pretty unobtrusive way of displaying ads (though some people were rather annoyed by them). Starting today, Google is making it easier for all advertisers… Read More
  • Rose-Hulman Ventures: Very Good Group to Work With
    28 Aug 2015 | 11:26 am
    | Posted by Frank1 | Fund Rated 4.0 | 129 Chars in Privatehonest and smart. you want them on your team.
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  • Google Launches Native Ads In Gmail To All Advertisers

    Frederic Lardinois
    1 Sep 2015 | 6:02 pm
     Google is rolling out a new ad format in Gmail to all advertisers today. A few years ago, Google launched a new kind of native ad in Gmail that sat at the top of the inbox and mostly looked like a regular email. For the most part, that was a pretty unobtrusive way of displaying ads (though some people were rather annoyed by them). Starting today, Google is making it easier for all advertisers… Read More
  • Lessons From A TechCrunch Disrupt Launch

    Jonathan Stein
    1 Sep 2015 | 6:00 pm
     May 26, 2010, was the most stressful and exciting day of my life to date. I’ve called it the most horrible and most wonderful, too. I didn’t sleep the night before. I woke up to pages of notes in my BlackBerry (it was 2010, and I was an ex-consultant), timestamped in 15-minute intervals over several hours, proof that I had woken up, typed an idea rapidly into my phone, laid back… Read More
  • Google Introduces Uncomplicated Pay-As-You-Go Model For Its Maps API

    Drew Olanoff
    1 Sep 2015 | 5:36 pm
     The Google Maps API has been a mess when it comes to pricing. The company is making moves to clean that up with a newly announced pay-as-you-go model. Here’s what the team said today about it: In this new purchasing structure, the Google Maps Geocoding, Directions, Distance Matrix, Roads, Geolocation, Elevation, and Time Zone APIs remain free of charge for the first 2,500 requests per… Read More
  • Reserved Tesla’s Top-Line Model X SUV? You Can Start Customizing It Now

    Connie Loizos
    1 Sep 2015 | 4:46 pm
     If you reserved a “Signature Series” Model X,  the $132,000 version of Tesla’s new crossover SUV, you can start modifying it to your heart’s delight. Earlier today, the company began opening up the ordering process, enabling early adopters to pick out their interior and exterior colors, and to throw all kinds of add-ons into their respective shopping carts, including… Read More
  • TransTech Helps Transgender People Get Jobs In Tech And, Soon, The White House

    Megan Rose Dickey
    1 Sep 2015 | 4:04 pm
     Transgender and gender non-conforming people are at risk of facing injustice and discrimination wherever they are: in their childhood homes, schools, the workplace and even in line at the grocery store. This discrimination can lead to missed education and professional development opportunities, which is where TransTech comes in. Read More
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    Bothsides of the Table

  • Why I Stopped Taking My Mobile Phone to My Bedroom

    Mark Suster
    30 Aug 2015 | 6:09 pm
    Technology. It has been a hobby of mine since 1981 when I fell in love with programming, applications and online games. My brain is wired for logic and for problem solving and computers have always helped me fill this compulsion. And since I was 13 years old I have been accustomed to the debate about the limitations of technology or rather the downsides of being overly obsessed with gadgets, devices, software or applications. Every hour of Zork was an hour not on the soccer field or basketball court and every chat in Prodigy or CompuServe was an in-person chat not happening. I was blessed…
  • Why the Public Stock Markets Will Affect Your Funding Round Even if You Can’t Perceive It

    Mark Suster
    25 Aug 2015 | 7:56 am
    Last night I wrote a post about how the fall in the stock market over a 3-day period may affect the venture capital markets. If you’re an entrepreneur or VC who wants somebody else’s view on that you should read it. This morning the US stock markets are rallying. So now what?   Let me give you the quick summary of what I said yesterday: Public markets affect venture funding. Full stop. When they’re bullish venture valuations go up, LPs put more money into VCs, more angels want to get involved, new entrants (hedge funds, mutual funds) feel they’re missing out and…
  • Making Sense of the Stock Market Drops in Relation to Venture Financing

    Mark Suster
    24 Aug 2015 | 10:43 pm
    If you didn’t notice that the stock markets in the US dropped nearly 4% today (after falling last Thursday and Friday) then you were probably completely off-the-grid and on vacation. It was a nerve racking morning. My favorite Tweet of the morning came from Hunter Walk You thought media twitter was bad… You thought tech twitter was bad…. — Hunter Walk (@hunterwalk) August 24, 2015 And by this I assume he meant that “market prognosticator twitter” was vomitous. And if that’s what he meant he was right. I saw a few friends politely suggesting that…
  • What I’ve Learned About Venture Funding

    Mark Suster
    20 Aug 2015 | 11:03 pm
    VC funding. Our perspectives on the topic wax and wane with market cycles. We love capital efficiency until we love land grabs until we abhor “over funding” until we get huge distribution & ring the bell for more funding until we attract every non-VC on the planet to invest in startups until it crashes and we start the cycle all over again none the wiser. Amnesia sets in and we get back on the merry-go-round for the next cycle. I saw this great image on Twitter courtesy of Simon Wardley, CC3.0 by SA. (blog here). It’s kind of a truism for life and certainly our…
  • My One Wish For All Startup Employees

    Mark Suster
    18 Aug 2015 | 10:03 am
    This summer I had the extreme pleasure of watching one of the funniest, funnest and most insightful documentaries in a long time: Supermensch. If I had one wish for all startup employees it would be that you watch this film. It’s not for everybody: it condones sex, drugs and rock & roll. But please read on before deciding. Supermensch (I won’t give anything away here other than high-level, obvious storyline of film) is about the life of Shep Gordon, one of the most revered talent managers who managed the likes of Alice Cooper, Blondie, Teddy Pendergrass and even Groucho Marx…
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  • Former Facebooker Josh Miller is heading to the White House

    1 Sep 2015 | 5:37 pm
    Miller has been hired as Director of Product, to enhance the government's communication toolsLast week, less than two years after joining Facebook following the acquisition of social sharing service Branch Media, product manager Josh Miller announced he was leaving the company.  The revelation was sudden and it did not give any indication as to what would be next for Miller. And now we know: he is going to a bigger and better place than Facebook. Miller is becoming the first ever first director of product for the White House, he revealed in a…
  • China will beat U.S. in mobile gaming revenue for first time

    1 Sep 2015 | 3:39 pm
    The Chinese market is set to see $5.5 billion in 2015, compared to $4.5 billion in the U.S.China may be having some big problems with its stock market lately, issues that have caused some trouble in the United States as well, but that has not stopped seemingly every tech company from wanting in. That includes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Netflix, The Honest Company, Dropbox, and especially Uber. There are more Chinese Internet users than double the entire population of the United States, and there is so much money to be made, that nothing…
  • Today's Entrepreneur - Today's Entrepreneur: Crystal Brown

    1 Sep 2015 | 6:00 am
    No. 1 Mistake: Not executing fast enough - hesitating.Today's Entrepreneur is Crystal Brown, CEO of Healthiest, Inc.. Healthiest, Inc. is a natural medicine cabinet. They are the definitive, natural, integrative and alternative health resource, empowering consumers with information and connecting them to treatments, remedies, products, and health practices. Brown spent her career focusing on both for-profit companies and non-profit organizations at the start-up and growth phase in the areas of strategy, management, operations, finance, business development and relationship building. She…
  • Fund News - Cloud Apps Capital Partners launches with $50M first fund

    1 Sep 2015 | 6:00 am
    The firm will do "classic Series A rounds" of $3 million to $4 million in cloud business appsCloud business software companies are currently in a strange position when it comes to venture capital. They require more capital and board support than the seed market can provide, while large venture firms look for strong market traction prior to investing. A new firm, called Cloud Apps Capital Partners believes that is has the solution, combining the right experience and stage to help cloud business apps succeed. The firm debuted on Tuesday, announcing an oversubscribed $53.7…
  • Apple might be making its own TV shows and movies

    1 Sep 2015 | 12:02 am
    The company is said to be following Amazon and Netflix by creating its own original contentFor video streaming services original programming is the name of the game these days. Just look at Netflix, which was more than with letting its deal with Epix go this past weekend, taking with it popular movies like the Hunger Games and Rocky. The company was able to do this because, not only do they have deals with other entities, like Disney, for exclusive rights, but they have enough of their own content, both TV shows and movies, to more than make up for it. Considering all of the success that…
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  • Facebook will spend $200M to expand its data center facility in Oregon again

    Jordan Novet
    1 Sep 2015 | 8:25 pm
    Facebook announced today that it will be building its third huge data center building in the desert in the middle of Oregon. The company intends to invest at least $200 million in the expansion of the site, which is the first of five around the world that Facebook has constructed from the ground up. “Building 3 will feature the latest Open Compute Project hardware designs — including Yosemite, Wedge, and 6-pack — and, like our other buildings, will be cooled using our cool Central Oregon high desert air instead of energy-intensive air conditioners,” Ken Patchett,…
  • Intel launches its Skylake processor to jumpstart PC sales

    Dean Takahashi
    1 Sep 2015 | 6:00 pm
    Intel is launching a new family of PC microprocessors code-named Skylake today. The chips represent the world’s biggest chip maker’s hopes for reviving the sagging PC market, just as the Windows 10 operating system represents Microsoft’s aspirations for growth on the software side. Intel signaled the new chips — now dubbed 6th Gen Intel Core processors — were coming for everything from tablet computers to high-end gaming PCs. Now it is describing how fast the chips are and what they do for overall performance. For instance, the chips can start up a Windows 10 PC…
  • How to run a company with offices 10,000 miles apart

    Ian Rodwell, MOKO Social Media
    1 Sep 2015 | 6:00 pm
    GUEST: This decade has seen the rise of technology hubs taking root in places outside the United States not traditionally known for technology. London, Berlin, and even my native Perth now are becoming startup epicenters. Companies that target consumers eventually face the reality that in order to effectively scale their business, they need to sell in the United States. And before you know it, you’re opening an office in the U.S. and managing people with two distinct cultures and trying to help developers in the original country meet the needs of a market that may not even exist in your…
  • MoPub now supports video ads that reward you for watching

    Ken Yeung
    1 Sep 2015 | 5:12 pm
    MoPub has added new support for rewarded video ads. Starting today, publishers can manage this ad format from Unity Ads, AdColony, Vungle, and Chartboost. If you’re not familiar with rewarded video ads, these are formats that encourage users to deal with ads in order to receive an in-app reward. MoPub says that publishers can use this ad type to “balance their user experience with additional sources of revenue.” Initially, developers probably only leverage mobile app install ads and standard display ads. But users are no longer really noticing them and so publishers and…
  • Cortana can now translate words, phrases, and sentences in almost 40 languages

    Jordan Novet
    1 Sep 2015 | 4:49 pm
    Microsoft today announced that its Cortana personal digital assistant can make instant translations in nearly 40 languages in Windows 10 in the U.S. and China. The capability to translate words and even entire sentences comes courtesy of the Microsoft Translator app. Support for the native translation in Cortana in Windows 10 will arrive in other countries “in the near future,” the Microsoft Translator team wrote in a blog post on the news. This is an interesting way for Microsoft to make Cortana even more compelling as an alternative to, say, Apple’s Siri, which currently…
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    AVC » VC & Technology

  • Why Capital Markets Matter

    Fred Wilson
    24 Aug 2015 | 3:21 am
    On a day when it is likely that the US stock markets will open down and Asian markets are in free fall, it is worth taking a second and talking about why capital markets matter and why they don’t. If your business consumes capital and needs more of it, then changes in capital markets can affect you. If your business produces cash flow and you can finance your business, then changes in capital markets are not likely to affect you. This is one of many reasons that I like to see our portfolio companies get to break even and ideally producing cash flow. I don’t remember when I said…
  • Aiming Blog Posts

    Fred Wilson
    13 Aug 2015 | 4:54 am
    I got a note yesterday from a CEO I work with asking if a specific blog post was aimed at him. I replied and told him that I try very hard not to aim blog posts at anyone or any company.  Of course I have those temptations from time to time but I feel that using this blog as a way to send a message to someone or some company is not appropriate and I don’t do that. I am certain that people will read stuff on this blog and think “that is about the company I work at” of “he is taking about our CEO.” I would like to make it clear that while it’s easy to…
  • Alphabet Soup

    Fred Wilson
    11 Aug 2015 | 3:05 am
    So yesterday, out of the blue with no leaks no speculation & no anticipation, Google goes and reinvents itself. How does the most important company in the world (note I did not say most valuable), do that? I have always had a tremendous amount of respect for Larry Page and Sergey Brin and the senior team they surround themselves with. When it really matters, they do things right and get things right. The way I see it, Google is the cash cow that finances all the big bets Larry and Sergey are making inside Alphabet. The public markets get the transparency of seeing how the cash cow is…
  • Been There Done That

    Fred Wilson
    10 Aug 2015 | 5:07 am
    I saw the TechCrunch blurb about Blockfeed this morning and my immediate reaction was “we tried that.” Almost a decade ago, we invested in which was trying to do something very similar to Blockfeed. didn’t work but that doesn’t mean Blockfeed won’t work. The volume of hyperlocal content that is created today is likely an order of magnitude larger than what was available to serve up a decade ago. And geotagging capabilities have improved significantly in the past decade as well. And consuming hyperlocal content in a feed on a geolocated…
  • Go East Young Man (or Woman)

    Fred Wilson
    28 Jul 2015 | 3:42 am
    Here’s a fun post by Henry Ward, founder and CEO of our portfolio company eShares, about raising money last year. From Henry’s post: We were 0 for 21 with Silicon Valley VCs. I never got close. Most of the big firms wouldn’t even meet. A few had an associate do a Skype call even though we were 20 minutes away. After 21 meetings in SV, I took a Hail Mary trip to the east coast and met with 3 funds. All 3 invested. Thank god Henry came east. We are hugely excited about the company he’s building. Henry also makes some great observations about the fundraising process. I like…
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  • Medfusion Lands $3M for Patient-Focused Software Push

    Frank Vinluan
    1 Sep 2015 | 1:18 pm
    There’s a lot of talk in the health IT space about getting patients actively engaged in health care, and a lot of companies are trying to do it through mobile apps. Medfusion, a health software company that already has a nationwide customer base of physicians, now wants to reach out to patients directly and the company has raised $3 million to accelerate that push. Medfusion announced the new funding Tuesday, which the Cary, NC-based company says will help it move forward with its mobile strategy. The investment came from Bull City Venture Partners and Hatteras Venture Partners, two venture…
  • Renaissance, MVCA Program Lures Half-Dozen Investors to Michigan

    Sarah Schmid
    1 Sep 2015 | 11:57 am
    Though Michigan’s startup community has experienced a ton of growth in the past 10 years, the state remains a place that is “underserved” when it comes to investment capital, says Chris Rizik, CEO and fund manager at Renaissance Venture Capital. With that in mind, Renaissance partnered with the Michigan Venture Capital Association for the past year to create the Michigan Immersion Days program as a way of luring unfamiliar investors to the state and raising awareness of the many different investment opportunities here. Rizik says so far, it’s been a success. The immersion program has…
  • Ragan Reunites Ex-Genzymers at X4 Pharma to Battle Cancer

    Ben Fidler
    1 Sep 2015 | 11:07 am
    Several years ago, Genzyme developed a drug called plerixafor (Mozobil) that’s used to help with bone marrow transplants. Now a group of folks that helped push that drug forward have reunited for a new effort—to use a similar type of therapy for solid tumors and rare diseases. As Xconomy reported earlier today, X4 Pharmaceuticals was started up in 2012 and is led by Paula Ragan (president and CEO), who spent six years at Genzyme. She confirmed today that the company has indeed raised a $37.5 million Series A, adding to roughly $1.5 million in seed funding. While the seed dollars came…
  • Apttus Snags $108M for Web-Based B2B Sales Management System

    Bernadette Tansey
    1 Sep 2015 | 10:15 am
    Apttus, a San Mateo, CA-based sales support provider that had already raised $41 million in February, just topped that by closing a $108 million Series C financing, the company announced today. The new funding places Apttus’ valuation at more than $1 billion, a company spokesman says. Apttus operates a Web-based sales management system built on the Salesforce 1 platform. The company helps businesses keep track of the many stages of their sales cycles, from initial customer interest through contract negotiation and renewal, to revenues. Apttus calls this entire set of processes…
  • Cellular Dynamics Launches ‘World’s Largest’ Public Stem Cell Bank

    Jeff Buchanan
    1 Sep 2015 | 9:54 am
    In 2013, Cellular Dynamics (NASDAQ: ICEL) vowed to create induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell lines from the cells of 3,000 donors—some healthy, some diseased—as part of a $32 million initiative funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Today, the Madison, WI-based biotech is starting to make good on its pledge. Cellular Dynamics, aka CDI, has made 300 iPS cell lines available to its customers, which include pharmaceutical companies and research institutions, says CDI executive vice president Chris Parker. The remaining 2,700 lines will become available…
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    Seeing Both Sides

  • Giving and Taking in StartUp Land

    11 Aug 2015 | 2:35 am
    I have been wanting to read Give and Take since the New York Times article a few years ago described the author, Wharton Professor Adam Grant, and his research on "givers", "takers" and "matchers". I finally got a chance to do so this last week while on vacation and was not disappointed. I'd rank the book up there with Drive and Thinking Fast and Slow as one of my favorite popular business books written by academics. Grant's basic thesis is that being a giver - being motivated solely by your desire to give back, independent of a payback, without keeping…
  • Being a Business Leader Amid Historical Events

    29 Jun 2015 | 3:16 am
    There was an overwhelming torrent of news last week. The two Supreme Court decisions and the response to the tragic church shooting in South Carolina are among the most indelible events of our time and all three will be memorialized in history books and discussed for decades to come. Last week, a CEO friend (Jen Medbery of Kickboard) asked me a series of great questions that I've been thinking about these last few days: How do I address current events within my own company? Do I bring it up at all? How do I invite dialog with my employees? How are other companies talking about this,…
  • The Emotional Co-Founder

    30 Apr 2015 | 4:15 am
    There is a bias against solo founders in Startup Land. The conventional wisdom is that being an entrepreneur is so difficult that you shouldn't embark on it alone. Many of the top accelerators, like Techstars and Y Combinator, won't accept founding teams that have solo founders. Jessica Livingston, the lesser-known co-founder of Y Combinator, put it well in a Wall Street Journal article a few years ago: “We believe being a single founder is one factor that makes it more difficult to succeed… [because] there is just so much to do at a startup. Also, the moral weight of starting…
  • Hacking Immigration - The Global EIR Coalition

    16 Apr 2015 | 3:59 am
    Our immigration reform system is broken. That isn't new news. There is now a fix for high-skilled, immigration entrepreneurs that can be implemented TODAY with no legislation required. That is new news. And it has the potential to break through the political logjam. Only 85,000 H1-B visas are normally issued each year to immigration entrepreneurs and high-skilled technology workers. This year, there were 233,000 applicants. Countless others don't bother applying and simply leave the country after collecting their MBAs and PhDs because the odds are so stacked against them. With the…
  • The Search for Product-Market Fit

    26 Mar 2015 | 6:27 am
     I participated on a panel at the First Growth Venture Network yesterday on product-market fit and customer acquisition.  Lowenstein's Ed Zimmerman, our host, asked me to cram a semester's worth of content (related to my HBS class) in 10 minutes and below are the slides I pulled together:
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    PE Hub Blog

  • Austin Ventures exits Emerus Holdings

    Luisa Beltran
    1 Sep 2015 | 3:52 pm
    Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe has invested in Emerus Holdings. Financial terms weren’t announced. Austin Ventures, which invested $30 million in 2011, is the seller. Woodlands, Texas-based Emerus is a hospital system that provides inpatient and diagnostic care. BofA Merrill Lynch advised Emerus. PRESS RELEASE HOUSTON, Sept. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Emerus Holdings, a national and innovative leader in the delivery of emergent, inpatient and diagnostic care in partnership with leading health systems, today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to receive a strategic…
  • Warburg-backed Navitas buys Midland Basin assets

    Luisa Beltran
    1 Sep 2015 | 2:47 pm
    Navitas Midstream Partners LLC said Tuesday that it has acquired natural gas gathering and processing assets serving Martin, Midland and Glasscock counties in Texas. DCP Midstream LLC was the seller. Navitas is a portfolio company of Warburg Pincus. PRESS RELEASE THE WOODLANDS, Texas, Sept. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Navitas Midstream Partners, LLC (“Navitas”) announced today that it has acquired natural gas gathering and processing assets serving Martin, Midland and Glasscock counties in Texas from a subsidiary ofDenver-based DCP Midstream, LLC. The assets acquired include…
  • KPCB leads $11 million round for Mobcrush

    Luisa Beltran
    1 Sep 2015 | 2:34 pm
    Mobcrush has raised more than $11 million in a Series A round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Early investors Raine Ventures, First Round Capital, Lowercase, Rincon Venture Partners, Crosscut Ventures and Advancit Capital also participated. Santa Monica, California provides a live streaming platform for mobile games. PRESS RELEASE SANTA MONICA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mobcrush, the live streaming platform for mobile games, has raised more than $11M in Series A financing led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). Early investors Raine Ventures, First Round…
  • Vorago Tech raises $10 mln

    Luisa Beltran
    1 Sep 2015 | 2:30 pm
    Vorago Technologies said Tuesday it closed a $10 million funding round led by New Science Ventures. Austin-based Vorago, which was previously known as Silicon Space Technology, is a fabless semiconductor company. PRESS RELEASE AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–VORAGO Technologies, the leading provider of radiation- and extreme heat-hardened embedded systems technology, today announced it has closed a $10 million round of funding. Led by New Science Ventures, this investment will be used to fuel organic growth, and fund new product and technology development, expanding VORAGO’s…
  • Bunker Hill invests in Taos Mountain

    Luisa Beltran
    1 Sep 2015 | 2:26 pm
    Bunker Hill Capital said Tuesday it has acquired a majority stake in Taos Mountain LLC. Financial terms weren’t announced. Taos CEO Ric Urrutia, the seller, reinvested in the deal. San Jose, California-based Taos is an IT infrastructure consulting and managed services firm. PRESS RELEASE BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bunker Hill Capital, a leading Boston based private equity investor in lower middle market companies, announced today that it has made a majority investment in Taos Mountain, LLC (“Taos” or the “Company”), a Silicon Valley based IT infrastructure consulting and…
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  • LinkedIn puts Slack in its crosshairs with updated messaging platform

    Nathaniel Mott
    1 Sep 2015 | 12:23 pm
      LinkedIn is either suffering a mid-life crisis or experiencing a renaissance. The company has traditionally focused on helping workers further their careers by transforming all of their acquaintances into potential “connections” that can endorse any of their skills or simply become another notch in their digital belts. It has also tried to become a content hub for these same professionals by acquiring the Pulse news startup and working on content marketing tools. Now an update to the company’s messaging system, which previously looked like an email client from…
  • Google’s logo gets redesigned for the Alphabet era

    Tom Cheredar
    1 Sep 2015 | 9:40 am
    Search giant Google unveiled an updated version of its logo today, which last saw a significant change back in 1999. The redesigned logo was done to mark a new era for Google, the company said in its announcement. Last month Google Inc. restructured and rebranded as Alphabet — a holding company that owns a slightly slimmed down version of Google as well as several other organizations like Nest, Google X, and Calico. The company states: “As you’ll see, we’ve taken the Google logo and branding, which were originally built for a single desktop browser page, and updated them for…
  • Twitter takes on Facebook, Snapchat with improved photo tools

    Nathaniel Mott
    31 Aug 2015 | 10:20 am
    New image and video editing tools revealed in recent tweets from various celebrities show that Twitter is, once again, bringing the fight to Facebook and Snapchat. The new tools appear to allow Twitter users to share images with text overlays, stickers, and other modifications. Twitter’s existing tools merely allow people to crop images or run them through filters that greatly change their appearance, whether it’s by upping the contrast or making them look like old Polaroid shots. Here’s one of the more popular examples of what the new tools can do, courtesy of Taylor…
  • Dropbox might not die off in a market correction after all

    Chris Dannen
    28 Aug 2015 | 3:30 pm
    On the leeward side of the stock market correction on August 24, it would be natural to speculate which big private tech companies might run out of gas if markets took a more persistent downturn. Resoundingly, one of the most common picks for bubble-poppers is Dropbox. Ever since Steve Jobs famously disparaged it as “not a product” there have been speculations that it would die along with the file sharing business. But new features indicate a direction that would let it thrive. Increasingly, software interfaces are moving towards dialog-based paradigm: both smart assistants like Facebook…
  • How cord cutting is changing the nature of audience reach

    Frank Sinton
    28 Aug 2015 | 6:00 am
    Frank is CEO of Beachfront Media. In the emerging multi-platform era, reaching an audience is no longer merely as simple as waiting for them to turn on their television sets. As a viewer-based society, the multitude of formats currently available makes it possible to quite literally “cut the cord,” and take our content with us. However, with this proverbial cord-cutting comes consequences that are going to require creators and advertisers alike to rethink their content delivery strategies. In this new era, the rules of broadcast cable do not apply. Content creators require a whole new…
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    Feld Thoughts

  • The Twenty Minute VC Podcasts

    Brad Feld
    30 Aug 2015 | 7:56 am
    I don’t listen to that many podcasts, but I like ones that are a short (< 45 minute) interview format. I can listen to one of these on a run or a drive to/from my office. Until recently, the only one I was listening to regularly was the podcast. Jerry Colonna, the co-founder of is a dear friend and his interviews are often magical. A few months ago I noticed The Twenty Minute VC by Harry Stebbings. I can’t remember which one was the first one I listened to, but I thought his style and interview approach was great. It was fast, started with an origin story,…
  • Doing The Right Thing In A Recap

    Brad Feld
    28 Aug 2015 | 8:40 am
    Six weeks ago I wrote a post titled The Silliness Of Recapping Seed Rounds. I described a situation that occurred in one of our FG Angels investments that I thought was short sighted on the part of the VC involved and the CEO of the company. I characterized the situation as “silly” and specifically didn’t call out the people as my goal was to be instructive around the startup landscape, not to complain (we are big boys and will deal with whatever) or to try to generate a different outcome. I accepted what happened, wrote my post, and moved on. Over the next few days I…
  • Entrepreneurs Unplugged with Larissa Herda on 9/3

    Brad Feld
    27 Aug 2015 | 7:52 am
    Phil Weiser and I are interviewing Larissa Herda on Thursday 9/3 at CU Boulder from 5:30 – 7:00. It’s going to be a doozy – Larissa is dynamite and we are going to go deep on issues around leadership and mental health. Come join us. The post Entrepreneurs Unplugged with Larissa Herda on 9/3 appeared first on Feld Thoughts.
  • Startup Koan of the Day

    Brad Feld
    27 Aug 2015 | 7:22 am
    If you are playing the long game, what should you do next? The post Startup Koan of the Day appeared first on Feld Thoughts.
  • We Just Led A $10 Million Round in Spare5

    Brad Feld
    26 Aug 2015 | 6:46 am
    A few weeks ago I reposted some great advice from Fred Wilson for pitching entrepreneurs: “Fundraising is simple: find investors that get excited about your company.” Our experience with Spare5 and their experience raising money from us, where we just led a $10 million Series A Financing together with Madrona Venture Group and New Enterprise Associates, fits this quote perfectly. Matt Bencke, Spare5’s CEO, had a conversation last November with Jason. I remember Jason walking into my office and saying that he’d been thinking about something like this for a while and was super…
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    Guy Kawasaki

  • Test drive: Mercedes AMG GTS

    Guy Kawasaki
    7 Aug 2015 | 7:45 am
    My friends at Mercedes recently loaned me a Mercedes AMG to test drive, and I’d like to share my favorite pictures and thoughts with you. I hate to admit this, but I’m not sure I’m man enough for this car. It is a fantastic 503-horsepower engine (built by Sven Seyfried) with two seats strapped to the back–I mean this in only the most positive way! Think of it as a Zdeno Charo slapshot or a LeBron James dunk. It can hold a hockey bag–which is essential to me, and I was able to achieve 23.5 mpg on a drive from Santa Barbara to Menlo Park (not that mileage is a…
  • Test drive: Sony A7R II

    Guy Kawasaki
    6 Aug 2015 | 3:50 pm
    Sony brought approximately twenty journalists and reviewers to Portland to try the a7R II and RX-10. I only used the a7R II, mostly with the Sony FE 2.8 35 mm lens (real men use prime lenses). These are samples of my pictures. I’m not a “real” photographer so if you see anything that’s sub-optimal, it’s probably me, not the lens or camera. Some of the key features: 42 megapixels Five-axis stabilization Maximum ISO of 102,400 4K video recording Here are some articles from other members of the trip: Engadget Steve Huff Imaging Resource Bottom line: much smaller…
  • The Official Guy Kawasaki Father’s Day Gift List

    Guy Kawasaki
    8 Jun 2015 | 8:21 am
    A good Father’s Day gift embodies two qualities: insight into the male psyche and the appearance of a careful decision. Cost is hardly a factor at all. Because you only have six days left to shop, here’s a list of ten items for most modern dads. Anker USB charger. Wall or desktop $25.99. A dad’s credo is ABC: always be charging. These multi-port wall chargers enable dad to take care of his phone, tablet, and camera. You might want to buy him two for family vacations when all the other members of the family need a way to charge their devices too. Lumsing High Capacity 10,400 mAh…
  • Startups: How to Do a Pre-Mortem (and Prevent a Post-Mortem)

    Guy Kawasaki
    20 May 2015 | 9:42 am
    Doctors conduct postmortems to figure why people died. They do this to solve a crime, prevent the death of others, and satisfy curiosity. However, once somebody dies, it’s too late to help him. Entrepreneurs and their investors also often analyze why a product, service, or company died—especially if it’s someone else’s company. And, as in the case of dead people, a postmortem is too late to do much good for a defunct product, service, or company. Enter the concept of premortems, coined by Gary Klein, chief scientist of Klein Associates, and author of Sources of Power: How People Make…
  • Photos from the May 2015 Maker Faire in San Mateo California

    Guy Kawasaki
    18 May 2015 | 2:27 pm
    The post Photos from the May 2015 Maker Faire in San Mateo California appeared first on Guy Kawasaki.
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    deal architect

  • More stupid vendor pet tricks

    1 Sep 2015 | 5:59 am
    Readers have enjoyed my posts in the past about software salespersons tricks. In the last few years, and especially as I have written the two SAP Nation books I have heard of more stupid behavior towards “end of life” -...
  • SAP Nation 2.0 Excerpt: S/4HANA questions

    30 Aug 2015 | 9:14 pm
    In time for Labor Day weekend reading, 2.0 is starting to show up in book stores (print at CreateSpace and ebook at Amazon). As with previous books, I will be excerpting 10% of the contents over the next few weeks....
  • SAP Nation 2.0 Excerpts: The S/4HANA launch

    26 Aug 2015 | 9:56 pm
    In time for Labor Day weekend reading, 2.0 is starting to show up in book stores (print at CreateSpace and ebook at Amazon). As with previous books, I will be excerpting 10% of the contents over the next few weeks....
  • Robots and our jobs

    25 Aug 2015 | 9:40 am
    Nice, and fairly comprehensive research by Forrester analyst JP Gownder. I like his balanced tone, not the Chicken Little tone so many recent books have taken “We forecast that 16% of jobs will disappear due to automation technologies between now...
  • SAP Nation 2.0 Excerpt: The Sprawl

    23 Aug 2015 | 9:25 pm
    In time for Labor Day weekend reading, Amazon is launching 2.0 on Kindle today. It is starting to show up in book stores (print on demand at CreateSpace ). As with previous books, I will be excerpting 10% of the...
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  • "On Demand" Eating the World of Music, Too.

    Allen Morgan
    31 Aug 2015 | 4:54 pm
    It's now a truism, or a cliche, to mention how the "On-Demand" economy is eating the world of personal services (Uber, Lyft, AirBnB, Task Rabbit, Postmates, Instacart and dozens of others).  Among a bunch of other reasons, millennials don't want to own things in the same way that we, their parents, did/do.  What is lesser remarked, but equally disruptive to a huge market, is that, as noted here in the Financial Times, the "On Demand" business model is also eating the music world - streaming has now outpaced downloads, with disruptive repercussions for an…
  • 1998 -- 1999 are Calling and They Want their Wild Abandon Back!

    Allen Morgan
    31 Aug 2015 | 3:05 pm
    I love Tesla, and am a huge fan of Elon Musk (a former client from my lawyer days). But, reading this in a place like the FT (as opposed to (the long defunct) "Industry Standard", as well as "Upside", "Red Herring", "Wired") made the hair on the back of my neck stand up in alarm -- I thought I was having LSD flashbacks to 1998 - 1999, when statements like these (this one from today's FT) were thrown about with abandon:   "Still, if you try to be rational, you are missing a big point in Mr Musk’s favour. Silicon Valley is currently obsessed…
  • Apple and Mobile Web Ad Blockers -- Not What It Seems?

    Allen Morgan
    31 Aug 2015 | 9:12 am
    Interesting story in today's WSJ about how Apple's new mobile web ad blockers are upsetting mobile web publishers and advertisers.  The arms race continues, with publishers/advertisers -> ad blockers -> consulting firms that help publishers/advertisers combat ad blockers! Curious twist for the cynical mind: Apple's strategy only affects mobile web ads.  This should drive more ad revenue towards the mobile, in-app model. Wait a minute!  That will hurt mobile web advertisers and publishers (from whom Apple makes no money via Safari), but will help Apple (with greater…
  • Advice on Hiring

    Allen Morgan
    22 Aug 2015 | 3:14 pm
    Don’t hire people about whom you have doubts.  One will make plenty of hiring mistakes during one's business career by hiring people about whom one had no doubts, but who, nevertheless, don’t work out.  But, the failure rate on people about whom you have doubts is far higher. Trust your doubts, especially as you gain hiring experience.  The best "gut" is fallible -- one will hire people who surprise one by not working out -- but still one's best guide.
  • Startups and VCs -- The Secret Arena of Competition

    Allen Morgan
    20 Aug 2015 | 2:13 pm
    Every startup seeking financing from VCs faces two kinds of competition: known and unknown. Known:  Every startup pitch should have a "Competition" slide, in which it lists and (briefly) describes the bases of competition and the companies with whom it competes in the market it's trying to exploit.  There are two main variations on how to present this: (1) a "magic quadrant" with two dimensions of competition that result in the startup being alone (or a good distance away from the other listed competitors) in the upper right quadrant, or (2) a matrix with…
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    Babbling VC

  • Why Everyone is Wrong About Wearables

    Paul Jozefak
    18 Aug 2015 | 6:20 am
    There have been multiple angles when it comes to reporting on wearables. They were all "dying" after a report came out last year. Now again, people are arguing that the days are numbered for wearables. Unfortunately, two years in a row people are getting it wrong and will continue to do so.  Let's start off with a definition. For me and the purpose of this post, I am referring to "wearables" as encompassing anything you wear to either track fitness, get notifications or measure health, etc.. I am splitting out a category of wearables I'll broadly refer to as "smartwatches", even though at…
  • "Skate to Where the Puck is Going to Be"

    Paul Jozefak
    3 Jun 2015 | 2:11 am
    As a former hockey player, I love using this Wayne Gretzky quote from my title.....too often at times. Yet, It reminds me over and over of how to think in business. There's been this exit in the German market announced officially yesterday that has received quite a bit of press, including my own. One of the aspects that hasn't yet been written about is what the founders did to get to this exit.  I guarantee you that this happens to be one of the steps that every successful founder I have had the pleasure of witnessing in Germany has done perfectly. They were where the puck was going. In…
  • Fools and Mercenaries

    Paul Jozefak
    3 May 2015 | 11:03 pm
    Someone made a comment this morning about offering large amounts of equity at the early stages of a start-up's life to find employees. It went along the lines of labelling the folks that are incentivised by equity as either fools or mercenaries. It basically implies that you are either dumb or tactical to take a large equity stake early as your main motivator.  I don't necessarily disagree about the part referring to motivation. If profiting from equity is your main reason for joining a start-up, you will most likely be disappointed. There are one-off opportunities to strike it rich but the…
  • Courting Mike Butcher

    Paul Jozefak
    22 Feb 2015 | 5:13 am
    I wrote a tongue-in-cheek tweet this morning after seeing someone post slides Mike Butcher was presenting at an event. pjozefakWant to get on @TechCrunch? @mikebutcher explains how. OR pro tip: be smart & say "I'll sponsor your next event!" ;-)22/02/15 10:58 He was discussing how best to get bloggers to write about you and I agree with everything he said. If you want to get written about, heed his advice...he's been at it a while. Yet there's one thing a blogger really can't say without coming across like a dick.  Get to know them! PR and working with the press is…
  • The Bastardisation of the Entrepreneur-in-Residence

    Paul Jozefak
    17 Feb 2015 | 11:36 pm
    I've seen this happening over the years but it seems to have come to a fever pitch in the past year or so.  Ever more people I run across or who apply for positions have held the title of "Entrepreneur-in-Residence".....better known as EIR's. This has become one of the most loaded terms in the startup world. The majority of the folks don't realise that this is one of the most bullshit titles out there now.  Back in the 90's, EIR's showed up in the Valley. Here's the thing though.....these were really entrepreneurs. Usually EIR's were guys who had already exited at least one if not more…
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    Venture Chronicles

  • #LifeOnMars

    31 Aug 2015 | 9:11 am
    I was listening to a media overview of the Life On Mars Project. The short version is that 6 people, 3 men and 3 women, will spend 365 in a biosphere located on the slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii. They will be permitted to leave the dome but will be required to wear a space suit to simulate the conditions on Mars. In an unfortunate naming twist, the acronym for the effort is HI-SEAS. I think they should have gone with a different acronym. The project will study the effects of long-term isolation and co-habitation. The results of the 1-year study will be used in the planning of an…
  • The Ashley Madison Data Dump

    20 Aug 2015 | 8:58 am
    The hack itself is an old story; Ashley Madison was hacked and profile information stolen. What is new is that the group behind the hack, Impact Team, dumped all the data. It has now been made available by many legitimate folks who created searchable online services against the data. As much as I could enjoy the schadenfreude in this story, I simply cannot. I’m compelled to point out that just because an email is in the database does not mean it is a legitimate account. Email is a notoriously weak verified identifier, and while many websites have a sign-up flow for email verification,…
  • Amazon Dash, the Device Web, and Speech Verification

    18 Aug 2015 | 5:11 am
    I purchased an Amazon Dash button recently. It’s a clever product concept and an example of a headless device that will be a major theme in the emerging Internet of Things movement. The Internet of Things represents a massive shift in how we will consume services. I would assert that we will reorganize the existing Internet around three functional Internets: The Web: This is what we know today. Constantly evolving, the complexity of services delivered to HTTP endpoint will increase, and as more web consumption moves to mobile, the interoperability of smartphone apps with web services will…
  • Crisis Management for Lion Killers

    29 Jul 2015 | 10:18 am
    The story of the Dr. “Lion Slayer” Palmer is all over the internet and people are outraged, for good reason. His dental practice is in limbo and he is in hiding after receiving death threats. Well done Internet… you have already surpassed the attention span of a #hashtag with this one. I am conflicted on this story for many reasons. Big game hunting is deplorable, and there is no justification for it with licenses sold to the ultra-wealthy who are partaking in the experience for the sport of it. If the goal is herd management, have trained naturalists do the killing in a…
  • Tough Doesn’t Quit, Except at Breakfast

    28 Jul 2015 | 9:03 am
    I was at a dinner on Sunday night and seated next to me was retired Admiral Eric Olson, who had a long and distinguished military career. He retired from the Navy in 2011 as the commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command. Interesting man, to say the least, but also incredibly gracious and unassuming. I asked him what qualities he could identify that would be indicators of success as s Navy SEAL. His response was predictable in some ways, unexpected in others. Above all, he said, the SEALs look for problem-solving, intelligence and mental toughness in candidates. I expected to hear this,…
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    GenuineVC » GenuineVC

  • Seeking Nonconsensus

    David Beisel
    27 Aug 2015 | 5:42 am
    Tales become legends about founders of exceptionally transformative companies who truly struggled to get any investors’ attention early on.  These rejection emails to the founder of Airbnb represent just one of the most recent example of this familiar theme.If a startup were obvious, then everybody would be doing it.  And it wouldn’t be an opportunity.My partner Lee likes to talk about successful fundraising as “finding the believers, not convincing the skeptics.”  When I think to the best performing companies in our NextView portfolio, the investment process was driven by (at…
  • Introducing the NextView Talent Exchange: Connecting Top Talent to Startups

    David Beisel
    5 May 2015 | 6:42 am
    Today, I’m thrilled to publicly announce NextView’s Talent Exchange, a program helping both top talent and NextView-backed startups connect with each other more easily, beginning with Boston companies (which make up just over half our portfolio).Below, I’ll quickly explain the genesis of this initiative and share a few more key details.One of my first mentors in venture capital explained to me that the key role of a VC is to “aggregate talent.” Nothing is more important than seeking out extremely talented individuals and connecting them with other similarly talented and driven…
  • Fellow VCs: Here’s Where to Invest $1B+

    David Beisel
    16 Mar 2015 | 5:33 am
    A couple weeks ago my colleague Dimitri Dadiomov published a post on NextView’s “View From Seed” blog which answered the question “Should we take Harvard MBAs Seriously as Startup Founders?”  The (obvious) answer of “yes” he supported with comprehensive research about the entrepreneurial activity coming out of Harvard’s business school.We knew that it was formidable, but the sheer number of founders, companies founded, dollars raised, and (early) exits from HBS founders over the past six years impressed us.  From the group, over 260 founders have launched around 90 startups,…
  • VC Ground Game

    David Beisel
    4 Mar 2015 | 5:14 am
    Conventional wisdom says that the best way to meet with a venture capitalist is to get a warm introduction.  (While it’s a good rule of thumb, it’s not entirely true, which I’ve blogged about previously.)However, there’s another way that I’ve seen entrepreneurs use mutual connections that’s even more impactful than a warm introduction: a proactive inbound reference.  Rather than wait for a VC to ask for references later in the diligence process, savvy entrepreneurs have had people in our mutual network lob in an email or phone call as a vote of confidence and support.  If a…
  • The “Come-from-Behind” Lead Investor

    David Beisel
    15 Jan 2015 | 8:08 am
    As an entrepreneur, if you’re running a venture capital fundraise effectively, you’re treating the process like a sale process: identifying a set of prospects to fill the top of the funnel, cultivating those relationships over a series of meetings, then narrowing down to a handful of contender firms who will ultimately make an offer to invest with a term sheet. Of key importance, which we emphasize with our NextView portfolio companies when they’re out raising their Series A, is to run the conversations in parallel rather than serially. In other words, as much as feasible, to gate all…
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    Mark Peter Davis

  • Nobody Cares That You Failed

    18 Aug 2015 | 11:01 am
    If you haven’t mastered failure,  when your venture dies it’s easy to be embarrassed around people not involved with your company.  I’ve been there. Being embarrassed when you’re out in public is natural.  After all most folks feel that if their venture failed, they must be a failure. Despite being a typical response, being embarrassed is counterproductive.  The problem is that if you’re embarrassed you might withdraw from social engagement and lose valuable relationships.  When you’re embarrassed it’s easier to avoid other people – what if they mock or pity you,…
  • Announcing The Dex Academy: Founder Bootcamp

    11 Aug 2015 | 8:48 am
    I used to think that entrepreneurship couldn’t be taught. I believed this because I thought all it took to be an entrepreneur was creativity and hustle.  While those are key ingredients, there’s a very specific type of knowledge required to be a successful founder.  Tricks of the trade if you will. I’ve started dozens of companies and through the process I have learned very tactical approaches to start companies smarter, better, faster.  If you don’t know these processes and frameworks, starting a company can be exponentially more expensive and time consuming.  This knowledge is…
  • Mastering Failure

    4 Aug 2015 | 9:44 am
    I’ve failed a lot in my career.  More times than I can count on two hands. For better and for worse, I’m tenacious and I kept trying.  Which in the early days led to even more failure more frequently. In the beginning failure was devastating.  It stung and was embarrassing.  With my confidence wrapped up in my venture I rode the roller coaster and when things fell apart so did I.  My venture failing meant I was failure. It was the wrong way to look at things. I’ve come to realize that failure is actually part of the process.  To be a seasoned entrepreneur you need to master…
  • Book Recommendation: The Contrarian’s Guide To Leadership

    22 Jul 2015 | 6:20 am
    As capital requirements come down in a market, more entrants tend to rush in.  While that tends to provide consumers with a greater set of options, the adverse result is typically an abundance of noise.  This pattern holds true in the news media world. With an overload of bloggers and news outlets it’s impossible to keep up with the deluge of news.  We’re no longer swimming in information, we’re drowning in it.  It’s a good problem (that I think makes for a better world), but a problem nonetheless. The mechanism by which we stay sane is social curation.  Most of us rely on others…
  • Book Recommendation: The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team

    9 Jul 2015 | 8:43 am
    There are usually one or two books on a given business topic that every founder has to read.  While the best sellers will often be books that tell exciting stories, the often overlooked books are those that explain an essential framework and can unlock the true potential of operators. One book that I recommend every founder read is The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.  While it’s a relatively well-known book, it’s not as sexy as some of its counterparts.  Despite that, it’s one of my favorites as it delivers a structured way to evaluate team building. Given how essential team building is…
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  • Why PayPal launched a new mobile peer-to-peer payment platform

    Jaime Toplin and John Heggestuen
    1 Sep 2015 | 7:30 pm
      PayPal announced a new mobile peer-to-peer (P2P) payment platform called, which will allow users to create a personalized PayPal link and send it to peers for fast P2P transfers through PayPal. Once the link is created, the user sends it to the individual or group as a request for funds. After the link is received, the value of the transaction is entered and the funds are transferred to the original user's PayPal account. The service will allow links to be sent through multiple platforms – instant message, social media, e-mail, and more – and will work on both…
  • Uber told drivers to take showers, and now it’s being used against them in court

    Biz Carson
    1 Sep 2015 | 4:31 pm
    When you get in an Uber, you hope your driver has showered and the car is not a mess. However, the fact that Uber once told its drivers not to "forget to shower" is now part of a key legal battle that the ride-hailing company faces. The ride-hailing company suffered a major legal setback on Tuesday when a San Francisco judge ruled that the jobs of Uber drivers in California are similar enough that workers can sue the company as a class.  In a decision granting class action status to the lawsuit, Judge Edward Chen of the U.S. District Court Northern District…
  • Amazon Prime Video now offers something Netflix says it will 'never' allow (AMZN)

    Jillian D'Onfro
    1 Sep 2015 | 4:13 pm
    Amazon just announced a video streaming perk that Netflix has sworn it would never allow.  If you're one of the approximately 40 to 60 million people who pay for Prime, Amazon's $99-a-year membership club, you can now download movies and TV shows on your smartphone or tablet for offline viewing. This is really handy if you're taking a plane trip and don't want to pay for Wi-Fi, or you know you're going to be somewhere else where wireless is not available. Previously, Amazon only offered this feature for people who owned one of its line of Fire tablets, but it now applies to Android…
  • An angry laid-off HP employee wrote this letter to government officials: 'I have no one to stand for me' (HPQ)

    Julie Bort
    1 Sep 2015 | 3:23 pm
    Last month, HP told select employees that they were going to be cut from HP's payroll in an unusual way.  They would be offered a job at a different company that HP had contracted with to supply labor, so they would continue to work on HP projects, with HP customers. The new company would be making new job offers. Employees who turned down the offers would be cut from HP, and not eligible for layoff severance, which has typically been one week of pay for every year of service, employees have told us.  Maybe these workers should be happy that they are…
  • A bunch of new details about the next Tesla just emerged

    Cadie Thompson
    1 Sep 2015 | 2:57 pm
    More details about Tesla’s Model X Signature Series were revealed on Tuesday — including the price. The new Signature Series SUV will set buyers back anywhere from $132,000 to $144,000 before tax credits and other incentives. The car will have a 90 kWh battery pack and a range of about 250 miles according to EPA ratings. Like Tesla’s other vehicles, speed will also be a primary feature. The SUV will be able to accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 3.8 seconds and have a top speed of 155 miles per hour. But for an extra $10,000, buyers can upgrade the car to get…
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  • Dubai investment firm Abraaj acquired majority stake in Latin American Urbano logistics

    31 Aug 2015 | 9:07 am
    Dubai-based investment firm Abraaj Group has acquired a majority stake in Urbano Express, a Latin American logistics firm for between $20 and $50 million. Established in Ecuador in 1996, Urbano specializes in document delivery services in the three countries. It expanded to El Salvador in 1998 and Peru in 2003. The amount of the deal is not disclosed, but some sources are quoting Abraaj managers the price range of $20 to $50 million. Abraaj Group is listed in the Middle East Investors Directory with the code OR01. More details follows:
  • Saudi Investors of Riyad Valley acquired stake in California firm Solexel for $70 million

    20 Aug 2015 | 7:36 am
    Riyadh Valley Company, the VC investment arm of King Saud University of Saudi Arabia, has acquired stake at Solexel, a US-based producer of high-performance solar PV technology in a $70 million round. Solexel which is based in California, has developed the world’s highest-performance thin wafer silicon solar PV modules. It is backed by venture investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers and DAG Ventures as well as GAF, the largest roofing materials manufacturer in North America. Established to help transform Saudi Arabia’s oil-based economy into a more diversified…
  • Dubai private equity firm Adenium invested $300 million in Japan solar project

    11 Aug 2015 | 5:19 am
    Dubai private equity firm Adenium Energy Capital, in partnership with Hudson Clean Energy Partners, have announced investment of $300 million in a solar project in Japan. Adenium manages or co-manages over 500 MW of solar PV investments in Italy, Jordan, Egypt and Japan. The Company was founded in 2010 by four investment groups in the Middle East with Wassef Sawaf as Chief Executive Officer. Adenium is listed in the Middle East Investors Directory with the code AUX711. More details follows:
  • Middle East investors to spend $15 billion per year in global real estate

    6 Aug 2015 | 4:55 am
    An average of $15 billion per year will flow out of the Middle East into direct real estate globally in the near-term, with investors from the region increasingly targeting U.S markets, according to the latest research from global property advisor CBRE Group. The Middle East continues to be one of the most important sources of cross-regional capital into the global real estate market, with $14 billion invested outside of the home region in 2014 — the third largest source of capital globally. (Qatar was by far the largest source of outbound capital with $4.9 billion invested. Saudi Arabia…
  • UAE investment firm Lulu acquired London's Scotland Yard headquarters for $170 million

    28 Jul 2015 | 3:55 am
    LuLu Group, a UAE-based conglomerate active in retail, manufacturing and trade, has acquired the original Scotland Yard headquarters in London for $170 million. According to the Guardian, the original Scotland Yard police station is to be turned into a new five-star luxury London hotel with rooms costing up to £10,000 a night. LuLu Group International is a diversified entity, with interests in retail, imports & exports, trading, shipping, IT, travel and education. To see listing and contact emails of UAE investors similar to Lulu Group, check the Middle East Investors Directory. More details…
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    Taylor Davidson

  • What data is good for

    6 Aug 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Is big data a big asset or a big liability? That's up to us. Let's consider how we are using data to make better products and ads while dealing with security, privacy, and tracking.I recently did a guest appearance on a podcast talking a bit about me - financial models, Foresight and fundraising - and a lot more about big data and privacy, how apps and operating systems are changing, and machine learning and artificial intelligence. 1 One of the biggest topics we talked about, starting at 13:51, was about data and how product creators and marketers use data: We’ve been living in this…
  • Artificial Intelligence in Fintech

    7 May 2015 | 9:00 pm
    The financial services industry has seen the buzz over artifical intelligence before, but will the result be different this time?This originally appeared for Fintech Collective at Guest Post: Artificial Intelligence in Fintech. Sign up for their weekly newsletter on Fintech. Since its inception in the 1950s, artificial intelligence (AI) has seen at least two major hype cycles and long winters of disillusionment.. While artificial intelligence suffered through the recent disullusionment cycle from the 1990s to today, its facilitating and corollary technologies have thrived, and we are now…
  • Small (and Big) Data

    23 Feb 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Data abstinence and artificial intelligence.Every time a new hacking incident hits the news, the response follows a similar path: news reports about millions of customer data points stolen, quotes from security consultants, breathless reports from news anchors about how many millions of people’s records were taken, assurances from the hacked company that critical customer information was not taken, commitments to shore up the data breach, offers of credit and identity monitoring services, and promises to be better in the future. And we go back to our lives and forget, until the next…
  • How the Future of Mobile Apps Impacts Ads and Brands

    10 Nov 2014 | 9:00 pm
    The future of mobile apps will create new avenues for mobile ads. But it all starts with user experiences.Paul Adams, writing about the future of apps: The experience of our primary mobile screen being a bank of app icons that lead to independent destinations is dying. And that changes what we need to design and build. … The idea of an app as an independent destination is becoming less important, and the idea of an app as a publishing tool, with related notifications that contain content and actions, is becoming more important. This will change what we design, and change our product…
  • Users, meet Advertisers

    4 Nov 2014 | 9:00 pm
    The shift from a product people love to a product advertisers love is tough. But that should be expected. If you want to figure out the future of adtech, look to where consumer technology is going. I wrote that over a year ago, talking about how we define the future of ads based on the sites and experiences where we spend our time. I continue to think about this nearly every day, particularly through the lens of the first steps by Snapchat, Instagram and others to launch their products for marketers and advertisers. The takeaway: shifting advertising spending to emerging consumer platforms…
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  • The Ashley Madison Hack: A Glimpse of the Post Privacy Future

    20 Aug 2015 | 10:50 am
    After some initial uncertainty it appears that the data released yesterday is in fact from the Ashley Madison hack that had been announced a little while back. The data contains not just email addresses but a lot of other information including internal corporate documents. As for the email addresses there will be some percentage that was entered by others as Ashley Madison did not require an email confirmation (so I would take any revelations with a grain of salt).I believe that this hack and subsequent data leak provides a glimpse of a post privacy future. As I have argued before here on…
  • The Blockstack Summit

    18 Aug 2015 | 8:33 am
    About 8 months ago Joel Monegro, who is one of the analysts here at USV, wrote a great post titled “The Blockchain Application Stack.” The post lays out how the bitcoin blockchain can be combined with overlay networks and decentralized protocols to create a new application ecosystem. A lot of work has been accomplished since then by a great many individuals and organizations to bring this stack into sharper focus.If you want to learn more about the progress, I highly recommend that you head over to and check out the forums there. A lot of current discussion takes place in…
  • Networks, Firms and Markets

    17 Aug 2015 | 6:23 am
    There has been a renewed interest in the impact that digital technology is having on the boundaries of the firm. In particular there is a sense that networks operating on top of platforms are competing effectively with traditional firms. Examples include AirBnB as competing with hotels without owning any real estate, Uber with transportation companies without owning and cars, LendingClub with banks without having a balance sheet, Upwork (formerly ELance/ODesk) a systems contractor without employees, etc. (Aside: I am planning to write a future post about the many profound differences between…
  • Values for a World of Knowledge

    10 Aug 2015 | 5:45 am
    I have been thinking about the value implications of embracing knowledge. Maybe I am being overly reductionist here but there are three values that seem to me to be intimately connected with the knowledge loop of learning, creating and sharing. Put differently I don’t see how a society based on knowledge would work well or be sustained if any one of these is removed. Now other than the first one you may not recognize these as values and it is not even that easy to define what “values” are in the first place. Think of them as principles that should guide one’s…
  • What’s Your Purpose?

    5 Aug 2015 | 1:13 pm
    About once a week I meet someone who is looking for advice on what to do next. This ranges from recent college graduates (and even the occasional high school graduate) to experienced entrepreneurs thinking about their next startup. Often people come with relatively tactical questions, like how to best get a job at a startup or how to transition into a new field. I used to engage on just that level but now I start by asking people about their purpose.“What is your purpose?” tends to throw off most people. Pretty much nobody seems to have thought about it. And I have to admit neither had I…
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    Openview Labs

  • 4 Reasons You Need to Nail Your Employee Exits

    Katelyn LaGarde
    31 Aug 2015 | 10:30 am
    We put a lot of focus on the hiring process these days. From figuring out how to attract top talent and formulating the perfect interview process all the way to crafting week-long onboarding programs, we go above and beyond to get our new recruits excited and prepared for the work ahead. But, too often, interaction with candidates ends after onboarding. We’re so focused on the hiring and onboarding processes that we seldom put much effort into the employee exit process, not realizing the impact an exit can have on the team and company as a whole. So, what happens when employees are…
  • How to Have Sales Meetings That Aren’t a Waste of Time

    Mike Weinberg
    31 Aug 2015 | 6:08 am
    Editor’s note: This is the sixth post in a new series devoted to helping new sales managers survive and thrive in their new role. For more essential tips and tactics, sign up for our free email course, The First 90 Days: A Sales Manager Survival Course How’s this for a radical thought: Sales managers should not dread leading regular team meetings, and it shouldn’t be drudgery for salespeople to participate in them! Sales meetings can be powerful and productive; they need not be painful. They’re supposed to align, equip, energize and engage the sales team. Nowhere is it written that…
  • A Comprehensive Guide to Color, UX and Conversion Rates

    Hannah Alvarez
    28 Aug 2015 | 6:04 am
    Color is one of the most powerful tools in the designer’s toolkit. You can use color to impact users’ emotions, draw their attention, and put them in the right frame of mind to make a purchase. It’s also one of the main factors in customers’ perception of a brand. With an infinite number of possible color combinations out there, it can be hard to decide what colors will make the biggest impact on your site or app. It would be impossible to test everything, but we’ve picked up a few tricks and trends about how color affects users’ attitudes and behavior. In this article, we’ll…
  • How One Tool Enabled Two Entrepreneurs to Quit Their Day Jobs & Build Their Dream Business

    Brandon Hickie
    27 Aug 2015 | 10:51 am
    The following is a market-sizing tool case study featuring Apitite, a cloud service for creating and managing APIs. The Problem Tristan and Todd, both first-time entrepreneurs with technical backgrounds, were moonlighting on the weekends building Apitite, a cloud service for creating and managing APIs. But, before they could quit their day jobs and devote their full attention to the company, they needed to not only validate their idea, but determine the total market opportunity and potential demand for their business. “I was spending a few hours a night looking at market data and had vague…
  • 5 Ways to Improve Your Sales Productivity Strategy

    Sharmin Kent
    27 Aug 2015 | 6:04 am
    As companies focus on growth, sales leaders need new approaches and field-tested strategies to increase efficiency, boost effectiveness and close more deals. Today’s high-performing companies consistently strike that critical balance by addressing the needs of their sales teams, their customers, and the technology that helps connect there. Here are five proven ways sales leaders can use technology to improve their sales productivity strategy and enable their sales teams to sell smarter and faster. Prioritize the Customer Hyper-connected buyers are searching, posting, tweeting, reviewing and…
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    Boston Business News - Local Boston News | Boston Business Journal

  • The winners and losers in Massachusetts' latest health care spending report card

    Jessica Bartlett
    1 Sep 2015 | 9:00 pm
    When it comes to health care in Massachusetts, there those that spend money, and those that are making it. New lines have been drawn with a partial report issued Wednesday by an independent state agency, the Center for Health Information and Analysis, which found that spending on Massachusetts health care rose 4.8 percent from 2013-2014, well over the benchmark growth of 3.6 percent. From insurers, to the state, to the drug companies to the consumers, find out who are the winners and losers of…
  • ​How Steward Health Care made most of its hospitals profitable in the past four years

    Jessica Bartlett
    1 Sep 2015 | 5:08 pm
    In 2011, four out of the six hospitals that the newly-formed Steward Health Care had acquired were operating at a loss, bleeding millions as expensive operations outpaced meager revenues. Steward has added four more languishing acute care hospitals to its ranks in the four years since, but has managed to turn the finances of all but a few around. According to recently released financial figures, only two of the nine hospitals in the system last year were still operating in the red, numbers executives…
  • Cape Cod-run oil investment company files for bankruptcy

    Eric Convey
    1 Sep 2015 | 4:24 pm
    An oil investment firm that was legally based in Texas but had been run from Cape Cod and had assets and liabilities valued in the millions of dollars filed today for chapter 11 protection under the bankruptcy code. Buckingham Oil Interests Inc. listed its businesses address as a $3 million home overlooking the ocean in Falmouth. In a bankruptcy filing, the company reported assets in the range of $3 million to $10 million and liabilities in the range of $10 million to $50 million. The executive…
  • These 10 Massachusetts stocks got clobbered today as Wall Street retrenched

    Eric Convey
    1 Sep 2015 | 2:43 pm
    While the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 469.68 points, or 2.84 percent, Tuesday, these 10 Massachusetts stocks lost a lot more on a percentage basis. Here's a list, from biggest hit to smallest percentage loss, of the 10 hardest-hit Massachusetts stocks in today's trading. American DG Energy Inc. (Nasdaq: ADGE), lost 5 cents, or 15 percent, to close at 28 cents. Collegium Pharmaceutical Inc. (Nasdaq: COLL) of Canton lost $2.11, or 14 percent, to close at $13.01. Ovascience Inc. (Nasdaq: OVAS)…
  • While Wall Street plunged today, these 10 Massachusetts stocks posted solid gains

    Eric Convey
    1 Sep 2015 | 2:42 pm
    What bear market? These Massachusetts stocks defied Wall Street today and rose even as the broader market shrunk. The 10 listed below posted the biggest percentage gains today among Massachusetts publicly traded shares. Akebia Therapeutics Inc. (Nasaq: AKBA), gained 51 cents, or 7.32 percent, to close at $7.47. Cerulean Pharma Inc. (Nasdaq: CERU), gained 29 cents, or 7.19 percent, to close at $4.32. Minerva Neurosciences Inc. (Nasdaq: NERV), gained 33 cents, or 5.91 percent, to close at $5.91.…
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    Innovative Advisory Group

  • The Stock Market Crash 2015 – 9 Stock Market Tips to Help You Sleep at Night

    Kirk Chisholm
    27 Aug 2015 | 10:20 am
    The Stock Market Crash 2015 – 9 Stock Market Tips to Help You Sleep at Night   “We simply attempt to be fearful when others are greedy and to be greedy only when others are fearful” -Warren Buffett Stock Market Crash 2015 - Should you be scared? 2015 has been an interesting year for stock investors. 2015 started out with the S&P 500 opening at 2058.9. From there the index has fluctuated between +3.8% and -4.1%. When investors are accustomed to getting 6 years in a row of positive gains, it is hard to imagine what a down year looks like. In the past week the S&P 500…
  • Inflation Monitor – August 2015

    Kirk Chisholm
    19 Aug 2015 | 7:45 am
    Inflation Monitor – August 2015 Inflation Monitor Summary - Composite Ranking   * The Inflation Equilibrium is a quick summary for the whole data series of the inflation monitor. If you don't like statistics, this is the chart for you.   Inflation Monitor - August 2015 - Introduction The lazy days of summer are almost over. As the summer ends, the Wall Street traders and money mangers will also be going back to work. If you looked at a chart of the S&P 500 without the dates, you would not be able to tell which days were summer days and which were not. It looks like…
  • 10 Top Alternative Investments You Probably Have Never Heard of

    Kirk Chisholm
    10 Aug 2015 | 7:17 am
    10 Top Alternative Investments You Probably Have Never Heard of     “Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people” – Leo Burnett Most people are familiar with the stock market. There are TV stations which have the stock market and stock market related information on 24 hours every day. It is hard to escape it. When the stock market crashes, it makes the headlines in every newspaper, news station, and media outlet. When it reaches all time highs, it is on every magazine cover, even the shoeshine boys are talking about it. But…
  • 10 self directed IRA tips to help real estate investors maximize profits

    Kirk Chisholm
    30 Jul 2015 | 7:20 am
    10 self directed IRA tips to help real estate investors maximize profits     “Self Directed IRAs are one of the best laws the US government has ever passed” Can I invest in real estate with my Self-Directed IRA? “Self Directed IRAs are one of the best laws the US government has ever passed”, an investor once told me. It is hard to argue that point. In 1974, congress passed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, often referred to as ERISA, enabling US taxpayers to save money for their retirement in a tax deferred manner. The best part of this program (outside of the…
  • Inflation Monitor – July 2015

    Kirk Chisholm
    23 Jul 2015 | 7:05 am
    Inflation Monitor – July 2015 Inflation Monitor Summary - Composite Ranking * The Inflation Equilibrium is a quick summary for the whole data series of the inflation monitor. If you don't like statistics, this is the chart for you.   Inflation Monitor - July 2015 - Introduction I hope you enjoyed your Independence Day. While Greece may not have the same appreciation of our holiday, they had one of their own... A Bank holiday. While the Greek Crisis in Europe seems to be solved??? The greater problem persists. The Greek people voted a resounding "NO" on the terms and the Greek…
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