Kauffman Fellow Report: Volume 4

Designing Culture: A Kauffman Fellows Perspective

This article examines what is – and is not – being learned from Silicon Valley, and how structural changes are empowering new centers of innovation in major metropolitan areas. The author stresses the importance of story in successful entrepreneurship, describes how to build a strong company culture, and outlines key leadership skills.

The Rise of the Innovation Strategist

Limited Partners (LPs) are critical to VC, but little has been said about the relationship between LPs and fund managers. The author explores this sensitive subject and argues that LPs need to become Innovation Strategists – more entrepreneurial, transparent, and leadership-focused – and that the Kauffman Fellows can help.

Venture Capital in Latin America: Connecting Opportunities

Venture capital in Latin America is a new industry that has shown a remarkable evolution since the early 2000s, presenting both interesting opportunities and significant challenges. Based on his own experience and current data available, the author proposes a regional model to invest in Latin America.

Venture Debt: A Capital Idea for Startups

Access to capital at an appropriate cost is the paramount concern of emerging growth companies, and venture debt has grown to address the need for alternatives to equity financing. The author traces the rise of venture debt, describes the current market, and provides a template for considering the use of venture debt.

What Acquirers Want: An Insider Perspective on Getting Acquisitions Right

Acquisitions are a vital, regenerative link in the cycle of capital formation and innovation—a young technology company today is seven times more likely to be acquired than go public. This article demystifies acquisitions for founders and management teams, and provides a framework to achieve better outcomes.

The Startup Generation: Building the Next Generation Workforce from the Holy Land

Israel brings multifaceted strengths to building its innovation workforce, which is poised to accelerate with the dynamic energy of the “Startup Generation.” The authors focus on the next-generation workforce and illuminate specific drivers behind Israel’s success that can be extended to other regions.

What Can Venture Capitalists Learn from Academics?

Recent academic research can inform how VCs evaluate and invest in startups. The author summarizes three papers, finding that investors do better focusing on the business plan over the team, take more risk when capital is abundant, and react to stock market runups when timing exits. He provides shorter summaries of six other papers.

A Venture Entrepreneur in China: Building U.S.-China Venture Partnerships

Venture partnerships will change the way the United States and China invest together. This article describes one woman’s journey to combine her passions for cross-cultural understanding, innovation, and entrepreneurship in China – building a foundation to bring together cultures, ideas, frameworks, and capital for venture investing.

Learning from Silicon Valley: Applying a Venture Capital Model to Philanthropy

This article outlines Omidyar Network’s innovative approach to philanthropy: investing in highly scalable for-profit and non-profit organizations, assuming active governance roles, contributing human and financial capital, performing extensive due diligence, using robust performance metrics, and building trust-based relationships.

Creating a New WAVE: A Fundraising Journey

The author shares his challenging experience of raising a new cleantech fund at a time when the sector has fallen from grace and the overall venture capital industry is consolidating. Those who have created a fund will see themselves in this story, while others may be inspired to find their own creative core.

Updates from Previous Volumes of the Kauffman Fellows Report

Kate Mitchell and the Future of Venture. Victor Hwang and the Evolution of a VC Practice.