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
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
by John Jonelis
You don’t want to compete with this kid. Believe me. Just watch his intensity as he pitches his business to some of the private equity luminaries in the city. I’m a judge at this event and try not to show my feelings of awe as he answers all the tough questions in a pressure-cooker environment without so much as a flinch. There’s an intimidating team behind him too. They’re all in middle school. Middle school! Continue reading
Adapted from the Journal of the Heartland Angels
Part 1 – by John Jonelis
Is an Angel a fool?
In the world of private equity investing, the order of funding is supposed to go like this:
- Seed Round—that’s friends, family, and fools.
- Angel Round—that’s funding the big initial spurt of growth.
- Venture Round—that’s big funding for massive scaling.
Compare that stack-of-three (above) to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Notice that Angels make up the good stuff in the middle. And yes—according to studies by the Kauffman Foundation—Angels make the best money. Continue reading
Michael Pollack of Rocket Fuel Labs
Verbatim, Part 3 – John Jonelis
I’m continuing a conversation with Michael Pollack, CEO of Rocket Fuel Labs at the huge 1871 space here in Chicago. We’ve covered a lot of ground and I think it’s time to get down to the business itself. Continue reading
Michael Pollack of Rocket Fuel Labs
Verbatim – John Jonelis
I always enjoy the scenic water taxi ride to the Chicago Merchandise Mart where the huge high-tech incubator known as 1871 lives and breathes like a sleeping dragon in a cave full of gold. Continue reading
IMSA Kids at MIT Enterprise Forum
From a special correspondent – Mark T. Wayne:
Frankly sir, I am flabbergasted! This is something beyond my experience! Think of it. High school students turned serious entrepreneurs. These are children in suit and tie—teams of them politely waiting to speak in turn without interrupting the others. Not so much as a spit wad—do you hear me? Not one! That in itself is cause for more than casual interest. And no fluff here, sir! These kids seek equity funding without so much as a blush. And they do it with such aplomb. Continue reading
Funding Feeding Frenzy – Part 2
VERBATIM transcript of a recording by Loop Lonagan—investor and man about town.
Loop Lonagan here. I’m headin’ out to this year’s Funding Feeding Frenzy. It’s the big event if ya wanna see all o’ Chicago’s best startups in one place. This time the FFF is happenin’ at a place called the Chopin Theater northwest o’ downtown and I wanna see how that’s gonna work out. Will there be a string quartet? They yusta hold it at a huge automobile showroom which seems weird but worked out. It had about half the floor space of McCormick Place and plenty o’ room fer hordes o’ people to roam. But this is gonna be a lot different. Continue reading