Search




Sign up for our Newsletter

Subscribe
Monday
Oct212013

New Hackathon Keynote Speaker added: Naval Ravikant!

 

[ share this post on Twitter: http://clicktotweet.com/cuMY0 ]

We’re excited to announce that AngelList Founder and CEO @Naval Ravikant will join us at the LAUNCH Hackathon (Nov 8-10, San Francisco).  On the final day of coding, Naval and @Jason Calacanis will take to main stage for what’s sure to be an inspiring conversation!  See their previous “This Week in Startups” interview: http://youtu.be/lWfGw7serN0

The Hackathon will open with a fireside conversation between @Jason and Kevin Rose (Digg, Google Ventures), and is poised to be the largest hackathon in the world with over 1k developers and designers competing for $1.7M+ in investment prizes.  

Spots are going quickly – there are only about 200 left – so register your team now!  All applicants will be screened, but participation is completely free, and includes breakfast, lunch, massages, workshops, and more.  

Learn more and reserve your team’s spot: hackathon.launch.co

 

Wednesday
Oct162013

The Value of Starting from Zero (Divergent Thinking FTW)

 

[ Share this piece on Twitter: http://clicktotweet.com/4Wd28 ]

Yesterday I met with a savvy founder working on her first startup. She was looking for feedback and, of course wanted to mention that they happened to be closing out their angel round – there *might* be a little room left for me.

In all meetings, I like to get to the product as quickly as possible, so I asked:

“Can you show me your product?”  I’m a sucker for good product.

The founder proceeded to show me a site that looked exactly like Pinterest, but that was focused on a single vertical (which I will leave out).

“Pinterest clone!” was my immediate thought.

As the product was only 70% as refined as Pinterest, I quickly moved on:

“Uninspired founder!”

… and “Poor executer!”

At that point the meeting was basically over in my mind. Why?  

a) the projects and people I tend to invest in are ‘starting from zero’ and building up, and b) I only invest in folks who can build products that are as good or better than what’s in the market.

The LAUNCH Fund’s investments all have wickedly designed products: AdStage.io, Boxbee.com and WizzyWig.io (and hey, two of three have .io domains – hmmmm).

These are my biases, and they’re largely based on my own reflection of when I’ve done great work and when I’ve done ‘menza menza’ work.

The Save
==============
Interestingly, in the last five minutes I asked the founder why she wanted to build this product and she got a huge save. She explained her personal frustration trying to solve a problem in her life: the granular details of the problem and the potential solutions she tried after talking to her friends.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct092013

Invite: LAUNCH Hackathon, This Week in Startups Live! Boston

 

1. We're hosting the world's largest Hackathon, November 8th-10th in San Francisco. Over 1,000 verified developers will be there (600 have been confirmed already, 400 left).

Apply: http://hackathon.launch.co

2. The LAUNCH Fund will be investing $50k in each of two of the top 10 projects. Those two projects will also be shared with my AngelList Syndicate, making the investment $800k in each. So, we now have the world's largest investment prize (by a factor of 20x+) at $1.6M!

3. I'll also be interviewing Kevin Rose (Digg, Google Ventures), and two other awesome visionaries (suggestions welcome).

best
@jason


PS - A quick recap of the LAUNCH Mobile & Wearables event last week (300+ founders & investors came): http://blog.launch.co/blog/launch-mobile-wearables-wrap-up.html

PPS - Had a great interview with Steve Jurvetson last week: http://youtu.be/O2tK0Wl2F8w

PPPS - My new startup Inside.com will launch in November and I'm looking for 500 beta testers now: http://inside.com.

PPPPS - Will be in Boston this Friday to interview Bill Warner: http://twistliveboston.eventbrite.com

PPPPPS - LAUNCH Festival has a stretch goal of 8k attendees (we hit 6k last year!), and you need to be there.  Visit http://events.launch.co/builder for a free founder ticket. They will run out quickly!

Tuesday
Oct082013

LAUNCH Mobile & Wearables Wrap-Up

 Jason Calacanis in conversation with Sean Rad (Tinder). Photo: Mark Rahmani

Thank you for attending LAUNCH Mobile & Wearables. Your energy and enthusiasm made it a success and we have some information for you:


1. Company Demos

9 companies debuted their new products on the Mobile & Wearables stage, for an opportunity at a $100k investment prize from The LAUNCH Fund.  The 10 judges voted on their favorites (and to keep the playing ground level, @jason did not vote). The winners are:


1. MyTime

2. SoundHound

3. Zepp Labs


In addition, judge and TenOneTen Managing Partner David Waxman selected 3 companies with debuts, and an additional presenting company, for consideration to receive an additional $50k investment.  They are (in no particular order):



The remaining 6 companies that launched products were:



Click to read more ...

Saturday
Sep282013

The Great Venture Capital Rotation

[ You can tweet this piece here: http://clicktotweet.com/p4v25 ] 

A couple of years ago, I was chatting with a guy named Naval, who had a site called AngelList. He had a fiery passion for helping founders and an outsider’s chip on his shoulder.

He wasn’t taken very seriously in the industry, and the venture capitalists I spoke to dismissed him as somewhere between a loon and a jerk.

I literally heard a dozen VCs dismiss AngelList and Naval. They hated it. Some hated him. 

That’s when I knew he was going to change everything.

One VC you’ve never heard of famously deleted his AngelList account in a huff (http://jc.is/16JrZnC). 

[I wonder if that VC – who turns out to be a nice guy – will ever do a follow up post?] 

Naval wasn’t a loon or a jerk; he was just three years ahead of everyone in seeing the power of decentralized funding – and it scared the living sh@#$t out of VCs.

So the petty VCs – especially the ones taking 12 weeks vacation while collecting 3% management fees and showing up late for board meetings – did everything they could to deride him. 

Last week he opened up a radical new platform called “AngelList Syndicates.” 

It’s basically a “pop-up” VC fund. 

Here’s how it works:

1. A “power angel” with a solid track record, who provides massive value, invites other angels to piggyback on his or her deals. 

2. AngelList manages that process and takes a 5% ‘carry’ for doing so. 

3. The “power angel” then gets a 15% carry. 

[Note: a carry is a percentage of the upside. So, if you invested $10k as a syndicate and it turned into $100k, there would be a $90k gain. So, 5% of that gain ($4.5k) would go to AngelList and 15% of that gain ($13.5k) to the super angel. This is fairly standard, with the top firms / fund managers getting 30-35% carry after years of proving themselves.] 

 

Click to read more ...

Page 1 ... 5 6 7 8 9 ... 194 Next 5 Entries »