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Mitch gives a first impression of being a polished and informed professional. He's really a quick flip guy who's constantly meddling in operations.
He's rumored to be transferring his work to Bill Gurley.
Private: 111 Chars
It took less than 3 months to close the deal from the initial conversation to money at the bank. We were talking to others and ready for due diligence, but it's still a good time-frame for a serious round.
The experience was highly positive, and continues to be such.
The meeting was well attended and the attendees appeared to have done their homework. They asked questions that were based on our pitch and were very reasonable next questions. I'd have to say it was a good experience.
Private: 217 Chars
Was introduced to Evangelos Simoudis knowing we were too small for their firm. Evangelos was on time and quite helpful, listened well. At first he treated me a bit like a new kid, but once I established my bone fides, the conversation turned serious and he treated with me respect; also offered short advice sessions as we grow.
Would definitely consider talking to him again.
Private: 345 Chars
David Verrill comes across as fair, earnest and thoughtful. It was obvious from the insightful questions he asked in due diligence - in writing, which we appreciated because it gave us the opportunity to provide equally thoughtful answers - that he had read our materials. He then responded with equally thoughtful follow-up questions, and followed-up again a number of weeks later so that he could get an update on our progress. All in all, a very professional approach.
We had a very different experience with Charlie Cameron, who made disrespectful comments in a public setting based on an elevator pitch, which we felt was reckless given his position. More detail for entrepreneurs posted privately.
Private: 1188 Chars
I founded a startup and I have found a team of programmers that only work on it part time as they have to make some money to pay their living costs. Living in a country where equity isn't as valued as in the states it was very hard to find a team to begin with to start working on a no name startup and where funding is not readily available.
I am the only one working on it full time, as a non too technical biz dev person I keep running into problems. While I do customer development and basically have clients waiting on us to deliver (willing to pay), this keeps beeing a stumbling block. They are too slow to deliver and doing a presale is hard to pull off when I even doubt that they can deliver on time. I have them under a vesting scheme with 1 year cliff and it's about half a year into development.
Do not get me wrong, they are professional in what they do and I like them as people.
Discussing joining an accelerator for some seed money and focussed working months in one space to speed things up was met by them with the opinion that they do not think that we have enough of our product yet which isn't true.
We've got some good initial traction and some data that is sellable to establish an early adopter paying model. I'd like to explore my options and a potential scheme of controlling how much they have worked on the code as well as a line of argumentation to either motivate them to step up to the game or slowly show them the door and find a good replacement.
Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you.
Best way to describe these guys is piracy. If you take their money then get ready to walk the plank. I've met used car dealers with better ethics.
Private: 37 Chars
The Founder Institute, which spun out of TheFunded.com, was built with an underlying core belief;
Silicon Valley is not a place. It’s a mindset.
In order to help local community leaders wire the Silicon Valley mindset into their communities and plant sustainable seeds for innovation, we recently released an infographic that outlined four steps;
1. Accept Failure
Entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley fail more than entrepreneurs anywhere else in the world, but it is their “ability to fail” that helps them ultimately take risks and succeed. When a culture can accept and mitigate the risks of failure — both financially and socially, and through both public policy and social constructs — then entrepreneurship can prosper and true creativity can be unleashed.
2. Embrace Your Geeks
Every community has super-smart people, but in most places, they are dispersed across separate industry circles and rarely interact. Silicon Valley “geek culture” is inclusive, open minded, diverse, and quirky. Why? Because smart people generally share one common trait — they are creative. Implement and encourage creative projects in your community to attract, gather, and support your geek culture.
3. Create Networks of Capital
Yes, Silicon Valley has the brand name VCs, but more importantly it has vast, informal networks of angel investors that pool their money to seed promising projects. AngelList’s “Syndicates” is a step toward formalizing these networks, but the more you can tap into, educate, and gather existing networks of wealth around startups, the better your ecosystem will be. In the end, if great companies are built somewhere, the capital will follow.
4. Foster Collaboration
Above all else, Silicon Valley is an amazingly tight-knit and collaborative culture. People of all skill sets, backgrounds, and experiences get together almost nightly here to share ideas, best practices, and metrics, and to provide each other feedback. Why? Because we understand that helping each other and sharing expertise leads to faster iteration, more efficient innovation, faster market growth, and ultimately a larger pie for all.
Entrepreneurs have so much to gain by working together, because ideas don’t matter — execution does. Forget the NDAs, and stop creating “competitions.” Instead, start creating ways for people to collaborate and share knowledge with the next generation of founders. It will make your community infinitely more successful.
Want to Bring this Mindset to Your Community?
The Founder Institute helps local leaders create sustainable startup ecosystems using these Silicon Valley best practices.
Learn more here.
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I would suggest anyone against pitching to these guys if you are early stage. Save time. There are better firms.
Pitch to only the partners - I forgot the golden rule.
Dealing with a potential investor who represents he is able to invest 1-4.5million, but asks for upfront money to do due d. His diligence team remains anonymous and he will not provide any references to other private placements he has done.
Private: 67 Chars
VanEdge was pitched to me as a new game-centric VC, but they don't have many interesting game companies in their portfolio, and only two outside Canada.
Private: 676 Chars