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Let’s Go Beyond Superficial Virtual Interactions in 2018

Posted on Friday, Dec 22nd 2017

I started a literary group about a year ago focused on serious literary works. We call it Caravanserai Literati. I have always been passionate about literature. This endeavor, however, is a return to serious study of literature at a level that I haven’t engaged in since my last semester in college when I read a dozen major literary works in a single semester. That was the Spring of 1993.

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An Antidote to Social Media Addiction

Posted on Monday, Dec 18th 2017

I’ve thought a lot about the world we’re marching towards in which virtual interactions and relationships far outweigh real, in-person exchanges. The art of conversation, body-language, human and humane interaction – holding hands, looking at people with meaningful warmth – are fading away.

I write this for those who share my discomfort.

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Six Books That Have Offered Me Significant Insights in 2017

Posted on Monday, Dec 11th 2017

It’s that time of the year when we take stock of how the year that is about to fade away has been. For me, books are a large part of the process of processing information and synthesizing insights. Here are six books that have helped advance my thinking this year.

1.     Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari: The book is an anthropologist’s view of how human history has progressed over many millenniums. Its first great insight is that the core differentiating factor between our human species versus others is the power we have for story telling. “You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven.” Religions are stories. Nations are stories. Corporations are stories. And all these stories have served as organizing principles to enable humankind to collaborate in large numbers and make spectacular progress. Today, we’re entering a phase in human history where these stories we’ve been telling are insufficient to continue to empower large-scale cooperation. Cracks are opening up in the organizing principles of the world. Extremely thought provoking in today’s context.

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Angel Investors Discuss the Startups They Finance in Podcasts

Posted on Wednesday, Nov 29th 2017

For entrepreneurs, there may no longer be as many wide-open opportunities out there to build a startup venture around. However, there remain many, many niche opportunities. Some of these businesses need to be built for very small amounts of capital – $1-2 Million, and sold for $10-15M. Is there appetite among Angels for this type of investment? What about a notch smaller? Invest $250k-$500k and sell for $5-$10M?

For Angel investors, shifts are happening in the world of seed investing, and questions emerge. How do you process the current investment climate where capital is moving further and further upstream? How does an Angel investor (or an entrepreneur, for that matter) mitigate the Series A gap? How do you parse Unicorn mania? As an Angel investor, you could get buried under later stage liquidation preferences. How do you protect yourself?

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What are E-commerce VCs Looking for with Gus Tai of Trinity Ventures

Posted on Monday, Nov 27th 2017

E-commerce has been around ever since Amazon came into the market in the mid-nineties. What has changed and are there still opportunities in building e-commerce ventures?

Here, you can hear the perspective of Gus Tai of Trinity Ventures on all that and more:

Come talk to me to brainstorm, strategize, weigh your funding options.

 

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VCs Share Views of the Indian Startup Scene in Podcasts

Posted on Wednesday, Nov 22nd 2017

Entrepreneurs working out of India, or with an interest in India, can hear from some key players about their views of the Indian startup scene, India’s venture capital ecosystem and the India – US startup corridor. The following VC investors share their perspectives, investment strategies, and point to emerging trends in 30-minute podcast interviews.

Sandeep Singhal, Managing Director, Nexus Venture Partners – This firm is a key player in the India-US startup corridor. The discussion spans trends in SaaS, Open Source, and the Indian venture capital market in general. If you are working in the technology startup sector with an interest in India, this is a discussion worth listening to.

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5 Seed Investors Discuss Trends They See in Their Dealflow in Podcasts

Posted on Tuesday, Nov 21st 2017

Entrepreneurs interested to learn more about raising funds for their startups need to keep up with what is happening with seed investors today. The seed eco-system has become a 5-stage process, spanning pre-seed, seed, post-seed, pre-Series A, small Series A, big Series A. To provide a deeper look, I’ve recently asked several seed investors what they are seeing in their current dealflow. Have a listen to the following 30-minute podcast interviews to learn what a variety of seed investors are currently looking for in startups and the types of ventures that are making their way through their offices.

Jon Staenberg, Managing Partner at Staenberg Venture Partners – Jon has been a Seed Investor in over 300 ventures over the last 30 years. Jon draws from his long background and discusses some of what interests him to invest in a startup. He also reflects on the question People or Market: Which takes priority?

Vinny Lingham, Managing Partner at Newtown Partners – Vinny, also Co-founder and CEO, Civic.com, discusses his investment thesis in B-to-C seed ventures. We also discuss the role ICOs are playing in filling the gaps in certain seed-stage ventures.

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What Are Seed VCs Looking For With Sunil Bhargava, Tandem Ventures

Posted on Monday, Nov 20th 2017

We’re doing a deep dive into the current seed investment eco-system and talking to our investor friends about what they’re looking for. The Seed eco-system is now a 5-stage process, spanning pre-seed, seed, post-seed, pre-Series A, small Series A, big Series A.

Here, you can hear the perspective of Sunil Bhargava, Founder and Managing Partner of Tandem Ventures on all that and more:

Come talk to me to brainstorm, strategize, weigh your funding options.

 

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