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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]

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]

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]

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]

SXSW Charity Push-up Competition, Sunday 1-2pm, Austin TX

Michael Gold challenged Jeff Pulver and me to a pushup contest for charity on stage at SXSW.  This rapidly escalated to a full-fledged Indiegogo campaign. So: Come challenge Ryan Armbrust, me, and some other team members Sunday 1-2pm at the ff MASSIVE pavilion,  Empire Control Room & Garage [...continue reading]

Meet People At SXSW … While Working Out And Losing Weight

Can you go to SXSW and stay in shape? South by Southwest (SXSW) is famous for a jam-packed schedule, infinite free food & drink, minimal sleep, and radical overstimulation.  It's not well known as a place to stay in shape. So before attending for my first time (finally!), I had to find a [...continue reading]

How to Raise Kids to be Entrepreneurs (Who Don’t Take Orders)

I spoke at Womensphere a few weeks ago, a conference centered around empowering women and girls. I discussed my family’s approach to raising entrepreneurial kids, and some parallels to ffVC’s approach to supporting our portfolio entrepreneurs. One of the issues I talked about was our track record [...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]

How to Judge an Investment Proposal

I periodically serve as a judge at pitch events for companies raising funding. In every case, I'm assessing each company against ffVC's standard criteria for investing. You can see a video of a recent pitch contest where I served as a judge here. For some of the new employees at ffVC, I put [...continue reading]

ff Venture Capital Is First VC Fund To Raise Capital Under The JOBS Act

ff Venture Capital has consistently generated a gross IRR on invested capital in excess of 30%, in a world where the average ten-year returns for venture capital firms are in the single digits.   But, historically we couldn’t say that it in a public setting.  Now we can. Software is eating every [...continue reading]

How To Recruit A Great Designer For Your Company

ff Venture Capital just invested in Tackk, a new platform which allows you to creatively share anything on the web with no barriers to creation. The editing experience is amazingly simple.  Despite the robust capabilities, users can effortlessly create and style their pages without any learning [...continue reading]