Category Archives: New Ventures

FORMER GOOGLE HR CHIEF LASZLO BOCK AIMS TO REVOLUTIONIZE PEOPLE MANAGEMENT WITH HUMU

Laszlo Bock has become a household name in terms of HR due to his strategic take on the common department. Two and a half years ago, Bock co-founded a company, Humu, that helps executives ensure that teams are as productive and happy as possible. He leveraged his experience at Google and GE to develop what “nudges” or reminders, timed at just the right time to impact behaviors in a positive fashion. Bock describes the genesis of Humu, the technology behind these nudges, and the impact he intends to make at companies as a result of Humu. He believes that we are on the cusp of a revolution in human resources akin to the operations and manufacturing revolutions of a century ago. He takes inspiration from his parents, who immigrated from Romania and inspired change with their businesses in America.  Read More >>

STARTUPS BET THAT LONELY FREELANCERS CRAVE COMPANY

Work clubs say productivity improves when you have a buddy.  This has become a problem from remote workers, who miss the interactions of nearby co-workers in the office.  There is a new trend of ventures coming into fruition: transforming remote work into a group activity. Many people get more work accomplished where there is no distraction at home, but feel more motivated in the workplace surrounded by peers.  Start-ups like Focusmate are trying to solve this problem. This start-up features fifty minute video sessions with randomly assigned partners. For $4 a month, users have unlimited access to the program, which can be an asset for people with deficit hyperactivity disorder.  Read More >>

Ready For Meat Grown From Animal Cells? A Startup Plans A Pilot Facility

Memphis Meats, a California based company, plans to build a pilot production facility to grow meat from animal cells. They have funds raised from high-profile investors including Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Kimbal Musk, as well as two giant players in the animal protein and feed space: Cargill and Tyson Foods. The company says its latest funding round has brought in $161 million in new investment. Memphis Meats is still technically made from animals, but helps fight against the environmental impact of livestock agriculture. Read More >>

5 Tips for Pitching Your Startup to Investors

Venture capitalists sit through hundreds of pitches a year. Entrepreneurs can make the most out of the opportunity by having their pitch stand out and have enough information to be taken seriously. If executed properly, entrepreneurs can obtain enough capital to jump-start their businesses. By cutting to the chase, investors can lean-in and gain interest right away. Having a specific potential market will increase the venture capitalists’ confidence in the company. Endorsements from fellow team-members in the company is endearing, and something investors like to hear. Automating demonstrations can prevent awkward glitches that can arise. The secret to funding is to have a buffer: ask for double the amount needed.  Read More >>

Start-ups: The Founding Team Is a Real Magic Bullet

The majority of new ventures fail prematurely.  A lot of this failure is due to a lack of collaboration within founding teams.  Important, early decisions are prone to conflict. Examples of these decisions include funding, development, etc.  Because tensions are so high, investors often look at the team-dynamic as much as the start-up product itself. Strong teams can overcome and navigate turbulence, leading them to success.  Founders of start-ups are in a unique situation, as they can build and craft their whole team from the ground-up. Teams should be made of both unique skills, and people with interpersonal skills.  The culture that the originating team sets usually lasts long after the staff rotates out.  Read More >>

Deciding How Much Equity to Give your Key Employees

The new trend within tech start-ups is giving offering potential talent equity shares.  Giving worthy job candidates a share of equity could be the difference of them picking your company over someone else’s.  This also motivates workers, and decreases employee turnover. Equity encourages employees to stay long-term, because they are motivated by the idea of the company enters the public stock-market, or if it is sold in the future.  Equity acts as a foreign currency, and the amount depends on timing, need, and expertise. It is also very good for attracting potential advisors to the company. Advisors can triple the value of a company, so the equity would eventually pay for itself.  Read More >>

1st project with limited parking outside downtown

“We want our residents to see life from their doorstep, not stuck behind a windshield,” said Jeff Berens, who founded the San Francisco-based firm Culdesac alongside Ryan Johnson with  $10 million in venture capital. The residential township in Tempe, which will be spread across 16 acres near Apache Boulevard and River Road, that is expected to open in 2020 will be the first apartment that will have no car parking for residents in the US. It will be opened to renters from Smith-Martin light-rail stop in fall 2020 and The $140 million worth project will have scooters, bicycles and some ride-sharing cars and also plans to offer residents of the 636 apartment’s deals on light rail, buses, and rides with Uber or Lyft in order to promote carpooling and usage of public transport in order to mitigate traffic. the developers believe that the Millenials will welcome this move as they are less careless and they are the generation that will choose to not own cars and would want to save on transportation costs. The Tempe city officials waived its parking requirements in order to accommodate the development project. The Review panel plans to vote on a zoning map amendment and development plan review for the first phase of the project in December. Read More>>

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>>

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>>

How gender segregation affects the Entrepreneurial capital market

Lori Greiner, a millionaire businesswoman on Shark Tank advise the woman entrepreneurs to consider themselves as a person in business equal to anyone else. However, the market for entrepreneurial financing is not really gender-neutral hence woman-run startups struggle to secure funding in the initial stages compared to their male counterparts. The questions asked during the sales pitch and the language used to describe an entrepreneur shows the discrimination involved, further venture capitalists tend to associate more with similar others especially of the same gender thus confirming the gender stereotype. The downside of this gender segregation is that it will lead to the creation of Pink Silos reserved for female-run startups and investors and thus separating them from the rest. Read More>>