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How to Get World Class Experts to Support Your Company

As the former CEO of a professional expert network, I’m a firm believer in the value of speedy access to relevant experts.  I was excited to see that GLG (formerly Gerson Lehrman Group), the industry leader, is now offering a professional network service geared to the needs of the startup community: [...continue reading]

How To Disrupt The Investing Business, With Katina Stefanova (Ex-Bridgewater Management Committee)

I had a conversation recently about the investing business with Katina Stefanova, who recently left Bridgewater, the largest hedge fund in the world. I’ve always had great respect for Bridgewater, which unlike most investing organizations realizes just how critical processes and culture are to [...continue reading]

How Startups are Disrupting Financial Technology

I participated in the Milken Institute Global Conference last week, for the first time.  It was very worthwhile, a chance to connect primarily with other investors (mostly public markets/private equity), and a range of other people (media, tech, academics, etc.)   I definitely recommend attending if [...continue reading]

Why Some Investors Are Happy with Lousy Returns

My recent post on “Asset Management is a Peculiar Industry Ripe for Disruption” got one of the most interesting reactions I’ve received.  Among the more thoughtful respondents was Terri Chernick, Chief Investment Officer, The Koffler Group.  We had an email conversation about the rationality, or [...continue reading]

Where are the Deals? How VCs Identify the Next Generation of Winning Companies

You’ve probably read dozens of articles about how to raise capital from venture capitalists. However, as a VC, we have the opposite problem: how do we find companies in which to invest? It might appear that origination is becoming much easier because of new tools like AngelList and the SEC moving [...continue reading]

How to Prepare For and Run a Board Meeting

After spending quite a bit of time in board meetings, I worked with a NYU student team earlier in 2012-13 to prepare a template for board presentations to investors. In the deck below, I include our best practices on preparing for, running, and closing up on a board meeting, including what to [...continue reading]

Asset Management Is a Peculiar Industry Ripe for Disruption

Since I became an institutional investor, my #1 learning is: this is a highly unusual and somewhat baffling industry.  Asset management shows the traditional earmarks of an industry ripe for disruption -- most obviously, unhappy customers and extremely profitable incumbents.  Despite this, it’s [...continue reading]

Turning the Tables: How to Make Venture Capitalists Pitch You

I’m returning to Capital on Stage this fall in New York. Last year, 19 other VC fund Partners and I pitched to 170 attendees; this year the conference organizers expect a similar turnout. You can see online my own pitch and all the other VCs pitching last year in NY  . To attend, apply via the [...continue reading]

Build Your Startup on a Vacant Domain Name

This is part 2 of a 2-part series on domain names and startups; part 1 was “Should a Startup Spend VC Funding on a Domain Name?”. I’ve written in the past about how to identify a great startup opportunity.  Let me propose a path few take: find an under-monetized domain name and start a [...continue reading]

Private Equity and Social Media

I’m giving a talk next month on “How Private Equity Funds Raise Capital and Source Deals with Social Media” at Terrapinn’s Private Equity Latin America & Real Estate Latin America conference in Miami.  I discuss this topic in more depth in an earlier article I wrote. Here's my draft [...continue reading]

Should a Company Spend VC Funding on a Domain Name?

This is part 1 of a 2-part series on domain names and startups; part 2 will be “Build Your Startup on a Vacant Domain Name”. It is no coincidence that companies with the best domain names often tend to rise to the top of their space. Foursquare won vs. Gowalla, Loopt, and others. Wesabe [...continue reading]

Helping Startups Hit a Home Run, VC Style

  Lots of venture capitalists claim to add value to the companies in which they invest.  But how do they do it?  And does it really produce better returns for their investors?   My coauthors and I just published in the Journal of Private Equity the first-ever research study on [...continue reading]

High Returns On A Small Fund Challenge Low Returns On A Big Fund

I previously posted this on Techcrunch. Let’s say you decide to invest in a VC fund.  Congratulations: you’re now supporting the least unpopular part of the investing industry.  That said, how do you avoid suffering the poor median returns the industry is known for? Assuming you have a large [...continue reading]

Guaranteed Process: How to Get Married This Year

I’m giving a talk this weekend at Limmud NY and then in a month at Limmud FSU on "Investment Banking in the Marriage Market: Find Your Dream Spouse without the Drama". In this presentation,  I take the same standard process that works for sales, raising capital, and sourcing deals, and apply it to [...continue reading]