Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-05-29
Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote, delivered the opening keynote at the Founder Showcase based on a talk that from the TheFunded Founder Institute. In the talk, Phil reveals company revenues, conversion rates, costs and other traditionally private growth metrics. The video below is worth watching.
Phil decided to share Evernote information publicly after being frustrated by the lack of accurate and useful data. In a Q&A session after the talk, Phil encouraged other CEOs to share information and help the next generation of companies avoid mistakes and become more successful. Phil said, "I wish that I had data like this when growing Evernote, as it would have made my life a lot easier."
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-05-21
On May 18th, TheFunded hosted another exciting Founder Showcase event in Mountain View, California. Nearly 50 investors, 150 Founders and 50 other guests attended the evening festivities. A brief recap of the event is below.
eVenues, an Expedia for meeting space, was the Grand Prize Winner, winning tickets to TechCrunch Disrupt and DEMO Fall 2010, $2500 in cash, $2000 in free legal from Cooley Godward Cronish LLP, and $250 in oDesk credit.
SnapShop, which lets you use your mobile to try before you buy, was the Runner-Up.
Other presenters included:
- Amahi - Making networking simple.
- Breakthrough - A platform for secure online counseling.
- CloudCanvas - Full-featured creative applications right in the web browser.
- Heliograph - Making content acceleration better, easier and affordable.
- Memetales - A marketplace for children's books, media and merchandise.
- Monstrous - Brand-based social gaming.
- Puzzazz - Building the premier source for puzzles and puzzle games.
- Sales Portal - Google Adsense for phone leads.
- TrueInsider - Empowering employees to improve their company.
- vSee - Remote teamwork made simple.
- Zendorse - Social commerce for media and entertainment.
And in case you weren't able to speak with any of the other great companies at our Pitch Tables, here they are:
- Charles River Ventures
- Morgenthaler Ventures
- SoftTech VC
- Aon Techshield
- Cooley Godward Cronish LLP
- Microsoft BizSpark
- TechCrunch Disrupt
- DEMO Fall 2010
- VC Taskforce
We hope to see you at future Founder Showcase events!PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-05-14
The early admissions deadline for the third semester of TheFunded Founder Institute in Silicon Valley is this Sunday, May 16th, 2010. Sessions start on June 5th. The four month training program and apprenticeship helps anyone with an idea or an early-stage company avoid deadly mistakes, reduce launch costs and plan for success. If you know anyone that can use a boost, invite them to apply:
The Institute has historically accepted between 60% and 70% of applicants that applied by the early admissions deadline. Applying early gives every applicant two chances to be accepted, exposure to hundreds of private talks and early access various preparation materials. The Institute has recruited two dozen successful startup Founders to help fellow entrepreneurs launch enduring and meaningful technology companies, including:
- Fred Joyal, CEO, 1-800-DENTIST
- Jason Nazar, CEO, Docstoc
- Jonathan Abrams, CEO, Socializr
- Munjal Shah, CEO, Like.com
- Phil Libin, CEO, Evernote
Please help us spread the word, and enjoy!PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-04-22
TheFunded Founder Showcase, the leading seed-stage pitch and networking event taking place on May 18th in Silicon Valley, has just added DEMO as a prize partner. The Grand Prize Winner of the Founder Showcase will now win a $5000 Alpha Pitch slot at DEMO Fall 2010, in addition to free services from Cooley Godward Kronish LLP and oDesk. The worldwide DEMO conference focuses on emerging technologies and new product innovations and will provide the Grand Prize Winner with an even greater platform for exposure and success.
Less than 50 tickets remain for the event, and there are only a half dozen low-price pitch tables available. Reserve a spot today.
Help fellow startups by reviewing the pitches on the Showcase, and voting for your favorite ideas. Voting ends on Sunday, May 9th. The top 3 pitches in the competition are currently:
- CloudCanvas - An online application that enables creative people to make art, design, and other digital media right in the browser.
- Monstrous - A next generation social game platform for the iPhone, Wii, Playstation 3, XBox 360, and Facebook.
- 1-800-Battery - A one-stop search portal and phone number to deliver hard to find rechargeable batteries for hundreds of thousands of devices.
The three newest pitches in the Competition are:
- vSee - A desktop software that makes distributed teamwork simple via secure application sharing, videoconferencing, and file transfer.
- eMotion Group - Developing BFF Gemz - a smart fashion accessory linked to a social network.
- Sales Portal - An online, real-time auction based exchange for live phone leads.
If you have an seed-stage technology company less than 2 years old and with less than $500,000 in funding, add your pitch to TheFunded Showcase for your chance to present at the event. The evening festivities attract an audience of over 250 investors, founders, and members of the press.PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-04-13
On May 18th, TheFunded will host the third Founder Showcase in Silicon Valley to highlight the twelve best seed-stage startups from around the world. The evening event will include two strong talks by Phil Libin of Evernote and Bubba Murarka of Facebook in between three minute pitches, food and drinks. The event has historically attracted 250 founders, early-stage investors, angels, bloggers and other guests. TheFunded is offering two dozen discounted tickets to Members below, and the event is expected to sell out in the next few days:
Of the twelve companies that pitch, TheFunded will choose four seed-stage startups to present, and eight other companies will earn a spot on stage by vote of the 14,000 Members on the Showcase section of TheFunded. Every Member is encouraged to take five minutes, review some of the pitches and vote for the ones that you support:
Presenting seed-stage companies have closed over one million dollars worth of investment through relationships started at the Showcase. Any company that is less than two years old and has raised less than $250,000 is invited to create a Showcase profile and secure enough peer votes to make it on stage. You can start a profile now at the link below:
The Showcase format has been enhanced with...
- A new Panel of Investors and Mentors to review pitches
- The two best pitches by audience vote will face off in a "Showcase Showdown"
- The Runner-Up will receive $1,000 in free legal from Cooley
- The Grand Prize Winner will get $2,500 in cash and $2,000 in free legal from Cooley
More prizes will be announced. Thank you, and enjoy!PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-02-16
The last few tickets remain for the Future of Funding. The agenda is fairly comprehensive, and the panels cover the key issues of our time. Please join us.
The Entrepreneur Perspective:
The past year has been hard for fundraising. What do entrepreneurs really need and what do they want? Is innovation suffering, or are the strong overcoming obstacles? This panel will explore what seasoned entrepreneurs have to say about the present and future environment of funding.
- Moderator: Michael Arrington, Founder, TechCrunch
- Chris Dixon, CEO, Hunch
- David Kidder, CEO, Clickable
- Scott Painter, CEO, Zag
- Robert Ackerman, Managing Director, Allegis Capital
Innovative Fund Experiments:
Traditional Venture Capital firms have not been standing still. Many are experimenting with new models for early stage deals. This panel will explore how different venture groups have delivered innovative financing programs.
- Moderator: Matt Marshall, CEO and Editor, VentureBeat
- George Zachary, Partner, Charles River Ventures
- Dave McClure, Angel, Founders Fund, (FF Angel & fbREV)
- Ryan Spoon, Sr. Associate, Polaris Ventures (Dog Patch Labs)
- Jeff Clavier, Managing Partner, SoftTech VC
- Kevin Dick, Managing Director, Right Side Capital Management
The Role of Corporate Investors:
Corporate investors have filled a void in the market, but there has been a long tension with financial investors. How has the role of corporate investors changed over the last year? Can common ground be found with financial investors? This panel will explore the changing role of corporations in funding.
- Moderator: Adeo Ressi, CEO of the Founder Institute
- Jon Gelsey, Director of Corporate Development, Microsoft
- Michael Yang, Venture Partner, Comcast Interactive Capital
- Harshul Sanghi, Managing Director, Motorola Ventures
- Mike Brooks, Venture Executive, Chevron Technology Venture
- Kuk Yi, Managing Partner, Best Buy Capital
Incubator and Accelerators:
There is an increasing number of incubators and accelerators appearing around the country. What has been their effect? What models are working? How are they succeeding, and what challenges are they facing? This panel will examine the growing role of incubators.
- Moderator: Matt Marshall, CEO and Editor, VentureBeat
- Adeo Ressi, CEO of the Founder Institute
- David Cohen, CEO, Techstars
- Danny Robinson, Managing Director, Bootup Labs
- Reshma Sohoni, CEO, Seedcamp
The Growth of Small Firms:
There are an increasing number of venture capital firms with smaller and smaller fund sizes. These firms are starting to see some interesting returns, while remaining popular with entrepreneurs. What is working? What is not? This panel will explore how some of the small firms are investing and looking for big wins.
- Moderator: Dan Primack, Founder, peHub
- Mike Maples Jr., Managing Partner, Maples Investments
- Rob Hayes, Partner, First Round Capital
- Naval Ravikant, Managing Partner, Hit Forge
- Chris Sacca, Managing Partner, Lowercase Capital
- Aydin Senkut, Founder & President, Felicis Ventures
The Emergence of Secondary Markets:
A number of secondary markets for private equity have emerged in the last year. Is selling founder stock a good idea? When should funds look to liquidate positions? What are the real dynamics of these marketplaces? This panel will explore the role of secondary markets in the modern funding ecosystem.
- Moderator: Dan Primack, Founder, peHub
- Greg Brogger, Founder and CEO, SharesPost
- David Quinlivan, Managing Director, Saints Capital
- Justin Burden, Principal, Industry Ventures
- Barry Silbert, Founder and CEO, SecondMarket
- Larry Albukerk, Founder, EB Exchange Funds
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-02-02
Join us for the Future of Funding in San Mateo on February 18th, 2010. Meet some of the top rated venture capitalists of 2009, and learn about critical changes in the funding ecosystem that affect your startup today. Identify trends that will affect your next fundraising before you waste invaluable time.
This one day symposium examines new ideas and new models for investment, covering the key questions facing the funding of innovation in 2010. Where will the returns come from? Are the incentives aligned? Are the terms too complicated? Who are the new players? What are the new models? A lineup of leading investors and entrepreneurs, such as Chris Dixon, Mike Maples, George Zachary, Jeff Clavier, Barry Silbert and more, are scheduled to speak on numerous panels throughout the day.
TechCrunch is offering two free tickets to the event ($600+ value each) for the most insightful comments on the state of Venture Capital under the following post:
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-02-02
The 13,400 CEO Members of TheFunded have rated in the highest possible rank 84 top venture capitalists for 2009 from 17,834 investment professionals listed in the directory. To make the list, a venture capitalist must have a personal rating of at least 4 out of 5 with a minimum of 5 separate CEOs reviewing them. In addition, no more than 1 out of 5 reviews can be negative, scoring a 3 or below.
These individuals represent less than one half of one percent of everyone in the field, and to be voted as a great VC by anonymous CEOs in today’s market is an amazing achievement.
4.5 and Above
Terrance G. McGuire, Managing General Partner at Polaris Venture Partners, rated 5 by 5 CEOs
Mark Suster, Partner at GRP Partners, rated 4.8571 by 7 CEOs
Andy Fillat, Managing Member at Leapfrog Ventures, rated 4.8333 by 6 CEOs
Dan Rua, Managing Partner at Inflexion Partners, rated 4.8 by 5 CEOs
Paul H. Klingenstein, Managing Partner at Aberdare Ventures, rated 4.6667 by 9 CEOs
Stuart Ellman, Managing Partner at RRE Ventures, rated 4.6667 by 6 CEOs
David Sze, Partner at Greylock Partners, rated 4.6429 by 14 CEOs
Ross A. Jaffe, Managing Director at Versant Ventures, rated 4.6364 by 11 CEOs
Steven D. Arnold, Managing General Partner at Polaris Venture Partners, rated 4.625 by 8 CEOs
Brook H. Byers, Partner at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, rated 4.6 by 10 CEOs
John Doerr, Partner at Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers, rated 4.5714 by 14 CEOs
Philip Gianos, General Partner at InterWest Partners, rated 4.5714 by 7 CEOs
James D. Robinson III, General Partner at RRE Ventures, rated 4.5556 by 9 CEOs
Richard W. Levandov, General Partner at Masthead Venture Partners, rated 4.5455 by 11 CEOs
Phil Black, General Partner at True Ventures, rated 4.5 by 12 CEOs
Andreas Stavropoulos, Managing Director at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, rated 4.5 by 6 CEOs
4.0 and Above
Jed Katz, Managing Director at Javelin Venture Partners, rated 4.4737 by 19 CEOs
William J. Link, Managing Director at Versant Ventures, rated 4.4444 by 9 CEOs
Jon Callaghan, General Partner at True Ventures, rated 4.4167 by 12 CEOs
Joerg Ueberla, General Partner at Wellington Partners, rated 4.4 by 5 CEOs
Tom Bogan, Partner at Greylock Partners, rated 4.4 by 5 CEOs
Maria Cirino, Managing Director at 406 Ventures, rated 4.4 by 5 CEOs
Mark S. Menell, Partner at Rustic Canyon Ventures, rated 4.3333 by 12 CEOs
Doug Pepper, General Partner at InterWest Partners, rated 4.3333 by 9 CEOs
Michael T. Fitzgerald, General Partner at Commonwealth Capital Ventures, rated 4.3333 by 9 CEOs
Bijan Salehizadeh, M.D., General Partner at Highland Capital Partners, rated 4.3333 by 9 CEOs
Nicolas El Baze, Partner at Partech International, rated 4.3333 by 6 CEOs
Howard Morgan, Partner at First Round Capital, rated 4.3077 by 13 CEOs
Bill Tai, Partner at Charles River Ventures, rated 4.2857 by 14 CEOs
David Ladd, Managing Director at Mayfield Fund, rated 4.2857 by 7 CEOs
Frank Boehnke, General Partner at Wellington Partners, rated 4.2857 by 7 CEOs
Michael Moritz, Partner at Sequoia Capital, rated 4.2778 by 18 CEOs
Peter Sinclair, Managing Member at Leapfrog Ventures, rated 4.2727 by 11 CEOs
Donald B. Milder, Managing Director at Versant Ventures, rated 4.25 by 8 CEOs
John Burke, General Partner at True Ventures, rated 4.25 by 8 CEOs
Bill Kaiser, Partner at Greylock Partners, rated 4.25 by 8 CEOs
Bill Elmore, General Partner at Foundation Capital, rated 4.25 by 8 CEOs
Mark Hatfield, Partner at Fairhaven Capital, rated 4.2222 by 9 CEOs
Joshua Kopelman, Managing Partner at First Round Capital, rated 4.2 by 30 CEOs
Lon H.H. Chow, General Partner at Apex Venture Partners, rated 4.2 by 5 CEOs
Dave Fachetti, Managing Director at Globespan Capital Partners, rated 4.2 by 5 CEOs
Edward L. Cahill, Partner at HLM Venture Partners, rated 4.2 by 5 CEOs
Mike Maples Jr., General Partner at Maples Investments, rated 4.1818 by 22 CEOs
David Stern, Venture Partner at Clearstone Venture Partners, rated 4.1818 by 11 CEOs
Curtis Feeny, Managing Director at Voyager Capital, rated 4.1667 by 12 CEOs
John W. Jarve, Managing Director at Menlo Ventures, rated 4.1667 by 6 CEOs
Shawn T. Carolan, Managing Director at Menlo Ventures, rated 4.1667 by 6 CEOs
Bob Spinner, Managing Director at Sigma Partners, rated 4.1667 by 6 CEOs
Stuart MacFarlane, Managing Director at Momentum Venture Management, rated 4.1667 by 6 CEOs
Roelof Botha, Partner at Sequoia Capital, rated 4.1538 by 26 CEOs
Anthony P. Lee, General Partner at Altos Ventures, rated 4.1538 by 13 CEOs
William D. Porteous, General Partner at RRE Ventures, rated 4.1538 by 13 CEOs
Michael Kim, Partner at Rustic Canyon Ventures, rated 4.1538 by 13 CEOs
Brent Ahrens, General Partner at Canaan Partners, rated 4.1429 by 7 CEOs
Eric Wiesen, Principal at RRE Ventures, rated 4.1429 by 7 CEOs
Alex Mendez, General Partner at Storm Ventures, Inc., rated 4.125 by 8 CEOs
Richard A. D'Amore, General Partner at North Bridge Venture Partners, rated 4.125 by 8 CEOs
Jonathan Ebinger, Partner at BlueRun Ventures, rated 4.1111 by 9 CEOs
Gus Tai, General Partner at Trinity Ventures, rated 4.1 by 10 CEOs
Fred Wilson, Partner at Union Square Ventures, rated 4.0952 by 21 CEOs
Ron Conway, General Partner at SV Angel, rated 4.0909 by 11 CEOs
Hodong Nam, General Partner at Altos Ventures, rated 4.0833 by 12 CEOs
Gilman Louie, Partner at Alsop Louie Partners, rated 4.0769 by 13 CEOs
George Zachary, Partner at Charles River Ventures, rated 4 by 16 CEOs
Paul Maeder, General Partner at Highland Capital Partners, rated 4 by 9 CEOs
Warren J. Packard, Managing Director at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, rated 4 by 9 CEOs
Bryan Schreier, Partner at Sequoia Capital, rated 4 by 9 CEOs
Brian Pokomy, Associate at SV Angel, rated 4 by 8 CEOs
Byron Deeter, Venture Principal at Bessemer Venture Partners, rated 4 by 8 CEOs
Kevin Spain, Principal at Emergence Capital Partners, rated 4 by 7 CEOs
Thatcher Bell, Principle at Draper Fisher Jurvetson Gotham Ventures, rated 4 by 7 CEOs
Kirk Holland, General Partner at Vista Ventures, rated 4 by 7 CEOs
Jonathan Seelig, Managing Director at Globespan Capital Partners, rated 4 by 7 CEOs
Andrew L. Zalasin, General Partner/CFO at RRE Ventures, rated 4 by 7 CEOs
Bruce K. Taragin, Partner at Blumberg Capital, rated 4 by 7 CEOs
Frederick J. Dotzler, Managing Director at De Novo Ventures, rated 4 by 6 CEOs
Max Niederhofer, Associate at Atlas Venture, rated 4 by 6 CEOs
Gil Dibner, Principal at Genesis Partners, rated 4 by 6 CEOs
Ryan Ziegler, Investment Manager at Edison Venture Fund, rated 4 by 6 CEOs
Bob Pavey, General Partner at Morgenthaler Ventures, rated 4 by 6 CEOs
Philippe Herbert, Partner at Banexi Ventures Partners, rated 4 by 5 CEOs
Eric Hjerpe, Partner at Atlas Venture, rated 4 by 5 CEOs
Angelo J. Santinelli, General Partner at North Bridge Venture Partners, rated 4 by 5 CEOs
David Min, Principal at Steamboat Ventures, rated 4 by 5 CEOs
Posted by Admin: Marc on 2010-01-30
New Deal Structures Emerging: With a new year and an ever changing venture environment, we are seeing new developments in deal terms and exit opportunities. Deal structures known as "DST deals" are becoming more popular with these type of investments associated with Facebook, Zynga, and most recently, Yelp. These deals provide "both a primary investment component as well as a secondary offering for long time employees." - TechCrunch
First Round Capital Develops New Startup Exchange: On the exit side of startups, First Round Capital recently launched a Startup Exchange Fund for its portfolio companies. "The fund allows founders of First Round Capital's portfolio firms to contribute some of their equity into a central pool, and share in any exit success of others who also participate in the fund" according to SoCalTech.com. Similar to the fundamental pinciples of the Founder Institute (run by TheFunded.com), founders own a piece of each other's business to better align incentives, diversify some risk, and share in the upside. SecondMarket and SharesPost are two companies contributing to this changing landscape by creating an alternative exit strategy besides an IPO or M&A. They have created a secondary market for shareholders in private companies, allowing them to sell part of their stake before the realization of a traditional exit. - SoCalTechPRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by Admin on 2010-01-22
The 2009 Venture Investment Numbers: 2009 had the lowest amount of investments into startups since 1997. "Atlas Venture’s Jeff Fagnan, who discussed about the numbers during the press conference call, also acknowledged that it has been a slow year for investments. The word for 2009 was 'triage,' he said, as venture firms found themselves with smaller reserves for follow-on funding than expected and more portfolio companies that needed help." - VentureBeat
Help address this problem at a special one day symposium discussing the future of funding, hosted by TheFunded. More information is available below:
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-01-21
The Founder Institute, a training program for technology entrepreneurs that shares equity upside among all stakeholders, is opening semesters in Singapore, Paris, Los Angeles and Denver for the Spring 2010. With this expansion, the Institute will now operate in nine cities worldwide, putting it on pace to graduate over 700 founders creating over 500 companies per year.
The Institute is run by founders for founders, providing a framework for successful entrepreneurs to share their experiences and to help. We've already lined up an impressive group of mentors for the Spring semesters, including Nolan Bushnell (Founder of Atari), Michael Robertson (Former CEO of MP3.com), Aaron Patzer (Founder and CEO of Mint.com), Phil Libin (CEO of Evernote), and many more.
If you can benefit from training and mentorship to make your startup more successful, please apply. If you know a founder that needs help, encourage them to join the program. The deadline for early admissions is February 15th, with all applications due by February 28th, 2010.
Everyone that graduates from the program is invited to join a pool to share in the upside generated from the success of their peers. This adds a unique camaraderie to the program and creates a long-term peer support group with a vested interest in your success. Take a minute to apply today.
Below is a video introduction to the Founder Institute delivered to 100 guests at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Interested in Founder Institute updates? Sign-up at: http://bit.ly/4vJaJu
For experienced CEOs, we invite you to a special one day symposium discussing the future of funding, hosted by TheFunded. More information is available below:
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-01-19
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-01-19
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-01-16
MightyMeeting, a cross platform presentation company, won top pitch at the Founder Showcase in Silicon Valley last night by open ballot. Dmitri Tcherevik, CEO of Mighty Meeting, brought the 200 person audience to surprise applause in the middle of the three minute pitch. Dmitri showed the ability of MightMeeting to quickly upload, share and control both a projected and online presentation with a few gestures from an iPhone. See below:
MightyMeeting is a cloud-based service that can be used to manage a private library of presentations in multiple formats. This library can be accessed from a range of mobile devices, such as the iPhone, iPod Touch or Android phones. The presentations are shared through email, blogs, Twitter or Facebook. Users can start, join or control web conferences directly from their own mobile device. The solution is optimized to work over 3G wireless networks and does not require Flash in the browser.
As the Founding Member of TheFunded, I have been using and showing the Mighty Meeting software all day. It converts graphically rich PowerPoint presentations perfectly, which is my gripe with other services. There's no uploading required either, just email presentations to your own address at the domain. It's surprisingly good, and I strongly recommend that you try it. Here's another favorable review from TechCrunch:
The Founder Showcase is a quarterly event that helps to democratize access to Silicon Valley for seed stage companies. Thank you to everyone who attended the event and to the sponsors who helped support the evening: Sun Startup Essentials and Cooley Godward Kronish.PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-01-13
The twelve presenting companies have been selected for the Founder Showcase this Thursday evening, January 14th, in Santa Clara. The fast paced pitches will be broken up with networking breaks and short talks by leading early-stage founders, Phillip Kaplan of Blippy and Jay Jamison of Moonshoot. With over 200 founders, reporters and investors registered, the event should prove to be exciting, inspiring and entertaining.
The presenting company with the most audience votes will win a Grand Prize of $2,500 in cash, $1,000 in free legal services from Cooley Godward Kronish LLP (www.Cooley.com), free use of a Ferrari 360 Spider, and many other start-up essentials. Enjoy!PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-01-07
Take a moment to review and vote for your favorite seed-stage companies in TheFunded.com Showcase. Those with the most votes will be invited to next week's Founder Showcase event in Silicon Valley for free, where they'll have the opportunity to pitch in front of peers, investors and the media. The winner of an audience vote at the event will receive $2,500 plus a variety of other business and personal perks, including use of a Ferrari 360 Spider.
The Founder Showcase aims to democratize access to the Silicon Valley elite. A finalist at our last event, RelayRides, met an angel at the event who participated in their seed round, and we hope to inspire many more success stories.
Make a difference - take a few moments to vote for your favorite pitches today.PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-01-02
With a bright future in mind, TheFunded wishes you a Happy New Year and a successful 2010.
2009 was a tough year for many of the Member CEOs. The collapse of the IPO market in 2000 followed by the near collapse of the financial markets in 2008 have made it one of the hardest times in the last decade for startups to raise capital. In Q3 09, funds made $4.8 billion in investments, half the amount invested in Q4 07, but these funds only raised $1.5 billion themselves for making future investments, about 12% of Q4 07 decade highpoint (NVCA). In 2010, the last funds with large returns from the dotcom era will mature, and the newer vintage funds have losses ranging from 17% to 30% as a class (NVCA). With less money available and negative returns, the venture capital industry is imploding. Over the next eighteen months, the amount of money available to startups from all sources may face a fivefold decline from the previous decade high in 2007.
There are bright spots emerging. Corporations, local governments, and angel investors have stepped in to fill the need for growth capital. In the face of the many changes, TheFunded plans to adapt and take a leadership role in the transition, continuing to help entrepreneurs succeed.
In 2010, TheFunded plans to help entrepreneurs find resources to grow with less capital, to identify new and active funding sources, and to remedy systemic problems in the overall funding model. Read the Private section for more details...PRIVATE: Members Only (1818 Characters)
Posted by The Founding Member on 2010-01-02
TheFunded will publish a list of the top rated investors of 2009 on January 11th, 2010, and your vote before this deadline will make a difference. Being chosen by the Membership as a top rated investor is a meaningful accolade for the individual and their fund. The current list of top rated investors is:
If you see an investor who does not belong, click on their name, and vote them with a 'thumbs down' or an 'avoid' icon. If you know someone who should be on the list, look them up in the search field and rate them with a 'thumbs up' or 'star.' Your vote counts. Thank you.PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2009-12-16
The overall startup climate is slowly improving, but it's still too hard for young companies to get exposure. Finding the right investors and getting access to the media is as challenging as it every was. It's time to democratize access and address this problem head on. We can change this together.
Today, we're launching the Founder Showcase, where any Member can showcase their business on TheFunded.com. Once a quarter, TheFunded.com will invite early-stage companies with the most Member votes to an event where they can pitch in front of an audience of leading entrepreneurs, media, and investors for free.
On January 14th in the heart of Silicon Valley, TheFunded.com will bring together an amazing group of 200 founders, reporters, and investors to support the next generation of entrepreneurs. Dinner and drinks will be served. We're going to have fun speakers and hear great pitches. We invite you to join us. Every early-stage startup is invited to post a pitch on the Founder Showcase, and try to win one of ten slots on stage. The best pitch decided by the audience will get $2,500 in cash and a bunch of startup essentials for free. Every Member is encouraged to vote for the companies that they like best. Tickets to the Showcase are just $50, tables are just $350, and pitching is free, of course. Show your support for entrepreneurship by reserving a seat or a table at the link below:
Enjoy!PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2009-12-01
The Final Admission deadline for TheFunded Founder Institute semester in the Bay Area is 11:59pm PST on Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009.
If you can benefit from training and mentorship to make your startup more successful, please apply. If you know a founder that needs help, encourage them to join the program. The Institute is run by founders for founders, providing a framework for successful entrepreneurs to share their experiences and to help. Confirmed Mentors in the program include Trip Adler, Aaron Patzer, Phil Libin, Kirill Makharinsky, and Adeo Ressi, among others.
Click here to apply for the Bay Area Semester
Completing an application takes under an hour. Good luck, and Enjoy!PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2009-11-19
Anyone thinking to start a company or running a new startup that can use some assistance is invited to attend one of two upcoming informational sessions on TheFunded Founder Institute. They're fun, and they're free:
Seattle - November 19th
6:30 PM in Redmond
Bay Area - November 24th
6:30 PM in Palo Alto
There are reasons that the Institute runs four month programs in various cities twice per year. It would be easier to videotape lessons or write a book, but learning to be a successful entrepreneur isn't easy. Heres the thinking:
Success: Most of the things that you need to know to build a successful company from scratch can't be learned from books or from school. How do you know when a cofounder is right? When do you start talking about your business idea publicly? When do you quit your job? How do you get exposure for your idea from the media? The lessons of entrepreneurship are usually learned the hard way, and the deadly array of potential mistakes cause most startups to fail. Entrepreneurs that succeed are often lucky, fail fast, and recover intelligently. A good mentor with poignant advice can help you avoid most of the obvious mistakes and some of the less obvious pitfalls. Many successful entrepreneurs credit a part of their success to a mentor or friend, and the Institute has formalized this invaluable relationship. The Institute has one Mentor per enrolled founder in nearly all of the cities.
Timeliness: The world is changing daily, and the tools required to be a successful entrepreneur are changing as well. Books and school can't keep pace with the change, but successful entrepreneurs today are capitalizing on the changes to win. The best advice is from someone who is succeeding in the present, not someone who succeeded more than a decade ago. Why? Job boards like Monster were relevant in the 90's, Craigslist was relevant afterwards, and social media is the place to find team members today. You want Mentors who can give you timely advice on how to succeed, and the Institute only recruits successful CEOs of startup companies that are not too big.
Location: Building a successful technology startup differs significantly based on the location of where you start, as well as the present day trends. For example, expensive real estate costs drive decision making in New York and Silicon Valley. Top talent in Silicon Valley will quit everything to be a cofounder on a promising idea and work for equity. The nuances of each market require local expertise. So, the Institute tries to get at least half of the Mentor CEOs from the local market. The remaining Mentors are chosen to be subject matter experts from anywhere in the world
Motivation: Taking the first steps to start your new company are daunting, even if you love your idea, even if you have experience, and even if you have a great plan. The Founder Institute itself was carefully planned, but a leak in TechCrunch forced us to incorporate and to start accepting applications months before "the original plan." Without the leak, who knows what would have happened, and the Institute is my eighth company. Applying to the Institute and getting accepted is a catalyst. It's the sign for you to launch your company.
Feedback on the reasons is welcomed. Enjoy!PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2009-11-14
The Early Admissions deadline for TheFunded Founder Institute semesters in the Bay Area, New York, and Seattle is midnight on Sunday, November 15th, 2009. Applications are also being accepted for the greater Washington DC area.
If you can benefit from training and mentorship to make your startup more successful, please apply. If you know a founder that needs help, encourage them to join the program. The Institute is run by founders for founders, providing a framework for successful entrepreneurs to share their experiences and to help.
There are a three benefits to applying before midnight on Sunday. First, early admission applicants have two separate chances to be accepted, since the application will be reviewed on this Monday and then again after the final admissions date. Second, the acceptance rate of early admission applicants has historically been just over 50%, versus lower rates in the final admissions deadline. Third, accepted founders from early admissions have more time to enroll, to get set-up, and to review the courses.
Completing an application takes under an hour. Good luck, and Enjoy!PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2009-11-13
TheFunded.com has created a unique Silicon Valley networking event for seed and early stage founders, the Founder Showcase. The evening event highlights the newest ideas and cutting-edge businesses, helping innovators gain traction among the Silicon Valley elite.
Ten companies will be elected by their peers to pitch in the Founder Showcase on January 14th, 2010. A number of companies have waiting for the instructions on how to get elected. The process is simple:
- First, reserve a ticket to the Founder Showcase event.
- Second, create a Pitch on the new Showcase section of TheFunded.com (formerly the Connect section). You need to be a Member of TheFunded to view the Showcase section and to create a pitch, which is free for CEOs.
- Third, collect the most votes from other CEOs, and you will be invited as one of ten on stage in Silicon Valley. CEOs can vote multiple times, but can only cast one vote per company.
Additionally, just five discounted Early Registration tickets remain to the Future of Funding event on February 18th, 2010. If you are interested in discussing the future trends of venture capital, angel investing, and startup liquidity, reserve a seat here among the top minds in the industry. Confirmed participants include Tim Draper of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Michael Arrignton of TechCrunch, Kimbal Musk of OneRiot, and George Zachary of Charles River Venture, among many others.
Enjoy!PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by The Founding Member on 2009-11-09
TheFunded Founder Institute, a four month program to help founders build the next generation of world-class technology companies, is launching a new semester in the Bay Area from December, 2009, until March, 2010. The Institute is currently accepting applications for founders in Washington DC, Seattle, and New York, and launched a successful semester in San Diego.
The program is run by founders for founders, providing a framework for successful entrepreneurs to share their experiences and to provide guidance. Read the comments in this TechCrunch article to see feedback from 54 companies that have graduated from the program.
The Bay Area semester is amassing a strong group of Mentors, including Aaron Patzer, CEO of Mint.com and top-rated Mentor from the first semester. Everyone that graduates from the program is invited to join a pool to share in the upside generated from the success of their peers. This adds a unique camaraderie to the program and creates a long-term peer support group with a vested interest in your success.
If you have a new company or if you are thinking to start a company, take a moment and apply to the program. Enjoy!PRIVATE: Members Only
Posted by Admin on 2009-11-06
Where you acquire funding from may not just be as simple as how much money you are looking to raise. Your initial round of funding sets the precedent for all future rounds. Who you take money from and understanding the consequences is critical. Chris Dixon, CEO of Hunch, recently wrote on his blog about pitfalls of accepting money from the "wrong" entity. Discussed here are the difference between VC and Angel money as well as what to watch out for when accepting seed funding. Here’s the roundup:
VC or Angel, Don’t Approach The Wrong Source - Brad Feld outlines guidelines for whether you should be approaching a VC or Angel investor. From the amount of money you are looking to raise to the type of company you are building, these factors determine whether to approach a VC or Angel. - Entrepreneur
Taking Seed Money From Big VCs - If a big venture firms isn’t "following on" with their initial seed investment, that can cause serious problems for the entrepreneur. Even if a VC wants to follow on, Dixon says, "you are likely to get a lower valuation than you would have had you taken money from other sources of funding." He walks through an example of how this can happen. - Silicon Alley Insider
Red Flag Signals for VC Firms - Dixon explains a rather misunderstood phenomenon about VC sponsored seed incubator programs. Many people think that because they were associated with a prestigious VC firm, their company would be widely welcomed in the VC community. Dixon points out, alternatively, "the better the VC, the stronger the negative signal when they pass." Once a well respected VC firm passes on your deal, it sends a major negative signal to other firms when looking to raise money. - Chris Dixon’s BlogPRIVATE: Members Only