Stories

By: Michelle Hipwood | July 8, 2010
About 80 entrepreneurs, early stage VCs and angel investors came to Nutter McClennen & Fish’s Seaport office a few weeks ago for The Capital Network’s first Venture Fast Track Boot Camp. The theme of the interactive FastTrack was to give entrepreneurs an in-depth understanding of what it takes to raise early stage capital...
By: Carl Stjernfeldt | July 7, 2010
3 things I like to see in a first meeting: 1. "Special sauce". Usually a combination of technology, team, market traction/size/growth, capital efficiency, competitive landscape, and timing that makes us believe THIS team, at THIS time, with THIS solution, in THIS market will be a great...
By: Jeffrey Glass | July 6, 2010
The entrepreneur has passion for the idea and is uniquely qualified to go after it. I know, it totally cliché, but a great entrepreneur can turn lemons into lemonade. Besides the usual list of skillsets, passion creates drive and drive creates success. It’s also helpful if the entrepreneur/ team have some...
By: Keith Cline | July 5, 2010
Just when everyone started to power down and think about the long holiday weekend....Google gave us some early fireworks with the acquisition of ITA Software for $700M in cash. Back in April, there were rumors circling around about the potential acquisition. Congrats to the team at ITA Software...
By: Keith Cline | July 5, 2010
We are exciting to announce a new weekly series under our Voices section on VentureFizz called Fizzlosophy (fizz·los·o·phy)! What is Fizzlosophy? It is a series where we will cover a specific topic for the week and have 2 - 4 guest contributors provide their points of view on a relevant...
By: Ariel Diaz | July 1, 2010
In the startup world there is an ongoing debate about the importance of having a very solid product versus having great distribution. A few weeks ago at a dinner hosted by David Skok and Antonio Rodriguez we had a very active and interesting debate about the merits of each. Antonio posed...
By: David Cancel | June 30, 2010
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to interview Gail Goodman last week at the Momentum Summit at MIT Sloan. Gail is the CEO of Constant Contact, an email marketing company that was founded during the “boom days” of the Internet, made it through the post-bubble apocalypse, and is now a publicly...
By: Dan Rosen | June 29, 2010
Hey there, New England entrepreneurial ecosystem. In this, my inaugural blog post on VentureFizz, I’d like to offer some simple, practical advice about the ‘investor pitch’. For the purposes of this post, let’s use Content and Delivery to categorize these tips, since a good presentation stems...
By: Bill Warner | June 28, 2010
Isn't it strange the language we use about events that are supposed to be so great? We get our company to a crucial stage in its life, and for some, it's all about leaving. A good exit. You get in, and hopefully, you get to leave. A good exit. We graduate college. We don't call that an...
By: Bettina Hein | June 27, 2010
I spend most of my waking hours working on my startups (currently Pixability.com), but every few years in the summer, I get a bit distracted by the World Cup for a few weeks. This year, I picked up Soccernomics by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski – mainly to calm my nerves before the...
By: Keith Cline | June 27, 2010
Well....I would say Innovation Month lived up to all the expectations. There were many, many events that brought people out by the masses to network and listen to experts speak about a number of interesting topics. One definite highlight from last week was Eric Paley's Founder Dialogues...
By: Rob Go | June 24, 2010
Quick post today that came to me on the subway. During my time in Venture Capital, I was surprised to see how many “rules” there are that have become gospel in the industry. At the same time, I was surprised how little convincing evidence there was behind these rules aside from common...
By: Jeff Moore | June 23, 2010
Over the last few weeks we've been talking about how to identify and hire top talent. Not an easy task at all....and frankly a VERY expensive task if you think about the costs associated with recruiting (paying your HR staff, interviewer time, candidate travel costs, agency fees, etc). So, you spend...
By: Bijan Sabet | June 22, 2010
In the early days of a startup it’s common and necessary for the founder(s) to be involved in every decision. From the strategic to the mundane. Some love it and others do it out of necessity. But as the company grows the founder(s) have a decision to make. Do they keep a very tight...
By: Dharmesh Shah | June 21, 2010
I’m a big fan of Eric Ries and the lean startup movement that he’s championing at Startup Lessons Learned. I think many of the fundamentals behind the lean startup are things you likely have been practicing for a while. But, seeing it articulated so well and establishing a common vocabularly...
By: Doug Levin | June 20, 2010
Each Father’s Day I reflect on my father’s influence on my business life. What advice did he give me, and how well did it pan out? Dad graduated from law school during the height of the Great Depression and went to work for a big “white shoe” law firm in New York City. In his first job he earned...
By: Keith Cline | June 20, 2010
We are coming around the home stretch of Innovation Month in New England. There are many exciting events planned for this week. Here are three worth noting: 1. VentureFizz is a proud media sponsor for this week's AlwaysOn Venture Summit East 2010 event at Harvard Business School. This event runs...
By: Micah Rosenbloom | June 17, 2010
First off, I want to thank Cari Sommer, founder of Urban Interns (a very cool company in NYC), for giving me the spark and title idea for this blog post. I've come to realize that I learned a lot about start-ups in high school (and a few episodes of Saved By the Bell)...
By: Jeff Moore | June 16, 2010
Last week we put some meat behind the idea of hiring the "best and brightest".......that's all well and good, but now that you know who they are you have to hire them. Hiring these folks is hard, REALLY hard and isn't something you just "do" it takes a strategy and a concerted...
By: Bilal Zuberi | June 15, 2010
Boston’s Innovation Month is in full bloom and there is tremendous excitement in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. We are seeing a level of startup activity that has not been seen in almost a decade, with new companies emerging in both new and old sectors: e.g. IT, Life Sciences and Cleantech. There are many...
By: David Skok | June 14, 2010
If any of you read one of my blog posts entitled “Six Things VCs look for in an Investment,” you may remember that the first entry on the list is “An Extraordinary Entrepreneur with Unique Insight.” I recently watched an outstanding presentation called “How great leaders inspire action” by Simon Sinek...
By: Lee Hower | June 13, 2010
A frequent complaint by entrepreneurs is that VCs fail to provide a prompt "no" to startups which they don't plan to invest in. There's lots of reasons VCs do this... we have an incentive to preserve an option to invest as long as possible (rightly or wrongly), saying "no" is rarely an enjoyable...
By: Keith Cline | June 13, 2010
Highland Capital Partners has teamed up with PepsiCo and Mashable to create the PepsiCo10. This is an open call for promising media, communications and technology startups. Up to 10 aspiring entrepreneurial groups (with products in beta, but not in the marketplace for more than two years) will be selected, matched up with industry mentors and have...
By: Doug Levin | June 10, 2010
Social and business conversations in the Boston area are sometimes punctuated with tales about legendary personalities, companies and technology projects which together constitute “waves” from the past. The names Bill Poduska, Edson DeCastro, John Cullinane, Ken Olson, Mitch Kapor...
By: Don Dodge | June 9, 2010
Angel Investors are a special breed. They take on the riskiest investments at the earliest stage where VCs will not engage. That’s why they call them angels. For a struggling entrepreneur they are heaven sent. Jon Pierce organized an Angel Boot Camp in Boston attended by over 300 Angel Investors...
By: Ariel Diaz | June 9, 2010
There are many post-mortems from failed startups out there, mainly because there are a lot of failed startups, and the people that start them tend to be very introspective and public about their successes and failures. I'm no different. This post-mortem will serve to get things off my chest...
By: Jeff Bussgang | June 8, 2010
No, this post isn't about achieving four wins in the NBA Playoffs. It's about a historical anomaly in start-up compensation that I'm struggling with. Although I know this risks being an unpopular post with entrepreneurs, I confess that I no longer get why we have four year vesting...
By: Joe Medved | June 7, 2010
This summer we decided to bring in two summer interns in order to establish closer ties to entrepreneurially-minded students and to give a few of them direct exposure to the venture capital world. This morning we are excited to welcome Nikhil Kalghatgi, a first year at Harvard Business School...
By: Jon Lim | June 6, 2010
We are excited to introduce the newest Dogpatch Labs class in Cambridge. It includes entrepreneurs and companies that have recently joined or will soon join this newly-expanded Lab. A few additional stealth companies in this class will be announced shortly as well! These companies span...
By: Keith Cline | June 6, 2010
The first week of Innovation Month in New England kicked off with a bang last week! Three major highlights included: 1. Angel Boot Camp - this event was an opportunity for aspiring angel investors to learn about the angel investment industry from a number of active investors. This...

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