VC 20 003: Bob Ghoorah on Startups, The Pitch and Uber

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Bob Ghoorah, Managing Director at Columubus Nova Technology Partners. Bob has experienced both sides of the table having been an early employee at three technology companies in Silicon Valley; LoudCloud (Nasdaq: LDCL), Opsware (Nasdaq: OPSW) and Ning, a privately-held software platform (sold to Glam Media in 2011).

In this episode we find out:

  • The benefits of having a legal knowledge in the Startup community.
  • What characteristics make the best entrepreneurs?
  • Who does Bob think of, when the word ‘success’ is mentioned and why?
  • Where Bob sees the future of Uber?
  • What aspects of a Startup are essential in order to obtain VC funding?
  • Is it important for Startups to be located in Silicon Valley?
  • What books Bob woulg give to an aspring entrepreneur and startup founder?
  • What advice Bob would give to anyone looking to get into the Venture Capital Industry?

Finally, we head to the quick fire round. Here, we get Bob’s immediate reactions to the latests tech topics including tech bubble, company valuations and the first trillion dollar company.

20 VC 002: How to Become a VC with Kris Jones

 

 

Kris-Jones-color-250x250In this session of The Twenty Minute VC, I’m so excited to have the opportunity to interview Kris Jones. Kris has enjoyed an amazing career in the technology industry, founding PepperJam, an internet marketing agency in 1999 and later selling it to Ebay in April of 2010. More recently, Kris has made his transition into the Venture Capital Industry through the founding of an early stage technology investment fund, KBJ Capital, which includes portfolio companies Highlighter.com, French Girls App, ReferLocal.com and many more incredible companies.

Items Mentioned In This Podcast:

In this session you’ll learn:

  • Why Kris decided to make the transition from the Startup ecosystem to the world of Venture Capital.
  • How did it feel for Kris, selling his company to Ebay?
  • What was the most important lesson Kris learnt in the journey from having the idea for PepperJam to being acquired by Ebay?
  • What is the key characteristic a Founder must have?
  • What can an individual do to get employed in the Venture Capital industry

Kris is also a prolific writer here are some of his articles, you can check out!

Forbes: 15 Steps to Set Your Company Up for a Successful M&A

Mashable: 9 Ways Social Media Marketing Will Change in 2014

Citibank: How to Impress a Potential Investor

Guy Kawasaki of Apple Inc, Motorola and Alltop.com

 

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 12.10.18What is the most important thing for a startup to have? Join us as Guy shares his investment strategy and provides inside access into the mind of a top VC.

Guy Kawasaki is the founding partner of Garage Technology Ventures, a seed & early stage venture capital fund investing in extraordinary entrepreneurs with unique technologies. Previously, he was Chief Evangelist of Apple Inc and an advisor to the Motorala Business Unit of Google. Guy is also the author of many best selling books including the recent best seller, The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users.

Items Mentioned in This Podcast

The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users

If You Want To Write: Barbara Ueland

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion: Robert Cialdini

In this session you’ll learn:

  • Who Guy associates with having achieved the most success and why?
  • Why Guy made the leap from the tech startup scene to the world of Venture Capital?
  • What exactly Guy looks for when investing in a startup?
  • Characteristics of entrepreneurs nowadays that drives Guy insane?
  • What books Guy recommends to aspiring entrepreneurs?
  • Apps and Software that Guy uses on a daily basis and could not live without.

Finally, we finish the session with a quick fire round, where we hear Guy’s views on the latest and greatest from the technology industry. This includes Guy’s opinion on whether we are in a tech bubble? The future of Tesla? Whether Amazon is a Buy or Sell?

 

 

Startup has lost it’s meaning!

 

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Startup, a term bandied round like funding in the tech bubble, but what does it really mean and has it lost it’s original meaning.

The standard belief is that a startup is a small company with potential for excessive growth with the cumulative goal of it becoming the next tech titan.

However, is that really correct? If so, should the mass of tech companies be attributed with the class of ‘startup’? Is Airbnb really a startup still? Hell no.

So if the likes of Airbnb and Uber are deemed to have lost their designer ‘startup’ status, what really is a ‘startup’ in today’s tech sector? Well everyone has very different definitions, however, it is my belief that a company may be judged to be a startup based on three different criteria:

  1. Valuation: If a company is worth more than $250 million, leave your startup status at the door.
  2. Revenue run rate: If this exceeds $35 million, sack the startup name and call yourself a tech company.
  3. Employee count: If you have over 100 employees it’s time to start targeting or avoiding the looming IPO.

If however, you do not exceed these limits. Awesome job. You can keep the startup badge on for all to see. Just to show an example, Timehop has team of 11 and at last round of funding (May 2014) was given a reported valuation of $200 million. Well done Timehop, you are officially still a startup.

 

5 reasons Uber is better than buying a car

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 12.35.101.) The average car in the UK now costs £27,219 ($42,649). The average uber journey is estimated to be £8.60. With those estimates you could take 3,250 uber journeys before it would amount to the initial cost of a car.

2.) Cars are in motion for an average of 4% of the day. The remaining 96% of the time they  sit there losing value.

3.) According to recent statistics 47 hours of lessons are required before a test should be taken. With that time you could learn an entirely new skill. For instance, you could learn to be a professional web developer in just 28 hours with this course:

https://www.udemy.com/complete-web-developer-course/?couponCode=harry99

4.) Maintenance: The average fuel expenditure is £2,600 per year, with a whopping £600 on insurance. Making the total maintenance excluding servicing £3,200. YIKES!

5.) The typical car on the road has 1.2 passengers, a partnership of Google’s driverless cars and Uber would allow the car to be on the road for 23/24 hours, reducing the number of cars by an estimated 4/5. Therefore not only is Uber awesome but it is environmentally friendly.

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