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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 Create Competitive Market Maps With

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]

Ten Experiments To Test Your Startup Hypothesis

You know that a new idea has gained dominance when it becomes practically a cliché.  That is what I’ve seen happen with the “Lean Startup” philosophy of viewing your startup as a scientific experiment in search of a business model.  This started as a new idea, then became popularized, and now people [...continue reading]

Feedback Is A Gift; Should You Ask For It?

It’s rare to find someone who is insightful about you and your business ... and rarer to find someone confident enough in their relationship with you to give you honest feedback.  I treasure these people, and have paid a coach to do this for me personally. When you’re meeting with your board, I [...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]

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]

How to Identify Market White Space – Cambridge MA, January 22

The Harvard GSAS Business Club / Harvard Graduate Student Council/ HBS eClub are hosting me on January 22 in Boston; I hope you can join us.  I'll be speaking on: “The Next Great Entrepreneurial Opportunity: How to Identify Market White Space”  Tuesday, January 22nd, 6pm, Maxwell Dworkin Building, [...continue reading]

8/7: The Next Great Entrepreneurial Opportunity: How to Identify Market White Space

The "Thought Leaders in Business" series at the Yale Club of New York is hosting me on August 7 for a presentation on "The Next Great Entrepreneurial Opportunity: How to Identify Market White Space”.  I'll discuss how investors and entrepreneurs can identify opportunities to build great businesses. [...continue reading]

Market Research for Entrepreneurs and Other Cheapskates

I really enjoyed participating in OCE Discovery (Canada's largest innovation conference). Some of our most exciting companies (500px, Interaxon) are in Canada. I've attached below the video and slide deck on Market Research for Entrepreneurs and Other Cheapskates. [...continue reading]

CRM Systems and Private Equity Deal Sourcing

Preqin and LexisNexis Enterprise Solutions just released a report on “CRM Systems and Private Equity Deal Sourcing”, based on a survey of 63 private equity funds. They report that 84% of respondents claim to source over 20% of their opportunities through proprietary deal flow. Based on our [...continue reading]

Disruptive Companies in Asset Management

We recently hosted an idea dinner on "Disruptive Companies in the Asset Management Industry". The most attractive industries to disrupt are highly profitable ones, and asset management is traditionally a highly profitable industry. IMHO, the most successful disrupters in this area to date have [...continue reading]

Conference Notes on Sourcing Deal Flow & Developing New Business for Private Equity

I enjoyed participating in last week's Capital Roundtable Private Equity Masterclass on "Best Practices for Sourcing Quality Deal Flow & Developing New Business" (May 26th, 2011). Our star intern Adam Kalamchi took detailed notes, below. High Road Capital Partners Deal Sourcing Keynote View [...continue reading]

Update on our study on deal sourcing

It's been very exciting to see such a strong response to our recent research study on "Best Practices in Private Equity and Venture Capital Deal Origination", published in the Winter 2010 Journal of Private Equity. To our knowledge, this is the first systematic study on this topic; we have not [...continue reading]

On Expert Networks, Compliance, the Drunk and the Lamppost

Expert networks have been in the news a lot for the past few weeks, due to the SEC's attempt to look for insider trading amongst hedge funds, following on their Galleon investigation (Raj Rajaratnam of Galleon is in the photo shown). The best source of information on this topic is as usual the [...continue reading]