Peter Thiel reminded the TechCrunch audience this week how unique and impactful Silicon Valley is. He predicted it will continue to lead the world in innovation and disruption for at least the next two decades. He said he’d be “long on Silicon Valley” and “short on New York.” New York is developing a fantastic startup culture; but data shows that no one is close to Silicon Valley in attracting the best talent, churning out the best... Read More
This may not seem like a big deal to some of you. Silicon Valley has many billion dollar venture funds, after all. But for startups in Utah, this is huge news. A $23 million fund focused on seed investments of $100k to $1 million can provided a needed boost to dozens of companies. If even a single startup funded by Peak Ventures follows the path of billion-dollar Utah companies such as Omniture, Vivint, Ancestry, InsideSales, or... Read More
How free are we? The government spends 40% of what we make. We spend more for our average prisoner than for an average student. Going through the airports, almost every time I get the probe. Some construction permits take more than 6 years. How brave are we? There are more lawyers per worker than any other country. More bureaucrats per worker than any other country. Average salary for a public worker is higher than for... Read More
I’ll be live blogging the AlwaysOn OnDC Summit for the next 2 1/2 days. Tony Perkins, founder of the Churchill Club, Upside Magazine, Red Herring, and Always On took the stage to welcome the attendees. Tony is telling how he grew up in Portola Valley not far from where the Home Brew Computer Club met. He showed a picture of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak before they were 20. Tony recently read Barack Obama’s innovation... Read More
I missed the Stanford Summit (AlwaysOn) this July, but I am registered for the Venture Summit West coming up next week. I look forward to catching up with some friends on the VC side of things and comparing notes with some friends who are CEOs who will be at this conference. I usually attend the AlwaysOn Summit in July at Stanford, but I missed it this year, being in the intense startup mode still at WorldVitalRecords.com.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention that World Vital Records' India page ranks #3 in MSN for "india genealogy." I'm still trying to convince FundingUniverse.com to roll out 6 regional web sites in India, as suggested by an Indian entrepreneur who explained to me how startup funding might naturally happen in that country. I don't know if I've blogged about it, but 3 years ago I read "India Unbound" by the first venture capitalist in India, Gurcharan Das. It is an absolutely incredible look at the economic revolution that has been occuring in India since 1991. I am very optimistic about the future of India, which will be the world's most populated country by about 2030.
FundingUniverse.com now has about 1,000 angel investors in virtually every state. The company, which I helped found in early 2005, is holding its 5th speedpitching event today in Sandy, Utah. It has held events in 6 or more states and has plans to continue to expand. I've attended several of these events representing the small fund we have at Provo Labs, as a potential investor. The coaching and practice sessions have been extremely helpful. Imagine trying to get your entire business plan onto a 1-page summary that will be distributed. And then imagine being forced to tell your story in 4 minutes. That's what all the entrepreneurs learn how to do. After the 4 minute pitch, the investors get 3 minutes for Q&A. Then you go to the next table and give your pitch again. You do this 5 times before lunch, and then 5 times after lunch.
Most VCs don't have time to look at the thousands of unsolicited deals that are sent to them "over the transom," an interesting phrase defined by Wikipedia. Most only look at deals that are referred to them by people they know and trust. So when VC Forum comes to your town looking for local deals that are promising, the Forum requires them to be submitted by a local VC firm that has of course screened the deals. So local companies that want to pitch at the VC Forum events will need to have already gotten in front of credible people and started telling their story. You have to get noticed, you have to have a good team and a good story, and then you get the referral you are looking for.
I thought it was interesting to learn on the same day that both Robert Scoble, the pre-eminent Microsoft blogger, and Om Malik, the top writer at Business 2.0, were leaving their positions to join startup companies.