Watch out for unfair indemnity during acquisitions

Recently, at Techstars, we’re noticing more and more that we are being asked to sign up for joint unlimited liability for fraud in the context of M&A with one of our portfolio companies. In other words, we are being asked to guarantee that our portfolio companies, and sometimes even that other shareholders of these companies, …

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file under: Startups

Here’s SendGrid’s seed round pitch deck

In 2009, coming out of Techstars, SendGrid set out to raise a seed round. The original target was $300,000. They ended up raising $750,000 in that round. Eight years later, they went public at around a $1B valuation. Shortly thereafter, Twilio acquired SendGrid for $2B. Great success stories have humble beginnings. This was true for …

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Managing communication tools in distributed companies

Last week, I did a talk as part of YPO Innovation Week on “managing distributed innovation.” Effectively, this was about strategies and tactics for innovating using globally distributed teams. We have approximately 300 employees at Techstars and those people live and work in about 60 different cities around the world. The YPO group was very …

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Never ask anyone to be your lead investor

Let me explain why you should never ask anyone to be your lead investor. First, if you’re talking to a venture capital firm that writes large checks (>50% of the round size you’re seeking), just ask them to commit to investing. Let them know they’re wanted. If they want to invest, they’re going to want …

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Air Force Pitch Day was awesome

Last week, I was in New York and decided to stop by the Air Force Pitch Day. What a great experience.  It’s so nice to see when government organizations figure out how to effective engage with startups, and then scale it! At Air Force Pitch Day, the US Air Force awarded 51 contracts, each in …

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True Blue – an Internet public art story

A few years ago while sitting on a barstool in Boulder, I was chatting with my friend Eliot Peper. Eliot is a terrific author, and has written many great books circling around entrepreneurship with some of it set in Boulder. That day, I was sharing a thought about a story I had in my head. I …

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file under: Startups