On August 23, 2013, my Harvard Business Review article, The Problem with Incubators and How to Solve Them, was published. At the time, there were 7,500 incubators and accelerators in the market.
There is a very real knowledge gap in the early stage start-up game, on both sides of the table. First-time entrepreneurs lack the seasoning to captain a steady ship through turbulent waters. Inexperienced friends and family (and, increasingly, crowdsourced investors) lack the ability to gauge the viability of a business, or to mentor naïve entrepreneurs.
This knowledge gap, I have come to believe, is best filled by savvy incubators. However, there are over 7,500 business incubators around the world. Most of them fail.
I don’t know what the number is today. I do know that the phenomenon has now spread globally.
I just did a search on LinkedIn for “Business Coach” and found over 175,000 results.
A similar search for “Startup Mentor” yields close to 125,000 results.
Well, if I could have a word with all the mentors and coaches that are out there, this is what I would say.
Sramana Mitra: You have already cited some of your highlights. Can you talk about other companies that were really interesting companies out of your portfolio that are really emblematic of how invest?
Tim Guleri: I talked about the three buckets. I’ll give you examples in all three. The first one is next generation infrastructure. These are drones and next-generation cellphones. All these next generation physical infrastructure devices have very unique needs for software which runs inside of them.
I gave you an example of Ben’s practice. That’s easier to introduce because I just say, “Look at your cellphone. The motion sensor for that was Ben’s >>>
In case you missed it, you can listen to the recording here:
Sramana Mitra: In terms of segment besides real estate tech, what else do you particularly like to invest in? Is healthcare It one of your sectors?
Patricia Nakache: Broadly, I spend a lot of my time in the consumer space. That can be anything from marketplaces to e-commerce or online services. In the marketplace arena, we’re an investor in Turo which is a peer-to-peer car rental marketplace. I’m an investor in Thread Up. It’s a marketplace for used clothing.
In the marketplace arena, I was also investor in Care.com. Another investment theme is she economy which is recognizing the important role of >>>
Smart speaker player Sonos went public this year. But in the few months that the stock has listed, it has had a rocky start. The company recently announced its first results since the IPO. The disappointing performance sent the stock tumbling more than 20% in the afterhours session. The stock still remains a Billion Dollar Unicorn. >>>
Responding to a popular request, we are now sharing transcripts of our investor podcast interviews in this new series. The following interview with Nilanjana Bhowmik was recorded in March 2018.
Nilanjana Bhowmik, Co-Founder and General Partner at Converge, a new fund started after serving as the long-time General Partner at Longworth Capital. Their focus is B-to-B tech on the East Coast.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s get to know you and your venture capital associations. What is your background. Let’s help our audience of entrepreneurs get to know you. >>>
During this week’s roundtable, we had as our guest Brock Pierce, CoFounder at Blockchain Capital, who discussed his worldview of the Blockchain investment opportunity. Brock is one of the pioneers of investing in Blockchain companies.
As for the pitches, first up, we had Paulius Vegele from Copenhagen, Denmark, pitching RVLhub.com, a platform where buyers specify what they want to buy and for what budget level, and sellers can make bids to sell them those goods and services.
Then Eileen Merriman from Australia pitched MyHomeBuy, an app to educate first-time home buyers.
Sramana Mitra: In a lot of cases, businesses that are selling into the enterprise have the structure of a big deal. When you have larger ASPs, often, it is easier to build companies for less money because the cash flows differently.
Tim Guleri: When I was a CEO, I used to say to my sales guys and my company in general that revenues are really good deodorants. I don’t care what shape or size you bring me revenue in. I really encourage my portfolio companies saying that venture capital is interesting just to stabilize your business, but you can’t depend on that. You have to ultimately get revenues from customers. That’s what it’s all about.
Sramana Mitra: What about geography? You started by saying that you’re on the Board of a company that is an Indian-market >>>
Today’s 415th FREE online 1Mby1M roundtable for entrepreneurs is starting NOW, on Wednesday, September 19, at 8:00 a.m. PDT/11:00 a.m. EDT/8:30 p.m. India IST. Click here to join. All are welcome!