Business

Why I Backed a 24-Year-Old Trying to Assess Human Potential

Why I Backed a 24-Year-Old Trying to Assess Human Potential

Last week Upfront Ventures announced backing Rebecca Kantar’s startup Imbellus, a company designed to assess human potential and ultimately change the way we teach children. We led a $4 million investment along with Thrive Capital, GLG and Sound Ventures. The news blogs  covered the what, how and how much but I want to focus on the […]

How Do VCs Choose Their Investors (and should entrepreneurs care?)

How Do VCs Choose Their Investors (and should entrepreneurs care?)

I recently read a blog post by Beezer Clarkson, Managing Director of Sapphire Ventures about why entrepreneurs should care about from whom their VC funds raise their capital. I spent a bunch of time thinking about this position — especially since Beezer is an investor in Upfront Ventures. There are a lot of things I […]

​#CXOTALK Reinventing the legal industry with AI, machine learning, and augmented reality

​#CXOTALK Reinventing the legal industry with AI, machine learning, and augmented reality

The legal industry has a reputation for being slow to change and behind the curve on adopting new technologies. A credible survey of law firms in the UK indicated these facts: 17 percent of partners in the top 25 UK law firms are women 80 percent of the law firms surveyed see digital strategy as […]

What to Make of Andreessen Horowitz’s Returns?

What to Make of Andreessen Horowitz’s Returns?

Rolfe Winkler wrote a piece in the WSJ about A16Z’s returns in which he says they “lag behind Sequoia, Benchmark and Founders Fund.” Scott Kupor of A16Z responded with a comprehensive overview of valuation methodology in a post that while accurate feels more targeted at sophisticated Limited Partners (LPs) who invest in funds. Let me […]

The Pivot You Need to Read About

The Pivot You Need to Read About

GOAT just announced it raised $5 million in venture capital led by our friends at Matrix Partners. On the surface that sounds unremarkable — fundings happen daily. But this isn’t just any funding. GOAT (“Greatest of All Time) is a sneakerhead marketplace that is en fuego, but we led the company’s last financing round in […]

Why We Can’t Let Luddites Ruin Global Trade

Why We Can’t Let Luddites Ruin Global Trade

  Luddites. It’s a term most of you know as being somebody who is backward or uninterested in learning new technology. Actually, the Luddites were worse than this. They were a movement in England during the Industrial Revolution who had the objective of ruining machinery that was used to build products at scale. They thought […]

Why Raising Too Much Money Can Harm Your Startup

Why Raising Too Much Money Can Harm Your Startup

Amongst the most often asked questions I get from founders is, “How much money should I raise?”   Reflexively founders want to raise as much money as they can because they figure it will give them more resources, better chances of competing and a longer runways before they have to do the often painful job […]

Why Acceptance of Failure is Critical to Startup Success

Why Acceptance of Failure is Critical to Startup Success

  I talk about failure a lot because I think it can be tremendously instructive and I think that success without failure often masks underlying lessons. I even prefer to fund entrepreneurs who have experience some level of set-backs in their careers or startups because I think it brings a humility to decision-making that I […]

The Corrosive Nature of Over-Introducers

The Corrosive Nature of Over-Introducers

  In modern society we’re all over-worked and over-loaded with information and tasks and to-dos and obligations. Nowhere is this more apparent than working in a startup where you are definitionally under-resourced and trying to make big accomplishments in compressed periods of time. That’s why focus is critical. Saying “no” often to people who want […]