Posts in Start Ups

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, …

Let’s Add DEPTH to the Midwest Ecosystem, not Horizontal

Thanks to Crain’s Chicago, I received the opportunity to write an op-ed for them today.  You can read it here.  I was tweeting back and forth with Ann Dwyer(@AnnDwyer_Crains), and she suggested it. Crain’s has done a lot to report …

The Trusted Network

When I was on a trading floor, there was a trusted network.  Because the code of ethics was “Your Word Is Your Bond” there was a different code of ethics on the trading floor than the real world.  The structure …

5 Mobile Advertising Trends for 2013

Everybody shops, so the demand pull in 2013 is to facilitate shopping. The retail industry wants conversion, lead generation and loyalty out of the mobile shopping trend. The smartphone user wants real time relevance, reach and precision. Both want location …

Can You Build A StartUp Ecosystem? 5 Things You Have to Have

A lot of politicians are interested in pursuing startup ecosystems.  When they talk about it, everyone agrees that it’s a good idea.  Who can be against job creation and creativity?  Everyone wants a Silicon Valley in their hometown.  But, saying …

Welcome Tech Stars Chicago

Last night I was invited to a mentor meeting at Excelerate Labs in Chicago.  I have mentored at Excelerate since its inception.  Walked into 1871 and there was the usual buzz there.  It is always fun to see old acquaintances …