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Why This New York Venture Capital Firm is Investing in Canada

At our firm, ff Venture Capital, we didn’t aim to go to Canada, but ended up there anyway. We’re a New York based early-stage venture capital firm. Since 2011, we have invested in four Toronto-based startups as well as one Ottawa-based company, out of 60 active companies in our portfolio. We [...continue reading]

How to Run Your Company Based on Metrics: What, Why, How, Who, and When

I review a lot of board decks with a beautifully hand-crafted page with metrics for the company.  That makes me nervous.   I prefer to see a screenshot of an internal dashboard, not something created for the board, and I prefer to see that same dashboard in the same format at every meeting.  The [...continue reading]

How Star Wars Will Help You Raise Capital for Your Company

When you’re raising money, you’re telling a story.  So who are some of the best stories and storytellers?   Greek mythology, the Bible, and in modern times, George Lucas and the Wachowski siblings. Star Wars and the Matrix are both modeled on Joseph Campbell’s wildly influential book, The Hero [...continue reading]

Should You Co-Found Your Company With a Software Development Shop (2 of 2)?

You've got a great idea and domain expertise, but limited money and insufficient technology resources.  Should you co-found your company with a software development shop?  I wrote a summary of my thoughts in Part 1 of this series; I've written below in more detail what some industry players [...continue reading]

Should You Co-Found Your Company With a Software Development Shop (1 of 2)?

You’ve got an amazing idea. You’ve got everything it takes to bring a start-up from nothing to something that really makes a dent in the universe. … and if you’re like most of today’s startups -- you need to get an app in the hands of customers. Once customers love your app and you show [...continue reading]

Get the Final Draft of Our Paper on Disruption of the Asset Management Industry

I’ve mentioned previously that I’m working on a research study on disruption of the asset management business.  We are now sharing the final draft of our research study  with reviewers.  If you’d like to take a look, please send me your email ASAP.   My co-authors are Katina Stefanova (former [...continue reading]

Corporate Venture Capital: Obligatory or Oxymoron?

When I meet with executives from large corporations, they’re often worried.  And they should be; the feeding frenzy in the innovation economy is in some cases because startups are eating the lunch of more established companies.  To quote a friend, if you’re an executive at an established company, [...continue reading]

18 Ways to Make Your Financial Model Stand Out to Investors

The median investor looking at your proposal is in her 40s.  Her eyes are going, not to mention her brain.  I look at a lot of spreadsheets and analytic reports, and way too many are difficult to read and therefore hard to understand. In an effort to make my life easier, I’ve summarized here the [...continue reading]

Sales 2.0: Why Can’t Sales Be As Efficient As Online Dating?

I’m teaching a class for Founder Institute July 8 on accelerating sales with technology.  This has been a passion of mine for well over a decade, ever since I realized how inefficient sales was and how technology could be used to speed up the process.  This is a core theme of my book, The Virtual [...continue reading]

How Long Before Venture Capitalists (and Angel Investors) Get Liquidity?

It’s fascinating to be an angel investor, but do most angels actually make positive returns?  And even more important, how long until they get liquidity? The theoretical returns look extremely attractive; we’ve identified 12 different studies showing annual returns of 18-54%.  But the bad news: [...continue reading]

Teten Family Invests in Infant Startup, “NewBo” or “Peanut”

New York, NY --- The Teten Family is proud to announce that we just finalized our investment in a seed-stage startup, temporarily operating under the name “NewBo” or “Peanut”.  We are now looking for a dot-com domain name for our corporate website.  We plan to announce the official name for the [...continue reading]

Invitation to Lunch and Investor Feedback Meeting/Charity Auctions

I get more requests for meetings than I can handle.  I’d like to say it’s because of my great insights and dashing looks, but really it’s because we give away money for a living. As a way to try to respond to these requests, I’ve donated my time to a few charities which are auctioning off lunches [...continue reading]

How Large Corporations Can Learn From the Innovation Economy

One of the core functions of a VC is to identify the next generation of disruptive companies.  I presented last month to a Microsoft senior executive offsite on how large corporations can do the same, to inform their investing, M&A, and competitive intelligence.  My presentation was based on my [...continue reading]

Recent Books: Paleo, Angel Investing, Mediation, and Career Acceleration

I read a few books over the last year that I thought were worth highlighting/recommending: The book that has had the most practical impact on my life was The Paleo Manifesto: Ancient Wisdom for Lifelong Health, by John Durant.  This is a thoughtful analysis and explication of the “paleo” or [...continue reading]