Posts in Start Ups

Let’s See If It Plays In Peoria

Marketers used to use Peoria, IL as the place to test market lots of consumer products.  It has a really diverse population, and is a medium size city.  Unlike the suburbs of Chicago, Peoria has its own ecosystem.  It’s self …

Why I Support Immigration

America is a nation of immigrants.  It’s an overused phrase that people use to guilt others into supporting immigration.  No doubt, we need immigration but we can’t use guilt as a tool to establish good immigration policies. We need to move …

The World of Work Is Changing

Experts and people say the world of work is changing but is it?  In certain worlds it is, but if you are grinding it out in a corporate cubicle somewhere it probably doesn’t feel like it. Although, you have better …

Great Entrepreneurs Aren’t Born, They Are Made

Think back.  What was your first job where you had responsibility?  Where you were accountable to someone?  What was it? What about that job stayed with you and you used later in life?  What sticks with you to this day? …

A Bluebird Day

Made the trip out of Chicago to Austin today.  Feels like dodging a bullet.  Chicago is supposed to get eight inches of snow and it’s sunny and 80 here.  They are setting up for SXSW all over the place.  There …

State Protectionism-Bureaucratic Protectionism

Chicago has a chance to become one of the world’s top startup communities.  There are those of us that have invested a lot of time, and money in making it happen.  It’s home to a lot of cutting edge facilities …

What To Look For When You Invest

Since co-founding Hyde Park Angels in April of 2007, I have looked at a lot of deals.  I have invested in a bunch of companies which you can see here. Investing in a startup is intimidating for anyone that has …

Is Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Against Women’s Rights?

Yahoo ($YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer just told all her employees that they couldn’t work from home anymore.  Some employees were incensed.  A few critics said she was defrocking women and taking away their livelihood.  CEO Mayer was making it tough …

The Transfer of Power

Today is the last day Pope Benedict is Pope.  The CEO of the Catholic church.  A very interesting run.  It’s a historic day, since it’s been 600 years since a Pope has deliberately stepped down to step aside for a …

The Low Capitalization Rate of Potential

Last evening I went to the kick off of KIPP:Chicago.  It was a stimulating evening, highlighted by a speech from Malcolm Gladwell.  Michael Feinberg talked about how everyone told them KIPP couldn’t be done anywhere.  Yet, it’s making a massive …

How Do You Work? What’s The Future of Work?

What do you think the future of work is in the world?  Will we continue to go to offices that our businesses own-or will we be working in other types of environments?  Will corporations continue to house people in big …

The Government Opens Up Its Data

If you are interested in becoming an entrepreneur, sometimes the hardest thing to do is come up with a real idea.  The problem is the idea you come up with needs to solve a real problem, or pain point.  Governments …

Dabble on TV

One of my portfolio companies is Dabble.  Erin and Jess are great entrepreneurs.  We just had our first board meeting and it went smoothly.  If you haven’t tried Dabble yet, what are you waiting for?  It’s great for anyone.  Even …

Should You Head to Silicon Valley if You Are an Entrepreneur?

It’s a question that every entrepreneur asks themselves at one point. Especially when they are raising capital.  It seems every day in online publications that journal the happenings in the startup world, someone is raising gobs and gobs of capital …

You Are Going To Lose Your Job

The techies are coming, the techies are coming!  Sound the alarm.  There is no hope.  The middle class is going under and we are going to have a two class system with have and have nots.  It’s all the fault …

Innovation and Revolution in Established Industries

Today, Under Armour ($UA) opens its first 8000 square foot retail store in Baltimore, MD.  The company started in 1995.  If you think back to 1995, there were three dominant brands in sports apparel.  Nike ($NKE), Adidas, Converse (which was …

European GDP Takes a NoseDive

EU GDP drops huge.  In 2012, they didn’t have a single quarter of growth.   One of their remedies is to place a transaction tax on trading.  Massive mistake.  Massive.  A tax on trading will only make markets less transparent, …

How Good Is Your Idea?

People have ideas all the time. How do you know if it’s a good idea?  By good idea, I mean a scalable business startup idea. First, you can socialize the idea with your friends and see what they think.  However, …