As protests over the murder of George Floyd erupted in Minneapolis — and then spread at lightning speed to cities and towns across America — downloads of the Citizen app exploded to over 150,000 per day. Founded in New York City in 2016, Citizen provides advanced filtering of police scanners to give users a real-time map of crime and police activity near them. The explosion in usage was driven by protesters, who realized quickly that they could use Citizen to coordinate with other protesters and monitor the locations of riot police.
Nicole Gibbons knew she was in rare company when her direct-to-consumer paint startup Clare raised $2 million from the likes of First Round Capital in 2017. Black female entrepreneurs receive less than 1% of VC funding raised by startups.
In an industry that champions quick pivots and failing fast, Gibbons — who launched her New York City-based company in 2018 after working as an interior decorator and global head of PR for Victoria’s Secret — feels intense pressure to make no mistakes and faces microaggressions so often she says she’s learned to live with them. She spoke with Marker about…
Many startup founders are worried, at this moment, about being a “crisis capitalizer,” a “war profiteer,” an “ambulance chaser.” As an investor in startups, I’ve been thinking about how to offer them a more nuanced perspective by asking: How can businesses tell the difference between adapting to this environment in a healthy way versus taking advantage of others?
The short answer is: It’s okay, even noble, for businesses to thrive right now. Even if your company isn’t on the front lines of health care manufacturing ventilators or delivering essential items like groceries, your company is helping to keep people employed…
Every year I teach classrooms full of students about business. These students end up leaving my classes understanding the basics of how to search for product/market fit — and thinking their next goal is to “get funded.”
That’s a mistake many new founders make because there are only two reasons to seek out funding:
Now, I’m writing this as a reflection on why the business failed in the first place, along with the rationale behind (and experience of) the decision to tell family, friends, investors, users, and the wider world that it was the end of our startup.
It’s worth noting that I expect my perspective may change with time. That’s fine and will perhaps make an interesting follow-up.
One of the interesting things about getting into venture via your own fund versus coming up through a larger firm is that when “this is always the way it’s been done” comes up as a rationale, you get to shrug and say, “Well, not anymore.”
For example, the practice of VC funds charging their legal fees back to the startup. We don’t do this at my fund, because we want the money we give to companies to go toward hiring, marketing, operations, etc.
Editor’s note: Leila Janah, a social entrepreneur and the founder of Samasource, LXMI, and Samaschool, died on January 24, 2020. She was 37 years old. In this post, her friend Silvia Console Battilana remembers Janah’s vision and drive to improve the lives of people around the world by giving work.
I first met Leila in 2008. We were both speakers at a Women in Tech conference. I remember when Leila walked up on stage and started talking with passion about how the only dignified solution to ending poverty was by giving work, not aid. Within two minutes, I recall telling…
By Sarah Katari
Jumping into a brand-new startup can be a game-changing moment for any entrepreneur. Every stake across the board is raised: founders have to consider their financial well-being, work-life balance, and a real potential for mental health struggles.
Add being openly transgender into the mix, and the stakes are even higher.
It’s especially difficult for transgender and nonbinary folks to earn a living: Over 31% of the population live in poverty, 11% are unemployed, and 23% have been fired due to their identity.
Best Business Blogs is a Marker column that scours the web for the most interesting posts on business, entrepreneurship, and product development. This post originally appeared on the author’s blog.
There is a lot of advice about how to be a good startup founder. But there isn’t very much about how to be a good startup investor.
Before going any further, I should point out that this is a particularly hard time to invest in startups — it’s easier right now to be a capital-taker than a capital-giver. …
The phone rang at the appointed hour. My client, a software company CEO, was calling for his regular session. I picked up the phone:
“Why the hell does my board act like that?”
“Good morning, James,” I answered, and we both laughed.
We talked through the upcoming financing. Some investors — folks who came into the company only in its last round — were already jockeying around terms and prices of the upcoming round. …
Pop business for the intelligent reader. A publication from Medium.