Posts in Start Ups

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Innovation Has Unintended Consequences

One of the best things about economics, if you think about it right, is you see both sides of the coin.  Costs/Opportunity Costs and other concepts are very powerful.  My friend Professor Craig Pirrong is an economist.  He teaches at …

The Difficulty With Blockchain

Yesterday I was at the OnRamp conference in Chicago.  The guys at Gener8tor put it on and they do a good job.  OnRamp is about insurance and fin tech. One of the panels that they had was on blockchain.  If …

Don’t Tip Your Toe in The Water: Go For It

Yesterday I met a really successful entrepreneur.  They had built companies their whole life.  Some went IPO.  Some just got acquired.  One of the most interesting things about the conversation was that when it was time to press the button …

How To Do Social Entrepreneurship Right: Guard Llama

Social entrepreneurship has been a trend.  I think it’s great to use capitalistic enterprises to solve problems.  But, there are some troubling trends I am seeing within social entrepreneurship.  I have written checks to companies that clearly perform social good …

Banks in The Cloud

The backbone of finance is going to change.  Who really likes the user experience of their bank?  Most of the websites are clunky and hard to use.  Banks have a hard time adding features.  I was speaking with a banker …