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#GivingThanks: David Cohen and the Techstars Foundation

Feld Thoughts

Today’s #GivingThanks is to David Cohen , one of the founders and co-CEO of Techstars. When I looked up, David gave me a little more background.

Understanding Privilege – My Experience in Prison

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It was a top 10 peak life experience for me – easily one of the most profound things I’ve experienced to date. We then got the rules.

Venture Deals – Third Edition

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The third edition of  Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist  is going to print and pre-orders are up on Amazon.

Joining the Kauffman Fellows Board

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In September, I joined the board of Kauffman Fellows. In 2003, it was spun out of the Kauffman Foundation into a separate non-profit but, at the 20th reunion in Kansas City, the Kauffman Foundation made a new gift to the Kauffman Fellows Program to accelerate the midwestern venture capital ecosystem.

We Were Right – Just a Decade Early

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This is a line my friend Jerry Colonna uses when something like the AT&T – Time Warner deal occurs. rose $7.31 1/4 to 45.06 1/4 on the NYSE.

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The 2% Change

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Here’s something actionable for you on a Monday morning. If you want to improve your business, in addition to all the other things you are doing, focus on changing thing by 2%. For example, raise your prices 2%. Eliminate 2% of your variable costs. Focus on the bottom 2% of your team and ask yourself if you really want them on your team.

A Startup Visa – The International Entrepreneurs Rule – Form I-941

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On Friday, the USCIS proposed The International Entrepreneurs Rule. We finally will have a startup visa! talked about the Startup Visa at conferences.

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Unscramble Your Biases

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And, as you read though the list below of my experiences / viewpoints, you’ll quickly see how the biases can create a chaotic mind-mess.

Q316 State of Venture Capital Update With Cooley

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Each quarter Cooley does a VC market update. This quarter they interviewed me as part of it on  Quarterly VC Update: Brad Feld on the State of Venture Capital Investing.  The full Cooley Q3 report includes a bunch of data and trend graphs which I encourage you to go take a look at. The interview with me follows. Similar/different? It’s the same.

Work Hard. Be Kind.

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His message is simple: Work Hard. Be Kind. Having worked with Chris for many years, it’s a great summary of how he lives his life. Be Kind.

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Hire a VP Finance Sooner Rather Than Later

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The post is aimed at CEOs of startups who have at least 15 employees. If you don’t have a VP Finance on your team reporting to you, do yourself, your team, and your investors a favor and go hire one right now. While it’s trendy to outsource your accounting to a third party, once you hit a certain size it’s dangerous.

The Fight Between The Future And The Past

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At dinner last night with Amy and friends we ended up in a long conversation about what’s going on in the world right now.

Unicorpse

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The current usage of the word unicorn makes me tired. I could rant about it for a while, but that would make me tired of myself ranting about it.

Computer Science For All

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This morning, President Obama and the White House made an awesome announcement of a new initiative called Computer Science for All. NCWIT, U.S.

FullContact Continues Its Journey To Solve The Contact Management Problem

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When we invested in FullContact in 2012, they were a small team with a big vision to create  One Address Book To Rule Them All.

Something New Is F *d Up In My World Every Day

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This is one of my favorite lines to use to explain the business life I live. It’s simple. Something new is f *d up in my world every day.

Mental Fitness

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After a 30 day hard reset (also known as sabbatical ) I felt like this was an important re-entry topic as I fling myself back into the fray. Several years ago I got tired of the phrase “Work Life Balance” (and its various permutations – Work/Life Balance and Work-Life Balance.) And there it was.

Suicide, Cancer, and Community

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At the end of the day yesterday I gave a talk at the opening of Galvanize Boulder. After, during the Q&A, someone brought up depression and I went on a long ramble about my own struggles over the years, how I’ve grown and developed, how it has impacted me, and what I do today to work on my mental fitness. We ate and caught up on the day.

That Didn’t Need To Take An Hour

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Have you ever finished something and thought to yourself, “That didn’t need to take an hour?” Here are a few of them. 60 minutes.

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When Greed Turns To Fear

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There is a cliche in the financial world that has been around forever. ” Recently, the fear seems to be sticking around. But it lingers.

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Budget: First Half, Second Half

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If you are the CEO of a VC or angel backed company, will need to raise more money in the future, are doing more than $100,000 of revenue a month, and are growing more than 25% a year, then this post if for you. In January, you finalized your budget. Assuming things were on track, you made March and declared victory on Q1. It’s June 7th.

Explaining Net Neutrality to My Dad

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It’s late Saturday night after an awesome day in Las Vegas with my dad. ” We have a lot of fun and learn a ton from each other.

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Weekly Techstars Diversity / Inclusion Office Hours in New York City

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The day after the election, Alex Iskold (Techstars NY Managing Director) wrote a great post titled  Dear Founders, I Commit to Double My Support For You and Your Startups. It’s vintage, wonderful Alex along with a series of specific things he’s going to do. Work even more closely with the founders to help them with their financings.

What Is Machine Learning Anyway?

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One of the consistent characteristics of the tech industry is an endless labelling of technology and approaches. Some of it is foundational resulting from some entirely new. Much of it is re-categorizing something, either because it is suddenly trendy again or because a set of ideas have been organized in a new way. It’ll be microscopic data.

Don’t Waste A Crisis

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This cliche, which has uncertain attribution  (Winston Churchill, Rahm Emmanuel, M. F. Weiner) is a priceless line that gets tossed out periodically, especially in the middle of a crisis. Over the years I’ve been involved in many business crises. But they are still crises. Most of the time I’m a board member or investor.

A Typical Example of #GiveFirst

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We are investors and Jason is on her board. Later that day, Krista sent me the full story, which follows, in an email. Krista’s words follow.

Some of My Favorite Books in 2016

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Amazon is setting up Kindle bookshelves for some people, including me. If you want to see some of my favorite books from 2016 that I read on my Kindle, take a look at my Feld Thoughts 2016 Books. I log all the books I read (Kindle or physical) on my Goodreads page. Interestingly, Goodreads is also owned by Amazon. Books amazon goodreads kindle

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How to Find the Time to Accomplish Anything

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Guest Post By William Hertling – williamhertling.com  (Author). Apocalypse. Maybe you want to write an app or a book. Enter the Craziness.

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My Last Post About This Election – Don’t Waste Your Vote

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Please vote. Just so you know my bias before reading further, I’m voting for Hillary Clinton. This post is not aimed at you if you have already decided to vote for Clinton or for Trump. It is aimed at you if you haven’t voted, are considering not voting, or are voting for someone other than Clinton or Trump. ” (Suster). ” (Suster).

Looking Forward to 2025

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If we fund an early stage startup company today and it’s hugely successful, it’ll be coming into its own in 2025. Ponder that for a moment. That’s how our business – and entrepreneurship – really works. The first was with a company started in 2011 that is now a real business. From the epic Inc.

The Deep, Dark, Emotional Challenges of Being a Leader

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I got to spend a lot of time with my close friend Rand Fishkin the past few days. Go read it now – I’ll wait. ” Whatever.

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Glowforge’s $22 Million Financing

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We just led a $22 million financing in Glowforge. I’ll start with the punchline – lasers are super cool. Oh, and lasers are super cool.

Current Startup Market Emotional Biases

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read it again this morning when I woke up. And I expect I’ll read it at least one more time. just saw Peter Kafka’s summary of at at Re/Code ( We read Bill Gurley’s big warning about Silicon Valley’s big money troubles so you don’t have to ) and I don’t agree. Go read the original post in its entirety. But why? Period.

Founder Suicides

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I know this post is going to be a downer but I think there is a lot more to be talked about regarding depression, mental health, and entrepreneurship.

Life Is Messy For Everyone

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I love today’s post from Nick Grossman at USV. Let me explain. read several biographies on our trip. It’s all messy.

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How Can This Be A Billion Dollar Company?

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came across one from  Nic Brisbourne (Forward Ventures) titled  I’m a stock picker. Our view of a strong success in an investment in a 10x return.

We Need More Entrepreneurs In Congress

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As we come to the end of a particularly noisy and contentious election cycle, a thought echoes over and over in my mind – we need more entrepreneurs in Congress. As I continue to believe that innovation and entrepreneurship are the key drivers to our economic future, it’s frustrating to hear such little cogent discussion around it.

Why Teleportation Will Be Awesome

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During this contemplative moment, I’m fantasizing about teleportation. Then I’d be able to sleep in my bed tonight. It just happens.

Post Acquisition – It’s Business as Usual Except Better

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Recently I wrote about how I think about private company acquisition strategies using FullContact as the example of one where it is working well. Last week I was at a board meeting for a different company which did an acquisition a month ago. heard a fantastic line from the founder of the company that had been acquired. There is no one way.

Techstars in Kansas City

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Yesterday Techstars announced the launch of Techstars Kansas City. This is a city-based horizontal accelerator similar to the ones we have in Boulder, Boston, Seattle, Austin, New York City, London and Berlin. Applications open in January 2017 and the program will run in July 2017. have a long history with Kansas City.