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1Mby1M Virtual Accelerator Investor Forum: With Ann Winblad of Hummer Winblad (Part 3)

Posted on Thursday, Jun 7th 2018

Sramana Mitra: There were a few things you said I want to highlight for our audience. They’re very much in tune with the philosophy that we practice in our program, which is Bootstrap first, and then raise capital. Without capital, MuleSoft validated and they got an immense amount of traction. That definitely is something that we heavily promote.

The other thing is this whole global phenomenon that’s happening around the world. One of the reasons we started One Million by One Million is to bring Silicon Valley’s tribal knowledge to the world and foster this

 entrepreneurship around the world. Many organizations are doing that. We are part of this collective global entrepreneurship movement right now.

It’s very encouraging to hear the MuleSoft story as it is not a traditional Silicon Valley company that comes out of one of the big firms like Google or Facebook. It’s basically somebody who came from elsewhere and made a very big success happen. All of that is very interesting.

The third interesting thing that I noticed from what you said is the rise of Latin America in the software world. India is an old story. India is doing very well. There is definitely very interesting movement in Latin America right now. Your Buenos Aires story is very interesting from that perspective. Do you have another company whose story and analysis you’d like to share with us?

Ann Winblad: Another great story is what’s happening in Canada. One of my partners is Lars Leckie. Lars is Canadian-Danish. When he became a partner, he realized, “Where are the Canadians?” We funded a few Canadian companies. In fact, years ago, you would find the venture capitalists flying to Austin, Texas. They would call that flight the nerd bird. The new nerd bird is from San Francisco to Toronto.

Toronto is a very multinational city. We funded a couple of companies that originated in Canada. I’m on the Board of one of them. Today, it’s headquartered in Washington DC. That’s another great example of how companies can deliver value first to prove their technical credentials, build a platform for a commercial software deployment, and then build a company around it.

This company is called Sonatype. Sonatype is the caretaker of the central repository. The central repository is where source code components for open source and other code libraries are stored. Last year, 13 billion components were downloaded from the central repository. What that indicates is three things. One is no one sits around and handwrites code anymore. They assemble it.

When we talk about the sharing economy, we think of things like Airbnb and Uber, but we really don’t think about how it’s increasing the rapid development of software and also the number of new companies we’re seeing. Code is shared. Libraries are shared. Engineers really have become part of the sharing economy even earlier than we’ve noticed. Sonatype has built commercial products on top of it that allows major enterprises to manage the quality of the code and check for component linkages that might create security issues.

Those products are called component lifecycle management products. It’s very much the same as MuleSoft. Almost every enterprise, their developers do this. Developers do it commercially as well. One of the impacts we’re seeing here in the sharing economy is the rapidity of company creation. We’re looking for companies that participate in this in multiple ways. They deliver the tools that allow people to build code.

They also delivered another open source product called Maven, which is the common build tool that all developers use. In looking at the sharing economy as an entrepreneur, you have to look at it at all levels. How do I get leverage when I’m building the code? How do I get leverage to get funded? If we look at the crowdfunding platforms in the US, about 9% of the companies that have been able to secure funding on a crowdfunding platform of greater than $100,000 have gone on to receive additional capital.

You mentioned women in the tech industry and women entrepreneurs, which you and I are very big supporters of. Only about 7% to 9% of founders that are venture backed are women. But on these crowdfunding platforms in the US, about 37% of the founders are women.

This segment is part 3 in the series : 1Mby1M Virtual Accelerator Investor Forum: With Ann Winblad of Hummer Winblad
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