Follow me

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]

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]

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]

How To Lose Fat And Gain Muscle With Venture Capital

Both founders and researchers in healthcare are spending far too much of their energy in areas where they’re not going to make maximum impact. Most health problems are self-inflicted, but the innovation economy doesn’t reflect the power of preventive healthcare.  Dr. An Nguyen and I just completed [...continue reading]

Venture Capital Superheroes

CB Insights just included ffVC in 13 Micro VCs We’re Watching, along with a (highly inaccurate) superhero graphic.  CB Insights has become a very influential data source in the industry.  In fact, I recently had dinner with a well-known VC who said that he was surprised to see the CB Insights [...continue reading]

How to Create Competitive Market Maps With MarketMap.me

At least ¼ of the investment proposals I get have a "market map" of some sort: a graphic analysis of the competitive landscape.  I think competitive analysis is critical.  Any useful startups is trying to perform some useful job for a client, and you have to understand what people are currently [...continue reading]

Please Don’t Pitch A Venture Capitalist Without This Checklist

I’m surprised at how many funding pitches I get which lack some of the basic information which investors require before funding.  I think this stems from two causes:1) Lack of basic knowledge of the information investors require.  But I would hope that a reasonably competent founder could easily [...continue reading]

Seeking Investors to Participate in Study on Innovation in Asset Management

I’ve written in the past on how the investing industry is overdue for innovation.  I’m now launching a research project to better understand the emerging investment opportunities. We are seeking Partner-level investment professionals at hedge funds, mutual funds, VCs, sovereign wealth funds, pension [...continue reading]

The Best Movies About Real Business, Not Hollywood’s Idea of Business

Eric Ries likes to asks audiences who has seen a movie about a startup.  Normally everyone has seen “The Social Network”. But, quoting a recent profile:“Perhaps Ries’ most important message was that the same democratization of entrepreneurship has been tied to a glorification of the profession. [...continue reading]

Design Your Company Culture Like The World’s Largest Hedge Fund

Ray Dalio, Founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s largest hedge fund, is a man after my own heart.  A few years ago he publicly set down his core Principles for living, managing, and investing.  Bridgewater uses these codified rules for recruiting, training, and most important, managing the [...continue reading]

How To Pitch An Entrepreneur And Persuade Her To Take Your Cash

With the rise of a trillion-dollar crowdfunding market, angel investors bundling their investment offerings, and family offices doing more direct investments, venture capitalists are no longer the only available source for entrepreneurs seeking funding.Now that anyone can benefit from the global [...continue reading]

How and Why To Be an Angel Investor

Dave Kerpen, founder and CEO of Likeable Local, just published an interview with me on Linkedin, which I've included below .  (He's the #1 LinkedIn Influencer of all time in page views, ahead of Bill Gates, Jack Welch, Mark Cuban, and President Barack Obama.  Incidentally, this is a great example of [...continue reading]