The other six: VR hardware projects funded on KickStarter
Apart from the Oculus Rift, there are currently six other Virtual Reality hardware projects that have been successfully funded through KickStarter
Sam Altman, tomorrow’s Mark Zuckerberg?
Over $5 billion jump in valuation in one month, even though none of their highest valued investments has yet had an exit? At this rate, Sam’s startup club may start putting Facebook to shame
Mel Brooks Producers as a model for lean startups
Founders having an innovative idea, a fruitful search for a solution, generous early investors: what could possibly go wrong?
Startup mentoring: is there something missing?
The list of services that an officially accredited UK mentor is NOT allowed to provide just boggles the mind
Love: the most important thing about startup founder matching
What will hold startup founders together through those ‘sense of impending doom’ moments? The fact that the business idea is great? Y Combinator’s Paul Graham thinks not: the relationship between founders has to be more important than the venture.
Award for the most confusing little word in the startup vocabulary: Vest
A serious attempt to clarify some of the things which make vest and vesting a bit mind-bending for startups
Startup mentoring versus apprenticeship
The interaction between startups and startup mentors has a fundamental difference from ‘apprenticeship’, something which has major implications for the future of innovation
iij top 20 upcoming innovation books for 2012
There’s a growing interest in introducing an entrepreneurial approach to innovation, whether its happening inside or outside the established organisation
Need to recover from ‘startup overreach’?
Ty Danco’s ludicrously improbable but riveting tale definitely belongs in the history books, alongside AirBnB’s legendary ‘survive by literally eating your own marketing material’ yarn
Can entrepreneurialism be automated?
If Artificial Intelligence is going to automate the world’s entire workforce, we’re all going to need to give up any hope of employment and become startup entrepreneurs and innovation investors instead. They couldn’t possibly automate those, could they?
Should the UK government convert student debt into startup equity?
If much higher-than-expected numbers of students join the ranks of the long-term unemployed, most student loans are going to remain unpaid indefinitely. Is the risk of student unemployment higher than the risk of failure for a startup accelerator-boosted founder?
Accelerators vs. incubators: an alumni panel debate video
Startups from Y Combinator, TechStars, Dave McClure’s 500 Startups and Idealab tell us what life feels like, including being rejected by Y Combinator and successfully reapplying!
What do we really know about startup acceleration mentoring?
Investors treat ‘startup founders entrepreneurial inexperience’ as an occupational hazard. Accelerators ‘parachute-in’ entrepreneurial experience in the form of ‘startup acceleration mentors’. Isn’t it time to ask some big questions about this?
iij Post-conference report on PitchLive London 2011
Overall verdict: a bit of a ‘best kept secret’, offering more than enough insight into less-widely covered sectors of the startup investment scene to justify watching out for next year’s event
Innovation competitions: why we need more of them
We’d all be forgiven for imagining that TechCrunch Disrupt and the DEMO Conference were the only regularly held innovation competition events worth talking about, as far as the tech media were concerned. So imagine my surprise…
The iij Top 20 upcoming startup books, fall 2011
The range of startup titles has expanded dramatically this year, and whatever economic surprises may be in store for us in 2012, this particular sector is looking unstoppable.
Are Silicon Valley VCs really in decline?
The move away from traditional VCs to Angels features strongly in talk about startup investment. So this seemingly contrary view from the very heart of Silicon Valley is intriguing
Student loans: why only for colleges and not for startup accelerators?
Startup mentoring is education. Why can’t existing government-backed student loan schemes be extended to include startup founders attending accredited startup accelerator programmes?
What if startup ideas didn’t matter to investors?
Would you invest in founders pitching a project that you didn’t really believe in, for reasons you didn’t tell them about?
Exchanges for startups: no longer just pre-IPO, maybe ‘post IPO era’
The investors need to be wealthy ($1m+) and few (maximum 500) and the business too small to IPO. Facebook tore that last rule apart. What if the other rules are also eventually relaxed?
Startup acceleration: what on earth does that really mean?
Is it just about speeding up the rate at which startups emerge, or making them grow faster, or just unintentionally hurrying them on to an earlier demise?
Are ‘hopeless’ startups our best hope for sustainable jobs?
A startup only has to take one person out of unemployment to make a net contribution to job growth. Instead of ‘Jobseekers Allowance’ why not ‘Business Model Seekers Allowance’?
Mortgage your house, then bootstrap from zero to $50m in 7 years
And all that was BEFORE she got into the VC business, and not just the old-style VC business: she does mentoring at TechStars, invested early in UStream, and is CEO of Get Satisfaction, a 50,000+ customer startup which uses social media to support customer relationships
Exit strategy more important for startups than a business plan?
For a first-time startup, when the real excitement of early innovation is happening, the daunting business of M&A is usually the last thing on anyone’s mind. But research is showing that the later it starts, the higher the risk
Startup mentoring as reality TV
What’s it like being interviewed by Paul Graham when you’re applying to Y Combinator? Watch this unmissable video of intense grilling and inspired brainstorming in front of a live audience
Venture Capital 2.0’s secret sauce
VCs are interested in finding large, untapped markets. They use startups to do the market research needed to find them
Founderpreneurs and funderpreneurs
Fred Wilson (the VC world’s leading blogger) makes an insightful comparison between first time and serial entrepreneurs. I was thinking through the ‘who do you go to?’ question
iij Top Ten Startup Weekend Videos
I had to work my way through an enormous number of clips to put this together, but I still only scratched the surface. I had to do it now, because soon, there are going to be just too many to even attempt this with any sense of purpose.
A whole new take on NSFW
No, it’s not Dave McClure’s customary firehose of expletives that make this video Not Safe For Work. It’s you. You’re Not Safe For Work in a startup, as far as he’s concerned
Are governments really listening to innovation investors?
The iij compares innovation-friendly policy suggestions offered prior to the UK budget with the measures that were actually announced by the chancellor
What did the budget do for UK innovation investors?
Of the incentives announced in the budget, perhaps the most important for innovation may be the increase in the rate of income tax relief. Share scheme specialist Russell Eisen compares the chancellor’s announcements with innovation champion Julie Meyer’s pre-budget suggestions
The angel scene: how much has changed since September?
You’ll probably scrutinise ‘angel disruptus maximus’ Naval Ravikant’s latest video much more thoroughly than I have, just to see how his predictions have changed since the last talk of his that we covered
No potential startup founder left behind
It looks like the enviable track record of startup accelerators like TechStars and Y Combinator derives from identifying something you might call ‘Foundational Capability’ as the basis for startup success, but there is a dark side
I Think, Therefore I Pivot: The Lean Startup Philosophy At Work
I just read this question on Quora: ‘What good books tell the story of the business model iterations and pivots of a notable company?’ My response is not a book, but a video of a talk at Y Combinator Startup School
Startup death spiral? Surely not!
Maybe it’s just something that nobody wanted to talk about. Large organisations had, over the years, paid countless professors to study the shortcomings of large organisations, leaving the trials and tribulations of the startup unstudied, waiting for Steve Blank to one day notice something shockingly consistent about the way most startups spin out of control
Angels teach Venture Capitalists how to accelerate startups
The new breed of angels: as much ‘startup coentrepreneurs’ as they are investors. Executive control, once obligatory, now seen as a liability, is being replaced with new brands of investor offerings which minimise dilution and instead creatively collaborate to facilitate leanness and opportunistic market agility. VCs are keenly studying this new wizardry
The iij Top Ten Startup Books for the start of 2011
Shame on us for not managing to get a top ten startup book list out at the end of last year, but most of these titles are barely a month old. Some are obvious choices, but others are quite specialised and deserve more attention than they’ve received
Lean investing: what is it?
Dave McClure is not exactly a shy or timid voice in the startup investment community. He offers the unique perspective of someone who describes themselves as a geek who became a startup founder who moved on to become an investor in many startups.
Ron Conway, archangel, on video, on how it all began
He’s been investing in a new company every six days for fifteen years. What’s that like? He secured Google’s first Venture Capital when Google had six people. What was that like?
Turning university science breakthroughs into businesses
A superb panel video from Princeton covers just about everything: Angels, Venture Capital, Intellectual Property as well as the academic, engineering and technology licensing perspectives
The valley’s angel scene is going crazy
It’s unrecognisable from just a few years ago: lots more angels, much bigger sums, many more investments
Ten things entrepreneurs get wrong
16 year old kid starts a business from his bedroom, sells it 18 months later for $40m: you just know the video from him and three other top innovation legends is awesome