Before you all check out for one last summer weekend….
Here’s our weekly pick of news items impacting the innovation ecosystem:
Startup Founder Grudge Match
As week one of college football is underway, let the rankings begin. Instead of tallying the touchdowns and field goals, Pitchbook publishes an annual ranking of undergraduate colleges producing the most tech entrepreneurs who’ve raised venture capital between 2006 and August 15, 2017. Stanford takes the top spot and much of it has to do with the campus’ geography (and the fact that Stanford helped launch Silicon Valley itself), along with data showing startups in California have raised more venture capital than all other states combined.
Final Takeaway: Geographic proximity to capital still matters — and in the venture/startup business relationships matter. While it’s been proven successful entrepreneurs can build their company anywhere, but certainly having access to capital fuels that growth. The institutions in this list will continue to maintain their ranking as long as they continue to build programs and emphasize the importance of growing of their entrepreneurial ecosystems.
The Examined VC Life: The Mania of Meetings
This week, Leo Polovets at Susa Ventures, wrote a blog post that provided some guidance on how VCs can help startup founders, and he also analyzed his meeting schedule for a three month period (May-July 2017).
The data from the three month period of Leo’s meetings demonstrated a few things.
One insight…Leo’s days were not really like this chart below (although he understandably felt this way):
Instead, Leo discovered that he spent 3-6 hours in meetings per day. His peak meeting days were Tuesday and Friday, when he worked out of his San Francisco office. Those Tuesday/Friday peaks prompted Leo to speculate that they were a lagging indicator of the current ongoing migration of startups from the Peninsula to the city of San Francisco.
The most intriguing data Leo presented was a granular breakdown of his meetings, which showed that individual, group, and other due diligence represented roughly a third of his meetings (below).
Final Takeaway: Leo’s self-analysis would be a great annual exercise for all VC’s to determine whether the “value add” areas you (or your firm) emphasize in your messaging adequately align with the time you invest in the medley of day-to-day meetings (maybe your assistant or an associate can do this for you).
Google and Microsoft’s New Patents: Identifying Trendsetters, Experts, and Balloon Artists
In the past few weeks, both Google and Microsoft have been awarded patents for identifying “Trendsetters” (Google) and “Experts” (Microsoft).
In addition to identifying trendsetters and experts, both patents include special reward systems. Google’s reward systems focus on providing badges, gift cards, or special profiles to “Trendsetters” who create content and/or consumers who share content in the early stages of its virality. The rewards in Microsoft’s new patent are more focused on creating point scores for experts so that they can demonstrate their expertise (will this show up on Microsoft’s Linkedin next year?).
Final Takeaway: Microsoft’s attempt to potentially develop a new approach to signaling “expertise” on its LinkedIn platform would be a welcome improvement over its current endorsement system, which has been criticized as a “joke”, “worthless”, or a really, really, really, fun way to pull a practical joke on a coworker or friend. If you’ve given (or received) endorsements on Linkedin for “Balloon Artist”, “Bath Salts”, “Dinosaurs”, “Feathers”, “Worst Case Analysis” and “Fire Breathing”, you already know what we’re talking about.
Lastly, and most importantly, our thoughts and prayers are with those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.