Posts in Start Ups

I Thought This Was Cool

Last Thursday before the Tech Week party I went to the iVenture Accelerator gathering at TechNexus.  If you don’t know about iVenture, it’s a startup venture lab run by Ryan Singh and Noah Wasserman at the University of Illinois in …

The Human Crisis in Finance

When the electronic age was ushered into financial markets, no one really knew what the knock on effects would be.  The Big Bang happened in London in 1987.  Ten years later, CME introduced the e-mini S&P.  It was ridiculed at …

The Last Mile in Rural Tech

Over the course of the last ten years, I have spent a lot of time in rural Midwestern and Southern America.  When we drive through small towns, we always wonder what the heck people do there to exist.  Many of …

You Need A Vision

Famous Chicago Architect David Burnham once said, “Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical …

Sunk Costs and Investing

One of the hardest decisions to make when you are investing is whether to do the next round or not.  The first seed round is relatively easy compared to the next rounds.  The seed round is based on some data, …

When You Have No Plan

My wife and I were chatting the other night about the beginning of our marriage.  When you hit the 30 mark, you reflect a little.  One of the things that we didn’t have was an exact plan.  We had notions, …

What Makes You Happy? Experiences.

As an alum of Chicago Booth, I look forward to reading their magazine.  It has an article or five I always find interesting.  I tore one below out and wanted to blog about it. The study is “Cultivating Gratitude and …

The “What If” Game

One of the things that can trip up execution is speculation about the future.  If you are an entrepreneur, sometimes it’s a very good idea to quell any speculation about the future.  The way you do it is just by …

One Big Difference Between Being an Angel and Fund

One of the biggest differences between being an angel and being a fund is the risk.  The risk is magnified as an angel.  It’s not that being a VC fund manager isn’t risky.  It can be depending on how the …

The Repeal of Dodd-Frank

Yesterday, the House voted to roll back Dodd-Frank.  This is a very good thing.  Dodd-Frank was a reactionary law.  It was a reaction to the financial crisis of 2008.  If you are a person that wants to get lobbying out …

What Are You Built For?

For the past several days, I have been doing Reboot’s “Shadow”. I don’t know a soul at Reboot but have listened to their podcast since they started. Personally, I have always been interested in psychology since I was in high …

Some Ideas Are Cheap

There is one thing that you teach yourself never to do in the VC business. Never ever think that an idea will never ever work. Many many VC’s say “Strong opinions loosely held” is their mantra. However, VC’s are human. …

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 …