by Denny O’Malley
Recently, Inc.com published an article about the best cities for early-stage companies. The premise: Chicago is the surprise winner.
Why would that be? San Francisco and New York are both beautiful, thriving cities that dramatically represent the diversity of American ideas. San Fran—younger, more venture-oriented, with beautiful natural vistas. New York—the classic, bustling private and public equity concrete jungle.
What do they have in common? It costs a kidney to pay rent for a closet. Continue reading
Filed under angel, angel investor, Characters, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, High Tech, Low Tech, mobile, mobile internet, Startup Companies, Startups, The Economy, vc, venture capital
by John Jonelis
What happens when you invite the community into your high school and send your high school students into the community?
Amazing things! You create a THIRD SPACE in people’s lives.
Filed under angel, angel investor, Business, Characters, Education, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, High Tech, mobile, Startup Companies, Startups
by John Jonelis
What happens when you give kids—highly gifted in math and science—a state-of-the-art facility entirely dedicated to entrepreneurship? This could be the best-designed business incubator on the planet and the students are going to create real businesses here. Hey—this is too much fun! It sure doesn’t look like high school to me! Where did they put the usual long halls walled by the usual rows of lockers? Where are the standardized rigid rectangular classrooms?
This is IN2, the new entrepreneurship center at IMSA—the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy—the Statewide high school for the best and the brightest. It’s located near Chicago and students live on campus, as if attending a university four years too soon.
IMSA will host a big party and ribbon cutting for the new IN2 innovation space on the 30th of the month—that’s the 30th anniversary of the school’s founding. I had the unique opportunity to preview this amazing facility. Here’s a sneak peek: Continue reading
by John Jonelis
He can feel it, hear it—his heart—beating hard, beating fast. Pounding above the din of those big nubbly tires and the blast of snow hitting the wheel wells. Is it anticipation? Fear? Primeval blood lust?
How will it feel to gun down a living animal? Can he really pull the trigger?
Today, Loop Lonagan joins seven seasoned hunters and four highly trained dogs to indulge in what his editor calls one of the great joys in life—slaughtering a few of God’s creatures. He’s a last-minute stand-in and rounds out the party to eight. Two hunters per dog. Perfect! How did he let himself get roped into this? Continue reading
Filed under angel, angel investor, Business, Characters, Death, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, loop lonagan, Startup Companies, Startups, vc, venture capital
Insights from the Cornerstone Angel Meeting
by Stephanie Wiegel
Angel investment deals aren’t made on the spot as the TV show Shark Tank suggests. Instead, entrepreneurs are excused from the meeting after delivering their pitches. If you’re vying for early investment money, what’s said behind these closed doors can make or break a deal. Continue reading
IT Guys—Stop Playing Defense
by Howard Tullman
Not feeling enough love? Yes, techies are under appreciated until spit hits fan. But if you’re one of them, you’ve got a bigger role to play than you think. Here are three ways to raise your profile. Continue reading
Filed under angel, angel investor, app, Business, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, High Tech, Influence, mobile, mobile internet, Relationships, Startup Companies, Startups, vc, venture capital
Kenneth M. Freeman
The world seems captivated by the growing number of unicorns – private companies theoretically worth more than $1 billion based on their latest round of funding. There are now more than 100 unicorns, led by Uber with a valuation of $66 billion. Continue reading
Filed under angel, angel investor, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, High Tech, Low Tech, mobile, mobile internet, Startup Companies, Startups, vc, venture capital
The funding environment for early stage startups has been shifting for some time, but as shifts accelerate, founders, executives, and investors should look to reassess their strategies to ensure that they remain optimal in a capital constrained environment. Q2 2016 saw the lowest rolling 12-month average deal flow for early stage investments since Q2 2013, this in spite of actual early stage dollars invested having increased by 127% over that period. Increasingly, early stage investors are looking to place fewer but more sizable bets on startups that are perceived as having the most promise. This can, and likely will, lead to a widening gulf between early stage startups that have a clear path to additional funding and those that may struggle to generate investor interest. Continue reading
Filed under angel, angel investor, Business, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, High Tech, Low Tech, Startup Companies, Startups, The Economy, vc, venture capital
by Mark T Wayne
“Whaddaya think is da best Christmas gift o’ dem all?” Loop Lonagan puts this puerile question in a peculiar verbal form he calls the American language just as Donatis Ludditis and I innocently raise a Christmas toast at that notable Chicago landmark, Ludditis Shots & Beer. The place offers several distinct advantages. Our host never presents a bill for our proclivities and the back room houses our magazine offices.
“I got best gift! Is this!” Ludditis states his case in his Lithuanian accent, and passes fancy boxes across the table. “This one for you, Mr. Wayne. Is Christmas!” Continue reading
by Scott M. Anderson
Angel investing is influenced by many factors affecting the startup including: technology, unmet demand, scalability and, most important, the founding team. These and many other factors will have a critical impact on the success or failure of the investment. However, there is one common factor to them all: Cash.
An investor and founder are in the elevator together. The investor says “Nice idea, how much capital do you need?” The founder says “$750K”. Investor says “Why $750K?” Founder says “We believe it’s the right amount based on other startups I’ve heard about.” Or she might say “It seems like the right amount based on the size of other angel investments.” Or she might say “It just seems like the right amount.”
Those responses are all wrong!! Continue reading
Filed under angel, angel investor, Business, Characters, Education, Entrepreneur, Entrepreneurship, High Tech, Startup Companies, Startups, vc, venture capital
by Mark T Wayne
Howard Brookins Jr, the alderman for Chicago’s 21st ward, was biking along Cal-Sag Trail on Nov. 13, when a squirrel darted into his path. The squirrel wrapped itself in the spokes of the alderman’s bicycle. [The Washington Post.] According to the alderman, “I can think of no other reason for this squirrel’s actions than that it was like a suicide bomber, getting revenge.” [The Chicago Tribune.]
If this is revenge, there is good reason for it. Yes sir! As the Post also reports: “Brookins denounced the eastern gray squirrel in a Chicago City Council meeting and has publicly spoken out about a toothy menace.” He complains of “aggressive squirrels that undermine efforts to overhaul the city’s trash carts.” [Chicago Sun Times] He claims that squirrels are gnawing through garbage cart lids at a cost to the city of $300,000! Continue reading