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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]

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]

HBS Alumni Angels NY Accomplishments to Date, and Our New Chairman

 I’m happy to announce that Jason E. Klein, CEO of On Grid Ventures, will serve as the new Chairman of Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater NY.  Jason is an experienced angel and company builder.  I’m shifting to “Chairman Emeritus” (an overly polysyllabic title).  I'll still be very [...continue reading]

Convertible Note or Equity? Practising Law Institute Webinar

  The Practising Law Institute hosted Dror Futter of SorinRand and me for a webinar last week on “Before Series A – Convertible Note and Series Seed Funding for Startups”.  I’ve embedded the slide deck below, and you can listen to the webinar ($129) here. (Dror is a lawyer and I’m not, so [...continue reading]

Why Are Venture Capitalists (76% White Men) Ignoring The Future?

Why do so many venture capitalists ignore the single best predictor of the future: demographics? Paul Graham, cofounder of Y Combinator, observes, “Many suspect that venture capital firms are biased against female founders. This would be easy to detect: among their portfolio companies, do startups [...continue reading]

Startup Grind Interview (with Vertical Pushup)

Last month I did an on-stage interview with Peter Crysdale of Startup Grind. You can read a summary at AlleyWatch. For fun, I did an on-stage vertical pushup at the end of the interview (skip to 44:00). [...continue reading]

Helping Women And Minorities Raise Angel Capital

In early 2012, my HBS Alumni Angels colleagues and I launched the Venture Capital Access Program (VCAP), an initiative to help women and minority-led businesses to raise capital from the Harvard alumni angel community.  This is a partnership between HBS Alumni Angels of Greater NY (HBSAANY) and the [...continue reading]