Network Updates, 23 May 2017
We have changed our publication schedule, and will now be sending KF Network Updates and eBulletins on Tuesdays, instead of Thursdays.
Log into TENx for complete details and RSVP information for all KF events, unless noted.
- June 11-16: Summer modules & Vesting Day (graduation), Classes 20-22
- June 23: New York Regional Chapter breakfast
- September 14: KF Women’s Group breakfast, Bay Area location TBD
- September 22: NY Regional Chapter breakfast
- December 8: NY Regional Chapter breakfast
- International Summit, April 22-27, 2018: Tel Aviv & Jerusalem, ISRAEL
- Tyson Clark (Class 21) offers startup advice on acquiring the first customer in Entrepreneur video
- Kauffman Foundation publishes 2017 Index of Startup Activity
- Portfolio happenings: Lisa Coca
(Class 21) joins Tamr’s board as observer; Andreas Weiskam (Class 13) leads Sapphire’s investment in Wandera, joins board
- Podcasts & speakers: Graham Gardner (Class 12) to give opening remarks at ATLAS conference; Grace Sai (Class 21) discusses disruptive technology in Oxford Alumni podcast; Daniel Kraft (Class 13) on XPRIZE video discussing “AI for Good”
- This week’s blog selections: Josh Breinlinger (Class 21) follows up on his 20-Minute VC podcast, taking issue with the Blind Squirrel Theory • Bill Tobin (KF Faculty) offers his approach to career evolution, after another loop around the sun
- Job opportunities: (CONTINUING) Accel seeks a Partner in its London Office • PropelVC looks for Analyst, Associate, and Partner hires in London
Tyson Clark (Class 21) Offers Startup Advice on Acquiring the First Customer
Tyson Clark (Class 21), a Partner at GV (formerly Google Ventures), answers the question “Who Is the Perfect First Customer?” in this video interview with Entrepreneur. Startups face a decision: perfect the product and then find customers, or find customers while still developing the product, or aim for somewhere in between the two. Tyson offers a low-risk approach for striking a balance between product development and customer acquisition.
Kauffman Foundation Publishes 2017 Index of Startup Activity
The Kauffman Foundation published the 2017 Kauffman Index of Startup Activity, its annual analysis of startup trends in the United States at the national, state, and metropolitan levels. Results of the study show a third straight year of growth in new startup creation, bringing startup activity back to pre-Great Recession levels; the increase in 2016 was slim after sharp increases in the preceding two years. An important and promising sign from the report is that 86% of new entrepreneurs started businesses to pursue opportunity rather than from necessity, an increase of 12 percentage points from the worst times of the recession. Victor Hwang (Class 12), the VP of Entrepreneurship at the Foundation, notes, “Recent research demonstrates that more startups lead to higher productivity, wage growth, and quality of life,” pointing out that growing startups also benefit the communities around them.
The index tracks various startup activity subsets for the 1997-2016 time period, including age, gender, and race, among others. In 1996, non-Whites made up only 23% of new entrepreneurs; by 2016 that share had increased to 44%. The percentage of new entrepreneurs who are Latino/Latina more than doubled. Also of interest is the shift in the age distribution of new entrepreneurs. In 1996, 45- to 65-year-olds comprised only 38% of new entrepreneurs; last year that share had increased to 51%.[Press release] [Print report PDFs] [Interactive state- and metro-specific data]
- Lisa Coca (Class 21), Managing Director at GE Ventures, will join Tamr’s board as an observer after GE Ventures’ strategic equity investment in the enterprise-scale data unification company. An outgrowth of GE’s experience as the firm’s customer for several years, the investment will “accelerate product development and go-to-market initiatives.” Says Lisa, “We’ve seen firsthand the transformative results that Tamr’s machine learning approach to data unification has on an enterprise of GE’s scale. We believe that Tamr will power a new wave of innovation and efficiency for major companies across the globe.” [Press release]
- Andreas Weiskam (Class 13) and Sapphire Ventures led the $27.5M Series C round for Wandera, which provides an enterprise mobile security platform built around a powerful intelligence engine. With mobile devices responsible for more than half of enterprise data traffic, Andreas says that Sapphire was drawn to “the strength of Wandera’s cloud architecture and the effectiveness of its technology to identify emerging threats and enable proactive policy actions.” In particular, Sapphire “fell in love” with the brain of that technology, MI:RIAM, as Andreas writes in a Medium post. MI:RIAM uses machine learning and data science techniques to identify threats, adjust security policies, and block or reconfigure devices. Andreas notes that the strength of Wandera’s security solution is matched by the effectiveness of its mobile app, which receives high marks from both customers and partners. Andreas will join the firm’s board of directors. [Press release]
Podcasts & speakers:
- Graham Gardner (Class 12), co-founder and CEO of Kryuus, will deliver the opening remarks at the 4th annual ATLAS (Annual Thought Leadership on Access Symposium) conference, “the preeminent patient access conference for leaders at the country’s top hospitals and health systems.” This year’s event, hosted by Kryuus on September 19-20 in Boston, includes topics such as “The Rise of Digital Consumerism,” “The Shift to Centralized Access,” and “The Evolution of Provider Networks.”
- During Oxford University’s recent Alumni Weekend in Asia, alumna Grace Sai (Class 21) discussed in a podcast how disruptive technology has affected the way consumers interact with products. She draws from her experience with Impact Hub Singapore, where she is CEO and co-founder.
- In advance of the June AI for Good Global Summit in Geneva, Daniel Kraft (Class 13) shares his thoughts on the application of AI technology to medicine in the video below. He covers benefits such as remote and semi-autonomous robotic surgery as well as reducing medical mistakes. The Summit, sponsored jointly by several United Nations agencies and XPRIZE, has the goal of “advancing the development and democratization of AI solutions” specifically in relation to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
This week’s blog selections:
- In a recent blog post, “What If the Squirrel Could See?”, Josh Breinlinger (Class 21) extends a recent 20-Minute VC conversation about his preference for concentrated over diversified portfolios with a critique of the Blind Squirrel theory—and the introduction of what he calls the Seeing Squirrel theory.
- Bill Tobin (KF Faculty) published a new post on Medium.com titled “‘Stay relevant, my friends…’ (B-Day Edition),” in which he celebrates another turn around the sun by offering his approach to career evolution, one that takes heart and mind into account.
If you are a Fellow or Mentor and would like to post a job at your firm or portfolio company, please email us. Jobs are shown here for 4 weeks unless otherwise requested.
- Accel is recruiting a Partner in London. See TENx for details.
- San Francisco-based Propel VC, specializing in FinTech, is recruiting analyst, associate, and partner positions in London. See TENx for details.
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