The Venture Capital Stack + Regional Seed VC

I’ve been repeating myself more than usual, which is usually a sign that I need to write something down… I’ve written before about the valuation stack in venture capital (or how a startup is like a t-shirt), and more recently on how institutional LPs view regionally-focused managers. This piece ties those two ideas together to shed light on continue…

Roadmaps and Consensus Reality for VC-Backed Startups

It’s essential to have friends who make you think. Venkat Rao is my most reliably mind-expanding friend; his Ribbonfarm blog and newsletter regularly rewire my brain with new frameworks and unexpected perspectives. This post was inspired by his latest newsletter / tweetstorm: Roadmapping for Flatlanders (go ahead and read it, I’ll wait). Because I spend nearly continue…

Playing with the big kids

I had a fun, wide-ranging conversation with one of my favorite founders yesterday. (She happens to be a woman, which figures in this story, but I didn’t want to suggest that I was qualifying the previous statement by limiting the set). We connected on a number of issues, but the broad theme was the importance continue…

Regional Seed Investing: from Pariah to Possibility?

I love reading Mark Suster’s annual survey of venture capital Limited Partners (the large-scale institutional allocators who actually supply the money that VCs invest), but as the manager of both a regional seed fund (Founders’ Co-op) and regional startup accelerator (Techstars Seattle), I’ve always felt like more of a spectator than a participant in the continue…

What is Seattle best at?

We just announced our Techstars Seattle 2017 cohort — nine companies that represent the best of the Pacific Northwest innovation ecosystem. In both the recruiting effort for the class and in making our final selections, our top-of-mind question is always this one: “What are the most powerful pairings of founder capabilities and ecosystem resources that continue…

2016: Bad + Ugly, but also Good

Two blog posts from friends stuck out for me this week, Brad Feld’s December Depression and Boris Wertz’ A Year in Review: 2016. Brad’s post was a perfect summary of how I’ve been feeling since the November election, with its unfolding aftermath offering an almost-daily sucker punch to my equilibrium. This gloom has seeped into continue…

Tone at the Top

Tone at the top is a term of art from corporate governance, now broadly applied to the role of senior leaders in any large, complex organization. Here’s a nice summary from Boise State University’s internal controls page: ”Tone at the Top’ is a term that is used to define management’s leadership and commitment towards openness, honesty, continue…

Welcoming Komiko to the Founders’ Co-op family

I’m delighted to announce that Founders’ Co-op has just completed an investment in Komiko, a Redmond-based company that uses machine learning to bridge the structured tables and workflows of Enterprise CRM platforms with the messy, unstructured data that lives in company email, calendars and documents. As a fund we continue to see huge opportunities at continue…

Welcoming Reflect to the Founders’ Co-op family

I’m thrilled to announce that we’ve just completed an investment in Reflect, a “data-vizualization-as-a-service” company co-founded by Alex Bilmes and Brad Heller. It’s been a while since I had the chance to post about a new portfolio company (we’ve made a few other investments I can’t talk about yet), but this one is a special pleasure continue…