Waterfront Seattle

A month ago I got a call from a civic leader I hugely admire asking me to join the board of Friends of Waterfront Seattle. I knew I’d say yes from the minute she asked; today that decision became official; this post explains why it matters and why you should care. Friends of what? Unless continue…

Techstars Seattle Diversity Update: New Data, New Approaches

Earlier this year, I posted about my failure to attract founders from underrepresented groups to Techstars Seattle and asked for help from the community. I received an incredible response, both in the public comments on that post and – even more powerfully – in private outreach from leaders in a wide range of underrepresented communities.Thank continue…

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…