Category: VC

An epic Twitter thread on venture capital, startups, and zebras

Last Friday, the New York Times published a piece on the Zebra movement, a movement with Portland roots that highlights any number of things broken about the prevailing venture capital model and its pursuit of unicorns and calls for more rational and accessible means of funding startups.
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A little light startup reading for your Sunday

You can’t swing a dead term sheet without hitting thousands of posts on “how to be a better founder.” Most of which contain largely unusable advice or set unattainable expectations for anyone to adopt. Founder or otherwise.

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Riding giant rounds: Surfer Laird Hamilton’s food startup is backed by WeWork

I’m not one to celebrate financing rounds for the sake of celebrating rounds. But this one had some interesting local flavor. So, stick with me here. Because this will take a minute.

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Think you’re ready to pitch investors? Hold my beer, says Portland Seed Fund

Founders tend to be an optimistic bunch. But optimism can only get you so far. And if you’re looking to pursue venture capital as a means of financing your startup, that optimism is going to take some lumps as you pitch, refine, pitch, refine… Lather rinse repeat. So it’s always nice when that pitch feedback comes with some added perks. Like pizza and beer.

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Not sure if venture capital is right for your startup? You might want to chat with Indie VC when they visit Portland, this month

In my opinion, one of the most promising threads in the Portland startup community as of late has been the whole conversation about financing startups. Because not every startup is right for an equity based investment from venture capital. And even if they are, VC brings with it some pressures that can be less than positive for many companies and founders.

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Hitting another peak outside of the Valley: Seven Peaks Ventures closes $28 million early stage fund

With funds raising larger and larger rounds, the economics of cutting smaller checks for seed stage companies get more and more lopsided. And that leaves a gap for the youngest and most vulnerable of companies. That’s why it’s always nice to see folks raising funds specifically targeted at early stage companies. Like Seven Peaks just did.

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What’s better than Backstage Capital launching an accelerator program? The fact that accelerator could be in Portland

I’ve been working in, on, and around venture funded startups for the past two decades and then some. And yet, I’ve never quite seen anyone manage to take the traditional myopia of venture capital head on. And win. But then there’s Arlan Hamilton. Who’s doing just that.

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Portland Startup Week 2018 features special guest Arlan Hamilton, founder of Backstage Capital

A couple of years ago, Stephen Green put together an amazing Reverse Pitch event that I got the chance to attend. (If you’re not familiar with the format, a “reverse pitch” is where investors get on stage to describe the types of startups they’re seeking.) During the event, I had the pleasure of hanging out in the audience with a newcomer to the venture capital world who was visiting Portland. Her name? Arlan Hamilton.

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A Portland founder’s perspective on venture capital and its effects on companies

In the startup world, there are some prevailing assumptions about venture capital and building companies. But just because those assumptions are prevailing doesn’t mean they’re correct. That’s why I always like resources that help demystify the world of venture capital and its impact on companies. Like Venture Deals by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson.

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Round and round: Simultaneous fundraising announcements by Portland startups Torch 3D and Vacasa

One of the challenges of the Portland startup community has always been momentum. We sometimes have great—at times even fantastic—startup news, like an exit or a major announcement. But more often than not, that happens as a solitary instance. And then it’s some time before the next major announcement. So it’s rare to have a day like today where both Torch 3D and Vacasa have major news.

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