Posts in Entrepreneurship

Two Markets With Parallel Paths

Right now if you read about the venture capital market, or if you read about the stock market you will notice similarities. Both have a lot of capital in them chasing return. In VC, that drives up valuations and dampens …

Is the Future Direct Listing? IPO? ICO?

The NYSE petitioned the SEC to allow direct listing of stocks. The NASDAQ already allows this practice so it’s probably a fait accompli that the NYSE will be granted permission. Thanks to my friend Dan Ratner for bringing it to …

Deliberative Practice and Grit

While on vacation, I read a couple of books.  One of them was Grit (which I still have to finish).  It’s a great book. I was intrigued because her initial research on grit was with West Point cadets. Since I …

Our Investment in Megalytics

West Loop Ventures has made its maiden investment.  We lead the post-seed round investment in Megalytics.  Megalytics enables timely, effective investment and management decisions through an automated platform that integrates large and disparate data sources and proprietary algorithms and scoring …

Markets Don’t Lie

Yesterday I had a conversation with someone that really understands the markets.  When you find a person that viscerally understands markets, it’s fun.  That was one thing about where I worked, we had more than a few people that could …

Leadership Thoughts

Leadership in startups is huge.  It can help a startup weather the inevitable bad times.  My friend Raman Chadha has been teaching leadership in the Junto Institute for a few years now.  Recently, they announced they were setting up a …

Great Networks Aren’t Passive

I was speaking with someone about networks and network effects.  One thing that came out of the conversation is that great networks aren’t passive. They are active.  Great networks require people to participate.  They might participate in different ways, but …

Does Your Marketplace Expand the Market?

There are a lot of “marketplace” technologies out there.  Marketplaces make things more transparent.  Good marketplaces show better bids and offers and help people make good decisions.  They have liquidity and a tight bid/ask spread. However, if all a marketplace does …

Building the MVP

When you are starting a company and you are used to working in a big company environment, you haven’t been exposed to the hacking world of startups.  I run into a fair amount of people like this.  They have worked …

Yes, Robots Can

Back in the days when we were in the pits talking about if the CME should demutualize (or not) and if the exchange should spend more on electronic systems (or not) one of the things I used to hear a …

What Does It Mean When Something Is Broken?

When you listen to pitches, you might hear an entrepreneur squeak that line into the pitch.  “Payments are fundamentally broken”.  It’s a broad statement.  However, it doesn’t say much about how or why? Is it broken?  Why it’s broken is …

A Sneaky Secret About The Fin Tech Ecosystem in Chicago

There are different ways to build startup ecosystems.   One way is obvious.  Brute strength. Have some people with good ideas and other people that want to fund them.  That has been Chicago’s path.  It’s a linear path.  The other …

Jake Butt Saves His Butt

You might have watched the NFL Draft and you might not have.  One thing that most people don’t think about is how players prepare for the worst.  This year, a lot of the top college football players will buy an …

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 …