entrepreneurship

Investing in frontier technology is (and isn’t) cleantech all over again

Shahin Farshchi Contributor More posts by this contributor Investing in frontier technology is (and isn’t) cleantech all over again The dos and don’ts of crafting frontier-tech companies I entered the world of venture investing a dozen years ago.  Little did I know that I was embarking on a journey to master the art of balancing contradictions: building up experience and pattern recognition to identify outliers, emphasizing what’s possible over what’s actual, generating comfort and consensus around a maverick founder with a non-consensus view, seeking the comfort of proof points in startups that are still very early, and most importantly, knowing that no single lesson learned can ever be applied directly in the future as every future scenario will certainly be different. I was fortunate to...

Techtonic Group raises $2 million to transform tech hiring through apprenticeships

Where the two companies are using price arbitrage between the costs of developers in emerging markets and coders in the U.S., Techtonic Group is simply offering access to talent. The company’s program pitches itself not just as a development shop, but as a recruitment and training company connecting its clients with skilled entry-level talent. The firm’s clients actually can hire Techtonic Group apprentices at no additional cost after 1,000 hours of work together. The company has fairly typical standards for the skills that its looking for, but it doesn’t require its apprentices to have a degree. Since its inception, more than 30 percent of the participants in the program have been women, half come from underrepresented minority backgrounds, and one quarter are veterans, according to a sta...

New York’s programming ed tech startup, General Assembly, sells to Adecco for $413 million

The European human resources services company Adecco Group said that is acquiring the New York-based, programming, design, and management training startup General Assembly for $413 million. With the acquisition, Adecco adds to its ability to provide job training and re-skilling services for businesses. It’s proof that General Assembly’s own business has come a long way since its early days as a startup offering continuing education or training programs for new entrants into the tech-enabled white collar workforce. General Assembly was worth $440 million after its last, $70 million investment round, according to a report in Axios, which means that early stage investors will see a nice return on their investment while many later stage backers — including Wellington Management and Fresco Capi...

Lessons from cybersecurity exits

Dear F0und3r: What a month this has been for cybersecurity! One unicorn IPO and two nice acquisitions – Zscaler’s great debut on wall street,  a $300 million acquisition of Evident.io by Palo Alto Networks and a $350 million acquisition of Phantom Cyber by Splunk has gotten all of us excited. Word on the street is that in each of those exits, the founders took home ~30% to 40% of the proceeds. Which is not bad for ~ 4 /5 years of work. They can finally afford to buy two bedroom homes in Silicon Valley. Evident.IO Investment Rounds and Return estimates Date Select Investors Round Size Pre Post Dilution Estimated Returns / Multiple of Invested Capital Sep 2013 True Ventures $1.5m $5.25m $6.75 m 22% 44X Nov 2014 Bain Capital $9.8 m $18.1m $28.0 m 35% 10.7X Apr 2016 Venrock $15.7 m $35.0 m $50...

Here are the top Midwestern states and cities for startups

Jason Rowley Contributor Jason Rowley is a venture capital and technology reporter for Crunchbase News. More posts by this contributor Here are the top states and cities for startups in the South Where did venture capitalists go to college? The American Midwest has a long history of making stuff. During the 20th century, it was the manufacturing center for the nation, and indeed much of the world. It’s still where a surpassing majority of agricultural commodities are grown and processed. But is it also a major producer of technology startups? Maybe not as much as the coasts, but the Midwest’s bustling metropoli and vast expanses of rural land prove to be fertile ground for quite a bit of startup activity. And that’s what we’re going to take a look at here. In a similar vein to our recent a...

Southern California needs to find its hub for it to develop its own tech ecosystem

Recognizing the tens of billions of dollars that the Southern Californian region leaves on the table, because it hasn’t taken its rightful place in the American technology industry, a new group called  the Alliance for Southern California Innovation has just released a report to analyze how SoCal can work to assume its pole position. Through interviews with 100 leaders of the technology ecosystem and an analysis of venture capital funding for the region, the organization has concluded (with the help of the Boston Consulting Group) that the promise of a regional rival to Northern California’s silicon valley won’t be fulfilled without the establishment of a geographic hub and a willingness to overcome regional differences. Founded by Steve Poizner last year to accelerate the growth of a star...

Late-blooming startups can still thrive

Joanna Glasner Contributor More posts by this contributor What does it take to be a startup that raises huge sums quickly? Not a minimalist? Startups will gladly store, manage and deliver your items It seems like startup news is full of overnight success stories and sudden failures, like the scooter rental company that went from zero to a $300 million valuation in months or the blood-testing unicorn that went from billions to nearly naught. But what about those other companies that mature more gradually? Is there such a thing as slow and successful in startup-land? To contemplate that question, Crunchbase News set out to assemble a data set of top late-blooming startups. We looked at companies that were founded in or before 2010 that raised large amounts of capital after 2015, and we also ...

The case for boosting enterprise software startups with services

  Martin Casado Contributor Martin Casado, is a general partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. He was previously the cofounder and chief technology officer at Nicira, which was acquired by VMware in 2012. One of the truisms of software business strategy is that services is bad business; heck, we’ve also said it. The reason, put bluntly, is that it’s a business with low margins and is not as scalable. So in the early days of bringing to market a complex enterprise software product, the repeated feedback I got from nearly all my advisors was to make sure customers were paying for software licenses, not services. (Although I remember when receiving this advice in the early days of Nicira that I wished I even had the problem of money coming in the “wrong” way in the first pla...

MIT aims to spark innovation in Southeast Asia with its Global Startup Workshop

MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the world’s most hallowed educational institutions is turning its attention to Southeast Asia where it hopes to plant the seed of innovation among a new generation of potential entrepreneurs. That’s through MIT’s Global Startup Workshop (GSW), a 20-year-old conference on innovation and technology, which is headed back to Southeast Asia for the first time since a 1999 event in Singapore. This year’s MIT GSW will take place in Bangkok, Thailand, from 26-28 March in association with local partner Sasin School of Management, and the team behind the show told TechCrunch of their excitement at helping to stoke the fire of tech disruption in Southeast Asia, a region of over 600 million people that now has more internet users than the entire popul...

Raise softly and deliver a big exit

Jason Rowley Contributor Jason Rowley is a venture capital and technology reporter for Crunchbase News. More posts by this contributor: In the world of venture capital, the prospect of a successful “exit” looms large in the minds of investors. A VC’s business model is less about the money that goes into a startup than it is about what comes out. It’s true that most companies fail to exit gracefully, and of those that do, surprisingly few exit by going public. The majority of exits take place through mergers and acquisitions (M&A). For most investors of this ilk, it’s not always the size of the exit that matters; rather, the focus is placed on the ratio of exit valuation to invested capital (VIC). Crunchbase News has previously covered exits that delivered high VIC ratios — or those tha...

Startups are (still) making weird name choices

If the latest seed-funded startups have their way, this is what your future will look like. You’ll find your mortgage through a company named Morty, refill your contact lenses with Waldo and get your cannabis news from Herb. (Which is not to be confused with Bud, the startup that handles your banking.) Later, you can use Cake Technologies to pay the bar tab, cover fertility treatments with Carrot Fertility and get your workers’ compensation through Pie Insurance. Afterward, rent your neighbor’s stuff with Fat Lama, manage your cloud services with LunchBadger and network your way to a better career with Purple Squirrel. Notice any patterns here? Yes, first names, foods and animals have been quite popular lately with founders choosing startup names. Those are a few of the top naming trends C...

What Silicon Valley tech VCs get wrong about consumer investing

Ryan Caldbeck Contributor Ryan Caldbeck is the founder and chief executive of the consumer and retail investment marketplace CircleUp. More posts by this contributor: When I began fundraising for CircleUp six years ago, I encountered many investors whose eyes would glaze over when I mentioned “consumer.” These investors would fidget uncomfortably or drop their gaze when I explained that our platform would only provide capital to small CPG companies. I would often hear the skeptical comments, such as, “an energy bar company can’t really get that big,” “baby food isn’t scalable,” and my personal favorite, “I can’t name a single consumer company” (real quote from a VC). Today, of course, the tone is much different. Scroll through tech news and you’ll see everything from Greylock Partners sing...

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