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Pitch Deck Month: The “Ask” Slide

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*This post is part of our “pitch deck” series where we dissect the seed stage pitch deck and discuss the ideal flow for a pitch. You can read the rest of the posts in the series by clicking here *. Here we are, at (one of) the final slides.

Meet Summer: Our Portfolio Company Changing The Student Loan Landscape

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Student loan is a generational crisis – there are 45 million borrowers in the U.S. on the hook for $1.6 trillion in student loan debt, tripled in the last 10 years. When we think about money in the context of everyday living for the next generation of consumers, it’s impossible to ignore the weight of the student loan burden. . Unlike many other aspects of personal finance, student loan is incredibly complex.

Pitch Deck Month: The “Where Are You Going?” Slide

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*This post is part of our “pitch deck” series where we dissect the seed stage pitch deck and discuss the ideal flow for a pitch. You can read the rest of the posts in the series by clicking here *. So you’ve covered the “who”, “what”, “why”, & “when”. Now it’s time to discuss the “where”.

Pitch Deck Month: The “Can You Be The Best?” Slide

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*This post is part of our “pitch deck” series where we dissect the seed stage pitch deck and discuss the ideal flow for a pitch. You can read the rest of the posts in the series by clicking here *.

Pitch Deck Month: The Team Slide

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*This post is part of our “pitch deck” series where we dissect the seed stage pitch deck and discuss the ideal flow for a pitch. You can read the rest of the posts in the series by clicking here *.

Sharp Elbows Among Seed VCs

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Many of us in the seed stage ecosystem have noticed a shift in the way seed rounds are coming together. Historically, seed rounds were syndicated among several different firms.

Repeat Founders and the Risk of a False Positive

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A number of blog posts recently have mentioned this, but we seem to be experiencing a rise in repeat founders starting new businesses and raising seed capital.

“Peace of Mind” Businesses

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One of my first seed investments was in a company that was looking to disrupt the textbook publishing space. The team was terrific, and the premise was to develop a digital textbook product that was 20x cheaper, better, and more convenient than traditional textbooks. The team brought an amazing product to market but the business just didn’t work. The core mistake we made was misclassifying the kind of business we were building.

Are MBA Founders More Diverse?

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Original research on gender diversity and fundraising amongst HBS founders. Historically, there has been a general bias against MBA founders — a skepticism around their grit and hustle.

Pitch Deck Month: Appendix Slides

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*This post is part of our “pitch deck” series where we dissect the seed stage pitch deck and discuss the ideal flow for a pitch. You can read the rest of the posts in the series by clicking here *. For many pitch decks, the Appendix section is really an afterthought.

Pitch Deck Month: The “Why Does It Matter?” Slide

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*This post is part of our “pitch deck” series where we dissect the seed stage pitch deck and discuss the ideal flow for a pitch. You can read the rest of the posts in the series by clicking here *.

Pitch Deck Month: “What Do You Do?” Slide

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*This post is part of our “pitch deck” series where we dissect the seed stage pitch deck and discuss the ideal flow for a pitch. You can read the rest of the posts in the series by clicking here *.

Friday Fun-isms: “Avoid Swiss Army Knives”

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An inevitable question that founders face is “how is your product different?” Whether it’s asked explicitly or not, most investors that you speak to have probably seen or heard of a company that does something pretty similar to yours.

Pitch Deck Month: “Is It Working?” (aka the “Traction” Slide)

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*This post is part of our “pitch deck” series where we dissect the seed stage pitch deck and discuss the ideal flow for a pitch. You can read the rest of the posts in the series by clicking here *. By now, you’ve described your team and the high level overview of what your company does.

Raising a Series A Away From Home

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This is a post about raising a Series A from an investor that is not based in your home city. Let me preface this by saying that if all things were equal, you would probably prefer to have a local series A investor.

The Road Less Traveled: Non-Standard Early Stage Funding Paths

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As the seed stage that atomized and series A rounds have become larger and more traction based, the paths to series A have changed. The baseline path to series A has tends to look something like this: Raise $0?—?$500K

Chewy S-1: Category Leadership + Conveyor Belt Into Consumers’ Homes

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Chewy has rapidly grown from a startup to a multi-billion commerce company, establishing itself as the leader in pet e-commerce. Chewy sells tens of thousands of products from many 3rd party brands, as well as its own private label brands (though latter remains <10% of sales).

Friday Funism: JDCC

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Like other investors, we at NextView have a number of frameworks which we use to evaluate decisions on making new investments. All early stage venture firms essentially look at some weighting of team, market, product, and traction.

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Why Do Consumer IPOs and B2B IPOs Get Treated Differently?

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2019 is off to an exciting start for IPOs of VC-backed startups. In just the last month or so we’ve seen Lyft go public ( my analysis of the company’s S-1 here ) and more recently, Zoom and Pinterest. Zoom is a B2B company Pinterest and Lyft are obviously B2C companies.

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Friday Funism – “Doable Deal”

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One of the key conversations that happens during NextView’s evaluation of an investment is the “debrief” after the partner meeting , where the entire partnership gets the opportunity to interact with the founding team and dive deeper into the business. . During the debrief, we would discuss not only aspects of the company (i.e. team, market, product, stage/traction) but also the potential deal itself (i.e. how much the company is raising, valuation expectations, round/syndicate dynamics, etc.).

A Conversation with 2020 Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang

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Exploring The Everyday is an interview series exploring interesting individuals or companies who are trying to make an impact on the lives of everyday people. You can learn more about this series here. Universal Basic Income is a hot dinner party topic around the country right now.

Slack S-1: Will ARPU Drive Long Term Value?

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Slack dropped their S-1 a couple weeks ago. Even before that, we all knew that it was among the most rapidly growing SaaS companies in recent years and a product used (and loved) by millions of people. But now we have a chance to really dig in and understand Slack’s business a bit better.

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Introducing: Pitch Deck Month

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Almost 5 years ago we released a resource for founders looking for guidance on their seed stage pitch decks. Today, it’s been viewed over 300,000 times on Slideshare , and is still one of the resources we hear positive feedback about from the greater founder community. Our goal as a firm is to always strive to provide updated and top notch resources for founders.

Some Thoughts on Ownership

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When I started out in VC, there was a strong consensus around early stage investors that the “right” level of ownership was 20%. Pretty much every firm was targeting at least 20% ownership. And I found that pricing, check sizes, and deal sizes were strangely shaped by the 20% target as much as the actual needs of the company. As someone who was new to venture at the time, I understood that more ownership of a good company was better.

Building the Best Seed Syndicates

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As I like to say, fundraising tends to move slow until it moves fast. It feels like a bit of a grind in the early and mid stages of a process, but in a successful fundraise, things tend to heat up at the end and move at a breakneck pace once you drive towards final allocations and a close. At this point, founders find themselves in a luxurious situation of being able to build the best possible syndicate.

Nobody Announces Their Seed Round Anymore and That’s a Mistake

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Five years ago, as the mania around seed fundings was accelerating, Founders were very eager to announce their seed round to the world. It marks the beginning of the journey with hard work & the real business success to be accomplished ahead, but a milestone nonetheless.

Friday Fun-ism: Defying Gravity

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As you might suspect, we talk a lot about entrepreneurs around the NextView offices, which bring us to this week’s installment of our Friday Fun-ism series.

Friday Fun-ism: “Time Kills All Deals”

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This week’s Friday Fun-ism goes hand-in-hand with a previous, “ It moves slow until it moves fast.” The venture fundraising process for founders has a certain rhythm to it, and so a lot can be read into the timing and pacing of the conversations.

Friday Funism – “Authentic Company” & “Sophomore Slump” (2 for 1 Special)

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It’s a 2 for 1 day today at Friday Fun-isms. Both are phrases that often come up, but often together. The first is the idea of an authentic company. Before we start any pitch, we try to uncover what the underlying motivation was behind the business. More often than not, the companies that get us the most excited are ones where the founder has some strong, deep rooted connection to the customer problem.

Back to The Future: Power of SMS-Native

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It is the one message-space on your phone that you always pay attention to: SMS text messages. Not just “messaging” broadly, as there are numerous apps where people send and receive communications & messages.

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Friday Funism – Fear vs Greed

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Actions always speak louder than words. And if you can glean the motivations behind those actions, it can tell you even more about situation. One of the questions which we often ask out loud at NextView is if a person or firm is motivated by “fear or greed?” The context for this assessment is typically around a fundraising event – the approach, when it should occur, and who is participating, etc.

Introducing the Hitchhiker’s Guide to New York City Tech

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New York City is a dream but can also be a navigational nightmare, equal parts crammed circus and rat race mixed at warp speed. This holds for the city’s tech sector. NYC Tech is bursting at the seams with nightly networking events at floors and floors of co-working spaces.

Advice On How To Make Your First Analytics Hire

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Recently, I’ve been working with a few of our portfolio companies to help them think about how to recruit and interview their first analytics hire.

Introducing NextView III and Our Focus on the Everyday Economy

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What will the future hold? It’s a question every VC asks themselves and the entrepreneurs they invest in. Some conclude that certain sectors or technologies — like AI, blockchain, VR — will define the next decade.

Friday Funism – Favorite Future

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Another phrase we use internally at NextView pretty often is that of a “favorite future”. Early in NextView’s history, when we were raising our first fund (e.g. sometime back in 2010 or early 2011) one of the limited partners we met with asked us what our “favorite future” was for NextView. We were excited to talk about our vision and aspirations for the new VC firm we were building, but also intrigued by this as a general question.

How to tell the difference between a good interviewer and a good hire

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The last thing you want to do is go through all the time and energy of finding and hiring a new employee only to find out, after you’ve extended the offer, that they’re not a good fit. It happens all of the time.

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Reflecting On Parenthood & Entrepreneurship

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*Disclaimer – although the above baby is very cute, I can’t take credit for making him*. When my husband and I welcomed our newborn son to the world this April, it was probably the most exciting and magical moments we have ever experienced. Thanks to my very supportive partners at NextView, I was able to focus on being a new parent and enjoying those early moments during my maternity leave.

Home Is Where the Innovation Is

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If a man from 1987 stepped into a time machine and emerged in 2017, he would find the modern world fantastically different in many ways. Mobile computing means that he has the world’s information and entertainment at his literal fingertips.

How Much Traction Do I Need to Raise from Seed VCs?

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A couple weeks ago, my partner Rob penned a blog post about the “shape of traction” which really resonated with a number of folks. The quick summary is that the shape of a startup’s traction (with time/product-quality on the x axis and traction on the y axis) and isn’t at all a linear path.

The VC Meeting Map: What to Expect After a Successful First Pitch

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Nearly all of the guidance for meetings with VCs is centered on the very first meeting: how to get it, how to prepare a pitch deck , how to run the meeting , etc. But then the tactical advice stops. What about the rest of the VC fundraising process?

Mattermark’s Clever Origin Story and Why Their CEO Loves Arguing with VCs [Traction #11]

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The NextView podcast Traction explores all the clever, creative, and atypical things entrepreneurs do to make initial progress against the odds. If startups should do things that “don’t scale,” then this podcast asks a simple question: What ARE those things?

City Made: Why NYC Is A Great Place To Be An Entrepreneur

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New York City is a tremendous place to be an entrepreneur.

Friday Fun-ism: “Smiling Killer”

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One of my favorite descriptions we use half in jest is that a founder seems like a “smiling killer” This is a compliment, I promise. This means that the founder strikes a very delicate balance that is very hard to pull off. First, the founder just seems like a great person. She is kind, charismatic, engaging, and seems genuinely great to work with. These are super valuable skills because the job of the CEO is largely about working with people.