Category Archives: Weekly Newsletter

Angular Ventures wants to “re-imagine” early-seed venture capital in Europe and Israel

Angular Ventures a VC firm founded by former DFJ Esprit partner Gil Dibner targets startup firms in Europe and Israel to provide early-stage funding for deep tech startups. They worked in stealth mode building their portfolio from the past 2 years and have invested in 12 companies ranging from $250,000 to $1.5 million and they aim at making 5-7 new investments every year. Dibner who is the sole partner for Angular Ventures wants to build a sector-focused firm and plans to get rid of the geographical boundaries that hinder early-stage funding, they have made investments of $41million both in Europe and Israel ensuring a US presence in order to support portfolio startups globally. Read More>>

How to incorporate early-stage brand management into startup plans.

Roese, a professor of marketing at the Kellogg School who studies the psychology of judgment and decision-making claims that as a company develops its branding they make a transition from purely functional aspects of the product and service to the psychological side, that is critical for the creation of a long sustaining brand. Roese suggests 3 methods that the entrepreneurs can adapt in order to include early-stage branding into their startup plans.

  1. Define the personality of your brand i.e how it would behave if it was a person and this helps the company to have a vision and set up the guidelines for future growth.
  2. Develop a brand design Plan, Entrepreneurs will have to find the right balance between specificity and abstraction while defining their branding elements, so that there will be room for improvement keeping the same general theme.
  3. Having a well-defined brand, This makes the brand easily identifiable and ensures that the customers are familiar with your company even as you scale into new markets. Read More>>

Friction is essential!

“The lion that is desperate for the meal is going to be a lot more focused and smarter than the one that isn’t worried,” says Gary Hirshberg, founder of Stonyfield Farm. The above statement is a counter-argument to the advantages of the services offered by Epic Entrepreneur House in San Diego, At Epic we can see aspiring entrepreneurs working on ideas that could disrupt industries without being distracted. Here dry-erase boards line all the walls of the house and also an in house chef prepares all the meals. The prearranged social events make it possible that the friends of all those in EPIC visit them regularly. The dangerous road that was once walked alone by founders many years ago is now completely paved and lit up, this includes outsourcing of various supplementary tasks easier and with websites providing info on almost everything an entrepreneur needs such as how to pitch, what to wear and how to find VC’s makes it possible that one can start a bussiness all by himself. However, This is not welcomed by many experienced startup founders. Read More>>

the reason why Hypersonic pitch day is so exciting.

The pitch was held at Doolittle Institute in Niceville, Florida on November 7th,2019. Over 9 startups pitched their products on Hypersonic Flight such as Mach 5 plus capabilities, These included small propulsion units to composite materials that are capable of withstanding very high temperatures and speed. The reason the pitch is so exciting is not just the same day contract of $750,000 that will be awarded to the winner of the pitch by the Airforce but also the opportunity presented by Airforce to the company to partner on the current up-gradation project of their warfighters such as  F-35 with Hypersonic grade weapons. The pitch day winner will support the two major Air Force boost-glide hypersonic prototype efforts now underway: the Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon and the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (AARW). Read More>>

What Is a Design-Centric Culture?

Large Organisations that have put design at the centre of the enterprise are undergoing major shift with respect to design, The shift is not with respect to the aesthetics but rather on the application of design principles to the approach employes take to solve a problem. This modified approach comes as a response to the complexity faced by industries in integrating the software to the hardware and also in trying to make the users experience a simple and comfortable one. Design Thinking basically emphasizes on these factors;

  • Focusing on the emotional experience of the user.
  • Creating alternate models to examine the complicated problems.
  • Using prototyping to obtain other potential solutions.
  • Leveraging failure as learning and as a cost for innovation.
  • Show thoughtful self-control.Read More>>

Bias is abundant in the world of venture capitalists.

Recent studies based on data acquired from the USA suggests that VC’s are biased towards founders of same ethnicity irrespective of their financial behaviour, the male-dominated VC sector and the lingering gender gap further justifies the tendency of VC’s towards homophily. However, this does not mean we eliminate rationality completely because when the study was further extended to understand the 622 deals within India’s rapidly maturing VC industry. It was understood that the VC’s did not completely base their decision on the social attributes such as region, caste or language rather on the future cash flows from the deal. using measures such as the internal rate of return (IRR) as a metric the researchers could identify the number of successful deals out of the ones that were being studied. Read More>>

Next-generation delivery drones bring medical and other supplies to the front lines

Recently when a live-fire exercise was in session between the Australian,US and other troops, a number of highly autonomous drones successfully carried out more than 380 drop missions to the front lines that included blood and other medical supplies to the troops. These drones were designed by a startup called zipline and were part of the Defense Innovation Unit and the Naval Medical Research Center’s Naval Advanced Medical Development who were demonstrating the capabilities of their drone technology that could aid during the war. the zipline drones carried out over 461 sorties throughout the day and night and successfully dropped 381 supply packages with the help of small parachutes. These are not the first of the unmanned vehicles that were used to deliver cargo during a crisis. However, these are very compact and easy to handle compared to the previous unmanned helicopters Kmax which was used until 2015. Read More>>

Circular Economy & Entrepreneurs

The trends have shown that we are moving towards an economy of disposability, meaning that we extract valuable resources and waste them before making complete utilization.for instance, the threats possessed by single-use plastic is well known, production of clothing has doubled over the past 15 years and about 25% of food prepared for humans goes to waste causing more harm to the planet. However, recently entrepreneurs and innovators are trying to focus on the need for impact-driven innovations that are critical in order to achieve sustainable development goals giving rise to a Circular Economy. accordingly, entrepreneurs such as Karma are discovering ways to make use of excess food from restaurants and shops with interested buyers, Amprobotics is using AI and robots to revolutionise the recycling segment. Read More>>

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

 Kellogg strategy professor Benjamin F. Jones says that one gets stronger through failures is the kinda self advice a person accepts in case of hardships. But however, there is more evidence to prove that the optimists are right. New research on scientists shows that an early failure could breed success, this is true because the frustration of missing out on a grant, fuels the scientists to go the extra mile and improve their methodology thereby in the long run they happen to publish a lot more papers than their counterparts who tasted early success. There are a variety of factors that contribute to the success of a scientist but researchers claim that the scientist who did not get picked in the early stages show tremendous determination and have major hit papers within the next 5 years. Read More>>

 

Lean Startup Methodology- Pros & Cons

Lean startup methodology proposes that for a startup to be successful it has to develop a framework that encourages the focus on action. The process begins when the founders of a startup fill out the business canvas model that has nine subsections dealing with concepts such as value proposition, customer relationships, revenue streams, cost structure etc. this enables the founders to answer questions on their business and also helps them put together a testable hypothesis thereby facilitating production of viable products to test the hypothesis, If the test proves wrong the canvas model is adjusted and the iterative process is repeated. Although the lean startup methodology has proven successful in most of the cases it still isn’t completely failproof and causes considerable harm at times. Read More>>