Holy Banana Peels!!

I hope that title made you laugh.  There is not much to laugh about recently.  Companies laying off people, companies closing down either temporarily or permanently, people doing stupid things (too many examples), craziness at grocery stores, etc.  I am sure you all have your best “un”favorite example.

In these incredibly challenging times, I wanted to pass along 2 articles in case you have not seen them yet.  The first, by Steve Blank, it about the virus and startup survival.  I don’t need to make any comments on it as it really does not need any.  Have a read here.  One of the folks at Entrepreneurship at Cornell sent it to me yesterday (thanks!).

The second article is called Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance.  I am guessing that many of you have already seen this one.  Tomas Pueyo, who is a leader at Course Hero, has been quite prolific in his analysis of the virus and what/why we need to do do to address it.  A fact-based presentation.  I wrote an email yesterday to someone that one “light” from yesterday was that China had reported no new infections overnight.  If you would like to better understand why that good news happened, then take 20 minutes and read Tomas’ article. I don’t care if you think this whole thing is an overblown episode in time – read the article.  Someone on the Entrepreneurship at Cornell advisory council (former student, now VC!) sent me this one (thanks!).

Be safe!

First Round Capital is a Treasure Trove of Valuable Information

Happy New Year!  Quick post.

First Round Capital is literally a treasure trove of valuable information. Its First Round Review repository is outstanding, and should be a go to resource for any startup founder. Today First Round Review published “The 30 Best Pieces of Advice for Entrepreneurs that We Heard in 2019.”  It is a wonderful compilation of advice and tidbits with easy to understand and apply stories.  Definitely worth reading!

Enjoy.

New Investment Initiative from Launch NY

I am on the board of a non-profit called Launch NY.  It is a venture “launching” organization that couples programmatic intense mentoring with potential seed funding.  I am passing along news of a new initiative that you might find interesting. Here it is:

Launch NY is working to find more ways to engage the local investor community and connect them with our client startup companies. With nearly 130 co-investors to date in Launch NY portfolio companies who have received funding from the Launch NY Seed Fund, the most active seed fund in NYS, our companies have secured 12x the $1.9MM we have invested. Now even more investors can access exciting startup company investment opportunities from the convenience of their laptop or smartphone, as Launch NY has announced that is launching the beta version of the Investor Network.

The first one hundred accredited investors to sign up for the beta test of the Investor Network by July 15th at no cost, will have access to the inaugural slate of startup companies seeking funding this summer.

  • The Investor Network is akin to a digitally administered open angel group, allowing accredited investors to look at deals based on their preferences in sector, stage, and region.
  • Investors can then invest in individual companies on a deal by deal basis, with as little as $10,000.
  • Launch NY will handle vetting the companies, provide access to their due diligence files, assist in negotiations, and structure the special purpose vehicle (SPV) which will aggregate the participating investors. The investment will appear as one line item on the company’s capitalization table.
  • The use of an SPV will allow for accredited investors to benefit from tax incentives for businesses who are located in designated Opportunity Zones.

Launch NY is limiting the beta launch to the first 100 accredited investors, so if you are interested in joining us, please sign up at this link or reach out to Launch NY’s Investment Associate, Alex Killian (akillian@launchny.org) and they will be in touch soon with more information.

Top Schools for Female Entrepreneurs

Hope you are staying warm!

CollegeMagazine just ranked Cornell #10 in group of “top schools for female entrepreneurs.”  See https://www.collegemagazine.com/top-10-schools-female-entrepreneurs/.

What is most interesting is that Cornell is the only Ivy in the group….and that the group does not include Stanford or Berkeley….and that 3 of the schools in the list are very small colleges (Babson #1, Mt. Holyoke #6 and Smith #2).

I am not sure of the criteria for the ranking, but like the result non-the-less.

Enjoy your weekend.

Startup Resource Book

Happy Thanksgiving!!  Or as I like to say “GobbleGobble!!”.

A friend of mine just sent me this “all in one” resource published by the NYSE called “The Entrepreneur’s Roadmap – From Concept to IPO”.    I first saw that it was 321 pages and thought to myself that it would be indigestible to most entrepreneurs.  But then I saw how it is was organized and who wrote the various sections.  Very digestible!

So here is it.  Great reading and resource for any entrepreneur.