Stories

By: Eric Paley | May 19, 2010
"I thought getting funded would be as simple as pitching my idea to a smart VC and getting a check based on the magnitude of the idea." Two different first time entrepreneurs in their early twenties both made some version of this comment to me in the last month. I like and respect both entrepreneurs...
By: Matthew Mamet | May 18, 2010
Recently, I sat down with Michael Fruzzetti and Ben Dolgoff, co-founders of newly minted Peekaboo Mobile, an application for Apple mobile devices that uses your GPS location to send you deals and offers at retail stores nearby. By combining two ideas that have become hugely popular...
By: Chris Sheehan | May 17, 2010
At CommonAngels our focus is on capital efficient seed/early stage opportunities. Everyone talks about capital efficiency, but what do we really mean? I like to segment capital efficiency for IT startups into two stages: Initial capital required and end to end capital required...
By: Jules Pieri | May 16, 2010
I will never be the author of a piece on "How to Successfully Raise Start-up Capital." That's because the dirty reality is that the fund-raising process is more about rejection, failure, and persistence than success. I liken it to doggedly looking for a cure for a mysterious...
By: Keith Cline | May 16, 2010
There seems to be more and more "West Coast" style companies popping up in the greater Boston area, which is fantastic news. Case in point - Swipely - which announced a $7.5M round of funding last week. Swipely, started by serial entrepreneur - Angus Davis, is an online...
By: Lee Hower | May 13, 2010
Today Swipely announced their Series A round and I'm pleased to be an investor in the company along with a great group of VCs and other angels. Put simply, Swipely's goal is to reinvent the way we as consumers shop, share, and save. Quite clearly a BHAG but one that I believe founder Angus Davis...
By: Rob Go | May 12, 2010
Valuations in venture backed companies seem to be a mystery to most. Even in the past 18 months, when it was close to impossible to raise money, we’ve seen valuations in early stage companies that caused a lot of headscratching (Square, Foursquare, Groupon...
By: Sam Zales | May 11, 2010
I once gave a speech to American Express colleagues that harkened a theme from the movie Jerry Maguire-a film that came out at the time most of today’s entrepreneurs were still in middle school. The theme that impacted me most was not “Show Me the Money;” instead it was the philosophies...
By: David Skok | May 10, 2010
There is no question that success for the entrepreneur starts with a breakthrough (or at the very least great) product or service. Yet too often, entrepreneurs fall into the “field of dreams” mentality (in the words of Terence Mann, AKA James Earl Jones: “build it and they’ll come”). But the...
By: Chip Hazard | May 9, 2010
A couple of months ago, I had a two week period when many of our CEOs were leading their own 360 degree reviews, where feedback is provided to them by both their direct reports and by the Board of Directors. If you are a CEO/entrepreneur, I would highly encourage you to...
By: Keith Cline | May 9, 2010
The band Train had the right title for their 2003 song - Calling All Angels. To help create more startups and entrepreneurial activity in the Boston area, there needs to be a better ecosystem for angel investing. In order to accomplish this goal, three things need to...
By: Desmond Pieri | May 6, 2010
Frankly, my first Nantucket Conference was mostly good. But the one ‘bad/ugly’ was a surprise, given what emerged as the central theme of the three days. Though not on the agenda, the question consistently asked was, “How does Boston promote innovation and entrepreneurship in competition...
By: James Reinhart | May 5, 2010
There’s been much talk in the Boston entrepreneurial ecosystem about the need to get more entrepreneurs building great companies and how the community can support them. Bill Warner kicked this discussion off with a great series of posts. There was much follow-on debate at the Mass Technology...
By: Bill Warner | May 4, 2010
I believe that the very heart of innovation comes down to founders who intend to change the world, and those who back them and help them achieve the impossible. I've been moved recently by the stories in Googled by Ken Auletta. We all know about Google's meteoric rise, but what wasn't clear...
By: Jeff Bennett | May 3, 2010
Entrepreneurs are an interesting group of people that can be described in many ways: smart, creative, visionary, energetic, risk takers, inventors, persistent. The process of entrepreneurship is very exciting and an awful lot of work all in one. I come from a long line of entrepreneurs...
By: Larry Cheng | May 2, 2010
The pressure for revenue growth has hurt a lot of young companies. It starts with an entrepreneur representing a growth story to an investor. Then the investor represents the growth story to his firm to gain support for the investment. And then the investment happens. Then the company...
By: Keith Cline | May 2, 2010
Last Friday, Michael Greeley of Flybridge Capital Partners announced the 12X12 initiative at the annual Nantucket Conference. This exciting new initiative's goal is to launch and multiply the next generation of technology companies and entrepreneurs in the state of Massachusetts. This program...
The surge of technology services companies on the web continues to drive down the cost and complexity of doing business as a startup. But finding the right companies to partner with, store your data with, and entrust the uptime of your business to can be intimidating. How does a startup know when...
By: Don Dodge | April 28, 2010
Focus is critically important to startups and large companies. Focus requires saying no to some great ideas. Having lots of smart people and lots of money in the bank can make it hard to say no. I was mentoring a startup, helping them sort through where to focus and how to prioritize the...
By: Bijan Sabet | April 27, 2010
In early stage startups, it’s not particularly helpful to obsess about long term financial projections - especially the revenue projections because we know it’s not always up and to the right. The same is often true with long term product roadmaps. Often times in board meetings...
By: Andy Singleton | April 26, 2010
If you use cloud virtual servers, you will sooner or later need a big pile of hosted storage to go with them. Assembla.com uses a lot of storage for repositories. We also have customers of our cloud development/outsourcing practice that use a lot of storage for photos and other media. So, I have been...
By: Keith Cline | April 25, 2010
Every successful entrepreneur has an inspirational story to tell. A story that people can learn from. A story that enourages other entrepreneurs to take that leap of faith. We were absolutely thrilled when we heard that Eric Paley from Founder Collective was starting a quarterly event called Founder Dialogues...
By: Keith Cline | April 25, 2010
Two weeks ago, Eric Paley from Founder Collective held his first Founder Dialogues event. These events will feature a sit down discussion with some of Boston's most successful entrepreneurs. The first event featured Tim Healy, the CEO, Chairman, and Co-Founder of EnerNOC. It is very important to celebrate...
By: Keith Cline | April 22, 2010
Chirp, the official Twitter Developer Conference, was held last week in San Francisco. One of the panel discussions was focused on Investing in the Ecosystem. Two Boston based VCs appeared on the panel: Bijan Sabet (Twitter investor and VentureFizz contributor) from Spark Capital and Mike Hirshland...
By: Siamak Taghaddos | April 21, 2010
You have 90 seconds to pitch an investor about your new, incredible business idea that’s going to change the world and make millions of dollars. How do you do it? Simply break your story into five parts using this guideline of how I’d want to be pitched: What is it, who’s your target...
By: Michael Greeley | April 20, 2010
Today the Index of the Massachusetts Innovation Economy, prepared by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s John Adams Innovation Institute, is released. Notwithstanding the global economic crisis which we just weathered, the state of Massachusetts seems to be doing quite well...
By: Brian Balfour | April 19, 2010
POPSignal maintains a LinkedIn group, where recently a POPSignal member, Adam Marchick of Bain Capital Ventures, posted a very interesting, and thought provoking question of “Is Boston Short Angels, Or Good Companies?” The result was a flurry of insightful responses from some of the best Boston entrepreneurs, angels, and vc’s...
By: Richard Banfield | April 18, 2010
We’ve always been slightly suspicious of formal public relations efforts. It works for lots of companies but in a social networking world public relations has a harder job remaining credible and authentic. We’ve been working on our own ideas and learning from our friends at Grasshopper...
By: Keith Cline | April 18, 2010
The Office Hours movement has been an important change for the Boston entrepreneurial ecosystem. It has helped to break down the walls between entrepreneurs and investors. The Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) has been hosting Office Hours every Thursday at their Venture Cafe...
By: Keith Cline | April 15, 2010
Angus Davis is a serial entrepreneur located in Providence, RI. He co-founded Tellme, which raised venture capital from Kleiner Perkins and Benchmark Capital. In 2007, Tellme was acquired by Microsoft in the $800M range (as reported by TechCrunch). Angus is working on his next company called Swipely...

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