Posts in Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

The Bitcoin Future

Yesterday CME announced they were going to list Bitcoin futures.  I was surprised it took this long.  For entrepreneurs, it shows how slow big corporates move to make decisions.  It also shows that when they decide to move, they create …

Where The Puck Is Going With Big Data

  My friend Phil Coover has a podcast called “Real Estate for Breakfast”.  Recently Megalytics one of West Loop Ventures portfolio companies was on the show.  Here is a link.  If you know someone in commercial real estate, send them …

We Need More Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurship is in decline in America.  Here is some data from the Kaufmann Foundation. There are a large variety of reasons for the decline in entrepreneurship. Chief among them is the risk-taking appetite of the Millennial Generation. It’s not there. …

Intersection of Digital, Design, and The Future of Work

Last night I was on a panel at IIT’s Stuart School of Business. The panel talked about the intersection of the future of work, design, engineering, and digital.  The crowd was diverse, and the panel had diverse experiences and degrees. …

Tech And The Future

Tim O’Reilly is a VC out of Silicon Valley. He started O’Reilly Media. He also is a partner at OATV.  Politically, Tim leans pretty left. Interesting to hear what he thinks about the future of our society as it relates …

Judging

This afternoon I am judging a pitch competition here in Chicago at mHub.  It’s the 10th China Shenzhen Nanshan Entrepreneurs Star Pitch Competition.  Here is the agenda. 8:30 AM – 9:30 AM Registration 9:30 AM – 9:45 AM Opening Ceremony (Welcome …

One Key Takeaway From the G7/I7

For the next few blogs, I probably will be blogging about the G7/I7 meeting that I attended in Italy.  The reason is it was interesting to meet people focused on innovation from around the world and hear their ideas and …

I Learned Some Things At the G7/I7

Headed back today from Torino, Italy.  I am going to be jet lagged as heck.  We had a series of meetings at the G7.  This was the first year they brought people from outside of government to weigh in on …

Our Investment In CFX Markets

We met Jordan Fishfeld and Juan Hernandez last March to talk about their company, CFX Markets.   We had a great first meeting and we were interested.  I had known Juan from prior years.  A few years ago, Juan and …

The G7/I7 In Torino, Italy

This weekend I will be going to Torino, Italy.  Torino is the site of the information part of the G7 conferences that take place throughout the year.  You can see a link to the entirety of the G7 here.  I …

Are Ideas Linear in Finance?

Listening to Ben Horowitz speak at the Chicago Venture Summit, he made a point which he’s made before.  Venture capitalists invest in really bad ideas.  But, if those ideas work it would be pretty cool.  He used AirBnb as an …

When Does An Investor Intervene?

A lot of investors say they are “active investors”.  It’s almost in every pitch deck you see.  The definition of an active investor is fuzzy.  What’s it really mean? Does it mean you simply lead deals and take board seats? …

Should Google Be Broken Up?

There is a nascent movement afoot to have big companies broken up similar to what Teddy Roosevelt did back at the turn of the last century. If you went to public school, you were educated that the “robber barons” were …

Driverless Will Affect Everything

A while ago, Benedict Evans had a really great blogpost about driverless cars and their effects on different things that you might not think about.  He is a VC for a16z and a great follow on Twitter.  For example, a …

Why Can’t A Country Do an ICO?

Yesterday I saw where Burger King issued it’s own cryptocurrency in Russia, WhopperCoin.  It didn’t surprise me.  When I first started thinking about cryptocurrency, I hypothesized that big companies would use it for their supply chain management and to lock …

The Investor Can’t Execute

When it comes to early stage startups, success is determined by execution.  If the team can get the job done, they continue to ascend the mountain.  If they don’t, they go out of business. A lot of venture capitalists and …

How To Gain Context on a Sales Phone Call

When we do diligence on a company, one of the most critical things is the selling process. We analyze that process closely to see if the team can execute, and if it’s repeatable. We also analyze it to see if …