Posts from October 2016

Riskalyze Announces a Funding

One of the companies I am invested in is Riskalyze.  They announced a new venture funding round today.  FTV Capital invested $20M for a minority stake. Aaron Klein is the CEO.  It’s great news. Riskalyze is a B2B Fin Tech company. …

A Brilliant Thing Happened In Champaign

Yesterday my wife and I drove down to Champaign.  She was in a sorority, and her friends were getting together.  The Illini were playing Minnesota for Homecoming. Illinois football has a long way to go before it’s going to be …

Here’s Something Hopeful

After the latest news on the dumpster fire of a political election, and the Cubs loss I thought you might like to see something hopeful. Elon Musk unveiled solar powered shingles.  The idea isn’t new, but the ones he unveiled …

There Is Hope

I was reading Peggy Noonan’s column this morning.  I don’t always agree with her, but she is a terrific writer.  Very thoughtful.  One thing she wrote today stood out to me. When asked to describe the America they want, they …

What Is The One True Thing You Know?

I am a seed investor.  When we meet with entrepreneurs about their businesses, we speculate a lot about the future.  Where can the business go?  How big can it get?  Who’s the customer?  How many?  In those conversations, you start …

Mass Transit Redux

There is a working group rethinking Chicago’s mass transit system. Historically, the “El” or “L” was built using private money.  Of course, that is probably impossible today.  Outside of my apartment on Wabash, they have been reconstructing the L for …

The State of Illinois and Bitcoin

A lot of governments are fighting bitcoin/blockchain.  Not in the state of Illinois.  Governor Bruce Rauner is embracing it.    This is very important for a lot of reasons.  I believe that bitcoin/blockchain is going to be a massive part …

Where VCs Are Putting Their Money

What’s the next big thing? If you knew for sure, how much money would you plow into it?  The WSJ asked that question of several venture capitalists.  Interesting answers.  One tip, if everyone agrees on what the next big thing …

#FlytheW

No words. Everyone has a Cub story. All the people that lived, and died and never saw them win. I used to hear the lament of fans of other teams, like the Red Sox. At least they were actually in …

When Are You An Entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurs think differently. They go through life, see problems and try to fix them.  There is a chasm that they cross. They go from being just a person, to an entrepreneur.  When does that happen and do they even realize …

Is It A Cultural Fit?

I get asked a couple of questions by a lot of entrepreneurs.  They are  Should I go to this accelerator? Is this a good term sheet? Both these questions are different, but have some commonality to them. On the accelerator. …

Atypical Innovation

The FIA convention is in town.  Each year, the futures industry descends on Chicago from all over the world.  I went to one function.  For the past couple of years, the FIA has been doing an “innovators pavilion”.  They have …

The Slump, The Struggle

It’s great to be transparent about what Ben Horowitz calls, “the struggle”.  I have struggled a lot in my life on different things.  I am struggling right now.  Struggles take on different characteristics, and you react to them differently.  My …

The Backbone of Finance is Going To Change

Most people deal with finance by filling out forms.  They go to the bank, fill out a form and get an account.  They go to the bank, fill out a form, get a loan.  They go to the insurance company, …

The Tiers of Finance

Finance is a mystery to a lot of people.  Even intelligent and smart people.  They don’t understand the ins and outs of the financial system.  It’s almost impossible to keep track of all the ways to create it, to insuring …

Wow, Can You Believe It? Cubs Win

We were at the Cubs game last night.  Baez stole home?  A pinch hit grand slam?  Really?  A double play to end the game? A photo posted by Jeff Carter (@pointsnfigures) on Oct 15, 2016 at 6:40pm PDT Just when …

Why Is It Hard to Let Software Eat The Government?

Mattermark posted an article about civic tech.  Software has eaten up all kinds of jobs and made all kinds of businesses more efficient.  The promise of artificial intelligence and other technology is there.  Truly, we are seeing things daily that we …

How Do You Become An Entrepreneur?

Yesterday I drove up to Madison, WI. The College of Business does an Entrepreneurship thing this time of year. 400-600 students came. Some of them have businesses and they were looking to pitch, but mostly they were there to learn. …