April 29, 2013

Entrepreneurs: Here’s what investors care about!

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Richard Mordini of Javelin Venture Partners (checkered shirt) at Founders Space in San Francisco last Wednesday night (Photo by JD Lasica).

Show your plan to get to a million in revenue — and other tips from four seasoned venture capitalists

Target audience: Entrepreneurs, start-up teams, angel investors, venture capitalists, accelerators, incubators, digital agencies, businesses, educators, journalists, Web publishers.

JD LasicaOver the past year, I’ve been wading into the entrepreneurial waters once again. Last fall I joined the invitation-only Founder Dating, and I’ve been attending a slew of meetups — Silicon Valley NewTech, Startup Grind Silicon Valley, Hackers and Founders, Designers + Geeks — and other events geared to entrepreneurs and start-up teams. (I’m working on a cruise start-up in addition to running Socialmedia.biz. Contact me if you’d like to hear more.)

Last Wednesday night I found myself lured back to SomaCentral, the very cool co-working space at One Market in San Francisco, to hear four seasoned venture capitalists offer advice to start-ups on their pitches. About two dozen people attended the Founders Space event, Present Like an Investor: Tailor Your Approach to What Investors Care About, featured Joydeep Bhattacharyya of Shasta Ventures, Sean Jacobsohn of Emergence Capital Partners, Ali Wasti of Azure Capital and Richard Mordini of Javelin Venture Partners, along with Founders Space founder Steve Hoffman. Continue reading

April 18, 2013

Demo Mobile: The revolution is at full throttle

Vinod-Khosla
Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures at Demo Mobile on Wednesday (Photo by JD Lasica).

Startups show disruptive potential of mobile tech

JD LasicaAs regular readers know, I straddle the social media marketing and tech startup worlds, and increasingly I’ve been drawn to events focused on the disruptive changes wrought by the mobile revolution.

I stopped going to DEMO events a while back, given the richness of the Launch and TechCrunch Disrupt startup conferences, but yesterday I attended DEMO Mobile and came away impressed by the fervor and tumult evident on stage and off.

Here are 27 photos I took yesterday in this Demo Mobile set on Flickr.

As always, let me begin with a disclaimer that I didn’t attend to provide a comprehensive blow-by-blow of all the speakers, all the sessions or all the entrepreneurs in the Demo room. Instead, here are a few takeaways and highlights that struck me as particularly interesting with a focus on startups and entrepreneurs — to be sure, a decidedly small slice of Demo Mobile. Continue reading

March 7, 2013

Launch Festival: ‘We live in the future now’

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The panel of judges/venture capitalists at the Launch Festival (Photo by JD Lasica).

Conference brims with innovative tech startups

Target audience: Entrepreneurs, startups, businesses, tech sector executives and employees, anyone interested in innovation.

JD LasicaAfter three days of the Launch Festival, where 5,000 attendees jammed into San Francisco’s sprawling Design Concourse, one can be forgiven for believing that, through some cosmic event involving gamma rays and worm holes, participants were given an exclusive glimpse of what’s just around the corner. (So this is what tomorrow looks like!)

There’s no longer any doubt: Launch and TechCrunch Disrupt are now unquestionably the top startup conferences on the planet. They used to be one event, under the banner TechCrunch 40 (which launched Mint) and TechCrunch 50 (which launched Yammer), before the co-founders went their separate ways. This week I overheard more than a few attendees say that Launch — which has a mega-personality in founder Jason Calacanis where TechCrunch Disrupt now lacks one — has become the most essential gathering of its kind. Continue reading

January 28, 2013

Are you ready for the place graph?

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Jason Wilson, co-founder of Platial, in San Francisco on Thursday (iPhone photo by JD Lasica).

Platial helped pioneer place-based social networking

This is the first of a multi-part series on geolocation startups and services.

Target audience: Entrepreneurs, founders, startups, geolocation services, mobile ad networks, businesses, educators, journalists, general public.

JD LasicaFor years, entrepreneurs, tech observers and funders have known two things about the geolocation space: It holds an enormous amount of promise, and it’s taking an awfully long time to get there.

geologo-logoGeolocation startups are hot in Silicon Valley right now, from Zkatter, a San Francisco-based startup from British young gun Matt Hagger that wants you to capture and share moments in real time through mobile video, to Findery, the venture-backed San Francisco startup from Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake that wants you to leave notes, media and digital objects for others at specific locations.

What’s my connection with geoloco? For the past half year I’ve been working on a geolocation startup called Placely (register for the beta here). We’re still early in development, so I’ll talk more about our plans for Placely in a future post. But today I think it’s worth doing a quick survey of how far we’ve come (not very) and how far we still have to go as geolocation gets ready for its closeup. Continue reading

January 14, 2013

Best advice on starting a new business

Target audience: Businesses, entrepreneurs, startups.

David SparkIf you’ve ever tried to start a business, you know that you get thrown into a world of unknowns. Most of us are dependent on mentors and others to guide us through a realm where we’re bound to make tons of mistakes.

At The Lean Startup Conference in San Francisco, I asked attendees and presenters, “What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you about starting a business?” We edited down our favorite answers to create a video of the best crowdsourced advice on starting a business. Continue reading