Startups, ever wonder what it’s like on our side of the curtain? For the past several Julys, I’ve been going to Montreal to participate in Startupfest. Often, I address the startups during the main festival on the usual topics: how to find investors, how to solicit feedback on your startup idea, etc. This year I […]
Like most entrepreneurs, I wasn’t CEO of my first startup. While I had a fair share of the company, I owned far less than the CEO who, in addition to having had the concept, also initially bankrolled us. For the most part, this didn’t matter. Like most good founding teams, we had complimentary skill sets […]
Every morning I start my day with Dilbert & coffee and one of my favorite secondary characters in that strip is Phil, the Prince of Insufficient Light. Unlike Satan, Phil punishes people for small crimes by “darning them to heck”. There are hundreds of articles in the business and startup press written about best practices […]
Since first launching in 2008, Dreamit has received thousands of applications – heck, I’ve personally reviewed thousands of applications in the not quite three years since joining Dreamit. I’ve had the pleasure to read some really excellent applications that crisply and concisely showcased what made that startup shine. And then there were those other applications. […]
Between applications to Dreamit and the many startups who approach me directly, I speak to a lot of entrepreneurs. And, while I love that part of my job, one of the least pleasant things I have to do as a mentor is tell entrepreneurs when, IMHO, they are wasting their time and need to move […]
It’s a little surprising that entrepreneurs don’t pray more. The best entrepreneurs are missionaries, not mercenaries. Even if they are not explicitly pursuing a social impact startup, they are driven by the sense that they can, at least in some small way, make the world a better place. What’s more, so much of the startup […]
I interview a lot people – applicants to Dreamit’s accelerator program, prospective employees, interns, etc. – and one of the questions I *never* ask is, “What is your biggest weakness?” I’ve learned that you never get an honest answer. At best, it’s a test of the candidate’s negotiating skills as they try to figure out […]
Since joining Dreamit, I’ve been on dozens of panels and moderated more than a few of them. Some have been awesome, others have been…less awesome. Want to make sure your panel rocks? Keep reading. (I’m going to assume you have lined up great panelists. If not, don’t even bother putting on a panel format event. […]
I both love and fear that phrase. I love it because a deep network of qualified mentors is a major asset to an accelerator program. It is one of the big differentiators between a top 10 accelerator and the other 1000+ unproven** ones. (Although you sometimes have to dig a bit to tell the difference […]
“My friend is at a private equity fund and is now actively looking to move into venture capital…”
I get that a lot. Sometimes the friend is at a hedge fund instead and occasionally, I’m approached directly instead of through a friend but the overall picture is the same: they are bored with large, public/established, old-school companies and think VC is cooler.
Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda. Entrepreneurs Need to Take that First Step.