There are few people whose impact on entrepreneurs and business in general you hear about as frequently as Clayton Christensen. Clay’s body of work includes co-founding a publicly traded company, being a Rhodes Scholar, writing one of the most influential business books of our generation, fighting cancer and a stroke that forced him to relearn to speak, teaching thousands at the Harvard Business School, and raising five children. He has accomplished gigantic things, not to mention he stands 6 ’8″ and today is also his birthday so please wish him well. When I heard he would speak at Startup Grind 2013, excitement and then panic raced through my bald head. Luckily one of the very best in the business, Mark Suster of GRP Partners was gracious enough to come and represent the startup community at the interview. Mark has written a great recap of his conversation, but it seems appropriate to followup with this audience and share the entire interview from a few weeks ago. Continue reading
Author: Josh Constine
Date: March 28, 2013
The SEC today paved the way for a new era of venture capital investing by stating it won’t pursue enforcement action againstFundersClub, whose platform lets any accredited investor fund startups in exchange for equity. Before, some thought FundersClub’s founders could face jail time for violating finance laws. FundersClub’s model could be used by others to raise capital online for startups before the JOBS Act goes fully into effect.
FundersClub is a Y Combinator-incubated startup that has raised $7 million to build its online venture capital system. Its website hosts profiles of different startups looking to raise money. Any accredited investor (someone who earns over $200,000 a year or has a net worth over $1 million) can choose to invest as little as $1,000 in startups with open rounds on FundersClub. These investors can cash out if the startup is acquired or IPOs, or if they do a stock offering on the secondary market, and FundersClub gets a cut of the money.
However, FundersClub was thought to be operating in a murky legal grey area because it’s not a registered broker-dealer. FundersClub maintained its innocence, saying it never directly handles the invested money, which is kept in separate custodial accounts for each startup it hosts. Technically, it’s not crowdfunding, but rather a venture capital advisor that raises funds online through a streamlined process rather than offline with traditional paperwork. Read more here.
Author: Sarah Perez
Date: December 29,2011
Gazelle Lab, the brand-new Tampa Bay-based TechStars Network member which just held its first Demo Day in November, is expanding its operations. The accelerator has just announced the opening of second location in Orlando, Florida, where it will be working with local academic institution Rollins College.
The Orlando team will be led by founder Richard Licursi, CEO of Florida’s Spectrum Bridge, Inc. You may remember hearing about that company as being the first to win the FCC’s approval to manage a database in the newly-opened “white space” spectrum. Licursi will be responsible for leading the fundraising for the Orlando crew, along with three other founders and support from the original St. Petersburg team.
In addition to Lucursi, Orlando’s Gazelle Lab founders include Allen Kupetz, Executive-in-Residence, Crummer Graduate School, Rollins College; Pete McAlindon, Ph.D., CEO of Blue Orb, Inc.; and Pat McNair, CPA, Interim CFO, at RowShamBow.
This is only the second TechStars member to open an additional location. TechStars proper, of course, has multiple locations across the U.S. while network member Startup Bootcamp is live in a few cities in Europe.
As to why there’s a need for more locations so early into the group’s founding, Gazelle Lab founder Daniel James Scott explains that the team feels that the region deserves a statewide effort. Read more here.
Author: Sarah Perez
Date: November 17, 2011
It’s Demo Day for Gazelle Lab, the new Tampa Bay-based TechStars Network member, which is seeing its first class of startups launch this morning in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. The accelerator, based on the successful TechStars model, was founded in early 2011 with three goals: build an entrepreneurship community in the Tampa Bay area, create a seed stage pipeline (something notoriously lacking in Florida today) and create more jobs.
Despite its struggle to register as a tech hotspot, there’s actually a fairly sizable tech community in the Tampa Bay region – it just doesn’t always involve early stage startups like the ones you would see featured on sites like TechCrunch. Developers here often seem content to work at larger firms, like in banking, healthcare, and of course, given MacDill’s presence, for the military.
With Gazelle Lab, that may soon start to change.
The Lab was founded by Brent Britton, Bill Jackson, John Morrow, Marvin Scaff and Daniel James Scott, all of whom bring considerable knowledge and experience to the startups who participate in this 3-month program. Britton has been helping companies for more than 20 years in Boston, San Francisco and the Silicon Valley, New York, and Florida. Bill Jackson is a Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Director of the Sustainable Entrepreneurship & Innovation Alliance at USF St. Petersburg’s College of Business. John Morrow is the Entrepreneur-In-Residence with the Sustainable Entrepreneurship & Innovation Alliance at USF. The experienced software entrepreneur and technology innovator Marvin Scaff and entrepreneur and author Daniel James Scott round out the group. Read more here.
Author: Alexia Tsotsis
Date: November 10, 2011
Remember that time the Wall Street Journal wrote an articleabout an influx of “start-up” companies raising seed/angel rounds and then all those companies subsequently trying to raise Series A rounds and failing hard? And then all these VCs and angels got in a fight about it, on Twitter, and on their own blogs?
Well, we pulled some rough funding data from CrunchBase(which come to think of it should be a National Treasure), and, as it turns out, more and more companies are raising seed and angel rounds (we’re counting both as the same) and less and less companies are raising Series A. In fact the number of seed deals went up 33% from 2008 to 2010, while Series A deals were down 9.6% during the same period.
In fact, we’re on track to have almost two times as many seed deals this year as Series A, while the two were neck and neck in 2008. It’s also worth noting the number of companies raising angel and seed rounds has gone up, but the dollar amount invested has either lessened or stayed the same. Last year, the cash invested in seed and angel rounds was $483 million, down 30 percent from 2009. Whereas the cash invested in Series As was $4.1 billion, up 17 percent—which means that seed investments are getting smaller and Series A investments are getting larger. Read more here.