Posts in Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Reading, Writing, Rithmatic

People often think that being an investor is totally exciting.  The impression is that investors sit around and shoot the shit kicking big ideas back and forth.  There is some of that.  But, most of it is pretty mundane. I …






What’s A Startup? Fin Tech In Chicago

In the past couple of months, two fin tech incubators have started up in Chicago.  At West Loop Ventures, we love it because we invest in B2B Fin Tech companies.  More is better for us.  We are going to work …






YCharts Launches Portfolio Sync

A company I have been invested in since it’s seed round just released a new upgrade that should get anyone with an investment portfolio excited. Ycharts just launched Portfolio Sync and it integrates with Morningstar data.  YCharts automatically links with …






The Rebalance of Value

Finally, it’s here. For a year or two now, several venture capitalists have said: “Winter is coming”. They had seen their share of overvalued companies, some in their own portfolio. I am starting to see reality hit some companies in …






Condescension Is Not Persuasion

Sometimes when you are selling some thing totally new, no one understands it. They don’t see your vision. They haven’t been privy to your brainstorming sessions. You have to take them to the mountaintop. When you are selling something radically …






It Really Is About Founders

Was looking at different startups the other day. It really is about the founders at early stages. No idea is 100% unique. If any idea is good and worth pursuing, there will be at least one other company starting up …






The Real Message of Virtu and KCG Merger

Two HFT shops merged. They were huge enterprises. A lot of people will analyze the merger using MBA SWOT analysis. I look at it a bit differently. This isn’t the first HFT merger, but it is a much grander scale …






Change Is Not Easy

Change is not easy. Fred Wilson blogged about how if you seek to understand, or seek to see the world differently, Change.  He is seeing change in his portfolio companies.  In some of my portfolio companies, I have seen that …






Paul Revere’s Ride And Network Effects

Started reading a book about Paul Revere’s Ride.  It’s by David Hackett Fischer.  It’s interesting.  Revere’s ride has been characterized as a solo rider screaming “The British are Coming” through the streets of Boston.  That’s not true.  The ride took …






Chicago, Fin Tech City

Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office announced that Chicago was named one of the top financial technology hubs in the entire world.  The entire report was compiled by Deloitte.  Here is a link to the report. Chicago has a deep history of financial …






The Bezos Letter And Company Culture

Amazon sent their stuff to the SEC.  Jeff Bezos wrote a letter that is extremely interesting.  The letter lays out the Amazon culture.  There are a lot of different lessons that can be gleaned from the letter.  For example, Bezos …






The Airline Web Experience

No doubt you have heard about the United passenger that was hauled off the plane because they overbooked.  But, airlines have many more things that are wrong with them than manhandling customers.  Personally, I hate to fly.  On Tuesday we …






The Answer is “Delaware C Corp”

Recently, I have seen posts on whether you should start out as an LLC or C Corp.  I was talking to a good friend of mine that has been around venture for almost his entire professional life.  The answer is …






Tech CEO’s Should Ignore Some Advice

In Recode, there was an article about VC Bijan Sabet.  He has an enviable track record and is one of the best VCs out there.  Other VCs I know feel exactly the same way as he does about our current …






Maybe We Need to Redefine What A Small Business Is

On CBS Sunday Morning, they had a segment about three women in Wisconsin that are challenging Big Food.  They are challenging the Wisconsin law that prohibits the sale of home baked goods.  The Republican Speaker of the House won’t bring …