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“The last person [needed in a company] is the HR person. They’re the destroyer of companies.” Don Valentine

Interview of Tom Perkins and Don Valentine. Both venture capitalists founded two of the first VC firms in USA in 1972. Perkins founded Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), which invested in more than 500 companies in their fledgling stages, including AOL, Amazon, Citrix, Genentech y Google. Valentine Sequoia Capital, which then invested in Apple, Atari, Cisco, Youtube and others startups.

I want to ask forgiveness from my brother and all my HR friends for publishing this. I don’t completely agree with it, but the explanation the interviewee’s gives is very interesting. Valentine and Perkins were interviewed by TechCrunch Disrupt SF the 11th of September 2013. I have extracted the most interesting portions of this interview.

What kind of ideas did they liked most to invest in? What kind of entrepreneurs did they deal with?

Perkins explains that he invested “in the idea because bad people don’t have good ideas. I’d look at the back pages to see if the numbers were big, and then if they were I’d look at the front pages to see what the business was.” Continue Reading…

businessangels

Entrepreneur and business angel

In the beginning of the XX Century an angel was a wealthy person, who provided money for Broadway theatrical productions. The term angel began to be used in the USA in 1976 after a university publication reutilized it in reference to investors who supported entrepreneurs. Since then the term in the USA is angel investor, while in Europe we called them business angels.

These investors are essential in the financing of thousands of companies in the USA. In 2012 each of the 268,160 angel investors invested an average of $85.435 in a total of 67,030 companies. (35% of them startups). A total of 23,000 million dollars! The average angel deal size was $341,800 and the average equity received was 12.7%. Source: unh.edu

These dizzying figures don’t have anything in common with those in other countries Continue Reading…

What is Crowdfunding?

31 July, 2013 — 4 Comments
crowdfunding

Crowdfunding. Photo by Colbrain on Flickr used under a Creative Commons licence

Crowdfunding is the action, by which a person, company or organization asks a multitude of people to finance his/its projects via Internet, each of them giving a small quantity of money.

Some entrepreneurs and organizations have developed different crowdfunding platforms. They are web platforms that offer projects creators a display space to publish their projects in order to get financing. These platforms also allow the projects to use a secure payment page to ensure that the projects receive their money. In exchange, most platforms receive a commission based on the amount collected.

Which kinds of crowdfunding exist and what do the financial backers receive in exchange? Continue Reading…

What is Lean Start Up?

17 July, 2013 — 1 Comment
lean startup

Photo by John Fischer on Flickr used under a Creative Commons licence

It is a methodology for the creation of enterprises developed by the entrepreneur and consultant Eric Ries in his book “The Lean Startup” published in 2011. It has been a huge success among entrepreneurs, especially among internet entrepreneurs.

This methodology is based on the idea that a startup is an organization formed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model under conditions of extreme uncertainty.

The main point is to build a minimum viable product with basic features that are supposed interest to customers and launch it quickly to test if the hypotheses are true or not. By this way entrepreneur can learn a lot about the business, his products and his customers. Then, the entrepreneur decides whether to persevere or “pivot”, correcting some of the hypotheses.

Foto-Pello-Gamez

I interviewed Pello Gamez, one of three Geoactio’s entrepreneurs, who I met when they first launched their company. I negotiated Start Up Capital Navarra’s investment in their company. Since then, I have been witness to the positives changes in Geoactio, thanks to these entrepreneurs’ efforts, sacrifices and capacity to adapt to the market. Geoactio’s story is a good example of the difficulties which a start-up faces its first years and how its entrepreneurs overcame them.

Startup: GEOACTIO, Pamplona, Navarra, Spain.

Activity: Software and mobile applications development. Smart city and mobility projects. Smart bluetooth. Continue Reading…

Weareknitters web3

Photo: Alberto Bravo and Pepita Marin, We Are Knitters founders.

Startup: WE ARE KNITTERS, Madrid. www.weareknitters.com

Activity: We sell kits online to knit your own clothes, including 100% wool or cotton balls from Peru, wooden knitting needles and pattern. All in one kit recyclable supported with video tutorials for beginners. We operate in Spain, Germany and the UK. Continue Reading…

Foto weareknitters.com

“We are knitters” is a company created in 2011 by two 25 year old entrepreneurs, Maria Jose Marin and Alberto Bravo. These entrepreneurs have the double merit of launching an innovative product that was originally traditionally-based and procuring prestigious investors.

They have recently published on their website http://www.weareknitters.com that their company has raises 150,000 euros from some investors: the venture capital firm Cabiedes & Partners and two business angels François Derbaix, Toprural.com founder and Yago Arbeloa, president of the Spanish Association of Investors and Internet Entrepreneurs. The new capital will be use to accelerate the company’s international expansion in Europe.

The company’s online shop sells kits with everything necessary to knit wool and cotton clothing such as sweaters, scarves, hats, etc. They also offer simple video tutorials to learn how to knit from scratch.

In my opinion the most interesting aspects about this company are: Continue Reading…